FWIW, this is what I've observed w/ my SJ and Pharos on a pump machine:
I roast w/ a Hottop, all SO and eject before the start of 2nd crack or as soon as I
hear the onset of 2nd crack.
The only beans in my limited inventory that I could get the SJ to pull shots at around 3 clicks from
the zero point are Ethiopia or Brazil (or a blend of those 2). All others, I have to set the
SJ to near zero point as well as upping the dose significantly to get the shot timing to come close.
But like you've said, even then, it's still quite finicky. The same thing happens w/ my other 2 friends w/
SJs (all 3 of us have tried new burrs as well) and 2 w/ Rocky DLs. The common denominator is that I'm the one supplying the roasted beans, so it's highly likely that I'm the cause of the problem.
So for a while I pretty much gave up on many beans for SO espresso (yemen, kenya, sumatra, costa rica, panama, el salvador, columbia, java...) and used them for other purposes instead.
Until... I got the Pharos...
Once I set the grinder setting, all the beans that I've never been able to pull as SO successfully
before, now all work flawlessly. Everything works at between 13-16g dose at the same grind setting.
I haven't changed the grind setting since the last time I'd disassembled to clean and realign about 3 months ago and I change to a different bean every week (one batch from the Hottop lasts about a week and I rarely, never?, use the same bean again the following week).
Also, using bottomless PFs, I used to WDT, nutate w/ the SJ and in the 2 years of using it, I believe I can count on my fingers and possibly a few toes how many times I got the perfect looking pours. Admittedly that's my lack of skills.
With the Pharos, I dump straight onto the basket sitting on a .1g scale, if the mound is really off-centered, I tap it lightly on the mouse pad (my tamping pad) a couple of times to even it out a bit and tamp straight down, no more WDT/nutate. Just about every pour is visually excellent. I never got this kind of consistency w/ the SJ.
I have a piece of masking tape applied to the lower portion of the Pharos with notes of all the different origins and dose used. I don't have it in front of me but will snap a pic and post later.