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Review: Kinklabs Neon Wand

Back when I was married and living in Tampa, one of my favorite sex toys in the sex toy drawer box closet was a violet wand. It's a gadget that you plug glass electrodes into and then plug into the wall. When you turn it on, it makes a buzzing noise and the glass electrodes turn purple, and then when you touch someone with the electrodes you get a sensation that's like...

Well, it's kinda hard to describe what it's like. A lot of folks (like me!) who don't like electrical play still like violet wands, because they don't really feel like electric shocks. It's more like little teensy hot needles caressing your skin. There are lots of different shapes of electrodes, that all make different sensations, but that's the basic theme.

They're amazing toys. They're also very spendy. The violet wand I used to have cost me about $700, so when I lost it, I couldn't afford to replace it, and I've been missing it ever since.

Recently, JT's Stockroom sent me a neon wand as part of a promotion. And, to be honest, I've been waiting for someone to realize the market for cheap, reliable violet wands for rather a long time.

This is the Kinklab Neon Wand. If you really want to get technical, it's not a violet wand, though the reasons that's true are largely academic.

But, since this journal has never been afraid to venture forth into the academic, I'll explain why; click here if you're interested.

The violet wand was invented at the turn of the century (I want to say about 1903 or so) as a bogus quack "medical" device. The warming tingle was said to cure everything from arthritis to tuberculosis to consumption. As near as I can tell, pretty much everything in the world used to be said to cure diseases back then, although the only one of them I can think of that actually did anything at all was opium, which might be why they put it in their breakfast cereal. But I digress.

1903's answer to pretty much everything.

A lot of folks say that a violet wand is a Tesla coil. That's not actually true. A Tesla coil is an air-cored resonant coil in which the primary and secondary windings share the same air core. You vary the output of a Tesla coil by varying the primary winding.

A violet wand is actually an Oudin coil--an iron-core resonant coil where the primary and secondary winding share the same iron core, and the primary winding is attached to a mechanical interrupter. You vary the output of an Oudin coil by changing the interrupter. In a violet wand, the interruptor is a magnet that vibrates very quickly; you change how strong the output is by turning a knob connected to a screw that actually changes the height of the vibrating magnet. That's why violet wands always make that characteristic buzzing noise; you're hearing the magnet vibrating.

The neon wand doesn't use an old-fashioned Oudin coil at all; it's entirely solid state. It uses a circuit board with electronics that are more similar to a camera strobe than they are to a resonating coil, though that's a bit of an oversimplification. Basically, they're an entirely different technology that does pretty much the same thing. These differences mean that the neon wand is way, way cheaper than a violet wand. In this case, nearly an order of magnitude cheaper1 than the violet wand I used to have.

The Neon Wand comes with four glass attachments. They're similar to the attachments on a violet wand, though I'm told they're not interchangeable with violet wand attachments, as the neon wand generates significantly less power.

A few nights back, one of my friends came over to meet our new puppies, and saw the wand sitting on my desk. Her first question is "What is that, some kind of Apple accessory?"--which will give you some idea of the design aesthetics and build quality of the wand. I asked her if she'd help me take pictures of the attachments, and she said yes, primarily I think because there's a part of her that really rather likes mad science. There was this one time...but again, I digress.

Anyway, I set up a tripod and had her hold the wand against a wooden frame so it wouldn't move while I did time lapse photos of the glowy bits.

Aren't they pretty?

The neon wand isn't as powerful as my old violet wand. Even at full power, it has only a moderately strong zap. The sensation varies with the surface area of the contact, so the mushroom electrode at the top provides a very mild to mild sensation, dependong on the power setting. The electrode second from the top, which Kinklabs calls the "tongue," is a bit stronger; it's about as strong as a mushroom electrode from an old-fashioned violet wand.

The comb electrode is my favorite. It can create quite a wide variety of sensations, from gentle warmth to a sharp sting, depending on where and how you touch with it; pass it back and forth over your partner's body and the sensation changes quite rapidly.

The bottom probe is the stingiest of the lot. Since the neon wand isn't as powerful as a violet wand, Kinklabs gives you the bottom electrode, with a very small surface area, to provide for folks who like stronger sensation.

The one thing I was disappointed about is the absence of a body contact probe. With a conventional violet wand, one of the more fun attachments is just a long beaded chain that ends in a metal pad. You tuck the pad into your waistband, and then your entire body becomes the electrode; when you touch your partner with your fingertips, little sparks jump from your fingers and your partner feels a tingle. It's a lot of fun, especially if your sensibilities run toward mad science, which mine do.

I own a massive cast-iron recreation of a Medieval battle axe, which I like to hold when I use a body contact electrode. When I touch my partner with the axe, the edges glow blue and little sparks jump from the axe to her skin. It's dramatic and it's fun and it gets a lot of attention at play parties...ahem.

The omission of a body contact probe can be forgiven, I think, when one considers that the total price of this kit is lower than what one might pay for a single accessory for an old-fashioned violet wand.

So anyway, I've been playing with this gizmo, and it's really just about the perfect introduction to violet wand play for folks who haven't tried it before, don't have a ton of dough to blow on a sex toy, or both. Seriously, there are vibrators that cost more than this. I've played with vibrators that cost more than this, truth be told.

And if your kink is mad science (and whose isn't, really?), this thing is absolutely an essential part of your toy box. "Now just lie back and relax. With the power of lightning, I will..." BZZT! "Oh, Doctor!"

So, if this sort of thing interests you, you can find them here. And if, God help you, you're anything like me, it will become one of your favorite devices ever.

1 Violet wands have always cost hundreds of dollars. It would be possible to make them cheaper, but that's the price the market will bear, so that's where they stay. Hypothetical ideas about free markets aside, the fact is that it's often true that prices for a product remain high even when many folks compete in the same market niche, just because when you do the math you find that (a) price cooperation is more profitable than price competition, and (b) a smaller slice of a bigger pie is often worth more than a larger slice of a smaller pie. The upshot is that violet wands set you back a wad of dough no matter who you get 'em from. But that's a whole different post altogether.


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 25th, 2011 01:09 am (UTC)
How hard would it be to make a body contact probe for this, O Mad Doctor?

-- A ^__^
Dec. 25th, 2011 01:50 am (UTC)
I might have to do some experimenting and find that out. A beaded chain and some aluminum foil might do, though I'm concerned that it might not be quite powerful enough to get the effect I want.
Dec. 25th, 2011 02:38 am (UTC)
PleasepleasePLEASE update if you find/make something workable. I adore violet wands, but only get to play with them at local parties, (the local electro-play person loves having people to show off with) and my favourite attachment is the body contact probe.

Chances are we'll be picking up a neon probe at some point, so since I found out about it from you, is there any kind of promo code I enter so you get some kind of credit for the sale?
Dec. 25th, 2011 08:17 am (UTC)
There is! If you click on the link in the post I'll get credit. :)
Dec. 26th, 2011 03:25 am (UTC)
I think the body contacts I've seen have been a metal tube to connect to the wand socket, wire, and a little slab of metal to tuck into your belt. It may be that they have an insulating layer or a HV capacitor in series in order to block any possible low-frequency AC if something went horribly awry in the device.

There are also a ton of high-tech conductive fabrics. Check out lessemf.com for devious inspiration.
Dec. 25th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
I noted on my first encounter with a violet wand that it felt like "being slapped by a brigade of pixies".
Dec. 25th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
Out of curiosity, how much power does a violet wand put out? I've always wondered about them, but have been hesitant to try them because of my seizure disorder. I'd like to ask my neurologist about the risks of using one. See, I've run out of ways to make him blush, so... ;)
Dec. 25th, 2011 08:19 am (UTC)
Total power is incredibly tiny--a few microwatts. It's ultra-low-current, high-frequency output that doesn't penetrate beyond a few millimeters through the skin, though of course it's a good idea to talk to a health professional about using one if you're concerned.
Dec. 25th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
I ended up picking up a violet wand in need of some repairs and fixing it up. Unfortunately, everyone I'm in sexual relationships with is either not into electricity, or has it as a hard limit for medical reasons.

But they are sooo good for cackling mad science.
Dec. 25th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
I got a neon wand a few months ago when the Stockroom had a sale on "damaged" boxes. I got a nice discount because the box for my wand has a scuff and a ding on it. Quite a steal.

As for the neon wand itself, I like it. It's definitely an entry-level device but perfect for getting into electrical play. At least I think so and I'm someone just getting into electrical play.
Dec. 25th, 2011 04:53 pm (UTC)
I'm being nit-picky, but consumption is tuberculosis.

Also, no puppy pictures?
Dec. 25th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
Well, I'll be jiggered. I'd always heard "consumption" used for any long-term wasting illness, like cancer or tuberculosis or congestive heart failure. But a quick Google search only turns up consumption being used for TB.

I'll definitely have to post puppy pictures sometime soon!
Dec. 27th, 2011 04:01 am (UTC)
Wand order confirmed
I hope you have an affiliate account - have just ordered one of these after clicking through! Thanks for the write up of your experiences. We have thought about getting one of these for the longest time but were never quite sure if it would provide enough sensation - your vote of confidence made all the difference.
Dec. 27th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
This is tacit using his ax on a very willing victim. If you look closely, you can see the purple spark right at the point of contact between the blade and her back:
Dec. 28th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC)
Have you seen these? http://www.drclockwork.com/Solid_State_Violet_Wand

$125 and it may technically put out less power than a traditional violet wand, but it still has a very hefty punch to it. It is compatible with all the mechanical violet wand accessories, including the body contact probes.

I was given one for Christmas! I am so happy!
Dec. 28th, 2011 04:14 am (UTC)
There is a body attachment
It's called the Power Tripper.

We sell them at my adult shop. :D
Dec. 30th, 2011 04:12 pm (UTC)
Ah, I see someone else mentioned the 'Power Tripper'. I know the booklet that came with the violet wand mentioned their version of the body contact probe, but I couldn't find it on the site. Might be worth making contact with them about it, to see if they plan to stock them in future? Or possibly there's a way to get hold of KinkLab directly, if they're a separate company.

At any rate, it seems it is certainly possible! :)
Feb. 28th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
I was looking for more
I was searching for anyone else who has one of these:
http://www.violetwands.com/main-virtuemart/sale/the-199-violet-wand-kit.html and found your link.

I got mine for Valentine's day. Really happy with it. It says its a solid state but it sounds like the neon wand you have is not as powerful? This Nova is as powerful as a regular violet wand and it comes with all the attachments to do all the techniques. Does anyone else have one? Im loving mine and looking for other owners!
Apr. 5th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
Power Tripper - The human electrode for the Neon Wand
I sent kinklabs an email inquiring about this, they responded that the human electrode [Power Tripper] was a few months away yet.

I have to suspect there is a doubt this will come on the market anytime soon if at all. Knowing that this was a hugely popular function of the violet wand, if they could have done with the Neon, they would have.

So I may go back to my search of a Violet Wand.

Apr. 12th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Power Tripper - The human electrode for the Neon Wand
The Neon Wand Power Tripper just got added to their site today, but it's not purchasable yet. Looks like it should be available any day now.

Apr. 13th, 2012 12:21 am (UTC)
Re: Power Tripper - The human electrode for the Neon Wand
Cool, thanks!
Jun. 15th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
Body attachment now available...
The Neon Wand now has a body attachment available. It is called the PowerTripper and is available at your local adult toy store or go to www.stockroom.com.

I have been waiting on this attachment ever since I looked at the Neon Wand owner's manual which referenced the attachment and after many calls and waiting patiently; I now have ordered one and hope to be trying it out this weekend.

Have fun,

Dec. 8th, 2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Body attachment now available...
Has anyone had luck ordering from VioletWand.com? I cannot get them to return my calls, emails and such. This has been going on now for 2-3 weeks with no response at all. It makes me a bit nervous about ordering when the company cannot be reached and I am looking for somewhere else to buy from if possible.

Dec. 9th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Body attachment now available...
I've had much the same experience. They're not terribly responsive, but I did get the wand from them.
Apr. 2nd, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I've got this at Cherie's Closet, and the whartenburg wheel used with the body tripper is intense!
Oct. 6th, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC)
Violet Wand Tonge electrode
I would love to get or have made, a tongue electrode with a bend about mid way and a short condenser coil at the end cap end. The bend about the same angle of a rectal electrode would be perfect.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )