Buzz Pro Mod Review
Device Review: The Buzz Pro from NotCigs
I must first preface my review with a disclaimer. I am a huge NotCigs fan. There, I said it, I am biased. Hopefully though, after reading this review, you will understand why I am a fervent fanboi of all things Buzz.
I would like to start this review off with a little history lesson. I actually spoke (via email) with Mike Buzzetti, the owner of NotCigs, who right now is a very busy man with the recent release of their new VVProV, and the development of their next mod sure to rock the vaping world (hopefully soon). Specifically, I wanted to know if the rumor’s that I have heard all my vaping life were true. Is he the inventor of the variable voltage mod? You know how people are, and vaper’s are no different, people talk, embellish, make things up,and sometimes flat out lie; and urban legends are born of this. Given his heavy workload, his answer was surprisingly lengthy and informative. In a nutshell, Mike stated that he first started vaping on a standard 901 kit, and shortly after purchased a mod that was supposed to be variable voltage but didn’t work as advertised. He didn’t name the mod, but he decided, instead, to create a real variable voltage ecig. Using his background in electronics and mechanical engineering, he created the original Buzz in December of 2009 and applied for a provisional patent before it’s release. The original Buzz used a linear voltage regulator to control the output voltage, NotCigs then released the Infinity 8 months later using the same basic design. Improvements in the efficiency of the chip culminated in the Buzz Pro in January of 2011, followed by the Infinity Pro soon after that. Just this month, NotCigs released the VVProV; the only top feeding VV device with the juice housed inside the body.
So what is the Buzz Pro? It is a variable voltage tube mod that uses 2 unprotected Li-Ion RCR123A 3.7v 650mAh batteries in series, and uses a “buck” circuit to limit voltage via an analog linear potentiometer within a range of 3.3 to 5.6 volts. Unlike other mods, which boast menu systems, LED readouts, and multiple button presses; the user interface on the Buzz Pro is amazingly simple. There is a fire button, and an adjustment wheel, aka the “Hit Control.” That’s it!
Built in protection is standard on all NotCigs products, and includes over current, over temp, and reverse battery protections. There is ample venting provided, should a catastrophic battery meltdown occur.
The Buzz Pro comes in seven different colors (black, clear (silver), blue, green, red, purple, and rootbeer). The optional M1A1 carto tank in 1.0 (standard single coil length) or 1.5 (XL dual coil length) also comes in the same colors, and can be purchased in a package deal with the Buzz Pro. The top an bottom caps come in either brass or chrome, and can be configured with either a 510, 801, 901, or 808 native connection. The tops can be swapped out relatively easily if you decide to change colors, or native connections. The bottom cap now comes with Delrin threads so that a quarter turn of the cap breaks the connection, acting as a switch, turning the device off. Extra top and bottom caps can be ordered individually from NotCigs.
The Buzz Pro itself costs $139.00. Powerizer batteries are $11.00/pair, and a battery/charger combo is $23.00. The M1A1 tank is $24.95. Laser engraving (Your logo or text) costs an extra $30 (the Buzz Pro logo and S/N are standard at no additional cost, only extra engraving costs more). Use coupon code “ECF Buzzkill” for 7.5% off your order, and returning NotCigs customers get an additional 5% off as well.
The Buzz Pro came in a USPS small flat rate box, well padded in bubble wrap, with all accessories, and instructions included. As is customary with many high end US mod makers, there was no official fancy logo embossed box, which I assume is an effort to keep costs down.
I ordered the rootbeer version with brass caps and matching short M1A1 tank. It is a complex color; sometimes looking brown, sometimes looking like the reddish/purple of a Dr. Pepper can. Laser engraved on the tube is the model and serial number. The body is well machined, the anodizing is perfect, no dings or scratches in the finish, the end caps fit flush, and the threading is nice, tight, and quiet.
Speaking of threading, I was initially unsure about the delrin threads on the end cap, holding up against the metal threads of the body. It seems to me that plastic v. metal in a moving part could cause premature wear. Time will tell.
The “Hit Control” is marked with three color hash-marks; green, yellow, and red. The dial moves easily but is not loose. The Activate button is a little small for my preference, rubbery, and clicky. It sits in a recessed area on the main body which helps eliminate misfires while pocketed.
The device itself is very light, and appears to be made out of aluminum. It fits well in the hand, and although the finish is smooth, it’s not slippery.
There is a red LED light located just inside the “Hit Control” dial area that lets you know the device is on. The LED turns blue when the button is pressed to let you know it’s firing.
After a little voltage testing, I found the the green hash-mark was 3.3 volts, the yellow was 4.5 volts, and the red was 5.2 volts. The “Hit Control” proceeded past the red up until 5.6 volts. Under load (with a 2.8 ohm cartomizer attached) there was a 0.1v drop across all voltages and was to be expected. The voltage regulator held the voltage constant all the way up until the batteries were almost completely dead. I consistently get 15-16 hours of good vape time out of this device on a single set of batteries.
The Buzz Pro has worked its way into the number one spot on my PV rotation. Over time, it has consistently performed as new, the finish has held up well. It drives everything I put on it from high and low resistance atomizers, single coils, and low resistance dual coils, all without batting an eye. Battery life is insanely unreal, especially having come from using the ProVari. My concern about the delrin threads to date, has been unfounded. They look and function as well as they did as new, but I admit, I haven’t cross threaded them, and I am very careful not to.
The BuzzPro, from a user standpoint, is a simple device that works as advertised. It is reliable and easy to use. It is more expensive than some Chinese made variable voltage devices on the market, and less expensive than other US made devices. It is extremely well put together and durable. In my personal opinion, you can’t go wrong with this one!
Overall, I give it a 5/5