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Espresso: Espresso Mods and Restorations
Taking the Virtuoso Stepless
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cdrikari
Senior Member
cdrikari
Joined: 8 Mar 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Macap MXKR, Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Braun
Posted Sun Apr 27, 2008, 3:55pm
Subject: Taking the Virtuoso Stepless
 

Don't know if this has been posted before (I did some searches with no hits, but if I missed it, please let me know).

This is based partially on the directions from CoffeeCrew and partially off of Baratza's instructions for calibrating the Virtuoso.

What follows is a brief instruction guide (w/ pics) for taking the Virtuoso stepless.

Make sure you unplug the grinder, rotate the hopper all the way and then remove it and the black silicone gasket. The white 'furry' seal ring should come off with the hopper, but you may need to remove it.

Now make sure that the grinder is still unplugged. ^_^  Remove the timer knob on the side and the lay the grinder down on it's side and carefully(!) pry the the four locking points on the bottom case with a large flat tip screwdriver as shown here. Do the rear one on the side and then the front one and ease it up a bit before you do the other side to ensure it stays loose.

Here you can see the position of the locking tabs on the inside of the case once you have it off.

This is what you will be looking at once you have the cover off.

Now you need to turn the grinder and remove the small 'calibration' screw.  If you are happy with the zero point on the grinder, you should remember the position of the hole the screw was in WRT  the three slots.  If you need to adjust the zero point, you can do that once you remove the step part.

Once the screw is out, remove the upper burr assembly by rotating it until it comes out. (It may just lift out when the red lines are aligned.) Then pry (carefully) with a small (1/4") flat tip screw driver on the three tabs that hold the adjustment assembly in place as shown here.  With the adjustment assembly out, you will see the small black tab which you can lift out.  Once you put the adjustment assembly back in you can adjust the zero point as discussed in the Baratza instructions.  Be careful, since you will have to run plug the grinder in and run it to adjust the zero point.  Reassemble, and you're done!

I found the hopper assembly to be reasonably stiff after I made the change so I didn't add anything to stiffen it.

Hope this helps.  If you have suggestions on how to make it better/clearer, let me know.
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cdrikari
Senior Member
cdrikari
Joined: 8 Mar 2007
Posts: 39
Location: Port Orchard, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Macap MXKR, Baratza Virtuoso
Drip: Braun
Posted Tue Apr 29, 2008, 9:28am
Subject: Taking the Virtuoso Stepless -  Results!
 

Removing the stepping feature definitely improves how well this grinder can be dialed in.  I am no longer going from bitter to sour on one click b/c I can split the difference.

However, I was wrong in thinking that no additional 'stiffening' is required.  At no load the grinder doesn't wander, but does tend to wander coarser when grinding.  Right now I'm holding it by hand, but will have to come up with something else.

EDIT: 30APR08  Thick rubber band (like the ones that come with vegetables) around the base of the hopper makes it stiff enough that it doesn't wander anymore. Being able to go to about 1/4 of an incremement has really helped my control. Not great, but good reproducible shots.
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