I challenge you to a Dual……or Single Coil RDA.
The DPRO RDA by Coil Art.
The second thing in this latest batch of atomisers I was given by Dean to review is a smart, post-less, 24mm RDA from CoilArt, The DPRO.
The one rule I have when doing these reviews is that once I know what I am getting, I don’t watch any reviews for it on YouTube, I want to give my opinion, I do not want to be influenced in any way by someone else. This has been somewhat complicated with this one though. First of all, the man himself, the bearded one, Dean, has released his own thoughts on it. I cannot tell how much I was tempted to watch it. My finger was poised over the play button for many, many minutes as I tried to justify why I could watch it. In the end I avoided temptation successfully and I have no idea what he thinks of it. If he thinks it’s great and I think it’s crap, one of us is wrong, possibly, maybe……It’ll be me, I’m used to being wrong, I’ve been married.
Anyway, it was further complicated by the fact that an hour before Dean told me I was getting the DPRO I watched Daniel from DJLSB Vapes review of it. The first thing out of his mouth in that video was something along the lines of ‘This is a good RDA, but it’s not good in single coil, dual coil only.’ At the time I did not pay much attention, an hour later I was thinking ‘that’s the one that isn’t very good in single coil.’ These thoughts occupied my mind a few days later when I turned up at VapeFest and found myself in the pub on the Friday talking to the wonderful Richard Vick from the YouTube Channel ‘Vaping V1ck.’ The following conversation took place:
Richard “Hi Ian, got anything else from Dean to review?”
Me “Yeah, I’ve got the DPRO RDA to do”
Richard “I’ve reviewed that, it’s good but crap in dual coil, single coil only.”
Me “Oh, ok”
Richard “I’m sure you’ll do a brilliant review, I read them all and think you’re a great writer”
Me “Thanks Richard, do you want a pint?”
Now, some of that conversation may not be as accurate as I remember it, but he did give an opposing opinion to DJLSB Vapes, He is wonderful though.
So basically, I’m either going to disagree with Richard, Daniel, or Dean……..No pressure then, lets get on with it.
What’s in the box?
The box your DPRO RDA arrives in is a pretty standard affair, an outer sleeve and a pull off lid presents you with your new purchase. The outer sleeve has a picture of the black version of the DPRO and the usual warnings and scratch n’ sniff authenticity check. The inner box lid has the CoilArt logo, social media information and the colour options. These are Black, Silver, Ultem, Red, Golden, White, Blue and Purple. All the colours of the rainbow, but not rainbow.
Inside the DPRO sits snugly in some foam packaging with a couple of bags and a Allen key alongside. The bags contain spare O-Rings, grub screws, a squonk pin, coils and cotton. At the bottom of the box I found a circular piece of card with a couple of pictures of the build deck which showed different coil configurations. On the other side it had the following legend ‘DPRO – DRIP LIKE A PRO’ I felt a bit left out at this point because I like to drip like a fuckwit, but never mind. It did get me thinking though, is that what DPRO means? ‘Drip Professionally.’ Perhaps, I cannot find any other meaning of the word, so that’s as good an explanation as any.
That’s about it for the packaging, let’s have a look at the RDA itself.
The DPRO RDA
I have the black version of the DPRO and it has a pleasant, no-nonsense look to it. You have the CoilArt logo on one side, which is a sod to photograph, and a single air hole on each side. The drip tip is a strange thing to behold. Finished in Ultem, which I’m not the biggest fan of, it’s Goon/Kennedy compatible. When you look a bit closer at it though, it gets a bit confusing. Although its wide enough to fit a Goon, the actual opening is about the same sized as a 510 drip tip. When you look down through it, you realise that it widens out between the bottom and the top. What’s that all about? I’m a bit stuck on what that achieves if I’m honest. I get the feeling that CoilArt wanted to fit a smaller, 510 sized, drip tip, but thought that most 24mm RDA’s at the moment have the larger ‘810’ size. (I hesitate to use the 810 name because it doesn’t relate to any of the dimensions of that type of drip tip, I’m just bored with typing ‘Goon/Kennedy.’ Even though I have just done it again…..Think I will just close the brackets and get on with the review) Anyway, the drip tip is a thing, not sure why it’s the particular thing that it is, but it is what it is.
The build deck is a post-less design that, in theory, gives you a nice open area to build unimpeded by anything, it is a bit strange though. The DPRO is 23mm from base to the top (excluding the drip tip) Approximately half of that is taken up with the securing screws for the coils, the deck is on top of all that, separate. This has the advantage of bringing the coils closer to your mouth-hole, but leaves very little room for a juice well. I estimate that the juice well is 2mm deep, that is not a lot to play with, perhaps that’s why you have to drip like a pro.
The airflow is designed a bit like some of the single coil RDA’s you see, you have two raised areas, containing the air-holes, angled slightly downward directly onto the coil. This can provide a flavourful vape, the air-holes do reduce the juice well to 1mm where they enter, the effects of this will be covered later in the review.
One last point on the airflow, there is not a lot of it. If you get an original Goon and close it to one hole, that is about the same as the airflow that is available on the DPRO. I think the phrase ‘Restricted Lung-Hit’ is used by reviewers at this point and I am not about to disagree.
The DPRO RDA has a nice, protruding, 510 that I would have no concerns about using on a hybrid device, always check your one though.
Dual Coil vs Single Coil
This was how I run the DPRO RDA out of the box. I installed the coils that came with it, these were Fused Claptons, 2 x 26/40 AWG, Ni80, 3mm ID coils that came out at .17 Ohms. They were a bit frisky and ramped up like a bastard. I installed them and cranked my Minikin V2 up to 66 watts. Pretty quickly I was aware that it was drying up, a quick drip and away again. Two toots later I was getting that type of hit that you get shortly before a mouthful of fire. I found that, at that wattage, and with the lack of juice well, the DPRO was struggling to hold enough e-liquid to allow an enjoyable vape. Also, due to the coils being quite complicated, it felt like there was not enough air entering the chamber. Although it is the centre of a coil that heats up the quickest, and that is where the airflow was hitting it, either end of the coil was getting no air. This felt like it quickly drained whatever liquid was in that part of the wicks, therefore they were drying up quickly. If I turned it down to about 45 watts it was better, the juice kept up, but the coils felt under powered and the vape was weak and unsatisfying. These coils did not last long, I just felt at that low ohms they were a bit wasted on the RDA, I removed them and put them in one of my Goons. After this I switched to a simple round wire build, five wraps over a 3mm ID of Ni80 wire, this came out around .23 Ohms and felt a bit more suited when I raised the wattage up. In my opinion, because the round wire build was smaller, it was receiving more air and not drying the wicks too quickly. I positioned the coils as close to the air holes as I could get away with, this allowed the flavour to come out as much as it was going to. I felt the flavour was good, above average, but not outstanding. My Goons, Kennedy and Recoil give better flavour with similar builds in them.
When Dean gave me DPRO RDA to review he also included some coils from Coil Master. These are branded as ‘Ready Coils’ and come in a tin with pre cut cotton that will allow you to rebuild as quick as possible. There are three pairs of coils, all Ni80/Kanthal Claptons, I decided to use one of them as a single coil build in the DPRO. I used the Triple Clapton, 3 x 26/40 AWG, Kanthal and Ni80, which came out at .24 Ohms. I felt it would not be lost between the two airflow holes. This performed well, you do not feel like the air is bypassing the coil. The flavour was not quite as good as the dual coil version, but it was not far off. I think you could actually get away with a 3.5mm, or even a 4mm, ID single coil in this RDA as there is a big gap between the air-holes.
So who was right in the single vs dual coil battle out of DJLSB and the wonderful Mr V1ck? It’s a good question and one that I’m going to answer with………..Both of them. Before calls of ‘cop out’ and ‘fence sitter’ I want to quantify my answer. I think the DPRO RDA works, kind of, as both depending on the build that is put in it, as well as personal taste. (Which applies to everything in vaping and life) I personally preferred the dual coil build, but only with round wire. Once you start putting in bigger coils I felt it did not have enough air, or juice well, to keep up. The DPRO RDA has some things about it that are different, as well as a bit of a flaw. That is where I would like to look at next, is this RDA a good dripper? Or a good Squonking RDA? Or both? Or neither?
To Squonk or not to Squonk. That is the question.
The first time I used the DPRO was as a dripper, that changed very quickly. After a couple of hours I got tired of constantly dripping, I was getting a repetitive strain injury from removing the top of my juice bottle. With the supplied coils it just felt like the cotton was constantly drying and it led me to feeling a bit nervous of inhaling a lungful of fire. The juice well is approx 2mm deep, which sounds ok, but the way the airflow hole is designed it feels, and looks, less than that. If you drip without removing the top cap it is very, very easy to have a puddle of e-liquid sat in the middle of the juice well waiting to hurtle up the air hole and down the side of your RDA. If, like me, you are using max VG juice, it takes a while to be absorbed into the cotton, it requires patience. I am not good with that and felt like over-dripping was a new constant in my life.
Receiving the DPRO RDA came at a time when I had invested a few pounds (more like a lot of pounds and possibly a kidney) on some very La-De-Da Mech Squonkers, so I decided to put in the squonk pin and see what this RDA was like with the #squonklyfe fam’. (I would like to apologise to anyone adversely affected by that last comment.)
This improved my overall view of the DPRO RDA, it felt more manageable and less tiring. It was also soon after this that I changed to the round wire build and this further improved my feelings towards it. I believe that the DPRO makes a good squonking RDA, not brilliant or perfect, but good.
I maintain that it is very easy to oversquonk the DPRO, especially when it had a single coil in it. The juice comes up through the 510 and will take the path of least resistance. When it’s in single coil mode there is a coil directly over the top of the hole, it’s natural for it to push to either side, exactly where the air-holes are, just waiting to act as a funnel to the freedom that lies a short distance away. This happened less when it was in dual coil, with the coils right in front of the air-holes they seemed to block its path a bit. This did not work all the time, a juice escape bid was still a regular occurrence, but it felt less than before. When you see the pictures of the DPRO that I have taken you will notice how I have placed the cotton with dual coils. Since these pictures were taken I have started to leave a small trench between the two wicks on either side. This seems to allow the juice to channel towards the edge of the RDA and soak the wicks more effectively. Well, that’s what it does in my mind anyway. You have to do a lot of faffing around though just to get vapour into your lungs, you do question if its worth it. I will try and answer that in the next part.
I have decided to not do the traditional pro’s and con’s that you find with my other reviews as I feel the DPRO RDA is a little bit more complicated to explain.
For a start, it’s a bit weird and confusing this RDA. From the Goon sized drip tip that thinks it’s a 510 to the deck that is built halfway up and leaves very little room for juice, it would be very easy to dismiss the DPRO as a bit crap. The build quality is ok, the O-Rings that hold on the top cap could be a bit better and you can over-drip/squonk it without even trying. It could do with more air and it really cannot choose whether it likes dual or single coil builds in it. My personal opinion is that CoilArt wanted to make a flavour RDA, something along the lines of the Hadaly, but then decided to make it 24mm in diameter. This has led to the feeling of confusion on what it is and how to use it .
That seems to give a pretty clear cut answer to my views on the DPRO RDA, except for one thing………I like it. There is a lot that can be frustrating about it, and it can be a pain in the arse, but so can my Dad, and I haven’t got rid of him.
As a dripping RDA, no….just no, stop it, do not like it at all. But when you are using it to squonk, with all the cool people, it’s a good atomiser. The flavour is alright, there are others that are better, but it does not let itself down and it does give a nice restricted lung hit. It sits well on my squonkers and I feel I will be keeping it in my life as I enjoy, most of the time, using it. It works well, CoilArt have done ok with it. I have a couple of friends who bought a DPRO at Vapefest and they both like it, but they are not blind to it’s bad points. They both disagree whether to run it in dual or single coil as well.
You can purchase the DPRO RDA by CoilArt for £25 from a reputable dealer in the UK, that’s pretty good I think. I have several RDA’s that are a lot more expensive than that and only a bit better. It does have it’s faults, it could be better, but it’s ok as a squonking atomiser. As I said above, I like it.
That concludes my review of the DPRO RDA by CoilArt. Once I have emailed this to Dean I will be watching his review of it.
Thanks to Dean for theDPRO RDA to review, hope you all enjoy reading it.
Peace & Love
Editors Note: Thanks Ian for another fantastic review, I’m incredibly sorry it’s gone up so late! A mixture of technical fuckery and brain fog forgetfulness.
Thanks also to CoilArt for sending across the DPRO for us to review, they can be found on their website here: http://www.coilart.net/coilart-dpro-rda-black