NickWLL wrote:The convenience of plumbing and inline water filtration options make the Mechanika IV Profi a very attractive choice. However, we've also found that the inclusion of PIDs on heat exchange models like the Pro 500 and Rocket's Type V and Evo R lines makes brew temperatures much more stable and predictable...The PID machines will make it easier for you to play with variables, while the Mechanika IV will certainly be more convenient once you plumb it.
Much of the beauty of the ECM and similar machines is its solidity & simplicity. Dan's experience of having "had two pressurestats fail...in the on position thus over pressurizing the boiler and tripping the pressure release valve" is truly rare in new machines. P'stats do wear out over time, but most work fine for several years. The "infant failure" rate of digital displays and controls is far higher than that of the mechanical components they replace, despite the undocumented protestations of devotees on HB. This quote from Russel's current FS post (Mahlkoenig Peak) sums it up well:
russel wrote:In the last year I've dealt with a string of ill timed electronic failures in some really important pieces of equipment, and this electronic hiccup feels like the last straw. I'm tired of electronics fouling my stuff up.
Electronics will tighten up your operating parameters by providing more precise settings with reduced variance. This can yield improvements in the cup with some coffees, notably beans with complex & subtle nuances brought out by lighter roasting. But making this happen mandates a seriously great grinder and can require sophisticated brew profiling. I'm not at all convinced that most of us would benefit from this, given the great espresso you can make with machines like those you're contemplating. If you're brewing on the leading edge of the 3rd wave, you probably want a PID. Most of us awash in traditional choconuttycaramel brew smothered in crema wouldn't trade consistency & solidity for that level of subtlety.
This is my second plumbed machine - I can't imagine going back to a reservoir. It's also my first rotary pump, and the wonderful, quiet purr it makes while working makes a vibe pump sound so crude. I chose my ECM HX carefully after considering a Linea Mini and a Synchronika. I'm sooo glad I did!