The Chocolate Life

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Greetings Fellow Chocophiles,


I have recently begun the process of purchasing a Spectra 40 Stone Melanger -


Is there anybody out there on the Chocolate Life who has experience using this equipment, or who knows anyone who has?


I am receiving an extremely low level of customer service, and the warranty is very limited on the product, as well as there being no facility in the United States (where I am) to service the melangeur in the event of mechanical problems. On top of this, I have been told I will have to wait several months for the Spectra 40 to ship directly from the manufacturer in India.


With an investment of this nature, my business simply cannot afford for this type of equipment to be anything other than top-notch for many years to come, if not decades. Any advice or information regarding the Spectra 40 Melanger specifically, or Santha in general, is greatly appreciated.



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Soon you will be able to visit our new facility in Orange County, Ca. There you will be able to learn everything you need to know about making chocolate, truly from Bean to Bar. The Qzina Institute will open in September, together with the Stephane Treand Art of Pastry School.  We will have numerous machines to test, along with a big variety of beans, and other ingredients. We also carry molds, small and large tempering machines, melters, tools, flavors, powders, and all kinds of ingredients for Chocolate, Dessert, and Pastry Professionals. The Institute will have Small Melangers from both Cocoatown and Alchemy, roasters, winnowers, grinders, and even larger (mid size) equipment for more serious production. We are working on having commercial roller refiners and conches for 2012. The idea is to teach customers and enthusiasts everything from how to source the beans, to various production methods, and from there our in house Chocolatier and Pastry Chef Francois Mellet, with assistance from MOF (Best Craftsman of France) Stephane Treand, can teach you how to make incredible top quality truffles, fillings, cakes, pastries, and chocolates. We are not a school, but more of an R&D institute for the industry. We will also display machinery in our showroom from a host of top manufactures, including enrobers, mills, small processing equipment, etc. We also stock most of the top chocolates of the world, from Callebaut to Valhona to Guittard, and many many more, for those wanting to suppliment production. We also have refined liquor, cacao butter, nibs, on and on. Contact us for more information. We are just outfitting our new building now, and hope to be ready in Sept or October. This is a facility like no other in the United States, located minutes from Newport Beach Airport, Irvine Spectrum Mall, and Disneyland (for those who want a side trip), half way between L.A. and San Diego.



I just got my Santha Spectra 20...and it squeals...high pitched, unbearable, screeching...kinda like living inside a forest of chicaras (if you live in CR, you know what I mean).  Is it the belt?  Is it something else?  Any clues before I try to open it up to find out?  Kumar said some "noise" was normal...I agree, and I anticipated "some noise", but this is unbearable.  Help! 

Often times the squealing sound is just metal on metal from the wheels. I am assuming you bought it new and this is probably the case. I had the same thing with my Cocoatown small grinder. You just have to let it run sadly until it stops and kind of wears away whatever is too tight that it is squeaking.

That was my experience at least! Hope it helps!

Hi Tao, 

The same happened with my Santha when I bought it a year ago. The sound was from the motor. I exchanged it and the replacement machine was slightly better. Took it to a machine shop and was told that it was just a really cheapo motor. Turned out to not be worth it to replace the motor because of the speed controller. I kept it, and miraculously the noise went away after a few months. 

I spoke to Santha on the phone and got the impression that this happens with some of their machines though they wouldn't really give me a straight answer. 

They only exchanged the machine very grudgingly and didn't offer any help with the second machine. 

Good luck!!

Thanks for the responses...I am too far away, and the logistics too difficult and expensive to try to send the machine back and replace it.  I have tried the calibration reset recommended by Kumar, and it seemed to help for about a 1/2 hour...or basically until there was chocolate in the machine again.  

Last night, I had it set on low so that it wouldn't disturb my sleep too much, but apparently it wasn't turning fast enough to keep it warm, and the whole batch solidified.  Now at it with the hair dryer, but not having any luck getting the wheels to turn, so not sure if the motor is burned out (although still makes the screeching noise) or if the belt is broken or what...with a full batch of chocolate in the machine, it is difficult to know what to do...will try recalibration again, and then empty the chocolate, and try taking the drum off.  ANYONE KNOW HOW TO DO THAT?  WE COULDN"T FIGURE IT OUT do you get the drum off the stem?  Is there a screw on the bottom that releases the stem/column?  

Madeleine, you said you spoke to them on the phone:  Do you have a phone number for SANTHA?  I 

have not been able to find one in any of the literature, communications or website.  Much appreciated.

Hey Tao, 

Their # is (828) 855-1895. (The first bad sign is that the number's hard to find!) I've never removed the bowl before-it would involve quite a bit of disassembly! The hair dryer's the way to go. I've been there! No fun, I know. I'd guess the motor's ok if it's still making noise. The bowl can't spin just while it's firmly attached (by solid chocolate) to the wheels, since they spin in place. 

Good luck! Hopefully you're unstuck by now! 


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