First Time Buyer - Question on Rancilio Silvia

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by hmun786 »

Hi all -

I am looking to buy an espresso machine to start out with. I've read the in depth posts about how it might be better to go 'high-end' to start out with, but an opportunity to buy the Rancilio Silvia (used) came up at potentially under $300. It is seven years old but it's been refurbished in the following ways:

-silicon hoses were replaced
-o-ring shaft and want were replaced
-insulation was added to the boiler
-rusted screws were replaced
-replaced the steam valve toothed washer

Was just looking for a sense of the useful life of a Silvia, and whether these refurbishments serve to extend its life. Basically, could this last me a few years with proper use? Thanks!

Supporter ♡

#2: Post by Nunas »

The Silvia can be rebuilt more or less forever. That said, over the years, Rancilio has made continuous upgrades. So, exact replacement parts for some of the older machines are no longer available as OEM, the heater for example. However, in most cases, the newer, redesigned parts can be installed. In some cases though, some would argue that it isn't worth the effort. For example, either good DIY skills are needed to fit a new heater to an old-style boiler, or an entire boiler change is needed. I'm not all that experienced with the Silvia, apart from having used one and having helped repair a couple. But, there are folks here who can guide you much better, providing you give them the version number of the machine you're considering.

However...big however...I think it's fair to say that the Silvia, even in its newer Silvia-e incarnations is getting a bit dated, despite its obvious quality. For somewhat more money, you can get an entry-level HX, a much more capable machine, such as the Magister Stella. There are those who would argue that making the jump to an entry-level DB such as the Breville is a good option. I guess it all depends on how deep your pockets are. :wink:


#3: Post by tennisman03110 »

I'd be nervous if I were you. I started out used, but the machine was like-new and never taken out of the box, and only $200.

For the Silvia, Why is there rust? What other issues might be lingering in a month?

Do you want to spend your time learning how to make espresso, or how to fix a machine? Just saying, it's a possibility.

If I didn't get my 1st machine for a good deal (Breviile Duo Temp on eBay) I was set on a new Gaggia Classic Pro. But I looked into it for a long time.


#4: Post by GreavesManchu »

My Silvia was over 19 when I retired her in April. Not just old, but well used; I pulled 4 shots, every day for 19 years. During that time I replaced two thermostats on the boiler (easy), and the steam valve (not to bad if you're using proper wrenches and not a Cresent wrench.) If you do purchase Silvia, please watch the videos and read the articles to learn the best way to run her.

In regards to rust, the frame can and will get splashed when you empty your drip pan if you're not careful. The drip pan is quite small and will fill quickly during temperature surfing.