In for review is the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA and you may remember that I reviewed it’s big brother the original Arbiter a while ago.
Whereas the original was a pure DL rebuildable, the Solo is aimed more at the MTL or restricted direct lung crowd, with it’s very interesting airflow design!
You can read more about the different styles of vaping here.
What Can We Expect From the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA?
Oxva has been doing some impressive work so far, and to my mind they haven’t made a duff product yet.
The Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA uses top to bottom (and side) airflow, so leaking should be pretty non-existent.
In non TPD countries it comes with a 4ml bubble glass pre-installed, and if you’re living in a TPD area you get a 2ml straight glass instead.
The big claim that Oxva is making about the Arbiter Solo RTA is that it can do mouth to lung, and direct lung.
Whilst this is a claim I’ve heard many times before, I’ve yet to find a tank that manages it (without swapping out half the internals!)
Can it live up to it’s promises? I go in to this with a healthy amount of scepticism, but we’ll see what they’re doing as we get on with the review.
This was sent over for the purpose of review by Oxva (thank you), as usual, freebies in no way sway my opinion, and I shall report back honestly with what I find.
On to the review!
Inside The Box
- Arbiter Solo RTA (preinstalled bubble glass/straight glass for TPD)
- Spare straight glass (2ml)
- Spare Drip Tip
- Fused Clapton coil
- Shoelace Cotton
- Accessories Bag
- Dimensions – 25mm x 56.5mm
- Capacity – 4ml with preinstalled bubble glass, also comes with 2ml straight glass (TPD comes with 2x straight glass)
- Coil: Single coil
- Airflow: Top airflow control. RDL – Side and bottom airflow / MTL – Bottom airflow
- Material: Stainless Steel and Glass
Design and Build Quality
The Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA comes in 5 colours, Blue, Gunmetal, Stainless, Black (which I received) and Rainbow.
The black that I have is a very matte finish, I like it a lot.
All the threading is very clean and turns easily. Especially on a more complicated design like this, good manufacturing is important!
I’m afraid that the weird crab/helmet thing makes a return on the exterior chamber.
And to be honest it’s probably the one thing I would change about the look of this tank.
Other than that, it’s a stumpy little tank, with a 25mm diameter.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA Drip Tip
It’s a double o-ringed 510 drip tip, and you get two in the box.
The one you’ll see in all my photos has a slightly narrower bore, but it’s also far more comfortable in the mouth.
The other drip tip goes straight up, is a little shorter, and doesn’t have any curves to it.
Although I suppose it’s more aimed at a DL inhale, I found I just didn’t get on with it. You can see a photo of it on the box contents photo.
There’s two parts to the airflow control on this tank, and one of those controls live on the top cap.
Just below your drip tip there’s a double ended arrow showing you that if you twist it to clockwise you get mouth to lung, and if you twist it anti-clockwise you get direct lung.
I’ll go over how this works when we start looking at the deck and the airflow system!
It’s about a quarter turn to switch from one to the other, but this does mean that when you take the top cap off you need to make sure you’re gripping the external ring, rather than the MTL/DL switch.
Under the top cap you have two decently size fill ports, with a a slight angle to them to make sure you don’t get liquid pooling at the top.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA – Airflow Control Ring
Underneath the top cap is your airflow control ring. You’ve got two options with this, a large single cyclops hole will allow plenty of air in for direct lung.
However if you turn it further you can use a single air hole to line up with the MTL holes that are 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5 and 1.8mm in diameter.
The Deck/Airflow System
It’s a straight forward deck, with big walls on either side that should hopefully reduce the chamber and lead to good flavour.
The main bottom airflow under your coil is 1.5mm.
You’ve got a decent amount of space for a coil, but you’re not going to be fitting any huge builds in here.
Simple round wire, or a small clapton is the order of the day, with 3mm ID being about your limit.
However you also have airflow holes on either side of your coil for side airflow. These are both 3mm.
When it’s in MTL mode, it’s top to bottom airflow, with the air coming in at the top of the tank, traveling around the inner chamber through an external chamber, and coming up underneath the coil.
However turning the MTL/DL switch on the top, opens up another path for the airflow by moving the external chamber, this then allows air to flow through the large 3mm side holes.
I can’t ever remember seeing this type of design before, and it’s an interesting idea!
We’ll see how well it performs when we start testing.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA – the Base
As you’d expect with the AFC ring at the top of the tank, the base is quite a lot shorter than a lot of tanks.
Flipping it over you can see the name “Arbiter” and “Designed by Oxva”, as well as your usual regulatory marks and a nicely protruding gold plated 510.
How to Build the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA
Those of you with eagle eyes will have spotted I’ve upgraded my build tab. I’m now using a regulated tab from Umbrella mods.
- Unscrew the grub screws
- Place your coil legs into the slots at the side, there’s a useful lip to them to stop your leads escaping, and tighten down the screws
- Straighten your coil up with a building tool or screwdriver, I found that pushing it down just a little, helped with flavour, especially for mouth to lung
- Snip your leads as close to deck as you can
- Gently glow your coil and rake it with ceramic tweezers to remove any hotspots
- Once it’s cooled, push your cotton through
- Cut the cotton so that the tails will wall down into the juice ports, I found that resting my scissors against the side of the deck was pretty much perfect
- If you need to, thin out your cotton, with a 2.5mm coil it was pretty much perfect, so I just lightly combed it out before popping it into the juice ports
- Prime your wick with some eliquid
- Reassemble the tank, and fill it up!
How Does the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA Perform?
It’s a little bit of a Jekyll and Hyde tank this one, with such a big difference between MTL and DL modes.
So rather than talking about it all in one go, I’m going to split it so you know what mode I was using.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA – Mouth To Lung
Airflow and Cloud Production
Fully open, this is a nice loose mouth to lung vape. On a 1-10 scale from cheek popping-ly tight to fully open, it’s a 4.5. Still definitely mouth to lung though.
Closing down the airflow you can get progressively tighter, with the 0.8mm being a 1.5 on the scale. Definitely a more old school feeling mouth to lung.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA Flavour
Loaded up with some 50/50 e-liquid the flavour is really good, plenty of punch to it.
Personally I vape it at the second smallest hole most of the time, as I think it’s flavour is best in the middle of the air range.
Whilst I’m all for a really tight mouth to lung draw, the 0.8mm ends up being a bit diffuse by the time it hits your coil, as it’s coming out of a 1.5mm hole on the deck.
If you want really tight MTL, your deck really needs to be built for it, and it won’t support anything less restrictive.
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA Direct Lung
Airflow and Cloud Production
Oxva call this “restricted” direct lung, and whilst there is a bit of restriction, it’s pretty airy and open, and opened up to it’s fullest it’s an 8 on the 1-10 scale.
Obviously with a fairly standard Clapton coil, you’re not going to be fogging up any rooms.
But the cloud production is pretty decent, and it’s a surprisingly smooth draw considering the air is coming in the top, then going down around and splitting up!
Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA Flavour
I honestly came into this review thinking, “If they get one of them right, then the other is going to so-so“.
I’ve never been happier to be wrong!
Flavour is again really good. It’s maybe a half step below what it’s capable of in MTL mode, but honestly I have no complaints.
Trying this out with a variety of e-liquids it managed to show off all the flavour notes beautifully.
- Manages MTL and DL really well
- Great flavour
- Good build quality
- No leaking
- Spare drip tip isn’t comfortable (subjective)
- Slightly “in-your-face” branding
Final Review Verdict
So, the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA?
I’ve been genuinely impressed with this.
So many tanks over the years have claimed that they can do MTL or DL, but what usually happened is they’d either do both badly, or they could do one and not the other.
The Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA genuinely manages with no problems, and it’s all down to the clever engineering that’s going on inside the top cap and the two chambers.
A simple twist of the top cap rotates the outer chamber, and lines up the side airflow on the deck.
As is the way of these things, I’m sure it won’t be long before we see other manufacturers borrowing the design.
I’ve got almost no complaints about it as a tank.
One of the drip tips is not to my liking? Never mind, they give you two!
I even think the weird crustacean helmet might be growing on me…
Are you using or ready to try the Oxva Arbiter Solo RTA?
Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below 🙂