A solidly designed utilitarian machine with power and quality that dwarfs the other 1 group 120V machines!
Positive Product Points
+ amazing temperature control and consistant shot production + extremely powerful steaming + portafilter seats into the grouphead very smoothly and won't leak for about six months. + easy to plumb in. + panels are easy to pull and intuitive so you can look at your internals. + internals are layed out simply and effectively with plenty of room. + great for left handed users. + Cleans up easily.
Negative Product Points
- Plastic externals do not show as nicely as stainless steel. - It sits quite tall and may not fit under your counter. - right handed users may find steamer set-up as it is to be a little frusterating. - standard steam wands are more difficult to steam with to get the micro foam. - not a completely supported model due to age, some parts may be difficult or impossible to obtain.
This is my first espresso machine that I've personally owned. A few things worth mentioning about the NS MAC.
When I say it's solid construction, I mean it. This thing is the draft horse of the older model espresso machines. I have pulled shot after shot on this machine with perfect consistancy as I go, it's a heat-exchanger machine but when set-up right it doesn't even require a cooling flush at the beginning to pull beautiful, sweet, chocolately espresso every time.
It's easy to look at and understand. I'm not a mechanic but I've been able to figure out how my machine works and am very comfortable with it. This is in part thanks to the easy internal layout of the machine. Just like old trucks, you can look inside and really see what's going on.
Good seating with minimal leaks on the portafilter is EXTREMELY useful.
I can't stress this point, of all the times I've had a portafilter start leaking into a shot and ruin my pull by under-extraction, my NS MAC has preformed very well. The portafilter slides easily and solidly into place against the rubber gasket and seats solidly, preforming well for over six months.
The steam set-up is different than most other systems. It took me a long time to learn to properly steam milk and even now I still get a few bubbles every now and then as compared to the Bezzera that I use at work, but mainly that's because the sheer power of the NS MACs larger steam boiler and faster use of that steam gives you less time to actually work air into the milk.
On the other hand, the froth seems softer and the milk sweeter off of my NS MAC, so the difficulty seems to be paired with better results.
The NS Mac is not the prettiest or flashiest machine on the market. If your looking to make a statement to the rest of the hipster community, buy a Rocket or another prosumer machine. If you got the cash, get an Elektra, but if your looking for a solid work horse with a ton of power than will impress every guest with the amazingly smooth espresso (better than the best cafe in town) do yourself a favor, get a top of the line grinder and pair it with an NS MAC.
I'd buy her again in a heart beat.
Buying my NS MAC was like an interview process for marrying a man's daughter. I felt honored that I was allowed to buy it because he wanted someone who would take good care of her. You could tell the shop owner was very attached to his old machine and now that I've owned her for over six months I can see why.
He helped me load it up, gave me a nice tamper to go with it, and still offers advice when I need some help. Very good buying experience!