So back in June last year Virtue released some image teasers of a new product they had been working on, something that could change the game in a big way..
What followed in July was a campaign of teaser posts on their Facebook pages including random angles and close ups of what appeared to be plastic parts of some kind! (We will not bore you with the images themselves).
It was clear that this would be aimed at the high end market to compete with the Dye Rotor and Empire Prophecy / Z2 and to be honest it was fantastic that a new product was being released in this area.
Now the release of the Spire was also met with high criticism from many people who simply believed it would fall at the first hurdle, you could say the resistance was from hardcore fanboys of other popular loaders..
All the Moji’s had run with Rotors for years, there simply was no other loader!
But there was something about the Spire I really liked, it drew me in, it made me want to own one…. The curves, like a stealth machine, aggressive and sharp.. The simplicity of components, 3 piece construction and the feed mechanism and shot sensor…. The pro’s were staking up and I couldn’t really see the cons…
There are more than enough youtube video reviews out there from people who are pro Spire and those who damn right hate the thing. The only way I would know for sure would be to take the plunge and buy one! I put my order in to BZ Paintball Supplies for a Black/Black combo Spire, the colour would match our beta LV1′s perfectly. I was a little worried after I placed the order as I had seen a new youtube video by a guy who tested it on the Geo3 and the Ego11. He reported that the Spire missed a few beats and that the smoothness and quietness of the Geo3 out smarted the sensor in the Spire… Gulp! With the new LV1 being even smoother and quieter than a Geo3 I wondered if I had made the right choice………
So the Spire arrived next day (great service as always from the BZ crew) and I couldn’t wait to get it hooked up to the LV1. The Spire ships in a really neat plastic case, more of a show piece stand in fact. In the box there was also a mini card wallet containing the instruction manual (yes instructions for a loader!) and a very cool Virtue sticker. First thing to do.. batteries! Even though I had the manual to hand I didn’t need it to take the Spire apart, its so simple. As the video above shows, just a few pushes of buttons and your sorted. The battery compartment is very similar to the Rotor but the velcro straps feel better quality, has an embossed V logo in it too! The tray and electric board are very easy to get to and slip back in the shell very easily. One thing I hated about the Rotor was trying to get the lower battery tray back in place with the stupid fin manual adjuster..
With the batteries in and secure I put the two parts back together and fired it up. The feed cylinder (or Spire Drive as its called) pulses when empty, searching for the resistance of a ball, its a very quiet motor, smooth too. The LED indicator on the rear of the Spire tells me there is nothing in the loader by flashing red.
The Spire boasts a True 200 round capacity, something the Rotor also says it can do, so I started here with my tests.
- Rotor 186 balls
- Spire 206 balls
(Pure Arctic @ 0.685 bore match) Spire Wins..
Next was the marker test, I first tried the Geo3. No reported problems on the Geo and the Spire. It managed to keep up with 10bps semi no problem. I switched the Ramp on and set it to 15bps, again no problems or skips to report. The Spire spun away and fed paint as the marker needed. Now the LV1! No problems here either, the Spire fed nicely, not one skip at all. I was impressed.
Back at my desk I wanted to check the G-Force sensor further. The sensor is placed at the nose of the Spire and is said to ‘isolates and detects acceleration from each shot’! What I can say is that this thing is sensitive, simply snapping the lid down sent the Spire Drive spinning into action immediately.. Tapping anywhere on the shell also set it spinning, I have to add that this is the factory set standard and the sensor can be increased or decreased depending on what you want, standard factory setting and using an LV1 says its pretty awesome out of the box.
My first proper outing with the Spire was at the first UWL Southern Leg. It was a cold and very wet day, in fact it was probably one of the wettest paintball days I’ve ever played through. I had the choice of buying the Crown Speed Feed for the Spire but opted not too in view of the weekends weather forecast. The Spire performed brilliantly all day long with no hiccups at all which is far from what some of the other leading market loaders managed to do! I’ve never witnessed so many loader problems ever in 1 days play. I was chuffed.
Since seeing the Spire, Rosey (Chris) and Jonty (Brian) have switched from a Rotor to the Spire [well Brian had his delivered the morning of UWL and loves it]. More Moji’s are to follow and will getting their Spires in the next couple of weeks.
I dont like my Spire…. I love it!
I dont care that its not available in a certain camo pattern or stripe combo, I care that its going to perform perfectly all the time. I am pro Spire and anyone who wants to try it are more than welcome to have ago of mine, just pop and see me at an event.
I’ll leave the tech specs and promo blurb to the Virtue Spire website :