On first sight the Zenith RDTA (Rebuildable Dripping Tank Atomizer) has a ton of wow factor. It looks very premium, innovative, and hard to tell how it works or what category of atty it falls under. Well it’s in a class all of its own.
The Zenith is the brain child of Science of Vaping and the second we saw this atty we had to have one for review. We are always fans of innovative thinking and this is one of the first RDTAs that have interested us. There have been others (Big Dripper & Aromamizer) but most are a tank sitting on top of you coils which make them very similar to an RTA. The Zenith takes a whole new approach, putting the tank below the coils. Basically this is an RDA that has super long wicks that sit in a tank (3ml). The benefit is more vaping between dripping, although you still need to fill/drip it more than a traditional RTA.
Flavour is very good. It’s a clean, dense vape. There is a flaw that has been remedied (new Top Caps), it gets pretty hot with low ohm builds (it shines around 0.3Ohms) and without the new Delrin top caps (sold separately) it’s not vapable unless you move up to a 0.5ohm or higher build (and stay under 40W). Not sure what happened and why this was even an issue, but you will need to spend the extra $20USD right off the bat, making this even pricier. We are waiting on our new Top Cap and will give an update once we try it out. We think with the 510 adapter top with a more restricted Drip Tip the flavour is going to be even better!
Airflow is great, silky smooth with tons of options. There are 2 bottom airflow holes that are not adjustable but pretty restricted so they are good as they are. There is also two cyclops slots, one for each coil (sorry dual builds only), fully open there is a ton of airflow (almost chucker worthy). We found the optimal flavour is accomplished with side slots closed off 3/4 of the way.
Building on this one needs patience, it’s like a Veritas or Origen decks, negative screws tight to the deck (no posts) and a centre thumb screw post with a hole to fit your positive leads through before tightening them down. We wouldn’t advise using wire any thicker than 24ga as you may not be able to get two leads through the centre post hole. This is the other major con, the centre post spins slightly when tightening it down, not sure why, it seems to be a design flaw. You could argue it’s for aligning your coils over the bottle airflow holes (these can also be adjusted by turning the bottom tank section) but we would prefer everything locked down. It’s manageable but still needs to be looked at and mentioned.
Wicking and filling this bad boy is a bit of a chore. The benefit is you get more pulls between fills. We found having only one long wick lead per coil in the tank made things a lot easier (more space & less mess), just trim the other wick lead like you would with a vertical coil. Essentially you build dual horizontal coils over the bottom airflow and then leave wicks long enough to hit the bottom of the tank. It can be a little tight fitting the wicks down the channels so keep your coil width in mind to make it easier on yourself. You fill your juice down the outer sides of each wick, this is where leaving some space can be helpful. We found alternating between all four wick sides made filling faster and less painful. You can use a standard dripper but a unicorn bottle will make things even easier. When the tank is full it must be kept upright at all times, it will leak if tipped over (just vape your tank before you take it on the move).
Build quality and materials are top notch. It’s beautifully finished, this one looks as expensive as it is for sure. The lack of any spare parts what so ever and no 510 adapter at this price range is a major miss. Packaging was nice and there was plenty of room for some more stuff.
Overall we are currently on the fence about this atty. It looks great, tastes good, great vapor density, but we can’t vape it where we want it (0.2-0.4Ohms) without the new top caps which are sold separately. It doesn’t vape as long as we had hoped between fills (2-3 times longer than a standard RDA, but 1/2 as long as a standard RTA). And it’s pretty pricey with no extras of any kind. We have to say this atty is for the hobbyist or crazy spenders that just like a large collection. It has some unique qualities but it’s not all day vape hardware, it’s more of a pull out once and a while kind of atty.
A total aside. It would be great to see manufactures/designers publicizing recommended builds for their atty hardware, it would really aid in our purchase decision as vapors. There are ways to do this without taking on any liability.
We will post an update once we have tried out the new Top Caps. The results may also effect our overall rating.
Well we got our hands on the delrin 510 drip tip cap and it has made a difference in our overall opinion and performance. At nearly $30 for an accessory that should be included in the original price and kit it does allow you to run this how we believe it should. A nice dual coil 24ga, 2.5mm, 0.30-0.35 Ohm run at around 50-55W does the trick. Gone are the heat problems on your mouth and the flavour is much improved. We run it the AFC open about a quarter of the way and centered over each coil. For us the airflow is perfect, nice and open with just a tad restricted. One con has been addressed, the spinning centre post can be tightened down to stop it (check out how on SOV’s Facebook page for a video posted July 30)
So at $165 CAD it’s a steep price for an RDTA. We have had the pleasure of trying other RDTAs since our first look at the Zenith and to be honest it just doesn’t stack up to the competition. It’s one of the prettiest for sure (has a very premium look), but really it’s quite a finicky little atty. It’s not the easiest to wick, fill, or build. It can leak occasionally (we found it will leak if left full, not that this is a common thing to do) and the tank really doesn’t last long enough to warrant its value (other RDTAs last much much longer). Also adjustment to the lower airflow would be a real nice to have (it’s pretty wide open, making the top AFC sort of pointless). The performance has improved to make it a rather tasty atty but the value for your money on this one had made us left it’s overall score where it is. If you have money to burn and love the aesthetics, sure buy it, but really there is better out there for less.
SOV ZENITH RDTA
- Flavour - 8/108/10
- Ease of Build - 7/107/10
- Airflow - 8.5/108.5/10
- Wicking - 7.5/107.5/10
- Juice Capacity - 6/106/10
- Aesthetics - 9/109/10
- Fit & Finish - 10/1010/10
- Materials - 10/1010/10
- Value - 6/106/10
- Innovative Design
- Clean Design Aesthetic (Premium)
- Super Smooth Airflow
- Tons of Airflow Options (Bottom and Side flows)
- Good Flavour
- Great Vapor Density
- Great Build Quality
- Perfect O-ring Resistances
- Super Deep Juice Tank (3ml)
- Good for both Flavour & Cloud Chasers
- Spinning Centre Post (Manageable)
- Finicky Build (Need Patience)
- Must be kept upright when full (will Leak)
- Can get Hot (Builds under 0.5Ohms)
- No 510 adapter included (Can be bought separately)
- No Spare Parts of any Kind
- Dual Builds Only