Monolith Pre-orders 8/10 - Who's getting one?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Jul 30, 2018, 1:32 pm

So I received the pre-order notification over the weekend that the Monolith Flats and Conicals will be available for preorder on 8/10. I checked with Denis to see if the Max would also be available, but he told me that pre-orders for those would be coming at a later date. Just curious to see who's going to wait for the Max and who's going to be jumping in on 8/10 for a Flat or Conical?
"Coffee is the lifeblood that drives the dreams of champions."

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » replying to Ric858 » Jul 30, 2018, 3:15 pm

With the updated lock mechanism, even higher precision critical parts, and SSP out the gate installed by Denis, it may be that the espresso difference between the regular and Max is near nil and the primary difference ($500-550 depending on top plate color preference) is for the speed upgrade in exchange for size.

The thread comparing all top tier grinders (Survivor: Grinder Edition) made the comment that the surprise was how well the 'little flat' held its own. With even higher precision on this newest version, it will inch ever closer to what the Max is doing on these lighter coffees.

It's great to see Denis constantly upgrading the older grinders as his equipment and design improves with age. I like the size of the OG Flat.

Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Jul 30, 2018, 3:45 pm

JayBeck wrote:With the updated lock mechanism, even higher precision critical parts, and SSP out the gate installed by Denis, it may be that the espresso difference between the regular and Max is near nil and the primary difference ($500-550 depending on top plate color preference) is for the speed upgrade in exchange for size.

The thread comparing all top tier grinders (Survivor: Grinder Edition) made the comment that the surprise was how well the 'little flat' held its own. With even higher precision on this newest version, it will inch ever closer to what the Max is doing on these lighter coffees.

It's great to see Denis constantly upgrading the older grinders as his equipment and design improves with age. I like the size of the OG Flat.


Thanks for that, Jaybeck. I was leaning toward waiting for the Max but that's a strong argument for going with a Flat. Do you think the flat's quality in the cup will match the Max's across the range from Turkish to French Press, with the only difference being speed?
"Coffee is the lifeblood that drives the dreams of champions."

JayBeck

Postby JayBeck » replying to Ric858 » Jul 30, 2018, 4:07 pm

I have used the older flat with Denis' modified 'Mythos' burr. I have not used a Max but I have read everything on HB about the Max.

Here's how I'd summarize based on the research I've done:

When comparing the OG Flat to the Max you for sure need SSP in both to directly compare. Once both have SSP burrs, for espresso they are the same except for very lightly roasted coffee where the Max is slightly better. You need very good equipment and palate to notice. For drip/brew the Max is slightly better (Flat is NO SLOUCH at all for brew; but a well aligned EK43 is considered the best brew grinder; the Max is its equal and Flat just behind, but close).

I have talked with Mike who started the Max thread. He told me that with this new top plate design and higher precision parts, that the alignment of the OG Flat will now be equal to the Max which means that the quality should improve and get even closer to the Max with light roasts. Obviously we won't know for sure until we have it in the wild but I think that 99% of us would have a hard time telling the difference in espresso from the SSP Flat and Max. What we do know for sure is that Denis developed a custom SSP burr for Flat because it was a noticeable improvement to the modified Mythos he had previously developed. We also know that he is rolling out the updated burr carrier not only for convenience but because his tolerances are even tighter than they were before. This type of incredible precision is what is needed to maximize the extraction in light roasts.

The OG Flat grinds brew very fast (much faster than my Baratza Virtuoso). Espresso is slow (25-30 seconds) but if you're only pulling a handful of shots a day it's not a deal killer by any means.

TL;DR -- I think that the $500+ premium for the Max is PRIMARILY centered around drastically faster grind speeds (6 vs 30 seconds) with the Flat's most recent upgrades. I am like you, debating between the two. I will tell you that the size of the OG Flat is PERFECT for home use. Compared to commercial grinders, the Max is small but look at the thread showing them side by side and there is a noticeable size (and noise) difference worth taking into account.

I don't know how many Max's Denis will build and I suspect they will sell very, VERY quickly. It may be hard to get one for a year. I'll likely go with the updated OG Flat due to the unknown of availability in the near future and the fact that to me, the smaller size adds value to me in my kitchen that may not be there for others with larger coffee bars.

tumendoza

Postby tumendoza » Jul 30, 2018, 4:20 pm

I definitely want to get the flat if I could get my name on the list. Does anyone know how many does Denis normally produce and how quickly do these sell out?

I originally want the max too as I want a grinder around for a long time. However, with the upgrade lock mechanism that comes with this production round, I think this is it!!!

sleedy9

Postby sleedy9 » Jul 30, 2018, 5:37 pm

Maybe I'm missing something but looks to me like with the SSP burrs the regular flat is 2950 and the Max is 3250 so difference in price is only 300... Assuming no other upgrades on either model of course.

mivanitsky

Postby mivanitsky » Jul 30, 2018, 5:54 pm

SSP burrs for the Flat are $350 alone. I do not believe that Denis has yet specified the upcharge for buying the burrs with a grinder, in absence of getting the Mythos-like burrs too. I would expect the total to be more like $2750, assuming no other charged customizations.

Also, I have been using a beta version of the Conical with the new locking mechanism. Salient features are: smaller burr chamber for less retention, shorty style grinder, lockless adjustment with improved and ultraprecise alignment. The one I have does not have the final backplate (does not reach top of top plate), and some of the visible threads may go away in the final version, as the funnel does not need to be threaded that high.

Denis and I both like working with this grinder better than the old version. Probably no real difference in the cup at all.

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Ric858

Postby Ric858 » Jul 30, 2018, 6:12 pm

sleedy9 wrote:Maybe I'm missing something but looks to me like with the SSP burrs the regular flat is 2950 and the Max is 3250 so difference in price is only 300... Assuming no other upgrades on either model of course.


Per the Flat pre-order page: SSP Red Speed Burrs Upgrade is $300 + $2450 for Flat = $2,750. Max = $3,250. A difference of $500.

It's a sizeable enough chunk of change to have me considering the flat.


https://www.kafatek.com/index.php/index.php/store/monolith-titan-75mm-flat-burr-grinder-deposit/
"Coffee is the lifeblood that drives the dreams of champions."

YseanY

Postby YseanY » Jul 30, 2018, 6:44 pm

mivanitsky wrote:SSP burrs for the Flat are $350 alone. I do not believe that Denis has yet specified the upcharge for buying the burrs with a grinder, in absence of getting the Mythos-like burrs too. I would expect the total to be more like $2750, assuming no other charged customizations.

Also, I have been using a beta version of the Conical with the new locking mechanism. Salient features are: smaller burr chamber for less retention, shorty style grinder, lockless adjustment with improved and ultraprecise alignment. The one I have does not have the final backplate (does not reach top of top plate), and some of the visible threads may go away in the final version, as the funnel does not need to be threaded that high.

Denis and I both like working with this grinder better than the old version. Probably no real difference in the cup at all.

I will update this post later with pictures.


Do you know if the new locking mechanism is upgradeable for those with the previous version? I'm very happy with my conical but there's always a part of me that wants the newest/greatest... :roll:

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marlodmb

Postby marlodmb » replying to YseanY » Jul 30, 2018, 7:42 pm

Was going ask this myself. I'd love to have this feature