Do you believe in Unicorns?
When asked the above question...most of us would reply "No....don't be a cockwomble"...(except my Mrs actually...the things she believes in are actually astounding.....and worrying)...but one man, well.....he had a different answer....
"No......but I can make one"
2015....doesn't seem that long ago really does it, but in Vape terms.... well....I remember what I was vaping on 2 years ago and it wasn't pretty....looked like a skinny light sabre but man I thought it was cool...not quite so cool to a certain gentleman called Jacob Giverink however, Jacob was a high end Mod enthusiast who decided to build his very own device to compete with the top shelf mods of the time.....I doubt even he foresaw the events that followed.
And a stupendous amount of welcomes to you all my fluffy throwing vaping veterans, I would imagine some of you might be wondering what in the holy hell I'm talking about.....and on the other hand some of you who regularly read my claptrap will probably be more than used to such a feeling.... regardless....why Unicorns you might ask, well, for something....anything....to be referred to as this mythical creature is an accolade usually reserved for the hardest to find, best to own, most sort after things on this large blue marble of ours, and it is this label that is muttered by the most hardcore of mod collectors when they talk amongst each other about the very device that Jacob gave birth to....The Loch Ness Mod.
Donned as one of the best mods ever made....The Loch Ness was a Stab Wood DNA 40 single 18650 device that was made in very limited quantities (I've heard anything from 12 to a 100 but I don't know for sure) and was made to such a high standard that originals have been rumoured to have changed hands for as much as $5000......
That's exactly what I said....Clearly it was called the Loch Ness because it's just so fucking hard to come by leaving only the most hardcore collectors scouring the globe for this mythical wee beastie...
Now...obviously ...I'm not reviewing one of those....I fucking wish...and it was 2 years ago, But the success of this elusive device spurred on Jacob to start his very own company making a selection of vaping devices...and so...'Vape Envii' was thrust into the world, and with it....a device that pays tribute to the Unicorn mod that started it all, only this time, aimed at a more accepting audience who aren't willing to get a second mortgage to pay for a vaping device..you know...normal people.
So it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you not one....but two of Vape Envii's first wave of innovative vaping products, courtesy of @Heaven_Gifts , The Loch Ness Mod & Artisan RTA....yep...we're doing the double again...
So the Artisan is a ww22...apparently (sigh)....I'll act cool.....totally meant to do that...(hmm)
Now as a reviewer, I use the term 'innovative' with some trepidation, I have worried for sometime just where the hell we can go with these devices, I mean the whole idea behind a regulated vaping device is a relatively simple one and there are sooo many different items on the market now that you can't help but wonder..what else is there to do?, well Jacob had that notion down, he went back and rediscovered what was proven to work, and brought it up to date....I expect to see more of this kind of thing in the future.
The Loch Ness is a 150w TC mod running on it's own custom made chip and powered by the industry standard dual 18650 batteries...like I said...up to date. But that isn't really where Nessie shines, The whole idea behind the new Loch Ness is so that people can at least get the feel of the unbelievable ergonomics that the original was renowned for.
Now obviously the New Nessie isn't made out of the same material as the original but it has retained the same form factor, I mean this thing sit's in your hand like a well used bar of soap...just without the slippy, in fact it's the opposite of slippy, the rubberised smooth finish grips your palm like a ....grippy....thing....? ....admittedly this finish doesn't have a proven track record for durability but I've only had it a couple of weeks so time will tell on that score, But it is by far....I mean BY FAR the most comfortable thing I have ever had in my hand....well...almost...
The fun button is a super smooth (Mitec maybe?) wide and flat affair and set at the perfect angle for your thumb or finger depending on which way round you have it (surprisingly...it feels just as comfortable either way) the last mod I had with a fire button set at this angle was the Tesla Touch and it was my favourite thing about that device, it just feels right, but couple that with the amazing ergonomics of the Loch Ness and what you have is something that is just a total pleasure to use on a day to day basis.
The chip was a big surprise to me, I mean obviously it had to be good seeing as the original 2 years ago ran a DNA, but the functionality of this chip...whatever it is....is right up there with some of the best I have used, It'll rock all your wires in an apparently very accurate TC mode, It has a boost mode, smooth mode and a power curve mode and once you learn the button config it's really easy to navigate....and on top of that the display has everything on there that you would want to know in a very clear and precise fashion....how lovely.....and coupled with excellent battery life to boot.
Another extremely nice touch on the Nessie...and something I have never had before on any other mod that I have owned...is the inclusion of a 22mm catch cup 510 as well as a flat 510, and a system that enables you to change from one to the other effortlessly...
The catch cup 510 was a feature on the original Loch Ness 2 years ago but instead of making it a fixed item Jacob clearly realised that these days a large portion of vapers tend to use 24/25mm tops so with this system it suits more people without sacrificing on the Loch Ness's heritage.
If we follow the lines down to Nessies wrong'n you will literally see a wrong'n.....this is one of only 2 issues I have with the Loch Ness, On it's bottom is the battery door and this is a vast step away from the Originals wood inlay finger and thumb turn screw...
It's an almost identical albeit smaller version of the disaster that is the Ijoy Maxo's battery door and I think this could very well turn out to be it's Achilles heal...I hope I'm wrong I really do and I do get it, I mean the original Nessie only had 1 battery so a turn screw was the perfect solution and there is no space for 2 turn screws but i think it might of been a safer and more durable option if Jacob had gone with a removable side panel instead, The hinge on the door doesn't fill me with confidence and nor does the catch, these things have a tendency to snap if the mod is dropped, especially when they appear to be made of a cast alloy.
The second issue I have with the Loch Ness is the finish, yes it feels very nice to the touch and gives added grip to an already grippy shape but I have seen this kind of finish before and in my experience it tends to rub off. and in it's place leaves a very visible...very shiny finish, almost as if it doesn't want to be a dull matt and strives to be more.....
But...as is the reviewers curse....only time will tell on both those issues, 2 weeks is clearly not long enough to test a devices longevity or durability....and I really do like this mod so I genuinely hope I am wrong.
One thing I did like however was the packaging, It's not really an important part of the whole package admittedly but it has very nice retail presence and kind of slides open from one corner....yeah...I actually forgot to take a picture of that but....it's cool, and on the reverse of the box is a kind of certificate signed by the man himself.
It gives the perception that you are in fact not getting an average run of the mill mod, but something a little bit special.
Ok now for something I wish was as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster but unfortunately is going to rear it's ugly head right on cue....
150W Maximum Output Wattage
Boost Advanced Preheat Mode
Ni200 Nickel Support
Stainless Steel Support
5 Slot Memory Bank
Resistance Read and Lock
200 to 600 Degrees Fahrenheit
Ergonomically Placed Controls
Micro USB Charge and Update Port
Sliding and Locking Bottom Battery Access Door
Zinc Alloy Base Chassis Material/Rubberised Coating
22mm Catch Cup (Removable)
In The Box :-
One Envii Loch Ness 150W Mod
Flat 510 Adapter
One Micro USB Cable
OOFT!!.....I hope you appreciate the trauma these cause me when I do a double review....
Which brings me very nicely to the hat on this elusive Scottish......Californian.....mythical....hybrid....
Seeing as the Loch Ness came with a 22mm catch cup I thought it quite fitting to test it with the Envii tank from this current collection, The Artisan RTA.
The Artisan is a 22mm RTA which...on the surface...doesn't particularly look like anything we haven't seen before, It's made from Stainless Steel...and Pyrex glass, it has a 510 drip tip and a top fill system, and a 3ml capacity....alll...very....familiar.
And that....is where any similarity between this...and anything else I have in my arsenal....stops.....
where to start...
Well...My intention was to just simply put a build in and see how easy it was to set up and what it was like to vape....but when I unscrewed the base and opened it up this little fella just popped right outta there and bounced across my desk...'dink dink dink'.....
I sat there looking at the dismantled tank in my hands and then looked confusingly at the tiny little mechanism that was sat there looking at me on my desk....'Have I broke it?' ....I thought......'fuck my life that's the deck?'.....
This thing wasn't even screwed in....because it doesn't screw in.....and it's just so ridiculously tiny!....
I sat and scratched my head with my overly chubby fingers and considered for a good 2 minutes as to how they...the inflated chipolatas on the end of my hand...were going to deal with a task that was clearly designed to be completed by one of the borrowers.....Then I looked in the box again....'what the fuck is that'....as I pulled out what looked like a threaded washer with a mouth....this was all getting a bit scary....so I did what men do only at the point where all other options have been utterly and thoroughly exhausted....I looked for instructions.
Turns out the mouthy washer thingy was actually a screw on base to help with strumming and the pinching and also the wicking!.....what the actual fuck!....regardless...I cracked on, I got my coil and clumsily pushed the legs into the deck holes....
I thought...as I realised how surprisingly easy this was becoming...
Such an easy solution to a problem I never really had...you see the postless holes go all the way through for the simple reason that you don't have to measure your coil legs to get them the right length, you just stick em through...get it the right height, and trim the legs off underneath...
However...a quick word of warning when you unscrew the grub screws....they are exactly the same size as an amoeba's testicle...
So.... although you do get spares....if you drop one....forget about it and move on with your life.
Once you have your coil set and trimmed, the mouthy washer thingy comes into play, simply drop your deck in, and screw it onto your mod.....
Shown there without the coil...obviously...but you get the idea...
Once all in place you can pulse, strum and pinch to your hearts content, then comes the wicking...and again..forget what you know. With this deck all you need to do is trim it short and fluff out the ends, prime it up and replace the chamber, the cut out juice holes will pinch the ends of your wick in place so that they sit flush and fill the juice holes (none adjustable by the way...doesn't matter though)......
Then you just bang it all back together and prepare to fill it up....which brings yet another nice and unique surprise....the top fill system...
Just a quarter turn is all it takes to remove the lid, no screw thread, just a little notch on the top that you line up, press it on and twist about a quarter turn and it's solid....easily the neatest method to date....LOVE that.
So anyway...I was running about 0.3 ohms on this single fused clapton so I figured about 45 watts was ample to begin with, I opened up the bottom airflow fully and gave it a hit. The airflow is slightly more restricted on fully open than I was used to but not enough to bother me, the Artisan is clearly made for taste above clouds and man......what a flavour this thing can produce, you see the chamber is kept really small so the vapour that shoots up the chimney is very condensed and thick giving a nice warm taste that is normally reserved for more elaborate twin coil set ups, I would put it on a par with the Ammit single coil in terms of flavour production... if not better ...and it is a much...MUCH better made tank. And to add to that.....I couldn't get a single dry hit with it, I chained this through 3 or 4 tanks and the thing just kept going, the juice flow is phenomenal and without a single hint of a leak from anywhere.
Unique Postless Build Deck Design
Removable Build Deck for Easy Coil Installation
Multiple Finishes to Choose From
Flavor Fog Machine
Smooth Bottom Airflow
Convenient Top Fill
Gold Plated 510 Pin
Material: Stainless Steel, Pyrex
Thread Size: 510 (Gold Plated Pin)
E-Juice Capacity: 3ml
Fill Type: Top Fill
Airflow Type: Bottom (Adjustable)
Vaping Type: Direct Lung
see what I did there....I thought if I surprised myself and just threw them out there with complete abandon it would soften the blow.....It didn't....and now I hate myself.....
SO!........Envii, on a whole I am utterly impressed AGAIN by a new company, I admit to thinking that the vaping universe had plateau'd , The bars had been set and the big companies were going to lead the way by constantly bringing out mass produced regurgitated devices that just kept selling the same ideas over and over.....but.....just like that one time on the bus when I thought that that burning pain in my ass was just a fart.....I was wrong....(tooootally different story)....The bars will keep on being raised by individuals who truly know their craft and have done for a long time and I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if more of these vape legends followed suit and came out of the woodwork to show the world what is attainable when a relatively simple idea....is done properly.
The Loch ness mod is a truly beautiful device that is unlike anything on the market today, it's not perfect like it's predecessor but then it's made to a price, very much unlike the original, and it is an absolute pleasure to use.
The Artisan RTA is the perfect companion for it, I'm not normally a 22mm fan and I thought that the popularity of this size was greatly in decline but I just love this thing, it's the easiest RTA to build on and wick that I think I have ever come across and is just so surprisingly and refreshingly innovative, the flavour is right up there with the big hitters and the quality of the manufacturing is flawless....would I like to see a 25mm dual coil variation?.....abso-fucking-lutely.
With regards to the price point on both these items well, at the time of writing the Loch Ness full blown retail is $87.99/£68.26 but if you use my discount code APUGS15 it can be swimming in your Loch for $74.79/£58.02, at this price I cannot recommend it enough, It is also available in Black as well as the Blue... follow the link below..
Envii Loch Ness Mod
The Artisan is available in Stainless in Stainless Steel or Rose Gold and has a price tag of $45.99/£35.68 but use the same code and it's yours for $39.09/£30.32 which for a tank of this innovation and quality I think is pretty much where it needs to be. Find it here...
Envii Artisan RTA
So the next time someone asks you.....
And if you would like to see how these scored against other items of vapeology then please feel free to hop on over to Steampugs and while you're there take a gander around my top picks shop where you will find bargains galore and even the odd discount code.
Until next time
Yours eternally vapeful.