I am using an Expobar Brewtus that I bought I guess around 3 years ago (plumbed in via an Everpure filter), along with a used Mazzer Super Jolly with burrs I replaced just after i bought it, around 4 years ago.
My problem is that getting decent espresso is now a frustrating process. I'm sure that when I got the Expobar the results were always good, often with really good dark brown crema and complex flavours. Nowadays I find it hard to get even extractions without channeling, spritzes, poor crema, sour flavours and generally disappointing results, even with different high quality beans and careful preparation. I know the memory can play tricks, but I definitely remember the ease and consistency of results from the Expobar as a contrast to my La Pavoni lever I'd used prior to the Expo.
I descaled not that long ago and bought new VST baskets and a new showerscreen. All the above helped, but the results are still much the same.
Since I'd expected a long life of service from both the grinder and machine, I'm not sure which could be the guilty party, or if there's something I'm missing.
I am considering a change of machine (LM Linea Mini possibly) and/or grinder (Ceado E37s or Mahlkonig K30 current favourites) but will value any advice you can give. I'm sure my technique is....erm, ok - I did a Barista course recently and had no problem with pulling consistently good shots on their Robur/Linea setup.
The biggest thing for me is that I'm sure it used to be pretty easy for me (or my partner) to pump out great shots from the Expobar/SJ setup, so while I can't rule a lack of user finesse out, it's odd that the general curve of success seems just steadily downhill. I always work for nice even distributions, but I *never* see a completely even flow from the PF, which makes me question what's going on.