Spyder Esprit, Spyder Viktor II, Autococker Lotus Free Flow (not mine)
Spyder Imagine-S (blue), 12 in. TES barrel,
also 12 in CP barrel
Dye regulator (borrowed)
-Definitely a new barrel
Easy to Clean
Poor accuracy (just change the barrel!)
I've used this gun for approximately 6 months, and I've found it to be effective and reliable. However, the real key to this gun is upgrades. You can make this $150 gun equivalent to $1000 guns with the right upgrades and expertise.
First of all, you need to replace the barrel, because the one they give you makes you about as accurate as a Brass Eagle Avenger (lol). I recommend a 12 in. CP barrel, or, if available, a 12 in. stock TES barrel. The CP barrel only costs about $50, and its just as effective as the Freak barrel, at a quarter the cost. The same can be said for the 12 in. TES barrel. Even though it's not even designed for Spyders, it works like a charm. Either of these barrels will make your gun like 10 times better!
More good upgrades, if you have the money to buy them, include an electronic hopper, a good regulator, and low pressure system. For the hopper, you need at least 12bps feed rate. A regulator will improve shot consistency. On an Imagine-S, you definitely need the Dye In-Line regulator 2. Though this upgrade's pricy, its cheaper than getting a new gun. From the regulator you can upgrade your Imagine to low pressure. This upgrade will require only about $20, but requires expertise. It can give your gun amazing gas efficiency.
Also, shortening the trigger, lightening the trigger pull, and installing the T-board will make your Imagine much better. The T-board will replace the standard electronics in your gun, as well as installing laser "eyes" throughout your gun. The original electronics only allow the gun to cycle about 15 times a second. The T-board allows the gun to cycle and its maximum potential: 30 cycles per second. This is a must-have for a tricked out Spyder.
This gun is by far the best beginner gun. Because of its upgrade potential, you really don't need to replace it, and you won't want to. Spyder offers the most versatile of the beginning paintball guns. The only reason to get a TIppmann is if you need durability, like you drop your guns of cliffs or let them get run over by trucks. The key to this gun, like i said before, is replacing the barrel