Spyder Compact, Old & New versions
Spyder Shutter, Extra
Depending on the situation I use:
1. Spyder Imagine with:
Empire Reloader, ANS Delrin bolt, ANS feed tube, ANS Helical Expansion Chamber, All-American Barrel, ANS Valved Drop Forward Kit
2. Tippmann A-5 with ANS two-piece barrel
3. Dragun TES with SP valve to allow for HP/N2 tank attachment, Ev'lution II (Egg)
Upgrades in order of priority:
1. Remove the sight rail. It is unneeded.
2. Adjust play in trigger with adjustment screw.
3. Metal feed tube with cup. (unbreakable!)
4. Barrel. Check the reviews and make your choice.
5. Expansion Chamber if you use CO2
6. Delrin Bolt. Check the reviews and make your choice.
7. Motorized Hopper when you get fast enough to chop.
8. Cosmetic upgrades (see below)
Economy, reliability, ease of use and cleaning, compact size, upgradeable, electro, ubiquitous if help needed.
Limited to 13-14 balls per second. Trigger good, not great. Not an "Elite" marker.
The Imagine is a very good gun for the price. I like the compactness which aids maneuverability. My all black Imagine looks great to me also, with the clear plastic grips painted black on the inside to match the gun frame. I even switched the low pressure chamber to a black one from a Spyder Compact. Parts, if needed, are available almost anywhere, and when you play in a group chances are that many of them have had Spyders or clones, and can help you with any problems that may arise. The 3-shot burst and full auto modes can be fun, but if you are playing with others that don't have that capability, probably best to abstain in the name of sportsmanship. Of course organized tournaments do not allow auto modes, but it can be tournament legal if the jumper wire is changed. Field monitors can tell you how to do it.
The velocity adjuster on the back of the receiver makes it easy to adjust fps also. I do notice some change in fps in going from HPA to CO2, and that feature makes it easy to go back and forth from one to another, unlike most of the "Elite" guns that absolutely require HPA or Nitrogen. An HPA tank costs about as much as the Imagine!
Speaking of "Elite". I am a pragmatist (of or pertaining to a practical point of view) and look at the items that I purchase from a functionality standpoint as well as cost-effectiveness. Yeah, I also admit I like customizing to make a gun be all that it can be. Sounds like a previous US Army commercial, doesn't it? For these reasons I really like the Imagine. Since I am way too old (61) to be a serious competitor on some pb team, the Imagine was a great place to get acquainted with a hybrid gun that I fully intend to keep, even though I have purchased other guns since I bought it. I know that there are "better" guns out there, but for what this gun costs vs. its potential, I have to give it high marks. Having started when pumps were more common than semis, I have seen a steady improvement in guns over the years. Yes, there are some exceptions, but all-in-all I prefer to look at guns as different rather than better or worse.
It depends on the shooter, where he goes to play, and many other factors. The Imagine is a good middle-ground gun. But for the newbie, a mechanical semi like a Victor or Compact might be a better start for around $50.
At this point I am done modifying the Imagine, It is as good (and pretty!) as I need it to be. Although I characterized the trigger as good, not great, it can be greatly improved by removing the grip and turning the chromed phillips-head trigger stop bolt out just a little bit , maybe 1/4 turn, at a time! When the "slop" is all gone, and the trigger just barely touches the micro-switch button after the grip is replaced on the frame, you are good to go. When you get quick enough on the trigger, chops may occur. That is the time to get a Revvy or an Empire Reloader. The only reason for a Halo, Reloader B or Evo II is if you are planning to get a faster (Elite?) gun some time in the future. Even then you may be happy with two complete systems, rather than changing hoppers from gun to gun. Especially since it is often necessary to sand the tube on hoppers to make them fit. An Evo II, for example, needs to be sanded down to fit my Dragun TES, and many others. Then it is too small to provide a tight fit on a whole bunch of other guns, and you will have to tape it to make the tube bigger, or find some other way to take up the slack.
If you do decide to get an Imagine, you can do it with confidence. Even if you outgrow it, or want something different, chances are that it will serve you well as long as you have it. Or if you are an old guy like me, you will surely have some family that will be more than happy to either use it, or become the new owner. My 21 year old son is looking forward to tomorrow, when he can use it in our weekly games. Now I supposedly have a "better" gun. He is faster and smaller and will probably get me out 2 or 3 times as often as I get him.
In conclusion I am going to give the Imagine a 10. Not because it is the most sophisticated marker that ever came down the pike, but because it does what it was designed to do economically,competently and with a certain amount of style. And it leave things for you to upgrade and personalize. I like the black best, but colors are a very subjective choice. Get what YOU like.
If you are somewhere in the middle of paintball participation and skill as most of us are, seriously consider the Imagine. You might be able to do better with more $'s, but you can certainly do a lot worse.
Hope this helps. The ultimate decision is up to you.
10 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, February 5th, 2004 at 3:56 pm PST
Well, the x-chamber on the stock Imagine is pretty much just a gas-through-grip. Don't get an x-chamber anyway. Just buy a nice regulator. Also, I don't believe that some of the items (metal feed neck, delrin bolt) on the reccomended upgrades list are necessary. It is quite easy to modify your stock bolt by removing the venturi and maybe drilling the air intake out some. The feed neck provided with the gun is quite solid, and I don't see a need for a new one. I would put motorized loader (get the Empire Reloader - it's awesome) and new barrel at the top with those home-done ones.
Great review, I agree with most of what you have stated. I will take exception to the bolt in that the derilin bolts are rumored to swell in wet climates or soaked in paint. The other problem with these bolts is they have no O Rings so they depend on the mfr tolerances in the chamber to insure a good fit. On a Mass produced gun like this, even Kingman puts a bolt with O Rings on it cause they know they don't hold tolerances very tight. I agree on the venturi removal, and the x chamber is as you said a waste of good aluminum.
I love my imagine, and will shoot it probably as long as I did my original PMI Tracer or maybe longer! I agree the stock bbl is great for air or hyperball, and the longer ones might bring a bit more accuracy to the gun. Bought a 16" 2 piece 3A bbl mostly for intimidation factor, but when I put it on it sure looks sweet! (Fade Green matches the anodizing perfectly).
As for the sight rail, I disagree it is useless. I have a red dot sight waiting for an offset sight mount from Jet City Specialties. I will offset to the right since I am a lefty, and then my marker will be complete! I find a red dot excellent for getting that first shot where you need it, and avoiding the spray & pray syndrome.
What do you mean by: "2. Adjust play in trigger with adjustment screw." And what type of electric hopper should I get? And why is there such a hype about the Delrin Bolt? Is it really that good? It was a great review and I agree with almost everything you said.
Last edited on Monday, January 17th, 2005 at 5:57 pm PST
quote:Originally posted by KCtopshot What do you mean by: "2. Adjust play in trigger with adjustment screw." And what type of electric hopper should I get? And why is there such a hype about the Delrin Bolt? Is it really that good? It was a great review and I agree with almost everything you said.
ok with the imagine, if u take off the trigger frame, on top of the trigger is a screw. the farther u screw it out the trigger pull will become shorter. also i would highly suggest the Evo2 hopper. it loads 17 bps and the imagine shoots 14 bps. but the biggest reason i would get it is u can upgrade it, for $25 u can get it to load over 23 bps, but thats if u ever get a faster gun. Also the Evo2 can shoot at different speeds to adjust to the situation.
And the thing with the delrin bolt is the fact that some people say its quieter and the fact that it will last longer than a venturi bolt.
hope this helps.
Hey,Ivar Nelson very nice review.
quote:Originally posted by nykez513 ok...
3. Metal feed tube with cup. (unbreakable!)
4. Barrel. Check the reviews and make your choice.
for the metal feed tube with cup, im new, what is it. and do u know of any good 12-16 inch barrels 35-40 dollars
Avery nice barrel that i would recomend is the SP Tear drop you can find it for about $35 and it quiets the gun down quite a bit. not to mention its really accurate. go with 14in , 12 seems to short and the 16in just puts drag on the ball. another thing i would reccomend a spring kit (if you want the most out of your imagine)
Last edited on Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 at 8:51 pm PST