YSTAR Legend RDA Intro
Chances are, unless you are a vape company enthusiast, you have never heard of YSTAR (Shenzhen Easter Technology Co, Ltd). I hadn’t either, prior to doing a couple reviews earlier this year on their Vitamin tank and Kerui RDTA. Both were ambitious new atomizers offering truly unique design features, yet both left me wanting.
Not terrible, just not quite right.
YSTAR has been in the game since 2014, so you might argue that they are experiencing some growing pains, yet when you look at what Geekvape has accomplished in a shorter time span, well, time may be running out. Competition in the vaping market is fierce and too many missteps can prove fatal. Don’t believe it? Ask Provape.
Let’s look at the Legend RDA from YSTAR. As with the Kerui and Vitamin, the Legend offers a lot of promise, and we aim to find out if it lives up to that potential.
Retail price on the Legend is $49.90US.
YSTAR Legend RDA Gallery
YSTAR Legend RDA Specs and Features
- Legend RDA
- Spare o-rings
- Spare screws
- Instruction manual
- Size: 24 mm x 40 mm
- Weight: 60 g
- Material: 304 stainless steel
I open the hinged box and find the instruction manual on top. Right below is a flap of what looks and feels like parchment paper, printed with the YSTAR logo and QR code. Taking a shot of it with my phone takes me to the YSTAR site — of course.
Lifting the parchment flap, I get my first glimpse of the Legend, in stainless steel. It’s a big and beefy RDA at 24 mm in diameter and 40 mm tall. Atop the Legend is a matte drip tip in swirling red resin and I see edge of the gold-plated deck visible at the bottom. The logo consists of the Legend name in script surrounded by a laurel wreath — reminiscent of a lot of movie awards, and associated with winning and success. The logo itself looks brass or gold against the stainless-steel cap, so I’m not sure if it is inlaid or the cap is made of brass and plated. Regardless, the Legend is a beautiful RDA.
I check the accessories and find a full set of replicable spare O-rings and screws.
When I remove the Legend from the box, it feels much heavier than I expected, but it’s not until I remove the cap and see the deck that I understand why…
The deck of the Legend is the reason for the height and weight of the RDA, and is unlike any I’ve seen before. I’ll try and describe it, but the pictures are truly worth a thousand words.
As expected, on either side of the deck are the negative posts. A massive positive post rises from the center of the deck and is topped with a semicircular canopy of solid stainless steel clad in gold plating. The edges of the canopy run parallel with your installed coils. The idea is that you drip onto the curved top of the canopy and the liquid runs down both sides, raining directly onto your coils. It’s kind of a cool idea, but will it work? We’ll explore that later.
The last thing I notice is that there are no o-rings on the deck — they are inside the cap. The top edge of the deck is beveled which makes the cap very easy to remove and install without cutting into the o-rings.
A lot of nice little details.
Another interesting feature of the Legend is the airflow. You have dual airflow slots in the deck directly below the coils, but you also have airflow that comes up from inside the center post and hits the coils from behind. The airflow slots on the cap can be manipulated to use both airflow sources concurrently, or you can select the air from behind the coils or bottom only. There is no single coil option.
Now for the fun part.
First thing I do is grab one of my Goon tips to see if it fits and…it doesn’t. Too bad, but the supplied tip looks better than any of the Goon tips that I have and it’s got a larger inside diameter. The Ystar Legend tip is 11 mm in diameter.
I twist up a couple clapton coils and the installation is simple, similar to building on a Velocity-style deck. My build comes in at 0.4Ω, which is a bit higher than the 0.3Ω maximum resistance recommended by YSTAR, but I’ll risk it.
After wicking with some of my trusty organic cotton and painting the coils with some max VG juice, I install the cap with all four airflow ports wide open. Even then, I find the airflow is semi-restrictive. It’s enough air to get a good direct lung hit but compared it to some other RDAs on hand (Geekvape Tsunami Pro, Geekvape Medusa, CoilART Mage) it feels tighter — very much like the Lush Plus.
With my regulated mod set to 60 watts, I take my first couple of hits and the vape is very good. You’ve heard it before — dense vapor and good flavor. I drip more juice onto the canopy, confident that my juice is being distributed right on top of both coils and continue vaping when, suddenly, I get a nasty dry hit.
Whaaat?…I just dripped.
Here’s what happened: If you don’t drip directly onto the exact center of the canopy the juice will run down one side, to one coil. Since there is a very small pass-through between the two sides of the deck, it takes a while for the juice (in my case max VG) to equalize. I pulled the cap and saw one well-saturated wick and one nearly dry wick.
So, it seems, in order to prevent dry hits you will either have to wait for the juice to equalized on its own (which may happen faster with high PG liquid), or drip equal amounts of juice down both sides of the RDA.
Wait, I thought the Legend was designed to make sure you never had to worry about that?
Lastly, I tried using just the bottom airflow and the Legend performed well. More restrictive of course but great flavor. Closing off the bottom air and using just the airflow from behind the coils, I found airflow much more restrictive and the claptons too hot, to the point that I was hacking. You may want to use single wire coils and lower wattage if you go that route.
Regardless of the airflow setting, I found the Legend heated up very quickly, and the top cap got very warm. I attribute this to the large mass of stainless steel used in the deck design.
- Stunning build quality and look
- Really nice tolerances across the board
- Nicely etched logo
- High-quality resin drip tip
- Easy to build on
- Various airflow settings
- and all are adjustable
- Flavor and vapor are both good
- depending on your build of course
- Ambitious design
- Priced competitively at $49.00
- Dry hits if not careful dripping
- Gets hot quickly
- Might be difficult to find replacement tips
I really like the look of the Legend, it’s a beautiful RDA, and you don’t often see such an ambitious design as with the deck of the Legend. This is the type of design can be ground-breaking if implemented correctly. Unfortunately, in this case it seems like a solution in search of a problem.
While I doubt that the fate of YSTAR hangs on the success of the Legend, I really wanted its most unique feature to work — it’s the kind of risk-taking that drives innovation in vaping. At the same time, I also believe that these issues should be fixed in the design lab, not discovered by the end user.
Without the signature drip canopy, the Ystar Legend is one solid RDA even though it can get hot with lower resistance, high-mass builds. The issue is that the most unique feature of the RDA falls flat. But as an RDA without that one thing, it’s not much to complain about. Even with that one complaint, it’s still nitpicking.
The bottom line is this: If you are cool with dripping down both sides of the RDA, which is no big deal, the Legend might be worth consideration. It’s a well-crafted RDA with a quality look and feel that offers some varied airflow options, and performs quite well at mid-range wattage (50-60 watts) — when fed properly, of course.