Saturday, May 16, 2015

Vulcan RDA

Hey everybody! Today, I'll be doing a review on the Vulcan RDA, thanks to MtBakerVapor. It is my first shot at an authentic RDA....does it stack up the onslaught of clones? Let's dig in and find out.


Specifications

Features:
  • Single solid piece base construction
  • Revolutionary "under-passing" juice well
  • truly functional bottom-base heat sink
  • Innovative AFC side walls
  • Double Laser-cut vent holes
  • Red copper bottom contact pin/screw
  • PEEK insulators
  • 3-sets post screws out of the box
  • Plastic casing doubles as an atty stand
  • 22mm Base



Right off the bat, the specifications seem to put this bad boy into perspective - it features a solid base construction, the "under passing" juice well, heat sinks, PEEK insulators, and it all clocks in at under 60.00 - for an authentic. Now, I know that word gives some people the shivers, because lets face it, the clone market is exploding on what appears to be a daily basis now...however, if you build it, they will come, and the authentic market will not falter anytime soon!


To begin, let's break down the packaging.

 Packaging/Presentation

This has to be, hands down, the greatest device packaging I've ever witnessed. While it does not come in a lavish keepsake-esque box, or bursting at the seams with confetti, it is elegant and eye catching, relishing in it's authentic goodness, yet simplistic enough to not be overbearing. The Vulcan itself comes in a large dripper sized piece of plastic, with two heat sinks - bottom and top. Everything is packaged neatly within this large heat sink container, and it comes off rather stylishly. It is nice to see this, rather than the same old box. At least it's something cool to keep around, and a nice place to store the vulcan when not in use.





Build Quality

An authentic device, in my opinion, poses a few expectations. First and foremost, I do not want "mystery metal." We see this commonly in fasttech products, and the cheaper spectrum of clone devices - brass, copper, "stainless"....etc. I am not as active in the community as I once was, but I still remember the lead/brass debacle, and as such, I absolutely refuse to vape anything constructed out of brass, plated with brass, or copper.

Thankfully, the Vulcan appears to be one solid chunk of stainless steel! The deck itself is carved out of a nice piece of stainless, and it is sleek, and sexy. It sports a three-post design, with the negative posts milled into the deck. While I am a big fan of the four-post deck, the old standard has held it's age, and remains easier as ever to build on. The posts are rigid, as are the thumb screws - though they take a bit to get used to, hex screws are
also included, and interchangeable I was a bit skeptic about the thumb screws, fearing that they wouldn't tighten down well enough - well, fear not, because these suckers screw down very tightly!

The juice well is surprisingly deep, and holds a relatively large amount of liquid - I'd put it on near magma levels, at least, considering what I use daily - the doge, mutation, stillare, and mutation...neither of which offer truly deep juice wells. It's a nice change of pace to squeeze just a bit more juice out of my RDA.

The sleeve itself is nice and thick, with the logo carved into the steel, of which the "V" is the airflow. The top cap features a heatsink, and the conical design leads to an elegant looking RDA. No drip tip is included, but it will accept your standard 510. 

It has a copper pin, ensure maximum conductivity, and it has fired on every device it was thrown at, which is always a good sign. Lately I've been fighting finicky 510 pins, notably on my Herkales, so it's a nice change of pace not having to constantly adjust something.

Overall, it is a remarkably well built device. At 59.99, I'd wager it's one of the best bang for your buck authentic RDAs. You get a solidly constructed piece, with thick, sturdy posts, heat sinks, a large juice well, and a rather appealing looking device. While that's all amazing, you must be wondering...how does it vape?

Performance

To be perfectly honest, if you are looking to chase clouds, the Vulcan simply isn't built for that.  The conical design, paired with the relatively restricted airflow, affords an entirely different experience. I found that building in the lower ohm range, around .2-.5, led to very warm, thick vapor. Compared to the mutation, for instance, the same build would be relatively cool, with an exponentially larger amount of vapor. This is due to the restricted airflow - which isn't inherently a bad thing. If you know what to expect from the Vulcan, you will know that it is more a flavor-chasing device. While it does have the
capability to produce a very respectable amount of vapor, you aren't going to be fogging up the room with this - though, I'm not sure why you'd try, and it would be some intensely hot vapor!

With the higher ohm builds, on a box mod, I was able to get some seriously great tasting flavor out of this device. The heat sinks really cool the vapor down, keeping it from overtaking the flavor - while some think heat and flavor go hand and hand, such is not the case when you don't have a large amount of airflow.

Overall, the Vulcan is exceptionally versatile - it can chuck out a respectable amount of vapor, but not ridiculous clouds - though theoretically you can, I wouldn't agree with you that it is a pleasurable vape - it simply gets too warm, too fast. I found the sweet spot on a mech to be about .5, dual coils. On a box, I was running it at about .8, around 50-60 watts. If you're looking for an affordable,, exceptionally well made, and versatile device, you cannot go wrong with the Vulcan RDA.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Subtank Mini

Hey everybody, if you've been eyeballing the SubTank Mini lately, let me be the first to tell you....pick it up. It's definitely a welcomed improvement over the original, bulkier model, and a great way to stay vaping on the go.


Let's break it down with some specifications, what's in the box, that sort of thing.

Features:
  • Dimensions: 2-1/8"L x 7/8"D(without drip tip)
  • 22mm Diameter
  • RBA Coil with PEEK Insulator
  • Glass Tank
  • Base hardware: 304 stainless steel
  • New adjustable airflow control for superior airflow
  • Mini RBA Base allows you to build your own coils
  • 510 Drip tip compatible
This Tank Includes:
  • 1 x Mini SUBTANK
  • 1 x OCC: 0.5 Sub Ohm / Range 15 - 30 W
  • 1 x OCC: 1.2 Ohm / Range 12 - 25 W
  • 1 x RBA Coil (Organic Cotton made in Japan) 
  • 1 x Three Piece RBA Unit
  • 3 x Replacement O-rings
  • 1 x Screw Driver
  • 2 X Screws
  • 1 x Manual
  • 1 x Glass Replacement Tank 

So, as you can deduce, Kanger managed to weave the RBA section into the sub-ohm capable clearomizer design once again, in a smaller, far more functional, package. Let's go over everything now!



Packaging

While I do not have a lot to say here, I would like to start by saying the Subtank Mini is packaged incredibly well. The box is very nice and heavy, with the tank itself resting within a plush liner. Underneath the plush liner you will find the included RBA base, the extra coil, tools, and spare cotton.

It is one of the nicer packagings I've seen, and while not exactly important, it feels necessary to let it be known that it is offered as a premium device, and it certainly feels so.

Build Quality

The Subtank Mini is built almost as well as it performs! The tank itself, despite being 'mini', feels quite hefty. I'd like to say it's full stainless this time, but I've yet to take a dremel to the device, however I am almost positive it is, as it is far heavier than brass. 

The tank itself resembles the original, with the red o-rings remaining clearly visible. Right off the bat, however, are a few noticeable differences

  • One, the tank no longer has screws on top, as the RBA section now threads into the base, exactly as the coil does. A HUGE plus, as switching between the coil and RBA deck on the original was a gigantic pain in the ass.
  • Instead of three holes, the Subtank Mini now boasts a cyclops style airflow. It is not a substantial increase in airflow, but it is marginally airier, which is a plus in my book.
  • The drip tip is slightly wider, with a smaller profile.
  • The device is now 22mm, allowing it to sit flush on a wide variety of devices.
  • The coil insulators are now able to withstand a higher temperature, as the originals were prone to melting when dry fired for mere seconds, or during daily use.
  • The RBA section is much, much better this time around. It features two screws, and the top cap is knurled, allowing it to easily thread off the device. The deck is noticeably wider, and lacks the flimsy feeling of the original.

Suffice to say, these are extremely well welcomed improvements. I'm a huge fan of the RBA section, which I'll get to now...

Performance

The Subtank Mini performs just as well as the original, with the bonus of a now completely functional RBA deck.

In the clearomizer setting, with the 0.5ohm coils, expect to sit at around 22 watts. It's a very enjoyable experience, with moderate sized clouds, and exceptionally well pronounced flavor, thanks to the organic cotton coils. When paired with a 30w device, it is one of my go-to setups. In fact, the Subtank Mini and iStick 30w never leave my car! I'm able to vape comfortably on the road, with the flavor I expect from a dripper, and a similar experience in vapor production - though obviously less pronounced.

I personally prefer the 1.2ohm coils, because for some reason, they seem to be able to take a bit more power. I can get them upwards to 28.5w before I start getting dry hits, however, with 60/40 juice, it's a wonderful combination of flavor and far superior vapor production compared to the 0.5ohm option.

My favorite thing about the mini, however, is the RBA deck. It is now completely functional, with a far better design. With the position of the screws and the coil in relation to the deck, building is easier, and dry hits are a thing of the past. It is no longer a chore to wick the device, and I've got it upwards to 50w with lower-ohm builds. It does have a bit of trouble keeping up with 100% VG juice, but than again, most RTA's on the market do. With a few primer puffs, however, I'm able to get quite a few hits off it at a higher wattage before I get a dry hit.

I'm a huge, huge fan of the revision of the RBA section, as it now far easier to not only install it, but to actually get into the deck. The original was quite flimsy and cheap, and mine actually separated from the base - no device will read the RBA portion now, a common problem. I've also heard of it cross threading, something I no longer have to worry about, because the new and improved deck features a knurled top cap that is removed from the actual deck, allowing the outer cap to be removed. The threads are buttery smooth, and it no longer feels like a cheap piece of metal.

The overall experience is a welcome addition to the growing line of sub-ohm capable clearomizers, and I've got to say, it is one of the finest Kanger offerings yet.



Overall, the subtank mini  greatly capitalizes on the original, becoming more than the sum of it's parts, and honestly a refined version that should have been the original. It's relatively affordable at only 32.99, and in my opinion, should be in everyone's arsenal. Get yours today at www.mtbakervapor.com using coupon code VAPOCALYPTIC for 10% off.