Olympia Maximatic. Stick to old or change to new?

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

#1: Post by Mefisto »

Hey everyone,
i am in a little dilemma, we have a 16 year old maximatic at home, but my fellas want to sell it and buy a new one..............!
I love my maximatic, and i do not think that the new one can be that much better. Does anyone know both these machines well enough to tell me why the new maximatic is better than the old?

Thank you very much for your help.
Everyone likes coffee, but no one cares about it enough!

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HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

By Olympia standards, a 16 year old espresso machine is young. Bob Craige may know the particulars of these two models, but my bet is that the differences would be far too small to justify the trouble. As an aside, not everyone agrees that newer is better. Steve admired the innovations of the recent Olympia Cremina (left), but he confided that he still prefers the espresso from the one he restored (right):

Image
From Olympia Cremina 2002: The evolution of design
Dan Kehn

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bobcraige

#3: Post by bobcraige »

The sixteen year old Maximatic is a great machine-I have a fourteen year old one that is terrific. The new Maximatic is even better! While the new one is even more elegant and esthetically pleasing to the eye, the vast bulk of the improvements are not apparent from the outside. While the new machine adds a pressure gauge, it actually is cleaner, simpler and more elegant in appearance. The mains switch has been moved to the bottom and the separate pump and pressure lamps are now combined in one very elegant center switch. This removes clutter from the panel and leaves room for the addition of a pressure gauge on the right. The new Maximatic uses a larger filter basket for improved performance. This also affords the possibility to use the Easy Serving Espresso Pod system should you desire.



When one looks inside, the real improvements become really apparent. Original Maximatics and Creminas used a silver soldered thin wall brass boiler with cast manifolds and fittings. The pressurestat was a folded sheet metal assembly. The water reservoir was in clear plastic on the back of the machine. Today's machines are TIG welded from very heavy stainless steel 1.5mm thick. The fittings are machined brass as is the pressurestat housing. The construction is superb; far exceeding the already excellent build quality of the old machines. The old heaters were of copper and prone to failure whereas the new ones are all stainless with far superior reliability. The current production would probably pass NASA qualifications for space flight without modification.



What does this all mean? In today's throw away society, products are designed to cut costs and last only as long as the warranty period. Serviceability is not part of the equation-planned obsolescence is and every last penny is squeezed out of designs. Olympia has chosen to go exactly the opposite route. Their new machines take the old and seek to improve every aspect. These new machine are built to last forever. They are completely serviceable and will remain so indefinitely.

These machines are simply the finest construction that Olympia can provide. They base this on the original great designs of the Maximatic and Cremina and take these to an unprecedented level of excellence. Like a high grade watch, this beauty is not surface deep. Most companies spend a great deal of engineering effort to engineer the appearance of quality into their machines. Plastic is made to look like metal, thin sheets of actual metal are added to make stainless steel machines, etc. In the new Olympias, form follows function. The elegant look, feel and superb performance all result from utilizing the best materials and designs available.

Simply put, if you want a no compromise machine, the new machines are for you.
Bob Craige

LMWDP #7

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HB
Admin

#4: Post by HB »

Thanks Bob, the internal construction photos dramatically show how much Olympia has put towards improved engineering. Do you believe these improvements would translate into better in-cup results?

On a related note, Steve was very impressed by the newer model Cremina's improved engineering (e.g., a piston gasket that expands like a jellyfish on the downstroke for a tighter seal described in the review), but he still prefers his older model, saying the espresso is better. I wonder if his opinion is influenced by the "halo effect" after spending weeks on the restoration (link). I didn't press him for a detailed explanation, he muttered something about the tighter fit not necessarily being a good thing and prepared the next shot. :?
Mefisto wrote:I love my maximatic, and i do not think that the new one can be that much better.
Back to the original question, I'm a bit puzzled why someone would replace a perfectly good espresso machine with the same more recent model. If I were pondering the choice, I would invest in a completely different type of machine like a lever espresso machine (e.g., Olympia Cremina, Elektra Microcasa a Leva, etc.) because they produce a different flavor profile.
Dan Kehn

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welone

#5: Post by welone »

I recently bought an old maximatic and also wondered how it differs from the new one.
Does the new Maximatic have a some type of brew pressure regulation (like an OPV)? And what kind of pumps are they using?

In contrast to other well-known semi-automatics I've never seen a post about the brew pressure regulation on a maximatic. In the refurbished one I got, the broken Fluid-O-Tech pump has been replaced with the 'standard' Ulka (E5). To tame the pump i inserted a swagelok opv - which has no overflow and therefore doesn't need the additional tube running back to the tank.

Maybe an upgrade of your pump plus a relieable OPV would give you more of a taste improvement than exchaning your old machine with a new one. The steam boiler gauge seems to be the only change with apparent impact on the machines handling.

greets

marco

Mefisto (original poster)

#6: Post by Mefisto (original poster) »

Thank you very much for all your help!

I will probably have to try the new model out.........! But where? They do not sell them in shops, do they? When we bought our old model, we went to Mendrisio in person and tested the machine before buying it.
Maybe i just need to go there again when i'm in mainland Europe.

Thanks again for your help!
Everyone likes coffee, but no one cares about it enough!

mgwolf
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by mgwolf »

Well, there is the minor problem that the Olympia factory seems to be on sabbatical at the moment.

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Knock

#8: Post by Knock »

Hi Mefisto

And there was me thinking I had the only maximatic in the UK! I like mine alot though I use the Cremina most often - maybe you should tempt your fellas with one of those.

Sneaky
Peter Kilpatrick

Mefisto (original poster)

#9: Post by Mefisto (original poster) »

Alright mate,
yeah, the Cremina should apparently be a very good machine, i will let u know what happens.
I guess you won't be heading to Bristol on the 30th October for the Barista Jam? Quite a journey from Edinborough.
Take care.
Everyone likes coffee, but no one cares about it enough!

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mogogear

#10: Post by mogogear »

welone wrote:I recently bought an old maximatic ................In the refurbished one I got, the broken Fluid-O-Tech pump has been replaced with the 'standard' Ulka (E5). To tame the pump i inserted a swagelok opv - which has no overflow and therefore doesn't need the additional tube running back to the tank.......Maybe an upgrade of your pump plus a relieable OPV would give you more of a taste improvement than exchaning your old machine with a new one. .....
Marco-
do you have any photos of your pump modification / with the swageloc part in place- I just grabbed a Maximatic and you post interested me. Also what is the pump max pressure and what is the OPV set for?

Thanks so much
greg moore

Leverwright
LMWDP #067