Vapers Blog

Look Ma, No Coils!

My introduction to the Joyetech Ultex 80 Kit with the coil-free Cubis Max Tank was perfect synchronicity. I was over the moon a couple of years ago when the first coilless tanks were introduced, but reviews were mixed and the cost was outrageous. It would take at least a year to make back the extra cash with the money I saved on coils so I wasn’t ready to risk it. I upgraded a couple of times since then and I was doubtful I’d come across anything to rival the flavor of my Horizon Arco 2. I had read about the Riftcore Duo but I assumed it was created for the DIY crowd and never gave it another thought.

A couple of weeks ago we had an order for two Unimax kits and we shipped one Unimax and a Ultex 80 kit by mistake. Since it was worth more than the Unimax I gave the customer the option of keeping it but he had a reason for wanting two of the same so I paid to have him ship it back to me in BC. Last week I was having a conversation with mixologist extraordinaire, Roman of Premium Labs. We were talking about which juices were hardest on coils. I was hoping he’d tell me that the idea that sweeteners coated the coils and degraded output was just an urban myth, but sadly, no. I mentioned that I had a return coming in and would test it out with sweeter juices to see if I could isolate which flavors were degrading my coils. I should mention, I’m notorious for not sticking with one flavor. After two tanks, I don’t care how great it is I want a change. This practice muddies my flavors over time.

After looking up the order to determine what exactly was coming back I did a quick Google search on the Ultex and the Cubis Max. I couldn’t actually believe my good fortune. I was finally getting a chance to try a coilless vape. Along with it came an 18650 Stick mod that had me equally excited, but more on that later.

I watched a VickVape YouTube review on the kit and was disappointed to hear he loved the mod but not the tank. His complaint was that after 3 consecutive hits the cotton dried out and you’d get a bad taste. I already knew that the recommended wattage for the Ultex 80 is 40 watts, and I could see he had his at 60W. I doubted I ever chain-vaped to that extent anyway, so it wasn’t a complete let-down. Since it was coming anyway at least I’d have the benefit of first-hand experience with it.

When it finally arrived (the waiting is definitely the hardest part) I read through the instructions, soaked down the pad and did a few unpowered pulls as recommended, filled her up and hit the fire button. The first couple draws were a little off-tasting, not bad, just not what I was used to. I think it was just a matter of breaking it in because ever since it’s been absolutely great.

So far I’ve vaped two 5mL tanks of BC Fog and I’m on the second tank of Dr. Fog Gold, which is a creamier indulgence that I usually don’t use with a fresh coil because it lingers on the cotton long after I’ve moved on. But hey! I can just swap out the cotton for a fresh start. I’ve always wanted an RDA for just that reason. In fact. I have one half built on my desk right now. I got the coils in no problem but I’ve procrastinated long and hard with the wicking. I’m sure I’d get the hang of it but I’ve nver been good at threading needles so I’m apprehensive.

With the Cubix Max, it’s just a flat sheet laid on top of the heater. I think I can handle that. I still have to compare raw cotton to the sheets they provided so that I can make my own pads. In the videos, it looks pretty easy. They seem to get about 2 weeks per cotton, which coincidentally is about how long a traditional coil starts to degrade in taste. I’m hoping to find some flax blend cotton sheets as well, because I still love my Arco 2.

Sadly, one week in I dropped the Ultex and the glass shell shattered. I replaced the glass but I haven’t had a good vape since. I’m conversing with the manufacturers but I don’t think I’m getting anywhere. The only thing I haven’t tried yet is replacing the heater pad. There’s a spare one of those in the box so when I get a moment I’ll try that. I’m confident it’s something dumb but don’t have a lot time to troubleshoot it. Thankfully I still have my Arco. I’ll post this now and edit it once I’ve got the problem figured out.

Update March 18, 2019

Joyetech offered to send me a new one so long as I provided the right documentation but over the weekend I removed the original kanthal plate to take a look. That was an eye-opener. The heater plate was heavily encrusted in solidified gunk which has many possible explanations including the flavors I was using, my experimentation with other cotton pads I found, and the fact that the whole unit took a crash to the floor, bottom-down. After a thorough cleaning and scraping, I started from scratch and the Cubis Max is amazing once more. I took a day trip yesterday and could only take one vape along. It was the Cubis Max hands down. The instant vapor with clear and precise flavor (in my opinion, I’m no flavor expert but I know what I like), combined with a full vapor hit is extremely satisfying to me.

This has given me an idea for a new test:

I’ll clean the heater and run two tanks (5mL X 2) of a particular flavor segment (creams, sweets, tobacco, etc.) then I’ll photograph the plate and compare it over time with the others and report the results in a new blog series.

This is the EXTRA thing I love about this tank. It’s possible to see what’s going on in there although the screws on the plate are minute and I could not have done it with the screwdriver provided. Even though I have many small drivers, I found the silver ones you see in sets of five everywhere worked the best. And a very big ALSO, No Leaks. Zero. None.

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