I got myself a Dedica and a second-hand 90's Gaggia MDF i could afford - basic as it is, it's a major step up from the Nespresso capsules.-
The MDF has about 12g of retention in the path, however, and some more in the dozer - and i didn't want to get yesterday's grind every time so i modded it heavily;
the dozer has been removed, as well as the portafilter holder (because the Dedica's portafilter is too big to fit there)
i made the 'stepless' conversion and calibrated the height
i'm using the top of a PET bottle to get the coffee out on-demand (plus a small spoon to clear the cofee-path)
It's spartan. It's ugly. It works and makes a pretty decent cup.
It's noisy as all hell, though, and that's beginning to be a problem. It's also strange to me that my espresso grind needs to be on '1' to get ~25s extraction but maybe that's normal?
Would you get rid of the MDF? Revert it to its original state and solve the retention another way?
Maybe you just have a recommendation for a quiet grinder with good value for money?
Thanks in advance!