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Thread: Conical vs burr grinders - a sceptic no more

  1. #1
    kbc
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    Conical vs burr grinders - a sceptic no more

    Hi all,

    After 10 years and several flat burr grinders I finally decided to pull the trigger on a big conical burr grinder.

    Why so late? I have been sceptical of the benefits of a conical. I read "The Titan Grinder" project many times and read many reviews from users who talked about the brightness and depth a that a conical can bring. I just wasn't sure if the difference would really be noticeable to me.

    I just spent a week pulling shots using from a Mazzer Super Jolly. It's an awesome grinder and very consistent.

    Yesterday I changed to a Compak K10 Fresh. I have pulled 20+ shots
    With the same beans the Change in flavour was HUGE and consistently better that the flavour off of the burr grinder.

    This is how I would explain the differences.

    Flat burr grinder - muted high notes, big low notes.
    Conical burr grinder - big sweet high notes with the low notes still there !!!

    Conicals are pricey so not for everyone. But if you're on the fence like I was, jump over to the other side !
    Last edited by kbc; 3rd March 2016 at 12:00 PM.

  2. #2
    kbc
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    . My new setup

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    kbc
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    Conical choice... I ruled out the Kony due to slow speed and some average reviews. I was about to go for the Macap M7D but this $3k Compak beast came up at a price under the M7D so I couldn't say no to that.

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    Congrats on the new acquisition! From my experience, it's not just the geometry, burrs size seems to make a difference as well. There is a difference between the smaller conical (38-40mm) versus the bigger conical (68mm+). The bigger conical burrs seem to bring out more luscious flavor/mouth feel compared to smaller ones. But these are only noticeable if you're drinking straight. Adding milk to that and I can't really tell much of a difference if any.
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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    I ruled out the Kony due to slow speed and some average reviews.
    Average...

    There is no way that I would call the quality of shots produced with the aid of my Kony-E average, by any stretch of the imagination...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new grinder Pauly!

    A couple of tweaks and the big Compaks will be all over Mazzer, who seem to be stuck in the mud and happy to stay there,

    however, the Kony is not slow, circa 5 seconds for a 20+ gm shot. It is an excellent grinder.

    And for newbies reading this thread..... conicals are burr grinders. The OP is actually making a

    distinction between planar (flat) burr plates and conical burrs.

    p.s. the Titan project is BS.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  7. #7
    kbc
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    Conical vs burr grinders - a sceptic no more

    Thanks guys. "Average" for the Kony is a bit harsh. It just seemed a little under on performance and over on price compared to other conicals IMO.

    Interesting comment re the Titan Grinder project.

    Also, thanks for adding those pics for the newbies

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    I was also going to ask about the comment on the Titan Grinder project.

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    Thanks guys. "Average" for the Kony is a bit harsh. It just seemed a little under on performance and over on price
    Methinks it has something to do with build quality.....a Kony is likely to be found in an archeological dig in the year 2500, plugged in and it would still run (admittedly it may possibly need to be re-dialled in for good measure.......��)
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    I recently upgraded from a mazzer Mini e with Super Jolly burrs to a Kony and I am also surprised at what a difference there is between flat and conical. I do have milk based and can still taste the difference. The shots are so much more consistent and the crema is more uniform alowing easier latte art/milk integration.
    I did look at many different conical options, however the Kony came up at a great price second hand and I couldn't resist. I'm very glad I made the switch.
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  11. #11
    kbc
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    After my new revelation I would recommend putting a conical right up on the priority list.

    For example, if I had a $4k budget I would get a $2k conical and $2k espresso machine instead of a $1k flat burr and a $3k espresso machine.

    Food for thought...
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    That's a sweet looking grinder.

    Also, can I ask where you got that coffee chart from?

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    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    After my new revelation I would recommend putting a conical right up on the priority list.

    For example, if I had a $4k budget I would get a $2k conical and $2k espresso machine instead of a $1k flat burr and a $3k espresso machine.

    Food for thought...
    I think the caveat on all of that is that it depends where your palate is and what you drink. There are many for whom the extra spend and bench space requirements would be 100% wasted.

    I love my conicals, but would never push someone into one...
    Last edited by TC; 3rd March 2016 at 02:07 PM. Reason: tpyo ::-)
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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I think the caveat on all of that is that it depends where your palate is and what you drink. There are many for whom the extra spend and bench space requirements would be 100% wasted.

    I love my conicals, but would never push someone into one...
    And a taste test is only really truly believable if it's a blind taste test. Otherwise there's too much opportunity for any thoughts to be affected by emotions, good or bad.
    Not tryin to poo-poo Pauly's new purchase though. It's something that's been on my want list as well.
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    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I love my conicals, but would never push someone into one...
    Not unless you were trying to get rid of the body, I've seen the auger on the robur!

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    kbc
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    Good point Chris.
    My comments are based on espresso. I doubt that a conical would be worthwhile to a latte drinker.
    For espresso I'm getting God shot after God shot now. I'm happy . Heaven !!!

  17. #17
    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    And a taste test is only really truly believable if it's a blind taste test. Otherwise there's too much opportunity for any thoughts to be affected by emotions, good or bad.
    Not tryin to poo-poo Pauly's new purchase though. It's something that's been on my want list as well.
    Good point.
    The reason I'm so certain about this is that I spent a week with a blend with the super jolly with very consistent shots, then changed to the conical and the change was just huge. I am getting consistent shots with the conical but with depth, sweetness and brightness I only dreamed of before. Huge improvement - to my palate

  18. #18
    kbc
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    As I said in my opening, I was a sceptic and on the fence for a while. My own experience has now made me a believer.

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    Member thundering_gerkins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    As I said in my opening, I was a sceptic and on the fence for a while. My own experience has now made me a believer.
    I'm where you are around 12 months ago. Moved from a mazzer mini to a k10 fresh and the improvement was huge!
    My better half who was very sceptical (had to do the hard sell as it's a big bugger) had to admit it made quite a notable improvement, even in a picolo.

    I like the short hopper, great for domestic use. I had to shorten the original hopper and made a custom plate lid to get it under the cupboards as it was sooooo tall!

    Enjoy, I'm still lovin the K10

  20. #20
    kbc
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    Great. Another believer. The conical is a real step change. Difficult to believe unless you experience it....

  21. #21
    kbc
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    My precious

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    kbc
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    I did one mod on day one. I disconnected the cooling fan. Easy to do.
    When I opened the base I was blown away by the 2 huge supercapacitors.

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    Thanks for your clarifying note re flat or conical. I liked that!
    William

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    Great. Another believer. The conical is a real step change. Difficult to believe unless you experience it....
    Have you tried it for different brewing styles?

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    I did one mod on day one. I disconnected the cooling fan. Easy to do.
    When I opened the base I was blown away by the 2 huge supercapacitors.
    Hi Pauly. Just curious. What is the benefit of the fan disconnection mod?
    Last edited by Gavisconi007; 7th March 2016 at 08:55 PM.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    That's a sweet looking grinder.

    Also, can I ask where you got that coffee chart from?
    Pauly may have missed your post.......

    https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...ENLN8geIgI2oDA

    have a look down the page at Etsy

    plenty of other coffee ....um....'art' @ allposters.com
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  27. #27
    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Pauly may have missed your post.......

    https://www.google.com.au/search?cli...ENLN8geIgI2oDA

    have a look down the page at Etsy

    plenty of other coffee ....um....'art' @ allposters.com
    Yep - missed that post. Thanks for tracking down the link. It's a great pic.

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    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    Hi Pauly. Just curious. What is the benefit of the fan disconnection mod?
    The fan was noisy. It sounded like a desktop PC.

    Also, the fan is there to cool the unit when grinding in a cafe. For home use I don't think I'll be overheating it

  29. #29
    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Have you tried it for different brewing styles?
    I haven't yet but will do soon.

    I have this K10 In the kitchen and a Macap M2M in my laundry.

    I'll do some grinding with both for pourover to see if I can notice a difference. I'll make sure they are blind tests that's for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    After my new revelation I would recommend putting a conical right up on the priority list.

    For example, if I had a $4k budget I would get a $2k conical and $2k espresso machine instead of a $1k flat burr and a $3k espresso machine.

    Food for thought...
    This statement seems wise as spending on a good grinder should be the priority rather than buying an expensive coffee machine....as if the input is not proper, how can be the output

  31. #31
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by friedcoffee View Post
    This statement seems wise as spending on a good grinder should be the priority rather than buying an expensive coffee machine....as if the input is not proper, how can be the output
    Yes- and $500 will be more than adequate to get a good grinder...Beyond that, it's up to you
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    I have this K10 In the kitchen and a Macap M2M in my laundry.
    Your washing powder not fine enough for you?
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    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by herzog View Post
    Your washing powder not fine enough for you?
    Nice one
    The m2m if for grinding for pourover.

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    Ok, but why is it out in the laundry?

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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I use the lint catchers in my washing machine like the Hario Sock. I'll set up my M2M in the laundry too - right next to the Behmor; hey! I can dry clothes from the Behmor's exhaust! This gets better and better...

  36. #36
    kbc
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    Conical + ECM Controvento/Synkronika = God shot day after day after day. Finally, after 12 years in getting it

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    The fan was noisy. It sounded like a desktop PC.

    Also, the fan is there to cool the unit when grinding in a cafe. For home use I don't think I'll be overheating it

    This is interesting. Could any of the CoffeeTech snobs help us out here with an opinion on whether or not it is OK to disconnect the fan (on this or any other grinder for that matter) for use solely in a domestic situation?

  38. #38
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Can anyone offer advice with this one

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    Plenty of people have done it I havent seen any dead grinder reports, i left the fan in only because it reminds me to turn it off

  40. #40
    kbc
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    I can't see why there would be a problem. The fan is there to cool the burrs, not the electronics.
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    Love that grinder. I need to suss out how to zero mine when j adjust grind it stays on 0.

    Off the topic where did you pick those matts up on the rocket? I need some bad i still got protective film on haha

  42. #42
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    The fan is there to ensure the motor stays within temperature limits, nothing to do with burrs or electronics. The motors used on pretty well all (motorised) grinders have very light duty cycles, due to the limitations of the motor's ability to remain within temperature tolerances when used in a commercial environment...

    Disabling the fan for use within a domestic environment shouldn't be a huge problem but if your entertainment patterns see you preparing a couple of dozen shots in a row, then you should probably leave the fan connected...

    Mal.

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    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    The fan is there to ensure the motor stays within temperature limits, nothing to do with burrs or electronics. The motors used on pretty well all (motorised) grinders have very light duty cycles, due to the limitations of the motor's ability to remain within temperature tolerances when used in a commercial environment...

    Disabling the fan for use within a domestic environment shouldn't be a huge problem but if your entertainment patterns see you preparing a couple of dozen shots in a row, then you should probably leave the fan connected...

    Mal.
    My understanding is that this grinder incorporates two fans... one under the motor for obvious reasons and one in the upper housing to help keep the low rpm burr set cool

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    My understanding is that this grinder incorporates two fans... one under the motor for obvious reasons and one in the upper housing to help keep the low rpm burr set cool
    On compak ( K8 ) there is only one fan and is part of the motor assembly.
    I think K10 might be same setup.

    Took mine apart not long ago.

  45. #45
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    The Compak F10 Master Conic has dual fans (as per their website)
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  46. #46
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Compak K10 Master Conic.JPG

    Part number K04525C would appear to be the upper housing fan
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  47. #47
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    The fan is there to ensure the motor stays within temperature limits, nothing to do with burrs or electronics. The motors used on pretty well all (motorised) grinders have very light duty cycles, due to the limitations of the motor's ability to remain within temperature tolerances when used in a commercial environment...

    Disabling the fan for use within a domestic environment shouldn't be a huge problem but if your entertainment patterns see you preparing a couple of dozen shots in a row, then you should probably leave the fan connected...

    Mal.


    I think I'll go with Mal's explanation........he knows a thing or two about electrickery.......

  48. #48
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Compak K10 Master Conic.JPG

    Part number K04525C would appear to be the upper housing fan
    Probably still superfluous for use in a domestic scenario, if the noise is bothersome...

    Mal.
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    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    I thought the fan was there to suck in dog and cat hair, lint, dust and fluff where it sticks to the fan and grill.
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  50. #50
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    You must be thinking of the belly button Sprezz

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