While I loved a lot of the earlier Vapefly designs (Galaxies range, Pixie RDA, Holic RDA, Core RTA), I lost a bit of interest once they moved into pod systems and the German 103 team designs.
So, when they released the Alberich MTL RTA, I was very curious – no mesh, no steel wires for wicking – just a normal MTL RTA.
The Alberich is a 22mm, gravity fed MTL RTA, with 3ml (4ml with the extension) juice capacity, fixed airflow and a choice of six airflow pins, ranging from 0.8mm to 2.5mm.
What do you get?
Alberich MTL RTA (fitted with 3ml PEI tube)
4ml glass tube + adapter
1×0.8ohm KA1 coil
Airflow pins (0.8, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6, 2.0 and 2.5mm)
While I generally prefer simple aesthetics when it comes to RTAs, the Alberich doesn’t look too bad – sure, it’s got a few too many visual design elements, but they don’t clash and the overall result is quite pleasing to the eyes. The proportions are a little better with the shorter, 3ml PEI tank, but it looks cleaner with the taller, 4ml glass tank.
I was a little put off by the chamber and tank being held in place by just a pair of O-rings, however the tolerances are great, it feels very secure. and it does come with spare O-rings.
Overall, the build quality is nice. Everything fits in place well and is smoothly threaded.
Put simply, this is one of the easiest MTL RTA decks that I’ve worked on. There are four post screws, so coil direction doesn’t matter, capturing the coil leads is really easy, and there’s a nice channel (which will also be used for wicking) that you can put your coil rod in to get the perfect coil height.
According to Vapefly’s guide, all you have to do to wick the Alberich is put the wick in the channel, cut aligned to the deck and it’s done. However, in reality it’s a little more tricky and gave me a few issues.
The Alberich is a gravity fed system, which in itself shouldn’t be an issue – other gravity fed RTAs and boro tanks use the same system, you just fluff the wick nicely and tuck it in, which makes the wick keep its shape, and everything works just fine.
The problem is that the Alberich has nowhere to tuck the cotton into, it just lays in the channel and loses all shape once it gets soaked with juice, it just doesn’t wick very well – it still wicks, but you certainly feel the nice vape you get from the initial hits becoming less and less saturated.
My solution for this, was to put a really thin wick through the coil, and thin the wick much more than most other RTAs. This style of wicking didn’t result in any leaks, and it does seem to solve a lot of the wicking issues.
This issue isn’t enough to make the Alberich a terrible RTA, it’s very far from terrible. It is however enough to make this a frustrating purchase for someone just getting into RTAs, and it’s an issue that could have been resolved with a very slight design change.
The Alberich has fixed airflow, this new Berserker V3 is the same, no airflow control ring, your only adjustments are through swapping the airflow pins. This is very much a personal preference, it doesn’t bother me one bit.
There are however two significant differences between the two systems:
Firstly, the unlike the press-fit system of the Berserker V3, the airpins for the Alberich are threaded.
Secondly, removing the airflow pin from the Alberich loosens the positive post, you can just about remove the pin with everything in place and get away with it, but in reality you will want to remove the tank and hold the positive post in place while doing so. What makes this less of a problem is that the tank just pulls off and it doesn’t really leak juice while doing so.
Neither of the above are major issues, but I still found them slightly annoying.
How does it perform?
2.5mm 28g 1.05ohm. I ran this build with the 1.3, 1.6 and 2.0mm airflow pins, from 12-18w. The flavor was really strong for an MTL build, not quite as crisp and clear with flavors as something like the Pioneer, but a lot of flavor. The throat-hit was really well judged, not harsh but present and very satisfying. This was an absolutely top quality MTL vape.
2.5mm 30g MTL fused clapton 0.65ohm. I ran this build with the 1.6, 2.0 and 2.5mm airflow pins from 15-25w. The flavor was good, but not as impressive as with the previous build. If this had been the first build that I tried, I would have loved it, but the initial build was so damn good, it’s hard to match it.
I’m in two minds about this RTA – when set up correctly, you get such good flavor and throat-hit, it’s an absolute pleasure to use. Vapers who have the experience or perseverance to get it right will enjoy the Alberich a lot.
For less experienced vapers, this is the type of RTA that could frustrate them to the point of sticking it in the back of the cupboard and moving on to something else.
The Vapefly Alberich was provided for the purposes of this review by HealthCabin.