Upgrading to Dual Boiler - Brewtus III, Mini Vivaldi II, Breville Dual Boiler ... or Synchronika??

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

#1: Post by misters2 »

Hi all, hoping to find some advice for my next espresso machine purchase. There are 4 options I'm considering within reasonable driving distance, all used. The subject pretty much sums it up: 2011 Expobar Brewtus III ($1100), 2015 La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II ($1400), Breville Dual Boiler ($1000), or a major price jump to the 2017 ECM Synchronika with flow control upgrade ($2500).

Looking for some guidance on this one. As far as pricing goes, they all seem pretty reasonably priced for used machines, and as with any used purchase may have some flexibility in knocking a few dollars off.

From what I've read, the Expobar and Spaziale are pretty comparable, though from a looks/functionality perspective I think I prefer the lever of the Brewtus E61 versus the buttons and enclosure on the Spaziale. The Breville would be the value purchase here, but I'm seeing a lot of interesting things about mods etc. Finally there's the Synchronika, obviously a major price jump. I will not be plumbing it in, but it's obviously a beautiful machine, and especially with the flow control upgrade, offers some nice enhancements over the other options.

What would you do? Is the price jump for the Synchronika worth it?

Team HB

#2: Post by ira »

I've had a Brewtus II for years. It's not the fanciest, but it's well documented and easy to work on and get parts for. If you buy that, PM me and I'll send you all the info I have. And there is a google groups Brewtus area with a fair bit of knowledge. If you want flow control the Coffee Sensor piece fit mine perfectly.



#3: Post by SandraF »

I bought a Synchronika almost a year ago and really enjoy it. It's not plumbed in and the drip tray is shallow. That's my only complaint.

I bought it because you can easily get replacement parts down the line, and after watching videos on its insides, looks to be well laced out inside, so working on it (eventually) should be fine.

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#4: Post by mckolit »

I say go for the Brewtus. If you prefer e61 lever over buttons, the Vivaldi and BDB are out. With the money you'll save from the Synchronika you can get a flow control kit and a nice grinder.


#5: Post by luvmy40 »

My obviously biased opinion would be to go with the BDB. As long as it's a 920 model. I'd start with an $850 offer and see they bite. Even at $1000, it's a good deal, if not great. No mods needed to make excellent espresso out of the box, but easily modified for no $ in a few ways for very good flow control.


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#6: Post by Nunas »

Obviously, from my profile, I like the Synchronika. But, if you're trying to save money, you'd be better off buying one of the other e61 machines and adding the flow control. If you don't value flow control, then, frankly, those are all decent machines. Pick the one you like the most :D


#7: Post by *sigh* »

If you're potentially interested in doing some profiling but don't want the price jump the BDB is the way to go (again if it's the 920xl). It's really easy to do a reversible "slayer mod" on the BDB to give you full flow control. It's a great machine if you like to tinker.


#8: Post by mdr »

I have a Brewtus II that I bought about used about 5 years ago. My first espresso machine. It was in good shape, but I've had to replace some parts over time. It's easy to work on, but you should expect some maintenance. Vibe pump, pressurestat, pressure release valve, power switch, SSR.

At the end of last year, I had a heating element failure and wound up tearing it down for a full descale. This was one of those pulling threads situations where I wound up unraveling the sweater. I got it back together, it runs fine now, but was down for a few weeks waiting for parts.

As someone else mentioned in this thread, there's a lot of info available and a (fairly) active google group.