Looking to purchase an ECM Synchronika

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by mazinasmar6615 »


I currently own a BDB and looking to upgrade to ECM Synchronika. I mostly pull shots for lattes. Is flow control worth the added complexity for long-term use and machine maintenance, not to mention higher initial cost?

Also, the machine is heavily marketed as low maintenance and well engineered, but the warranty is only 3 years? I welcome everyone's advice and opinion.



#2: Post by SandraF »

I bought my setup at the end of February- a Synchronika with a Eureka Atom 75 grinder. I have found it to be a solid, well made machine. I do not have flow control. I also bought a Cafelat Robot in order to have a "lever" experience.

Seems like flow control that is an "add on" may not be worth the effort.


#3: Post by Pressino »

I have a Pro700, which is functionally equivalent to the Synchronika (except for the steam and HW valves). I got it from WLL, when they were selling the ECM and Profitec machines with the FCD for the same price as the machines w/o FCD. I don't know if they are continuing that. If they are, it definitely is a great deal, and I'd recommend getting the ECM with flow control, as it allows a great deal of added control during espresso extraction (and even allows you to do things like mimic a lever-like extraction profile or even use the machine to emulate (not perfectly of course) pour-over coffee. So it significantly ups the game of espresso making. Do you need it? Not really. The ECM Sync is a rock solid PID controlled DB E61 machine that really excels at steaming power, so you'll probably like it if you are a foamy milk fan. As regards the 3 year warranty, that's pretty good for the industry. I suppose most things that will go wrong will do so within the first year or two. The nice thing about ECM and Profitec machines is that they are extremely well engineered and designed so that the components are readily accessible if repairs are needed. Italian machines may be more stylish and compact, but IMHO most of them are a greater PITA to work on when that becomes necessary. And the Sync even gets extra points in the style department compared to its more blue collar brother, the Pro700. I say go for it! 8)

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#4: Post by JB90068 »

I've been very happy with mine. I got it with flow control installed and wasn't sure if I would need it. In very short order I started using it for every shot. I now have different profiles for the different roasts that I like. So far no problems with it and it appears to be well built and easy to maintain. If you decide to plumb it with a water line just keep in mind that you will need to reduce your homes water line pressure to around 30 psi. This is easy if you use an inline water filter.

Not sure what grinder you are using but I learned the hard way that the espresso machine is an accessory to the grinder.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.


#5: Post by SandraF »

Clive Coffee mentioned to me that if I added flow control after I bought my Synchronika I would void the warranty. So if you buy one with flow control added I'd want to know how it might affect my warranty.

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#6: Post by JB90068 replying to SandraF »

My understanding is that if it is sold with FC then the warranty is valid. I'd offer that ECM won't warranty someone else's install if they botch it.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.


#7: Post by jrham12 »

SandraF wrote:Clive Coffee mentioned to me that if I added flow control after I bought my Synchronika I would void the warranty. So if you buy one with flow control added I'd want to know how it might affect my warranty.
Not surprising that they would say that as I thought the ECM / Profitec flow control devices were a WLL exclusive for the US market... Naturally they will caution you against installing something they don't offer... Lol!

I've had my synchronika for almost 2 years now and still love it! I have had to perform a couple minor "fixes" so far; replacement of the o-ring on the vacuum breaker valve and replacement of the o-ring on the back side of the steam arm assembly but I don't consider those to be failings; more along the lines of routine maintenance. As Jock (JB90068) pointed out, I think the real beauty of the machine is that it's internals are pretty well laid out meaning maintenance of such items is pretty easy.

I bought mine without the flow control (since Clive doesn't carry it) and added the Coffee Sensor kit since the ECM kit was out of stock at the time. I do use it occasionally to "experiment" with different profiles, but most of the time I just pull shots with the flow control set to deliver the same flow rate as the stock mushroom. If I had it to do over again, I'd still get the flow control; it is nice to have that extra flexibility when you want it.


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#8: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

May I suggest not overlooking the Izzo Alex Duetto IV as well?

https://www.chriscoffee.com/products/iz ... -duetto-iv
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"


#9: Post by Castillo2001 »

I have had my Synch for 4 months and am more than happy with it. I also got the flow control installed from WLL which makes it under the same warranty. Me and my wife like slightly different notes in our coffee. With the flow control I can change the flavor of the same bean same grind size, where I like bright and fruity I can bring those flavors down and highlight the nutty flavors. I have done taste tests with friends and they are surprised on how different I can make the same bean taste with just a change in flow. I say it's well worth it for me and my wife. But there have been a few people on here that have said after a few weeks of fiddling they never use it again, just set it to stock and pull shots. The question is do you like to fiddle, seeing how much more you can get out of the bean or do you just want to dial in the grind and pull a shot and be done? It's a great tool but only if you want to play with it. Also know that if you get it you can set it to stock and not touch until you are ready to play.

mazinasmar6615 (original poster)

#10: Post by mazinasmar6615 (original poster) »

Wow. Thank you all for the abundant feedback and advice.