November 04, 2013

Pyrex NBC – Turn The Nova Upside Down

Vivi Novas have been a smash hit in the e-cigarette world since they hit the market. There are few things in this industry that can retain their popularity for a year or more and the Nova is one of them. There have been tweaks to the design here and there, but the basic idea stayed the same: a top-coil tank with replacable heads. Now, it looks like someone wants to literally turn the whole thing upside down with the NBC. Which stands for Nova Bottom Coil. That's right, this one is a bottom coil Vivi Nova.

smok nbc tank review card image
smok nbc tank review card image

What is an NBC Tank?

The NBC is produced by SmokTech and is part of a rapidly expanding series of bottom coil clearomizers and tanks. Like everything else in the family, the replaceable heads are interchangeable across the product line. That is a very nice touch if you're like me and a little too disorganized to keep half a dozen different coil assemblies straight.

smok nbc tank review parts image
smok nbc tank review parts image
The mechanics are the same as most other bottom coil clearomizers on the market. There's a stem that protrudes from the top cap. This stem fits over a smaller stem that sits atop the atomizer assembly. A silicone gasket seals the whole thing up to keep the liquid on the inside where it belongs.

Nubby little wicks protrude from the sides of the heating assembly at the bottom of the tank where they can transfer liquid to the heating coils. The wicks don't need to be very large in bottom coil setups because gravity does most of the work of delivering e-liquid to the coils.

On the outside the NBC looks exactly like your average Vivi Nova. That's actually a really interesting thing. It is exactly like a regular Nova when it comes to the tank itself. Why's that interesting you might ask?

Smok Novas aren't compatible with most other Vivis out there. Their tanks are slightly bigger, so the hardware isn't interchangeable. The NBC is compatible with other tanks. This is particularly fortunate for me because I accidentally put acidic e-liquid in the tank and it cracked so I was able to swap it out with another. Pro tip: you can buy all metal Vivi Nova tanks if you do dumb things like I do.

I think you may have gathered for yourself that unlike other models in the Smok BCC lineup, this one doesn't sport a pyrex tank.

How well does the Smok NBC work?

I'm going to start out by saying sticking the coil on the bottom really messes with your perception of reality. I so have ingrained in my muscle memory filling a Vivi Nova that I keep finding myself opening the NBC from the top.

Don't do that.

smok nbc tank review bottom image
smok nbc tank review bottom image
Like other BCCs, filling is done from the bottom. Opening this one from the top is asking for an e-liquid spill.  If you're lucky and you waited until the tank is almost empty, you might avoid spilling e-liquid anywhere. But, if it's half full, or you forget and try to fill the NBC from the top, you're going to have a bad time.

Otherwise, when you fill it from the correct end, it's dead simple. The larger size gives you ample room to avoid dumping liquid down the center tube. Just be careful of over filling. For one, the stem sits lower than the bottom of the tank. For two, the markings on the tube are still oriented to be read with the tank right side up.

Once the e-liquid situation is sorted out, you'll find a tank that produces a somewhat airy draw. It's not terrible, but it's a tad lighter than something like a ProTank.

Vapor production is very good (again something most other Smok models also do). I did find the NBC can't be abused quite as much as the big PBC tank, probably due to a little less space around the wicks.  I found this one produced the best results at around 9 watts. 10 Watts produced a little more vapor, but I found it started getting a little harsh around the edges and the flavor reproduction wasn't quite as good.

The lower wattage isn't really a huge detraction. Vapor is certainly volumus and the flavor reproduction is very good.

If you're a Nova fan and want to dabble in bottom coils, this might be a good transition. These tanks are available at MadVapes.

Too Long; Didn't Read

The Smok NBC tank is a bottom coil tank stuffed into a Vivi Nova tank. Otherwise, if you can avoid opening it upside down, you'll find a credible performer that produces great vapor and has a good flavor to it. Unlike other Smok Novas, this one is compatible with Vivi Nova tanks from other companies.

Pros
  • Good flavor
  • Universal heads across Smok lineup
  • Good vapor production
Cons
  • Plastic tank
  • A bottom fill line would be nice
Disclosure: This article features affiliate links for MadVapes.
Introducing the world's first Vapor Zeus!
Introducing the world's first Vapor Zeus!
smok nbc review tldr
smok nbc review tldr

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