Originally Posted by Yelta
G'day Janus (and Steve82 for that matter).
Originally Posted by Janus
As a long time Mahlkoenig Vario gen2 / gen3 owner I wish people would have a basic understanding of the difference between the original Baratza Vario, the Forte and the Mahlkoenig gen2 - night and day. The original "gen1" was more or less an all purpose, lightweight domestic grinder (a bit like the Sette) which had low retention. Stories of its unreliability have almost become legendary in coffee sites (another thing it shares with early Settes). The Forte is more or less a gen 1.5 with a more rigid, heavier and larger body and beefed up adjusters - more aimed at a cafe / heavy user and to make it more reliable. Other than the shell, I doubt the gen2 or gen3 shares any other part with the earlier versions of either the original Vario or the Forte.
How do I know? I owned an original Vario for three weeks in October 2013 and handed it over to a friend in need as he was a fly in / fly out worker and his new Vario hadn't turned up in time for his next 6 week shift. His / my replacement in Nov 2013 turned out to be a gen2 - a total surprise. Unlike the earlier version, the gen2 is pretty hopeless "in the cuppa" outside the Turkish to espresso range of textures (if coarser grinds are your thing, Mahlkoenig makes optional steel burrs - which totally nuke the espresso performance). However within its range it is a truly exceptional grinder - way better than the gen1 or the Forte and right up there with the best espresso grinders I know (HG-1, commercial Dittings, EK43 and its ancestors - both of the latter I have known first hand since the mid 80's).
Under the bonnet the gen2/3 is a Swiss designed and made Ditting commercial module fitted with long life ceramic burrs wrapped in the same / similar lightweight domestic body as the original Vario. My Nov 2013 Vario has done well over 200Kgs (around 40Kg a week at a friend's cafe for a total of 6+ weeks when his SJ broke - twice) with no "apparent on a microscope" wear on the burrs (or anything else for that matter) compared to my other gen2 (March 2014, about 10Kgs, if that) or the gen3 (Jan 2016, even less work). No relationship with the "gen1" in terms of reliabilty or performance in the cup. All three of my Varios have displayed flawless reliability over the last few years - however I maintain all my gear properly.
Back to the Niche - no first hand knowledge - yet - anyone in Perth with a Niche want to do a comparison? A couple of eastern state friends reckon the Niche is a good general purpose grinder which does fairly good espresso. One of them has a mid 2014 Mahlkoenig Vario gen2, and he reckons the Niche is not as good for espresso as his Vario so he uses his Niche for cold steep. That is about what I would expect as conicals always have a twin peak particle spread (extra fines) which reduce the extraction ratio slightly.
Anyway, FWIW, I would like to see how the Niche does at espresso and also at coarser grinds compared to my steel burred gen2 Vario - I suspect it would be close and the Niche may very well be better on the coarser stuff - conicals usually are.
I also posted this today https://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/...tml#post645950 in reference to the HG-1 - which I also regard as a great espresso grinder.
Fair enough, Iíd be really interested to hear how they go in comparison.
You're not alone. I recently realised I had the exact same issue a few days ago, and was wondering if anyone experienced the same issue.
Originally Posted by Altiplano
Guess I'll be contacting Niche. Good to hear it's a good experience with them.
I was unsure about this however reading the reviews im gonna pull the trigger hahah!
Have had mine since Christmas and results seem good. The only thing troubling my OCD is that the nut/bolt that spins in the centre of the grinder seems off centre and therefore wobbles left and right every rotation. I fancy I can hear the unevenness too - it is not a constant drone but fluctuates every rev. Has anyone else noticed this?
I thought it was only me, but I also noticed the nut doesn't seem quite centre in the middle of the burr as it spins.
Do not panic, the bolt only keeps the burr locked onto the shaft. It doesnít have any effect on the burr being centralised or not. I put a torx head bolt on mine just to stop me looking at it. Question has come up on coffee forums uk and was answered by Daveuk as above. Enjoy your coffee
Replacement springs were significantly more stout than the originals.
Originally Posted by charzy
Niche Spring replacements.jpg
Original springs on the left - Tight coils (smaller diameter wire), uneven length.
Replacement on the right - Larger pitch, even length.
Problem is 90% solved. I still get movement but given how often I'm changing the grind setting, it's not really an issue with any practical impact.
gave mine its first good clean yesterday . Simple process , although wasn't too much to clean. Everything in there looks pretty solid.
And yes the top bolt does look like it spins off centre , made me double check the tightness
Try first always adjusting tighter to the point you want to be, this takes up any minute amount of slack .. This is good practice for any grinder.
Originally Posted by Altiplano
If that doesn't stop it...lubricate the side of the burr where it slides up and down the chamber (just a thin film)....don't get any on the top polymer piece. You probably have a very close fit (no bad thing) of a burr at the max of it's +/- tolerance width. This will help those springs are pressing the burr properly against the carrier, then there is no way the grind should move.
Originally Posted by davec
The first point is something that I've never thought of before, but certainly makes sense. Very similar to adjusting a watch movement accurately by taking up the slack as you set the time.
I'll give the burr assembly some love with some food grade grease and see if it helps.