Cthulhu is a company I'm not too happy about. I've purchased two of their products before. Both the Cthulhu tank and their Hastur RDAs. By the way, this was right in the middle of the controversy that surrounded with their exclusive launch through the now defunct Smog Distro, the company that failed to meet demand and shipped half of their order months later, leaving the other half out to dry for the insurance to pick up the tag. Anyways, both of those devices were pretty great atomizers…for only about a week. The Cthulhu tank, their first foray into the game, released with these atrociously fragile hex screws that many people, including myself, stripped after our first builds. They also didn't bother to ship out new hex screws when asked. I gave them another chance, this time with the Hastur, and again, the same exact issue. Both devices are now rendered useless and are lost in a dump compound somewhere. So Cthulhu has a lot of making up to do. I'm giving them one last chance. I've purchased their talked about Gaia RDTA a couple weeks ago from VaporDNA. It was cheap enough at $35 to warrant a third chance, and I've been hearing good things. After a good week of usage I wanted to give me opinions of the RDTA and see if they have redeemed themselves with this new atomizer.
Look & Feel
I've always loved the look of Cthulhu products. It was the reason I wanted their tank, and hastur. Very clean, straight lines, and never gaudy. Whoever leads the design team over there is doing a great job, and the Gaia is no different. The atty looks classic, 24mm round 40mm high, nice stainless steel, accented with clear glass and the now "highend" ultem. The build deck is of course fitted a velocity deck, and building on this bad boy is a breeze. Also, I had no problem fitting dual fused claptons into this thing.
The top cap is split into two. The bottom portion controls the "under" airflow, and the screw-on top control the side airflow. This allows as much air as needed, but thankfully, can be closed down quite tight for a strong resistive lung draw (what I use it at). But what I also like about it is that you can choose either, under or side, airflow options. I just screw the top part all the way down, and close the bottom airflow off 2/3 and I'm happy. You are given an AWESOME ultem driptip which is a bit more open than a normal 510, but you are giving an adapter for standard tips. Again, thankfully. So in terms of airflow, you have complete control.
Ease of Use
Ease of use has become increasing vital for me, coming only second to flavor. I'm tired of fumbling around with shit to get a decent vape. It just needs to work, and work now. With the Gaia, I cracked open the box, took it out, took it apart, built it, and was on my way. The velocity deck as everyone knows is a breeze to use. But the way to fill this thing is its draw. Just a small port in the middle of the deck that fits a dropper tip perfectly. Just dump juice right down there to fill the little 2ml juice tank and you're good to go. You need to wick this thing correctly for it to work properly, but it's not difficult. Just snip your cotton so the ends just fit into the wick holes and make sure you're not blocking the air carbs so you can fill easily. I did it first try, and didn't ever need to fuck with it to get it to wick. And when you need to "drip" all you have to do is just tip the device upside down to feed juice into those wicks. If wicked correctly, filling and "dripping" with this just works. Just as I asked.
Now we move on to the main topic and the reason you're all here. How's the flavor? It's actually, and surprisingly, awesome. Better than any of the RDA's I've purchased in the last few months that cost twice as much (except the Hadaly). And this is with the stock Ultem drip tip, with a standard 510 it's even better. And also with only the bottom airflow open only 1/3 of the way. The more you open up obviously, the more flavor is lost. But there's two main reasons that work together to get us this great flavor. The slammed top cap with under air flow, and the fact the wicks are always completely drenched in juice. The combination of these factors equal immensely dense, thick, and rich flavor. Throw in some dual fused claptons, a standard 510, and you're talking amazing flavor. For the price, holy shit. This is excellent.
Unfortunately it's not perfect though. For one, it still uses fucking hex screws, but I know Cthulhu have changed the ones they use now from what they used to use. I'm still scared though. Another con is that you FLY through juice. Because you have the option to always keep your wicks completely drenched, you never really "dry" your wick. And this leads to more filling and more consumption. It's not a big con, but something I've noticed. My last con is that adjusting airflow, while easy, feels a bit "crunchy". Placing the top cap back on the atty feels like I'm going to shatter the glass in my hand, and is actually a bit more difficult than it needs to be. You need to place the topcap on perfectly centered or else you'll run into this "crunching". Something I'm sure can be fixed with better oring placement.
Should I Buy This Thing?
Yes. Absolutely. Go right now. It's only $35 and you're getting a rock solid RDTA that fills easy, wicks easy, drips easy, and has some of the best flavor I've had on a 24mm device. Time will only tell how long this bad boy lasts, but for now I can't help but recommend it to anyone looking for dripper flavor, and dripper build decks, with the luxury of a tank. It's absolutely worth the money. And yes they have redeemed themselves in my book.