Rancilio Silvia Pro X Review

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kc2hje
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#1: Post by kc2hje »

Hello All,

I'm not much of a reviewer heck for that matter not much of a writer but here goes nothing.
I was gifted this year from my lovely wife the gift of all gifts and one that I think is impossible to top She gave me the gift of more time in the form of the double boiler Silvia Pro X.

So some background on my espresso journey, it started about sixteen years ago due to discovering my love for coffee when made as a Cappuccino. Since that first time I started off with a Mr Coffee Espresso steam pot this ran ok but only resulted in me adding more sugar and flavors to offset the over extraction of the "espresso",
Up next was the Breville / Sage Ikon espresso machine and that was a huge step up was a pressurised basket thermoblock machine but I started to get some good shots not great but the bitterness from over extraction while still there was now much less pronounced and in your face. This was a great machine and I did get about three years of solid use out of it but eventually parts just started wearing out and I had no luck in finding replacement parts.
Next up was the MyPressi Twist on this one the highs were very high and the lows were really low. To say that this espresso maker had a high fuss factor was a huge understatement but man oh man when the stars aligned and the seals did not leak it could make an awesome shot, but this too suffered from parts not being available so on to home coffee 3.0.

After eight years and three machines I told my wife that my goal was to make excellent coffee at home and since i'm a repair not toss and buy new person I wanted my next steps to be sustainable for the long term.
The first step on this journey was a Rancilio Rocky grinder and french press while I built up hobbie funds to acquire a Silvia.
On that christmas of 2012 my wife gave me the gift of a Rancilio Silvia V4 and the espresso just kept getting better first mods were the Espresso Parts HQ baskets and bottomless portafilter that really let me start getting a much higher amount of good shots and really cut down on the sink shots, next up was a Haro scale and I started to measure extractions by weight and while I did still have my struggles I started to feel confident enough to make the next step and get a PID. After installing the PID not only did the shots get better but by not having to surf being able to pick a temp and pull several shots and get the same results lighter roasts and drinking espresso neat/straight became more of the norm and less of an exception (part of this next evolution was a new grinder that was also a gift from the wife a Weber HG-1) . This setup has served me well and got me quite far with only three issues
1. Time going from steam temps to brew temps results in a cappuccino taking on average about 10 to 12 min per drink to make
2. water usage was high due to using it to drop the boiler from 280 back down to brew @ 220ish
3. drip tray size became more of an issue due to flushing
4. trying to make drinks when we had company resulted in me disappearing and missing out on time with friends and family while I made drinks

I have been looking at going over to a dual boiler for the past three years and several things were critical to me were.
long term repair is critical so this killed the Breville double boiler and I didnt like the looks of it while the performance is solid it looks cheep,

I love the looks of the Rocket R58 but the E-61 group has two drawbacks to me warmup time and needing to grease the cam nether of these are big issues but not something I was thrilled with when parting with 3k.



So now with the long winded into and history out of the way here is the review

First impressions were oh my this is a big boy! This was a surprise to my wife and I for some reason when looking at the Silvia Pro two years ago I didn't look at the dimensions, it's a good deal larger than the Silvia and highlights something great about the original Silvia it's a compact package. With that said the biggest change is in depth.

As to impressions now that I have been using it for three weeks now

Warm Up is quick I run a smart plug to kick it on when I get up in the morning but for an afternoon drink it only takes 15 min to brew and about 25 min to steam.

Brewing is identical to the PIDed Silvia my grinder and temp settings are identical between the two machines and shots taste more or less the same and flow at the same rate. adjusting the brew temp is very straightforward and the count timer is very convenient. And the new pre infusion feature is great as random sprays and channeling seems to be way down from what I was getting on the PIDed Silvia. The pressure gauge is a nice touch and I do feel like this should have been there from day one of the Silvia Pro.

Steam performance is in a whole new class to the Silvia I can steam 8 Oz of milk from 36F degrees to 140F around 30 to 38 seconds and I can steam and prep four drinks at a time with no slowdown or impact from the machine.The steam also seems drier as well and while not able to do Latte art the foam is smoother with much less effort. I do want to add one caveat here that I have a HG-1 grinder and have a full single dose workflow so 18 Grams of coffee go from a vial to in the basket, WDT, and leveled in about two minutes.

Im finding my water usage in both the tank and the drip tray is more than adequate i can make around ten drinks and not kick off the low water sensor.

Build quality is about the same as the Silvia with one exception the grouphead seems to have some vertical flex thats a bit worrying I will be reaching out to SCG and see what they have to say about it.

Accessories, Man this is a mixed bag the Tamper is a home run and is what should be shipped with all espresso machines at a minimum once you cross the 500.00 dollar mark, The portafilter is nice but it would be really nice if a bottomless was an included option or quite frankly should be included? This could be more my own issue but I think people buying these are clearly more on the coffee geek side. The grouphead brush is a joke and should not be included kinda the 2021 version of a plastic tamper.

I will add to this and tweak as time goes on please feel free to fire questions my way and my apologies for the writing style I am a fixer first and writing is way way on the bottom of the list if you made it this far thanks for sticking around.

Chris


SandraF

#2: Post by SandraF »

Congratulations on your new espresso machine! What a nice gift.

DCoffee

#3: Post by DCoffee »

Enjoy.

I recently purchased this exact machine myself in the matte black color. Unfortunately it had to be returned due to some defects. I'm hoping to receive my replacement unit shortly. Some bad luck.

The machine looks far better in person than it does in pictures I find, and despite being larger than you're used to, it's still a pretty good footprint for what it delivers feature-wise.

I think they've hit a homerun with this machine.

User avatar
jgirl125

#4: Post by jgirl125 »

Thanks for the review as there hasn't been allot of info available as of yet on the new Pro X model. I like the side by side picture too as I knew it was bigger than the standard Silvia, but it was hard to visualize. My first "real" espresso machine was a Rocky / Silvia setup and I think allot of others have gone down a similar path as well. It's always nice to hear someone's journey into the hobby.

You mentioned the need for maintenance on a E-61 brew group and my personal experience was that indeed you end up doing it. It wasn't a horrible process to lube and replace seals on the E-61, and being able to get parts easily was always a plus.

Will be interested to see what you think after getting a few more months with the machine, although it sounds like you have a pretty great outcome / workflow already. Cheers.

DCoffee

#5: Post by DCoffee »

Finally got my replacement machine. The first one was a bit rough. This time it was shipped on a palette, so it would seem that it faired a little better :wink:

Apparently these Rancilio Pro/Pro X machines are known to have a few issues in shipping. I had seen this video prior to receiving my first machine, so it didn't really surprise me that I had issues -->
I think the machine is big enough where the weight of it can be a problem if mishandled, but not large enough where a vendor would typically place it on a palette.

I requested a pallet for the replacement machine. The vendor agreed in order to avoid further issues.

If the look is what someone is looking for, I think the Rancilio Pro X is a great machine. My wife and I happen to prefer its simpler look to some of the more typical chrome E61 machines out there, so it was right up our alley.

Really haven't had a chance to put it through its paces yet, but at least it's in one piece this time :P 8)

Cheers


adgeq

#6: Post by adgeq »

How is the Rancilio Silvia Pro X doing now? Any issues arise?
Also, is it worth purchasing for $2,800~? (Where I'm from, shipping is around the $970's, so I'm not able to get it truly at $1870).

gobucks

#7: Post by gobucks » replying to adgeq »

WOW now that is some expensive shipping! Obviously I don't know your financial situation, but given the astronomical markup for shipping, it definitely seems like a "buy once, cry once" situation - If it's going to be almost $3K for even a midrange machine, I'd probably rather just splash out like $4K on a TOTL machine like the ECM Synchronika, Lelit Bianca, Profitec Pro 700, etc that I know I won't outgrow (or at least a $3500 semi-TOTL vibe pump machine like the Quick Mill QM67 or Profitec Pro 600). The biggest unknown for me is flow control - I'm not advanced enough to need it now, but it could be something I really miss down the road, and I was willing to forgo it at <$2K (I bought a Lelit Elizabeth, very similar to the Silvia Pro X, at $1600), but if I had to shell out closer to $3K, I probably wouldn't be willing to forgo the possibility of that feature. If you're reasonably confident that the Silvia Pro X is your endgame machine, though, then it makes sense.

CSME9

#8: Post by CSME9 »

DCoffee wrote:Finally got my replacement machine.
Nice !!

CSME9

#9: Post by CSME9 »

kc2hje wrote: Build quality is about the same as the Silvia with one exception the grouphead seems to have some vertical flex thats a bit worrying I will be reaching out to SCG and see what they have to say about it.
Can you expand on the vertical flex ? Is the group front panel flexing when inserting the porta filter handle. Thanks..

Vito

#10: Post by Vito »

I've watched the video about the potential shipping damage, but what did both of you find was damaged? Mine just got delivered this morning and I'm curious what I should be looking for. Thanks.