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Thread: Macap M4D - Early impressions

  1. #1
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    Smile Macap M4D - Early impressions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I just picked this baby up this morning and had it dialed in after two attempts. Chris@talk coffee advised I turn the micrometric adjuster back about 10 times as its set too fine out of the box. 9 times would have done it. It appears that one full turn of that adjuster changes the pour time by about 5 seconds. I then attacked the timing feature. I read that it doses at about 2gms a second and I wanted 16gms. So I tried 7.5, 8.0 and 8.5sec and 8.5 did it. The time can be adjusted in 5 / 100ths. So I could get 8.45 or 8.55 seconds if I really wanted to fine tune. Repeated and weighed 3 times and all were exactly 16gms and more importantly great shots with a great taste. Clumping is there but they are soft and break easily when the group handle is shaken. I was told that once the burrs settle down this clumping becomes even more insignificant. Clumping and grind retention as mentioned many times on USA sites and this site are non issues. It is an accurate, consistent and sophisticated grinder and I'm delighted with my purchase. I really don't understand why this grinder has had such a bad rap.

    Chris often gets thanked for his service but he really does deserve it. He clearly explained why it was better than its biggest rival, the Mazzer mini e and gave valuable advice on how to set it up when I got it home. While my old grinder (K3T) was very good this really feels like a step up in quality. As big Kev used to say - I'm excited.

    I can't recommend this highly enough.

    Thanks again Chris.

  2. #2
    TC
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    My pleasure barri. Happy that you like it!

    The software upgrade on these has lifted the bar way clear of the mini-e and the only reason you'd consider a Mazzer (and it would have to be a SJ-E to even go close) is that the worm drive doesn't allow for gross grind changes rapidly. These continue to be the aspirational grinder for home users who want a top-end planar grinder. They blow all competitors into the weeds.

    Cheers

    Chris

  3. #3
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Yep Barri agree 100%. I don't have the .5 second facility but can't say I need it. The M4D is a little p###er of a grinder. As TC says the next step is to a monster sized animal............ :-) and I'm [and the SOH] not ready for that.

    Steve

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mono View Post
    The M4D is a little p###er of a grinder.
    Bit harsh, mate.

  5. #5
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    Here's a piccie. Tried to show the new display but ended up too bright
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  6. #6
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Looks great!

    Cheers

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    I had a play with one of those a while ago and found it was a bit fiddly to change time settings. I had to hold down the top button for 10 secs to activate the menu, then go through a bunch of menu settings to get to the right point, change the settings, then go through the menu again to exit. It seemed overly messy for a procedure that was needed to be done often. Is that still the same or have they improved it?
    Simon

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stafe View Post
    I had a play with one of those a while ago and found it was a bit fiddly to change time settings.
    The V2 software updates are explained but work the same way. This grinder is simple and intuitive- as owners will no doubt agree with.

    Best not attempt to setup a mobile phone

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stafe View Post
    I had a play with one of those a while ago and found it was a bit fiddly to change time settings. I had to hold down the top button for 10 secs to activate the menu, then go through a bunch of menu settings to get to the right point, change the settings, then go through the menu again to exit. It seemed overly messy for a procedure that was needed to be done often. Is that still the same or have they improved it?
    Simon
    Couldn't disagree more. Most grind on demand grinders operate in a similar way and I've used the menus on a quamar and mazzer. I've found the macap menu system simple and elegant. If I want to change the timing of my single basket, for example, I enter menu mode, one long press, select the single, turn the dial down to desired time, accept that setting turn the dial to exit and select that. A process that takes less than 20 seconds and that includes the the time to enter menu mode. The dial makes progressing through the menus back or forth as fast as you want.

    Its so simple that I figured it out without reading the manual.
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  10. #10
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    I don't do singles so I have the single mode set for 1.5s which I use to flush any stale grinds left and 10.2s for my double. Occasionally I need to alter that timing with a change of beans but if i need to top up i just select the 1.5s single mode. Works a charm for me. :-)

    steve

  11. #11
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    10 sec is bloody fast for a double!

    A completely different beast I know but the smart grinder takes 40 or so from memory for a double.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    10 sec is bloody fast for a double!
    Nar, 4 seconds is fast- Robur territory
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  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Wow, that's a huge factor in speed. Over ten times faster than a domestic grinder and over double the speed of something like the M4D. M4D would be plenty fast for me!

    Cheers
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mono View Post
    I don't do singles so I have the single mode set for 1.5s which I use to flush any stale grinds left and 10.2s for my double. Occasionally I need to alter that timing with a change of beans but if i need to top up i just select the 1.5s single mode. Works a charm for me. :-)

    steve
    The new version 2 software allows for 3 programs. Like you I use the first as a purge or top up, second for singles and third for doubles. Really easy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Nar, 4 seconds is fast- Robur territory
    Ahh , now dont bring a knife to a gun fight !
    .... Compak R140...1kg in <30 secs !!
    Compak R140 | Talk Coffee

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Ahh , now dont bring a knife to a gun fight !
    .... Compak R140...1kg in <30 secs !!
    Compak R140 | Talk Coffee
    Yes- but it's a bag grinder, so gets disqualified.

    Mind you, it might just be an EK43 killer (taking the p!$$).

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    What's the story with the micrometric vs stepped versions of this grinder? The OP mentions that his is micrometric, which I assume means stepless using a worm gear, does it not? I visited the only (non-sponsor) retailer close to me, and they had two of them, both stepped (admittedly seemed like small steps, but as neither was running there was no demo).

    This surprised me, as I thought that this grinder was micrometric. I queried this and was told that this is a stepless grinder, well, theirs certainly were. A little searching indicates that both seem to be available, although most sponsors seem to have the micrometric.

    So is the stepped older stock or something? Should it be cheaper than the micrometric? How close are the steps in practice?

  18. #18
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    My understanding is that there is only one version now and that's the stepless.

  19. #19
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    CosmoreX have at times imported the stepped version. I am unsure if they are still stocked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I am unsure if they are still stocked.
    Seems they are. If you google m4d stepped you'll find a few places that still have them on their website.

    Has anyone here tried the stepped version? Since I mostly do espresso the micrometric makes more sense, but I was interested in how close the steps were on the stepped, and whether it would be a option worth considering. ( i realise that this is a tricky question for those sponsors who don't sell that version.)

  21. #21
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    FWIW, espresso only, you will be better with the micrometric version. If you need a variety of grind sizes, I'd probably choose Mazzer or Compak for their stepless collar adjustment. That stated, the stepped M4D has pretty small increments and plenty of happy CS owners. Used M4Ds rarely become available as everyone keeps them.

    The Mazzer mini-e offers poor performance when compared to the M4D which is quicker than even the Super Jolly-E. I personally love the M4D, can happily cohabit with a SJ-E and have so far divorced 3 mini-e grinders because they're just too slow. They come with a portafilter rest for good reason. It's to allow you to make your breakfast while you wait.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    The Mazzer mini-e offers poor performance when compared to the M4D which is quicker than even the Super Jolly-E. I personally love the M4D, can happily cohabit with a SJ-E and have so far divorced 3 mini-e grinders because they're just too slow. They come with a portafilter rest for good reason. It's to allow you to make your breakfast while you wait.
    Sure its slower with the standard mini-e 64mm burrs, but what about the main issue, the quality of the grind? I find it hard to believe that the mini-e with its larger burr set than the MD4 doesn't grind at least as well. And, as I have experienced first hand, the MD4 is a clump monster. That too could well affect its grind quality versus other less clumpy grinders like the mini-e.
    Last edited by chopinhauer; 23rd August 2014 at 12:56 PM. Reason: typos

  23. #23
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    Better sell my Robur E. It clumps as well- as does the mini-e.

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    Senior Member chopinhauer's Avatar
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    Yes, they all clump, the point is some clump worse than others. And anyway, I queried whether excessive clumping affects grind quality. I didn't assert it because the issue has been much debated in various forums without any consensus.

  25. #25
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    My experience with multiple versions of the mini-e and M4D is that there is no winner when it comes to clumping. There is one notorious comparison on another site. The Mazzer wins out as the Macap is being operated at a visibly finer grind size. It's no surprise in this uneven comparison.

    We have sold hundreds of M4D grinders to clients and they rarely get resold. We have sold far fewer mini-e as my professional assessment is that it's just not comparable to the M4D (The SJ-E is). For mine, the owners have had their say. I recommend that potential buyers in this market get a SJ-E (with super short hopper if desired) or an M4D.
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  26. #26
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Crikey, clumps, retention, ..... grinders???? Who needs 'em??

    So many deal breakers, I think I'll just use my teeth.

  27. #27
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    I reckon that clumping must be more a humidity thing, rather than the grinder. I've never really experienced it out here, with the M4 or the Mazzer… well, not deal breaker clumping anyhow
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
    I reckon that clumping must be more a humidity thing, rather than the grinder. I've never really experienced it out here, with the M4 or the Mazzer… well, not deal breaker clumping anyhow
    Me either...

    Mal.
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  29. #29
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    can i suggest a mortar and pestle may be the solution :-)

  30. #30
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    OK I thought it was about time that all this talk about clumping on this wonderful grinder (and yes I'm biased) was put to bed. I've attached two photos. One is my old K3 touch and one is my new macap m4d. These were the exact dosage before tamping. Can you guess which is which? If you guessed the second was the Macap you'd be wrong. Describing the macap as a clump monster is hardly warranted. Yes, they both show some minor clumping but which ones worse. Very hard to tell and that's the key point. Both shots were good and more importantly tasted great.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  31. #31
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I reckon the file names are a bit of hint

  32. #32
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    oops. I forgot about that!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    OK I thought it was about time that all this talk about clumping on this wonderful grinder (and yes I'm biased) was put to bed.
    Thanks Barri,

    It's great to have some real evidence from an actual owner!

    It will be in short supply for a month or so while we wait for the importer to land more stock. We have a few left.

    Chris
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  34. #34
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    oops. I forgot about that!
    No worries....I knew which one it was before noticing the file name.

    FWIW...clumping schmumping as far as I'm concerned. Looks a great grinder though.
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  35. #35
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Most of the clumps I have experienced in the few grinders that I have used (not the m4d unfortunately) break up when the PF is tapped to settle the grinds. It's not really an issue as far as I can see? Or do some grinders produce solid/dense clumps?

    Cheers
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  36. #36
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    G'day artman.

    I have seen "extrusions" from some cheapie nasty grinders at espresso grind. I think people can read online and confuse one with the other.

    I have often said that if someone thinks s/he can taste the soft clumping produced by quality doserless grinders, it's time to enter (and win) the WBC cup tasting.

    Chris

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    I was thinking about one but I see the price just jumped up. Too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    OK I thought it was about time that all this talk about clumping on this wonderful grinder (and yes I'm biased) was put to bed. I've attached two photos. One is my old K3 touch and one is my new macap m4d. .
    Hey barri,...
    Did your K3 have the rubber flap on the discharge port removed ?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Hey barri,...
    Did your K3 have the rubber flap on the discharge port removed ?
    No I haven't removed it blendo

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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    Chris@talk coffee advised I turn the micrometric adjuster back about 10 times as its set too fine out of the box. 9 times would have done it. It appears that one full turn of that adjuster changes the pour time by about 5 seconds.
    Those 9 turns back - were they full turns or half turns?

  41. #41
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    9 full turns gunda (I just sent you a PM). I'm not so sure now that one full turn equates to a change of 5 sec in the pour. I think its more like 2 full turns. I'd like some one to verify that. There gunda, I've left you with some homework

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    Thanks and thanks for the PM. I debated whether to make a guess as to what you meant, but decided that I should at least try the setting as shipped. Just as well that you weren't around when I asked this, as mine came pretty much on the money. First pour was a touch slow but only needed about half a turn to speed it up a notch. 18gms of 9 day old Espresso Wow in 10.55 secs.

    So at this stage I haven't had the opportunity to do my homework. Or perhaps the dog ate it.

  43. #43
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    At least that confirms that just under 2 gms a second is a good starting point for timed doses. If I tried the setting as shipped I would have choked it big time. BTW what number is the notch behind the silver button pointing too? It sounds like your black cog wheel was in a different position to mine.

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    Well, it's between 7 and 8, and if you regard the 7 as being between two notches, then it's 7 - 7 notches towards the fine direction, i.e. towards 8., So at about 7.

    I am using a VST basket, for which you'd want to grind a bit finer I think, so that may be part of it.

  45. #45
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    I'm using a VST basket as well and mine sits at 6.5, that's a long way from yours. It stays around that number for all baskets, beans and their ages. I'd say the black cog wheel was in a different position to mine when you bought it and/or was set differently. I wouldn't think our coffee machines would make that much difference.

  46. #46
    Junior Member thad's Avatar
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    Ordered mine from Talk Coffee Wednesday night, courier attempted to deliver it Friday arvo, but I was already down the pub..

    Had to wait until this morning to get my hands on it, only had a quick play before I had to head off to work. It's a replacement for my 12 year old Rocky (which never missed a beat).

    Must say, very impressed by it, and thanks to Talk Coffee for the quick delivery!
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