Lelit MaraX - Page 40

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Michael Francis SF

#391: Post by Michael Francis SF »

I did some measurements on my Mara X this evening looking at temperatures and pressures in Brew Temperature Priority Mode using:
* Scace Thermofilter (tested and suspected to be accurate to +/- 0.1 deg F)
* Eric's E61 Digital Thermometer (tested and suspected to be accurate to +/- 0.1 deg F)
* Eric's E61 Pressure Gauge Adapter (accuracy unknown)

In summary:
Temperature settings 0 and 1 are in the 195-200F and 200-205F range on the Scace, respectively.
Pressure is ~9 bar at puck.

Observations:
* Eric's E61 Digital Thermometer reads 0 to 1 degree F higher than my at-the-puck Scace Thermofilter
* Mara X Pump Pressure gauge reads 1 bar higher than near-the-puck Eric's E61 Pressure Gauge Adapter
* Near the puck pressure is about 9.1 to 9.3 bar measured with Erics E61 Pressure Gauge Adapter
* With temperature switch in position 0, I see temperatures on the Scace Thermofilter in the 195 to 200F range (1 hour plus warmup, pulling 30 grams of water every 2 minutes).
* I didn't spend as much time measuring temperature switch position 1, but in a half dozen Scace tests that I did I saw 200F to 205F. I didn't bother looking at position 2 at all.

While my machine doesn't have the temperature stability that is suggested by some reviews and Lelit (possibly due to my measurement technique), I'm nonetheless very pleased with these results, especially considering price point of the Mara X. And more importantly, the shots I've been pulling are very good.

Michael

Test setup 1: Scace and Eric's E61 Digital Thermometer
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Test setup 2: Eric's E61 Pressure Gauge Adapter
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User avatar
another_jim
Team HB

#392: Post by another_jim »

Thanks for running the tests. I got about a 2C, or 3.5F spread during the review. But my procedure is use the stabilized measures after about 10 seconds of flow. In qualitative terms perhaps, it jibes with the reviews; the machine is "roughly right" without requiring flushes.

I have to say that some of the entires on this thread have surprised me. I figured that the X was a good "no muss, no fuss" starter machine; but it seems a lot of people are using it as platform for making mods.

As note to the hot rodders: Lelit bypassed thermal lag problems and stalling problems by using a simple on/off control with a very wide deadband for the heater in the boiler to control the thermosyphon return temperature. This keeps things very stable and simple at the cost of precision. Other machine manufacturers who used a proportional valve on the thermosyphon ran into stalling problems. The next logical step is to use some kind of cascade loop, so that the thermosyphon return temperature's deviation from setpoint changes the setpoint of a PID controller for boiler pressure. I don't know if the Gicar box used by Lelit can do this; but it does have the second sensor in the boiler itself. The problem with this approach is that cascade controls get very finicky (think compound pendulums) unless the frequency response of the outer loop is a lot longer than the inner loop's. This is not possible in this instance.
Jim Schulman

Michael Francis SF

#393: Post by Michael Francis SF »

another_jim wrote:Thanks for running the tests. I got about a 2C, or 3.5F spread during the review. But my procedure is use the stabilized measures after about 10 seconds of flow. In qualitative terms perhaps, it jibes with the reviews; the machine is "roughly right" without requiring flushes.
I fully agree, my experience is that it is not as fussy as I expected it might be. Generally, it just works, and works well.

And thank you Jim, for your excellent review. In it is a wealth of knowledge about the Mara X, and I have found your review to generally match my experience. Anyone considering this machine should start reading there, and then probably stop reading and just go buy one.

Michael

Efrain

#394: Post by Efrain »

another_jim wrote:Thanks for running the tests. I got about a 2C, or 3.5F spread during the review. But my procedure is use the stabilized measures after about 10 seconds of flow. In qualitative terms perhaps, it jibes with the reviews; the machine is "roughly right" without requiring flushes.

I have to say that some of the entires on this thread have surprised me. I figured that the X was a good "no muss, no fuss" starter machine; but it seems a lot of people are using it as platform for making mods.
JIm thanks for your review, I bought the Mara X based on your review and Dave's, both are excellent, and the Mara X delivers every time. I did mod it and added the Lelit Flow control, but as a retired engineer I still like to tweak things. IM just going to keep it know as is , a mini-Bianca.

EddieZ

#395: Post by EddieZ »

I'm new to the forum and just want to say thank you to the reviewers and modders that have provided so much useful info here on the Mara X. Thank you!

I'm attracted to both the "hands off" mode of use and the potential opportunity to play with modifications. The fact that both Lelit and the US distributor seem to encourage that sort of customer makes it even more attractive. I've pre-ordered for late July, looking to match it up with a Niche Zero arriving in August.

chelidon
Supporter ♡

#396: Post by chelidon » replying to EddieZ »

Ditto, same -- I got very solid advice here about the Mara X, mine will be arriving at around the same time, the hard part now is the waiting... My only concern is the newness of the design, love it, and hoping it doesn't turn out to have still-to-be-discovered failure modes, but the maker and seller both have solid reputations and there's a 3-year warranty, and as long as parts are available, I can fix most things. I didn't want to wait until September for the NZ, so for now took advantage of the $150 package discount from 1st-Line to get a Quamar M80E V2 for $350 that I'll mod for single-dose, am thinking I'll hold off and swap it out with the Lagom P64 somewhere down the line.

Good luck, and look forward to seeing pics when it arrives!

nebula2

#397: Post by nebula2 »

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Loving my MaraX and NZ combo.

andrewc

#398: Post by andrewc »

Just picked it up on the weekend. Still getting used to the steam power compared to a breville barista express.

Is it just me or did anyone else find it difficult connecting the tube to the water softener provided? It just felt abit too small?

Airflo

#399: Post by Airflo »

Hi !

I just got my hands on a Marax. Brewed almost 300g of coffee grounds last week to tune it and enjoy my first real espresso machine ever. I felt very happy with this wonderful and easy-to-use machine.

But this morning, I experienced my first issue:
The machine was ready and heat-stable. I started brewing a 40mL double espresso through 20g of coffee -as usual-, but during the whole extraction, the pressure got stuck at around 2bar, although very little liquid was flowing into the cup. After 25 seconds I got only 10-15mL of a junk, underextracted liquid.
I noticed no abnormal water leak in the drip tray, and the pump sounded absolutely normal during the extraction.
After removing the portafilter, I flushed the brew head and was surprised to see that the water flow was not as consistent as usual, as if there was a lot of air entering in the circuit. I stopped flushing and started over after one minute of rest. This last time, what was my surprise to see almost only steam flowing from the brew head!
I immediately turned off the machine and went to work, frustrated. :-P

Except from that, nothing felt abnormal or unusual. All the pilot lights were solid ON, meaning that everything is OK from the electronics perspective. I noticed that the brewing lever screw was completely loose, so I'm good for a full disassembly and inspection of the machine.

Does anyone have any idea on what's going on with my Marax?
How could I better understand the issue? I ran out of time this morning but I'll try backflushing tonight, in order to see if the pump can still deliver 10 bar.
Any other troubleshooting idea?

Thanks!
Florent

CoffeeKai

#400: Post by CoffeeKai »

For the beginner user--someone who at this time will not be modding, and planning to use the machine as is out of box, how has the MaraX been for those who have it? Is it really a no fuss set up?

Was inclined to getting the machine but feel a bit daunted by all the technicalities posted amongst this thread. Are people having any issues regarding build quality/maintenance?

I guess at this price point, with there being many other alternative options in both the HX and DB category, having a case of decide-itis with getting a machine that just came out, albeit from a well known manufacturer. :lol: