Rosewood & Surgical Steel APV
Smoktech™ Silenus Review
I love it when a manufacturer gets on a roll and introduces a series of new products in quick succession. SMOKtech is in the process of that right now, and the latest to see the light of the US/UK market is the new Silenus, a variable voltage, variable wattage APV with a range of 3v to 6v or 3w to 15w. However, unlike most other devices you’ve read about here, the Silenus is the first we’ve reviewed that is made from surgical steel and Rosewood….genuine Rosewood. From an aesthetical point of view the combination of this gorgeous polished rosewood and hard, finely detailed surgical steel makes the Silenus one of the most ‘handsome’ devices you can get right now. But it doesn’t begin and end with aesthetics, this device has some very much-appreciated high-tech features that make the $119 price tag easier to swallow.
During the show in Chattanooga (VCCTN) I did a live broadcast review that, unfortunately, was not properly recorded (I forgot to hit the DVR button) but while I was talking about the Silenus people were walking by the Smokenjoey/Spinfuel booth and often remarked about the ‘cool’ factor of the device. It does stand out in crowd, but not in a gaudy way, but rather in a sophisticated way. This is the device you would take with you to a wine tasting event, or to the country club, or a 5-star restaurant (if vaping was allowed that is).
Let’s Talk Features
SMOKtech offers the Silenus in both an 18650 and 18350 version, the one we’re reviewing today is the 18650. The Silenus uses the basic 5-clicks off/on operation, though the 5-clicks can be made in a generous 2-second space of time.
It features variable voltage and variable wattage with a magnetic mechanical switch. The magnetic connection (firing button) assures a solid connection every time the firing button is pressed. I can attest to its solid and sure performance. The clean connection shows you a lit up circle around the button itself, giving the user feedback of a sure fire.
The SMOKtech Silenus has a self-leveling, spring operated copper connector that ensures a clean connection to the eliquid delivery system, (clearomizer, glassomizer, et al).
The variable voltage mode can be adjusted in 0.1V increments, from 3v to 6v. Variable wattage mode adjusts in .5w increments, from 3w to 15w. The circular ring about 1/3 down from the top of the device provides simple, and easy access to making adjustments. That ring has finely detailed etching adding to the overall attractiveness of the device, and each ‘setting’ features a top line for voltage and a bottom line for wattage. I like this feature, and I don’t like this feature. My main reason for not liking is that it may cause new vapers to be confused about ohms law. While the ring shows, say, the top line of 4.8v and the bottom line shows the wattage to be 12w, which only matches up for a coil resistance of 2.4Ω. I like the feature because it is very easy to read no matter which mode you’re in. If you’re new to vaping, or if ohms law is something you don’t reference much, bookmark this site, http://www.csgnetwork.com/ohmslaw2.html
Something to keep in mind: I think its fair to say that most of us are getting used to having some kind of display for our APV’s, but the Silenus is display-free. It also does not read your coil resistance (it would need a display for that). The Silenus is not a device for precision vaping.
Clicking the firing button 3 times inside of 1.5 seconds’ switches the device between variable voltage and variable wattage. You get visible feedback to the mode you’re in by the LED light around the firing button. White light means you’re in variable voltage mode, Blue light means you’re operating in variable wattage mode.
Other features include ‘low resistance protection’… if you attempt to use a coil that’s rated too low for the device to properly fire it alerts you, and it won’t fire. (See the Stratos passage below) There is also a 10-second firing limit, and low battery indicator. As soon as the voltage falls to 3.3v you’ll need to switch out the battery. I would love to tell you that the Silenus prevents you from inserting the battery the wrong way, but it doesn’t. Of course, it won’t fire if it’s in backwards, but it does go in and you can screw the end cap in securely, so make sure the positive side goes in first.
The battery used in my review is the purple eFest 2500mAh IMR flat head battery rated at 35Amps. Vapor Authority has a direct link on their product page that will take you to the AW 18650 IMR 2000mAh battery (red), which they recommend for this device. Click HERE to purchase a battery for the SMOKtech Silenus. Finally, the Silenus has an output current limit of 4A, and short-circuit protection to round out a nicely appointed safety feature set.
Like the recently reviewed SMOKtech BEC Pro the Silenus comes with two top caps. The threading is both 510 and eGo, and the caps are used in conjunction with the type of eliquid delivery system you’re using. The default cap allows for 510 tanks and glassomizers to fit snuggly and the ‘extra’ cap has a wider opening that allows clearomizers to fit inside the well. Clearomizers look a little funky sitting on top this thick, tall device, but the cap helps.
Real World Usage Report
Picking up the Silenus for the first time you’ll notice that it is a hefty device. That simply can’t be helped because of the genuine rosewood and surgical steel in the hardware. As heavy as it is, it feels good, well balanced, making it pretty much effortless to use. But, don’t misunderstand, it is heavier than most other APV’s of the same size.
The users manual is written is excellent English and covers all the features and how-tos you would expect.
Precision or Lack Thereof
The abovementioned statement that the Silenus is not a precision APV needs to be further examined in this Real World Usage Report. Usually the lack of a display is reserved for mechanicals with no electronics. I tend to think that the only reason SMOKtech decided against one is for aesthetic reasons. It’s not necessarily a bad decision, but I think a nice display with that same finely etched surgical steel bezel would have looked pretty damn good.
No display means no accurate coil readings, and anyone that cares whether their atomizer is truly 1.2 Ω or 1.3 Ω is either going to own a meter to test them, as vapers that use mechanical vaporizers do, or an APV with a display and the ability to read the resistance of the atomizer. Using the Silenus means accepting some flexibility in the accuracy of the atomizers, and simply dialing in a sufficient voltage or wattage setting and vape away.
Delivery Systems (Tanks, Clearomizers, et al)
I used the Counsel of Vapor Stratos, an Aspire Nautilus, an Aerotank Mega, and a Pyrex version of the Texas Tuff Tank. The Stratos was tried with both the .8 Ω and 1.2 Ω, neither of which would fire at any setting, the Nautilus and Aerotank worked fine with 1.8 Ω coils, and the Texas Tuff Tank, with a 2.4 Ω cartomizer worked extremely well. The best performance for my taste was with the Nautilus and the 1.8-Ω coil… 8w provided plenty of vapor and accurate flavor.
Let’s face it; the vast majority of vapers aren’t using coils under 1.8 Ω today, so the Silenus is going to be able to perform just fine with anything 1.8 Ω and above.
So, where does the Silenus fit into the mainstream vapers world? Plainly put, the Silenus is an attractive, well built, high quality APV. It is designed for mainstream vaping, meaning clearomizers and tanks with normal resistance coils. Anything below 1.8 Ω is going to be out of bounds for the Silenus.
With a top limit of 15w and 6v the Silenus has 99.99% of vapers covered. Anyone looking to reach up past the 15w barrier is not going to benefit from owning one. I consider myself as a mainstream vaper and I enjoyed using it.
You can certainly buy a variable voltage, variable wattage APV with all the features of the Silenus for a lot less than $119. What you’re paying for is the rosewood. Even the SMOK BEC Pro, with its Bluetooth module and maximum wattage of 50w is about $20 less than the Silenus. However, for good looks alone the Silenus is a gorgeous device and some won’t blink at the $119 asking price.
SMOKtech makes solid devices at reasonable prices. The Silenus offers reliable performance, plenty of safety features, and can handle most tanks and glassomizers without issue. Those features are offered in literally hundreds of devices on the market today, many of which are less than $119. That said, for many, the richly appointed rosewood and surgical steel makes it one of the most attractive devices around, and the $20 price bump won’t be an issue for vapers who want a fully featured APV made of wood.
As always, I would like to sincerely thank Vapor Authority for providing this review unit. Showing support for our sponsors is the best way to support Spinfuel eMagazine.
SMOKtech Silenus Specifications:Brand: SMOKtech Length: 5.62 inches (143 mm) Diameter: 1.16 inches (29.5 mm) Weight: 7.25 ounces (205.5 g) Voltage Range: 3V – 6V (in 0.1V increments) Wattage Range: 3W – 15W (in 0.5W increments) Thread Compatibility: eGo / 510 Battery: Uses one 18650 battery Casing Material: Natural Rosewood / Stainless Steel Available Color: Rosewood
SMOKtech Silenus Features:
- Variable wattage and variable voltage
- Short Circuit Protection
- Compatible with both eGo and 510 threaded devices
- Uses one 18650 battery
- Magnetic Switch
- Made with wood and stainless steel