Why are Baratza Sette 30/270 grinders so noisy?

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

#1: Post by Shawn- »

I know that this issue has been hashed out on this forum before...

How about we stop picking on Baratza Sette for being too noisy?

...but, an enquiring mind never rests.

I have a Sette 30 (and have upgraded the adjustment ring to the 270 and added the portafilter holder. I single dose my beans so the timer functions of the 270 and the scales of the 270W/270Wi are of no benefit to me.)
It works great. But I'm up and pouring my first shot at 6:00am while my wife is sleeping after returning from her shift at 4:00am. I don't want to feel guilty about enjoying my espresso (as it stands, my need overrides my guilt).

Has anyone conclusively determined the reason for the noise?

There have been a number of attempts at damping the noise of these otherwise great grinders by adding sound absorbing materials, consequently.
I am questioning the viability of following this path since there has apparently been only limited success.
If this were an effective solution it would likely be a low cost change from Baratza and would have been implemented.

It is a fast grinder...
- is the cause of the noise related to motor rpm? Would reducing the motor speed mediate this?
The obvious disadvantage of this would be a longer grind time, but would there be any other benefits?
Less static buildup?
Fewer fines?
Less heat?
It is a DC motor, so this could theoretically be accomplished with an inexpensive PWM controller and a user controlled speed adjustment knob.

The outside ring of the burr turns, driven by a ring gear and pinion.
Is the noise due to gear lash?
A helical pinion and matching ring gear would help with this, but machining cost of this could drive the retail price up (outside of the scope of a typical end user modification)

My grinder is new enough to still be under warranty so I'm hesitant to make any irreversible changes.
Has anyone tried reducing the motor speed?

What were your results?
What are your thoughts?


#2: Post by Smo »

The older the gearbox, the louder it makes noise.


#3: Post by NicoNYC »

I suspect it's pretty much inherent in the design of the gearbox:

- The unique decision to drive the outer burr means the gears have to move at more inches/minute for a given rpm (and more gear tooth mesh/unmeshes per minute - not a technical term but you catch my drift)

- The Settes have straight bevel gearboxes rather than hypoid, probably to simplify manufacture. Bevel gearboxes need a decent amount of gear lash, which means more noise.

- The gearbox uses nylon bearing races rather than a pre-assembled ball bearing assembly. Again, larger tolerances are necessary. And ball-bearings made for 3+ inch internal diameters get expensive quick, like easily into $100 a bearing.

It would be interesting to see what the equivalent parts on the etzMAX grinder look like and sound like. I'd imagine it's noticeably quieter although maybe since it's made for commercial shops it wasn't an important criterium.
LMWDP #718


#4: Post by SutterMill »

NicoNYC wrote:It would be interesting to see what the equivalent parts on the etzMAX grinder look like and sound like. I'd imagine it's noticeably quieter although maybe since it's made for commercial shops it wasn't an important criterium.
I think it may have been a criteria. They include decibel readings on the spec sheet for the EZmax line. 73db & 66db depending on which version.
https://etzinger-ag.com/XooWebKit/bin/d ... etzMAX.pdf

@Shawn- Not sure if you caught this thread but at least two users have applied these mods with success at taming the db level and tone.
Quieting the Baratza Sette - 4 reversible mods tried & tested

Shawn- (original poster)

#5: Post by Shawn- (original poster) »

I have read that post. That was an example of damping the sound with absorbing materials that I mentioned.

As the OP of that thread said "... t's still pretty loud, definitely not quiet..."

I was trying to explore if other options might be employed to reduce the noise.

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#6: Post by slybarman »

i measured the noise output of my 270wi to be the same as purging the steam wand or steaming milk and it lasts a fraction as long.

for what that's worth.


#7: Post by sluflyer06 replying to slybarman »

You're ignoring the fact it's a very different sound signature. Straight sound pressure level is only 1 part of the equation.

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#8: Post by slybarman »

they are both pretty annoying . . . if you focus on them.


#9: Post by Bluenoser »

They use a plastic gear train that is not designed to minimize stresses. I had one for 2 years.. the plastic gear train was not only very loud but wore out in that time. Baratza replaced both it and the motor for free, but I didn't want the noise and inevitable repair so sold it. I don't think it is entirely a 'plastic gear train' fault. I tend to blame the sub-optimum mechanical design of the gears themselves which places too much stress on plastic. Had they been metal, it might still be loud but would last longer. A grinder does not need to be that loud. It produces really good grinds.. and in that case a win for Baratza, but I was very disappointed in their gear design.


#10: Post by JMN57 »

Yes, the Sette is noisy (but not any noisier than a Lelit Fred we have in another house) but when I make an espresso for my Americano before the Mrs is up, I close the doors and that solves the problem. :D