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Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Used 1996 wega...  
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EM1
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 2, 2014, 12:04pm
Subject: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Hello all,

I am totally new and stating from scratch.  Had my sights set on a vetrano 2b, but don't have the funds.  It may also be overbuying for a 1st machine.  So I'm looking at the BDB.  

I had been asking questions about grinders over in the espresso machine side and thought I should change it into the correct category.  

I have a chance to get a used Wega Max 6.4 doser'd circa 1996.  From my research, seems like a rebadged compak k6.  On this forum I read that the pre-2000's of this model had issues with grind retention.  I am brand new to this and at your mercy.  For the BDB, is this a good match, or is there something better?  Ultimately I would like to find something used for $500 or less.   I know the grinder is the most important part.  And I know you get asked this all the time.  

First choice would be smaller foot print and ease of use/cleaning. But the wega is cheap.

Thanks in advance!
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EM1
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 2, 2014, 10:10pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Ok, so my first post wasn't interesting : )

How about this then.  Given the machine I am considering, should I buy a machine like the Wega/Compak, or would I be better off with a Baratza Vario?
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Fri May 2, 2014, 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Not that it wasn't interesting- it depends a lot on how big a grinder your willing to live with and how "quick and easy" you want the grinding process to be. The Wega is in the Super Jolly class of grinder. That means whats in the cup would be pretty good, better than a Mazzer Mini and other grinders that would cost new what you're looking to spend.

You would want to weigh per shot, or if you want to keep the hopper full of beans then you'd need to add a digital timer. That type of grinder is more often used as a weigh per shot grinder, with almost no waste. A digital timer and full hopper adds a fair amount of waste to the routine. Along with weighing per shot you'll want to "bump" the grinder and sweep the chute to get your full shot. Nothing wrong with all that, many have been doing it for years and don't mind at all. In return you get a very decent grind. You'd want to look into the doser mods to make it all more efficient.

If all that doesn't appeal to you, you may want to consider the Vario. Much smaller footprint, very little retention, the trade off is in the build quality.

Don't know what you'd be paying for the Wega but I have a Wega rebadged Compak K-6 in the BST circa 2003 you might be interested in.

There's really no right answer, I personally felt the "what's in the cup" was slightly better with the Wega than the Vario. The Vario was definitely more convenient, although the grind adjustment on the Wega is much more rock solid.

As for is it a good match for the BDB, remember- grinder first. The BDB is probably worthy of the best grinder you can throw at it- how long it will last is a different question of debate.

Enjoy the journey,

Ron
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EM1
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 14
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri May 2, 2014, 10:57pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Thanks Ron!

The Wega can be had, in this case, for about $100.  However, being as I am no barista, and have hardly a clue when it comes to any of this, I do wonder if I would even notice the difference between it and the vario.  If the vario is capable of being as good, longevity aside, in grind quality for someone of my "credentials", then the size and convenience may win out.  I'm not really interested in weighing beans and darkroom timers unless I, as a novice, am really going to taste a difference.  What percentage of "betterness" would the Wega give me in terms of pure taste?

I realize this is a question that at some point only I can answer...
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 12:59am
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

There are people with a lot of "credentials" who feel the Vario is as good as the Wega (or more accurately I should say the SJ class of grinder). I personally felt the Wega had a slight edge, but even then I didn't find it enough to give up the convenience of the Vario. I guess that should answer your question:)

Cheers,
Ron
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,210
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 8:05am
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Overall, the SJ class of grinders (and presumably the old Wega in question) is slightly better in the cup than the Vario.  Most people couldn't tell the difference head to head; but people who are good at distinctions would be hard pressed to tell the difference between an SJ class grinder and one from the nest class up (say a K30 or a Major), but find the dissimilarity between the Vario and the better grinder more obvious.  

So... a difference in the cup, but not a huge one.

In use, however, it's hard to beat a Vario.  They're as easy to use as anything on the market and about as owner friendly as a Labrador puppy.  Grinds are consistently fluffy and nearly clump free; the electronic timer/doser is very accurate; near zero-retention; easy adjustment; easy programming; etc., etc.

A very nice thing about the Vario is that if and when you grow out of it and move along to a better espresso grinder, the Vario, makes an excellent brew only grinder.

The downside is plasticky build quality and a great deal of anecdotal evidence that they break too often, even when used very carefully.  Baratza expressed its own opinion of Vario build quality when they released the Forte -- which is a better built edition of the same grinder.  On the other hand, Baratza service and support are excellent.  

The Vario is so much better than anything at its price, and so much cheaper than anything as good, that if you're shopping in those ranges, and price/performance is an important consideration, you almost have to make a case against it before buying something else.  

If you want to be a good home barista it takes a few months of practice, a willingness to throw out a lot of coffee, and some focus -- but not much more.  You can make it go much faster if you take a lesson or two.  

On a personal note, I find single dosing by weight to be more time consuming and fussy than the small savings in beans makes its worth; and prefer time dosing from a hopper.  I'm not saying that Ron is wrong, just "different strokes..."  At this stage of the game you don't know enough about your own style as a barista to know which you'll prefer.  The good news is that you can try both.  

A new Auber grinder timer (better looking in person, than in its picture) is $100.  Used electronic darkroom timers are as you find them.  Figure the cost of one of those, as well as a new set of burrs, as part of the Wega's actual price.  The Vario has a built in timer.

My rule of thumb is to buy the best grinder you can afford which will fit in your space.  The BDB is good enough to back up a much better grinder than either the Vario or the Wega.  

Should you buy either of those, or something else?  All we can do is give you the facts as we see them.

Rich
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dyno
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Joined: 20 Nov 2011
Posts: 70
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore The Club/Oscar
Grinder: K6 Pro/Super Mini E
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 2:09pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

EM1 Said:

I'm not really interested in weighing beans and darkroom timers unless I, as a novice, am really going to taste a difference.  

Posted May 2, 2014 link

Precise dosing is essential.  I have a Time-o-lite M72 vintage timer on my K6 which makes the process exceedingly reliable and consistent.  If you are guessing at dose, novice or not, forget it.
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 2:49pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Just to be more clear on the amount of waste we're talking with timed dosing- left to it's own accord, the K-6 will leave the chute packed full of grounds. I've never checked but if I had to venture a guess I'd say 8-9 gr. is left. I would say though half of that or more would "go away" if the doser were pulled off and a doserless mod was done. Not only would the chute be shorter but the transition point, which tends to be a catch point for the grounds, would be gone. I guess then for me that would probably make the difference in whether there is too much waste or not. Everyone must draw their own lines though of course, so I'm just putting the info out there.

Ron
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Cammie
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Joined: 26 Jan 2012
Posts: 31
Location: USA
Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

I currently own a Wega 6.4 Silenzio, a K10 Fresh, a SJ as my espresso grinders.  I use the Wega 6.4 without the hopper.  One of OE's short stacks for Compaks or the funnel/stand from an Aeropress fits nicely in the throat of the grinder and also serves as a tamper rest.  I've previously owned a Vario, Vario-W and Major.  All of these grinders, imo, are very good.  Although the Wega, SJ and Varios sit very close together on the espresso grinder spectrum, I can discern the taste differences between these grinders.  Based on the flavors in the cup alone, I rate the Wega 6.4 to be somewhere between the SJ and the Major.  I rate the Varios to be just below the SJ.  

I just helped a friend put together her espresso set-up and did not hesitate to advise her to pick up a used stepless Wega 6.4.  If that $100 Wega is in decent shape...just needs cleaning and new burrs....I would not hesitate on the purchase.
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sat May 3, 2014, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Used 1996 wega max 6.4 (compak k-6
 

Cammie Said:

I currently own a Wega 6.4 Silenzio, a K10 Fresh, a SJ as my espresso grinders.  I use the Wega 6.4 without the hopper.  One of OE's short stacks for Compaks or the funnel/stand from an Aeropress fits nicely in the throat of the grinder and also serves as a tamper rest.  I've previously owned a Vario, Vario-W and Major.  All of these grinders, imo, are very good.  Although the Wega, SJ and Varios sit very close together on the espresso grinder spectrum, I can discern the taste differences between these grinders.  Based on the flavors in the cup alone, I rate the Wega 6.4 to be somewhere between the SJ and the Major.  I rate the Varios to be just below the SJ.  

I just helped a friend put together her espresso set-up and did not hesitate to advise her to pick up a used stepless Wega 6.4.  If that $100 Wega is in decent shape...just needs cleaning and new burrs....I would not hesitate on the purchase.

Posted May 3, 2014 link

Thank you for your input Cammie! I never got to compare it to a SJ but I have wondered sometimes if my impression of the K-6 is "just me". Glad to hear someone share the opinion that it has an edge over the Vario- and the SJ to boot!

Ron
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