I finally got around to playing with my Spire (only took taking some vacation time and a semi-rainy day)...
I'm actually really really loving this thing.
I'll start by saying who I am. I'm a huge fan of Virtue products. I have Virtue boards in all but 2 of my Dyes (DM4 and DM5 are chipped, DM6/7/8/9 all redefined, DM7/10 and NT10 have OLEDs. one DM7 and NT11 are stock boards, for now) and Virtue boards in various other markers including Angels (G7 and A1), Shocker (RL with RL board), and Marq 6.
As one can kind of tell, I love Dye products as well.
For hoppers, I have about every hopper that has been made at one point in paintball... Or have had... My favorite hoppers currently out are the Prophecy and second the Rotor followed by the Halo V35. My favorite hoppers ever are the Prophecy and the OG Revys.
My first impression on the Spire was 'holy over packaged!'... But hey the clear box package does look sweet.
The feel and fit and finish on the Spire are good. Feels somewhere in between the Prophecy and the Rotor... which is a good thing IMO. IMO the rotor is over built and heavy. The Spire feels built strong yet feels a little lighter in hand (totally forget to weigh it
). I love the simple strip down of the Spire, about as easy as the Rotor. I didn't really like the screws for the lower tray but honestly I don't care. It would make a 100% disassemble a little longer then a Prophecy but again, I don't really care.
On to testing. I brought a variety of my markers. From ultra fast things to super duper quiet. All were chronoed at 275fps for each test.
I used a variety of paint from some All Stars that are well aged (with a broken ball or two in them), to 3 year old Anarchy that is still stellar, to reballs. I brought 2 field chronos with me.
Paint test (Used Spire, Prophecy and Rotor with Virtue board and virtue soft paddles as these are IMO the best 3 loaders).
Broken all stars (@ 0.682 bore size with some being as large as 0.689): The spire and prophecy loaded and never jammed. The rotor would occasionally jam when fully loaded with 160 paintballs. After the first 50-60 were shot, never jammed.
Anarchy (0.684 bore size): All 3 loaders never jammed.
Reballs (0.682 bore size): The spire and prophecy never jammed. I new better then to load the rotor, but I did anyway. Couldn't feed more then 1 shot...
Speed tests (sustained rates = average on chrono, max rates are the max bps shown on the chrono):
NT10 w/Virtue OLED: Did this test first to ensure my chronos and the board settings were accurate and acceptable between the board and chronos. Test 1: 12.5bps full auto. All 3 loaders feed fine and chronos and board are all within 0.1bps. Test 2: 15bps full auto. All 3 loaders feed fine and all ran 14.9-15.0bps. Test 3: 17bps full auto. The prophecy and spire both shot an indicated 17bps, the rotor shot an indicated 16.7bps sustained rate with max of 17bps. Hindsight is saying this is where the Rotor is starting to not handle the speed. Test 4: 22bps full auto: The spire and prophecy both shot rates of 22bps on chrono and marker. The Rotor showed max rate of 21.2 on marker and chrono, sustained rate shown on chrono as 19.8.
Here's where I switched markers to first my Cyborg RX. Uncapped showed the rotor feed 20.1bps, Spire sustained 24.2bps, Prophecy sustained 24.3bps.
Next I grabbed my MQ2 SR. Sustained rates: Rotor feed 20.0bps, Spire feed 25.6bps (WOW!), and Prophecy feed 24.9bps. Max rates: rotor 22.4, spire 31.2, prophecy 35.6.
Finally grabbed a chrono cheater marker lol, 05 Black Magic with PE E2 and adjusted the trigger to bounce like mad. Why? Because it's faster then sin itself. Sustained rate (keep in mind this is semi-auto setup to bounce): Rotor 18.6, Spire 24.2, Prophecy 24.8. Max rate (again - this is setup to bounce and the chrono takes the fastest 2 back-to-back balls for the max rate): Rotor 23.1, Spire 35.2, Prophecy 38.2.
A few comments, all these results are about what I've seen in the past. I feel the prophecy and rotor were feeding maybe 1bps slower then in the past but whatever, close enough.
Sound/sensing test: I used 3 markers for this, 05 black magic CCM pump, 05 Prostock mechanical with tons of Belsales goodies setup to run low pressure (180psi) that is super duper quiet, MacDev Droid, and DM7, again super quiet...
For this test, it's pointless to test the rotor so it is shelved.
The Prophecy has always had a problem 'hearing' these 4 without the sound sensitivity cranked so I set it to 3 for the test. It heard the DM7, Droid and Black magic just fine. Once it didn't hear the Prostock.
The spire in stock settings indicated and loaded each marker...
Overall I'm really loving the Spire. Not sure if it has taken over the #1 spot from my Prophecy yet... but it's close and has moved in front of the Rotor to my #2 spot. I truly love the rotor and love that most kids love them so I'm not having to put together prophecies at the field, but IMO it still has too many issues with small paintballs and reballs to make it my favorite.