Box Reborn by Limelight Mechanics: Not Really a Review

Introduction

By a miraculous series of events, I managed to get a hold of a Box Reborn by Limelight Mechanics. I missed a randomizer, and a very nice guy (now my friend) gave me his spot. I didn’t get on board with my erstwhile unicorn the DNA 40 Box, and by the time I got a line on one, I had kind of outgrown the DNA 40 board. I paid for the Box Reborn and for a spare set of panels out of my own pocket, and I am extremely excited about it. The Box Reborn included the Tube Atty (also by Limelight), but I will be reserving a separate review for that.

The reason why I put in the title that this isn’t really a review is because I adore this mod. The instant I found out about it, I needed it. Dejan from Limelight has been enormously helpful, and customer service is clearly a priority with Limelight.

Todd brings up an interesting point in his review of this same mod. This mod is one out of 99 and that’s it. There won’t be more. As with anything, not everyone will be able to get all the things they want, and I happen to have lucked into being able to get one (even outside of the already RNG based way they’re distributed), and I was lucky enough that my finances lined up so I could purchase one.

This will be more of a dissection of the design and materials. It will be structured like a review, but the avenue of attack will be a little different.

Specifications

  • Price: $550 (includes panels, Tube Atty, and calfskin case)
  • Chipset: DNA 200 Board
  • Dimensions: 80mm tall x 50mm deep x 25mm wide
  • Battery: 950mAh 3S LiPo (10.545 Watt Hours)
  • Accessories: Stone panels (+$30/pair), stabilized wood panels (+$50/pair)

There is a lot to be said about the DNA 200 and eScribe (a lot of that being how much better eScribe has gotten over the last 6 months), but that can be contained to its own post. Let it suffice to say that I am considerably more appreciative of this chip than I was before.

A quick word about battery life, the 950mAh LiPo cell in here is just a hair shorter than a 3,000mAh 18650, so take that for what you will. It’s enough for a full day for me since I’m a sub 20W vaper, but maybe not for everyone.

The stock panels are stone, of a variety of your choosing. I decided to go with the Jeera Green panels myself. More about the stone panels later, because they are a major source of why I think this mod is great.

Examination

Materials

Outside

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The frame of the mod is a brushed stainless steel that curves kind of gently around the corners. It’s extremely comfortable to hold even for extended periods of time.

The button caps are placed directly above the DNA 200 control board as far as I can tell. They’re flush with the mod and made of the same material, but because of the screen and where the atomizer attaches (nearer the button side) it’s really quite difficult to lose track of where they live on the mod (so no feeling around to look around for them). The primary con against the buttons, though, is that it can be a little difficult to get both adjustment buttons pressed down to change menus and settings.

Inside

The 950mAh 3S LiPo battery is held into place with user removable brushed aluminum bracket-frame things. You just need a little hex wrench to get them out of the mod, and once your battery reaches the end of its life, it doesn’t sound like much of a task to replace the battery.

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Inside, the board and some of the internals are held in place with ebano wood. It is definitely not ebony since this is quite a soft wood, and my Google-fu has kept me from finding out what exactly that wood is. That said, the touch on the internals is quite nice. The wood is engraved indicating that this is the first batch, so that makes me wonder if there will be more runs in the future.

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The big takeaway though, is that the inside is as handsome as the outside. Cable management is tastefully hidden, and whenever you take the panels off to swap them you are met with a clean and attractive view instead of just a vision of the guts.

Panels

The panels are very important to consider from the perspective of the materials used. The Box and Box Reborn have their panels swapped out with very strong magnets, and the way the magnets are attached keeps things quite stable even if there are some slight gaps. You choose your stock panel material from a variety of stones and you’re off! The choice of stone (which was available for the first DNA 40 Box from Limelight) was and remains a novel choice. You simply don’t see it frequently in the higher end scene where stabilized/hybrid wood reigns supreme.

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The stone is attached to metal panels. When you want to change out your panels, you poke a tool that resembles a SIM card ejector into the bottom of the mod, pop up the bottom of the panel and that gives you enough traction to change it out!

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Beyond the stone offerings, even the stabilized wood materials available are unique among the others that dominate the market. Most of them have excellent dye penetration with stainless steel accents. The metal borders within the panels have allowed Limelight to use multiple wood sections in each panel choice, so it’s not just one single block used. On all of my panels, once they are in place they don’t move a bit. Once they are in place (even with a few slight gaps), nothing rattles or scoots around. Once your panels are on they are staying on.

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Overall, the panels that Limelight Mechanics have created for the Box mods are quite distinctive among the rest that I have encountered so far, and achieving market differentiation in this day and age is really a great feat.

Other Stuff

The calfskin case that the Box Reborn comes with is one of my favorite things about this mod. It’s very soft, looks good, fits well, and feels quite sturdy. The one time I took the Box Reborn out of my house for a day trip, I kept it in the case all day and felt like it was adequately protected. The only downside is that it can be a little slippy when using the wood panels because they are thinner than the stone panels and the case has to fit around both.

The presentation box the mod came in is fantastic. It is wooden with a sliding top that has a tight fit, but smooth motion to open and close. Inside, the panels and mod are protected by a leather sheet and foam pad. Everything is in its place and was well protected through the long trip over from Serbia.

A brief word about the Tube Atty – it is handsome and fits well on the mod. I’m excited to take a critical view on it and use it in a dedicated fashion so I can gather my thoughts around it. There are some common opinions I have come across already, but I don’t think people are looking at the big picture.

The Box Reborn also comes with an atty plate protector in the form of a clear sticker, but I couldn’t get it centered right so I just gave up on it. I don’t plan on my Box Reborn going anywhere, so nuts to atty swirl.

Another interesting tidbit is that the LiPo battery is that it is user serviceable. The battery, once it has run its lifetime course, is replaceable. I think it requires a hair of soldering, but that is excellent to know! The DNA 200 is a board that has stupendous staying power, the limited lifetime of an integrated LiPo cell is the only big issue that many people have with the DNA 200 (outside of its price).

UX

This is my first formal examination of UX, user experience. All of the bill of materials stuff is tackled, and it has all come together in an extremely handsome device.

The ergonomics of the Box Reborn are quite nice. It is not petite, but not stout. Its 25mm diameter I thought might be a little problematic, but my hands fit around everything. The corners aren’t sharp, and the steel frame curves gently to fit in my hand.

As stated above, the adjustment buttons can be a little hinky. It can be hard to lock power to do a variety of the DNA 200’s functions because the buttons are a little close together and it can be hard to tell when both are depressed. That said, accidental adjustments haven’t happened once on me yet.

The fire button, though, is my favorite. When I posted a first impression on a forum, I described it as “touching God’s nipple” and I will maintain that position because it truly is fantastic. It’s a large button, but it doesn’t take much effort to push down. Being a little off center won’t keep the mod from firing or keeps the action from feeling any less smooth.

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It’s kind of the direct opposite of the Dani Extreme V2+’s little nubblet button. Both are great, but the Box Reborn’s button is a joy. It has smooth action from all angles and you know it’s going to work whenever you hit it. It’s the same kind of assurance you get when you use a Provari.

The whole Box is a little hefty. It’s not a chore to use it, but it does convey the heft that you expect from a premium thing (interestingly, I got to use a Juul for a little bit a while back and I was disappointed with how flimsy it felt in my hand, especially given that it’s a little pricey for what it is).

I mentioned a little earlier that the battery is user serviceable, and getting the battery out of there isn’t hard at all. I had the probably-not-great idea to get up in there when I first got the Box Reborn to see what it was like. I don’t have to do it, and likely won’t have to replace the battery for a year, but it gives me a certain sense of assurance knowing that the battery can be replaced, and that kind of peace of mind is really special when using a multi-hundred dollar device with a LiPo battery.

If I had only one word to describe the Box Reborn, I think it would be graceful. It is understated, timeless, simple-yet-elegant, user serviceable, and made with quality materials by quality people.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that this is not a review per se the question “Who is it for?” still deserves asking.

Who is this for?

The Box Reborn by Limelight Mechanics is for:

  • The technically oriented (by virtue of the DNA 200 board)
  • Those who want a desk mod
  • Folks who want a high end mod, but not something necessarily flashy or avant-garde
  • People who appreciate quality craftsmanship
  • Someone who wants a mod that will last (the DNA 200 and replaceable LiPo give great staying power to the Box)

If you want something that has a truly unique profile, this is not the mod for you. If you want a mod that you don’t have to be involved with, the Box Reborn is still not for you. If you need more than a single 18650’s worth of battery life, the Box Reborn is not for you, either. If you don’t want to deal with a LiPo battery, it’s sooooo not for you.

For me, however, the Box Reborn is the complete package. A single 18650 really gets me through the day, so battery life is not an issue. I’ve gotten more into using eScribe than I had with my HFO DNA 200 (and the software really has taken huge leaps forward over the last 6 months). It’s handsome, panels are easy to change, and rock solid.

This is why I wanted to write an analysis of the design and material choices on the Box. It’s everything I could need and I knew that when I purchased it. Barring some egregious manufacturing issues, I knew I was going to be a fan.

Hopefully this article still performs a service to my readers and perhaps even to the modders out there. I hate articles and “reviews” that are people just bragging about the new gear they got, and I hope that with each article (except maybe mail calls and progress updates) helps contribute to the pool of knowledge in the industry.

If you hate this kind of article or have suggestions on improvements, please let me know! I hope, though, you enjoyed it.

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April Showers…

Good afternoon lovely readers of Mesh Builds!

I am just a few photographs away from finishing up an article on the Box Reborn by Limelight Mechanics. I’m still in shock that I own this mod and am very excited to share my thoughts on it. It’s not really a review, more of an examination. I knew going into it that I would love the Box Reborn, and you can’t write an impartial review that way. I do hope you’ll enjoy it.

The In’Ax Mk III is the next atomizer to get reviewed! It has been performing quite well, and hopefully my review on it will be useful. They’re in stock at VapinArt in case you don’t feel like waiting on a review. Pro tip: get the threaded boulon center pin replacement. Life is much more radical with it.

I’m zeroing in on the Heron V2 and getting a build right for it. I just put a new build in there last night and am leaving it at home. I have a few tests, but I think this might be it, which is fantastic.

The EVL Reaper is also in my home! I put the mini kit on there right away and it goes through 2mL at a time relatively quickly. I have more I want to do with it and am still getting my build just< right. It’s not difficult to make it functional, but I think I can really make this atomizer stand out (as it should given its price point).

The Tube Atty also has a fresh build in it waiting for me to have some time to use it. I may need to do a few because I have some impressions now that I’ve looked at the innards and put a few tanks through it. We’ll see on that one, but it is relatively low priority.

Over the course of April, I spent a lot of money. I’ll mostly only be purchasing liquid in May, but hopefully there will be sufficient content to keep everyone satisfied. That said, though, I am setting up a Patreon page for Mesh Builds. Funds will go towards new gear and photography materials to keep the reviews coming and coming better. I thought I would be able to sell gear as it came in to keep things on the cheap side, but because of list and randomizer releases that isn’t completely possible.

The site will remain ad-free unless things get really dire, so fear not on that front! I won’t plug the Patreon all the time, but I will thank patrons regularly and will work on some dedicated content just for them!

As always, your appreciation is appreciated. Your patience is appreciated. Your readership is appreciated.

Thank you.

Quick Fire Reviews: The Russian

Introduction

Disclosure:

There is (or was) a lot of hullabaloo surrounding the first versions of the Kayfuns to hit the market, and many criticize the Russian as just an expensive clone. I was told I was getting a Russian 91% (which I will hold as distinct from the KFL+) in this trade, but I didn’t. I got an original. They perform the same, but it does make me feel a little skeezy writing this review. They perform the same, though, and I feel like Kayfuns are still an important atomizer to look at in retrospect to see how much (if any) progress we’ve made. On to the nitty gritty!

Specifications:

  • Price: There is no way of knowing.
  • Height: 82mm (including integrated drip tip)
  • Diameter: 22mm
  • Volume: 5.0mL (stainless steel or polycarbonate tanks)
  • Tank Material: Polycarbonate or Stainless Steel
  • Airflow: Up to 2.5mm

It’s great to get back to this atomizer! I had had a variety of Kayfuns for a long time, and really loved them at the time. Have they held up? Let’s find out!

Impressions

Building is not as easy as I recalled. The screws are smaller than I remembered, and I had to re-figure-out how to keep the wires trapped under the screws without destroying my build. Good times.

I didn’t have any wicking issues, which was the big thing once Kayfuns hit the scene (lack of dry hits, that is). The flavor was good but not great. I could tell that the chamber wasn’t as small as it could be – maybe something that indicates how spoiled I am by all the reduced chamber atomizers I’ve been using. It just feels like something is being lost a little bit. 2.5mm is also too open for this atomizer. I turned it down some, but it’s just fine and not anything to really write home about these days. It’s a lot like my Kabuki, just with less texture/novelty/liquid visibility.

The Russian/Kayfun/KFL+/R91 aren’t bad atomizers, not by a long shot. But unless you can find them for less than $50, I don’t think I could really recommend it (I need to pick up a Subtank Mini to compare to these). The integrated drip tip is a pain on the OG Russian/R91 first batch/KFL, because I feel like there are some out there that really outclass them.

Would I recommend buying one? Not at the brand new price points that a lot of these command (~$70.00). There are so many alternatives at this stage, that I wouldn’t really be super comfortable recommending these older Kayfuns. Your money would be better spent on an MCR 303 at this price zone.

As it happens when hooking up with an ex, it’s good but not as good as you remember it.

Quick Fire Reviews: The MCR 303

About

Despite having been vaping since 2013, there are some atties that I missed out on, or that I just want to revisit. These are quick reviews intended to touch on something that’s not the newest, not the shiniest, and likely has already had too much said on it. It’s always worth comparing these things to our modern atomizers and see what’s held up and what hasn’t!

I don’t believe I’ll put up any of my own pictures for these, just in the interest of getting the reviews done as quickly as possible.

Disclosure: I purchased this from a friend of mine a few states away for well under RRP, but even at their bananas sales price of about $40 this atomizer is screaming cheap.

Introduction

Specifications

  • Price: $40.00 for the multi month long Flash Sale that has been going on (130.00GBP regular price)
  • Height: 30.7mm
  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Volume: 1.8mL
  • Tank Material: PMMA or Stainless Steel
  • Airflow: 1mm, 1.5mm, or 2.0mm fixed depending on your choice (additional caps can be purchased)

Where the Sat22 was thoughtful, so too is the MCR 303 in different ways. The volume may be a deal breaker for some, but filling is so quick and easy that I didn’t find it to be much of an issue. This review was conducted with the 1mm top cap!

Impressions

The MCR has a dedicated fill port (where you would just use the unused wick hole on the Sat), but you can either leave the port plugged or unplugged with a metal rod in the MCR. The rod gets threaded into the top cap of the MCR, and serves as a guide to get the top cap on in such a way that you don’t jank up your build due to the reduced build chamber in the cap being able to squash your wick and coil.

The flavor is lovely on this atomizer, though. It’s right there with the Sat22, but there is one important difference between the MCR and the Sat22: the MCR 303 can whistle.

I thought it wouldn’t be a problem – I’ve had some noisy atomizers before, but after using the Sat22 for a few weeks before getting into the MCR 303 the noise was driving me crazy. The flavor is bananas! It’s easy to live with! I can build it in a jiffy, fill in half a jiff, but the sound every time I used it was nooooo bueno. The diameter of the drip tip against the airflow was also introducing a little dysphoria (wide bore, tight airflow).

The 20mm diameter may also make people feel a bit odd, as well. I think it looks great on 22mm mods – I really didn’t think it looked bad on my DEV2+.

For those two issues that some may or may not have with the atomizer, there is one thing to keep in mind: this is a $40.00 Genesis style atomizer and it performs wonderfully. It is flavorful, warm, and I didn’t get a single dry hit. If you’re looking for something cheap to try for Gennies, absolutely check these out because who knows how long the prices will remain so low.

Quick Fire Reviews: The Sat22 by Satburn Mods

About

Despite having been vaping since 2013, there are some atties that I missed out on, or that I just want to revisit. These are quick reviews intended to touch on something that’s not the newest, not the shiniest, and likely has already had too much said on it. It’s always worth comparing these things to our modern atomizers and see what’s held up and what hasn’t! I don’t believe I’ll put up any of my own pictures for these, just in the interest of getting the reviews done as quickly as possible.

Diclosure: I purchased this from a friend of mine for the cost of shipping since he had a spare and I was interested. He included some 2mm stainless steel cable, as well as a stainless steel tank and spare.

Introduction

Specs

  • Price: $165.00
  • Height: ~50mm
  • Diameter: 22mm
  • Volume: 3.0mL (glass) 3.4mL(stainless steel tank)
  • Tank Material: Borosilicate or Stainless Steel
  • Airflow: 2×0.8mm fixed airflow

The Sat22 is a beautiful atomizer. Everything on it is just…thoughtful. There are two wick holes, one 2mm and one 2.5mm. The airflow holes are stacked and countersunk to maximize airflow against the coil and to reduce whistling.

This bad mama jama is whisper quiet. I love it.

The drip tip is the width of a cigarette. I really feel like that is an important thing to keep in mind about this atomizer – it’s a quitter’s atomizer. It’s from two and a half years ago, when this kind of thing was the norm, but going back to it it’s quite refreshing.

I have only two complaints about the Sat22:

  1. It leaks on its side (common for older Gennies, so no surprises there).
  2. It gets hot as the Dickens.

I’m a chain vaper and the heat thing is a huge problem for me. It gets way way way warm all the way up the drip tip and it makes me need to put it down after a few minutes, which is kind of lame. Deal breaker? Sure not. It was my daily carry until the In’Ax Mk. III came in the mail.

The flavor coming off of this is staggeringly good, and the build is quite easy, too. I just used a piece of 2mm SS cable (I had to put it into the 2.5mm wick hole) with a #200SF mesh wick around it and it tastes fabulous. It can take a few hits for the cable to retain enough heat for throat hit to get where I need it, but it’s consistent, simple, and delicious.

They’re pretty hard to find these days. People who have them at this point are the people they’re for. If you find some on your classies for $120 or less, I would totally recommend picking one up. If a noisier atomizer isn’t a problem, then you may want to take a look at the still INSANELY cheap MCR 303 V2s from MCR Mods. The flavor is very close, but the MCR holds a little less liquid and has a PMMA chamber. Take a peek!

I love this atomizer, it’s right up my alley. If you see one and want a really super flavor-oriented atomizer that you can keep on your desk back home, I can’t recommend this highly enough.