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Thread: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES

  1. #1

    Cool Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNTIMES

    Warning: pic heavy, as usual.




    Welcome to the latest iterations of the venerable Tiablo A9.

    This is somewhat nostalgic for me – I was one of the first CPFers to buy the inaugural Tiablo light, the A8 (which shared a common build to the A9) back in the summer of 2007. It is pretty rare to see a physical build remain this constant in the flashlight world. Build-wise, these lights haven't changed very much – but we do have some new emitters to take a peak at …

    FYI, I did a review of the "Special Edition" XP-G R5 version back in 2010.

    Here are the specs for the two new versions to be examined here, the XR-E R2 "Throw King" and XM-L U2 "Flood"

    Common Build - Manufacturer Reported Specifications:
    • Circuit: High efficiency DC-DC regulator
    • Working Voltage: 2.7V to 10V
    • Battery: Two CR123 batteries or One 18650 Li-ion Battery
    • Switch: Tactical 2 Stage Output
    • Reflector: SMO Reflector 42mm x 36mm Deep
    • Lens: Toughened ultra clear glass with AR coating
    • Waterproof: IPX-8, beyond 5m depth
    • Size: Head diameter 45mm, Length 158mm
    • Body: Hard Anodized Type III Aerospace Grade Aluminum Alloy T7075
      Colour: Black
    • Weight: 155 grams, excluding battery
    • Gift Box includes lanyard, spare O-Rings, and spare glow in dark tail cap button.

    "Throw King"
    • LED: CREE XR-E R2
    • Output: High 280 Lumen @ 1A for 2.6 Hours
    • Low 65 Lumen @ 300mA for 8.5 Hours
    • MSRP: ~$90

    "Flood"
    • LED: CREE XM-L U2
    • Output: High 556 lumen @ 1.8A for 1.9 Hours
    • Low 65 lumen @ 100mA for 26 Hours
    • MSRP: ~$100



    The lights come in the standard Tiablo hard cardboard box, with magnetic closing flap. Inside you find the light with attached rubber grip ring (removable), manual, warranty card, GITD boot cover, good quality wrist lanyard, and extra o-rings.

    From previous reviews, Tiablo had also sent me their common aspheric head:



    Like the rest of the build, the aspheric optic head hasn't changed from the earlier version first released in 2008.



    From left to right: 4GREER 3100mAh 18650; original Tiablo A9 XR-E Q5; A9 XP-G R5 "Special Edition", A9 XR-E R2 "Throw King", A9 XM-L U2 "Flood", A60G (no battery extender).

    All dimensions are given with no batteries installed:

    Tiablo A9 Original (XR-E Q5): Weight: 152.7g, Length 158mm, Width (bezel) 45.1mm
    Tiablo A9 Special Edition (XP-G R5): Weight: 154.6g, Length 158mm, Width (bezel) 45.1mm
    Tiablo A9 Throw King (XR-E R2): Weight: 155.1g, Length 158mm, Width (bezel) 45.1mm
    Tiablo A9 Flood (XM-L U2): Weight: 156.7g, Length 158mm, Width (bezel) 45.1mm

    Xeno G42: Weight: 224.3g, Length 161mm, Width (bezel) 46.6mm
    4Sevens X7: Weight 146.9g, Length: 151.5mm, Width (bezel): 38.7mm
    Scorpion V2 with Turbo Head: Weight: 188.3g, Length: 171mm, Width: 41.0 (bezel), 37.0mm (tailcap grip ring)






    As previously mentioned, the external build of the A9 hasn't changed much over time. Except for the new emitters, they look pretty much the same. That said, early A9s had a choice of anodizing colors (black or natural), and a different contact plate in the head. Tiablo informs me that the seal for the front lens has been improved on newer models (they claim to have tested it up to 22m under water without failure). Anti-shock has also been improved, and they report the light survives 7m drops onto concrete.

    As always, the lights feature anodized screw threads, allowing for tailcap lock-out.

    Lettering is sharp and clear, bright-white against the black matte background. Anodizing is type-III (HA).

    The tailcap spring is encased in a gold-plated contact cover. Lights can tailstand due to the raised tail ring. Switch is a reverse clicky (but a single-stage forward clicky switch used to be available).

    I personally like the rubber grip ring - I find these types of rings to be easiest on the fingers.



    The emitters are all well centered on my samples, thanks to the white centering plastic disc.

    To best understand these lights, you need to look directly at the business ends. Below are the head-on photos of the emitters, for each model, including the earlier versions:

    A9 XR-E Q5 Original (2008)


    A9 XP-G R5 "Special Edition" (2010)


    A9 XR-E R2 "Throw King" (2012)


    9 XM-L U2 "Flood" (2012)


    Also, there seems to be a small dark spot on the emitter dome of my XM-L U2 version. This is not as dark or as pronounced as it appears in the pic above, and it doesn't seem to affect the beam.

    Scroll down for beamshots from each light, including with the aspheric head.

    UPDATE March 25, 2012: Since the headshots above are not all that clear, I have taken macro shots of the actual XR-E emitters. It seems the "Throw King" XR-E R2 is using the standard EZ1000 die (and not the smaller EZ900 that I originally suspected based on simple visual inspection).



    Don't be fooled by the yellow vs silver background around the dies in the shots above (that is just an artifact of which Cree manufacturing plant the emitter comes from - it has no effect on output). I have measured the relative characteristics, and the lights above have identically-sized emitter dies, - both consistent with the standard EZ1000. The EZ900 would be ~10% smaller, based on published macro comparison shots.


    User Interface

    This hasn't changed over the models. With the standard reverse clicky, click and release for the light to come on in Lo mode. Click and release again for it to advance to full power. Click again to turn off.

    Although there is a "dual-mode DC-DC regulator" circuit in the head, the Lo output mode is actually controlled by a resistor in the tailcap. This is rather rare today – but was quite common in the early days of digitally-regulated LED lights (i.e. when the A9 was originally launched). A side effect of keeping the build consistent, but it does seem very reminiscent of the mid-2000s …

    For a more detailed examination of the build and user interface, please see my video overview:



    Video was recorded in 720p, but YouTube typically defaults to 360p. Once the video is running, you can click on the configuration settings icon and select the higher 480p to 720p options. You can also run full-screen.

    No PWM/Strobe

    There is no strobe/SOS mode. There is also no PWM, given the resistored Lo mode.

    White Wall Beamshots:

    And now, what you have all been waiting for. All lights are on 1x18650 (AW Protected). Lights are about ~0.75 meter from a white wall (with the camera ~1.25 meters back from the wall). Automatic white balance on the camera, to minimize tint differences.

    First, with the smooth reflector heads:





















    The "Throw King" XR-E R2 clearly has the best throw of the group. The 2010 "Special Edition" XP-G R5 had reasonable throw with a very clean beam (i.e. without the rings of the XR-E versions). The "Flood" XM-L U2 version has the least throw with the broadest hotspot, as expected.

    And now, with the aspheric head. For these shots, the lights are ~5m away from a while wall, with the camera ~2m away from the wall. Placement and focusing is only approximate, but it will give you the general idea of how these lights compare.





















    The XR-E R2 "Throw King" is clearly the best throwing member of this family, under both reflectored and aspheric heads. The XM-L U2 "Flood" is the highest output, with the least focused throw.

    Outdoor Beamshots

    For outdoor beamshots, these were done in the style of my 100-yard round-up compendium 2011 review. Please see that thread for a discussion of the topography (i.e. the road dips in the distance, to better show you the corona in the mid-ground).

    First off, how does the aspheric head compare to standard reflector? Let's check it out on the best throwing specimen, the "Throw King" XR-E R2:



    Obviously, that's a focused amount of light with the aspheric.

    How do the various A9 models compare with each other, on either their reflectored and aspheric heads?





    Like with the white-wall beamshots, you can see the difference in the hotspot size/throw. But I think these outdoor shots also help you compare the overall spill patterns in the "real world". Keep in mind though, these shots are under-exposed compared to what I see in real life with these lights (i.e. for the reflectored shots, the spill is brighter in person, and the hotspots aren't as clearly defined)

    Finally, here is a comparison of the A9 XM-L U2 compared to the Thrunite Scorpion V2 Turbohead:



    As you can see the A9 "Flood" XM-L U2 actually throws as well as the "Turbohead" version of the Scorpion V2 ...

    Testing Method:

    All my output numbers are relative for my home-made light box setup, a la Quickbeam's flashlightreviews.com method. You can directly compare all my relative output values from different reviews - i.e. an output value of "10" in one graph is the same as "10" in another. All runtimes are done under a cooling fan, except for any extended run Lo/Min modes (i.e. >12 hours) which are done without cooling.

    I have recently devised a method for converting my lightbox relative output values (ROV) to estimated Lumens. See my How to convert Selfbuilt's Lighbox values to Lumens thread for more info.

    Throw/Output Summary Chart:

    My summary tables are reported in a manner consistent with the ANSI FL-1 standard for flashlight testing. Effective March 2012, I have updated the Max Output ANSI FL-1 lumen estimates to represent peak output measured at 30 secs (my earlier gray tables were based on a later time point for Max output). Please see http://www.flashlightreviews.ca/FL1.htm for a discussion, and a description of all the terms used in these tables.

    Note that all throw measures above were taken at 5m and extrapolated back to estimates at 1m. 1m actual measurements would give you highly misleading results, as the beams of thrower lights don't have time to converge by that distance.



    For your viewing pleasure, I have added throw results for the aspheric lens on 1x18650, on all four A9 models.

    For these, I provide two numbers – the "average" reading I obtained around the centre of the beam (the first number), and the absolute highest reading I obtained (the second number). If you "hunt around" the border areas of the die image segments, you can get regional pockets that score much higher. Having both numbers gives you an idea what to expect.





    Max output is slightly higher on 2x battery sources than 1x18650, but the difference typically isn't that noticeable in terms of output. Where it may make a bit of difference is in the aspheric throw values (sorry I didn't do aspheric head measures on the higher output 2x battery sources). But you can reasonably extrapolate approximate lux numbers by the relative changes in the reflector throw values.

    Reported ANSI Fl-1 lumen specs seem quite accurate (I presume these are based on 2xCR123A). Note that the output level of the Lo mode is variable, depending on battery source used (i.e. lower output on 1x18650, higher output on 2xRCR).

    As you can see, overall A9 throw is quite good for the output level, on all emitter types. The "Throw King" XR-E R2 is definitely the best thrower, especially on the aspheric head, where you can expect to see ~50-60K lux@1m on 1x18650 (likely ~60-70K lux@1m on 2xRCR).

    Although the "Flood" XM-L U2 is billed as flood light, it actually has among the best throw of any of my 1x18650-class XM-L lights at the moment (i.e. comparable to the Xeno G42 or Thrunite Scorpion V2 Turbohead).

    Output/Runtime Comparison:








    Basically, the overall performance characteristics of the A9 haven't changed much between the XR-E and XP-G versions. Output and/or runtime increased, but otherwise the lights are not very different on these measures. It is really the throw differences that matter here (scroll up for the Summary Tables).

    The "Flood" XM-L U2 is a different matter – output-wise, it is much brighter than the XP-G or XR-E lights. This light appears to be driven to a respectable level for its class.

    Note that the lights are all fully regulated on Hi on 2xRCR/CR123A, but appear to be largely direct-drive on 1x18650 (at slightly lower initial output levels). This is not uncommon on multi-power lights.

    On Lo, the lights' tailcap resistor produces a classic slowly dropping off pattern on 1x18650. I have only tested a couple of lights, given the runtimes involved. Note that the resistor reduces the output on Lo by differing amounts, depending on the battery source used (again, scroll back up the Summary Tables).

    Potential Issues

    In keeping with its older design, the A9 is a single-stage circuit that uses a resistor for its Lo mode. This is less efficient than most modern multi-stage circuit designs. It is also more variable, as the resistored-Lo output level will vary depending on the battery source used (i.e., depends on the input voltage).

    Light always comes on Lo first. A second click is required to advance to Hi, with a third click to turn off.

    Although the "Flood" XM-L U2 light has a bright and wide spillbeam, it actually has excellent throw for this class of light.


    Preliminary Observations

    The Tiablo A9 has a long history here as one of the more popular inexpensive thrower lights. Although there are a few other long-standing members that can match or beat it on pure throw (plus some newer lights), you do get a couple of new emitter options in these latest "Throw King" and "Flood" iterations.

    Overall build is unchanged from the "Special Edition" XP-G R5 I reviewed back in 2010 (which was itself a minor updating of the original 2008 version). The A9 has always been a reasonably solid light, popular for its simplicity and ease of use. That said, the presence of a tailcap resistor for the Lo mode may be a surprise to many here who are used to modern circuit-controlled multi-level lights. It's been about 4 years since I've seen a mainstream light use a resistor for Lo. But it gets the job done, and my testing shows the performance is actually reasonable.

    The "Throw King" uses the XR-E R2 emitter, which is the highest output bin for this emitter. This combination will you give you excellent throw. However, my sample seems to use the standard EZ1000 die - the smaller EZ900 die would give slightly improved throw with the aspheric head. Also, while the A9 is not driven quite as hard as some other lights in this class, the >21K lux@1m on 1x18650 (50-60K on the aspheric head) is still quite good. On 2xRCR, you can expect >25K lux@1m (or ~60-70K on the aspheric head).

    The "Flood" XM-L U2 is a bit of a misnomer in some ways. As it uses the same relatively large reflector as the other lights, it actually has quite good throw. In fact, the reflectored peak throw is actually one of the highest I've seen for an XM-L light in this class. That said, it does provide for a wide and bright spill, so the "flood" title may not be so far off. The output level on Hi is certainly quite respectable for the class.

    These new emitter options for the venerable A9 are welcome. Overall build hasn't really been updated in some time, but both new emitter options performed well in my testing, and could well meet your needs if you are looking for a simple two-stage light in either class.

    ------

    The A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 and "Flood" XM-L U2 were provided for review by Kit-Tronics.com on behalf of Tiablo.
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 04-10-2012 at 11:27 AM.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Nice test!especially the newKing with R2 Thrower!how much Amepre draws?

    Thanks

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by Olli1783 View Post
    Nice test!especially the newKing with R2 Thrower!how much Amepre draws?
    The specs claim 1A current draw on Hi for the XR-E R2 "Throw King" version. I don't know is that is 1x or 2x battery sources (output is a bit higher 2x battery sources).

    Tailcap current draws may not be accurate, but here's what I just measured on the Turbo King:
    1x18650: ~0.9A
    2xRCR: varied from ~2.0A to ~3.6A (not consistent)

    In both cases, my DMM had trouble locking in on a final value.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Thanks! I getsoon aDereelightDBS with Aspheric Lens and R2Pill@ 2amps/1x18650! FilledwithcopperPill

  5. #5
    Flashaholic Tatjanamagic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Selfbuilt,

    I own old tiablo Q5 and new "Throw King" R2. This was my favorite light few years ago.

    In my case "Throw King" R2 does not have EZ900 die so I am very curious how your does have?

    When I compared q5 and r2 them they are basically same in throw even "Throw King" is slightly less in my readings but I don't want argue about that.

    So my conclusion is that TA9 "Throw King" does not deserve that title in any way.

    No improvements on this light in aspherical mode from 2008. Thrust me pal I have bought over 30 of them before I found out that there are better lights and better team than tiablo that are developing lights.

    Very poor parts support. It is not upgradeable. Bad low-high mode switch. Bad heat consumption - concentrates all heat in emitter part(pill), U have to put spacer between aspherical head and pill or U will have wobbling aspherical head that looks like it will fall out.

    When U have gun mounted this light and you Use low mode often and make a rifle shot this low mode goes to oblivion because during strong gun recoil on low mode it unsolder from resistor. 15 out 30 flashlight had this problem.

    So in fact if U R hunter U must buy single stage switch(or cable switch) from Tiablo and spend 30$ more if U want reliable configuration.

    I was big fan of this light at that time because I was not aware that there are better flashlight than TA9... But now I ain't because I found very rude from manufacturer not improving this light from 2008, and they dare to call flashlight "Throw King"...

    Big - for Tiablo from me. They must know that they are not doing god job.

    But I really want them very best luck to develop lights in right way so they can call them "Throw Kings".
    I am in endless pursuit for best aspherical and non aspherical throwers...

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* candle lamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Very good job as always. Selfbuilt!
    Thanks for your effort & time.
    Latest Review : Fenix HL10 2016 Review

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by Olli1783 View Post
    Thanks! I getsoon aDereelightDBS with Aspheric Lens and R2Pill@ 2amps/1x18650! FilledwithcopperPill
    Yes, even the stock DBS is a good competitor. The DBS has been around almost as long as the A9, and always outperformed in terms of throw (certainly on the reflectored versions I've tested). The standard DBS circuits are generally driven to 1.2A or 1.5A, which is clearly part of it.

    It's been awhile since I've tested a DBS light. So, I have just ordered a 1.5A multi-power version of the DBS aspheric head (with EZ900 die), and will directly compare it to the "Throw King" XR-E R2 reviewed here.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatjanamagic View Post
    In my case "Throw King" R2 does not have EZ900 die so I am very curious how your does have?
    Actually, you'll note that I very carefully said "appears" or "seems" to have the EZ900 die throughout my review. That way based on simple visual inspection using a magnifying glass, compare to older Q5s (which were presumed to be EZ1000).

    I have now gone and done macro shots of various emitters, and it seems that my "Thow King" R2 is using the standard EZ1000 die. I've revised the review, and added a macro shot comparing the emitters.

    Quote Originally Posted by candle lamp View Post
    Thanks for your effort & time.
    Thanks, these reviews are all a lot of work. I hadn't originally intended to do these, as I have a lot of other requests on my plate. But I was curious to see how they perform, given my early experience with the line. The "Flood" XM-L U2 version certainly is driven to a higher level than I would have expected, based on the original circuit performance (the "Thow King" is really not that different from the original model, just with the highest XR-E output bin).
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 03-25-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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  9. #9
    Flashaholic Tatjanamagic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Actually, you'll note that I very carefully said "appears" or "seems" to have the EZ900 die throughout my review. That way based on simple visual inspection using a magnifying glass, compare to older Q5s (which were presumed to be EZ1000).

    I have now gone and done macro shots of various emitters, and it seems that my "Thow King" R2 is using the standard EZ1000 die. I've revised the review, and added a macro shot comparing the emitters.
    Friend thank you on confirmation about EZ1000 die because I have thought that I got false Tiablo and that fact was eating my stomach till now and I really wanted to make complaint to Tiablo factory. But obviously I don't have reason to complain about it.

    My old Q5 throws better than new R2 "Throw King" probably because old one has slightly better lenses then new one. Will try to swap them and see difference.

    Same thing happens like with deerelight aspherical heads. Aspherical lenses are not identical some are blurrier while some are clearer.

    I want to say for aspherical flashlight lovers if they have old Q5 model that with new one they will not get better throw(probably worse one like in my case).

    Tiablo please re-develop this flashlight with some proper tuning and then U will probably deserve "Throw King" title... Till then U have big - from me...
    Last edited by Tatjanamagic; 03-25-2012 at 03:10 PM.
    I am in endless pursuit for best aspherical and non aspherical throwers...

  10. #10
    Flashaholic* tobrien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    i gotta get one of these Tiablo throw kings now (with a forward clicky and aspherical head)

    question though: will we ever see a newer LED a la XM-L from anyone that is a ton of lumens but throws a good distance like the XRE emitters? the XRE is pretty old so far as technology goes right?
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    Yes, even the stock DBS is a good competitor. The DBS has been around almost as long as the A9, and always outperformed in terms of throw (certainly on the reflectored versions I've tested). The standard DBS circuits are generally driven to 1.2A or 1.5A, which is clearly part of it.

    It's been awhile since I've tested a DBS light. So, I have just ordered a 1.5A multi-power version of the DBS aspheric head (with EZ900 die), and will directly compare it to the "Throw King" XR-E R2 reviewed here.
    Selfbuilt, you are the main reason I come to this site. Thank you for your time and effort.
    And yes! Please review the DBS 1.5A multi-power w/ aspheric head, I have been looking forward to you doing this, since pending review, I have been thinking of making the DBS-T multipower aspheric my next light.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by tobrien View Post
    question though: will we ever see a newer LED a la XM-L from anyone that is a ton of lumens but throws a good distance like the XRE emitters? the XRE is pretty old so far as technology goes right?
    Ultimately, good throw comes down to how small the point source of light is, and how well optimized the reflector/optic design is.

    There is no reason why future emitters won't have have superior brightness-per-surface-area measures than the old XR-E. But the current XM-L emitters aren't it, given their relatively large size. You can see that most clearly in the beamshots showing the effect the aspheric optic has on the XR-E, XP-G and XM-L. Despite the much greater output, there is no way you can focus that large XM-L die image down to something as small as the current XR-Es.

    I am sure the future will only be "brighter" ... but throw applications also demand small dies.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerrysimons View Post
    Selfbuilt, you are the main reason I come to this site. Thank you for your time and effort.
    And yes! Please review the DBS 1.5A multi-power w/ aspheric head, I have been looking forward to you doing this, since pending review, I have been thinking of making the DBS-T multipower aspheric my next light.
    I won't be doing a full review, given all the invited reviews I always seen to have on my plate at any given time. But at minimum, I will do beamshot and throw comparisons to the "Throw King" XR-E R2. Only just ordered the DBS head though, so not sure how long it will take to arrive ...
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    My DBS 3SM XR-E R2 EZ900 Aspheric head just arrived. I've updated the review with new summary tables showing the throw with this light, on various batteries.



    The DBS 3SM is rated to provide 1.5A to emitter only on multi-power setups, so is quite a bit lower output on 1x18650. As you can see above, it is just slightly brighter than the Tiablo A9-R2 aspheric head on 1x18650 (again, the first throw number is the average reading in the centre of the beam, the second number is the maximum I detected).



    on 2xRCR, both lights are considerably brighter - but moreso for the DBS 3SM, where you now get the full 1.5A to the emitter. Correspondingly, the throw has measurably improved over the A9-R2.

    Keep in mind that these differences are based on n=1 sample each, and it is known than individual aspheric lenses can vary significantly. But all things being equal, the DBS 3SM should have an advantage due to the smaller EZ900 die, especially when driven the 1.5A level.

    I will update the outdoor beamshots then next time I head out into the woods ...
    Last edited by selfbuilt; 04-10-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Alright! Thank you selfbuilt! Eagerly awaiting beamshots

  15. #15

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    very helpful review, thanks

  16. #16

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatjanamagic View Post
    I was big fan of this light at that time because I was not aware that there are better flashlight than TA9... But now I ain't because I found very rude from manufacturer not improving this light from 2008, and they dare to call flashlight "Throw King"...

    Big - for Tiablo from me. They must know that they are not doing god job.
    I could not agree more with you in this. In fact I didn't even know they still existed. Of course tiablo was one of the best manufacturers along with dereelight, edgetac, jetbeam and many others back in 2008 when they really shined.

    But new time has come and new manufacturers are coming up with more energy efficient, brighter and versatile offers. It may have been throw king 4 years ago, but without further mayor improvement, they cannot live up to this claim anymore.

    Although a great review from Selfbuilt, I really thought this was a old thread being revived when I saw "Tiablo"...


  17. #17
    Flashaholic* yifu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Great review as usual. I really don't get your concerns about. Yes, advancements have been made in LEDs on the front of efficiency, output, manufacturing costs but really, there is no LED with higher surface brightness than the old XR-E. The original DEFT HO, made many years ago, is still the best LED thrower, with 200k lux. Even in the short-arc field, the Maxabeam remains unbeaten, even after 10+ years. There is really no room for improvement other than a better/bigger aspheric lens and a higher drive current. Even using a XP-C would yield only marginal improvements in lux, and a small (hence less useful) hotspot.

    Seriously Tatjanamagic, if you're after the best throwers, build yourself a 260W short arc or hunt for a VSS-2 tank light or something.

  18. #18
    Flashaholic* dc38's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Wonderful review...I don't mean to derail your thread, but has anybody else also seen "Fabio" in the 2nd picture? I even see his long waving hair lol..

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by dc38 View Post
    Wonderful review...I don't mean to derail your thread, but has anybody else also seen "Fabio" in the 2nd picture? I even see his long waving hair lol..
    good eye, haha i never saw that till you mentioned it
    aka Edgar Allan Bro, Brosama Bin Liftin, Walter Crunkite, Bro Namath, Teddy Brosevelt, and the Tomahawk Crunkmissile.
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  20. #20
    Flashaholic Tatjanamagic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by yifu View Post
    Great review as usual. I really don't get your concerns about. Yes, advancements have been made in LEDs on the front of efficiency, output, manufacturing costs but really, there is no LED with higher surface brightness than the old XR-E. The original DEFT HO, made many years ago, is still the best LED thrower, with 200k lux. Even in the short-arc field, the Maxabeam remains unbeaten, even after 10+ years. There is really no room for improvement other than a better/bigger aspheric lens and a higher drive current. Even using a XP-C would yield only marginal improvements in lux, and a small (hence less useful) hotspot.

    Seriously Tatjanamagic, if you're after the best throwers, build yourself a 260W short arc or hunt for a VSS-2 tank light or something.
    Yifu I know that HID flashlight are top throwers in a world. But I also know that they weight about 3-10 kilograms with limited portability and upgradeability.

    You are probably not hunter so you don't know how hunting lights should look. They must be compact, light and gun(barrel or scope ) mountable.

    Of course LED can not compete with HID. But they are 2 different categories.

    There is no reason to build up other hunting lights beside DBS Aspherical setup which is currently number one commercial available led thrower in a world with very acceptable price.

    I appreciate Selfbuild but Tiablo R2 throw king is downgrade from old Q5. Friend I have both and I can not believe your measurements.

    Q5 driven at 1A current is better than R2 driven at 1A current.

    I am claiming that old Q5 2008 model throws better then newest 2012 model because I have both.

    DBS aspherical vs Tiablo A9 aspherical:


    DBS advantages over Tiablo(stock aspherical versions):

    - Upgradeable
    - Firmer aspherical head
    - It has extension tube and U can run it on 2×18650 or 3 × 123 (depends on tube U took)
    - better switch
    - smaller than tiablo, but that is not so important (when used without ext tube)
    - better heat transfer
    - better parts support

    Tiablo only advantage over DBS
    - better lenses in aspherical head so it is probably more suitable for some kind of tuning. Simple tuning from tiablo factory with EZ900 instead of EZ1000 and 1,5 Amp current would kill DBS in throw by 10% or more. But... Very big BUT... Tiablo A9 can not withstand such heat and probably therefore factory sticks to old 1 amp driver. Ultra bad heat consumption from A9. I have plenty of bad experience with overheating even on old 1 A driver.

    So even if improved by 1,5 A and EZ900 it will still not be as good as DBS.

    Here are pictures of these two lenses. Left and smaller one is A9 right and bigger one are DBS. U can see focal differences between lenses. I tried to swap lenses but that does not work. So don't even try it.

    Last edited by Tatjanamagic; 05-09-2012 at 09:11 AM.
    I am in endless pursuit for best aspherical and non aspherical throwers...

  21. #21

    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by Tatjanamagic View Post
    I appreciate Selfbuild but Tiablo R2 throw king is downgrade from old Q5. Friend I have both and I can not believe your measurements.
    Q5 driven at 1A current is better than R2 driven at 1A current.
    I am claiming that old Q5 2008 model throws better then newest 2012 model because I have both.
    That's quite possible, as there is not a big difference between the Q5 and R2 output bins. Cree binning charts show that the Q5 is rated for 107-113 lumen flux @350mA, while the R2 is rated for 114-121 lumen flux. So while the "average" R2 should be ~7% brighter at this drive level, the reality is that you could be comparing two samples anywhere within this range (i.e. any two Q5-R2 comparisons could be between to 1-13% different).

    Of course, the exact position of the LED within the reflector has a huge impact on the beam. It would not be surprising to see no real difference between a given Q5 and R2 model driven to the same level.

    That brings up another thing to consider - there is natural variance in how much power any given circuit provides. So while all the lights may be rated at 1A, there is bound to be some natural variation in that number.

    When you combine all that together, it is even possible that a given R2 model would throw less well than a given Q5, depending on the sum of all those relative variations. But logic dictates that - all other things being equal - an R2 version is likely to out-throw a Q5 version, on average. The question is whether or not all things are equal (e.g., has the circuit changed providing more or less power, etc.?).

    Again, the mistake people make is in assuming that any given comparison holds for all possible comparisons. As always, my measurements are based on n=1 sample of each. But my measurements of my Q5 and newer R2 model are taken at the same time, which at least removes the operator variability.
    Full list of all my reviews: flashlightreviews.ca. Latest hobby: whiskyanalysis.com. Latest flashlight review: Thrunite TN42.
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic* BLUE LED's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    There is another possibility to consider. Perhaps the aspheric on your Q5 is better than your R2 Tiablo. Try switching heads and take lux measurements at 10m and calculate back. Tailcap readings may help to resolve the difference. The VF values will also play a part. I have 2 x Dereelight 3SD modules which I had tested in the lab. The Q5 was surprisingly better than my R2. I think it was a complete fluke and highly improbable to occure again.

  23. #23
    Flashaholic Tatjanamagic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tiablo A9 "Throw King" XR-E R2 & "Flood" XM-L U2 Review: ASPHERIC BEAMSHOTS, RUNT

    Quote Originally Posted by selfbuilt View Post
    When you combine all that together, it is even possible that a given R2 model would throw less well than a given Q5, depending on the sum of all those relative variations. But logic dictates that - all other things being equal - an R2 version is likely to out-throw a Q5 version, on average. The question is whether or not all things are equal (e.g., has the circuit changed providing more or less power, etc.?).

    Again, the mistake people make is in assuming that any given comparison holds for all possible comparisons. As always, my measurements are based on n=1 sample of each. But my measurements of my Q5 and newer R2 model are taken at the same time, which at least removes the operator variability.
    And we have to mention lenses difference... So probably you received top A+ grade flashlight from Tiablo quality control center while mine is B-.

    But the point is that no big improvement in 2012 model that would be worth buying it...

    People( especially owners of old Q5 like me) who expected more throw from newest model will be very disappointing with the fact that it throws equal, less or just slightly more than older brother Q5(depend on lottery with aspheric lenses and emitter)...

    This is light that had good potential but Tiablo developing crew stopped improving it. They live on old glory and they just added R2 emitter and "Throw King" title hopping that they will squeeze last drop of lemon juice from Tiablo A9.
    I am in endless pursuit for best aspherical and non aspherical throwers...

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