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the detailed review - master 5000 digital
Master 5000 Digital - Introduction
Introduction | Overview | Introduction | Indepth | 2 Years Later | Conclusion
Display of Master digital

The Master Digital is, as stated previously, a super automatic machine. A super auto is defined as a machine that with one push of a button will grind your beans, dose out the grinds to an internal brewing mechanism, tamp the grounds, apply water at 9BAR of pressure, pour your shot, then eject the spent puck,

The machine, when loaded with beans and water weighs roughly 20 pounds. By comparison a Rancilio Silvia weighs about 30 pounds, and a Pasquini Livia tops in at over 45 pounds when full.

The Solis' dimensions are 14" wide, 15" tall, 15" deep with about 19" clearance needed for the swivel base if used. The machine has energy saving modes (you can select the time it moves into this mode) to save on heating bills, meaning it can be left on all the time.

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Silvia and Master Digital Size Comparison. Click image to enlarge (52kb).

The machine's colors are a dark gray-blue (I call it a deep steel blue) with silver highlights. The entire external skin of the machine is plastic, some of it of the softer type. It has a very "space age" design, especially from the side. The entire lower front of the machine swings open to give you access to the brewing unit. It features a deep drip tray with a visual indicator of waste water level in it.

On the left side is the spent grinds puck drawer, and the machine lets you know when it is full. On the right side is a "smart" steaming dial - a hybrid of a manual steam knob and a steam switch. The back features a on off switch and vents. The top of the unit houses the 1.7 litre water chamber on the left, a bean chamber and grinder on the right that can hold over 3/4 of a pound (over 300g) of roasted coffee, and the center are cover can be removed to show a cup warmer/storage area that is pretty small, and also fairly anemic.

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Front View
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Right Side
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Back View
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Left View
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The machine ships with a short wand and the importer included a long wand and the optional frothing aid, which is needed on this machine because the steam hole in the naked wand is far too large (more on this in the In Depth section). The unit is 115V, 1200W, and has a very heavy duty, 3 pronged cord. The long cord can be partially stored inside the machine. The turntable base is a neat extra, and capable of supporting the weight of the machine.

Display Panel
The display panel shows a wide variety of information and allows for a lot of user control on how the machine operates.

The control centre and display panel is multifaceted, offering plenty of control and modifications by the user. The display panel is backlit, making it visible in the dark. The machine, though digital, does not include a preset option for brewing automatically at a later time. It does feature a user-selectable preinfusion cycle, and you have your choice of three different coffee volumes with a touch of one button (programmable volumes too), and pressing them twice brews two shots or coffees instead of one. The machine grinds for each shot, so if you choose a double, it will grind once, brew, and grind again and brew.

The machine is a bit noisy. Along with the normal sounds of grinding and pump action, there is a lot of varied clicking and whirring inside the machine. While this is a concern, I wouldn't rate the machine as intensely noisy - in other words, it probably won't wake up the house if you use it early in the morning. The grinder in the unit is quieter than a Solis 166 grinder, probably on par with a Solis Maestro grinder, and quiet compared to a Braun KM30, the decibel leader.

The Master Digital also features a self cleaning cycle, where you use a specially formulated cleaning tab inside the machine. This cleaning cycle uses up the entire volume of water from a full water tank - 1.7 litres. The machine can also be customized to be "plumbed in", meaning you do not have to fill the water tank continuously, it will draw from your water line in your house or office.

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Introduction | Overview | Introduction | Indepth | 2 Years Later | Conclusion
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Arrow 1. Introduction
Aarow 2. Overview
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Aarow 5. 2 Years Later
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