June 8, 2014

Acuvance Tachyon Airia & TAO programming card – First Impressions and Reputation Count!

The Acuvance Tachyon Airia; the famous ESC used by many Japanese drifters.

What is the hype around this ESC? Well luckily for you (and me), I had the chance to try this system by testing this product extensively during the past 3 weeks. So today, I will try to give you the best explanation of my experience with this gem.

Let me start by describing the first impression one might get when receiving the package. A small clear window in the box lets you peek at the ESC while the rest of the box is covered in burgundy and a gold metallic coat. I realize that to some packaging may not be important.  But, the initial presentation clearly sets the expectations.


Size-wise, the ESC is actually slightly smaller than my previous SP ESC.  But, the biggest advantage of the Tachyon Airia, is that it does not require a fan. Acuvance uses a patented ceramic technology to dissipate the heat into infrared rays. Something completely new to me and which had me a bit perplexed, but which also means you save on real estate on your chassis.


As you can see on the picture above, the ESC comes pre-soldered with colored 12GA wires. Since I like to keep my setup with as much pink as possible (don’t judge me), I purchased a couple pink wires from Acuvance as well and proceeded to swap the wires out.

I was surprised at how strong the factory soldering was. Even my Weller soldering station struggled a bit to heat it up. I ended up having to cut the wire as close as possible to the base of the connector and then add some fresh solder to blend with the factory one. This seemed to do the trick just fine.


How about the performance?

On my first test, I tried the ESC with the stock surge killer and a 10.5 Luxon BS motor. I did my initial setup with my remote and went on for a few laps around a short-track venue.

My first impression was really good. The throttle response felt really smooth and linear, while the power never lacked. But what really caught my attention was the amount of torque produced by the system! Usually, when trying to achieve a torquey setup, I used to think I would have to run a motor closer to the 13.5 range, but not anymore. The Tachyon really proved the opposite. The 10.5 motor was just as smooth as my previous 13.5 setup, but with the top end of the 10.5.

Braking felt strong even with my high counter steer setup which tends to lower the strength of brakes.

The Turbo is also a nice feature especially on a long straight-away. I started by running the stock turbo from the first setup pre-programmed in the ESC, but because of the great power this ESC generates, I ended up removing it because power and torque was sufficient for this layout. I can definitely foresee myself using it again on a long-track venue.

The patented ceramic heatsink is also a very interesting feature. At first I was a bit skeptical by the heat generated by the ESC. My infrared thermometer was showing temperatures in excess of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which seemed way too hot in my opinion. But after contacting Acuvance’s headquarters, I was advised that this was normal because the usual working range of the Tachyon Airia is on average between 150 to 190 degrees, with a temperature cutoff set at 230 degrees. What a relief!


The reason why the Tachyon Airia gets so hot is because of the ceramic high conductivity which radiates directly to the top of the ESC; therefore, feeling really hot to the touch. Most alloy case ESCs keep the heat contained within their shells, making it impossible to really tell how hot the device is unless you get internal readings. Forget what you are used to, this ESC redefines heat dissipation to a whole  new level!

How about setting the ESC?

When getting the ESC, your first setting option is a simple LED operation similar to most ESCs on the market. The manual has a simple chart letting you know what mode you are adjusting and what values you are setting. The only limitation of this setting mode is that you only get to select predefined values for each setting.

Here is where the TAO programming card comes in. The TAO is this “MP3 player-like” device that connects to your ESC via Rx cable. The TAO allows you to read and adjust the Tachyon and Tachyon Airia ESCs with more precision than the LED setup for even more adjustability. This setting device will set you back about $80. But, the level of precision in each mode will greatly improve your fine tuning. Also, the TAO allows you to save 3 fully customized setups.



After driving with this new setup for the past 3 weeks, I can definitely see why there is a hype over the Acuvance products. The never-ending torque and power, combined with such a smooth response puts this ESC in a class of its own. What is really baffling is the ability of this ESC to provide such a torque without sacrificing smoothness, which as drifters we know is critical. Another cool factor about this ESC is that it comes in multiple colors to match your alloys on your chassis.

Lucky for us, Acuvance just started selling their products through a new USA-based website right here. They also just lowered their prices to make their amazing products more accessible to American RC Drifters. Remember, you get what you pay for and the last time I checked the site the Tachyon Airia is selling for around $180.

However, for those ready to amplify their driving you are surely not to be disappointed.

Thanks for reading my review. Feel free to message me with questions about my experience with this sexy product.

Final Grade: A+

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