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Old 05-12-2014, 10:20 PM #1
Person
 
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Monterey California
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Quick Review: Pinokio Speed with Empire Z2 Hi-Cap

Hey guys. I am always eager to try new hoppers and I thought I would share my opinion about the Empire Z2 HiCap and the Pinokio Speed. This is setup as a sort of comparison, but mainly for the purpose of giving you a good idea of the Pinokio Speed as it compares to a loader you are more familiar with.

As a note, the Z2 with high capacity shells has the exact same physical dimensions as the original Prophecy.

Skip to the very bottom to just see the list of specs (weight, capacity)
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1. Weight

To begin with, is a weight comparison. The scale is set to grams, and both hoppers have batteries in them. The batteries in the Z2 are energizer lithium ultimates, and the batteries in the Speed are Duracell standard 9 volts. I would have thrown some alkaline's in the Z2 if I had them, but I don't keep alkaline AA's around and didn't want to go to the store.

Pinokio Speed on scale w/batteries:



Empire Z2 HiCap on scale w/batteries:



Hopper Weight w/ batteries

Pinokio Speed with 2 standard Duracell 9 Volts: 419 grams
Empire Z2 HiCap weight with L91 Energizer Lithiums: 517 grams

Battery weight

2x 9 volt Duracell: 91 grams
4x L91 energizer lithium AA's: 58 grams

Hopper Weight without batteries

Pinokio Speed: 328 grams
Empire Z2 HiCap: 459 grams

Weight comments: The weight difference between the hoppers with batteries is 98 grams. That is about the same weight as another pair of 9 volts. That is about a 19% difference in weight.

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2. Height

All I did here was balance both of them on their feed tubes and put a level across the top. The Speed is slightly shorter than the Z2 HiCap and would be slightly taller than the standard Z2.

Pinokio Speed and Empire Z2 HiCap height comparison:



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3. Capacity

For a capacity comparison, I used a fatboy pod filled with 129 paintballs (full capacity) to represent my "1 pod". In the pictures, the paint is forced all the way to the front of both hoppers.

Pinokio Speed with a pod dumped in and shaken forward:



Empire Z2 HiCap with a pod dumped in and shaken forward:



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4. Max Capacity

I then went on to hand fill both hoppers to the very brim, while counting. I might have jammed a couple more balls under either speed feed, but I did what I could to make them both equally full despite the better retention on the HK speed feed. Both counts were done with paint completely filling the feed tubes of both hoppers.

Pinokio Speed filled to full capacity:



Empire Z2 HiCap filled to full capacity:



Hopper Maximum Capacity:

Pinokio Speed: 169 balls
Empire Z2 HiCap: 229 balls

or in other terms

Pinokio Speed: 1 pod plus 40
Empire Z2 HiCap: 1 pod plus 100

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5. Feed Cup Capacity

The next thing I did was to count how much paint is held in the feed cup when each loader is ready to rock. The feed tube of both loaders was filled for the count. To do this, I just put paint in each hopper and moved it around while taking out loose balls until it was more or less staying put as I pivot the hopper around.

It should be noted that the feed cup capacity of the Z2 is the same for both the standard and the HiCap shells.

Pinokio Speed with full feed cup:



Pinokio Speed with full feed cup:



Empire Z2 HiCap with full feed tray:



Empire Z2 HiCap with full feed tray:



Feed Cup Capacity:

Pinokio Speed: 24 balls
Empire Z2 HiCap: 45 balls

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6. Quick Access Opening Size for cleaning

Personally I don't think this really matters. I didn't measure in any meaningful way. You can really get into the Z2 easily with your whole hand and wipe it clean if you need to, while you are going to need to shove a towel into the Speed. I mainly am only including this section because I took the photo and some people might want to see it.

Pinokio Speed versus Empire Z2 HiCap opening size:



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7. Person's Take on the Hoppers

It's no secret that I have had really great luck with both the original Prophecy and the Z2. I won't go into details, but for me, the Z2 is the loader to beat which is why I used it to help evaluate the Speed.

I was extremely eager to get my hands on a Speed, but was too cheap to spend the money picking one up for MSRP. It took me this long to find one to purchase used. They are either pretty uncommon, or the people that buy them never find a reason to sell them.

Weight and Balance on gun:

The thing that most attracted me to the Speed was the weight savings compared to other hoppers. The hopper is the lightest good hopper out there and I was willing to cut it a lot of slack for those weight savings. Really, it feels more like a revvy weight wise than anything else, and that means it feels good.

On the gun, loaded up, the difference is reduced due to the fact that all of the paint is held higher on the hopper than it is on the Z2. The Z2 has that deep tray where most of the paint winds up resting. On the speed, most of the paint is resting about halfway up the hopper on the relatively flat tray.

With both hoppers holding the same amount of paint, the Speed is still noticeably lighter, but the higher center of gravity somewhat negates that advantage.

Forward feed cup and balance:

As far as the forward orientation of the hopper goes, I think it is amazing. It really does get the hopper out of your way, and the balance front to rear is totally not a problem.

Forward feed cup and feed performance:

It doesn't take much of an incline to get the Pinokio Speed into a position where the paint is rolling back away from the feed cup, and you are going to miss some shots. If you play castle defense games where you are shooting down on players, this is absolutely the best hopper you could possibly own. Otherwise, the forward located feed cup will present some problems if you are dropping more than 25 balls down field without moving much. If that is the case you don't want this hopper.

If you are moving a lot, taking shots here and there instead of just dumping lanes across the field, the configuration of the speed probably will not present any problems for you.

Overall feed performance:

The feed design itself is great, there is basically no way it can possibly jam, but as simple and reliable as it is, it is definitely not as sophisticated as the Z2. The Z2 has tension on the ball stack at any given time, you can be running all over the place and your next shot is going to go through because the Z2 makes sure that the paint is there and ready.

The Speed on the other hand, while paint isn't going to bounce back into the hopper because the paint sensor creates a sort of 1 way feed gate, only occasionally is the speed actually holding pressure on the paint stack when it is at rest. I didn't really get to spend a lot of time with it on the field, but this may or may not cause missed shots when you are moving harshly and messing up your paint stack.

Overall Hopper:

I really like the Speed, and I really really wanted to convince myself that it is the hopper for me, but in the end the issues described above were enough to convince me that the Z2 has not yet been replaced in my gear bag. For some people, the ultra simplicity and low weight of the Speed will make it the best possible hopper. That isn't the case for me, but I would still consider it an excellent choice, and highly recommend checking one out if you get a chance. You might just love it.

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8. Consolidated Measurements

Weight:

Pinokio Speed with 2 standard Duracell 9 Volts: 419 grams
Empire Z2 HiCap weight with L91 Energizer Lithiums: 517 grams

Battery weight

2x 9 volt Duracell: 91 grams
4x L91 energizer lithium AA's: 58 grams

Hopper Weight without batteries

Pinokio Speed: 328 grams
Empire Z2 HiCap: 459 grams

Hopper Capacity:

Pinokio Speed: 169 balls
Empire Z2 HiCap: 229 balls

or in other terms

Pinokio Speed: 1 pod plus 40
Empire Z2 HiCap: 1 pod plus 100

Feed Cup Capacity:

Pinokio Speed: 24 balls
Empire Z2 HiCap: 45 balls

Last edited by Person : 05-14-2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:13 AM #2
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Very nice write up!
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:53 AM #3
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Thanks very much for this. If other people could follow your methodology, we could get some great comparisons going on.
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Old 05-20-2014, 01:28 PM #4
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Thanks guys. It was fun to do and something I would have been doing for myself anyways. It was easy to snap a few photos.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:34 PM #5
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I just picked one of these up and cant wait to use it. Hopefully will make the field in 2 weeks and give it a work out.
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