What was your upgrade path from a Rancilio Silvia class espresso machine? - Page 6

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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Peppersass
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#51: Post by Peppersass »

jsdp wrote:Although I have happily used a Rancilio Silvia and Rocky for over 2 years, visiting this forum daily didn't help prevent catching upgraditis. I had narrowed down my choice to either an Izzo Alex Duetto II or a La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II. Even though both of these machines are great, I couldn't help but think that even if I bought either one, I would still want to purchase a La Marzocco GS/3 (my dream machine) in the future. Once I heard about the current limited price offer on GS/3's, I decided I couldn't pass it up and pulled the trigger. I am glad I did and I don't foresee a need to ever upgrade my espresso machine again. I have owned it for a few weeks and I am still pinching myself.... :D .
I went through similar a similar experience and deliberation, but only had my PID Silvia and Macap M4 stepless for 30 days. The PID avoided the temperature surfing that frustates many new Silvia owners, and I began with a better grinder than the usual Rocky. So, I started with a considerable leg up and was able to get decent pours early on. I built a PF pressure gauge and lowered the brew pressure a little, and was about to install one of Eric's thermocouple adapters to get the real scoop on the group head temperature profile. I was having lots of fun with the science, learning about espresso and forming a relationship with Silvia. I was just beginning to pull some pretty good shots. My microfoam production was more erratic, but I was on the way to understanding the termperature profile of the steam boiler, too.

It turned out I was making more milk drinks than I anticipated (daily straight shots and daily milk drinks instead of just straight shots and an occaisional milk drink.) Even with the PID, I foresaw a little more time for the morning brew ritual than I wanted. So, I was actively investigating the upgrade possibilities by the end of the first month. After reading reams about espresso machines on HB and CG, and getting a sense of the limitations and idiosyncracies of the offerings, and after learning that I had more interest in the coffee than wresting with machines, I knew there was a strong possibility that if I upgraded it wouldn't stop until I got a first-rate DB. I had been wowed by the design, performance and build quality of the GS/3, so when it went on deep sale, I figured there may never be another opportunity to get one at a great price, and it would be cheaper to pull the trigger now rather than buying and selling a bunch of intermediate machines over a period of years. After a little over a week with the GS/3, I'm glad I skipped everything in between (but, of course, I'm not quite out of the upgraditis vortex because there's that little matter of the grinder :-)). By no means is the GS/3 a solution for everyone, or even a few, but it was the right one for me.

blacktalon

#52: Post by blacktalon »

This thread is quite helpful. Although I'm looking at a low-end lever due to my fiance's request, I also have been looking at higher- (much higher?) end machines. Sadly the really deep discount on the GS/3 is no longer, although it is still discounted quite a bit from the MSRP (If anyone knows different, please let me know).

I'm still considering this for my real entry into great espressos and cappas, along with a lever for occasional single espresso shots. I talked at length with one of the recommended GS/3 vendors, and he was very helpful. While one of these would be a little easier to swallow at $4,300 then at $5k, I can't discount it as a way of avoiding a long trail of upgrades I might otherwise find myself on.

While temperature surfing, etc. doesn't seem like a big deal to me, I know my fiance would like a little less hassle. With a machine like the GS/3, I could play around with finding the sweet spot for a given bean, adjust the settings, then she could obtain the same results without having to fuss (or play, depending on your point of view).

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LaMarzooka

#53: Post by LaMarzooka »

I went from a PID'd Silvia to a used Reneka Techno V1 which I picked up for $1,200. The machine performed quite well...for all of 6 months.

Why repair when one can replace?

I am eagerly awaiting its replacement now: the GS/3. I considered waiting till the end of the month for the paddle model availability in the US, but the deal Chris offered me was too good to pass up. I should be back in business by next Tuesday if all goes to plan.

:D
Espresso or no go!

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Pale Rider

#54: Post by Pale Rider »

It was funny. I agonized over the GS/3 while waiting for my Duetto. I was of course blissfully unaware of the deals on the GS/3 until after I had placed the order. I can still see myself eventually going down that path, perhaps after a kitchen remodel, but am right now quite happy with the Duetto. I am drinking far better espresso than I was ever able to achieve with my Silvia, and better than I can reliably find locally.
Why repair when one can replace?
Indeed.
You can't win. You can't break even. You can't get out of the game.

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LaMarzooka

#55: Post by LaMarzooka »

Pale Rider wrote:It was funny. I agonized over the GS/3 while waiting for my Duetto. I was of course blissfully unaware of the deals on the GS/3 until after I had placed the order. I can still see myself eventually going down that path, perhaps after a kitchen remodel, but am right now quite happy with the Duetto. I am drinking far better espresso than I was ever able to achieve with my Silvia, and better than I can reliably find locally.
Some timing. Glad to hear that you are happy with the results from your new Duetto!

As a proud bachelor, my kitchen is fairly useless to me outside of espresso preparation. The oven functions poorly as a desk. And, it's not nearly large enough to accommodate a Speedster.
Espresso or no go!