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Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Two broken Solis...  
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KurtK9
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Aug 22, 2006, 9:33am
Subject: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

I've now gone through a pair of Solid Maestros and I'm completely fed up with their lack of quality.  My first grinder lasted about a year then the plastic pieces that allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind snapped leaving it stuck at a grind only good for drip coffee.  I, stupidly, bought another of the same grinders thinking that I would have no problems this time around and the motor blew out last week.  Or at least I assume it's the motor since it won't grind when I press the button anymore.

Now I'm stuck with a grinder than makes terrible espresso and one that's an oversized paperweight.  I'm a casual espresson drinker, I usually make a double shot every morning and maybe again in the afternoon.  My machine is a Solis Creama SL70 that's worked great for a number of years.

Any suggestions for a quality, durable grinder in the $100-$200 range?  I'll never buy another Solis product again, but there must be other grinders out there that aren't plastic pieces of junk and cost less than $200.

Thanks for any advice.
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Tue Aug 22, 2006, 10:18am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

Scrape together another $85 bucks and get a Rocky, it'll be the last grinder you will ever need and is a great all around mill that is also suitable for espresso.  I am saving up for mine right now to replace my Solis Maestro Plus, which works just fine, I just want to upgrade.

In short $200 is too close to the next level of grinders in my opinion, scrape together another $85 bucks anyway you can and get a grinder you’ll never have to replace (maybe just the burrs a looong time from now) and that will grind far superior than most any $200 grinder.  It is worth it.

The Rocky may be slightly more than you want to spend right now, but it's a proven fact that it is more economical long-term to invest in a grinder.  Most any other $200 grinder will most likely not have the replaceable quality burr set or overall build quality of the Rocky hence they may need replaced 2-5 years from now, so tack on the cost of another grinder purchase.  Well that is $400 bucks right there.  Five years from now your Rocky will be barely broke in and you'll be pulling shots better than anything you have ever pulled before.

It saves to invest, the Rocky also holds its resale value much better than the cheaper grinders I suspect too...

Good Luck!

 
Tim Eggers
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,248
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Tue Aug 22, 2006, 8:00pm
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

Hi Bob, Welcome to the Coffeegeek forums! {:-)

As Tim is saying & you've found out it's really false economy to buy a cheaper grinder, 2 in your case., when the build quality isn't really there & it is marginal at best for espresso.

The espresso machine should really be looked at as an accessory after the fact, & the grinder is of paramount importance!
I'll post Mark P's mantra here in a few minutes when I find my post on it.

Quote: Mark's mantra is & alwas was , "It's better to have a great grinder & a lesser espresso machine, than a great espresso machine & a lesser grinder".

This meaning that you can & will produce better espresso more consistently the 1st way than the 2nd way, hit & miss & producing dreck. {;-)



"Re: Advice on a new espresso machine"

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Alfonso
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Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 175
Location: Philippines
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Cremina '67, Unic Diva Pro,...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Rancilio Rocky,...
Vac Pot: Hario Technica , AeroPress
Drip: Melitta Clarity, Bodum...
Roaster: OvenToaster Drumroaster,...
Posted Tue Aug 22, 2006, 9:10pm
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

KurtK9 Said:

My first grinder lasted about a year then the plastic pieces that allow you to adjust the coarseness of the grind snapped leaving it stuck at a grind only good for drip coffee.  I, stupidly, bought another of the same grinders thinking that I would have no problems this time around and the motor blew out last week.

Posted August 22, 2006 link

Hi Bob,

The plastic tabs for adjusting grind on the Solis Maestros do break off. I guess you could say its a common problem on these grinders.  

But couldn't you salvage the plastic part from the other maestro with the busted motor?  That way, you'd have a grinder to tide you over till you purchase the next one.

Alfonso
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KurtK9
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 6:57am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

Thanks for the suggestions so far.  I guess I should have bought a more expensive and quality grinder at the start, but then again I was (am) still in college and $100 for my first grinder seemed like a lot.  I'll have to look into some better quality ones, are any of them really built to last years?  I mean something that should work or is truely fixable for 5 years at least?  What are the average warranties like (if any)?  I agree now that it's better to spend $300 on a top notch reliable grinder now than $100 on a plastic piece of junk every year.


Alfonso,
I was hoping I'd be able to salvage one working grinder from my two broken ones, but it seems that the motor burnt out on one and the plastic pieces within the housing of the other snapped.  The pieces that broke are the two little tabs that the hopper? fits into to adjust the grind setting.  So, unless I break apart the plastic housing it seems I'm stuck with two broken bottom portions and no way to fix it.  I've even tried to move the grind coarseness manually with pliers to no avail.  I'm not that good with motors, but there is probably so way to move the motor of one to the other, but they don't allow you easy access to the internals of the grinder.
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4cups
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4cups
Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 274
Location: Maryland, East coast peninsula
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Vivildi S1
Grinder: La Cimbali Jr. , Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Hario DECO, Bodum press
Drip: Gevalia
Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

Chances are that it is a micro switch that has gone bad in the one where the motor doesn’t work. The housing is a bit of a drag to get apart but can be done with a flat tip screwdriver from the bottom, once you have the weight off ( Meastro Plus has the weight). There is a fix for the tabs but it would be better just to buy the replacement part. I get down to Mufferiesburrow (not sure of the spelling) every so often, if you are willing to make the trip I could look at it for you next time I am down.

Good luck
Jody
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,248
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

KurtK9 Said:

I'll have to look into some better quality ones, are any of them really built to last years?  I mean something that should work or is truely fixable for 5 years at least?  What are the average warranties like (if any)?  I agree now that it's better to spend $300 on a top notch reliable grinder now than $100 on a plastic piece of junk every year.

Posted August 23, 2006 link

A Rancilio Rocky, Mazzer Mini, etc., will last a lifetime! You'll only be changing out the burrs which are cheap considering how long they last.

A few months ago I changed the burrs on my 5 year 3 month young Rocky & that was after 5 years!







.

 
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TimEggers
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TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 7:49am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

CraigA Said:

A Rancilio Rocky, Mazzer Mini, etc., will last a lifetime! You'll only be changing out the burrs which are cheap considering how long they last.

A few months ago I changed the burrs on my Rocky. & that was after 5 years!

Posted August 23, 2006 link

Agreed.  Believe us the extra $85 will be the best decision you make in regards to coffee or maybe everything else too.  It's not just a durability issue, it's also very much a grind quality issue and the Rocky will knock the socks off most any $200 grinder.  If I were in your spot I'd demand much better coffee/espresso from a grinder I'd never have to replace!


BTW, Craig how does the grind quality of your Mazzer's compare to the grind of the Rocky?  I realize that the Mazzers offer a stepless adjustment that makes it better for espresso but how does the grind compare?  Just curious, thanks buddy!

Cheers!

 
Tim Eggers
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KurtK9
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

TimEggers Said:

BTW, Craig how does the grind quality of your Mazzer's compare to the grind of the Rocky?  I realize that the Mazzers offer a stepless adjustment that makes it better for espresso but how does the grind compare?  Just curious, thanks buddy!

Posted August 23, 2006 link

I'm actually quite interested in that as well.  It seems I'm now resigned to spending more than I originally intended, so I might as well compare what seems to be the two best grinders that aren't crazy expensive.  

I do have one question though, the doser that you see on the more expensive grinders, do people like that or not?  I probably will be making 1-2 shots a day, do I want one with a doser or will it just fill with old stale ground beans?  Both the Mazzer and Rocky come in doser and doserless versions.

Thanks again for all the help.
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CraigA
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CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,248
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Wed Aug 23, 2006, 8:33am
Subject: Re: Two broken Solis Maestros, any better suggestions?
 

TimEggers Said:

BTW, Craig how does the grind quality of your Mazzer's compare to the grind of the Rocky?  I realize that the Mazzers offer a stepless adjustment that makes it better for espresso but how does the grind compare?  Just curious, thanks buddy!

Cheers!

Posted August 23, 2006 link

Anytime guys!

I did a SS Rocky doser versus Mazzer Mini shootout here a couple of years ago, I'll find the thread.

"** Rocky SS Doser  vrs  Mazzer Mini  Shootout ! **"




.

 
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