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Which is better? Isomac or ECM
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Which is better?...  
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pballeur
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Holland
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Oct 10, 2004, 10:47am
Subject: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

Hello,

I'm about to buy a espresso machine. Can somebody give me some advice. I want to choose between these two machines

Isomac Millenium or the ECM Giotto.

I can buy them second hand, less then 1 year old. With garantee.

thanks for the advice
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DanBollinger
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2002
Posts: 45
Location: Indiana
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: modified Isomac Millenium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini w/ single doser
Roaster: Building a 1# sample roaster
Posted Sun Oct 10, 2004, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

Six of one, half-a-dozen of another. They are damn near interchangeable from what I can tell. I have an IM.  It is a little taller than the Giotto. The Giotto has a 1.8l boiler compared to the IM's 1.4, however the IM has a 1400W heater to the Giottos 1300W.  Like I said, damn near a wash. Durn things even have the same knobs.
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Sun Oct 10, 2004, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

DanBollinger Said:

Six of one, half-a-dozen of another. They are damn near interchangeable from what I can tell.

Posted October 10, 2004 link

From the outside and for many major components, I agree.  But if you take off the covers and compare, it's not difficult to find differences between two E61 espresso machines.  For example, below is the ECM Giotto Premium (left) and Isomac Rituale (right).  Here's a few things that jump out at me (please ignore the gauge and white tubing on the left that I added):

  1. Giotto has a commercial grade expansion valve
  2. Giotto has a resettable over-limit temperature switch
  3. Rituale pressurestat is directly on top of the boiler; Giotto sets it off to the side, subjecting it to less heat
  4. Giotto has a commercial Gicar auto-fill controller located off the floor of the machine by 1-1/2" with the open end facing downward and pump plumbing below the electronics; Rituale has a Giemme controller less than 1/4" off the floor with the open end facing right and pump plumbing above the electronics. In the event of a leak, which is more likely to get a shower?  Also notice the SSR on the floor of the Rituale (the Giotto has no need for one)
  5. Rituale has an overflow catch for the pressure relief safety
  6. Rituale has a solid stainless steel floor; Giotto has painted metal

I could go on about the differences in attention to assembly and wiring routing, but I think the photo renders it self-evident.  Some may dismiss these points as engineering minutia that means nothing to consumers, but I wouldn't call these two machines interchangeable in materials and workmanship.  In terms of shot quality, I found no difference.

-- Dan

HB: giotto_premium_rituale.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
www.home-barista.com
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AlMac
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 507
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Reneka Techno, Quaha...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Lux
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 12:11am
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

HB Said:

wiring routing

Posted October 10, 2004 link

Assume you are using that term loosely when referring to the Isomac.
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pballeur
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Oct 2004
Posts: 2
Location: Holland
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 2:40am
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

Ok, thanx for the reactions,

But I asked for the difference between the Giotto and the millenium. And not the Giotto and the Rituale.

Somebody a suggestion?
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HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 3:28am
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

pballeur Said:

But I asked for the difference between the Giotto and the millenium. And not the Giotto and the Rituale.

Posted October 11, 2004 link

The Millennium and Rituale are internally equivalent.  If you limit your criteria to espresso performance and appearance, then Dan Bollinger's earlier comments sum it up nicely.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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bigm
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 58
Location: australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 6:56am
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

great photos inside ecm dan.

been looking for internal photos for a while.
thanks for the labelling too....pressurestat etc..  always wondered about a few things.

why doesnt ecm do stainless base...surely in production runs would only add 10 or so dollars to the cost ???

i think ecm is laid out a little cleaner but otherwise seem close machines.

reliability seems to be the key to ecm.

why are boilers nickel coated on these machines.    i though copper was best and least likely to flake long term ??

replies appreciated to these questions,

cheers bigm
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AlMac
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 507
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Reneka Techno, Quaha...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Lux
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

bigm Said:

why are boilers nickel coated on these machines.    i though copper was best and least likely to flake long term ??

Posted October 11, 2004 link

This thread from alt.coffee has one of the better discussions I have seen generally about boiler material: Click Here (groups.google.com)

Seemed to me that in the end brass/copper/stainless steel was much of a muchness - one material is not clearly better than the others.  Not sure about the Nickle.
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zakglass
Senior Member
zakglass
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 360
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulser
Grinder: Macap M4; Baratza Maestro...
Drip: Technivorm MoccaMaster CD
Posted Mon Oct 11, 2004, 8:02pm
Subject: Re: Which is better? Isomac or ECM
 

Dan - thanks for the pics

When I was at Chris' recently and got the internals tour of the Andreja, it had essentially all the same advantages (at least component/construction wise) of the ECM vs. the Millenium. May be worth throwing into the mix, though I guess they're a bit new for finding one second hand. Still, a new Andreja may be close to the same price as a refurb Giotto.

-e.
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