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  • ECM Synchronika

    So, I figured now it has an official name this machine deserves its own thread... especially since there's now one on my bench thanks to Paul/*******...


    (click for full size)

    Today is day 2, so obviously too early to put together a thorough review, but my thoughts so far... I'll update after I've had a bit more time to play (have only just finished dialling in the grinder so far).

    My previous home setup was a Sunbeam 6910/450 combo, though I've had access to Makin HX/Compak K3 and GS3/Mazzer Luigi setups at various workplaces... to say the difference between the thermoblock machine and toy grinder and this setup is night and day would be an understatement!

    Even this early, my best shots so far have been every bit as good as any of the 50 or so shots I pulled on the La Marzocco GS/3. The Fiorenzo F71k pairs nicely, and was dialled in within about five or so shots. The couple since have been lightyears better than anything I ever made with the Sunbeam combo, which is I suppose as you'd expect.

    Academically speaking, the Synchronika is probably only a rational upgrade over the H/X Techni if you're planning on drinking lots of black coffee and like to tinker with brew temps; that's not really me at present but I figure it's better to spend extra now rather than upgrade again in two years. I suppose theoretically it should deal better with big runs of milk-based drinks too, but that won't often be a major concern for me. The biggest factor tipping me toward a DB over HX was consistent and controllable brew temp.

    Very glad I went the ECM route as every detail is beautifully designed, engineered and constructed. Probably the only slight letdown is the toggle levers look and feel the tiniest bit cheap compared to the stainless PF and brew lever - but I'll be replacing those anyway

    In summary - early days, no regrets, looking forward to the exponential expansion of my coffee universe.

    --Matt
    Last edited by Javaphile; 16th April 2016, 01:06 PM. Reason: dit title at OP's request

  • #2
    Looks beaut Matt...

    Lots of very happy coffee time ahead of you now mate...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Great choice Matt - to state the obvious from me. Congrats and enjoy

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      • #4
        Great thread to share all things ECM. Let's make it an ECM thread.

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        • #5
          Brew lever fitted to the steam toggle on my ECM Controvento. I think it looks pretty good.

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          • #6
            See my pics and video link on here to find out more about ECM Machines - https://sites.google.com/site/thekbe...resso-machines

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            • #7
              So I asked ECM on their Facebook page whether the steam/water valves for the Synchronika could be put onto a Technika (apparently they're "improved movement due to a 70 degree angle) and they told me to contact my local retailer (which is JetBlack), but I haven't bothered yet. Thoughts on the valves Matt & Paul?

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              • #8
                For the valve change question I suggest talking to a tech. If you were in VIC I would recommend Rick (from The Coffee Machinist). Who do you have in NSW?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by readeral View Post
                  So I asked ECM on their Facebook page whether the steam/water valves for the Synchronika could be put onto a Technika (apparently they're "improved movement due to a 70 degree angle) and they told me to contact my local retailer (which is JetBlack), but I haven't bothered yet. Thoughts on the valves Matt & Paul?
                  So far... I quite like them

                  Noting that I haven't used boiler machines extensively (probably ~100 shots in total), they have the pros and cons over rotary knobs you'd expect - simpler and faster to turn on/off at the expense of fine control. They do have a bit of a metal-on-metal feeling, but that may reduce over time... the plastic levers I'm not a fan of aesthetically as I've mentioned

                  I haven't used the ECM very much yet as I was away over the weekend, so taking that into consideration - so far I haven't found the lack of modulation a problem at all. Steam power isn't excessive and steaming a small (100ml) pitcher is quite easy. I found the GS3 at a former workplace much more challenging, even with the rotary knob control.

                  That said - I might tweak the boiler temp up or swap the steam tip to improve performance in future, at which point I might find it harder to texture small amounts of milk - but typically I'll only be steaming enough milk for one to two 6oz white coffees, which it currently does with ease.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
                    Brew lever fitted to the steam toggle on my ECM Controvento. I think it looks pretty good.
                    I think that's a big improvement!

                    Ideally I'd make a couple of changes - drill out the plastic and tap a thread further into the lever so there's less exposed steel from the valve control, and either put the plastic part onto a lathe to taper it as it approaches the valve, or even better add a tapered steel 'cap' to finish it more in keeping with the PF handles (the same cap could be added to the brew lever). Even chromed plastic would be an improvement I'd say...

                    Ideally, a slightly smaller version of the brew lever would be better than just re-purposing it IMO - aesthetically at least. But in principle, it looks awesome!
                    Last edited by Magic_Matt; 18th April 2016, 11:50 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Great points Matt.
                      They key is to get the PF handle, brew lever and toggles to all match up.
                      I'll send this thread link to ECM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
                        For the valve change question I suggest talking to a tech. If you were in VIC I would recommend Rick (from The Coffee Machinist). Who do you have in NSW?
                        JetBlack would do it for me. They put in my thermosyphon restrictor, and said they'd be happy to change my mater pressurestat to a sirai if and when it carks it down the track.


                        Originally posted by Magic_Matt View Post
                        So far... I quite like them

                        Noting that I haven't used boiler machines extensively (probably ~100 shots in total), they have the pros and cons over rotary knobs you'd expect - simpler and faster to turn on/off at the expense of fine control. They do have a bit of a metal-on-metal feeling, but that may reduce over time... the plastic levers I'm not a fan of aesthetically as I've mentioned
                        Yeah ok, I wondered if the improvement was reduced metal on metal feel - but probably not. I've had that with my Technika, but it has reduced as you suspect yours will. I really wonder what they think the improvement is in? Responsiveness maybe - I dunno. I might have to make a trip to see one. Not sure if anyone has any up here yet.

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                        • #13
                          I just bought the ex-demo ECM Controvento from K Bean Coffee. It should get to me early next week. I'll post pics then. Great stuff!! ....and awesome price. Thanks K Bean

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                          • #14
                            A piece of functional art you've got there mate...

                            Have fun...

                            Mal.

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                            • #15
                              Thanks Mal. I cannot wait!!☕️☕️☕️☕️

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