They say, “everything old is new again.” Today, we are seeing a surge in squonking, a new breed of cig-a-like pod vapes, and the the resurgence of true mouth-to-lung (MTL) vaping. So, who better to lead the resurgence than two of the most-visible proponents of MTL vaping, Phil Busardo and Dimitris Agrafiotis, who partnered with Innokin to create the intriguing Innokin Ares MTL RTA.
While Innokin handled the manufacturing and marketing of the Ares, those familiar with Phil and Dimitris online presence can see the pair’s influences throughout the atomizer. We’ve questioned the need for “endorsed” vape products in the past, but both Busardo and Agrafiotis are well-known for their honest assessment of modern vaping, their advocacy for the industry, and their preference for vaping MTL RTA devices, when most of the vape community is trying to out-fog one another.
Their involvement certainly drew the interest of some of our staff, but name-value alone won’t sell this focused MTL RTA – let’s take an initial look to see what this collaboration has created in the Innokin Ares.
God of war, or Bringer of Peace?
Right off the bat, the Ares seems like a much more versatile RTA than simply an MTL atomizer, even if the product packaging and imprints make no bones about the tank’s intended use. Still, the 24mm width, large e-liquid capacity, and five-setting airflow control speak to a tank that might have more appeal to direct lung vapers than the marketing suggests.
One element that is clearly aimed at MTL vapers is the narrow (and replaceable) 510 drip tip, which has the same comfortable, familiar inwardly curved shape we remember from classic MTL atomizers. When we get our test model in for review, we’ll certainly try other 510 tips to see how it affects performance, but we’re confident this mouthpiece is how Dimi and Phil wanted this MTL RTA to be used.
Another standout feature is the raised build deck – a design that is supposedly going to be an ongoing trait of Innokin’s “Platform” series of atomizers. The initial view indicates the Ares will be built and wicked similar to an RDTA, but the documentation doesn’t ever once call it that. And the bottom airflow control ring certainly doesn’t speak to that label, either. All in all, a very interesting design choice for Innokin, and one we’re excited to investigate further.
The deck itself is strictly for single-coil use, with a unique “side-screw” format that makes seating and placing your builds extremely simple. In fact, to help with this, Innokin included two different build tools – one for each of the Ares’ celebrity endorsers.
Phil’s build tool is a standard metal rod with two widths – 0.25 and 0.3mm, respectively. However, in a cheeky nod to a long-running joke between the pair, Dimi’s build tool resembles a standard household screw, which Agrafiotis famously uses to build spaced coils. Having used this method since first seeing the YouTube clip in question, I can vouch that this method works well, and the tool will be a part of our experience with the Ares.
The final notable design element of the Ares MTL RTA is the distinctive, rounded bell chamber that covers the deck, seemingly to drive vapor smoothly up the narrow chimney, for concentrated, flavorful MTL draws.
Is the Ares an “All-Loving” God?
Earlier, I indicated the Ares’ specs and images show some design elements that MIGHT not be strictly MTL-focused. While most of the device is clearly aimed at vapers who value MTL flavor and throat hit, there are a few items that make us wonder if there might be some accommodation for direct lung users, as well.
Most notably, the cyclops-style AFC, which allows users to set one of five distinct airflow settings. Though we won’t know how it works until we have it for testing, it appears the two larger AFC holes are fairly wide open – perhaps open enough to push the Ares toward mild restricted and direct lung use.
One thing that all users will love is Innokin’s pristine presentation and extras, which include well-labeled parts, spare glass tank, two mouthpieces, two coil-building tools, multiple colored o-rings, a pair of prebuilt coils, additional 26-gauge kanthal wire, multi-head screwdriver, and even a pad of organic Japanese cotton. It’s an extremely thorough, generous offering to ensure new customers are using the product to its ideal capabilities.
Of all the things we observed with the Ares MTL RTA, this generosity is perhaps what spoke loudest about Dimi and Phil’s (and Innokin’s) commitment to a growing, diversifying vaping community. In an era of tanks that are focused on “bigger, badder and more,” it’s refreshing to see so much detail and attention put into a proudly old-school atomizer.
It’s also refreshing to see two prominent vape personalities – who have access to the world’s finest, priciest, and most-wanted MTL devices – to help create a moderately priced MTL RTA for smokers and experienced vapers alike.
We have a lot of things to test, but suffice it to say, we’re excited to get our hands on the Innokin Ares MTL RTA, and its companion MTL tank, the Innokin Zenith, when they arrive later this week. Check back soon for full reviews of each!
Innokin Ares MTL RTA Specs and Package Contents
Innokin Ares MTL RTA Specs:
- Diameter: 24mm
- Push to Fill System
- 4ml E-Juice Capacity
- Two Post, Single Terminal Build Deck
- Dual Adjustable Bottom Airslots
- Gold Plated 510 Pin
Innokin Ares MTL RTA Contents:
- 1x ARES RTA
- 1x Organic cotton
- 2x Pre-built coils
- 1x 1M wire
- 2x Sets of screws (Phillips and Straight)
- 2 x Black o-rings (installed)
- 2x Green o-rings
- 2x White o-rings
- 2 Types of drip tips (wide and narrow bore)
- Clear glass installed
- 1x Smoked glass replacement
- 1x Multi screwdriver
- 1x Phil build Tool
- 1x Dimi build tool