Lelit Bianca or ECM Synchronika with profiler?

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Idlehands775

#1: Post by Idlehands775 » Nov 06, 2019, 1:50 am

I recently got up the courage to drop $4k on a Synchronika and a grinder (not sure which grinder I was going to pick, but that's for another post I suppose). I started a chat with a rep from the shop I was going to purchase the Synch from and just for for to assure myself I was making the correct decision, I asked the salesman what his opinion was. He was very certain that the Synchronika was his favorite E61 dual boiler but then he asked me if I liked to "tinker", which as an avid lever machine user for years, I do. He then brought up the Bianca... I am now completely at a loss. The Bianca is beautiful. I have used the Synch before at a appliance store in Heidelberg, and it is a wonderful machine. I have never used the Bianca but from what I have read it is wonderful. I like the idea of profiling shots, but I just don't know enough about the machine, and as I understand it not many people do because it a new machine/concept on an E61 type machine. I had the decision made again last night and I was going to grab the Bianca... Then I discovered that you can buy a profiler head for the Synchronika. Now I'm in a tail spin. I understand the Bianca also offer programmable preinfusion, but the synch is big gorgeous and a product of German precision manufacturing. Help! Please!

thm655321

#2: Post by thm655321 » Nov 06, 2019, 2:03 am

When I was buying it was down to the Profitec Pro 800 lever and the Bianca, and the Bianca won. At the time, the Profitec 700 and the ECM did not have a profiling option so it was no contest. From what I have read on this forum I am not confident that the flow profiling on the Profitec or ECM works as well as on the Bianca, but you need to do your own research.

What I really like about the Bianca, other that it's good looks to begin with, is that I don't have to add the external tank since mine is plumbed in, making the profile of the machine much smaller.

All of the machines are well built using good parts.

YMMV, good luck with your decision. No matter what you choose, among your options you will be getting a great machine.

Nunas
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#3: Post by Nunas » Nov 06, 2019, 12:00 pm

From what I have read on this forum I am not confident that the flow profiling on the Profitec or ECM works as well as on the Bianca, but you need to do your own research.
Really? I have a Synchronika with the flow control kit and it works just fine. There are two small differences between the Bianca and the Sync w/flow control. The Synchronika valve is able to move throughout its entire range, while the Bianca valve is impeded by the lever (unless you cut off a piece :wink: ). The e61 preinfusion in the Sync is unhindered, whereas the preinfusion in the Bianca is altered by the installation of a different spring (of course, one could change back to an original e61 spring and then there's be no meaningful difference). The effect on the Synchronika is the same as the original e61 patent. That is, the more closed the valve the longer the e61 pre-infusion and the slower the ramp time to full pressure. I use this feature a lot. With both machines, once the flow is underway the valve will control the flow, and thus also the pressure. I don't think you can go wrong either way.

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slybarman

#4: Post by slybarman » Nov 06, 2019, 12:38 pm

Hard to imagine going too wrong with either.

As alluded to above, I like that the Bianca's water tank is external and movable between the back and either side.

Also, consider whether you prefer joysticks or knobs for steam / hot water.

People seem to prefer Bianca's wooden paddle for the pressure control.

Tonefish

#5: Post by Tonefish » Nov 06, 2019, 5:55 pm

Idlehands775 wrote: I have never used the Bianca but from what I have read it is wonderful. I like the idea of profiling shots, but I just don't know enough about the machine, and as I understand it not many people do because it a new machine/concept on an E61 type machine.
Fortunately, not for over a year. Check this out: https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpres ... /#more-301
Nunas wrote:The e61 preinfusion in the Sync is unhindered, whereas the preinfusion in the Bianca is altered by the installation of a different spring (of course, one could change back to an original e61 spring and then there's be no meaningful difference).
Showing a little bias, Maurice? The preinfusion change wasn't a hinderance, it's a purposeful design change since the old E61 preinfusion can confound he new paddle control. Also, can you elaborate on the handle range limitation issue you mention for the Bianca, maybe to a link with further uinformation?
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

Nunas
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#6: Post by Nunas » Nov 06, 2019, 7:52 pm

Showing a little bias, Maurice?
Bias, no I don't think so. I went through the same machinations and decided on the Sync. As I said, either would be good.
The preinfusion change wasn't a hinderance, it's a purposeful design change since the old E61 preinfusion can confound he new paddle control.
My point is simply that the two controls are different, one that maintains the pre-infusion inherent in the e61 and one that does not. Either machine can be altered to operate like the other with a simple spring change.
Also, can you elaborate on the handle range limitation issue you mention for the Bianca, maybe to a link with further uinformation?
I don't understand what you're driving at. The Bianca I looked at has a paddle that turns through about 3/4 of a turn. But the needle valve has far greater range than this. With a change to the knob the full range is available. There are lots of posts here on H-B referring to this. As for the Sync, except for the version with the original long pattern knob, which also limited the throw of the needle valve, it can be set at any position through a bit more than two full turns. All this range isn't that useful, though, as about a turn and a half takes the Sync from totally closed to the equivalent of an unmodified e61.

Idlehands775

#7: Post by Idlehands775 » Nov 07, 2019, 1:41 am

As I understand it, the tradeoff on the Bianca for not having the traditional E61 half lever preinfusion was the programmable pump actuated preinfusion (up to three seconds) they added.

All of your opinions are valuable to me. I understand that I am choosing between two outstanding machines. I feel fortunate to be in such a position.

mauro@lelit.com

#8: Post by mauro@lelit.com » replying to Idlehands775 » Nov 07, 2019, 7:31 am

HI, it il not only 3 seconds! you can choose the preinfusion time on 0-20 seconds and the time off 1-20 seconds
sorry for my english :)

Reason: Embedded YouTube link

Idlehands775

#9: Post by Idlehands775 » Nov 07, 2019, 4:46 pm

I'm still agonizing over the decision. I watched the review video linked above on the Bianca and it is an impressive machine. I am somewhat concerned about the steam pressure only being 1.5 bars, but I also realize that is a fair amount when not compared to the Synch's 2 bars. The layout of the Bianca internals looked fairly cramped compared to the synch but obviously very secure. Especially considering the damage sustained during shipping and the fact that it still worked. But I know internals stuffed together can cause longevity issues.

The guy in the review video seemed impressed with the Biancas parts list. Does anyone have an opinion on the electronics versus the synch?

Also, having only used an older version of the synch in Germany a a year and a half ago, would there be any changes due to the boiler prioritization on 110v 15 amp? I mean obviously that will make a difference, but the reviews seem to suggest ECM nailed that on recent updates.

I suppose the only thing to do now is to drive to Portland and try both machines at Clive. I don't fully understand why the Bianca is $300 cheaper than the Synch without the profiler head. It shouldn't, but that makes me nervous.

I don't want to start another argument on here but what grinders would you all suggest for pairing with these machines. My only criteria is it needs to fit under a cabinet.

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sweaner
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#10: Post by sweaner » Nov 07, 2019, 10:25 pm

When you look at them, which do you really want? THAT is the answer. Don't agonize, as you will like either of them.
Scott
LMWDP #248