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Flebo Reports: Two from Dekang

Discussion in 'General E-Liquid Reviews' started by Flebo, Sep 22, 2011.

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  1. Flebo

    Flebo Full Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    After vaping mainly Halo liquids for the past couple of months, I'd thought I would try some Dekang liquids to ease the strain on my wallet and hopefully find a good all day vape. The liquids I got were Cuban Cigar and French Pipe, and I purchased both of them in 50mL/24mg size/strength. The liquids are graded on a five point scale, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. Both liquids have been tested for a week on a Silver bullet running at 3.7v with a dual coil carto dedicated to each flavor.

    Cuban Cigar
    This liquid's tobacco undertones reminds me a lot of DK-TAB with some bolder tobacco thrown in, and hints of spice on the exhale. While this is definitely is reminiscent of a cigar, it misses the mark and just doesn't do the whole 'cigar' thing enough for me. However this liquid is incredibly cheap and very vapable so I will give it 3 out of 5 stars. Would I buy it again? No

    French Pipe
    In this liquid I taste rich, smokey tobacco, cream, and a hint of fruit. This tastes a whole lot like a aromatic pipe blend, and is in my opinion, a fantastic vape. 5 out 5 stars. I don't know why I haven't hear much feedback about this liquid, especially since it is really cheap and a pleasure to vape. Would I buy it again? Absolutely
     
  2. billherbst

    billherbst Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Oct 21, 2010
    Florence, Oregon
    Nice reviews. I agree with most of your opinions.

    My take on this issue is that, with notable exceptions---DK-TAB and RY4 come to mind---Dekang Tobacco flavors are largely ignored as material for juice reviews. There are, I think, a number of reasons for this apparent snub. A major factor is xenophobia, the stereotypical American backlash against all things foreign (meaning non-European in lineage). According to the stereotype, Chinese products are badly designed and cheaply made with shoddy ingredients and lousy quality control, to the point that they are inconsistent in quality, often impure, and sometimes downright dangerous.

    As a musician and former collector of guitars, I think back in history. From the 1950's through the 1980s, Japanese guitars were considered (by American musicians) to be cheap knock-offs of American "quality" guitars. And that was probably true in the initial decades after WWII, but the Japanese caught on fast and were making quality instruments long before the stereotype gave way. When we here finally woke up enough to acknowledge in the 1990s the Japanese ability to build very fine guitars, did the stereotype fade? No, it simply shifted targets. Suddenly, Japanese guitars were "good," but the newer factories in Korea/Indonesia producing cheaper guitars became the target of our need to feel superior.

    That shifted again around 2000, when the Chinese (who have been building instruments by hand for thousands of years) entered the mass-production guitar market in a huge way. At that point, Japanese guitars were no longer just good, but great, with many of the older ones becoming highly esteemed by musicians and collectors. Meanwhile, Korean and Indonesian (and Mexican) guitars moved up from being judged as vile to now being thought of as pretty darned good, all things considered, and great value for the money. All the while, American factory-built guitars got more and more expensive, even though their quality didn't improve, and in some ways even deteriorated.

    Now it's 2011. China produces millions of guitars every year---more than all other countries combined, and some of those Chinese instruments are damned good, too, as well as amazingly inexpensive. Huge bang for the buck. And yet, the xenophobic bias continues---even today, Chinese guitars are still considered by many American musicians to be unacceptably low-quality, even though American factory-built guitars have skyrocketed in price, not to mention the unbelievable, out-of-sight prices of very high-end artisan luthier hand-built guitars in America and Canada. A hand-made Olson guitar built in Minnesota costs $12,000. Is it 15 times better than a Walden built in China by four luthiers? I think not. Also, every major American name-brand guitar company---Fender, Martin, Guild, etc.---has their own "economy" lines of guitars manufactured in China or Mexico to their specs, but sold for half the price of their Made-in-USA lines. Are their Chinese lines only half as good? Not by a long shot.

    In vaping---whether we're talking about hardware or juice---the same negative bias exists. It's even worse than with guitars (or cars, or whatever), because the Chinese invented vaping and have a head start on the cottage industry mod-makers and juice-makers in America, so the stereotype is even more perverse. Could Chinese products be better in terms of quality? Of course they could, but the same criticism applies to American-made vaping supplies, from mods to juices.

    A second reason we don't see as many reviews of Dekang juices is that Dekang is the standard against which all other juices are measured. Their juice provides the baseline, and everyone else tries to aim higher, whether or not the challengers succeed. Further, Dekang has a very extensive line of many, many tobacco flavors, but it suffers from the formulaic nature of those juices. All of them are variations on a theme. Take just a few bases (synthetic, essence, and extract), then add or subtract different flavoring ingredients, and voila! DK-TAB becomes Cuban Cigar becomes French Pipe. But in fairness, the same could be said about Italian FlavourArt---all their flavor concentrates are, in fact, just formulaic variations.

    Apologies for the lengthy post, but that's my two cents' on a very complex topic.
     
  3. Flebo

    Flebo Full Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    billherbst, thank you for your reply! As a guitar player myself, I can relate with the differences between "quality" and "knock off" guitars, and have found many "cheap" guitars that sound and play much better than the "real" thing. But back to ecigs, I am disheartened about people immeditely thinking all dekang is trash, because some is very good, and it's inexpensive and available. And in the end, its all about how much you like it, not how much you paid for it, where you got it, how rare it is, etc.
     
  4. lasttango

    lasttango What would Freud say? Verified Member ECF Veteran

    those Chinese Guild guitars are pretty great... even Richie Havens would approve...
    though it would be nice to see our labor force more engaged...

    Dekang French Pipe is a classic flavor - one of the best all time!
     
  5. billherbst

    billherbst Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Oct 21, 2010
    Florence, Oregon
    LT,

    I could never decide between the Epiphone Masterworks 12-fret slope-shoulder and an all-mahogany Guild Gad. I ended up with five Waldens and a venetian cutaway Morgan handmade by luthier David Iannone from Vancouver. The Chinese Waldens are really quite nice---all-solid with lovely tone woods, pre-war X-bracing, and very fast necks. And don't get me started on electric basses.
     
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