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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Baratza Virtuoso...  
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cbowers
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cbowers
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus III,...
Grinder: Baratza Various-W
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: i-Roast 2 (w/ TC) +...
Posted Tue May 31, 2011, 9:19pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

Agree. Grind is good, even, consistent. Next to no waste.   Burrs are solid. It's the burr holders I find are a little brittle. Many of the parts for me have been really reasonable.  It's a $2 part. And the calibration holder was $1.05. I bought the upper burr as well for $24 mostly because I didn't want to stress the burr holder slipping it on my upper burr as happened in the past. I found the slide vanes prone to shearing off over time. But again, just pre-order a few dollars worth of parts so you aren't down, and maybe bank on replacing it every other year.
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JR
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JR
Joined: 31 Mar 2003
Posts: 1,821
Location: Germantown, TN (right next to Elvistown)
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Old Coffee Gaggia (x2.5)
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo
Drip: Bona Vita (Thermal)
Roaster: GG/UFO
Posted Tue May 31, 2011, 10:55pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

cbowers Said:

...and maybe bank on replacing it every other year.

Posted May 31, 2011 link

Parts, or the whole grinder?  I can't fathom the idea of replacing a grinder every other year.  I wasn't going to weigh in here, because my 2004 Tranquilo is not really the same machine as today's Tranquilo.  But when I saw this--I had to.  If you meant replacing the the grinder every other year, that's +1 for the Tranquilo.  If today's Tranquilo is as solid as the 2004 model, you should get MANY years of service from it, with zero replacement parts needed.

Jack

 
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Tue May 31, 2011, 11:10pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

JR, the Preciso is more advanced than the Virtuoso. More powerful motor, very heavy duty burr set...MUCH more burr than the Virtuoso.

IMO, The Preciso should be examined on it's own merits.

 
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cbowers
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cbowers
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus III,...
Grinder: Baratza Various-W
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: i-Roast 2 (w/ TC) +...
Posted Tue May 31, 2011, 11:18pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

parts.  The $2 and $3 parts.
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cbowers
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cbowers
Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 70
Location: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus III,...
Grinder: Baratza Various-W
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: i-Roast 2 (w/ TC) +...
Posted Wed Jun 1, 2011, 12:02am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

IMAWriter Said:

JR, the Preciso is more advanced than the Virtuoso. More powerful motor, very heavy duty burr set...MUCH more burr than the Virtuoso.

IMO, The Preciso should be examined on it's own merits.

Posted May 31, 2011 link

Easy Robert, let's not over sell it.  I love my Virtuoso and it's been a work horse, but as I read the subtly in the difference:

1-  It matters not how hefty the burrs are if they're set in the same plastic holders.  That's the part that will wear far more than the burrs themselves in this case.  The manual seems to indicate those innards are the same. Click Here (www.baratza.com)

And the large view from Mark's review.  That's the exact same upper burr holder as the Virtuoso.  Identical.

Again, it's not the burrs that go, it's the burr holder, and the main drive gear below.  A more powerful motor isn't going to help the fatigue rate on either of those.

2-  Not seemingly "much more burr" but a more effective burr.  Visually they appear the same heft (both the same 40mm, but differing in the lines and design.  Mark Princes review says:

It may look similar to the original burr set (same one that is in the Virtuoso) but all similarities end in looks. This new conical burr set grinds at almost twice the speed of the Virtuoso conical burrs (while spinning at the same {450} RPMs), but also produces much less fines than the burr inside the Virtuoso

Especially if you go on to read his conclusion.  They're fantastic in function.  Faster than the vario, less fines, good range of usable settings.  Tying the Vario for the best grinder under $1000.

I'm just saying that the only thing the review doesn't speak to is the parts that aren't built like a tank.
There are 4 solid chunks of metal on the Virtuoso and Preciso.  The Base, the top, the burrs, and the motor.  
They're all awesome.

Those chunks are tied together with a lot of nylon and/or plastic parts.
The top burr holder, the calibration rings, and the mount points where the motor and gear assembly screw to the plastic support frame.  Those are all prone to wearing out sooner than the metal parts would have you believe.  Been there, done that.  Still content.

Just saying, manage your expectations.  This is a rework (and a good one) of a $200 class grinder.  It's not a $400-$500 (aka Vario) grinder.  Go in armed with that and you won't be disappointed.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Jun 1, 2011, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

cbowers Said:

Easy Robert, let's not over sell it.  I love my Virtuoso and it's been a work horse, but as I read the subtly in the difference:

1-  It matters not how hefty the burrs are if they're set in the same plastic holders.  That's the part that will wear far more than the burrs themselves in this case.  The manual seems to indicate those innards are the same.  http://www.baratza.com/cms/pdf/PRECISO%20Operations%20Manual090810lowres.pdf

Posted June 1, 2011 link

That is not correct. You have no way to ascertain that as fact. Do you build grinders?

Again, it's not the burrs that go, it's the burr holder, and the main drive gear below.  A more powerful motor isn't going to help the fatigue rate on either of those.

A more powerful motor makes THESE new heavier burrs go. I should know as i had both the first iteration of the Preciso, and then the current model, with the heftier motor and heftier burrset.

2-  Not seemingly "much more burr" but a more effective burr.  Visually they appear the same heft (both the same 40mm, but differing in the lines and design.  Mark Princes review says:
but also produces much less fines than the burr inside the Virtuoso

Especially if you go on to read his conclusion.  They're fantastic in function.  Faster than the vario, less fines, good range of usable settings.  Tying the Vario for the best grinder under $1000.

I read the entire article, the day it was published, and posted several times on it.

I'm just saying that the only thing the review doesn't speak to is the parts that aren't built like a tank.
There are 4 solid chunks of metal on the Virtuoso and Preciso.  The Base, the top, the burrs, and the motor.  
They're all awesome.

Those chunks are tied together with a lot of nylon and/or plastic parts.

As have been Baratza's grinders fromn day one, and I retired my Maestro after 6 years and 2 burr sets..in perfect working condition.

The top burr holder, the calibration rings, and the mount points where the motor and gear assembly screw to the plastic support frame.  Those are all prone to wearing out sooner than the metal parts would have you believe.  Been there, done that.  Still content.

Excellent

Just saying, manage your expectations.

I don't believe that remark is worthy of the rest of your commentary, which is (from your view) based on experience. My "expectations" and your chastisement of same are irrelevant....and unwelcome.

My expectations are always that well designed products will perform as i hope, and will do so for a goodly period of time. replacing parts is no biggie for a Geek, even one who is a bit less mechanically inclined as others.
I replace parts on my espresso machines from time to time. Does that mean my machines are in some way inferior, even if they perform as I like them to?
The Vario and Preciso perform in a way other grinders in their price range (and in some cases above) can't.
To me, it's worth a fix now and then if I'm satisfied with the OVERALL performance of the grinder.
Building the Preciso to the metal body, etc specs of a Mazzer Major would double the cost of the preciso...at least, with most likely little or NO improvement in it's grinding performance. I'll wager NO one would purchase it at $650 over a Mazzer Major...which sells for $850.


This is a rework (and a good one) of a $200 class grinder.  It's not a $400-$500 (aka Vario) grinder.  Go in armed with that and you won't be disappointed.

If this last comment was aimed at the OP, so be it. BTW, have you even TRIED using the Preciso? If you haven't, I believe you need to before you comment so freely on it's operation and build. I've owned mine for 5 months now. Compared to the Virtuoso (a nice all purpose grinder, better with vac/drip than espresso), the Preciso is in an entirely different class. In grind quality it's right up there with the Vario...just less adjustability, no timer and can't dose into the PF.
BTW, I NEVER said the Preciso is better than the Vario, just that it's a REAL espresso grinder (as opposed to the Virtuoso which is OK in comparison...just, IMO)...and, as Mark expressed in his fine Quick Shot, and as I have confirmed here at home in copious testing against my Vario) it does a wonderful job with Press pot/drip/vac as well, if not better than the Vario.

Would I give up my Vario?. NO, I love it's operation, dosing into the OPF, timer, and overall vibe.

I apologize for allowing the OP's topic to be hijacked.

The Tranquilo is a fine espresso grinder, which has it's own issues, as do pretty much all grinders under $2000. Years ago, many CG'ers were purchasing them. However, with the advent of the glut of used SJ's from Starbies that hit the streets 4-5 years ago, and the new breed of grinders built in the few years, there are now MANY more ways to go.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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Intrepid510
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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011, 9:58am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

IMAWriter Said:

can't dose into the PF.

Posted June 1, 2011 link


Are you stating that it is not pratical to dose into the PF on the Preciso, or that you cannot?

It does come with an insert to dose into the PF, I and I think many others chose not to because it seems spit a lot of grounds else where. However, it is possible and there very well could be those out there that can get it work relatively well.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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OrPhEuS
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OrPhEuS
Joined: 3 Sep 2007
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Location: Washington, D.C.
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Espresso: Barista
Grinder: Virtuoso Preciso/Hario...
Roaster: WB Poppery I and Poppery II
Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011, 10:25am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

Intrepid510 Said:

Are you stating that it is not pratical to dose into the PF on the Preciso, or that you cannot?

It does come with an insert to dose into the PF, I and I think many others chose not to because it seems spit a lot of grounds else where. However, it is possible and there very well could be those out there that can get it work relatively well.

Posted June 2, 2011 link

I'm in this boat. I dose directly into my PF with very little waste or mess on my preciso. I'm loving this grinder. It originally came with a cracked hopper and when I called to tell them about it, I had a new one within a couple of days (and I live on the opposite coast from Baratza.) The phone tech was even nice enough to talk me through using it for espresso and suggested a setting I might like to start with.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

You CAN dose into the PF, but because the "well" for the grind receptacle is a bit shallower than that of the Vario, a wee bit of the grind might spill...so MY BAD for saying "Can't" dose into the PF.

In fact, I'm about to try using the PF insert that came with my Preciso! Interestingly, I just didn't think to use it, as MOST of grinding on the Preciso is Vac Pot and drip...though I've had wonderful shots with the Preciso lately...due to the fact I inadvertently messed up the calibration on my Vario. My Bad, again. I'm careless when i move the vario to clean the counter, and ofttimes, I will tip it to the side, or almost get it upside down.
I was gently taken to task by Kyle  (lol), as he explained that doing a lot of tipping and such can cause the grind adjustment to go awry... (his words) "it is possible for the adjusting spline (that the cam rides on) to move a little, and a "little" movement can make a BIG difference."
Sorry for the brief off topic, but my mistake may help others not to do as I did.
Bottom line, the preciso stood in for the Vario and did a terrific job.




EDIT...just pulled a shot ground using the Preciso (and the PF holder insert). As i suspected 9and remember) a small portion of grind fell to the bottom of the PF holder insert...however, NO coffee spilled over the front of the PF...a good thing. It was just a matter of carefully pouring the extra ground into the basket, and I was good to go.
So, IMO, though not nearly as tidy and precise as the Vario at depositing the grind into the PF from the PF holder, the Preciso does offer the ability to do so.
I believe the Essato will probably be the solution.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Thu Jun 2, 2011, 11:27am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso VS Cunill El Cafe' Tranquilo
 

Just an addendum to the mentioned Baratza grinder motor/s & if one's beefier on not.

I believe I've mentioned it in another thread, but from the bottom end Maestro to the Vario (all the models)., they all use the same (meaning size & wattage) motor.

 
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