Good to hear Element parts are holding up! Upgraded my old TM AUG with them after they first came out
Well they are pretty good now at least. Their products have changed and improved over time though. Some of it is the same, much of it similar, but some of the older Element products are inferior to their newer ones. Although lately, it's been difficult to find Element parts in stock, the popular/good ones at least. SHS seems to be rapidly taking over the Chinese part industry with perhaps the best pistons around and tough gears in a slew of ratios. And good motors.
The Chinese take-over is a bit love-hate.... love the value, but at the same time it's sad to see all the old, faithful, quality-oriented companies taking a hit. But if making a $150 AEG competitive requires only a pack of shims, new hop-up rubber and a few hours of work, then capitalism wins in the end.
That is literally it. People who can do things themselves have no reason to buy a gun that pricey if they don't care about externals at least. I think part of the issue is that many of the old companies are stuck in the past. Tokyo Marui has released some new models, but they haven't done any updating to their products since their release. The Chinese companies keep up to date with new stuff (if only to copy it much of the time). For instance, TM still has a pot-metal sector gear. A stock JG set I can and have run on M150s at 25-30rps. A bunch of times actually. JGs now come with MOSFETs in their enhanced models. Outside of that, guns that have them stock are very few and far between. CA still stubbornly refuses to follow TM spec for some things, and it makes upgrading them a pain as before, and they don't even offer the better externals for the money either. G&P and VFC have largely taken their place there. G&G has expanded quite a bit too. There are newcomers to the AEG scene too. Like KWA, which many love for their stock performance, and others like me and the rest of AirsoftMechanics, can't stand for being way off-spec. ICS is expanding and has stepped up their game. Basically, companies in the background, Chinese companies, and up-and-coming companies are taking the forefront. TM and CA are kinda fading, largely due to CA's stubborn refusal to get with the times, and TM's stubborn adherence to its Japanese market which really needs nothing more than a stock TM with their power limits.
Weird to hear that the JG motors are better than Systema... when the hell did that happen? They were always pretty mediocre at best.
Systema motors, particularly the Magnum and Turbo, were always plagued with major flaws. Piss-poor insulation, delicate winding, and corners cut here and there in the design, and massive voltage spiking... I could get into it, but it's really besides the point.
Most companies have been properly constructing motors since like forever. Addition of neodymium magnets, along with winding for the particular application, were what gave the Systema motors their power. Well, people have caught on to the fact that neo-magnets have been in the RC world for forever now (Systema wasn't even the first to use them as I recall), and motors with various windings have been released. 16 turns per armature, which I *believe* is what the Magnum, G&P M170, JG M93, and Element and SHS torque motors, ect. are wound to, is fairly standard for this particular class of "Magnum-like" motors. They all preform similarly to the Magnum (and without the insane voltage spiking and rapid death like with the Systema too!). Not really anything new here, just the other guys getting with the program, and Systema stubbornly refusing to correct their flaws. Actually, I think it's fairly safe to say that lately their overall part quality has gone down. You end up paying much more for them and getting lesser products than you could with say, SHS for instance. They, like CA, are simply running on nothing but their name and hype.
And if everyone's running neodymium motors on 9.1V Li-Po's, I assume newbie-upgraded guns are exploding on a regular basis?
Well, most stock guns don't have neo-magnet motors, I was talking about upgrade parts in that regard (although the JG enhanceds come with their M42 which has neo-magnets, and an absurd amount of torque).
As for LiPos, most newbies are relatively uninformed about them and choose not to use them out of fear that they with blow up guns. The one thing to be careful about is guns marketed as "LiPo-ready". Believe me, KWA, Matrix/AIM, and others who make this claim, are no better than any other in that regard. "LiPo-ready" as a term is pretty much meaningless anyway. Your gun doesn't give a damn where its power comes from. Now, using too powerful a battery in a gun not built to handle the voltages or volumes of current, or the speed at which they are running, is not going to end well, but this is true regardless of battery type.