Talked with LMUSA - MP pressure control is achieved only with the gicleur in place. Without it - the ramp up would be much the same as any LM without a gicleur. It seems part of the confusion is due to an EP prototype at coffeefest dressed up in MP yellow that had much more gentle pressure actuation and control than the production MP.
That said, is there anyone out there using the EP as a production workhorse? Virtually all of the EP in the field I know of are roasting room machines and it seems most coffee companies with big R&D budgets have opted for the MP for production (so I assume they're on to something...)
What I am curious mostly about are:
1. Durability of the gear pump. It just doesn't *seem* like it would be as good as a traditional pump - but does that perception have any basis in fact? (Hoping a long term EP user can share)
2. Electronic pressure reading versus analog: The appeal of a gauge on each group to watch the pressure and shot colour seem like a natural advantage in the production environment. This of course depends on using the EP like an MP (without programming)...
3. Ability to "ride the shot." I heard this term on an aussie forum as being the main advantage of the MP - but does this difference only depend on when the shot pressure is programmed (or is the pressure always programmed (ie generated digitally) even when the barista is controlling the paddle? Nick's explanation explained the problem brilliantly: channeling is exacerbated by a programmed profile. http://nickcho.tumblr.com/post/41769569 ... dification
He mentioned you are able to work around this with a brilliant programming mod.
Essentially what I am really wondering is, if the EP has greater pressure control and feedback when pulling a shot - do these changes also eliminate some of the positive attributes of the MP's physics? Or what should I be looking for is a way to increase the MP's range of pressure feedback within my setup? Currently - the range of motion between 0-10 bar is about a cm or close to a 10th of the complete range of movement of the paddle.
Trying to get the forum rolling. I doubt I am the only one with this n00b frustration!