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Synchronika - are you happy with your choice?


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I am almost ready to pull the trigger on a new ECM Synchronika which is at my maximum budget.

Every time I come back on the forum I find another machine at around the same price or a bit less and then start to ponder pros and cons and fall back down the rabbit hole!

I keep coming back to the Syncronika mainy on the way it looks and well documented build quality.. The Bianca seems to be the `hot` choice at the moment but I really prefer the asthetics of the ECM machine. I've also thought about the Izzo Alex duetto IV and Bazzero Duo.

Anyone who has bought one - were you glad and happy with your choice? Any regrets? Anyone changed from an ECM and regreted it?

Any thoughts and comments gratfully recieved, I really need some help, it's a lot of money to make the wrong choice.

Thanks in advance.

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Certainly they will all make great coffee in the right hands. Buy whichever one you like the most. If the ECM gives you the best fizz, go for that.

I don’t regret buying my Synchronika and I more than doubled my budget inside a week to get one. 

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@Geezercdg - There were a couple of people who recently bought the machines you mention. I can't remember who though. Might be worthwhile searching the forum and mentioning them. 

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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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I've had a Synchronika for about 8-months & it's my first full on espresso machine. I don't really have a wealth of experience to go on, but think it looks great & is easy to use.

It takes about an hour for the group to get up to temperature & I have it hooked up to a smart plug, so I can schedule it to turn on or I can turn it on if I'm out & about then it's ready for when get home 

Maintenance wise, I've not needed to do much more than greasing the cam after a chemical backflush as it get's squeaky, which I do every 100 shots & takes me about 30min to do. (the first time was much longer)

The only thing I feel lets it down is that it lacks a more informative indication of the water tank level, before it cuts out on low level.  Access to the tank cover is awkward for me as I need to slide the machine out from under the kitchen cabinets (I've put the feet on felt pads) so I improvised my own solution.

https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/55498-home-built-low-water-sensor/?do=findComment&comment=791501

I use it 3-4 times a day for espresso & small flat white then do a water backflush after each use. Once or twice a week I refresh the water in the stem boiler, by drawing a large mug of hot water off to make a cup of tea (Is that a swear word on a coffee forum?).  The water tank lasts about 3-days with that usage

Some people have upgraded the steam tip from the standard 2-hole tip to 4 or 5 & I did try one, but I found it too aggressive for the 150ml of milk I steam so for my use the 2-hole tip is fine & the milk is done in 20sec

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15 hours ago, PartySausage said:

I've had a Synchronika for about 8-months & it's my first full on espresso machine. I don't really have a wealth of experience to go on, but think it looks great & is easy to use.

It takes about an hour for the group to get up to temperature & I have it hooked up to a smart plug, so I can schedule it to turn on or I can turn it on if I'm out & about then it's ready for when get home 

Maintenance wise, I've not needed to do much more than greasing the cam after a chemical backflush as it get's squeaky, which I do every 100 shots & takes me about 30min to do. (the first time was much longer)

The only thing I feel lets it down is that it lacks a more informative indication of the water tank level, before it cuts out on low level.  Access to the tank cover is awkward for me as I need to slide the machine out from under the kitchen cabinets (I've put the feet on felt pads) so I improvised my own solution.

https://coffeeforums.co.uk/topic/55498-home-built-low-water-sensor/?do=findComment&comment=791501

I use it 3-4 times a day for espresso & small flat white then do a water backflush after each use. Once or twice a week I refresh the water in the stem boiler, by drawing a large mug of hot water off to make a cup of tea (Is that a swear word on a coffee forum?).  The water tank lasts about 3-days with that usage

Some people have upgraded the steam tip from the standard 2-hole tip to 4 or 5 & I did try one, but I found it too aggressive for the 150ml of milk I steam so for my use the 2-hole tip is fine & the milk is done in 20sec

Wow, your sensor is very impressive. Would a person with no experience (me) be able to hook that up or do you need to have a clue?

I have neither!

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44 minutes ago, Geezercdg said:

Wow, your sensor is very impressive. Would a person with no experience (me) be able to hook that up or do you need to have a clue?

I have neither!

Difficult to say. I have a background in electronics & software and it did take a bit of thinking about as I'd never used an Arduino before. It was fun to learn though (mostly) 

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Very happy with my choice. Only problem I had was the steam joystick that won’t stay open, minor issue that will be fixed by Bellabarista soon. Lovely to have a dual boiler, I don’t even check the head temperature anymore, as the PID  is super accurate. I had  2 HX machines before and the Sync is much better for sure. 

What I don’t like? The steam boiler switch. Very badly positioned. I’d love it if it was at the front next to the main switch, and I’d love to be able to switch on the steam boiler independently 

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On 24/01/2021 at 20:25, PartySausage said:

 

..........It takes about an hour for the group to get up to temperature

Have you checked the temps ? i would say half an hour tops

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I would say 30 to 40 minutes (depending on ambient temperature) for my head thermometer to reach about 84 degrees which then delivers my target temp of about 90 deg (which I change depending on the coffee). 

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13 hours ago, Akula said:

Have you checked the temps ? i would say half an hour tops

I've fitted a group thermometer to my Sync. I brew my light roasts at around 94 deg & the thermometer takes 45-60 min to stabilise at 91 deg depending on the ambient temperature, which equates to around 94 deg when brewing.

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  • 1 month later...

What I've been happy about:

  • Looks
  • Being able to turn off the steam boiler when not needed.
  • The ECO mode - I thought it would be a gimmick but it works well and stops me drinking so much coffee. Along with turning off the steam boiler, my power bill is looking like being a 1/3 of my previous 1.5 L single boiler machine.
  • Switching between tank and mains. I added a rotary pump to my previous BZ99 and could never go back to tank, except descaling is much easier with tank. At a mates last weekend, Expobar Minore - finally got a new coffee dialled in and the damn water ran out mid shot. 
  • Tea tap - that thing pumps it out! Feels quality. Use it to prewarm cups and flush the water inside.
  • Having the steam boiler switch hidden, yet still easily accessible without removing the drip tray.
  • Line pressure preinfusion - a nice mechanism.

What not so happy about:

  • Side panel vibration. Possibly just needs to be tightened but don't want to void warranty in case that would
  • Steam pressure even at 2 bar - felt underwhelming and lethargic for a machine of these specs. However I just replaced the 2-hole with a 4-hole tip and that's more like it. Harder to control, especially when steaming only 100 mL, but passable results so far. 
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Any retailer that gives you grief about trivial things like tightening side panels voiding your warranty does not deserve your custom. 
 

I have recently tried the five hole tip (four hole out of stock everywhere at the time) and the steaming power was incredibly good. Actually too powerful for texturing one drinks worth of milk. Have gone back to the two hole for now. 

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It won't be much help - but having owned an ECM Mechanika (the old model, not the current "Slim" one) for 4 or 5 years (bought new from BB)  I wouldn't go for the dual boiler Synchronika.

Mine went to an independent coffee machine repair man recently and had a new (rotary) pump and service and the fella said he'd recommend the ECM make over the others due to quality of construction and logical layout... so maybe that might help you settle on a manufacturer ...  and I would almost certainly replace mine on a like for like basis IF it was avaialble - but it isn't ... so I'd go for the Mechanika Slim and suffer the additional noise the vibe pump makes (hardly a hardship in the great scheme of things) and would have to get used to rotary valves instead of joysticks.

 

That would save you a thousand pounds!

 

And you wouldn't have (what some consider to be) the additional internals that come with a dual boiler machine.  I happily do whatever is needed to make coffe with my HX (a flush before pulling the shot) and find I have everything I need in terms of steam.  Mine heats up in no time at all and I assume the Slim would be the same.

 

Good luch with your choice.

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Why didn't I have the brains to see that the OP hasn't visited for over a fortnight? It would have saved me five minutes of my life that I won't get back.

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@DevonStan - OP bought a Synchronika a while ago. 🙂 . You should also read other threads 🙂 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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