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.
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):
Giotto has a commercial grade expansion valve
Giotto has a resettable over-limit temperature switch
Rituale pressurestat is directly on top of the boiler; Giotto sets it off to the side, subjecting it to less heat
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)
Rituale has an overflow catch for the pressure relief safety
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.
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.
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