After a long wait, I finally received the Jacob A60 (a Solarforce M8 clone). The reason for my ordering it was the 55mm head over an XR-E emitter.
It came in a plain cardboard box, flattened inside the padded envelope, but still effective: the flashlight arrived in mint condition.
Machining is very good, no cutting traces, not even under a magnifier. Parts fit is perfect, the anodized threads run smoothly. Anodizing is on the glossy side, albeit over a roughly matted alu surface (the now common cheap-looking finish). Anodizing tone across various parts is uniform.
The reflector is plastic but optically good. The clickie rubber boot is very thin, which makes for a nice soft switching action, but boot durability is thus questionable. The emitter is an XR-E EZ1000.
Tail current draw on High goes from 1.7 to over 2A, depending on battery, thus almost twice the specified value. The driver is covered by a threaded retaining ring with a spring-loaded plunger (the axact same as in tailcaps). That looks like a quality design detail, but it may restrict drivers compatibility. I didn't take that apart to see how the retaining ring connects to the driver.
PWM on Med is high frequency. I had to shake my hand as frantically as I could for PWM to start showing.
Compared to my up-to-now favorite 100-150m range thrower (the UltraOK, C8 reflector, 1.7A, EZ900) the Jacob A60 throws a considerably wider and also brighter hotspot. Apparently, this large reflector isn't wasted on an XR-E emitter, quod erat demonstrandum, actually. The beam pattern is pleasing, similar to the UltraOK.
It's still a bit soon to say, but it seems that this flashlight will send to retirement all my other throwers:
- Uniquefire HS-802 (too small a hotspot for midrange use, some disturbing corona)
- Small Sun ZY-C10-S aspherical (a mighty throw, but ugly aspherical beam)
- Trustfire X9, XM-L (much too bright spill, hazy target image)
- UltraOK Tactical (very nice, but not unbeatable).
When I find the time, I'll do a new comparative lux reading of them all.
Edit: The hotspot hole in the DX picture is nonsense. It disappears at distances above 1m.