Council of Vapor Phoenix Intro
The American company Council of Vapor (CoV) designs and markets vaping hardware. Their niche seems to be in compact products, such as their Mini Volt 40W Box Mod and their Royal Hunter Mini RDA. Similarly, CoV’s line of atomizer tanks are on the small side in size, usually with a 2 mL eliquid capacity.
Known for good design and high manufacturing standards, Council of Vapor offers two different tanks with ceramic coil heads, the Defiant (which I’ve already reviewed here on Vapaing360) and the Phoenix. While the tanks differ in design and price, they both use 0.5Ω ceramic heads that Cov touts as very long-lasting. The heads for the two tanks are not interchangeable.
CoV’s ceramic heads are a hybrid design, using a ceramic core, inside which a wire coil is embedded, cotton wicking wrapped around the outside. The whole assembly then fits inside a metal shell to make the finished coil head.
Council of Vapor Phoenix Specs and Features
- 1 Phoenix Tank
- 1 Preinstalled 0.5ohm Ceramic Coil
- 1 Spare Glass Tank Tube
- 1 Stainless Steel Widebore Drip Tip
- 1 White Delrin Widebore Drip Tip
- 1 Black Delrin Widebore Drip Tip
- 1 Cleaning Brush
- 2 mL Juice Well
- 22 mm Tank Diameter
- Superior Stainless Steel Construction
- Pyrex Glass Reinforcement
- Fire Up To 120W
- Optional Silicone Sleeve Included
- Top Cap Adjustable Airflow Control
- Convenient Twist Top-Fill Design
- Stainless Steel Widebore Drip Tip
- Delrin Widebore Drip Tip
- Signature Honeycomb Mesh
- CoV’s Ceramic Atomizer Core
- 5ohm Ceramic Coil
- 510 Connection
The range of online prices for the CoV Phoenix tank is wide. Without considering coupon codes, reward points, or other discounts, the cheapest price I found online was $36 plus shipping. Highest price I saw was $60. Why the large spread? I don’t know.
Council of Vapor states that the Phoenix is priced significantly higher than the Defiant because of numerous factors: on the Phoenix, the design and build quality are more heavy-duty, the ceramic head is larger, and the tank can handle and perform well at much higher power, up to 120 watts.
Still, the fact of one site’s price for the Phoenix is $36 while another’s is $60 can only be chalked up to maneuverings within a very competitive marketplace.
Remarks and Performance
Ceramic heads are supposed to provide a purer, if not more intense, flavor from eliquid. Flavor is presumed to be more transparent and “cleaner” than with standard wicking material. And yet, the ceramic core in the Phoenix is still wrapped in cotton, so how does “cleaner” apply? I don’t know.
Some reviewers and customers rave about the flavor supplied by the Phoenix. For me, the flavor was good, but not amazing. This is the third tank using ceramic heads that I’ve reviewed, and none surpassed the flavor from the best sub-ohm tanks (Crown, Starre), nor even came close to the current crop of superb RTAs.
I found the ramp-up time of the ceramic head to be slow. That’s true of ceramic heads in general at this early stage of their development. The Phoenix is made for long draws; the ceramic head won’t overwhelm the user with a rush of instantaneous dense vapor. Higher power reduces the wait, increases the vapor production, and improves the flavor.
For myself, I wouldn’t choose to vape the Phoenix at 50 watts. Anything less than 80 watts felt like driving a sports car at 20 mph. The Phoenix virtually asks for high power. Heck, the tank wasn’t even breathing hard (or getting excessively warm) at 100 watts. At every power level, I liked the vape better with the air intake half-closed. That gave me the best combination of draw, flavor, and vapor.
Since the tank’s eliquid capacity is small — a mere 2 mL — so refills will be frequent. I don’t mind that, but some vapers might. The ceramic head is thirsty, especially at high power with the eliquid intake to the coil fully open. Even with the intake half-closed at high power, however, I got no dry hits. The good news about refilling the tank is that it’s easy. Just turn the top cap to close the eliquid intake to the head, pop the cap off, and pour or squeeze eliquid directly into the tank. Know, however, that a full tank won’t give two hours of chain vaping. Far from it.
Overall, I judged performance of the Phoenix to be very good, but not as insanely great as numerous other reviews had led me to anticipate. While I liked the design, build quality, and aesthetics, the vaping experience, especially in flavor, was not quite up to the superb standards being set by some of the new generation of RTAs I’ve reviewed recently. Is that an unfair apples-to-oranges comparison? I think not, especially when the price of the Phoenix is higher than that of some of the best RTAs.
Is the Phoenix close? Yes, very close, but even then there’s a question.
The Fly in the Ointment
The problem with the Phoenix Tank emerges over time. Reports from reviewers and users alike are overwhelmingly positive — often to the point of gushing praise — after initially vaping the Phoenix for only a day or two. Adjectives like “amazing” and “revolutionary” are tossed around with abandon. One might easily conclude that the Phoenix is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
After some time, however, reports have begun appearing that are no longer so uniformly positive. A smattering of users has complained of seriously diminished performance after only a couple days or weeks of use: less flavor, a “ceramic” taste, or a drop-off in vapor production. More users are disappointed, and on rare occasions even angrily so, following performance drop-offs after 2-3 months.
This may be, at least to some extent, a function of unrealistic expectations. Council of Vapor has never claimed in any of its promotional videos or ad copy that the ceramic head in the Phoenix is permanent or meant to last forever. CoV speaks of longer head life and mentions time frames of a couple months, but nowhere do they use a word like “forever.” And yet, that seems to be the assumption among certain users, as if they had been promised something that the product failed to deliver.
While such negative reports might be limited to only a small and vocal percentage of disgruntled purchasers (one can never tell on the Internet), I feel that Council of Vaporbears some responsibility for this upwelling of criticism. I found only a single vendor that carries replacement ceramic heads for the Phoenix (steepinggiant.com). They heads aren’t cheap: $24 each plus shipping. If a ceramic head lasts for three months, I suppose that’s within reason, but it still seems pricey to me.
If you’re an early adopter of new vaping technology who lives at the cutting edge and doesn’t mind the downsides that come with being a pioneer or a de facto beta tester — higher prices, delays, glitches, and the failure of some products to live up to presumed hopes, dreams, or expectations — then the Council of Vapor Phoenix Tank is definitely worth considering as an addition to your arsenal of vape gear. Years later, you may be able to say that you were one of the first people to buy and vape a tank that came with a really good ceramic head.
And yet, I can give the Phoenix only a marginal recommendation. Were it not for the high cost and limited availability of replacement ceramic heads, I’d be more enthusiastic, for the tank itself is very good, and the ceramic head is far and away the best of the three I’ve tried. We’ll see what develops over the months ahead.