Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Skyline M-6 Mechanical Mod Review

Hey everybody! Busy week. With finals coming up and a backlog of inventory, I'm happy to FINALLY bring you my Skyline M-6 review. I got this from Aaron at www.smokenmist.com and I've got to say, for 27.99, I can't think of a better mod on a budget. Let's get to it!

Let's start of with the manufacturer specifications 

Quick thread technology: Double Start Precision Threading
D4 Compliant lead free materials
Machined to aircraft grade standards
Laser etched design
Billet aluminum
Copper contacts
Magnetic button (fuhattan/manhattan design)
LOW voltage drop (4.17)

Okay. Let's just go over that one more time.
Precise, thoroughly machined threading? Copper contacts? Extra pins and insulator....for only 27.99?

YES! It's true!

For the low cost of 27.99, you can get a beast of a mod that lives up to expectations, and performs near identically to it's 275.00 counterpart.

Let's get down to what I dig about this mod.

- Construction
If my understanding of metals is correct, "Billet" aluminum is forged out of one piece of aluminum, not heated, cut, etc. The Skyline is touted as "aircraft grade" material, and while I am a little unsure of that, I must say it is definitely built solidly. The threads are magnificently smooth, and the "quick thread technology" is actually very intuitive. The switch and top cap lock into place with ease, threading faster, and with less resistance, than nearly all the mods in my collection. Another awesome thing about being all aluminum is that it is incredibly light weight. On the other hand, it is very thin - I would not say it is cheap, but it is deceptively so - I have dropped it and have yet to so much as scratch the paint or dent a thread (I am a notorious butter finger so I do not suggest dropping this based on my experience.)
Another interesting addition is the contoured middle part of the mod. It is ergonomically contoured to rest within your palm, for maximum comfort. It can look a bit obscure, but it is definitely a design choice that grows on you over time. I personally find it to be an incredibly sexy mod, despite the unique approach in it's design.

The skyline m6 features the "rare earth" magnetic button design we have seen on the manhattan, fuhattan, so on and so forth. It is said that it can never fail in the "on" position, but with clones, this is a flat out lie. It is not the skylines fault, it is just that ameravape clones in my experience do not perform nearly as well as the authentic. I have had a manhattan, fuhattan, and even this fire on their own - usually the pin unthreads from the switch, however if you make sure to properly tighten it, this problem should not happen again. This is sadly the only gripe I have with the mod - it's not that it constantly auto-fires, just that it can. That can be potentially dangerous. From owning the fuhattan I have found that tightening the screw and keeping your magnets and contact clean prevent this problem, so be sure to maintain the switch.

The skyline comes in two colors - black and purple. I have it in black, and I'm happy to say that the threads were not painted. The logo on the bottom of the switch is classic ameravape design, and the tube is almost engraved with the AV logo. Both are very well done.
- Voltage drop
Billet aluminum + copper contacts + copper contact pin = 4.17 voltage drop. This thing is without a doubt THE hardest hitting mod in my collection. I was skeptical when my buddy sent me a picture of a 4.19 reading, but I'll be damned if it wasn't true. This thing is an absolute monster of conductivity and remains a staple because of this.
- Packaging 

The skyline comes in an ameravape box, with extra center pins, insulators, and a contact. It was well packed, resting within a foam insert. Always good to know that your mod is travelling the country safely.

Overall, the Skyline is a well made, beautiful, hard hitting mod that can be had on a budget. I wish more mods of this caliber were available in a similarly priced bracket, as it is simply stunning to know that you can get such a great performing mod for half the cost of other clones. I would recommend this product to ANYBODY on the market for a new clone, or looking to add something hard hitting, attractive, and functional to their rotation.

As always, it is a pleasure working with www.smokenmist.com, and I urge you guys to stop by and take a look. He has very competitive prices, stocking the Aspire Atlantis at 29.99 (be sure to read my review

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed the review. Be sure to pick up a Skyline Mod in your choice of purple or black if you're looking for affordability, performance, and clouds. Thanks!

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Aspire Atlantis

Finally...I have it. Within my hands at this very moment is none other than the Atlantis by Aspire. Aaron from www.smokenmist.com gave me the opportunity to review it, and well.. this thing is revolutionary. If you told me a year ago I could achieve this sort of performance using a clearo, I'd laugh. Get ready.

Let's take a look at the definition of "Game Changer" as it has been thrown around quite a lot when discussing the Atlantis.

game chang·er
  1. an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.
    "a potential game changer that could revitalize the entire US aerospace industry"

.... Though that picture may not be the official emblem of the world, in our context, I find it perfectly suitable. To be completely honest, I had extremely high hopes for this tank. I first found out about it when KidneyPuncher prematurely launched their presale. It was swiftly removed at the behest of Aspire, only to resurface a few days later. It was listed at, I believe, 44.99. 44.99? I could put that to better use, I thought...no clearo could command that price. 

Or so I thought.

The atlantis is a remarkable design, breathing life into our world, that some could say we needed. I personally find it difficult keeping track of each new RDA, as it seems that they burst onto the market on a weekly basis. x has more airflow, y has four posts, z has a wide bore drip tip, w is made out of SS, e out of copper, etc. I could go on and on and on. This is not a bad thing, however if you're consistently trying to stay on top of your game, you need to be apart of the gear race - I tend to stay towards the back, watching the evolution, planning my purchases....now I can do that for a longer period of time, getting back into the market when something truly entices me.

The Atlantis is aspires answer to sub ohming. The Atlantis proves  that you do NOT need to know how to build, you do NOT need to tinker, and you CAN get clouds in the process. A year ago, a lot of people would of scoffed at the thought. "0.5 ohms? In a CLEARO? You're mad." I remember when people would shy away from building that low in fear of a dead short.

Let's take a look at the specifications.

Product Features:
  • Huge bore drip tip
  • Stainless construction with aspire logo
  • Sub-Ohm Coils - Patented Aspire BVC technology (Much improved BVC coils)
  • Sub-Ohm Heads are 0.5 ohm coil
  • Compatible with 20-45w (though I have successfully used it at 50w)
  • Adjustable airflow control similar to a RBA

On paper, that sounds amazing. Unfortunately, in the vape game, certain hardware just does not live up to standard. Fortunately, the Atlantis does. I'll take you through a walkthrough now, breaking down everything I like, the construction, and what I do not like.

- Packaging

The Aspire Atlantis comes pre-packaged in a nice plastic box, sealed with tape. It rests within a form-fitting foam insert, gently cradling the clearomizer as it makes it's way to your doorstep. Within the plastic box are the Aspire Atlantis, containing a pre-installed 0.5 ohm coil, a replacement coil, and a replacement pyrex tube. I was ecstatic when I found out it came with replacement glass, as I have managed to shatter the glass on the original nautilus not once, but twice. Peace of mind should be at hand for the butterfingers like myself out there.

I've got to say that I was impressed with the stylish, yet minimal, packaging. I'm glad that Aspire opted out of the traditional box packaging that the protanks, nautilus, and similar clearos come in. In fact, I think it was just as much of an appearance decision as a marketing - these things will look very, very classy stacked in a B&W. I certainly felt that I was handling something of value, truly content that I had a piece of gear to cherish.

- Looks

I was a bit concerned that the Atlantis would look a bit gaudy on a mechanical mod, box, what have you. I, like many others, love a uniform look. I prefer to match my stainless RDAs with stainless mods, copper with copper, etc. I always liked the look of a kayfun nano on a SS mech, or a kraken on a brass, but I was concerned with the Atlantis as it looks like, well, a traditional clearo. It has no definitive "look", if you will, it merely looks like a beefed up clearo on steroids.

Well, that's not a bad thing, 'cause it actually looks pretty neat sitting atop any given mod, box, etc. It is fairly large, despite having a 2ml capacity. I appreciate the appearance, and it has now grown on me so much so that I actually prefer it over the kayfun, kraken, etc.

- Construction 

It is safe to say that this thing is built like a tank. I seriously remain at loss for a better word, this thing seems like it can take an absolute beating. The pyrex tank is very thick, and just oozes quality - it threads onto the base of the tank, as well as the top cap, with butter smooth ease. The drip tip is exceptionally well made, and boasts quite a larger bore - I actually like to throw it on an RDA from time to time, it is that large. The chimney and base remain near identical to the original nautilus - you thread the coil into the base, and than the base into the chimney, to ensure a snug, tight fit. This is secured in place by a rubber gasket, which seems redesigned as well. I found that the rubber gasket in the original nautilus was too large, and if you threaded the base in too tightly, you'd need pliers to get it free. This is probably a case by case basis, but it has happened to me, and others, on more than one occasion.  

Another thing I'd like to mention is the AFC ring is just a pleasure to use. The original nautilus was a pain, the nautilus mini was a bit better, but this thing just works. It seems to conform to the base very, very tightly, letting it turn back and form with ease. It is also considerably larger, with indents that are very easy to grip and turn back and forth. I have used this tank heavily and it has not once got stuck, sticky, or refused to turn. Another great addition to the AFC is the options it affords to the user. 

The smallest setting is about the size of the largest setting on the original nautilus.
The second is marginally bigger.
The third is a miniature cyclops slit.
The fourth is a larger cyclops slit, I'd say eyeballing it, it is bigger than the stock Stillare slit.

This definitely provides a wide range of air flow. If you are a mouth to lung hitter, the first two settings will feel at home for you. The third is an improvement, and the fourth is balls to the wall airflow, for a clearomizer. Will those who use RDAS such as the darkhorse, doge, mephisto, still want more airflow? Probably. However, you have to take into consideration that this is a clearomizer, and for what we're working with, it is a ton of air flow. I'd go as far to say that it is more than both the orchid AND the kayfun, two direct competitors to the RDA market.

Another thing I'd like to touch on is the coils. They're similar to the recently introduced BVC coils, but they are a lot larger, and therefore not interchangeable with the mini and vice versa. They are 0.5 ohms, appear to be 24 gauge, traditional wrapped (ie, not a contact/micro coil) and surrounded by the same ceramic fiber. I personally do not like the ceramic fiber, however I am pleased to say that users are already rebuilding, and rewicking. It can get a bit tricky, but it is possible, and I definitely look forward to rewicking mine. If you would rather keep it stock, the produce an ample amount of vapor, rich flavor, and I have got a week out of one at 40w and it is still going strong.

Overall, it is built incredibly well, and is evident that Aspire definitely took attention to detail. It is not a drastic design, in fact, it is quite similar to the nautilus, however they seem to have perfected the quirks with this bad boy.

- Performance

Let's get to what everybody wants to hear...does the Atlantis live up to the hype?

This thing is revolutionary. For those of you out there who want clouds, yet you are not ready to build, the Atlantis is for you. With just a single 0.5 ohm coil, I am able to get some admirable clouds out of a mechanical mod, and some down right impressive ones out of a regulated. It absolutely crushes the orchid, kayfun, and quite a few entry level drippers (in my opinion.) Is it a replacement for some of the better RBAS, such as the mutation x v2, the plume veil, the dark horse, mephisto, doge, etc? No. If you are satisfied with the experience you get from those, (or others), and confident in your building abilities, you probably do not "need" the atlantis. If you are however, getting tired of building, or looking for something to take with you to work or in the car, consider the Atlantis. It is a comparable experience, providing dense vapor, and some pretty powerful flavor.
With that in mind, I'd like to point out that while it does work on a mechanical mod, I personally believe it is best at home on a regulated. It is advertised at being operable up to 30w, but I have personally took it to 50w and not once got a dry hot. It was a bit warmer than I'd like, but I had to test it out. It can definitely handle a higher wattage, and if you like a warmer vape, than feel free to experiment. I personally found it works best at around 40w, creating a harmonious balance of flavor and vapor.

I am thoroughly impressed. The Atlantis manages to chuck vapor, provide wonderful flavor, and the coils are still going strong after a whole week at 40w, I personally feel that it now replaces the need to upgrade to an RBA. Instead, users can opt in for the Atlantis, if they're looking to achieve a similar experience, yet not wanting to dive into building just yet. It can be a stepping stone, or a one and done - I often find myself wondering if I'd be at the rebuildable/hobby phase if this was available to me when I made the jump from my nautilus/mvp to a king/magma. 
One of the only downfalls about the atlantis is the 2ml capacity. At higher wattages, 2ml of juice will not last long, and as a heavy vapor, I can go through about 3-4 tanks a day, depending on how much I vape. I personally feel that I am utilizing juice better however, as with a dripper I find myself vaping more and more. The 2ml capacity is a slight hindrance at best, and I wouldn't be surprised if aspire came out with a larger pyrex tube. This may take away from the aesthetic appeal but hey, if we can get a 5ml tank, I'd be okay with an ugly form factor.
If you're on the fence about rebuilding, pick up an Atlantis. If you hate feeling like you're diffusing a bomb when you drip at a red light, pick up an Atlantis. If you just need something for around the house when you're feeling lazy and you RDA needs a build, pick up the Atlantis. 

PSA : I'd like to bring something to the attention of those who are new to vaping and are considering an Aspire Atlantis. The Aspire Atlantis is a sub ohm device, and therefore, is only compatible with high drain batteries that can support the amp limit. It will not work on the following devices
- Ego batteries and variations
- Itaste VTR, Itaste VV/VW, Itaste MVP
- Eleaf iStick
- Any regulated mod that can not fire below 0.7 ohms (as the coils typically meter at 0.6)
If you wish to use an Aspire Atlantis, make sure you're using high drain batteries with an appropriate amp limit. Do not attempt to fire this clearomizer unless you have a battery that is rated for the amp load. Personal injury CAN occur. Verify that the device you're using is compatible. Mechanical mods (with proper batteries), unregulated mods, and regulated mods that can fire down to 0.5ohms are suitable. Do your research and please, be safe.
It just works, people.

Nautilus/Nautilus Mini/Atlantis

Thanks for taking the time to read my review. If you're finding yourself in the market for an Atlantis, my buddy Aaron at www.smokenmist.com has them listed for 29.99 - the lowest price stateside I have came across. I'd like to once again thank him for the opportunity, and personally let him know that I sincerely value our partnership.