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Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

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Old October 30th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Default Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

So I've smoked hookah plenty of times in my life, but only tacitly aware of the diversity of hookah pipes that are out there. Egyptian hookah, Syrian hookah, Arabic hookah, Mya hookah, Mod-design hookah...the list goes on and on. I'm getting ready to buy my second hookah (the first was just basic Egyptian) but every consideration is important. So, if you could, those of you who consider yourselves pros or virtuosos in the way of hookah, please contribute what you can to this discussion. I'd like to evaluate the qualities of diverse hookahs on the basis of some significant criteria. I want to know how these different pipe structures, materials, shapes, and the traditions that have motivated their unique style affect the following elements:

1) Overall Flavor
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth
3) density/heaviness of smoke
4) after-taste
5) overall sensation

If you guys could elucidate some of these uncertainties, it would help me out immensely, and also create a little forum topic people can refer back to. Thanks again! Can't wait to hear from everyone.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

In my opinion, the next type of hookah one should get after owning an Egyptian, is a Mya...(preferably a tall model). I know a lot of people are going to go against this because it seems that in the world of hookah, there is a lot more people looking for the "best bang for the buck" than you would think...however, I can speak from personal experience. My first hookah was a 33 inch hand made Egytian. It was great, reliable, and looked good. I upgraded to a Mya not too long ago. and I'll rate it by what you isted as important criteria.

1) Overall Flavor: AWESOME!
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth: SUPER AWESOME!
3) density/heaviness of smoke: REALLY THICK! PERFECT!
5) overall sensation: THE BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!

lol...Seriously though, after purchasing my Mya, I never looked back...Egyptians are great and all, but IMO they don't compare. If you're wondering, I purchased the Mya in this link http://www.hookah-shisha.com/store/p...idproduct=1103
It literally put my Egyptian into retirement...
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Old October 30th, 2007, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

I have an Ebony modern an unknown modern (my girlfriend bought it at a smoke shop) and a MYA acrylic

The Ebony is the only one i no longer use, i cannot tell the difference between the unknown and my Acrylic

Really, it varies from type to type, and each hookah "acts" a little differently, there's high medium and low of all the brands..

MYA Acrylic

1) Overall Flavor: Very good, i find (flavor wise) little to no difference hookah to hookah
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth: Good, i find my acrylic a bit easier to keep from getting harsh.
3) density/heaviness of smoke: it has a nice sized chamber, and is air tight, the stem is nice size and ports are decent as well, overall nice smooth hits, and thick smoke
4) after-taste: i clean my hookahs often never really notice one.
5) overall sensation: Good, while i love it, i dont party much so i perfer glass over acrylic.


1) Overall Flavor: normal
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth: harder than most even small hookahs to keep cool, but it's pretty
3) density/heaviness of smoke: i got some really good smoke from it off and on, but it was hard, (again) due to it being hard to keep cool
4) after-taste: same as above
5) overall sensation: okay, not the hookah i'd buy now, but decent then

Unknown modern

More or less identical to the MYA, only much easier to clean, and a glass base, it's used more than my MYA.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

My answer is going to be short, but if you do an advance search for posts by me with the word KM or Khalil, you will be able to find a lot more of my opinions on the brand.

Personally, if I had to buy a hookah right now, for a trip to a deserted island ... I would definitely buy a Khalil Mamoun. They smoke incredibly well, taste and flavor with proper bowl setup is outstanding, draw on the hose is nice and smooth with large volume, hand crafted Egyptian hookah, and all this for a VERY affordable price! There are some knock off KMs though. So you got to find the right one. I would recommend one from Piratehookahs.com or pimpyourhookah.com

I have 2 Khalil Mamoun hookahs ... only two hookahs I have owned. I use to own a MYA QT (sold it) and two Magdy Mini Hookahs (Sold them both BUT I liked those hookahs, they were just taking up space with my KMs and they weren't getting used as much as my KMs were. So rather then hold onto them and take up space I put them up to be adopted by someone who would give them a good home and girlgeek provided them that)

Hope that information helps ...


http://www.hookahpro.com - Hookah Pro Community - Hookah Forum
~Favorite Hookah~ Khalil Mamoon Amer .. (she leans, so I call her Eileen)
~Favorite Setup~ Egyptian Hookah, Vortex Bowl, Natural Coals (Exotica or Coconara)
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Old October 31st, 2007, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

i have 5 hookahs, 3 Syrians, 1 Egyptian, 1 modern.... 2 different types of Syrians.

Enameled Syrians (27-33" depending on base, stem is about 18"-20" long. 2 holed heart, solid stem. Steel w/ brass core.)

1) Overall Flavor = perfect, always true to taste, no metallic or modification.
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth = perfect, just the right height for coolness and density.
3) density/heaviness of smoke = perfect, depending on brand, set-up, and bowl. Always works smoothly.
4) after-taste = perfect, there never is any unless the hookah is dirty.
5) overall sensation = perfect. draw is perfect, smoking experience is wonderful, height makes floor use optamal.

Engineer Syrian (29" overall height - dismantalble. 4 hole heart. Steel/brass?)

1) Overall Flavor = excellent, as long as clean, no additional taste.
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth = perfect, can be light on the "feeling" at times
3) density/heaviness of smoke = perfect, depending on brand, set-up, and bowl. Always works smoothly.
4) after-taste = none, perfect.
5) overall sensation = great, not perfect. Autoseal system requires alittle tweaking. Highly recommend using WIDE hoses with this hookah.

Egyptian (22" overall height - solid 1 piece, steel)

1) Overall Flavor = perfect, no alteration providing clean
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth = can be alittle warm, due to shortness, but 7/8ths of the time perfect (4 out of 5)
3) density/heaviness of smoke = perfect, performs just as well as a 27-30" version.
4) after-taste - none (perfect) if clean
5) overall sensation = almost perfect. Smooth draw, wonderful smoke, smaller size allows easy table use. Very rarely, smoke gets harsh - clear the chamber or add ice, great smoke returns.

Modern (17" overall, ALUM, 1 piece stem)

1) Overall Flavor = mostly pleasant
2) temperature/ comfort in mouth = 50/50 - sometimes perfect, other times too strong/harsh
3) density/heaviness of smoke - mild to heavy, but mostly mild
4) after-taste - iffy, can sometimes have a slight metallic taste
5) overall sensation - at first, it was great little rig, now i'm on the verge of tossing it. Often gets a strange metallic taste to the smoke. Almost always TIPS unless held while smoking due to the Mod'ed hose (which HAS to be used w/ stem - others don't fit right)

Out of all my hookahs, I use the Enameled Syrians and the Egyptian the most. The Engineer hookah i love as well, but it is so heavy, ornate and a 2-hose model, it's only dragged out every great once and awhile.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 01:39 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

First of all, the characteristics that wbluedoor ask about have a lot to do with the hose used, what sort of bowl is used and how it is set up rather then some basic attribute of a style of narghile. The best narghile in the world will give a session if you have a poor hose, bowl or fail to manage your coals properly.

Basically, what matters with a narghile is the size, material and quality of workmanship and design.

Unfortunately, a design that allows the free flow of the smoke and makes cleaning less of a pain is very much an art that only the craftsman that make narghiles understand. Still, what I have learned Iíll share.

In terms of size small rigs (under 22") produce hotter smoke and more CO and are inferior to larger rigs as a result. Narghiles over 40" tend to be very cool but are a hard draw and, as a result, are not a good choice. I have found that rigs in the 30" to 36" range are the best but I have gotten very good results (if not the best) from ones as small as 26". While itís true that lots of people like smaller rigs anyone that Iíve know that tried both prefer the full sized ones.

When it comes to buying a narghile forget about trying to save money and consider what you buy in terms it lasting a great many years and remember that you will spend far more on coals and tobacco in single year then what 95% of the rigs available cost. Look for quality and forget about brand names and hype. The truth is that you can forget getting a well made narghile that youíd want to use each day for less then about $70 and youíd be better to think in terms of spending $100 or more.

The single best indicator of a narghile is the weight of the stem and the Chinese made stuff is thin walled, stainless steel at best or copper and aluminum at worst. What you want in a stem is thick, solid brass in the down stem, heart (the central part above the vase) and within the stem above the heart. Very thick stainless steel throughout is the next best option. If a brass cored stem is used stainless steel should be folded over and welded on top end to prevent water from getting between the brass and steel.

In terms of hoses what you want is a good, washable hose so donít wind up inhaling mold and bits of dust. The best hose by far is the Nammor but I hear that J & Rís Custom Washable Hose, Al Fakherís Healthy hose and the Washable Hose from Hookah-Shisha.com are all good alternatives.

In terms bases forget about Pyrex or anything that screw on and get good quality glass. Good glass has no bubbles or striations in it and is very thick. For get about the decorations as the very exotic looking glass is often poorly tempered and will break. You also want a base with a very wide bottom because a lot of bases will not keep your rig stable which is super important.

As to bowls buy a small Tangiers funnel and a scalli mod. Nothing else comes close in terms of giving a quality session and getting the most out of your shisha.

As to the various styles Iíd say avoid anything made in China. Partly itís because you really shouldnít spend your money to support slavery and communism but also because Chinese rigs have crappy quality. Mya is a company that I have had nothing but problems with and Iíve used a lot of them and known a ton of people that have bought them. The glass breaks all the time and the Pyrex tends to not thread well after a year or so and often tears up your hand when it shatter taking it on or off. The down stems tend to corrode and be crooked while the rest of the stem is just poorly made. The hoses are supposed to be washable arenít. Avoid Mya.

The so called mod style hookahs are basically just Chinese made stuff with modern, non-traditional styling and bright colors. Often they look dramatic but have poor quality.

Egyptian stuff is a bit tricky. Some Egyptian stuff is made and has lots of cosmetic defects but works great and is surprisingly cheap and a great value. The problem is that with a lot of Egyptian stuff you donít know how good it will work until youíve had it for a year or more which makes buying most Egyptian stuff a crap shoot.

What you can be sure of is that the best of what Egypt has to offer is excellent. Anything made by Khalil Mamoun or El Ashrey is excellent and I hear that Magdy Zidan is pretty good but Iíve no personal experience with them.

Iranian and Lebanese stuff is usually had made and of very high quality but is very hard to find so I wonít say much about it here.

Syrian stuff usually has lots of machined brass and is exceedingly well built and rugged. I canít say Iíve heard of anyone buying a Syrian narghile and thinking it was anything less then above average and usually youíll hear far better.

The bottom line is that Iíd recommend a Khalil Mamoun, El Ashrey or Syrian.
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Old October 31st, 2007, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

And a good place to purchase an El Ashrey, where would that be?
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Old October 31st, 2007, 04:24 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Hookah diversity as a deciding factor....

I get mine from Arabica Sous and a guy on ebay has them from time to time. I'll look for the contact info when I get some time. PM about it in a day or two.
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