I think I've watched and read every review of them that I can find and the reviews are literally all over the map. Phil Busardo loves them. An entire party of people at his house voted them to be the best during his tank roundup. Rip Trippers doesn't like them and rendered a review very similar to Grimm Green's. Why on earth are the reviews SO all over the place? I think the answer comes down to two simple answers:
1. These things are INCREDIBLY subjective. I literally hate the Protanks and the iClears, but I have a buddy who swears that the original iClear is the best tank out there. As always, you have to find the product that matches your ideal style of vaping. The Aspires have a tighter draw. I like a tighter draw. The Aspires have a small hissing noise as the air flows through them. I like that. It reminds me that they are doing something. Not everyone would agree that these are advantages.
2. The other reason that I think the reviews are all over the place is that it literally takes a pretty large amount of time to learn all the tricks to use to make your tank system work properly for you. The guys I know who love the Protank have taken literally months to figure out how to use them right. They know how many flavor wicks to keep in the stock heads. They know how much suction to apply when tooting on them in order to maintain the appropriate pressure. And most importantly, they are using e-liquids that fit the optimal profile of the tanks that they are using. That last one is radically important (and something I don't think most people, even seasoned reviewers, think about.)
So here are my thoughts on how to make the Aspire BDC tanks work their very best:
Liquid. I've found that the Aspire tanks are pickier than any other tank out there about the thickness of your e-liquid. I tend to use 50/50 blends on almost everything I vape. I was using a higher VG in my DIY juices but found that the 50/50 worked better in the Aspire. Higher VG caused more burning in my tanks. The only time I used an 80/20 with the 80 being PG, it caused some minor gurgling in my Aspire. It wasn't nearly the flooding that I experienced on a Protank or an iClear, but it was certainly there. Conclusion: I think that the Aspire tanks are really well suited for users that use predominantly 50/50 blends... Not all juices are created equally. My very favorite juice in the entire world doesn't work in the Aspire tanks. It is a dark colored juice that gunks up a coil in a matter of hours. It isn't suited for the Aspire. It works better in a carto tank. So that's what I put it in. If you are basing your opinion of a tank on one juice, then you haven't given the tank a fair shot. (And yeah, that goes for me too. I hate the iClear tanks, but I have a couple juices that work really well in them...it's just not the rule for me. It's the exception.)
Heat. This is the most important point I can make. And I don't understand why the big name reviewers out there aren't preaching this. This is EXTREMELY important. If you get a burning flavor in a tank, what do you do? You turn down the heat (voltage, wattage...it's all heat). Why is it burning? Trust me. It may NOT be because it's too hot. In many cases for me, it was burning because the tank cannot wick liquid onto the coil fast enough. So it begins to burn the wick, the filler material, etc. The coil is drying out. Sure, you can actually burn your liquid. So there is such thing as TOO HOT. But I know many many guys using rebuildables who are running at 20 or more watts of power. But their wick and coil are almost bathed in a pool of e-liquid.
So here's the point: You know that if it burns, you turn down the power. So if it gurgles and floods on you, the first thing you should do is to turn UP the power. It is likely that the wick is pulling in liquid faster than the atomizer is vaporizing it. It's simple. Every time my Aspire tank floods, I turn up the wattage or voltage. Some times I end up clearing it out and need to turn the power down a bit again to find that happy medium. But I really think that most people who have flooding issues on an Aspire should start by cranking up the heat. If this doesn't work, then move onto the next point.
Air Flow. This is an obvious problem on many many tank systems. So much so that Phil Busardo did almost an entire segment talking about it. So much so that every major tank manufacturer is now offering some sort of tank with airflow control....including Aspire. The new Nautilus tank is getting reviews that call it a "game changer." The goodness of the Aspire coil plus the ability to control the air flow. I've found that I don't need airflow control to get the most out of mine, but I WILL concede that my Aspire tanks work really really well on some mods and don't work at all on some. In most of those cases, I've found that it is because my mod is constricting the airflow too much or not enough.
So regardless of your tank system, if you are having trouble with flooding or gurgling, you may very well have too much pressure in your system. You may be sucking too hard on it and drawing too much fluid into the atomizer. Try backing off your toots some. Conversely, if you have had a good vaping experience with a tank for a while and all the sudden you get a burned hit, do some cold hits on it (a couple toots without pushing the button.) That usually clears it up for me.
Conclusions: The Aspire tanks just like every other tank system on the market are not without their faults. They are not some miraculous product. They often require fiddling and working with them. What I have found, though, is that once I figured out how to make them work for me, they were much more consistent than the other solutions that I'd tried. That said, you may not arrive at the same conclusions. There are a ton of variables to consider aside from just the tank. Assuming you got a good coil on a perfect tank, you still may not have a good experience. And you try something else. And yeah. It costs more money. Trust me, when you figure out what works for you, you'll stick with it. And you will find something that works for you. But probably not before you waste a chunk of money on stuff that doesn't. I've thrown away a ton of juice and equipment that just didn't work for me. It's what we do.
As far as Aspire products are concerned, I have seven tanks in three different styles and I've gone through about 20 or so total heads. I've had two tanks that had to be returned because they were defects from the factory (either broken glass or bad threading.) But I haven't had a single coil that didn't work properly for me. I think many of the folks who claim they are getting bad coils may not be. There's no way I'm that lucky.