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TOPIC: Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered!

Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52045

  • HotRod
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Okay, I do not think I have ever been compelled to do a review of anything in my entire life, but this needs to have something said about it. Here is my Hero RGBA+ Monarch. I placed my order on 01/08/16 and received it on 04/13/16. So, was the wait worth it? Let's review:

It is worth mentioning this is my first Saberforge saber. Being new, I really had no frame of reference to know what to expect, so I'm going to conduct this review from that perspective since I know there are a lot of people like me who have more questions than answers.

Prior to receiving my bundle of joy (oops, did I give away the end there), I had several worries. Will it live up to the cost? Will it be bright enough? Will it be comfortable? Will I be disappointed? Should I have gotten the RGBA option? Will it rattle? Will it work? What if it doesn't work? All stuff I have seen here on the board.

Then it arrives:

- Packaging -

Firstly, it was packaged well. Everything was securely packed and nothing was crushed or loose. It is clear they have this part down. I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement, but I am saying it got to me safety. I have been a Transformer collector for 30+ years, so I would liked to see more bubble wrap, ha.

- 1st Impression -

When I finally held it I was surprised. It was heavier than I expected, yet not too heavy. I expected with all of the greeblies it would feel more fragile. Well, I can safely say it is NOT fragile. AT ALL. This thing is WELL MADE. Not a single rattle, nothing loose. Just a big beefy metal stick of goodness!

- Appearance -

This looks like a museum piece. All the detail is amazing. All I could manage to do is sit and stare at it with my mouth open. And the funny thing is even though it looks like it would be fragile with all of the ornamentation on it, it is actually quite tough! Usually there is a trade off between appearance and performance. It either looks good or it's built like a tank. This is BOTH.






- Feel -

I mentioned it was heavy, but not too heavy and it feels of good quality. However, it's not too heavy to hold. Think of a titanium watch. It's heavy, but not too heavy (did I say that already). The grip is surprisingly comfortable. I thought that those 4 metal striations on the body would just cut my hands to shreds. They really don't. Now, would this be as comfortable as a saber without them? I doubt it, but they are not cumbersome like I would have imagined. It's fun to hold. The control box will catch your hand if you are not aware of it, but it's by no means frustrating or irritating.

- RGBA+ -

Oh yes, I was one of the folks who wondered: Is it bright enough? Will I be disappointed? Does the novelty wear off quickly? Let's start with some pictures:














So, the saber on the right is my ANH FX Luke Skywalker. The 3w colors easily keep up with it. It should be noted that the Monarch is just out of the box on its charge and the FX is on a fresh set of rechargeable batteries.

My wife walked in and saw it and said, "Wow, that is bright". For me, it is plenty bright and I am in no way disappointed. I'm thrilled. Now, when I get my 12W+ in, I may be singing a different tune, but for me, IMHO, this thing is definitely bright.

Where it wins big for me is the color customization. You can see I had already started playing with the colors. I got both a wicked orange and blood orange out of it. This hilt BEGS to be either a Jedi who doesn't follow of the rules or a Sith with a chip on their shoulder. It goes either way well, and not every hilt lends itself to that (I'm thinking of you Standard finish Exhalted and Juggernaut...both of which I have on order).

Ultimately, I cannot put it down because I keep changing fonts and colors and playing with the color editor. It's addictive. I made a bright pink color for my wife and it was great watching her run around the house with it...and then running around the house later with it myself (#realmenwearpink).


- Sound -

One word - LOUD. And with multiple awesome fonts, It's even more fun. I didn't think I would get such a big kick out of the different sounds...but I really ended up enjoying this feature! I still haven't figured out how to adjust the volume on the Spark Color 2.


- Any issues?

Maybe. In the color editor my blue changes the red value and my red changes the blue value. Sounds like it was possibly wired incorrectly. Also, I requested a Blue AV Activation Switch and Red Aux Button. I got the reverse. I have notified customer service of these issues and will see how resolution goes.

The 37" blade is a bit big for me at 5'9" (5'8" if you ask my doctor). I should have gone 32". Lesson learned.

I also wish the Spark Color 2 board would remember the color you have selected with each font. In other words, if I set Font 2 to my 2nd color, I wish it remained once the kill key was inserted, the saber settings menu is entered, or the saber is being recharged. Your color is not lost if you custom mixed it, but you do have to cycle back through to it. This has more to do with the board, but it's important to mention.

That darn control box will catch your knuckles if you're not carefully. This saber is tougher than my hands are, ha.

- Final thoughts -

This is ultimately a GORGEOUS display quality, FEATURE RICH saber that is a ball to play with, sexy in appearance, and very, very well built (that's right 2 "VERY's). Is this your go-to dueling saber? Probably not. But for me, it will be VERY, VERY hard to top.

For those of you in waiting, worrying about the queue, concerned about lead times...trust me...the positives FAR outweigh the negatives.

Was it worth the wait and money.....YES! How often do you take something out of box and get chills?

Bravo, Saberforge. Bravo!


05/07/16 - Update

I just wanted to give an update here. I was incorrect when I indicated that you cannot set the default color per font. You can in fact do this on the SD Card in the settings. It's really awesome! I apologize for the inaccuracy here. Just another point in this saber's favor.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by HotRod.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52046

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One more thing of note, that blade plug is a Graflex blade plug in case anyone is curious. One more pic for fun. :-)




(Oh goodness, I'm one of those people who replies to his own post...ha...)


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52047

  • LSkywalker3
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Phenomenal. Just amazing, great review and congrats on a spectacular saber!!
"The force is strong in my family. My father has it. I have it. My sister has it. You have that power too."

Own: 12W+ Green Champion Prodigal Son
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52048

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Thank you HotTRod, it is an absolute BEAUT
I'd say 'I Can't believe how well the finish turned out', but I own 2 SF sabers, so I'd expect it to be stunning.
The niggles you speak of are just what would worry me about going all out with Hero/ RGBA. And the Monarch is one of the longer hilts too, so with 37" you may struggle a bit.
But HEY,... IT IS AWESOMENESS!! :woohoo:

Thanks for the great review and pics,
Now go have fun with it!!
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52057

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Good review, and congrats! I was flirting with a monarch myself at first, but I intend to smack mine around some, and while I'd heard the mighty Monarch may be the exception, I'd heard the reveal sabers weren't warranted for dueling. I don't mind tempting fate on occasion, but the wait and the cost and risk of destroying something beautiful outweighed the fun if have dueling an 8 year old. ;) I'm glad you're happy, as I've seen you around the forums and have been rooting for you, and thanks for the thorough review!
Amber Sinister Prophecy, Blood orange Bane. Eventually, anyways. ;)
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52066

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Beautiful saber, and a great review!

Enjoy man!
Imagine what you will know tomorrow....
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52067

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Appreciate the review! Especially in that I just pulled the trigger on my own first SF saber. I almost bought the very same saber you did, but backed off a bit to appease the wife. Looks amazing! I want a crystal saber soooooo bad. Even if it might just sit prettily upon the shelf.
There is no Light Side, nor Dark Side. There is only the Force. That being said... don't be a jerk.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52088

  • Andi-Jae EL
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Enjoy Hot Rod! I had the same thoughts when I ordered the RGBA Hero PS. I still don't have it yet so I can't compare but I'm happy to hear more people say that the RGBA option is worth it and still bright. Great review.
- Light em up

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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52091

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Gorgeous saber HotRod and there's more on the way, :woohoo:
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52106

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Andi-Jae EL wrote:
Enjoy Hot Rod! I had the same thoughts when I ordered the RGBA Hero PS. I still don't have it yet so I can't compare but I'm happy to hear more people say that the RGBA option is worth it and still bright. Great review.

Yes, I was just as surprised as anyone. I really thought I was going to get it and be underwhelmed by the brightness. For me it's bright and impressive. That just must mean that 12W+ is VERY bright. :woohoo:

It's like horsepower in a car. In the 80's and 90's, 200+ bhp was a lot. Then in the 2000's, cars started showing up with 300 bhp. Now, you can get a family sedan with 700+ horsepower and 300 feels weak. HA

Ultimately, I think you'll be happy with the RGBA. It's a LOT of fun to tinker with. I'm glad to get to shine some light on it for others. I have heard people say they'd do it once but not again. I'd do it again. :-)
=Ottomatix= wrote:
Gorgeous saber HotRod and there's more on the way, :woohoo:

The Monarch brought me to Saberforge. I thought, this will be the only one. These things are like Pringles! Once you Pop, you can't Stop! Or was that Lay's...you can't eat just one. HA. I've now got an Exhalted Hero, Epoch, and Bastion on order. And I've been sniffing around the Prodigal Son thanks to LSkywalker3 :P


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 1 year 3 months ago by HotRod.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52118

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Awesome Monarch HotRod. Congrats on that work of art. Go big or go home! :cheer:
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Last Edit: 1 year 3 months ago by Greysider.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52127

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Fantastic saber HotRod! Looks great---enjoyed your review! Congrats & Enjoy!
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52136

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HotRod, Thank you for sharing with us such a comprehensive Review of an outstanding Hilt. You have my appreciation and with absolute certainty a shared admiration for the Monarch. Undoubtedly, you will be entertained for a long time. Coincidentally, the fascination of Monarch similarly brought me to SaberForge. Rather like yourself opting for RGBA+ I felt more comfortable going the 6/6/12 route.
There is mutual anticipation by you eluding to an incoming Exalted and Juggernaut. A menacing collection you have started. It may be too early to tell, being spoilt with choice, do you have a favoured colour? Congratulations and for such a glorious Saber, Thank You.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52192

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HotRod wrote:
- Any issues?

Maybe. In the color editor my blue changes the red value and my red changes the blue value. Sounds like it was possibly wired incorrectly. Also, I requested a Blue AV Activation Switch and Red Aux Button. I got the reverse. I have notified customer service of these issues and will see how resolution goes.

The Config Editor expects the LEDs to be wired in BGR order. Your board was likely wired RGBA. Easy fix.

At the top of the Editor menu: Options > Color Settings. You can swap Blue and Red around, as well as making sure Amber is selected for the fourth LED.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered 1 year 3 months ago #52204

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The "A" in RGBA stands for Amber? I did not know that. Huh, TIL.
The above post may be subject to editing. A lot of editing.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52208

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OvrcAHst wrote:
HotRod, Thank you for sharing with us such a comprehensive Review of an outstanding Hilt. You have my appreciation and with absolute certainty a shared admiration for the Monarch. Undoubtedly, you will be entertained for a long time. Coincidentally, the fascination of Monarch similarly brought me to SaberForge. Rather like yourself opting for RGBA+ I felt more comfortable going the 6/6/12 route.
There is mutual anticipation by you eluding to an incoming Exalted and Juggernaut. A menacing collection you have started. It may be too early to tell, being spoilt with choice, do you have a favoured colour? Congratulations and for such a glorious Saber, Thank You.

Wow, I cannot thank you enough for your kind thoughts here! It's awesome that that saber in a way got us talking. :-). I have to say, this is the kindest message board community I have ever been on.

What colors did you choose? I went RGBA because I just could not decide on just 2.

So I have always been a blue / green guy. However, I have been leaning towards the orange and blood orange colors. It makes a great orange! The blue with a quarter green is awesome. And the pink surprisingly is really cool. Ugh I cannot decide now, ha. That is the beauty of it.

Kouri, wow thanks for letting me know! I have not pulled the SD card because I wanted to wait on customer service's response but now that I know this it does sound simple. Interestingly, the electronics are secured by a ring with a screw in the body near the pommel. Could be a chassis in there, I am not sure. We only have Macs in our home so I am not sure if that will present a problem with the editor. I've got a Windows server VM I guess I could use if I had to. Sounds like the editor itself could be powerful and fun. Could I set the default color (1-9) for each font?


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52210

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A Mac editor is in the works, but it's currently only available for Windows.

Worst case scenario, the settings are saved in a "sconfig.ini" file that should be human-readable and editable in a basic text program. The config editor just provides an easy-to-use GUI.

Also pretty sure you can set default colors for each font.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52217

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Kouri wrote:
A Mac editor is in the works, but it's currently only available for Windows.

Worst case scenario, the settings are saved in a "sconfig.ini" file that should be human-readable and editable in a basic text program. The config editor just provides an easy-to-use GUI.

Also pretty sure you can set default colors for each font.

Awesome! And now I love it that much more! I have plenty of tools to work with an ini file. Thank you so much! This thing is awesome!


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52237

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That is a very nice Monarch, HotRod. We really don't see enough on here. Looks like you made a nice choice. Awesome purchase.
You give life, You are love.You bring light to the darkness.
You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken.
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Hero Tier RGBA+ MONARCH Weathered! 1 year 3 months ago #52242

  • Ramaloke
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A very detailed and helpful review. Thanks! I am glad you are impressed with the end results.
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