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What model should I aim for ?


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Hi all 

 I am planning on buying a used Silvia ( probably eBay or something ) and mod it myself ( kind of a little side project ). Not sure what the costs are for used silvias these days but not really planning on spending more than 200-300 especially since I’ll be spending more on mods ( and probably repairs knowing me.... ) .

 Anyway I have seen a load of different modes ( v1, v3 etc ) and was wondering if there is any particular model I should aim for and why ? 
 

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9 hours ago, NickDa said:

Hi all 

 I am planning on buying a used Silvia ( probably eBay or something ) and mod it myself ( kind of a little side project ). Not sure what the costs are for used silvias these days but not really planning on spending more than 200-300 especially since I’ll be spending more on mods ( and probably repairs knowing me.... ) .

 Anyway I have seen a load of different modes ( v1, v3 etc ) and was wondering if there is any particular model I should aim for and why ? 
 

Later models have the auto shut off after 30 mins, to comply with EU regulations . 

You defo need to factor in a PID ( mr Shades on here does them ) 

Version 6 had some changes - copying and pasting here 

“The element is now stainless steel rather than copper, so way more resistant to corrosion.The boiler is now insulated as standard (lots of people modded this DIY on older models).The steam wand was also upgraded so a single piece with better shaped end for cleaning and longevity.The group-head cover was replaced with something that won't corrode or get incredibly hot.”

Price wise for 1-3 I wouldn’t be going to more than £250 for a really good example , I have seem them go as low as £150-175 pre pandemic 

 

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I'm not convinced that the difference across versions is significant. V3 saw the steam wand put on a ball joint, which is a nice to have but I don't feel like my V2 wand inhibits steaming (if you're using the correct sized jug).

Regarding price, I'd be surprised if you found one for £200 without waiting quite some while for one (like years). It may depend on your part of the country but here in the south west, I followed local silvias for a year on ebay and none sold below £250, with most selling in and around the £300 mark. I assume you either have a capable grinder or have set aside £150-200 for one?

The PID mod is essential and depending on which route you go, you can easily spend £350 to £400 in total incl. the PID. With that budget, you're then starting to creep into the territory of low-end, used E61 grouphead machines (likely HX), that are much more upgradable than the silvia. I'm just playing devils advocate here. I think if it were me doing this again (and I own a silvia btw), I would have gone the gaggia classic route, which you can pick up much cheaper OR saved for a bit longer and gone straight for a low-end E61 machine. It really depends on your budget. Good luck!

EDIT: I see you're in London, that at least works in your favour, most of the good deals seem to be in the London area.

Edited by newdent
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Hi @Mrboots2u and @newdent  , thanks both for your comments.

I have a niche zero grinder so should be ok'ish on the grinder side of things. The reason i was aiming for the Silvia is because it seems very common with  a lot of parts and mods available which seem perfect for me as i am treating this as fun side project ( over a number of weeks/months to assemble it as i want , paint it etc ) . @newdent you mentioned that there are other E61 group head machines that are upgradable , any chance got a name or two as examples? 

 

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33 minutes ago, NickDa said:

Hi @Mrboots2u and @newdent  , thanks both for your comments.

I have a niche zero grinder so should be ok'ish on the grinder side of things. The reason i was aiming for the Silvia is because it seems very common with  a lot of parts and mods available which seem perfect for me as i am treating this as fun side project ( over a number of weeks/months to assemble it as i want , paint it etc ) . @newdent you mentioned that there are other E61 group head machines that are upgradable , any chance got a name or two as examples? 

 

Yes you're definitely covered on the grinder front!


I do see the appeal of the silvia regarding parts, which is why I went for it. That is also the appeal of the E61 machines as they all share a common grouphead. I'm not familiar with any of the E61 machines in particular but most of the high-end domestic machines will use the same group head, it's very distinctive looking. These will have been very expensive from new, certainly £1k upwards. I have to watch what I say here, I might be giving myself competition for any deals that come up on here! 😁

If you have your heart set on the silvia, there's definitely lots of fun to be had, just thought it was worth pointing out an alternate route you may not have thought of. I enjoy the coffee mines makes, it's just a bit boring looking. I want a shiny one now!

Edited by newdent
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ha i know what you mean about wanting a nice shiny one, same here but frankly i dont have the space for a nice machine ( maybe in a eventually when i move out of a flat in London). 

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