Built like a tank but they need cleaning and servicing every few years. Do it yourself it is easy.
Positive Product Points
Good grind easy to use built like a tank
Negative Product Points
noisy don't use or need hopper
These really are pretty simple beasts. I just got a new Rancilio Silvia and found that my grind wasn't fine enough. It was fine for the Gaggia Classic but whether pump pressure, water distribution or basket depth(the Gaggia has deeper baskets), I just couldn't get the grind right.
Two brass nusts can be loosened so that the numbered dial can be repositioned which is necessary every few years as the grinder burrs wear. Although I did this it didn't help.
I then unscrewed the huge brass plate (after removed the plastic number dial and two brass nuts holding that on), I guess you can call it, in order to view the burrs. They are each held on by three screws and can easily be replaced. I took it into the shop where the techo said that the blades were in reasonable condition. He said the problem was that the coffee oil gets into the threads so that when I tried to tighten it up, it gave a false 'stop' when it fact it needed to be wound further. He showed me how to tighten the plate until you can see the top burr actually started to move the bottom burr as they are in contact. You then back two 'clicks' anticlockwise and this becomes position number one on the number dial when you fix it back on.
Sorry this is more of a fix it review but it may be useful to somebody. The point is that the Gaggia now works good as new. It is built like a the proverbial brick s...house and will last for years. The techo says the blades will easily last 10 years in normal home use and they only cost about 30 US to replace and it is an easy job to do at home.
I would say to anyone that the Gaggia MDF is really all you need to made good espresso. It may not have as many adjustment points as the Rocky or some others but I don't think it matters much as you can adjust the tamp pressure for the final little bit of adjustment.
The other thing the home baristas need to remember is that the properties of the coffee change from the minute you grind it anyway. I grind some then store it in a container, what's left over. The next day I know it will run through much quicker so I need to tamp it harder.
If you want the best espresso, by the way, there is no magic. Just get green beans, roast them in a popcorn popper and grind them fresh and use the coffee right away. OK, this isn't always practical to do but if you want rivers off honey coloured crema flowing into your little cup of heaven then this is what you have to do!
Bought it from a dept store. Their minds are as clean and as devoid of coffee knowledge as a Norwegian Fiord.