The Solis Maestro performs admirably, and provides great value for the $$$$
Positive Product Points
Compact, a small footprint Easy to redial grind between drip and French press settings Easy to clean and quiet, compared to other lower priced grinders Inexpensive, considering the quality of the burr group A nice even grind Can dispense ground coffee to portafilter directly, without a doser
Negative Product Points
Smaller range of grind settings than more expensive grinders (of course)
After suffering with the uneven grind from my noisy Braun, I decided to do a little reseach before purchasing a new grinder. Due to the numerous positive reviews of the Maestro on this site, and information from the Solis importer and distributer, Baratza (baratza.com), I ordered one from Whole Latte Love. After 4 months, I can say I'm not dissapointed. My presspot grind is considerably more even than with the Braun, resulting in a less "sludge" filled cup of coffee (with the help of a Swiss Gold replacement filter... please see my review of the SG). And switching back to a drip grind for guests is no problem. I haven't replaced my recently sold Briel espresso machine as yet, so the jury is still out on the espresso grinding score of the Maestro. Maybe when I get back into espresso, I'll do a follow-up. As for noise, the Maestro is far more quiet than the Braun, sort of a low frequency rumble, much more quiet than I expected. The slower grind speed means the beans aren't heated excessively as they are being ground, a good thing. It's easy to clean, and the instructions help in that matter. The lower hopper (that holds the beans after grinding) is a tight fit, preventing any loose grounds from spraying on to the counter top. My only real negative is the loose "collar" that secures the burr group, which is removed when cleaning. Because of the play in the collar, the grind settings I had settled on prior to cleaning were slightly off after cleaning...1 grind or so for re-adjustment got me back to square one. I could see this might be a concern when grinding for espresso, as a click difference is way more critical. I suppose for the high end user with a full blown espresso vibe, the Maestro may be a little "underkill", but I believe it would make sense to own the Mestro for drip, vac, and french press, and a Mazzer Mini (or something similar) dedicated to espresso...especially considering how inexpensive (relatively) the Maestro is. I highly recommend the Maestro to anyone considering a grinder upgrade from the Braun, Krups, or other lower end burr or (shudder) blade grinder they presently own.
WWL answered my questions fully, and delivered promptly.
Three Month Followup
This is a 1 year follow-up...I had to replace the upper burr at 8 months of use....Baratza was out of the upper, but sent me a "slightly used" one to tide me over...it wasn't a whole lot better...just after the 1st year of use, I emailed Baratza once more...they sent me free of charge (other than a few bucks for shipping) a new upper burr...nice of them, since my warranty had expired...