Interview With A New Vaper – The ZMAX Experience
You probably already know, especially if you’ve been a Spinfuel eMagazine reader or a while, that Julia is a major fan of the SMOK ZMAX. Her collection, helped along by MyVaporStore’s “Jon” and his generosity, is extensive. You’ll catch Julia with her Red Brass, Blue, or, when she’s feeling cocky, one of her many Black ZMAX batteries with Gold Lettering.
Julia will recommend the ZMAX to new vapers nearly 100% of the time, because it’s reliable, it’s beautiful in its simplicity of design, and the functions are both plentiful and worthwhile. It also “just works”, much like the ridiculous number of Apple products Julia owns as well.
Therefore, when a gorgeous Stainless Steel ZMAX arrived from Vapor Authority last week Julia decided to put her reputation as a ZMAX aficionado on the line, and loaned that new ZMAX to a new vaper who was looking to move up from her cig-a-like starter kit from Halo Cigs, the G6.
This new vaper, Carol, worked along side Julia for a day or so in order to learn how to properly fill tanks, cartomizers, and even how to use a new air-flow controller for tanks, a $2.99 add-on Julia has purchased for each tank/battery setup she owns.
Shortly after Carol began using the ZMAX on her own, she was contacted by Julia in order to partake in an interview to discuss what she learned, how she felt about vaping with something larger and more powerful than a cig-a-like, and to talk about the ZMAX in particular.
Below is a transcription of that interview, warts and all.
– Tom McBride
Julia: Carol! Thanks for stopping by! Sit, sit! Let’s talk about your switch to a larger vape experience!
Carol: Hey Julia, how are you? Oh, I am so glad you talked me into this. I’m having a lot of fun with the ZMAX and that new Aspire tank!
Julia: Well, that is awesome! So tell me what you told me before; why did you want to switch to a bigger device, was there anything wrong with the G6 from Halo? Was it no longer getting the job done?
Carol: Okay, cool. First though, I want to make it clear that it wasn’t that I was that disappointed with the G6. I was happy with it for weeks, I still am, but I was vaping too often.
I think I vaped more than I should have been because I wasn’t getting the same satisfaction I was getting, and I wanted more than a smaller battery and cartomizer could give.
I don’t know, looking back now I think I just wanted to see what all this ‘cloud chasing’ was all about as well. It’s a cool phrase, don’t you think? ‘Cloud chasing’, I like it.
I heard it for the first time from the admin in your forum, Steve. One of the reviews he wrote I think, where he mentions ‘cloud chasing’ and I thought that was really cool, and I wanted to experience that. I could see it in my mind’s eye, someone bellowing out huge vapor clouds and chasing them with bigger and bigger clouds. It was kind of funny, and kind of sexy.
Julia: Sexy? I don’t know about sexy. Cloud chasing does sound like fun though. You’re right about that. More fun than ‘chasing the dragon’ I suppose, LOL, only in a better, less harmful fashion. I know what you mean though, the G6 is no slouch, especially for a small battery, it’s just not enough for cloud chasers, LOL.
Carol: That’s right. I love my G6, it is what got me off cigarettes, which I just hated, so I’ll always have a special place in my heart for those guys at Halo. Nevertheless, after a while, especially discovering a new e liquid flavor, I want a lung full of vapor! So I came to you, my friend, and you set up ha-ha!
Julia: Yes I did, yes I did. So you like the ZMAX then?
Carol: Oh my god girl, I love it! It’s only been a few days but god it is amazing! And don’t forget the tank, that tank is really a great tank, ha-ha, not that I have a lot of tank experience to compare it to though.
Julia: No no, you’re right, the Aspire BDC Vivi Nova, that’s the name, remember it, is a great tank. I wish I had about 20 of them! Seriously! They last forever because it’s Pyrex, and the coil head does the job and then some. I could have started you off with something else but why do that? You deserve a great tank, so you got one.
Carol: LOL, because you want me to pay my dues maybe? Ha-ha, no, I think you made the right choice. It works great! Thank you!
Julia: Okay, but I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. I want to get your impressions of the ZMAX in particular, than we can talk about the tank. Okay? So, go ahead, tell me what you think about the ZMAX. Give the skinny on it, as it were. ha-ha!
Carol: Oh, okay, so we’re gonna get all formal like now. I can do that. (Pouring another glass of wine). Ahem, the ZMAX. I can do this. The ZMAX, by SMOK, is shaped like a vibrator, so that’s a huge plus right there.
Julia: Hey hey! Come on, come on. Don’t go there. Don’t gross out my readers!
Carol: I’m being honest, and you didn’t let me finish!
Julia: Okay, sorry, go ahead. But watch it okay, this is going into Spinfuel. I get into enough trouble already.
Carol: Yea, you’re the prude, ha-ha, sure sure. As I was saying, being shaped like a vibrator it means that it fits in my pocketbook perfectly. And, if anyone happens to glance in my pocketbook they’ll think it’s a vibrator, not an e cigarette, and instead of talking about it, they ignore it. They REALLY ignore it cause they don’t want to embarrass themselves, or me. So I like that about it. I don’t like non-smokers getting in my face about vaping, so with the ZMAX they don’t do that. It’s perfect!
Julia: Well, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that about you. I thought all vapers liked talking about vaping. Good to know. But okay, what else?
Carol: Alright, I’ll get all serious now. (Deeper voice) The ZMAX is perfect for me because even though I can get big clouds of vapor, which is what I wanted, it’s pretty simple, yet it has a lot of features. A LOT of features. Battery protection, short-circuit protection, variable voltage, and all sorts of things. It’s a lot in a small package, you know?
Julia: Yes, I do know. Those are some very good points. Cause its easy to work with, a few clicks to access the voltage, then click up, click down, boom you’re done. Right?
Carol: Exactly. I think a lot of people think that moving up to something bigger is not only more money, which its really not, but it also requires a lot of work to master it, and it doesn’t. I swear most of the day we worked on teaching me to use this thing we spent a lot more time on the tank then we did on the ZMAX.
Julia: We did, we did. I mean, we went over the features, how to turn it on and off, check the battery, check the resistance of the atomizer, and stuff like that. And don’t forget, you can also set the wattage too, if you don’t want to use viable voltage. Did you use the wattage feature at all?
Carol: Well, once I think. I read something on Spinfuel about it, so I set the wattage to, I think, 8.5w or something, or maybe it was 11 watts, I don’t remember. It was good, it worked. But with voltage I have a lot more control over how much heat I want in my vapor, and if I want to increase the flavor or increase the vapor I just make a few clicks with the buttton. Yes, you can do that with wattage too, but right now voltage is easier for me to work with.
Julia: I can understand that. I’m not trying to turn you into a gear head, yet, but I did want to get involved with being able to alter your experience. I wanted you to work with changing your voltage settings so you can see how much you can change those very things you mentioned; warmth of the vapor, intensity of flavor, things like that. Pretty cool huh?
Carol: Very. Take that lime juice you gave me, the Limerick from Rocket Fuel. That is a flavor I wanted to maximize because whoever did the review of that flavor (was it you?) that description of tasting like a creamy lime-sickle is perfect. It really does. I wasn’t so much worried about getting all the vapor I could from Limerick, I wanted to get the best flavor, and the most creamy lime flavor I could. And I was able to by setting the voltage to 4.1v.
Julia: Wow, that’s pushing it. The BDC tank is a dual coil tank with 1.8ohm coils, so 4.1v is pushing a lot of power to those coils. I suppose it worked for you, cause you’re talking about it. Limerick is awesome though, you’re right about that!
Carol: It is! I ordered some yesterday you know. And the Mountain Oaks flavor, the, oh, what’s the name!
Julia: Heavenly 7.
Carol: Right, right, heavenly 7! Oh my god, it is heavenly! That’s another one I wanted more flavor than vapor. God it was good.
Julia: Any others?
Carol: Of course! The Country Bumpkin was awesome, though setting the voltage high makes the inside of mouth tingle with that one, I found 3.6v to be the best setting for that one. Then there is that one you gave me in that needle tip bottle. What was it? Oh, oh, I remember. That Virgin Vapor flavor Razzamatazz. My god, the raspberry in that is to die for!
Julia: Yep, that one in particular is one I plan on keeping in my stock. Best raspberry flavor ever. So far anyway, ha-ha. Did you get a chance to try the Gingerbread Chai from Gingers?
Carol: Yes! So much vapor with that one, and flavor. Gingerbread is so good!
Julia: Did you vape any for maximum vapor instead of maximum flavor?
Carol: Naturally. All the high-VG ones you gave me were big vapor makers. And that Cat’s Meow stuff? Flavor and vapor for that one. Tastes just like those coconut Girl Scout cookies, what are they called?
Carol: Yes! Exactly, Samoas! How do they do that?? Oh lady person, that was like vaping samosa cookies, I swear.
Julia: Okay, so the ZMAX worked for you? No complaints?
Carol: Are you kidding? It’s the best ever! I didn’t have any trouble with it at all. I’ve been recommending it to my friends that still vape the small batteries and cartomizers. And I love that Stainless Steel finish. It looks serious, almost mean. Love it!
Julia: Well, you know what? I want you to keep it. It’s a gift. I want you to have it.
Carol: (squeals) Thank you! Oh my god, I was going to order one today! Thank you so much! Are you sure?
Julia: Ha-ha, yes I’m sure. Of course. And keep the batteries and the charger too, you’ll need them.
Carol: Oh, that’s something we didn’t talk about yet. The battery and the charger. That big battery, what is it again? That lasts forever?
Julia: It’s called an 18650. And it depends on the mAh of the battery. I think I gave you a 2100mAh, so yea, it will last most of the day unless you vape non-stop.
Carol: Right, 18650, got to remember that. I’m so used to recharging my batteries every 3 or 4 hours, now it’s like maybe once a day.
Julia: Last topic, and then we can go get some lunch. Keira is going to meet us there. The tank, the Aspire BDC Vivi Nova. How easy was it for you to use?
Carol: Super easy! I love the fact that you don’t have to do anything complicated. Just unscrew it from the battery, take off the bottom cap, refill it, and put it back on the battery. That center post is shorter than I like, looks like it only goes up about half way, but the center post doesn’t make much of a difference really.
Julia: What is your favorite thing about the tank?
Carol: Thing? LOL, favorite ‘thing’… hmm. I think I would have to say that its that you can take a drag from it without pulling real hard and still get so much vapor from it. It works great! I haven’t had to change the head on it yet, but it looks easy enough to do.
Julia: Oh, it is easy. Trust me. I love how you can refill it in a couple of seconds and since it fills from the bottom you can refill it anytime you want, without losing any juice.
Carol: Right, right. I’m so glad you didn’t make me use one of those tanks that use a cartomizer. I watched a couple of videos and it looks complicated. I don’t think I would like those kinds of tanks.
Julia: Well, they are somewhat more complicated but there are a lot of people that just prefer a cartomizer, and a tank that uses a cartomizer is the best of both worlds for people that like to use cartomizers.
Carol: I didn’t think about that. You’re right though, some people really like cartomizers.
Julia: So, bottom line. What was the best thing about switching from a small battery, what we call cig-a-likes, to the ZMAX and the Vivi Nova Aspire?
Carol: First, the amount of vapor and flavor you can get from a larger battery and tank is huge. It’s like comparing night and day. I can understand people that want to stay with the ‘cig-a-likes’, they are small, out of the way, no one knows you even have one, and when the battery is fully charged you get a good amount of vapor and flavor fro a while, but then as the battery dies down so does the performance. But nothing compares to a ZMAX and that Aspire tank. For me, its everything I wanted.
Julia: Is that so? Everything?
Carol: Everything! I swear. I love the controls, that one button that lets you turn it off and on, adjust the voltage, check your battery level, and even letting you know if the atomizer is accurate.
Julia: So you’re happy?
Carol: I’m thrilled! How could I not be? The ZMAX is the perfect size, not too small and not too large. It’s beautiful, powerful, and feels great in your hand. Best of all? It feels like it will last forever. Know what I mean? It feels like quality.
Julia: I know exactly what you mean. That’s why I have a nice collection going, because they are as good as they are ‘good looking’. I still use the first one I ever got, they just keep going and going. Anything else?
Carol: We didn’t talk about that air controller you gave me. That deserves a review if you ask me. I think if I was a vendor I would throw one in every time someone bought a 510-tank. The control over the airflow is phenomenal. I can change how stiff the draw is, so it gives me one more tool to adjust my total vape experience, you know? I love it.
Julia: You’re right, I use them all the time. A brilliant invention. Of course, now Kanger builds something like that into their AeroTank, and I start on a review of that tank tomorrow. Vapor Authority sent us some, and the AeroTank’s are a lot better than their ProTanks. But yea, I know what you mean about getting an even more precise vape going by using an airflow controller.
Carol: Well, if you need any help with that review…
Julia: Sure, Keira doesn’t want to do it, so sure, you can help me. I’ll get you one today. So tell me, last question, I promise. Now that you have a taste of what larger batteries and tanks can do, is there an inkling of interest in exploring even bigger devices?
Carol: Good question! I don’t know. Well, yea, probably, at some point. But not now. Now I’m all about the ZMAX. I’m going to make sure that the other vapers I know hear about it. I was able to show it off to Karen, Lisa, and Sandy at lunch yesterday.
Julia: Oh? Where did you go?
Carol: LOL, is this part of the interview? Well, Miss Hartley-Barnes, I met my fellow vapers at Ruffinos. Want to know what we decided to order?
Julia: Ha-ha, no, that’s alright, I was just wondering. So you’re interested in other hardware, but later?
Carol: That’s about right, yea. I’m definitely satisfied with ZMAX, but I wouldn’t turn down one of those iTaste 134 mini’s you guys just reviewed. I saw John and Tom’s and they are very cool batteries. I wouldn’t mind trying out that iClear X.I as well.
And with that, Julia got up from the sofa and went to her glass door-ed bookcase and pulled out an iClear X.I and tossed it to Carol. Apparently Carol is going to write up a review on it. We’ll bring you that review, along with Julia’s, in the next week, probably combine the reviews.
The ZMAX does seem to be an excellent choice for vapers moving up from small batteries, and, in our opinion, an excellent choice for brand new vapers who wouldn’t benefit from the cig-a-like experience. It does a great job, and the price is right. You can pick up the ZMAX at Vapor Authority, and if you do, let them know you read about it here.
Have an awesome weekend!
Tom McBride, Julia Hartley-Barnes, and Carol Cicerone