Aria Built’s Phenotype-L rebuildable dripping atomizer has been getting a lot of attention from vapers that like to create exotic builds. With its two-post design and ample deck space, the Phenotype-L is a fantastic canvas for those that like to create “coil art.” On the more practical side, it also offers vapers plenty of flexibility when it comes to flavor production and vapor production. At Vape Nights 2015, I caught up with Aria Built product development specialist Edison Tan to learn more about the Phenotype-L atomizer.
Edison explained that the Phenotype-L is a collaboration between Aria Built and Anarchist. Each atomizer post has a 3mm hole, allowing it to accommodate a wide variety of wire gauges. The juice well is 4mm deep and holds plenty of e-liquid. The airflow features four escalating slots on each side and is controlled by the top cap. The atomizer’s positive post is gold-plated for better conductivity and corrosion resistance. Edison was quick to point out that the Phenotype-L uses real PEEK insulators; some vaping companies purport to use PEEK, but in reality use a cheaper material.
On the aesthetic side, the Phenotype-L is available in black and stainless steel finishes. Each has a “stealth” cap that accommodates standard 510 drip tips, as well as an 11mm wide-bore competition drip tip. One of my favorite features is its inset screws. There are so many 2015 atomizers that require the use of allen keys. I appreciate that Aria Built went with inset flathead screws on the Phenotype-L.
As you can see, there’s a lot going on with the Aria Built Phenotype-L. The atomizer is being touted as one that was made “for builders, by builders.” To get more details and to see the atomizer (in both finishes), check out my chat with Edison Tan below.
Drip of Choice (D.O.C.) is a relatively new vaping e-liquid company that was started by Britten “Red” Allen. After gaining notoriety at a pair of previous juice companies, Red has struck out on his own (like Nomad) with Drip of Choice. The company offers some tasty juice that’s available at a low retail price. At Vape Nights 2015, Drip of Choice’s Checkmate e-liquid won the award for “Best Cream, Custard, & Vanilla Flavor.” In the interview below, Red talks about the philosophy behind the company and three of its flavors.
In addition to having low retail prices, Drip of Choice e-liquids are available in 1.5mg of nicotine. While a few companies offers this now, Drip of Choice was the first one I was aware of that offered the option. A few of you are probably thinking, “What the hell is the practical difference between 3mg and 1.5mg?!?” For vapers that like to chuck massive clouds or constantly perform tricks, 1.5mg of nicotine gives them the option to indulge in their particular style of vaping while still getting a tiny bit of nicotine. In the clip below, Red explains how the 1.5mg nicotine option was whipped up for more personal reasons.
As for the flavors, the award-winning Checkmate is a mix of Filipino mango and New York cheesecake. Personally, I think that Drip of Choice should have named the juice after me, since I’m a cheesy Filipino-American that’s original from New York. The Hustle is a twist on one of Red’s flavors from a previous company; it’s a blend of strawberry, kiwi, and mango. For cloud chasers, Drip of Choice has The Struggle. This 95/5 VG/PG juice is a mix of peach and strawberry.
To learn more about the e-liquids mentioned above and about the future of Drip of Choice, check out my chat with Red below.
I hang out at Monster Vape Lounge frequently and have seen The Vape Barrel’s Plutonium e-liquid flying off the store’s shelves. With that in mind, I was keen to interview someone from the company at Vape Nights 2015. I spent some time with The Vape Barrel’s Rob Harrington to learn more about the company’s origins, hear some flavor descriptions, and learn about what’s coming next.
The Vape Barrel was started by three friends that have been smoking cigarettes together since high school. Tired of their corporate jobs and thrilled that vaping got them off of tobacco cigarettes, the three friends started an e-liquid company. The Vape Barrel’s flavors are layered, combining a number of different ingredients to offer a unique flavor. So far, three friends are off to a fantastic start.
As I mentioned in the intro, Plutonium is wildly popular at Monster Vape Lounge. This juice combines strawberry, mango, lemonade, and peach. As a fan of dessert e-liquids, I was drawn to Neptunium. This juice features toffee, vanilla, and Bavarian cream. The Vape Barrel has put an interesting twist on tobacco with Californium. Aimed at vapers just coming off of cigarettes, Californium is a blend of tobacco, peaches, and cream.
On a loosely related note, I want to compliment The Vape Barrel on its choice of swag. Most vaping company’s sell or give away snapback caps for promotional purposes. As a baseball fan that prefers fitted or flex-fit hats, I’m not a fan of snapback caps. (I also associate snapbacks with obnoxious younglings that use Snapchat as their primary form of communication.) Instead of the usual black snapback that most vape companies offer, The Vape Barrel has a classy grey flex-fit hat.
Thank you for indulging me on that hat tangent. To learn more about The Vape Barrel, check out my Vape Nights 2015 chat with Rob below.
Special thanks to Flavaho for sponsoring this interview.
528 Custom Vapes has been serving up sub-ohm tanks before sub-ohm tanks were cool. While these kinds of tanks are hugely popular in the 2015 vaping world, 528 Custom Vapes has been serving them up for years. Many vapers consider the company a trailblazer and cite it as a big influence on today’s rebuildable tank atomizers. At Vape Nights 2015, I caught up with 528 Custom Vapes owner Tom Starkey to learn more about the company, hear about the Monster v3 tank, and learn about future products.
Tom told me a great story about the company’s origins. 528 Custom Vapes was initially funded by a check Tom received after wrecking his car. The company’s name was derived from the apartment he was living in at the time. Local vapers used to say, “Hey, we have to go to 528 to get out tanks customized!” 528 Custom Vapes became popular for its modified Kayfun atomizers. While the Kayfun was known for its great flavor, the vapor production left something to be desired for vapers accustomed to rebuildable dripping atomizers. Tom’s modifications drastically increased the airflow, allowing for one of the first — if not the first — tanks suitable for cloud chasers.
The modified Kayfuns went onto be known as the 528 Custom Vapes Monster. The company is currently on version three of the product. In the clip below, Tom goes over some of the features of the Monster v3. He also spoke about future products. 528 Custom Vapes is currently working on a dripper. I’m excited to see Tom’s take on a dripping atomizer.
Lastly, Tom spoke about the 528 Custom Vapes logo. It reminds many older vapers of the Thundercats cartoon from the ’80s. The symbol was actually influenced by Tom’s friends in the tattoo business, rather than the cartoon.
To learn more about 528 Custom Vapes, check out my chat with Tom Starkey below.
Special thanks to Revol Vapors for sponsoring this interview.
It was excellent hanging out with Off the Record Liquids chief alchemist George Alva at Vape Nights 2015. His company makes some complex and inventive juices. As you’ve probably figured out, Off the Record Liquids uses a musical theme and features a 45 rpm record adapter in its logo (for those of you under 30 or so, here’s info on a 45 rpm adapter). George infused his experience in the music business and love of music into his e-liquid company.
In the interview below, George told me about two Off the Record Liquids flavors. First up is Ziggy Starburst, which replicates the flavor of Hawaiian shave ice (not shaved ice!) with a big kick of jackfruit. Since George started vaping in the Philippines, he wanted to prominently feature an Asian fruit in this flavor. It’s a great choice for vapers that love candy and fruit juices. Next up, he told me about Raw Power, which is RPadholic N8R’s brother’s favorite juice. This concoction blends cigar tobacco, butterscotch, vanilla custard, and hazelnut coffee. It’s one of the more inventive tobacco blends I’ve seen from a SoCal juice maker.
One of George’s newer lines is Vapor Pudding. This line has started out with Chocolate Vanilla Swirl. If you’re a fan of Snack Packs then you’ll definitely want to check out this juice. In the future, Vapor Pudding will have at butterscotch-Butterfinger pudding.
In addition to his own Off the Record Liquids and Vapor Pudding lines, George is offering his ISO-certified lab to partners. He will manufacturer juices for companies or co-release them depending on the business relationship the client wants. For stores that want to make a house juice or DIY juice makers that want to take their mixing to the next level, it’s an interesting opportunity.
To learn more about Off the Record Liquids, Vapor Pudding, and more, kindly check out my chat with George Alva below.
Special thanks to Revol Vapors for sponsoring this interview.
DTU Modz makes some of the best and hardest hitting unregulated box mods on the market. At Vape Nights 2015, I caught up with Mr. DTU himself, Devon Dalzell, to learn what makes his box mods stand out. In terms of performance, his box mods use solid-gauge copper wiring, eschew MOSFET switches for additional performance gains, utilize a floating 510 connector, and feature a high-amp switch. There are a glut of box mods on the market that use MOSFET and inferior wiring; if you’re looking for the highest performance then you should definitely give DTU Modz a look.
As far as color options go, DTU Modz offers a wide variety of solid colors. Among the current selections, the white and pink boxes stood out to me. In the near future, Devon said that he’ll be offering a number of splatter and camouflage options. No matter your taste, DTU Modz has a color or pattern that should make you happy.
While the new colors will land in the immediate future, a new version of the DTU Modz box will arrive later down the line. Devon showed me a prototype that he’s working on and RPadholic N8R got to film the outside of the box. The upcoming box mod is a bit sleeker than the current offering — smaller than the current DTU Modz boxes, but larger than the common Hammond 1590G boxes. It felt comfortable in my relatively small hands and I dig the way it looks. Since this box is a prototype, N8R wasn’t allowed to film the internals, but I can tell you that the wiring is very clean. While I foresee a pink DTU Modz box in my future, I’m excited for the next version as well.
To learn more about DTU Modz, check out my chat with Devon below and be sure to give him a follow on Instagram (linked above).