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Topic: Solis Maestro Warning (11 msgs / 286 lines)
1) From: Mike McGinness
In defense of Baratza I've had and have heard nothing but good feedback on
their customer service. When I was demo'ing the Solis Master 5000 last year,
which they sent me free of charge BTW, they even faxed me schematics to
answer some of my technical questions.
You stated your Maestro died on the last day it could be considered under
warranty yet didn't contact Baratza for another three days. Ok, they were
probably closed for Christmas:-) Did you email them informing of the problem
to get it on record and CYA before the warranty expired?
In defense of the Solis Maestro grinder there is none! Poor burr carrier
design. Ok for coarser grinds but garbage in short time for espresso. And
yet there is. The Maestro was and is designed for home use. Attempting to
grind 1.5# pounds through it at once sounds like a job for a commercial
grinder. (Not that I wouldn't have done it myself if I sent ground coffee
out as gifts. But I only send whole bean, if they don't grind they don't get
none!) Agreed the Maestro is a pain in the butt to get apart. Been there
done that to fix loose motor mount screws last year. They offered to fix it
but I didn't want to be without it. They did give helpful directions to get
it apart. Others on the list have also opened up the Maestro for repairs...
BTW, no distributor is obligated or can afford to give free detailed step by
step out or warranty phone how to fix it yourself support. Time is money.
Fortunately I've retired my worn out in way less than a year Maestro. Got
mine Christmas 01, got Miss Silvia Feb' 02, grinding for espresso wears the
burrs out in a couple months. Replaced the top user replaceable burr, only
helped marginally. Replaced the grinder with Rocky, WOW what a difference.
Can't believe how much better Vac pot is again... or even Debi's Krups drip
4cupper. Very even grind makes a HUGE difference in the cup any brewing
method IMNSHO.
MM;-) aka Kona Krazy miKe mcKoffee
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'

2) From: Lyle
A few words of caution... I was given a Maestro for Christmas 2001.  During Christmas week of 2002, the machine started to run slower.  I had to set the timer for 50% longer to grind the same amount of beans to the same consistency as before. I cleaned it thoroughly.  On the 24th I did some roasting in my Royal Max for gifts . Went to grind 1.5 lbs.  The machine shut off after 1.25 lbs and would not start again.  I called Baratza (the importer) yesterday and spoke with a young lady there.  Told her the story that it died on Friday the 27th.  Her first response was that it was out of warranty! Ouch, 2 days!
She told me that I could send it back or try to fix it myself.  I opted for the later.  Here's what she told me to do... Open the unit (no easy task, no screws just pry points) and find the thermal fuse.  I asked her for the rating and she told me she didn't know.  She told me that they just bypass it!  So much for overheat or motor fire protection.  All in all a bad experience.  If this is the attitude for a grinder I shudder to think what would happen if someone had a problem with their big machines.
Lyle
alylea
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3) From: jim gundlach
One of the things I've liked abut Baratza is that they will help you do 
it yourself even if it costs them a paid job.  Once you got the thermal 
fuse out you can probably find a replacement.  Just do short grinding 
sessions until you replace it.  But in my opinion, you are lucky to get 
a year of service out of the Maestro.
Jim Gundlach
On Tuesday, December 31, 2002, at 08:47 AM, Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Jack Berry
I think you covered Baratza's reputation pretty well
Mike. There are lots of stories on this list and AC
about their great customer service. 
The lack of electrical protection for Maestro can be
cured with a trip to Radio Shack if you like Kyle.
Back to the griders Mike. Any theories on why a
grinder would make such a difference in vac, press or
drip made coffee? I can easily make the connection on
espresso because of the extraction process. But with
the others the coffee just floats (or sinks) in the
soup and we drain off the good stuff.
--- Mike McGinness  wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: jim gundlach
On Thursday, January 2, 2003, at 09:30 AM, Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
I did too at first.  However, the Solis grinder is the CHEAPEST 
electric grinder that will give a decent grind for espresso when it is 
new.  But, being the cheapest, it will not last.   For the $130 you get 
to sample a good grind for a few months.  After that, you can decide if 
what you gain from a good grind is worth the price of a Rocky,  Mazzer 
or some other quality grinder in the $320 to $1,500 price range.
Jim Gundlach
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6) From: Jim Gundlach
Lyle,
    I have the Rocky myself, I took the doser off and am working on a 
chute that both functions and looks good, got the function but looks 
has a ways to go.  The Mazzer has more precise adjustment that seems to 
be more important for those with a hand pump but it costs almost twice 
what a Rocky does.  Go to:
 http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews/grindersAnd you can see some customer evaluations.  One thing to watch for is 
that most of the machines you can purchase in Italy will be 220v.
Jim Gundlach
On Thursday, January 2, 2003, at 12:09 PM, Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Lyle
Hi Jim,
Thanks for the response.
I would have hoped for more then a year for $130 piece of equipment.
Lyle
---------- jim gundlach  writes:
From: jim gundlach 
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Solis Maestro Warning
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 21:10:27 -0600
One of the things I've liked abut Baratza is that they will help you do 
it yourself even if it costs them a paid job.  Once you got the thermal 
fuse out you can probably find a replacement.  Just do short grinding 
sessions until you replace it.  But in my opinion, you are lucky to get 
a year of service out of the Maestro.
Jim Gundlach
On Tuesday, December 31, 2002, at 08:47 AM, Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Lyle
Hi Jim,
Guess I learned my lesson.  I'm off to Italy on the 18th.  Wonder if I can get a good deal over there?  Any recomendatations for brand/type?
Lyle
---------- jim gundlach  writes:
From: jim gundlach 
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Solis Maestro Warning
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 11:53:05 -0600
On Thursday, January 2, 2003, at 09:30 AM, Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
I did too at first.  However, the Solis grinder is the CHEAPEST 
electric grinder that will give a decent grind for espresso when it is 
new.  But, being the cheapest, it will not last.   For the $130 you get 
to sample a good grind for a few months.  After that, you can decide if 
what you gain from a good grind is worth the price of a Rocky,  Mazzer 
or some other quality grinder in the $320 to $1,500 price range.
Jim Gundlach
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9) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Jack Berry" 
 Back to the griders Mike. Any theories on why a
<Snip>
Simple, more even grind yields more even extraction producing better cup.
Less over/under extraction. Doesn't matter the brewing method.
MM;-) aka Kona Krazy miKe mcKoffee
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Rocky grindin' - Miss Silvia brewin'
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10) From: Jeffrey A. Bertoia
Lyle
The best deal is on cafe coffee.  I found it very difficult to get a bad 
cup.
When I was there, for somewhere between 1800 Lire ($1.00 or 1.00 Euro)
and 3000 Lire ($1.75 or 1.75 Euro) you could get a good and sometimes
great cup of esprersso almost anywhere.
I would be surprised if you find a great deal on equiptment since most
Italians seem to take coffee for granted.  In my experience, most homes
have a mocha pot but don't have a grinder.  Who needs it if you can
drop 'round to the corner store and pick up fresh roasted/ground coffee
daily.
jeff
Lyle wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: Rick Farris
Jack wrote:
<Snip>
Sure.  Different particle sizes extract at different rates.  Smaller
particles extract quickly, larger particles take longer.  If you have a
continuous mix of small to large particle sizes, only one small sample will
extract at the right rate.  The rest of the cup will be either
over-extracted or under-extracted.  If all the particles are the same size,
once you find the sweet spot for that size, there will be no over or under
extraction.
-- Rick
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