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Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

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  #1  
Old July 10th, 2009, 04:16 PM
foibled
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Default Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Background (lazy readers skip down to the questions below): I'm currently using a Mya 26" Bohemian and Razan hose that have both been modded a bit (slightly wider bore and stronger stainless steel stem pipe, new o-rings/gaskets, rubber/metal diffuser, cleaned up threads and heart internals; the hose was mainly rebuilt/modded for better build quality, ease of maintenance, and looks). For the record, I'm satisfied with the way they smoke. I initially chose the Mya because of how it can be broken down for ease of transport with the included case and mod-ability, looks & size, and I like having an extra acrylic base for peace of mind whenever drinking is involved since I do take this one around. I am not too thrilled with the way it purges though and I'm actually thinking about modding that too.

Despite being happy with the Mya, lately I've been thinking about getting another hookah strictly for home use. I've kinda narrowed my choices down to a Khalil Mamoon Signature Ice or Al Fakher Medium Solid hookah. I like the Signature Ice because of all the pluses for being a KM, optional use of the chiller, bigger tray, and looks, but I'm leaning against it because of cost ($$$) vs improvement over my current Mya, size (26-30" is ideal to me), unsure of brass construction, and I can't find one with a vase I like. I like the KM Kafae also but I ruled it out because I like the look of the AF more and would rather get the Signature Ice if I went with a KM. I like the size, price/value, and bottom tray of the AF but I don't want to get it if it doesn't have some key improvements over the Mya Bohemian, which leads me to the point of this thread...


About the AF Medium Solid Hookah:

1. Is the heart a solid piece with ports, open chamber, or open chamber with cover plate for ports?

2. Is the hose port wide bored? How well does a Razan hose tip fit into it? (I've read it's pretty small so the fit of the Razan is a concern)

3. How is the purge compared to a KM?

4. Is the draw slightly restrictive or is it more like a KM?

5. Have they fixed the short down tube issue?

Or you could simply just post everything you know about the AF (pictures are great!) and I'll sort through the info. Also, C is not the answer to all of these questions.

P.S. If only AF made a chiller.
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  #2  
Old July 10th, 2009, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Own a large solid...answering for that...but the hookahs are all the same basically.

1. Is the heart a solid piece with ports, open chamber, or open chamber with cover plate for ports?
traditional chamber, two seperate tubes

2. Is the hose port wide bored? How well does a Razan hose tip fit into it? (I've read it's pretty small so the fit of the Razan is a concern)

The bore of the hose port is wide, but it doesnt flare as much as a KM does, so it is a bit of a snuf fit for larger hoses, but they work.

3. How is the purge compared to a KM?

Worse.

4. Is the draw slightly restrictive or is it more like a KM?

Pretty much the same...some people think its a bit better but a disagree. I think KM wins by a small margin.

5. Have they fixed the short down tube issue?

Downstem is a bit shorter on mine than I would like...but it doesn't particularly bother me. I think the downstems are longer than the older versions however (from what I can tell from pictures)
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  #3  
Old July 10th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

1. Is the heart a solid piece with ports, open chamber, or open chamber with cover plate for ports?
Traditional Style heart, solid with ports.

2. Is the hose port wide bored? How well does a Razan hose tip fit into it? (I've read it's pretty small so the fit of the Razan is a concern)
The port is pretty small, but i have gotten a Nammor/Razan in there.

3. How is the purge compared to a KM?
Better.

4. Is the draw slightly restrictive or is it more like a KM?
Open like a KM.

5. Have they fixed the short down tube issue?
Yes




It's easily the best hookah on the market.
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  #4  
Old July 11th, 2009, 10:16 AM
foibled
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Thanks for the replies. I guess how well it purges compared to a KM is debatable then?
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  #5  
Old July 11th, 2009, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Quote:
Originally Posted by foibled View Post
Thanks for the replies. I guess how well it purges compared to a KM is debatable then?

The AF has a "hat" style purge. A lot of KMs come with an open ended tube purge, which outpurges anything. Kinda hard to explain without pictures, but yeah. Plus the holes on the AF purge are very small, smaller than the holes in KMs with hatstyle purges.
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  #6  
Old July 11th, 2009, 11:13 AM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

That's why God gave us drills!
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  #7  
Old July 11th, 2009, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

The AF purges like a charm, check out my review on it in the video section.

AF is definately better.
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  #8  
Old July 18th, 2009, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

After getting a Medium Solid AF from Hookah John, I figured I should update this thread with answers to my own questions for anybody else thinking about getting one. I agree mostly with what bradedup said.

1. Is the heart a solid piece with ports, open chamber, or open chamber with cover plate for ports?

It's actually none of the above. The heart itself is hollow, not solid. It's formed in the shape of a solid heart unlike those with an open chamber and a cover plate.

2. Is the hose port wide bored? How well does a Razan hose tip fit into it? (I've read it's pretty small so the fit of the Razan is a concern)

The hose port bore is about 3/8" wide but it is constricted inside the hose adapter which has a smaller inner diameter of slightly under 1/4", about the same diameter of the purge port and that of Myas.

A Razan fits well enough in the hose adapter that there are no performance issues. It's better to put the grommet/gasket (gromsket!) on the hose tip and then into the hose adapter.

3. How is the purge compared to a KM?

As mentioned above, the diameter of the purge port is just under 1/4" but the purge valve opening is a measly 1/16" hole. The cap has 4 1/16" holes on it's side. I do not agree that it purges better or equal to a KM. The good news is that the hole can be enlargened.

4. Is the draw slightly restrictive or is it more like a KM?


It's draw is pretty open but I cannot answer this properly without a side to side comparison with a KM.

5. Have they fixed the short down tube issue?

The down tube terminates ~2" above the bottom of the vase so it's not really a problem. I'm not impressed with the vase and wish it was bigger as it isn't very stable.


Additional comments:

There were some holes in the brazing of the stem tube at the top bowl end and around the hose port on the bottom of the heart. I rebrazed them using a butane torch, flux, and lead-free silver solder (SnAgCu) and cleaned it up with some grinding/filing. I also cleaned up the sloppy brazing around the purge and hose adapters as well as I could and removed the crooked donut thing that was on the bottom of the down tube.

The weight of the stem comes from the brass pieces that make up the decorative elements of the stem itself. From what I can tell, not all of them are solid but I wouldn't be able to tell for sure without disassembling it.

The purge port on mine came with a very small internal leak in it somewhere. When one end is plugged and I blow in the other, air comes out of the top portion of the bottom gold plated section of the stem. I could see some rough machining on the inside of the purge tube but it would be very difficult (read: nightmare) trying to get at it to repair. I decided to just enlarging the purge port hole to 3/16" and the purge cap holes to 3/32". It purges much better now and it doesn't seem to leak during normal use because I couldn't detect it in a soap water leak test I did when I was smoking and purging last night.

The bowl tip part of the hookah is removable and pretty rough inside. I smoothened it out but I had to remove quite a bit of material to get all the rough spots out. This caused some thin areas where there are grooves on the outside. One in particular was very thin so I reinforced it with some solder from the inside.

I probably won't ever use the hose and bowl that came with it as they aren't very good. John was kind enough to give me a different set of tongs instead of the crappy one that AF includes (I didn't even have to ask!).

I was thinking about converting the stem into a 2pc so the downtube portion can be removed for easier cleaning but the hollow heart is probably going to keep me from attempting it. I'll reconsider if I want to lengthen the stem after gettting a larger vase. For those of you with the large AF, could you measure the inside diameter of the base opening?

This post turned out much much longer than I had planned.
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  #9  
Old July 18th, 2009, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

you want to make the stem 2 pieces?

the idea behind a none fused or threaded stem is that there wont be failure in the stem due to these very things. i wouldn't do it..

the downstem on the 36" is pretty short.

the other thing i really hate about the 36" is that the hookah can only fit 30 grommets, and wont go into any 26 vases at all...sucks
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  #10  
Old July 18th, 2009, 05:54 PM
foibled
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
you want to make the stem 2 pieces?

the idea behind a none fused or threaded stem is that there wont be failure in the stem due to these very things. i wouldn't do it..
Yep. The stem tube in the stem would all be left as one piece. The separation would be at or just below the bottom of the heart so the downtube would be the removable. A failure at that joint would be easily accessible for repair. The benefit would be easier cleaning in a sink, portability, and ability to use longer downtubes for taller vases.

The biggest advantage to a one piece stem tube IMO is minimal flow restrictions. The stainless steel stem tube I made for my Mya Bohemian is only 1/32" smaller in diameter than the AF's and has a larger downtube, but the 3 additional joints/o-rings make a noticeable difference in draw.
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  #11  
Old July 18th, 2009, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

honestly, the short downstem issue is really moot in my opinion.

You just fill the water higher, its really not an issue at all. Realize that you will have the same amount of smoke come out the hose regardless of the amount of water in the vase.

it seriously it means nothing at all.
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  #12  
Old July 19th, 2009, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

I agree with PL ^ even if you wanted the downstem longer you could also fix an added piece similar to a diffuser to elongate it. I plan on purchasing the 36" Solid in a few weeks.
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  #13  
Old July 19th, 2009, 05:46 PM
foibled
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Quote:
Originally Posted by photolinger View Post
honestly, the short downstem issue is really moot in my opinion.

You just fill the water higher, its really not an issue at all. Realize that you will have the same amount of smoke come out the hose regardless of the amount of water in the vase.

it seriously it means nothing at all.
Actually, I mostly agree also. The only time I'd swap out for a larger tube would be if I use a larger vase and the stem terminates somewhere in the neck of the vase. There would be a higher chance of sucking water into the hose because of the reduced surface area of the water unless a diffuser is used. I don't like to smoke with diffusers unless I'm with other people or noise is a concern because of the restricted draw. It's still more of a personal preference thing though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindGrind View Post
I agree with PL ^ even if you wanted the downstem longer you could also fix an added piece similar to a diffuser to elongate it. I plan on purchasing the 36" Solid in a few weeks.
One of the reasons I took the donut off the end of the stem tube is so I could use my own diffuser if I wanted to. Mostly though it's because it was shoddily put on there.

When you get the large solid, could you measure the inner diameter of the vase's opening?

The main reasons why I would do it is for ease of maintenance and to improve build quality, the same reason why I rebuilt my Razan. At this point I may not attempt it because of how thin the walls are on the hollow heart. I may at some point replace the entire stem tube with a stainless steel piece for extra strength and slightly thinner wall thickness but that is a much more involved process. If I do that, I will likely be replacing the purge and hose tubes as well.
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  #14  
Old July 19th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

you want to replace brass with stainless steel?

id just leave the hookah as is. its pretty damn solid
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  #15  
Old July 19th, 2009, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Questions about Al Fakher Solid Hookah

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
id just leave the hookah as is. its pretty damn solid
A little too late for that
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