Smart Parts Vibe
12" Custom Products 1-Piece Barrel
I haven't done a huge amount of testing, so I can't really say.
HPA is probably the biggest requirement, and a decent barrel is always a step up from stock.
- Simple Design
- Ease Of Use
- Quiet and efficient
- Never Chops
- Stock barrel = slightly larger bore than normal
- Battery (See review below)
I recently bought this marker, and I have to say although I have had some problems (my fault, understandable for a noob) I'm impressed with the Vibe.
Appearance - 8/10
First off, this marker looks good. It has a nice black body, and even though it is made of plastic it is extremely durable; basically it is just as strong as most metals but lighter. My only complaint is that the black finish on the metal components seems to get minor scratches easily, but that is no big deal, and is dependent on how rough you are with your markers. It feels nice in your hand as well and is compact. The grip is good, no complaints.
Performance - 8/10
For an entry level marker, this little guy performs great, and is a lot of fun to shoot. Most players should have no complaints, and even the RoF isn't the greatest (Max 11BPS) it will still be sufficient for most. There is literally almost no recoil, it's amazing compared to a Tippman. Also, the Vibe is extremely quiet which is a nice stealthy plus. Accuracy is decent to good with the stock, great with an aftermarket barrel, and this is using cheap Vapour paint. The bad paint causes me to get the occasional curve shot, but good paint solves this problem. The trigger is very sensitive compared to most guns in this price range, and I have more than once accidentally grazed it with my finger and nearly shot myself or others in the foot. I have never had a chop caused by the Vibe as well, which is always a huge plus. Oh yeah, almost forgot, it has a semi-auto tournament lock mode and 3 RoF selections (changed by pressing the power button quickly) - semi-auto, 3 round burst, and full auto. Locking the marker in tournament mode is as easy as holding down the trigger while reconnecting the battery.
- Always keep this gun well lubed. When I first got mine it was leaking since there wasn't enough lube on the bolt, but that was easily fixed by lubing the bolt.
CO2 Performance - This can be a big problem for CO2 users in the winter. The Vibe will freeze up from liquid CO2 in some cases, and you must wait for the gun to warm back up before you can fire. In my case, the combination of cold and a weak battery would cause my Vibe to completely stop working for up to 5 minutes (trust me, this REALLY sucks when you are in game, I lost more than 1 kill and got out many times because of this problem). After completely taking apart the marker and putting it back together again, I was still having problems with the gun freezing. However, after checking my battery and replacing it (it was low), the problem seems to have been solved. Keep a fresh battery in the Vibe. I will update this review later to see if the battery was the root cause of my Vibe freezing up, although I have a feeling it was just a noob mistake on my part to not check the battery first.
On a more positive note, the Vibe is consistent with velocity while running CO2, and although I haven't used HPA yet in mine (no places to fill up near by) it should be easy to convert over to HPA, as changing the marker over is as simple as holding down the power button while reconnecting the battery.
UPDATE: Just played a few games in the cold recently. It turns out the battery was the problem, as I didn't freeze up once during the 2 hours I played (before I would freeze up after a few minutes). Once again, I have to say the Vibe is a great little marker.
All in all, I am impressed with the Smart Parts Vibe. It is an excellent marker for the price, and I definitely would recommend it to others. A nice electropneumatic step up from a traditional beginners mechanical marker. Cheers, and happy paintballing! :D
8 out of 10
Last edited on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 5:33 pm PST
So you don't get any freeze-ups with a fresh battery? I was freezing mine pretty easy with ropes of 30+ in 70°F weather! It was VERY humid, though. My VIbe was covered in condensation after just 15 minutes..