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TOPIC: Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue

Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13780

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To say I have been looking forward to this saber for a long time would be an understatement. I have wanted/craved/lusted for a thin-neck saber since I saw Obi-Wan's in SW:ANH in 1977! That, even more than the Graflex design was what did it for me. Especially after buying a Master Replica's Force FX Luke, and Vader hilts. I found the Graflex attractive, but not altogether practical for gripping either one handed (due to its circumference at the bottom end), or two handed due to the control box.

Later, I came upon UltraSabers Archon. I was drawn to it, because it was the closest approximation to a true thin-neck as was available at the time that you could actually duel with. Sure, the Force FX Obi-Wan, and ROTJ Luke were more screen accurate, but they were not true thin-necks either, and you could not duel with them. I treasured the Archon for quite some time, buying additional LEDs, pommels, necks, and emitters for it. That made it a veritable chameleon of light sabers, but even with all of that, it was still not the saber I really desired in my heart of hearts.

It was not until about a year ago that I came upon the SaberForge site, and saw not just one, but three thin-neck designs, and they were all fantastic! Finally, a real thin-neck saber! Like most fans of the thin-neck, I loved both the Prodigal Son, and the Redeemer. However, it was the Exhalted that really fired me up, because it did not feature the control box. Like a lot of folks, not a big fan of the control box. So, the decision of which saber to buy was made, then it was a matter of color, and what if any customizations to ask for.

When deciding on the matter of color, I looked that the ROTJ poster than I have in my office. It shows Luke holding his ignited saber, and on that poster, it is a definite white-ish shade of blue. Actually, closer to white, than blue, but I was not ready to go the white route yet, at least not on this saber. So, the closest approximation to that shade of blue in my eyes was Arctic blue, and so it became! Of course, I opted for the 12 watt version, and I am very satisfied with the brightness. The 37" blade that came with it was specifically for thin-neck designs, in that the diffusion film was not glued down (perhaps someone could explain why that is necessary), and in this case was still about 1/4" too long to seat completely into the emitter. So, after asking the question on the SF forum of how best to trim it, and getting an answer, I did it. Now, it fits like a glove, and there is no wrinkling or crimping of the film at the emitter end.

As for customizations, all I asked for was to color the grenade grip section solid black, as opposed to the silver-black that it usually appears with. The solid black grenade section looked really good on the Redeemer, so I knew it would look good on my Exhalted, and they did exactly as I asked. The only other thing I asked was to ensure that the kill key, and the cover-tech wheel both be brass finish to match the brass section of the emitter. They satisfied that request as well, though that was more like making sure they applied the standard parts, rather than substituting the silver finished parts as I have seen on some other Exhalted sabers in other reviews.

The saber is absolutely beautiful! The length and circumference were exactly what I imagined, and the weight was perfect for the size. With the 37" blade, the balance point still seems about two inchs or so beyond the emitter, but I imagine a 32" blade would move it back to a more acceptable point. Having anticipated that possibility, a few weeks ago, I ordered a 32" thin-neck blade, which will be here very shortly. I have not yet had the opportunity to get out in the yard and swing it at full speed yet, or clash blades with my son (and his 2015 Epoch), but when I do, I will follow up this review with an addendum on how that goes.

For sound, I went with the Viridian font, which to me has more of a "light side" feel, plus I like the blaster block sound, more than the lightning of the Crimson. Perhaps my next saber (likely the Regal) will have the Crimson font so I can do a direct contrast on them. The sound is clear, and satisfyingly loud, and the customizations available via the menu allow for some flexibility in how easily/quickly the various sounds are produced. I am still playing with those options, and have not yet arrived at what I consider to be the final settings, but it is fun to experiment!

The build of the saber itself is, so far as my admittedly less than expert sensibilities can assess, flawless! There is no rattle of the internal electronics, there are no imperfections in the finish, and everything works as advertised. To say that all of my expectations were met, and surpassed would be putting it mildly! If I had a complaint at all, it would just be with the fact that I had to do anything to get the blade to fit the way it should, but that was an easy fix, and so a very minor complaint. Certainly, nothing that takes away from my enjoyment, and satisfaction with my purchase.

Speaking to my experience with the vendor, I had no issues what so ever, other than the wait time. I ordered on March 18th, and received it on June 20th, so it was just a hair over three months. An agonizingly long time to be sure, but from what I am hearing, that wait time for more recent orders is beginning to drop, and according to the powers that be, will continue to do so until they are down to more of a 6-8 week lead time from the main site. If they are able to do that, and improve their consistency along with it, they will be right on target. The shipping was easily trackable using the provided number, and the package arrived in near perfect condition. All of the items that were supposed to come with the saber, were included (charger, blade, retention wrench), and a surprise inclusion! There was a covertech belt-clip included, which I was not expecting. A nice surprise, to be sure!

I would say in closing that this purchase, which was a birthday gift from my wife (meaning she gave me authorization to order what I wanted on that day), satisfies every expectation I had, and I am pleased beyond measure with what I received. There are also more screen accurate versions out there (even the Prodigal Son, and Redeemer are closer than this model), but screen accurate was not the goal here.

Bottom line...I am very happy with this saber, and could not recommend it more highly.

Pros:

The fit and finish are perfect.
The sound is very clear, and very loud.
The weight is perfect for a saber of this size.
The LED is very bright, and the color is perfect.
The black/silver/brass colors compliment each other well (at least I think so).

Cons:

The thin-neck blades are something of a mystery to me. I don't understand why the diffusion film cannot be pre-trimmed to a correct length for the emitters on these sabers, and glued in place like the others. That might be just a matter of my ignorance on the matter, but it does not seem like a hard thing to do, since they differentiate their thin-neck blades, from their regular ones anyway.

The wait time was quite long in my case, but I have hopes that with their recent expansion, SaberForge will be dialing back the wait time to more acceptable levels in the near future.

Exhalted Review Pictures
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Brax.
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13784

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I can answer the why the thin neck blades don't have the diffusion film glued in for ya; they can only get the glue in so far inside the tube, and what they can reach, if they glue it down, will prevent the blade from being able to seat in the blade socket on the emitter. It's that simple! So, they leave the glue out and typically cut the film shorter so that it doesn't interfere as well. The thin necks, in order to be duel-capable, have to have a very firm and tight grip on the blade due to the limited depth available. It's that simple. :)

As for the rest, awesome, well-written review! And great pictures. Enjoy your saber!! =D
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13787

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A great review! Incredibly thorough :)

I was bidding on a thin neck exalted on eBay but sadly missed out on it, I was a little on the fence with it being a thin neck saber but after this review I feel a lot more at ease buying a thin neck :D

What kind of clips do you have to hold them on the wall like that? I've been looking into ways to store my sabers.
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13789

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Thanks, as always, Kntiri, for the heads-up on the diffusion film.

As for the display EvilGeth, they are Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle Clips. Easily obtainable on Amazon. They were a great idea first posted by someone else in the forum, which worked out very well for me.
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13793

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Killer Review Brax, really enjoyed it and thank you!
Glad you are enjoying your saber so much, and your right it looks beautiful!!
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13841

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Wow, that was a great review Brax! You have a beautiful saber there. I especially like the black finish on the grenade section of the hilt.
“Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken…about a great many things.”
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 11 months ago #13842

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Thanks man!

A review like that practically writes itself, because I have been thinking of this saber since I was 15 years old! Even after having owned a few other sabers, it was only when I saw this one that I knew that all of the others were just substitutes for the real thing, which was this one!

Now that I have it, and can feel the weight of it, I am more sure of that than ever. I just need to learn how to use it properly, which I intend to do.
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 8 months ago #18641

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no pictures??
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 8 months ago #18642

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Alright man...just for you!


Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 8 months ago #19212

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looks beautiful! any more photos?
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 8 months ago #19221

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I have a few.






Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 8 months ago #19241

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Looks a lot better in those 3 than the previous one imho.

I really like that blue you chose, it looks neat with it and the two pair up gorgeously!

I'll probably still go for the Redeemer myself (the Obi Wan look is absolutely awesome!) but it's a very nice review you wrote there and I'm reeeaaaally looking forward my first buy :D
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 5 months ago #25136

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Hi,
May I know what fix that you did on the blade to fit it with the hilt? I am about to order a thin neck but are anxious about some review that says the blade do not fit with the hilt, and also about film paper moving around in the blade..

Cheers
Roy
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 5 months ago #25138

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The diffusion film in the blades for Thin-Neck sabers is intentionally not glued down, due to the way that the blade fits into the emitter. Rather than an open socket like other sabers, there is an inside feature that actually goes inside the blade, while the emitter goes around the outside forming a very tight fit. If the film was glued down, it would not fit.

So, the film is cut about 1/2 and inch from the bottom to allow for the center of the socket to fit. On mine, the center feature was pushing against the film, and crinkling it a bit, so with a very sharp pair of scissors, I trimmed another 1/4 inch, and that took care of it. In general, it should fit right out of the box, but if you do have to trim, just be sure not to trim too much. Otherwise, you will hear the film moving inside the blade tube when you swing it, and there will be a noticeable difference in color in the area where the diffusion film runs short.
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 4 months ago #33315

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did you have to ask for your covertec wheel and kill key to be brass or is that the default?
Last Edit: 1 year 4 months ago by Project_v3.
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 4 months ago #33345

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Most of the kill keys in the review section are silver that's why I ask, it just doesn't have the same ascetic as the brass accents. B)
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 4 months ago #33353

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Yeah My interpretation was correct. Even the product images on SF Site for Exhalted show brass KK & CW.
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 4 months ago #33371

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They were indeed there by default, for which I was most appreciative.
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 1 year 3 months ago #35429

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I have to say, in my eyes the all-black grenade section really does look a lot better on this saber than with the silver highlights. Once my Venomous Fury arrives I'll have to take another look at one of these, and see if I can't copy your idea. Time will tell.
Extremely detailed and well-put together review. You get an Internet point!

EDIT (after months): You can't get a black grenade section through the order comments anymore. I've ordered one, and I hope to arrange a powdercoating solution myself.
The above post may be subject to editing. A lot of editing.
Last Edit: 1 year 2 weeks ago by RyanRising.
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Another Exhalted 12 watt Arctic Blue 11 months 1 week ago #59700

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Hey Brax, I was looking around and found the pics of your Exhalted with the Redeemer grenade section. That is SO unique and awesome! I am surprised more people have not been asking for this. I realize you ordered this before Saberforge became more strict about this, but did you put the request in the order or go through customs@saberforge?

Either way, that is amazing. I have a Redeemer on order....this makes me wish I had just gone the Exhalted route and then asked the custom department to go all black (when they open up again).

Just beautiful. Yours definitely stands out amongst the rest.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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