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Yet Again...


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Recently decided to 'retire' my V1 Silvia that had served me very well for some time. Bought it used (hardly used sums it up) and was averaging 2,500 extractions on it yearly. Replaced a handful of parts in it just to be sure it remained 100% as not a single part ever failed. Knew over time I'd eventually have to replace the heating element, which of course is quite doable, but decided to buy a brand new machine since I've always bought used. Decided to go with the Silvia Pro... even though I hardly ever steam and really have no solid need for a dual boiler I was so impressed with the build quality/performance of the Silvia that I knew the Pro would carry on in that direction. It indeed has the old school feel of Italian craftmanship with some nice modern tweaks and it does perform very well. I will say two things I don't care for is the shower screen and 3-way flow arrangement...

-Shower screen has improved with an almost flat design, but the screw used and the way it was tightened at the factory left the screen slightly warped. Yes I did try tweaking it a bit, but still wasn't totally satisfied with the water flow, etc. Decided to get the flat screen kit from PIDSilvia site and it definitely fits much nicer and gives a more even flow of water. Also, when snugged into place it's totally flat compared to the stock screen.

-Solenoid discharge has been somewhat improved as the frame has been tweaked to give a 45 degree ledge to help divert the flow into the drip tray. Truth be told it still splashes around quite a bit. The frame is stainless as well as all other components in that lower area, but still a bit messy at times. Very simple/quick/cheap fix I've found to work great is installing a sleeve onto the solenoid pipe that directs the flow much further down into the drip tray instead of hitting that ledge and splashing all over. That simple fix is a piece of heat shrink tubing I had no real use for. Think the diameter is listed as being 3/4" and I cut it to maybe 2.5" or so in length. Simply slid it over the end of the pipe and the end is maybe 1/2" off the bottom of the drip tray. Directs the flow nicely with much more control. It is flexible enough that removing the drip tray is no problem as well. I often read comments from those bashing the Silvia drip tray design. Yes it could be deeper, etc., but it's not a big deal to find simple workarounds. What I've done with several machines for many years is simply keep a sponge in the tray, which absorbs all 3-way flow. At the end of each daily use I simply wring/rinse the sponge, wipe the drip tray out and it's like new every single day with no mess, fuss, etc. Why some let the drip tray get too full then spill all over trying to remove it is beyond me. Why some machines have a float reminder to be emptied is ridiculous as people should realize an espresso machine is a bit involved and requires attention to detail.

Anyway... I haven't seen much mentioned about the Silvia Pro and just mentioning that a handful of things from the original carry over to this beast. I currently push it fairly hard daily and have had it for about 5 weeks now. Thing has been spot on and am blown away with the temperature stability and super fast recovery. 

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@shadow745 How are you measuring the brew temps?

Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

@shadow745 How are you measuring the brew temps?

Absolute most reliable way... by taste! If I want to be somewhat technical I have a quality digital meter and flex probe that I run up through the portafilter spout and rest the probe bead right under the basket and that gives quite accurate readings. Can also snake the thin probe wire over the basket so it is right under the shower screen. I'm not all into Scace device readings as what I do works great for me in real world use. The PID display on the machine seems quite accurate and very responsive. After running my usual 45-50 second extractions it's still on my setpoint and seems to recover nicely even under heavy use as in fairly quick back-back extractions based on my use thusfar.

Will add that for what it's capable of it is quite energy efficient based on current draw when sitting idle, that sort of thing. Due to the boilers being insulated it doesn't give off much heat at all. Also noticed it has a slower/more controlled flow rate at the group, which most definitely helps minimize channeling. Just a fantastic machine that should serve any serious enthusiast well. Not everybody likes the old school industrial boxy look, but at least it's not just another lame shiny E61 duh machine.

Edited by shadow745
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@shadow745 Welcome to the Silvia Pro club, I think there are about five of us around here now.

We’ve had ours since November last year and have been very happy with it. I think the group is the same or very similar to the latest Silva’s. Like you’ve said the temperature stability is very good, I’ve only seen it drop when running the cleaning cycle and then it recovers very fast.

We must have run 1000+ shots through not now with no issues. Not sure why people moan about the drip tray never been an issue for me.

My only gripes are the pump for the steam boiler is very loud and the water level system is basic and from a washing machine, I have all the bits to build a better one just need to spend the time to put it together.

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  • 1 month later...

UPDATE.....

To anyone interested in a solid fix for this common design issue with 3-way splash I tweaked things a bit. I bought some extra 3/4" heat shrink tubing that's 3.5" in length and cut a notch at the bottom so that when it's installed onto the 3-way discharge pipe it diverts the flow nicely out into the center of the drip tray and prevents any from splashing toward the machine internals. I was able to slide it up onto the pipe enough that it just does clear the bottom of the drip tray and is flexible enough that tray removal/replacement is a snap. Since I don't need to remove the tray often I keep 2 sponges in it as that easily absorbs all discharge from 6-7 doubles each morning and at the end of each daily use I rinse/squeeze the sponges out, wipe the drip tray residue and put them back in. I do wash them with coffee towels a few times weekly and simply replace when they start to degrade, which takes quite awhile. This sponge fix easily handles all discharge when I do a detergent backflush with lots of flushing as well. I know some complain about the shallow tray design, but there are simple workarounds to solve any minor issues.

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Edited by shadow745
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