Council of Vapor Phoenix Tank Review
Council of Vapor is one of those companies that attract worshippers and haters. To the worshippers Council of Vapor can do no wrong, to the haters, Council of Vapor can’t do anything right. No where is this more clear than with the new Phoenix Tank. It is loved and it is hated. Count me in the love column…But, what’s the truth about the Phoenix Tank? Stay with me as I walk you through what this tank really is, how to use it, and what to expect when you do. – Tom McBride
The Council of Vapor Phoenix Tank, a $39.95 Sub-Ohm, was sent to us for review purposes by Element Vape. We began working with Element Vape this month because this terrific vendor carries a lot of vape gear that our other terrfiic partners do not carry. It is an opportunity to bring our readers reviews for products that lie outside the mainstream, and it’s been a great relationship so far.
I’m going to do this review a little differently than I’ve done with other tank reviews. I’m going to point out some things that you need to know before you buy it, and if I talk about them inside the ‘gut’ of the review you may gloss over them, causing you to be surprised when/if you buy it, receive it, and use it. It’s also worth noting that I have been using the Phoenix Tank for quite some time.
Here are a few things you should know at the outset:
- The Phoenix Tank is not TC capable. Period.
- The top-fill mechanism is well thought out. As you unscrew the top cap to fill the tank, the e-liquid flow ports automatically close. This attention to design will make your life less messy because you’ll never need to worry about e-juice leaking while you fill it. Screw the top cap back on the eliquid flow ports open back up.
- The wattage range is 50w-120w. (Try hitting it at 30w and it won’t even light up) Using a very thick MaxVG eliquid I could not get close to 120w. Anything under 50w doesn’t do the tank justice, and MY sweet spot was 73 watts. More than that, even the black Delrin mouthpiece couldn’t dissipate the heat well enough.
- The red silicone bands you see in the photographs do help with heat dissipation, but they are not required, especially if you keep the wattage between 60-70w. Removing them gives the Phoenix Tank a sleeker look.
- You will get 3 super-wide-bore, short, honeycomb-insert drip tips (mouthpiece), the Stainless Steel, a white Delrin, and a black Delrin. I won’t use the Stainless above 60w, and the black or white tips handle 70-75w fairly well. The honeycomb actually is effective for preventing spit-back. I’ve never had a single spit from this tank, something I cannot say about any other tank.
- The Ceramic Coil is permanent. It comes with a pipe-cleaner type tool to clean the ceramic material. We purchased a few of these weeks before we got them from Element Vape, and after more than 100 hours of use the ceramic coil shows NO sign of wear.
- You can actually change the flavor of your eliquid with the Phoenix without mucking up the flavor output. It takes just a couple of hits to remove the previous flavor 100%.
- The Phoenix tank is a hard-core tank. The flavors are intense, the vapor production more so. I’ve never used a tank with more fury than the Phoenix.
- You CAN scorch the ceramic coil. If you do it will taste burnt for quite some time unless you do the following: Dump the juice from the tank, rinse it in water, and use the wire brush to clean the ceramic. Only then will the flavor come back.
If you’re still with me, lets go over some of the official features and specs and I’ll let you know whether the official matches my 3-week experience with the Phoenix. (Hint: I have used this for 3 weeks, if I didn’t like this tank I would have stopped by now)
The Phoenix Tank, at its heart, is the stupendous ceramic heating element surround by a tank. This is where the enormous flavor comes from. The ceramic material is large, lasts for months on end, and is porous enough to soak up e-liquid as fast as you can vape it, and then some. As far as ceramics go, I’ve yet to discover another ceramic coil tank that delivers more flavor. The claims that the Phoenix Tank delivers on the flavor is very much true.
The Phoenix Tank has a smaller than I’d like e-liquid capacity. Just 2mL e-juice capacity. You can expect to refill often. But so what? It refills fast, with no mess. So, true again.
The CoV Phoenix Tank has massive dual-adjustable airflow slots along the top cap (Cyclone Style). You can adjust to a very airy vape for a high wattage party, or as tight as a cartomizer. The twist-off top-fill method is simple and fast, and the wide-bore drip tip with a built-in honeycomb mesh makes the CoV’s Ceramic Atomizer Core tank one of the finest examples of sub-ohm vaping.
The Ceramic Atomizer Core is Council of Vapor technology at its best. It is based on a central heating element surrounded by a thick coat of ceramic for truly balanced heating. There is a layer of cotton on top for optimal e-liquid consumption and flavor. The end result is an atomizer configuration that lasts infinitely longer traditional coils.
The Phoenix Tank ceramic coil burns cleaner for amazing flavor and very dense vapor. I’m going to touch more on that flavor ability below. Council of Vapor has given the Phoenix Tank the stamp of approval for firing up to 120W, but honestly, don’t expect to reach that level.
The Airflow system on the top cap was created with dual Cyclops air slots. Each slot measures 10mm by 2mm for an ungodly vapor production.
A simple twist-off contrivance with a silicone splash-guard solves any leaking problems you might expect.
About Phoenix Tank Flavor
Since last November I’ve used many different ceramic tanks and/or coils. In past years I was not a fan of ceramic coils because they were not sub-ohm, and they all produced a very unnatural ceramic-like flavor. Things have changed since then and today’s ceramic coils are very much sub-ohm, and very much flavorful.
Before John went in front of the camera to do a video review of the Phoenix Tank, we talked about the idea of today’s ceramics and he said something that rings true. If you are familiar with digital cameras, you’ll understand immediately. Here’s why we think the flavor is so good in the Phoenix.
In the old days (90’s) when the first consumer digital cameras came out the idea was to sell the public on the number of pixels (called photosites) on the digital sensor chip. People in the industry called it a numbers war, quality didn’t really matter, just the number claims. (Read this for an easy to understand explanation ) The truth is very different; it’s not the number of pixels, it’s the size of each pixel or photosite. The bigger the pixel the more color and contrast it was able to capture. Smaller pixels couldn’t produce the range of colors that larger, fatter pixels could. Ceramic materials in the vape industry are the same, in a way.
Modern ceramics that are capable of delivering authentic, accurate flavor are of far higher quality than typical ceramic material. Ounce of ounce, the high quality ceramic material resists burning far more than cheaper ceramics. For the Council of Vapor Phoenix, the ceramic “heart” of this tank uses a ceramic material that is so high-quality that CoV was confident enough to produce a tank “around” the ceramic coil, rather than building a ceramic coil for a tank. And we believe it is this extreme high quality ceramic material that makes the difference. You can dress up cheaper ceramic material with all types of cotton and wires, but they will only do so much. When you use high end ceramics the results speak for themselves.
So, what’s the real, honest-to-goodness flavor like with the Phoenix Tank? The answer, based on more than 100 hours of use, is this: You will ‘taste’ the e-liquid’s ‘quality’. What this means is that if you use an eliquid that is cheaper than it is flavorful you’ll know in a heartbeat. It does not mask the flavors produced by inexpensive flavoring, poor quality vegetable glycerin, and cheap propylene glycol. You may love an eliquid when vaped in a standard tank with Kanthal or Ni200 wire, and you might hate it in a top quality ceramic tank. If you are confident in the eliquid you vape, then the end result of vaping with the Phoenix Tank will be glorious. If you want to know if your favorite eliquid really is made with quality ingredients, put it in the Phoenix, it will let you know.
A Real World Example
One thing I want to address again is the ability of Phoenix Tank to give way to a new flavor almost instantly. I took two very different eliquids and played with this concept for half a day. Using AR ELiquid’s Unicorn Milk and JCVC Hard Cider (can you get any more different?) I would vape 2mL and switch. I never experienced a mashup that lasted longer than two small hits. You needn’t worry about using the same coil for several different flavors.
The eLiquid I vaped with mostly during the 100 hours of use was Vape Dudes Cinnamon Roll, Max VG. This well-steeped eliquid has been in my rotation for 4 years now. I love the full, authentic flavor of a cinnamon roll as vapor. Using the Phoenix Tank my flavor experience was almost indescribable.
It’s one thing to vape a cinnamon roll eliquid and swear that the flavor is an actual cinnamon roll, it’s quite another to vape cinnamon roll in a tank that produces the thickest vapor and thickest flavor that your brain cannot tell the difference between a real cinnamon roll and the vapor.
I bought home some cinnamon rolls from a bakery I go to and heated them up in my toaster oven, with just a little bit of butter. When they came out of the oven they were warm and gooey. I took a couple rolls to the dining room table, sat down and placed my Phoenix Tank attached to my iStick 100W TC, set to 71watts next to the cinnamon rolls.
I took a bite from one of the rolls and did my very best to capture every bit of flavor from it as I ate it. Then I picked up my iStick and Phoenix Tank and took a deep lung hit, and exhaled slowly. I promise you, whatever neurons in my brain that fired off and told me “this is a cinnamon roll”, went off with both the real cinnamon roll and the thick warm vapor from the Phoenix Tank. That’s how good the flavor is from this marvelous ceramic coil surrounded by a tank.
About Phoenix Tank Vapor
With the airflow set to wide open, 50w provides plenty of cool vapor. Under 40w the tank won’t even light up. With a flavor like Cinnamon Roll cool vapor is not what you look. At 60w the vapor was much warmer and so much thicker that I could not imagine it being any better. Than I moved to 70w and learned that there was more to be had. The vapor production with the airflow set to wide open is unlike any other tank I’ve used, though the Crown and Rafale came very close.
Whether you are looking for the tank that delivers the most flavor, or the tank that delivers the most vapor, you deserve to treat yourself to this incredible tank.
Things I Don’t Like About The Phoenix Tank
I like short wide-bore drip tips, and whether the drip tip has a swirl or a honeycomb, a wide-bore tip provides an enormous amount of vapor. However, the Phoenix Tank is just a tiny bit shorter than I like. It would have been nice if Council of Vapor would have made the Delrin tips a bit taller. However, because it does have a honeycomb mesh you don’t need to worry about spit-back with this short drip tip.
The eLiquid capacity is just 2mL. When I am vaping for the pure pleasure of vaping I can vape through 2mL in under 30 minutes. I understand what more height could have done to the vape, and I understand the need to stay within the 22mm diameter. Still, a 3.5-4mL capacity would be ideal. A 2mL Phoenix Tank provides a 100% RDA experience, both with flavor and vapor, and it’s short, stubby body and drip tip aid in the illusion of the whole RDA thing.
I was not sold on a permanent ceramic coil idea when I was first handed the Council of Vapor Phoenix Tank. After all, the Council of Vapor Defiant, another favorite tank of mine, has replacement coils, is also ceramic, and provides a great vape experience, so why go permanent? All I can say to that is Council of Vapor had the confident in their ceramic heating element to build a tank around this ceramic coil, and it was not a mistake. 100 hours in and I cannot detect any degradation. Although I did scorch the ceramic coil once and I did have to clean it with the wire brush. It was no big deal and once I did clean it the flavor and vapor returned to 100%.
As much affection as I have for this tank, I have no plans on dumping all the others I have in favor of using the Phoenix Tank 100% of the time. There is too much variety out there, and not to mention I have a Goliath v2 review coming up soon, and that is a tank that I have to keep in my Tank Rotation, so I will always try out new tanks. Whether I keep them or not is another story.
My recommendation to you: If you found the Council of Vapor Defiant too hot to handle, try the Phoenix. If you can trust in Council of Vapor, and/or in my testimony after 100 hours, that the Phoenix Tank’s Ceramic Core is one of the best products that have come out recently, buy this tank.
However, if wide-bore drip tips aren’t your thing (it’s not John’s), and if you have no interest in high wattage vaping, ripping through eliquid, and recharging batteries left and right, then maybe stay away for the Phoenix Tank. For my vaping purposes the Phoenix Tank is a must have tank. With its extra glass tank I’ll keep it in the rotation for a long, long time. And, if for any reason I lost this tank I would immediately order a new one.
Phoenix Tank by Council of Vapor:
- 2mL E-Juice Capacity
- 22mm Tank Diameter
- Stainless Steel Construction
- Glass Tank
- Fire Up to 120W (71w for me)
- Optional Silicone Sleeve Included
- Top Cap Adjustable Airflow Control
- Twist-Off Top-Fill Design
- Stainless Steel Wide-Bore Drip Tip
- Delrin Wide-Bore Drip Tip 1x black 1x white
- Effective Honeycomb Mesh
- CoV’s Ceramic Atomizer Core
- 0.5ohm Ceramic Coil (non-TC)
- 510 Connection
Included in the Box:
- 1 Phoenix Tank
- 1 Preinstalled 0.5ohm Ceramic Coil (permanent)
- 1 Spare Glass Tank Tube
- 1 Stainless Steel Wide-Bore Drip Tip
- 1 White Delrin Wide-Bore Drip Tip
- 1 Black Delrin Wide-Bore Drip Tip
- 1 Cleaning Brush
- Quick Start Guide