Dep ECHO 4G WP - experience?

Feb 13, 2017
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Does anyone have any experience with the Echo 4G intensifiers? I wouldn't expect them to be as good as L3 WP unfilmed, but from other research they appear to be about 85% to 90% of L3's with from what I can tell a much cheaper price. Does anyone know what the market value is for the intensifiers are and where you can get a couple?
 
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I’ve used three echo tubes and now own two WP echo’s. I also own a couple L3 WP Filmless systems. Spent some time in different low light environments from urban high light down to rural area partly cloudy - star light only night. The echo’s performed very well in these conditions.

Haven’t had a chance to test outdoors rural heavy cloud cover no moon/stars yet, but have used indoor room and hay barn both almost pitch black environments at night (darker than outdoors for sure). The L3 was brighter and allowed some more detail to be seen maybe that extra 10-15 percent others list, that said the echo still makes a very good useable image even in these extreme conditions.

The L3 filmless is the king of kings I just get that little bit of extra detail on dark nights and seems to allow me alittle more brightness to see into shadows/tree canopy. It’s not a huge difference by any means, but it’s there when compared side by side just a fact. Please don’t take that as the echo doesn’t look good into shadows/tree canopy it’s just the fact the L3 filmless is a touch better overall.

My highest spec L3 filmless is just shy of 34SN and 72lp—- my highest spec echo is just shy of 33sn and 65lp while my second echo is 30.5sn and 70lp both in that mid 2100’s FOM.

If all I had was a good spec echo system I think my needs would be met as these tubes perform very well overall. The value to performance level is there for sure assuming the price and warranty makes sense where you buy them. I think most users would be very happy to own a good high spec echo tubed system overall. If you have the extra change and best of the best matters to you no matter the cost buy a L3 Filmless it’s your ticket. Really the market has many good choices right now with pinnacle, L3 filmed and now WP filmed, L3 filmless, Intens 4G and now echos. It’s a good time to be a buyer lots of good choices.
 
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Likes: jwramp
Feb 13, 2017
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Thanks for your post. Pretty much supports what I was thinking. Being gen II what kind of life is expected out of the echo tubes?
 
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Thanks for your post. Pretty much supports what I was thinking. Being gen II what kind of life is expected out of the echo tubes?

Glad I could help some, trust me I wore my brain out researching the Intens 4G and echo tubes before dropping my cash also. The reason I personally bought a echo was price point for a “WP” tube, I liked the overall performance plus screen cosmetics were very good overall just a few tiny micro size specs (stuff you can’t even see outdoors) no shading/ dirty phos look/ big blems etc etc.

Most folks compare these tubes directly to a L3 Filmless I’m Guilty as well of this because the L3 filmless are the best performers I own. However, I think they compare more inline with a L3 filmed or Pinnacle filmed tube performance wise.

I think the main selling point for these Echo tubes is price and performance level for WP tube. The next steps up in price would be TNVC WP L3 filmed then L3 Filmless WP. This can be a $500 to $1300+ leap depending on 14+echo WP pricing which I’ve seen from $2700 and up. I think if L3 dropped the price point on the L3 thin filmed Omini 8 WP most folks would go that route being gen 3, USA made and pass on the echo tubes just not being familiar with the 4G technology .

If the WP tube market pricing stays the same Photonis will sell lots of these Echo tubes gaining a bigger and bigger share of the market here in the USA. If I was L3 I would adjust my pricing aleast on the thin Filmed WP tubes to slow or not allow the Echo’s to gain a solid foot hold with customers here. Some my say my thoughts are crazy above. I say I’ve bought two WP echo tubes that L3 could have sold me L3 tubes if price point was there. That means lost sales just a fact.


Also Nate is dead on 10K minimum and 20K maximum according to DEP specs. Not sure what generation these tubes really fall into some say highly advanced gen 2 others say it’s a hybrid gen and so on. Really doesn’t matter to me real world performance matters most of all.
 
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EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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I'm going to be in position to swing for my first NV setup here in about a month. I am more than likely going to go with a set of L3 filmless duals. The buy once cry once mentality has been working great for me lately. Very happy with my XP 50. Also, very happy not to sell/trade guns to get the one I should have gotten the first time.

In any case. I've done a fair bit of research on the photonis stuff. The images I've seen just look so clean and calm. The scintillation just doesn't look like it exists at all. But, I've never looked through them in person either. After I get my L3's I'd kind of like to pick up a set of Echo mod3's. Only 1 - 1.5k more than a filmless pvs 14 and my hunting or hiking buddy gets to use duals. Or I have 2 monoculars instead of just 1... so I have 3 peoples worth.

However, there are 2 questions I haven't been able to answer about these tubes, maybe one of you guys have the answer.

1. The MAWL has a separate setting for use with 4G tubes. Why is this necessary? And, does that mean if I'm using an IR laser/illuminator that is not a MAWL, I'll have issues seeing my devices output?

2. I've heard some rumblings about the 4G tubes being very resistant to white light damage. To the point that some have said you can use them in fully lit environments with no detrimental effects. I've been skeptical about this. But thought I'd ask if anyone knows this to be true or not? It seems this could be a significant advantage for professionals using duals in the suddenly lit environment situation. Or... even a huge advantage for someone who is making a pretty significant investment to buy NV (the person without disposable cash that can feel a little more confident they won't make a mistake and submarine their tubes).

Thanks.
 
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I’m not sure on the MAWL laser question maybe someone can chime in there. The 4G tubes are more resistant to high light damage do to their faster auto gating. One thing I have noticed is the 4G tubes I own do produce a better image at that dusk/dawn transition period.

I just received a new full spec Intens 4G this week. It has alittle higher gain than the echo tubes I own and I can see alittle brightness difference in real dark areas. That said not a huge difference echo to Intens . I mainly ordered the full spec Intens because I wanted a really clean spot/spec screen.

Trust me it’s very clean like looking through glass clear :) I’ve been very happy with Photonis screen cosmetics so far. I would rather have a few zone 3 tiny specs (my echo tubes have a couple tiny specs) if anything and still have that ultra clear glass window like image

It seems like so many of the Harris and L3 tubes I’ve bought last few years have that annoying screen shading from ultra tiny specs/particles even the filmless mil-spec 18/20UW’s. Yes it’s normally not visible outdoors, however it seems to dull the image sharpness some to me. I haven’t seen this as much in Photonis tubes personally.

Straight up truth the L3 filmless tubes produce alittle brigher image darker than starlight level rural area nights. Filmless WP’s are fantastic performers overall even in a high light environment it’s just hard to beat L3 filmless overall. If it’s mega dark outside like no moon,no stars plus heavy cloud cover I normally grab a L3 filmless system and head out. Starlight/starlight partly cloudy I’ll grab the 4G OR FLIMLESS both do a great job in these conditions.

Personally I bought the Photonis tubes I have for better than average screen cosmetics and pricing/value. They are great performing tubes match up very well to a lot of thin filmed gen 3 tubes on very,very dark nights with alittle better high ligh performance.

If you have the extra cash and will own “one” NV system I would just buy the L3 filmless duals unless you have a special need for high light environments, are real picky about screen cosmetics at value pricing or you already have filmless tubes and would like something different technology wise. I have several NV systems so can afford to specialize my gear for the task at hand.

If money was no object and I had only one NV system I would pick a 22UA L3 WP filmless tubed system. Great performance and image clarity but value pricing goes out the window LOL
 
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EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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Thanks for the reply. That's one of the most informative posts I've seen on the subject. It's good to hear that what I'm seeing from a third party's perspective is also what first line users are experiencing. I think if you have the money to own multiple systems, and you have what you consider to be your top of the line setup, the echo makes a ton of sense for a robust, well performing, value minded second setup. And while still not cheap, for those without the ability to drop a load of cash on the L3 stuff, this brings a lot to the table for that person, while saving them a good amount of cash.
 

Dev L

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Jan 29, 2018
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So who is the best vendor to order a 4G Echo PVS 14 from right now? Preferably one that offers decent specs, long warranty, does not make you buy a skull crusher, has LE pricing, will read you a spec sheet before you pay because they have one in hand, etc.
 
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There’s several vendors that have echos and Intens in stock both mx10160 and mx11769. TNVC Normally has Intens and I know UNV had a lot of echos and Intens also you can call and ask what’s instock. Don’t go too crazy spec wise All the ones I have match up almost perfect hard to tell any difference from 65lp to 70lp and 30 to 33 SN. Maybe a machine can tell the difference I have perfect vision The only difference I can see is alittle higher gain on my Intens tube but it’s pretty close overall,
 

Dev L

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Jan 29, 2018
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There’s several vendors that have echos and Intens in stock both mx10160 and mx11769. TNVC Normally has Intens and I know UNV had a lot of echos and Intens also you can call and ask what’s instock. Don’t go too crazy spec wise All the ones I have match up almost perfect hard to tell any difference from 65lp to 70lp and 30 to 33 SN. Maybe a machine can tell the difference I have perfect vision The only difference I can see is alittle higher gain on my Intens tube but it’s pretty close overall,
I have a 72lp 33 SNR L3 filmless, so I'd like something closer. My vision was laser corrected as well. Just dont want to be disappointed. Not wanting to spend in the $3500 range because Id just spend little more and go filmless. If I could get 30 SNR and 70lp in an Echo at $3000 or less with only Zone 3 blems Id be all over that. Where did you get yours?
 
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Last one came from UNV they gave me a choice from a couple tubes 69-73lp and all SN around or above 30Sn. Mine came sealed in the can had to break open the seal :) you can call see what they have and double check price sometimes they can make you a deal on special buys/sales and such.

I also have a L3 filmless 72lp/34SN it’s for sure a touch brighter on dark nights than my echo’s/Intens 4g’s however my screen cosmetics are better on my 4G tubes I have. I put my echo’s into a dual bino housing really digging that combo the tubes are really easy on my eyes even after hours of use. Super clear and enough real low light performance to keep me real happy.

The 4G tubes are nice tubes for the money WP, high LP/mm and SN for hundreds less than a filmless on average. Just pay accordingly and I think they are worth it. If you can find a good L3 filmless same price then I would lean that way because the do have that extra touch of brightness in real dark areas. Now if you have a special need for high light/urban/ driving around dash lights then the 4G maybe a better choice.
 

EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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Those are great looking specs for that price! I've been looking at picking up a used 14 as a buddy/truck/wife/son option when I get my binos, but frankly for a few hundred more this seems like a heck of a deal.

Phantom, did you buy just the tube from them or did you buy a 14? If you bought a 14 what is their warranty on the echo?

If you had the choice between a LP over 70 or an SN over 30, which would go with? (I'd probably just wait for the duo, but.... just a thought I had).
 

EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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Also, it looks like UNV's price is $3,395 of their Echo 14. Looks like from the picture it comes with the metal objective ring, I can't verify that in the description though. It also comes with the accessories like the skull crusher, etc... Maybe they will drop the price if you don't want those things. Can't find anything on the warranty, which is why I ask.

Doing some shopping around it seems NV Incorporated also deals in the Echo tubes. They have a few different options, blem spec echo 14 for 2600, standard wp echo 14 for 2800, and HD wp echo 14 for 3k. It describes the HD as higher spec lower spot. Their warranty is 2 years.

I have personally done business with UNV twice without issue so I do like them. I did ask them to beat a price for me once per their listed policy on their website which they refused to do. However, it was a blowout price I asked them to beat so they might not have been making any money. I just turned a buddy to them for an XQ38 because they have a great deal with the really nice mount for free.

I haven't done any business with NV Incorporated but I have seen in multiple places from multiple posters that they are gtg and easy to deal with.

I think it would come down to price comparison, warranty, and tube spec available at the time.
 
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Yep I always call and ask sometimes you can deal sometimes the profit margin is to slim.

Remember those who stock tubes have a lot of cash tied up vs folks that drop ship everything.

I like the fact the have the tube and can give me the specs of tube I’m buying.

Personally I would take 65 and higher SN over 72 and lower SN.
 

EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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@Phantom223

Do you think you could find some time to take some photos through your Echo, Intens, and L3 Filmless tubes in the same conditions so we can see some comparisons?

Just take the 3 with you and grab a picture through each of them in varying conditions to compare side by side. Urban, rural, moon, no moon, with and without IR indoors, etc... Just whatever you think would be representative.

I'd love to see that if you ended up getting some time for that.

Thanks.
 
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Honestly UNV has a Intens video up on YouTube both dark cloudy night and Urban it’s better than anything I can do picture wise. It’s about dead nuts on also on what to expect also Intens/echo to filmless. If anything both tubes look a touch better in person the whole video picture thing is never as nice as real life view.
 

EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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Thanks, I've seen those videos but it's been a while since I've watched them, maybe I should go back and watch them again.

I am going to rent a PVS 14 with an echo and one with the L3's to compare side by side so I can see for myself.

If money was no object and I had only one NV system I would pick a 22UA L3 WP filmless tubed system. Great performance and image clarity but value pricing goes out the window LOL
Are the DTNVG's the only 22um system? I have seen them listed as such but for some reason I can't find the tube size on the other systems such as the sentinel, mod3's, rnvg's.

I know the new Mini BNVDs are 18um.

For some reason this spec doesn't get listed very much.

Thanks.
 

Surgeon_Shooter

Ancient,Free and Accepted
Mar 2, 2009
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#20
guys I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, maybe you are and I’m wasting my time. An echo tube is not a 4G. A 4G is guaranteed to last 10,000 hours like all other milspec tubes. But the echo is the result of a failed attempt to make a 4G milspec tube. Something is wrong with it in other words. I’ve seen high specs on sheets and then when I get the tube in the image seems to be warped, spots in the tube that are a little brighter or a little darker than the rest, Ive even gotten one that the fiber optic twist wasn’t exactly 180 degrees. I’m just saying, be careful with those echos. I have heard from several people recently that they are not lasting very long either. I don’t push these anymore because of all these problems. If you insist on getting one be sure you get one from someone who tests the unit before shipping. On paper it may seem great but when you put it to your eye it may be complete trash.

Jay
 

EZtoForget

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Apr 11, 2018
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#21
Are the DTNVG's the only 22um system?
Answering myself here. I did some reading and now have a much better understanding of what this means. Has nothing to do with size. Lol.

But... are there different sizes of tubes. I see the PVS31s and the Mini BNVDs being advertised as 18mm systems. I'm assuming this is the size of the tube. What does a larger or smaller tube do for me? And what are the tube sizes for the most common systems? Sentinel, Mod3, DTNVG, RNVG?

S_S, thanks for the info. I think it boils down to making sure whoever you order from is reputable and is not putting tubes in their systems that haven't been inspected/verified to be quality.

Are the tubes you've been hearing of taking a dive early due to manufacturing defects such as you mentioned? Or, is this a photonis issue even with tubes that don't have defects?
 

Victor-TNVC

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Aug 5, 2007
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#22
guys I’m not sure if you are aware of this or not, maybe you are and I’m wasting my time. An echo tube is not a 4G. A 4G is guaranteed to last 10,000 hours like all other milspec tubes. But the echo is the result of a failed attempt to make a 4G milspec tube. Something is wrong with it in other words. I’ve seen high specs on sheets and then when I get the tube in the image seems to be warped, spots in the tube that are a little brighter or a little darker than the rest, Ive even gotten one that the fiber optic twist wasn’t exactly 180 degrees. I’m just saying, be careful with those echos. I have heard from several people recently that they are not lasting very long either. I don’t push these anymore because of all these problems. If you insist on getting one be sure you get one from someone who tests the unit before shipping. On paper it may seem great but when you put it to your eye it may be complete trash.

Jay
Jay is SPOT ON here. We do NOT carry the Echo tubes as these are simply (at the least the American versions) 4G INTENS fall out tubes period. Jay and I might have not agreed on a few subjects back in the day, but what he is talking about is what we have seen and more...Some dealers never ever want to talk about these aspects and why do you think pricing is so low.? We would never ever place our standard 10 year warranty like we do on L3 and Harris tubes along with 5 year on 4G intens with an Echo tube for a reason.

Oh, and the Echo tubes are NOT rated to see out of band or at least most of them. ONLY the TRUE 4G INTENS will see out of band even though some dealers say the Echo's perform 100% OOB. I have dozens of test results to prove how bad the Echo's perform OOB.
 

Surgeon_Shooter

Ancient,Free and Accepted
Mar 2, 2009
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#23
Answering myself here. I did some reading and now have a much better understanding of what this means. Has nothing to do with size. Lol.

But... are there different sizes of tubes. I see the PVS31s and the Mini BNVDs being advertised as 18mm systems. I'm assuming this is the size of the tube. What does a larger or smaller tube do for me? And what are the tube sizes for the most common systems? Sentinel, Mod3, DTNVG, RNVG?

All of the systems you mentioned use 18mm tubes. Anvis-10’s and pvs-7’s are a couple NODs that use different tube sizes. Most of the older dedicated weapon scopes are odd ball sizes also such as a pvs-4. 18mm is definitely the most widely used tube size. I hope 16mm is our standard size soon instead of 18mm. A little bit of weight reduction goes a long way.

S_S, thanks for the info. I think it boils down to making sure whoever you order from is reputable and is not putting tubes in their systems that haven't been inspected/verified to be quality.

Are the tubes you've been hearing of taking a dive early due to manufacturing defects such as you mentioned? Or, is this a photonis issue even with tubes that don't have defects?

I wouldn’t say it’s a photonis issue. The 4G tubes seem to be holding in there on reliability. Performance in low light doesn’t impress me but who am I? Lol
Just keep in mind that all ECHO tubes have something wrong with them. The biggest problem I have seen is that people are advertising ECHO tubes as filmless and some list them as L3! Keep in mind folks, L3 is the only tube manufacturer that makes filmless tubes. Any time you see a “cheap” white phosphor unit for sale and they say it’s not an echo, feel free to message me pictures of it and I will help you figure out what it is!
 

Surgeon_Shooter

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Mar 2, 2009
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#24
Haha yes Vic, I agree with you here for sure. I’ve talked dozens of guys out of echo tubes in the last year. In my opinion that is some of the worst tubes I’ve laid eyes on. Some of which were real eye catchers on paper and once you put them to your eye they are horrible.....I’ve seen a few that were beautiful but they may not last 100 hours, who knows.

Jay
 
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Echo tubes are Intens 4G fallouts just like commercial spec pinnacles or commercial L3 tubes are to mil-spec tubes. If you know this and pay accordingly shouldnt be a huge issue. Harris and L3 have sold commercial spec tubes of various grades (good to bad) for many many many years I fail to see how Photonis doing the same thing is a issue?

Heck there’s a bunch of L3 commercial spec filmless running around out there right now most with issues of some type ( as stated above didn’t make mil-spec) and most dealers give reduced warranty on these systems as well.

The issue if any too me is if a dealer miss leads a customer to want they are purchasing, overcharges for the product or flat out sells a B grade tube as a grade A commercial spec or mil-spec tube..

I’m sure there are ones that have issues/blems etc etc no different than the commercial spec tubes L3 or Harris sells also. I’ve seen plenty with issues over the past two decades many flat out ugly image wise. Heck I just had a brand new L3 WP filmless develop a bad emission point first 25 hours of use it’s under warranty so will send it back in sh@@ happens.

If you buy anything other than full milspec tubes it’s nice to get hand picked and a decent warranty. It’s been my experience tube failures are rare commercial or mil-spec and the ones that fail most die early in their life. I know you dealers see more tubes than me in the past 25 years, but that’s been my experience as a NV user.

I’ve noticed a lot of dealers sort tubes and charge accordingly. Even seen echos low and high prices depending on grade I’m sure they are ugly ones and nice one just like other commercial grade tubes.

Folks you get what you pay for be it milspec or commercial I’ve bought NV from many places always found this to be true. I’ll give TNVC credit while not always the cheapest price the NV I’ve bought from them has always been grade A tube wise— hence you get what you pay for :)

My full spec Intens is really clean just a couple tiny tiny grain of salt size specs with a touch higher gain number. Really like this tube overall just excellent screen cosmetics like the old mil-spec ITT tubes many many years back it’s puts a smile on my face. It wasn’t cheap also and compared to the Echo’s it doesn’t have those pepper size flakes on screen.

L3 filmless mil-spec will out perform them along with most every other type of tube made. Buying another filmless WP 20UA tube myself when they arrive instock at my dealer waiting sucks.

I have no plans to buy another echo or Intens anytime soon infact the L3 filmless 20UA will be only thing NV wise I pick up for next 12 months . I’m pretty picky and I’m real happy overall with my Echo’s and my Intens full spec tube.

I also haven’t seen or spoken too any Echo owners disappointed with their purchase did a lot of research before buying my first? Most seem to be happy with the performance to price paid and don’t claim them to out perform Filmless or have better screen cosmetics than a mil-spec tube. It’s just a money to performance level thing just saying guys sometimes a ford get you there while a ferri gets you there in style if you got the extra cash.

Commercial tubes be it Photonis, Harris or L3 only make since to me if pricing,cosmetics and performance level makes them attractive to a buyer. Other wise I’ll go Mil-spec all day long it’s more predictable for a buyer to have a idea of what they will receive overall.
 
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