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Thread: New Macap M4C - mini review and modifications...

  1. #1
    KJM
    KJM is offline
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    New Macap M4C - mini review and modifications...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well, I was able to pick up a brand new M4C for $500 the other day and just couldnt pass it up. I have a friend who has the M4 doser version and I know they are fine grinders.

    Before purchase, I reviewed the net.wisdom which seems to advise people to steer clear of this grinder because it has a tendency to be messy and "avalanche" down the spout. The grinder it replaces is a Rocky doserless and Ive always ground into a latté glass, so the clumping/avalanching didnt put me off (especially since it was a $350 saving over the normal price..... ;))

    The M4C performs very well as a grinder. I did an A/B comparison (once I dialled it in...) with Rocky. There is a noticeable difference - for want of a better description: slightly sweeter and overall smoother. This is even noticeable in a latté.

    But the thing does suffer from grounds sitting in the exit of the grinder. It seemed to me that the exit tube could benefit from a little metal smoothing and the actual exit port of the grinder head (which you can feel if you stick your pinkie up the tube) is rough and has a raised casting burr.

    Removal of the exit chute/snout is straight forward, once you have a look. You need to remove the base (3 small phillips head screws) and you need a 4mm and a 5mm ball end allen key. There is a 5mm allen key accessible from the base (look up) and the 4mm one on the front. You need a ball end for that one.

    Once I removed the snout, I used a file to ease the edge of the exit from the grinder head. There is probably 15mm of aluminium there, so you can easily kiss off 2mm or so to make a rounded exit. I then polished the exit port from the grinder head with 360 then 600 grit wet-n-dry paper.

    The actual snout got polished the same way.

    When you look at the grinder mechanism youll be able to see one of the problems present with every coffee grinder Ive ever seen. There is nothing to force the last wad of grounds out the wee square exit. So they tend to sit there. On the Rocky, I use a clik-clak lid and that air pressure oomph is enough to get it out. On the M4C, the lid doesnt fit tightly enough to make this same trick easy, but it does work, albeit clumsily.

    As I said, I have a friend who has an M4 doser and Ive just come back from taking that apart. It is the same grinder head and I did the filing/polishing trick on hers. Like me, she loads one dose and then grinds. The polishing has made an improvement - you get more out now!

    Some other random observations: the casing of the M4C is a 1 piece aluminium casting, chrome plated (in my case). It is so solidly built it puts many other grinders to shame. It is also by far the quietest grinder Ive ever been near. With the dishwasher going (it is an Asko - very quiet too) you cant really tell the thing is whizzing away if there is no grinding happening. Even when grinding, the ally case seems to eat the noise.

    The "micrometric" (!) adjustment is nicely done, and if you want/need to make big adjustments - the worm drive mechanism is actually hinged - so you can swing it out the way. To do that, you need a 3mm (note how they are all different!) ball ended allen key and remove the mechanism. Youll see there is a hinge at the back and two tiny screws that lock the hinge. Remove screws. Voilà! You can now swing the worm drive away from the adjusting collar. I put a very long screw back in the left side to keep the mechanism locked. When I need to, I can turn the screw with fingers and swing the adjuster out the way. A better solution would be a spring, but I didnt have anything suitable in the shed!

    Summary: über quiet, quality grinder. I suspect it is as good as Hazbeans Mazzer, but wed need a grind-off to establish that. Built like a brick dunny. Relatively easy to mostly cure the messiness. Noticeable improvement over Rocky!

    /Kevin

  2. #2
    kbc
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    Re: New Macap M4C - mini review and modifications...

    Hi Kevin,

    I have made a similar modification but went a step further by using a dremel grinder to "port match" the square exit chute with the round spout.

    My thread is here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1271046692


    I am also wrapped with this grinder. Amazing quality!




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