Is the ECM Mechanika MAX good for my long term needs ? - Page 3

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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baldheadracing
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#21: Post by baldheadracing »

DaveC wrote:It's used in a lot of prosumer machines because of it's flexibility, accessories availability, performance and the fact that consumers like it. It's actually not cheap (definitely not the least expensive).
Both cost and availability. There are less-expensive commercial groups, but those groups are only available to a particular manufacturer/conglomerate. There are less-expensive generally-available groups that are "commercial-sized" in the sense that they use 58mm, but to my knowledge they are not found in commercial use. Perhaps an argument could be made for the Bezzera BZ group, but only the bell of that group is used by Elektra.

As for accessories, 58mm came from machines prior to the E-61, and who knows where that came from.
DaveC wrote:As for comparing the performance with an old car, that's not completely fair. The E61 group has a lot going for it in the modern world, just because the concept was old doesn't make it inferior. Modern tech has enabled it to really shine as a group. e.g. cartridge heated PID controlled E61s as release by ECM and ACS...two different approaches, with pros and cons for each approach. This really bring the E61 bang up to date.
Adding cartridge heaters - which I think is a great idea - replaces one of the salient features of the E-61 - thermosyphonic heating the group. Is the result still an E-61 group, or a hunk of brass that looks like an E-61 - and perhaps has too much brass than optimal for an electrically heated group?
DaveC wrote:I love modern tech married effectively with the best of the old tech.
It is a seductive combination - that I also have.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

DaveC
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#22: Post by DaveC »

baldheadracing wrote: Adding cartridge heaters - which I think is a great idea - replaces one of the salient features of the E-61 - thermosyphonic heating the group. Is the result still an E-61 group, or a hunk of brass that looks like an E-61 - and perhaps has too much brass than optimal for an electrically heated group?
The ECM machine I saw at Host Milan 23, had a thermosyphon and 400W of heating cartridges, I think the group is still in prototype, so I'm going on what Michael told me was in that machine. The Falcon I from ACS had no thermosyphon, just a heating cartridge.. The approaches are different, which potentially gives different results. ECM were going for a very fast warmup (6m apparently), ACS where going for stability and temperature flexibility (warm up is slower, but can possibly be increased a little, nowhere close to ECMs 6m though.

So arguable the ECM machine is still an E61 group, the Falcon I is a definite evolution of that group.

ChefRayB (original poster)
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#23: Post by ChefRayB (original poster) »

baldheadracing wrote:I guess it depends on how one's feels about the E-61 group. I know people love the aethetics of that group, which is as good a reason as any to have such a machine. Certainly among my friends "of a certain age," the E-61 is espresso thanks to FAEMA's 1960's-70's-80's market dominance in Canada....
As a beginner, I'm trying to stick with the masses with the most flexibility. I do relate that the e-61 group might not be ideal but if you want to flow control to play with some profiles, to my understanding e-61 is likely the way to go unless you spend 5-10K to have flow, variable pressure, heated group head, etc.... e.g. The Rocket Biccoca, it's bigger and more expensive. I'm sure there are better machines, I just started looking into this a few weeks ago.
baldheadracing wrote: To put it another way, the 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409 is wonderful car with a legendary engine, but for actual use as a car, a 2023 Toyota Avalon is better in almost every objective measure. Of course, if one wants that legendary engine, then one gets the 1961 Impala. If one wants that legendary group, then one gets an E-61 HX machine. Both are legends for good reason, but would you want to drive either every day?
Comparing the 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS is funny... they worked with a carburetor and seemed easier to fix. Perhaps compare them to a 1994-1996 Impala SS with Supercharger (they are fun to drive).

Jokes aside, as a beginner I don't have any attachment to e-61 (no nostalgia or need to look good), I really look at what the masses are doing or where the trend is going with a balance of accessories, support community, flexibility and long-term usage (reliability). Basically, it's about accepting smart-plug HX/DB with E-61 group for at least 25 mins, accepting electrical usage of 300watt per hour, and doing some flush for temperature while grinding coffee. If you want to play with flow control...

So conclusion either go with HX systems ( ECM Mechanica MAX) or DB systems ( There are a few good DB machines) both have pros/cons depending on your needs and what you value the most. It seems DB is a safer bet for temp stability + milk-based drinks and HX is fresh water, somewhat more efficient, less for milk-based based and temperature might fluctuate more.

Dear members (Jeff, DaveC, Baldheadracing, boren,vizia, gonzomup,etc...), thank you all for your replies and feedback. I'll start with getting a better grinder, get my workbench (18" depth counter) and re-evaluate the machinery afterward :)

Thanks again

ChefRayB

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baldheadracing
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#24: Post by baldheadracing »

ChefRayB wrote:As a beginner, I'm trying to stick with the masses with the most flexibility. I do relate that the e-61 group might not be ideal but if you want to flow control to play with some profiles, to my understanding e-61 is likely the way to go unless you spend 5-10K to have flow, variable pressure, heated group head, etc.... e.g. The Rocket Biccoca, it's bigger and more expensive. I'm sure there are better machines, I just started looking into this a few weeks ago.
I haven't changed my opinion of what a "beginner" should get: Stuff about espresso that I wished I knew when I started out The only changes I would make today is to replace the no-longer-available Lelit Glenda with a Profitec GO and add the Flair 58 (2023 electric) to the $500 category (although the Flair lists at $580).
ChefRayB wrote:Comparing the 1961 Chevrolet Impala SS is funny... they worked with a carburetor and seemed easier to fix.
... and keep in mind that you're going to have maintain that E-61 just like its 1961. The repairs forum is unfortunately full of threads of people who didn't maintain their machine often enough, and are suffering the consequences.

Good luck!
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada