The Gigue Dolphin Ceramic Tank
Rewickable – Flavorful – Innovative
I am beginning to think that reviewing sub-ohm tanks like the Gigue Dolphin can no longer focus on the amount, or density, of clouds of vapor they produce. The last several sub-ohm tanks I’ve used, and some I have reviewed, have all produced more vapor than anybody had ever known just 18 months ago. The best of these tanks, of which there are many, produce clouds as good as any RDA with an advanced coil and the best Japanese Organic Cotton. Why base your decision on vapor production when they all produce plenty of vapor?
Today’s best tanks should be judged on the powers of flavor production, but there it becomes, or almost becomes, a matter of subjective tastes. Of the best flavor producing tanks I would venture to say that if I were to choose ten (10) tanks for flavor, 4 would be Ceramic tanks, six (6) would be wire/cotton, and of those ten there would be three (3) distinct types of flavor production; crisp and clean, full and heavy, and full and true. From there, each tank owner would have to choose the style, or kind, of flavor she or he wants.
Analog and Digital
Remember when people bought CD’s? There was, and still is today, debate over the ‘sound’ of digital versus analog (vinyl) records. Digital was said to be clean, crisp, sterile. Analog, or vinyl records may have a bit of hiss, or static, but the music was rich, deeper, unclean… and preferred by many. Today you can apply that same reasoning to many of today’s best tanks.
The standard bearer for flavor tanks has been Kanthal wire coils and pure Japanese Organic Cotton. Pure organic cotton delivers pure flavors because this cotton has no impurities that can leech in or somehow change the flavor produced by vaporizing eliquid. Kanthal was the standard wire to use for years before Temperature Control began its swift march to the center of attention by the introduction of the Evolv DNA 40 board, the first chipset to feature the ability to factor in the temperature coefficient of Pure Nickel (Ni200) coils. Because all e-liquid ‘creators’, or mixologists were using Kanthal coils for testing their own eliquid flavors, the ‘real’ flavor would only reveal itself when vaped with Kanthal wire. This practice still applies today, and we have become accustomed to having our e-juices taste a bit differently when we use a coil that is not Kanthal.
Where this really begins to be noticed is when vaping with a ceramic coil head. And even when discussing these differences, we could dive into the minutiae of various ceramic coils, ceramic coils that use cotton, ceramic coils that don’t use cotton, and ceramic coils that use different wires, including NiChrome. But today, since this is a review for one specific sub-ohm tank, we’ll stay focused on the ceramic coil used in this tank.
Getting back to analog and digital flavor, this has never been more apparent then when comparing ceramic coils versus wire/cotton coils. It’s not enough to say that ‘a ceramic coil produces this type of flavor’, because I’ve experienced three (3) distinct flavor types in the tanks I have used personally, so I know there are at least three. Some ceramic coils produce very little flavor, some produce flavor that tastes too clean and crisp, and some ceramic coils produce the richest, most ‘analog’ flavors I’ve ever had the pleasure to vape. Among the ‘analog’ tasting tanks are the Council of Vapor Phoenix, and the one I’m reviewing today, the Gigue Dolphin tank. Both are perfectly capable of producing hordes of clouds, but their real pleasures come from the rich, dense flavors they produce.
The Gigue Dolphin Innovative Sub-Ohm Tank
Before getting into the actual tank review I want to mention a couple of things you need to pay particular attention to. The first is a matter of subjectivity in the ‘review arena’. The Gigue Dolphin has been applauded, and derided when it comes to its powers of flavor production.
Just like any other sub-ohm tank on the market today people can judge vape gear (and e-liquid) in different ways. Some may think a tank produces great flavor and another will say that the tank’s ability to produce flavor is the weakest aspect of the tank.
Our own staff has taken this stance recently with the Target cCell tank. John and I will tell you that, once properly broken in, the Target cCell with both its Kanthal ceramic coil head and Ni200 coil head are excellent flavor producers. Others, like Tom and Kiera, believe the opposite.
We’ve had many heated discussions about the Target tank by Vaporesso. John and I still insist that a coil head for the Target must be broken in carefully before it deliver supreme flavor, while Tom and Kiera believe that nothing can make the Target coil head a flavorful tank. While this isn’t the case with the Gigue Dolphin you will no doubt find reviews that dismiss the tank as a weak flavor tank. I do not stand on that side of the argument. By no means if the Dolphin a perfect tank, but when it comes to releasing flavor in the vapor, it is a sublime tank.
The Gigue Dolphin Tank is powered by a rewickable ceramic heating core, using a solid state heater wrapped in a ceramic canister design. Think of a bullet casing and how inside that casing is the gunpowder, lead and a primer. (That’s a very elementary way of describing a bullet, but the analogy works) The fundamental heating element is non-toxic, porous, and high performing ceramics, constructed in a way that sends heat uniformly through the ceramics for better balanced e-liquid consumption and out of this world flavor production, after the break in period.
A unique bullet-like insert is a ‘round’ of wrapped cotton with a single wire inside (Kanthal or Ni200) in the form of a cylinder that fits inside the super porous ceramic casing. When you buy a Gigue Dolphin you get 3 extra cotton inserts. Like the Council of Vapor Phoenix, the central element, the ceramic core, is permanent, so if something bad happens to the ceramic core the tank is effectively destroyed. Though I’m not sure what can break this porous ceramic core, but if a bad core slips by quality control then it could happen. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to make sure our newly purchased tank is defect-free, so I recommend using it extensively for the first week and if nothing happens to cause a failure in the core, you probably won’t need to worry about it for many months, at least. The ceramic core has been tested with 120 hours of continuous firing without a breakdown of the ceramics, and cleaning the debris off the ceramic core is performed by burning it away with a several second fire button press.
Dry Heating Cleaning
1 – Remove the old cotton insert from the ceramic core.
2 – Set the power/wattage to below 25 watts, fire the mod for 10 to 20 seconds.
There are many features to like about the Gigue Dolphin, and a few not so likable. I’ll cover some of most important ones below. The complete features and specs will follow at the end of this review. (Stainless Steel was the only ‘color’ available at the time of this review, though a black version will ship right about…. now.)
The tank, minus the drip tip, is roughly 2.5-inches tall with the ubiquitous 22mm width. This seems just slightly taller than need be with its 4mL e-juice capacity. The Gigue Dolphin doesn’t look overly big, but it’s not short and stout either. There are plenty of tanks with more than 4mL capacity and plenty with less. So, let’s call the capacity of the Dolphin “average”.
The Gigue Dolphin has a very nifty top-fill system, one that needs to be shown to you, or described to you before you’ll know how to fill it. See the accompanying photos to go along with my description.
Filling the tank is done by revealing the top fill slot through a ‘push up and slide method’. To do that you lift up the outer top cap, then push the cap to one side. That reveals the slot, and once you’re done filling you slide the top cap back into place and push down on the outer top cap to seal it. It’s simple, but intricate, and until I read the directions I didn’t have a clue as to what to do. I much prefer screwing off the entire top cap but the Chinese manufacturers have to keep doing things differently in order to draw attention to their product over the competitions’. I would agree with a description of the top-fill method that calls it “overly complicated”, but I certainly don’t mind it.
The Gigue Dolphin has three adjustable airflow slots, Cyclops style, 8mmx2mm for plenty of air-cooled vapor, and a dual layered drip tip (glass and stainless steel!) for excellent heat dissipation. The first time I used it I tried to remove the transparent glass drip tip since there was a stainless steel tip beneath it, as it turns out, that glass drip tip is there for a very good reason.
The other feature worth highlighting is the e-liquid flow ports. These large ports allow for tremendous lung hits. While the ceramic core itself prevents most ‘dry hits’, these e-liquid ports assures the user that plenty of eliquid is keeping the core saturated.
Real World Usage Report
The Spinfuel eLiquid Review Team recently used the Gigue Dolphin tank as the exclusive tank in our review for the Arkansas Eliquid Gypsy Line. Believe me, if there was any discrepancy over the ability of the Gigue Dolphin to produce excellent flavor we would not have used it exclusively in a review.
The Gigue Dolphin is an attractive tank constructed with high grade 304 Stainless Steel. The tank glass is thick, solid, and optically pure. I don’t believe the Dolphin uses Pyrex glass, and for as long as we’ve been saying this about every claim of Pyrex no company has ever challenged us. The “type” of glass doesn’t matter anyway, what matters here is the purity and thickness of the glass, and the Dolphin glass is as nice as they come. I felt like I was getting an excellent and satisfying vape the entire time I used it. In fact, the Gigue Dolphin is still in use, and I plan on continuing to use it for the foreseeable future.
Using the High VG eliquid from Arkansas eLiquid, Vape Dudes, Immortal Fog (review coming soon), and Johnson Creek’s Cocktail line, the vapor production was every bit as thick and voluminous as the flavors were rich and analog. I might even go so far as to say that the ceramic core of the Dolphin made even the best tasting e-liquids taste a little better.
The ceramic core is made with food-grade ceramics, the cotton/wire spools used for rewicking the core are pure organic cotton (if you want you can create your own cotton/wire spools as well), and you’ll receive both Kanthal and Ni200 spools when you buy the tank. Purchasing 5-packs of replacement spools will cost you just $11.95 at Element Vape. Each pack includes one outer shell with ceramic heater and 4 spools.
Like everything else in the vape community you’re going to hear some people say that the Gigue Dolphin tank is awful, while some will say the opposite. Whether either of these claims are pushed out to the net by competitors or victims of poor customer service, the only thing you have to go on is your gut instinct. Which reviewers do you believe, what does your RL friends that own the tank or mod say about it, and is there is way to try out the tank or mod before you buy (probably not). All I can do is tell you about my experience with the tanks and mods I use before I review them. No one here at Spinfuel has a horse in this race, no one will make a dime if you buy one, so we have no reason to tell you anything other than what our true experiences are.
The Gigue Dolphin Tank is available at Element Vape for $36.99, a typical price for a re-wickable, high end, ceramic core tank. The MSRP is $44.95.
After using this tank for a couple of weeks I can tell you that if I somehow lost it or broke it I would definitely pick up another one.
Gigue Dolphin Tank Features: $36.99
- 22mm Width Diameter
- 4mL e-Juice Capacity
- 304 Stainless Steel Construction
- Quality Glass Reinforcement
- Food Grade Ceramic Composite Material
- Vertical Cylinder Structure
- Three 8mmx2mm Cyclops Adjustable Airflow Slots
- Innovative, but overly complicated Top-Fill Method
- Dual Layered Drip Tip – Glass and Stainless Steel
- 510 Drip Tip Adapter
Included in the box:
- 1 Dolphin Tank – Stainless or Black color
- 1 Preinstalled Ceramic Kanthal Coil (30~80W)
- 1 Replacement Non-Rewickable Ni200 Nickel Coil
- 1 Replacement Glass Drip Tip
- 1 Extra Glass Tube
- 3 Set of Cotton Spool “shells”
- Extra O-Rings