Alright then, what follows is a complex and detailed analysis of each of the three superloaders in paintball in order to help you better decide which one is right for you. Let me first begin by saying that no superloader is overall the "best" despite what people will argue over and over again. Each of the three is very good at what they do and they each have their own place in the loader hall of fame. This informational report is solely to show and explain how each is different or better in key areas.
I own all three superloaders and use each one of them an equal amount so I will attempt to be unbiased in this report. Originally I was planning on doing this report with only owning a Dye Rotor but after picking up a Prophecy for pretty cheap I decided the only way to accurately complete this report was to own all three. In time I picked up a Pinokio thus completing the superloader collection.
Please note that this analysis is on the Pinokio loader, the Empire Prophecy 2.0 Loader, and the Generation 3 Dye Rotor. Before going into great detail on each of the loaders I will briefly describe the criteria that each loader will be examined on:
1. Ball capacity – How many balls can it hold? Plus the capacity on any modified shells. Bear in mind that the amounts are based off of actually counting the paintballs rather than what the company claims.
2. Weight – How much does it weigh empty and full? w/ batteries of course
3. Height/Width/Length profile – How high is it, how wide is it? How much of a target does it make?
4. Batteries/efficiency – What kinds of batteries does it take? How many shots on fresh batteries?
5. Available settings – Is it a one push button loader or are there settings to tweak?
6. Ease of taking it apart/cleaning it/changing batteries – Is it hard to take apart? What tools are needed? If I break a ball inside will I be out for several games cleaning it?
7. Feed rate – How fast can it push balls into my wicked awesome marker?
8. Price – How much is it going to run me new? What about used?
9. Colors – Will it match my rainbow colored marker? How many different colors does it come in?
10. Aftermarket accessories – Stock loaders aren't my thing, what modifications can I add to it?
11. Reball compatibility – Can I use reballs with it?
12. Durability – Will it survive impacts on the field? Will it break easily?
13. Tendency to jam – How often does it tend to jam?
14. Ball detection system – What kind does it use?
15. Rip drive – Does it come with one? Nobody likes reaching their hand into the hopper to clear jams.
16. Position of feedneck in regards to Gun – Will the hopper tap you in the mask when you line the marker up to your nose?
17. Noise – How noisy is it?
Pinokio loader analysis:
We'll start this analysis off in alphabetical order and that means starting with the Pinokio or the 'Nokio as it is affectionately referred to. The Pinokio arrived on the market in 2008 and quickly became noted due to its optional large nose attachment (obviously how it gets its name). It is not as popular as the Prophecy or the Rotor despite being released before both of them. Popularity set aside it can still take a beating as well as dish it out. The Pinokio is most often slammed for its high profile and awkward looking shape when compared to the sleekness of the Rotor and Prophecy. The Pinokio comes with the large nose piece as well as a good snapping lid which is easy to open due to the fins of plastic that stretch back over the loader.
The main reason why the Pinokio gets as much attention as it does is because of its ability to hold a lot of paintballs plain and simple. With the standard nose installed it will hold approx. 240 paintballs and with the long nose a whopping 370 paintballs! If you are looking to hold a crazy amount of paint on the field or are an avid back player who needs a lot of suppression fire, the Pinokio is certainly worth a look. Attaching the nose attachment to your Pinokio hopper is a surefire way of getting noticed on the field and becoming the guy to watch out for, especially among the rental players.
The hopper weighs in at around 1 pound with the standard nose attachment making it the lightest of the three superloaders. Full with paintballs the standard Pinokio will weigh 2 pounds 13 ounces. With the long nose it weighs in at around 1 pound 7 ounces empty and 3 pounds 14 ounces with that lovely nose completely full.
The Pinokio has a height of 6 ¾ inches from the feedneck to the highest point making it the highest of the three superloaders. The width of the loader is 3 ¾ inches at its widest point. The length of the Pinokio loader with the standard nose is 9 ¼ inches and 18 inches with the long nose attached. Interestingly, the extended nose does not extend the width of the hopper so it does not make it a larger target from the front. Many players claim that the Pinokio's large nose offers a bigger target and that is true from the sides but certainly not when looking at the loader head on.
The Pinokio runs on two 9-volt batteries and is claimed to be able to feed 30+ cases or 60,000 shots on only those two little 9-volts. This makes it the most efficient of the three superloaders. Taking a look at battery cost the Pinokio gets only 0.000083 cents per shot which puts it second behind the Rotor (assuming the average cost of two 9-volts being $5). The Pinokio is also the only superloader to use 9 volt batteries as its standard power source, both of the other two superloaders use AA's out of the box.
There are no settings at all to fumble with on the Pinokio whatsoever and its simplicity is another factor that it is usually praised for. It involves one simple push button, it is either on or it is off, that's it. Its operation is so foolproof that the only literature included with the loader is a single piece of paper detailing a few simple processes like attaching the long nose piece. A simple LED light turns green indicating the loader is on and will flash red when feeding. A solid red light when not feeding indicates a low battery. Please note that if a Pinokio has an upgraded P-board the LED light will remain red all of the time.
Ease of taking it apart/cleaning it/changing batteries:
The Pinokio is the only superloader that does not come apart in your hands like the Prophecy and Rotor do. Still it is incredibly easy to clean as removing the top part of where the long nose attaches will enable you to get inside the Pinokio. To remove the propeller you are going to need at least a 6 inch screwdriver to get it out as it is deep inside the loader. The batteries can be easily changed on the Pinokio by simply sliding the battery compartment door off and then sliding it back on again, no tools necessary. The Pinokio can also be cleaned by using a spray bottle and cleaning the loader out with straight water.
Check out Mike's video on this:
The Pinokio can feed an impressive rate of 20+ balls per second according to the makers of the Pinokio but it has been clocked much higher at around 30 bps. Obviously the Pinokio will feed as many balls per second as any tournament will allow.
The Pinokio is usually sold between 120 and 140 dollars new, putting it in between the Prophecy and Rotor selling points. The Pinokio tends to go for around 80 to 100 dollars used.
The three main colors the Pinokio comes in are black, smoke (transparent), as well as clear. Bear in mind that the black color option is the only color that is not transparent so it will require you to look through the lid to see how many balls are remaining. The clear color will obviously give you the advantage of being able to see the balls but it may make you more noticeable with bright paintballs inside. The smoke color is right in between as it gives you the ability to see paint as well as shading the color of the balls inside. There are also several less common colors found on the Pinokio website such as green camo and grey/black camo. "Pinoko hoppers" can also paint your Nokio any color if you contact them and purchase it from them directly.
There are very few accessories for the Pinokio at the current time. Halo speedfeeds will fit on the Pinokio as Halo loaders use the same size opening. You can also get a Pinokio loader P board to improve the speed of your loader.
Overall Pinokios tend to accept Reballs very well. Mike's video of shooting 5 pods of Reballs had no jams whatsoever.
Check out Mike's video on this:
While I don't have a specific video showing the Pinokio's durability, the loader is made to take and dish out a beating and is made of very strong plastic. Durability is a huge factor with the Pinokio as due to its unusual shape and swept back design it can be subject to different hits and impacts out on the field.
Tendency to jam:
Pinokios hardly ever jam, plain and simple. The simple design of the propeller inside makes jamming a very rare event out on the field. It is not uncommon for Pinokio owners to have never had a jam with their hopper. Evan from Pinokio hoppers claimed that the Pinokio does not have any sort of un-jamming device because the Pinokio simply never jams.
Ball detection system:
The Pinokio uses a bend sensor to know when balls need to be fed into the marker. This simple ribbon sensor sits in the feedneck and activates the propeller whenever a ball moves past it so the Pinokio only feeds when your marker is firing.
The Pinokio has no rip drive and basically any Pinokio owner will tell you that one is hardly necessary. As stated, Pinokios have excellent track records.
Position of feedneck in regards to the marker:
The Pinokio is also known for its swept back design which can make it slightly awkward for players who are used to their loader being situated further ahead on their marker. The main reason for the Pinokio's swept back design is to give it some stability when the long nose is attached and eventually filled with paintballs. The Pinokio sweeps back a total of 6 inches from the back of the feedneck to the back the loader.
The running noise of the Pinokio is practically nothing at all though it seems to have the loudest running noise of the three superloaders, the Pinokio gives off almost a whining sound when feeding balls. Interestingly, since the propeller feeds about 5-7 balls per spin when you are shooting one ball every few seconds the propeller will spin like it is trying to feed those 5-7 paintballs. This adds to the noise level considerably if you are shooting paintballs one at a time at an intended target. As stated above the loader does not run when you are not firing so it will work well if you have the need to sneak up on someone in a woodsball game for example.
Overall the Pinokio is a great simple hopper and can hold more than any other hopper on the market. It's strengths include its simple foolproof operation and huge capacity options while its weaknesses include its bigger profile and "ugly" look according to some players. Sadly one of the main reasons the Pinokio is overlooked is because of its unique shape when compared to the other loaders on the market. Without a doubt the Nokio is a fantastic option for any player looking for a superloader.
Empire Prophecy 2.0 loader analysis:
The Prophecy is essentially a Halo styled loader on steroids. While its design might resemble the Halo's, the Prophecy is better than the Halo line in every way. The prophecy comes with a magnetic lid which uses a total of three magnets to make opening and closing a breeze, it also comes with a standard nose piece which holds 240 rounds (a 200 round nose piece and 280 round piece is available for separate purchase.) The Prophecy is a popular loader and is used by several professional teams as well as countless paintball players alike. The 2nd version of the Prophecy (2.0) comes with an upgraded drive belt as well as an aluminum feedneck insert which makes the feedneck more durable.
The ball capacity of the Prophecy varies as there are three different shell sizes that can attach to the loader. The small shell (200 round front piece) holds a total of around 190 paintballs, the standard sized shell (240 round front piece) holds 220 paintballs, and the large shell (280 round front piece) holds about 260 paintballs. The ability to switch these shells instantaneously adds to the versatility of this superloader. Nose pieces can be switched out in just a few seconds.
The standard Prophecy weighs in at 1 pound 4 ounces empty and with 220 paintballs inside it will weigh around 2 pounds 15 ounces. With the small shell attached the Prophecy will weigh about 1 pound 3 ounces empty and 2 pounds 6 ounces full (190 paintballs). The Prophecy with the large nose attached will weigh about 1 pound 5 ounces empty and 2 pounds 15 ounces full (260 paintballs).
The height of the Prophecy is 5 ½ inches high from the bottom the feedneck to its highest point. Since the different shells of the prophecy attach below the highest point then this height remains the same for all three size shells. This loader is 4 ½ inches wide and this also remains the same for all three shells. The length of a stock Prophecy (240 ball capacity) is 9 inches and is roughly 10 inches long with the smaller shell attached (200 ball capacity). With the longer shell (280 ball capacity) the Prophecy is about 12 inches long
The prophecy uses 4 AA batteries and gets about 6-10 cases with them making it the least battery efficient of the three superloaders. When comparing battery cost the Prophecy also comes in third place at costing 0.000220 cents to feed each shot (assuming an average price of $3.50 for 4 AA's). There is also an upgrade harness available that allows the prophecy to run on two 9 volt batteries rather than the 4 AA's.
The Prophecy has the most available settings of the three superloaders which include 6 different sound sensitivity settings, 6 different speed settings, ball stack monitoring, as well as RF capability. The Prophecy is a sound activated loader in its standard set up. It also can be fed by the touch of a button to check if it is feeding paintballs correctly. The ball stack tension is adjusted by magnets in the drive wheel, having more magnets means having more ball stack tension and having fewer magnets will likewise decrease ball stack tension. The combination of all these settings make the Prophecy a loader that can be made to specifically work very well with any marker set up.
Ease of taking it apart/cleaning it/changing batteries:
The Prophecy has the distinct ability to be broken down all the way with absolutely no tools needed. This makes cleaning the inside of the loader out a breeze and changing batteries is hardly a complicated task. The trick with the Prophecy is making sure everything goes back the same way it was taken apart. The Prophecy can be a little difficult to reassemble but it is nothing that a little practice and manual reading can't fix. Bear in mind that after learning the entire process it still takes a few minutes to attach most of the loader's body. Simon's helpful videos should give you an idea of how the Prophecy comes apart and is put back together, this is part 1 of his disassembly vid:
The Prophecy can feed paintballs at an impressive rate of 35+ bps. Part of how this speed is achieved is by a double tiered feeding wheel which constantly lines up several paintballs to be fed into the marker.
The Prophecy retails from around 110 to 130 dollars brand new making it the least expensive of the three superloaders. Used Prophecies usually go for around 80 to 100 dollars.
The Prophecy comes in a decent amount of colors but matching your Prophecy to your gun can be difficult. The main colors of the Prophecy are black and smoke (transparent) which can have either red, blue, or green accents. All colored accent kits as well as the smoke color option gives you the ability to see how many balls are left in your loader. Only the black shells and matching black accents are not transparent.
There are many accessories for the Empire Prophecy which include different back plates, changeable accent color kits, different capacity noses as stated above, as well as a choice of either the Empire speedfeed made for the loader or a Virtue Crown. You can also upgrade your Prophecy to a "Prophecy LTD" (the more expenisve version of the loader) by purchasing an upgrade kit which gives you even more options to customize your loader's settings as well as being able to adjust the settings on a computer via USB.
Overall Prophecies tend to accept Reballs very well. Mike's video of shooting 5 pods of Reballs had no jams whatsoever just like the Pinokio Reball test video:
Prophecies have very flexible shells especially when compared to the other two superloaders which allows them to withstand a great amount of abuse. See Simon's video below:
Despite the flexibility of the shells they have been known to crack on some occasions but this is usually due to extreme use.
Tendency to jam:
Like the Pinokio, the Prophecy overall does not jam very often and even if it does the rip drive is just waiting there underneath the hopper begging to be taken for a spin.
Ball detection system:
The Prophecy is the only sound activated superloader but does have the ability to used through radio frequency activation.
The Prophecy is the only loader of the three that has rip drive capability and it comes standard on the loader. This obviously allows you to stay in the game and keep firing if your batteries should die right in the heat of battle and aids in clearing jams.
Position of feedneck in regards to the marker:
The Prophecy sweeps back a grand total of 5 inches from the feedneck making it well centered over the marker.
Like all three superloaders the Prophecy is quiet and does not spin at all when not feeding a marker. Bear in mind that since it is a sound activated loader other sounds might cause it to start feeding such as a nearby marker firing or being hit against a hard surface.
The Prophecy is an excellent choice for players who love options and are concerned about tuning their loader perfectly to their marker. Since both of the other two superloaders have no settings at all, the Prophecy dominates that category. With the option of getting a used Prophecy for a very low price this loader makes a great choice for players who want a superloader but may not have much to spend on one.
Edited by Jweb, 17 February 2011 - 01:36 PM.