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Thread: EM480 do I have a problem?

  1. #1
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    EM480 do I have a problem?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    I have an EM480 grinder and am using it with a Sunbeam Ristretto (with de pressurised baskets).

    Im not sure if the grinder is working properly - even on a setting of 1 with a heavy tamp I cannot get a shot to go over about 18 seconds. I just checked the difference between a grind on the coarsest setting versus the finest, and while there is a difference, it doesnt seem as big as Id expect. People mention a 9 second difference between steps - I cant get a 9 second difference between 1 and 25. Is it just my VERY low end coffee machine, or is it possible the grinder is not to spec? Is there any way to check? Ive lost my purchase receipt so Im screwed that way, need a diy solution. Anyone with a 480 near East Keilor in Melb who might be prepared to let me bring my 480 around to compare grinds?

    cheers
    Gary

  2. #2
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Maybe take it apart and have a look if the colar is broken or something similiar?

  3. #3
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    definitely a grinder issue as opposed to a machine issue.

    check that the top burr is installed properly, or that the tabs arent broken. Failing that, Id say replace it if you can...

  4. #4
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    All of the above

    I had a Sunbeam EM480 also and returned it today (26/8). I purchased it after reading many reviews to go along with my Silvia and found it to grind inconsistently. I could never get the grinder to replicate the previous grind (on the same setting of course) after I cleaned it - even on a single grind there were considerable differences.

    Not sure if it was a dud machine or the machine in general, but return it.


  5. #5
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Dont we mean EM0480? After 6months of use I had mine replaced today due to some sort of fault which saw it barely able to grind fine enough for my espresso machine (a Brasilia Lady - Silvia class machine) and prior to that the grind had been very inconsistant despite not being adjusted in any way.

    So far so good with the new grinder though, I just pulled some lovely shots.. my only fear is that in a few months turn out to be just as bad as the one I just took back.. but fingers crossed this grinder is a keeper! The adjustment collar does feel noticably different for a start.

    FYI: I was grinding at a setting of 1 and JUST pulling a ristretto at that grind with my old grinder.
    A similar pour is achieved with a setting of 8 or 9 (cant tell precisely without counting up from 0) on the new one.


    I think Ill also try treat this grinder a bit better as I knocked the old one around a bit to get loose grinds out etc. Anyway, thank god for warranties! And I highly recommend trying to get your grinders replaced if theyre causing you any headaches.

  6. #6
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Pity that, I remember the good reviews it got on this forum about a year or so ago. I guess it takes that long for it to prove durability, or lack of it.

    --Robusto

  7. #7
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    I dont know that its a lack of durability but rather of quality control. My first EM0480 could not grind finely enough for the Silvia on a setting of 0. After reading various threads on this forum, at least I knew that there was the possibility that this was just a one off problem and exchanged it for another one. Luckily after the exchange, it was obvious from just observing the spacing between the burrs that the new grinder would be fine (which it is, grinding on a setting of 10-14 depending on the beans). It must be that theyre placing the guides for the top burr in the wrong place for some of these grinders which means that it will only slot into place in the wrong position. IMO that is the primary problem with these grinders. I can only assume that once youve got one that works, it should continue doing that (I cant recall reading anything about ones that were working properly and have subsequently started to play up).

  8. #8
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Im surprised so many people team up an excellent coffee machine, like the Silvia with a "consumer grade" grinder. ::)

    As is said in many threads here and on other sites, the importance of the components to make good coffee are, in order-

    Barister skills
    Good quality fresh beans
    A quality grinder
    Coffee machine.....

    The consumer grade grinders are made with cheap plastic components and the assembly is not quality assured to the same level. They are made for a price.... and the purpose is secondary. Their lifespan is questionable..... :(

    Whilst Im not suggesting everyone needs a grinder of the quality of my La Cimbali (burrs held in brass carriers weighing kilos with a 1mm pitch thread- one turn of the burr assembly varies the grind by 1mm and there is a 25:1 worm reduction giving 1/25mm adjustment per turn!) ;D-there are other grinders available which have a proven track record.

    The site sponsors dont sell the Sunbeam..... ever wondered why?

    You might be lucky and get a good one.... it might last for a while.....

    A good quality grinder will last you a lifetime (costing you less in the long term)..... and give you the best chance you will ever have at getting that "god shot" of coffee.

  9. #9
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    For us, the reason for getting a Sunbeam grinder was that it would do the job immediately for a new machine (hopefully for a couple of years). I think there is a bit of a mental barrier overcoming the $400 price tag for a decent grinder (at least for me, I cant speak for everyone). I know that in the long term a good grinder is what is required to do Silvia justice. In the short term, we just needed to do away with the 5 year old Kraps machine and have something decent. This transition required something a touch better than the blade grinder that wed had for the past X years.

    I would have to say that the pivotal piece of information in this regard was the Alan Frew review on his web site - as long as the grinder can do the job for the machine while still acquiring all the skills, no problem (well, hopefully!). I think this grinder fills the gap between grinders that cant actually do the job (cheap burr grinders that cant grind finely enough) and grinders double the price that can do the job for a very long time! Sometimes you just need to gain experience before you can justify spending that sum of money. After that you can seem really generous and offload the old grinder on someone on a lower part of the learning curve and theyll probably be grateful! Its all part of the delayed gratification cycle that makes life worth living!

  10. #10
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    I agree with Beanmeister, but also must follow up my previous post regarding my replacement EM0480...

    So, from an out-of-the-box setting of 9, with no tampering of the grinder at all (I even resisted the urge to clean it for fear of throwing off the grind), Im now grinding the same fineness on a setting of 2 *sigh*.. Well, fingers crossed it doesnt get any worse because the store might not be so quick to replace a grinder that *works* ... just not as good as it should, secondtime round.

    It does strike me as a bit of mystery though, just what the hell causes such a rapid loss in fineness on these things?!
    [EDIT] Ok I just discovered harrances post which may explain this somewhat- http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1138058473/125#125

  11. #11
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Hi People,

    havent been back since I started this thread a while ago, however thanks to AndyNZ posting the link to:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1138058473/125#125
    and have applied the fix to my machine and what a difference!!

    harrance removed the top burr from its plastic holder and put a piece of .5mm wire at the shoulder to lower the burrs position. and reinserted the burr. I instead made up a plastic washer out of .4mm stiff clear plastic.

    After reassebling everything Ive got to say that this is like a new machine. Whereas I could never get longer than an 18sec double shot pour on my depressurised ristretto on the lowest setting, now "5" chokes it, and a good 25 sec pour happens on a setting of "11" with light tamp. This opens the potential to adjust the machine as wear occurs, just fit a thicker spacer.

    Im a a very happy vegemite, lots of new experimentation to occur.

    cheers
    Gary

  12. #12
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Gday Gary,

    Youre a genius. Why didnt I think of cutting a piece of plastic to make a washer.
    Anyway I think I will stay with my piece of string for the moment. It is working ok for now.

    Harrance.

  13. #13
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Hmm... how whould you cut a plastic washer? i thought washers are round.

  14. #14
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    Re: EM480 do I have a problem?

    Hi Coffee Kid,

    made a washer by cutting a bit of clear plastic to roughly the diameter of the burr, then sanding it to an exact fit inside the plastic carrier (about 38mm diameter) remembering that the carrier and burr have a flat on them to stop the burr rotating. Then using a pair of curved fingernail scissors carefully cut the center out to be left with a ring of plastic about 2mm wide, sanded smooth, that fitted like a washer inside the plastic carrier, then reinserted the burr.
    Used a piece of plastic from a bit of computer accessory packaging!!! relatively thick - measured at .4mm with a set of digital calipers - nothing special about it at all, easy to replace in future.

    Hope this helps
    Gary



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