The Cheetah II RDA by OBS.
After my stellar debut as a written reviewer with The Perseus and Mad Hatter RDTA’s Dean, in another moment of stupidity, madness, kindness, has trusted me with some new things to have a play with and let you all know how wonderful/poo they are. I was asked, by the man himself, if I felt up to it, of course I replied, the words ‘Difficult 2nd Album’ were said……..how silly, you and I both know there have been many great second albums. There was……er….no…..what about?……no, no it was crap…er……insert name of great second album here, when you’ve managed to find one.
Anyway, what did I receive? Well, first off we have a nice RDA from OBS called the Cheetah II. It is, if you haven’t already guessed, the second incarnation of the Cheetah name on an OBS RDA. Someone else who is doing a follow up then, nice coincidence.
Like my previous review I am going to separate it into different sections, hopefully with less swearing this time.
What’s in the box?
OBS have presented the Cheetah II in a box that feels like it holds a quality product. You have an outer sleeve that has a picture of the RDA on the front, the usual ‘Scratch & Sniff’ on one side along with Facebook and Instagram links, and some information on the back that also informs me I have the Stainless Steel version. They also do a black version (looks ok) a dark blue (not bad) and a gold version (just in case you’re Mr T)
On removing the outer sleeve you have a dark yellow box which has a drawer compartment in one side that you slide out by holding onto a little bit of ribbon. I like this, it give a sense of occasion when opening your new purchase. Almost as if you have a butler going “Your RDA Sir.”
The Cheetah is nestled at one end of the drawer and has a box alongside it which contains the usual assortment of O-Rings, a set of coils, cotton, screws and a blue Phillips head screwdriver that is alright, it actually is a good size and sits comfortably in your hand. Still haven’t used it though. There is also a small picture booklet giving quite good instructions on what to do with it. They are clear, concise and easy to follow.
In all OBS have presented this RDA very well, I have purchased several others in the past, for a lot more money, where the packaging feels like a cheap, inconvenient, afterthought. Of course, this doesn’t give a guarantee of a quality product. It could be a case of the old saying of all ‘fur coat and no knickers.’ It could also be the case that I listen to the sayings of some very odd people, but lets have a look at the actual RDA.
The RDA itself
The back of the box tells me the Cheetah II RDA is 24mm wide (there is also a 22mm version), 34.2mm tall and weighs 32g. I cannot, for the life of me, think of a situation when I need to know the weight of an RDA, but OBS felt I needed to know this, so it’s the least I can do to pass this information on to you.
The Cheetah II is a classic 3 piece design of base (with build deck), outer sleeve, which has the slots for airflow cut into them, and a top cap with the airflow control. The drip tip is Goon/Kennedy compatible and made of PEI.
The top cap has some knurling spaced around it to allow you to grip it when adjusting your airflow, it is also domed on the inside to help with flavour. The drip tip is tight enough to allow you to use it to pull the top cap off without removing the outer sleeve, which I like to use when checking my coils etc.
The outer sleeve has ‘Cheetah II’ engraved on one side in a decent, inoffensive font and a logo on the opposite side of two cheetah heads facing away from each other. This logo has caused a little bit of controversy among the vaping community, some people have likened it to the Sabre Toothed Tiger on the Goon V1.5. I was going to actually defend OBS because I believed 528 Custom Vapes had only recently begun to use the logo, it didn’t appear on the original Goon and I only became aware of it in the advertising for the V1.5 (Editors note: This is a common misconception hence leaving it in, the sabre tooth logo has been a 528 Customs logo for a long time – Shown in The Vaping Biker review of the Monster V3 back in Nov 2015 – I know this only because I’m old). I had a whole load of things written about how there was no way it could be a copy because the design for the Cheetah II would gave been done months ago. Then I noticed the bag my original Goon came in……..There it was, The Sabre Toothed Tiger that flows into the ‘G’ for Goon…..Shit.
So a copy then. Well, no, I’m not so sure. My opinion is that whilst it has many similarities, its different enough to be…different! The Goon will be mentioned more in the coming paragraphs so I do think it has had a part to play in the design of the Cheetah II, but I think OBS have made a RDA that can hold its own in a crowded market place.
What’s the build deck like?
On the back of the box, in the bit that tells you the dimensions and weight, there is a section entitled ‘MAIN FEATURES.’ Next to this it informs you of ‘The brand-new deck!’ So what so special about the deck that it warrants an exclamation mark?
In the pictures I have included one taken directly looking down into the RDA, the first thing that springs to mind is the, yep, you’ve guessed it, Goon! The people who think this is a Goon copy are now closing their case for the prosecution. That picture only tells half the story because, and I’m going to make a statement now, so brace yourself, here goes…….The Cheetah II has the best build deck I have ever experienced on a RDA.
Wow, big statement! Dino Ferrari just fell off his chair, many Goon owners have just called me a twat (or worse) The sky over my house just darkened and I can hear dogs howling in the distance. How can I say such a thing when it looks like a copy of a Goon? I did say it’s only half the story, if we inspect it closer we see some huge differences that become apparent when the coils are removed.
The inner most screws on the positive and negative posts go into holes that are big enough to accommodate most of the fancy coils out there, but wont be a problem for simple round wire. The outer screw are longer, these feed down to the bottom of the posts to a clamp which lowers when you undo the screw. This makes building on a Cheetah II a piece of pi….cake. When you remove your coil from the building jig (or screwdriver) you have both legs facing the same way with one higher than the other. On the Goon you have to bend one of them to line up, not on the OBS. The mixture of hole and clamp means your coil just slots into place with virtually no effort, so simple, so easy. Another advantage is that on a lot of build decks you have to have both coils in place before tightening the screws. On the Cheetah II you can place the first coil, tightened it and clip the excess before inserting your second coil, simple and effective, a pleasure to build on. Also, if you like to build simple micro coils you can just use the two holes for both. The screws capture the coils without any problems.
You have a nice sized juice well for you cotton to sit in and placing liquid is simple as well. With the placement of the posts you can drip your liquid with the top cap in place or easily remove the top part and paint your coils. With the side airflow its difficult to over-drip, fear not, I managed it, just for research you understand. I love the feeling of boiling hot e-liquid on my tongue.
How does it vape?
The reoccurring theme in this review is the similarities the Cheetah II shares with the Goon. I am in the lucky position that I also own a Goon and a Goon V1.5 so I can compare this to two of the most popular RDA’s on the market today. So how does this upstart compare to both of them?
If you put the same build and juice in all three, blindfolded me, and asked me to say which is which I would struggle. Mainly because you have blindfolded me and I hardly know you. If you could then calm me down, perhaps offer to buy me dinner or something to gain your trust, I would be surprised if I could tell you which RDA is best. When I’ve tried to look at these objectively outside the world of mild S&M, my gut feeling is that in terms of flavour, The Cheetah II is as good as the original Goon, but not as good as the Goon V1.5.
During the time I have had with the Cheetah II I’ve put several different builds in it. From a simple round wire to a more fancy Fused Alien via a traditional Clapton. I have run it at my favourite .4 Ohms at 44.4 watts to a hot 88.8 watts at .2 Ohms. I have run it on a Mech as well as a regulated Mod. Through all this it has performed well, produced good clouds and gave me a flavourful vape. It does get hot at higher wattages, but my previous review makes my feelings on that subject known, so I have no complaints. I am currently vaping it at a nice .18 Ohms on my Noisy Cricket II in parallel and it’s my ‘go-to’ vape at the moment.
Pro’s & Cons, Likes & Dislikes
Let’s start with what I don’t like:
The finish – Very subjective this but it’s a little bit towards the chrome end of stainless steel. I find that it’s difficult to keep clean in use and looks a bit cheap compared to other RDA’s.
No Squonk Pin – Why? I think there is room for one, it would make a great squonking RDA. By not including one it has narrowed its appeal for no reason. I haven’t seen anything from OBS to say that one will be available separately.
No Single Coil option – The way the airflow control is designed it would not be an issue to have a cut out for a single coil. I really do not understand why there is not one.
No 510 Drip Tip adaptor – Not something that has bothered me but there is a lot of people that use nothing else. It would be good to see them catered for.
And that’s it for the dislikes, not a lot that couldn’t be easily changed and one of them is very subjective.
So what do I like? Let’s see:
Build Quality – Feels solid, may look a bit cheap (in my opinion only) but it feels built to last.
Price – I have seen the 22mm version on sale for £24.95 and the 24mm for £27.95. That is a bargain. If we return to how I have compared it to the Goon, its less than half the price. Want a Goon but cannot afford one? Buy this. Considering buying a Goon Clone? Really, really don’t, buy this instead and not get grief for buying a clone. Fed up with me mentioning the Goon in a review for a totally different product? Buy a Cheetah II RDA.
The Build Deck – I absolutely love it. There are several decks out there (Velocity, Goon, Ant and) that have made a huge impression on the way RDA’s are designed. This deserves to used again in the future, imitation is a form of flattery they say (The people who say this are a lot less weird than the people who say the ‘No Knickers’ comment)
I like this RDA, it doesn’t offend me, annoy me or let me down. It looks good on most mods and it vapes really well. I have compared it to the Goon in several area’s and I think that is fair, I would be surprised if OBS didn’t use the Goon as an inspiration for this. Why not, it’s a bloody good RDA and hugely popular, it makes for a fine inspiration and OBS have not let themselves down in making the Cheetah II. I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone, the price alone makes it attractive, when you then consider the deck and the way it vapes it really is a no brainer to me.
Thanks again to Dean for giving me the opportunity to write this ‘Difficult 2nd Album.’ I will let you and him decide how good it is.
Big thanks to Ian for another great review, and also to OBS for sending the Cheetah II free for review. Go to OBS’ website ( http://obsnsmoke.com/pro_details.asp?ID=197 ) to check out more information – as well as the amazing marketing phrase of “IT’S READY TO BANG YOU ALL” – I have no idea what that means either.
OBS on Instagram for all your tagging joys – https://www.instagram.com/obs.official/