Posted on March 05 2021
The Planet Eclipse Etha 2 and Gtek 170R are 2 of the more affordable electric paintball guns offered from Planet Eclipse. Today, we compare the two and which paintball gun wins for the price!
The Planet Eclipse Etha 2 wins the battle of these 2 with a price point of $469.95. This is almost half the price of the Gtek 170R which retails for $859.95.
The boxing and cases for the Gtek 170R and the Planet Eclipse Etha 2 are slightly different. The case for the Gtek 170R has an aluminum outside with the foam inside. This is the traditional case that comes with most Eclipse markers. The Etha 2 is different in that it it does not have an aluminum case. Instead, the case for the Etha 2 has a tough fabric on the outside with the traditional Planet Eclipse foam on the inside. Inside both cases are a tool tube (with all the Allen keys needed to work on the marker), Planet Eclipse lube, a fully detailed manual for all elements of each marker, parts kit including many of the o-rings found in the markers, and a barrel cover. With all things considered between the 2 cases, the Gtek 170R case is arguably better because it is aluminum but the Etha 2 case protects the marker just as well and you cannot dent the Etha 2 case like you can with the Gtek 170R.
The Etha 2 is offered in 4 different colors from Planet Eclipse including Black, Black/Earth, HDE Earth (Camo), and HDE Urban (white digi Camo). These earth colors are offered on the plastic composite body of the Etha 2 and there are no bright colors offered for the Etha 2 at the time. On the other hand, the aluminum Gtek 170R is offered in different more appealing colors like Black, Grey/Teal, Silver, Navy/Grey, and more. We here at Punisher's Paintball also part swap the Gtek 170R's which allows for you to pick many different color options well past what is offered with the Etha 2.
The feed necks of these 2 markers are significantly different. First, the composition of the 2 is different. The Etha 2 Feedneck is plastic as compared to the aluminum construction of the Gtek 170R Feedneck. The height of the Gtek 170R Feedneck is also a low-rise feedneck which is a nice feature for those players that want a low profile to their paintball gun. The Etha 2 has a feedneck that stands up higher making the distance between your paintball loader and body of the gun larger. However, a cool feature of the Etha 2 is that it is PALS compatible. The PALS loader is feature in the Etha 2 and Emek 100. This loader does not require batteries and is agitated by a small pneumatic piston located on the feedneck of the marker. This allows paintballs to not get stuck in the paintball loader increasing the rate of fire of the Etha 2 and Emek without having to use an electric loader. Both of these feednecks are great for different reasons. For functionality purposes, the Etha 2 probably takes the ticket due to the PALS compatibility but the low-rise Feedneck of the Gtek 170R is a great feature that was not even offered in other high end markers of Planet Eclipse from the past.
The overall ergonomics and body composition of the Gtek 170R and Etha 2 are different. The Gtek 170R is mainly an aluminum body which makes it lighter and less bulky. The milling of the 170R is nice and the overall ergonomics of the Gtek 170R are nice. The foregrip of both the Etha 2 and 170R are where the batteries are housed for both markers. The Etha 2 foregrip seems to be a little longer which is nice for those paintball players with larger hands whereas the 170R foregrip is shorter.
Most parts of the Etha 2 body is also plastic composite as compared to the aluminum Gtek 170R. The body of the Etha 2 is plastic composite but there are some parts of the marker that are aluminum such as the Shaft barrel and the POPS ASA. The Etha 2 body is much thicker than the Gtek 170R creating a bigger and bulkier feel while snap shooting. Another thing to mention between the two markers is that the grips for the 170R are rubber and can be changed out (including different colors such as white, blue, red, FDE) whereas the foregrip of the Etha 2 is integrated into the marker and so it feels like plastic when holding the paintball gun.
Overall, it would be hard to argue that the Gtek 170R ergonomics are better. The marker is smaller, lighter, and aluminum construction leaving it less prone to cracking.
Bolt System and POPS ASA:
Both the Gtek 170R and the Etha 2 feature the gamma core drivetrain. The shot quality on both of these markers is going to be the same. The only difference between the bolt systems on these guns is going to be how to access the drivetrain. With the Gtek 170R, the gamma core bolt can be accessed for maintenance by simply lifting up the bolt cap and pulling the gamma core out. However, the Etha 2 has a plastic know at the end of the bolt that has to be twisted. Sometimes, this knob can be overtightened and make it difficult to turn out.
The POPS ASA for both of these guns are very similar with a slight difference. The Etha 2 asa is slightly larger and has a plastic portion whereas the Gtek 170R asa is all aluminum and is slightly smaller making it lighter.
The Gtek 170R without a doubt wins the electronics war between the two markers. The OLED board of the 170R makes it much easier to change fire rates, fire modes, and settings such as dwell, etc. The OLED display will also give the player data about the gun including a shot counter, game time, and more! The Etha 2 LED board only gives the player data based upon different colors and the amount of flashes displayed. For this reason, changing the settings of the Etha 2 can be much more difficult than the Gtek 170R. The Etha 2 board is nice, however, in that it features the fire modes needed to play tournaments using the NXL or millenium ramp setting.
Overall, the Etha 2 is an amazing entry level electric speedball gun. We highly suggest it to players who are just starting to play in tournament paintball. Not only does it have some great features, but the Planet Eclipse Etha 2 will perform at the highest level without hiccups. The quality that has come to be expected out of Planet Eclipse does not dissipate with this marker. If you are just a recreational paintball player who goes out occassionally, than the Etha 2 may be the better and less expensive option.
With that said, we at Punisher's suggest that the Gtek 170R is worth the extra money if you can afford it. The extra features of the Gtek 170R make it much more appealing. The slimmer profile, aluminum construction, toolless eye cover removal, OLED board, and easy-to-remove gamma core bolt system make it worth it to players who are going to be playing in a lot of tournaments. It truly offers high level performance out of a mid-level electric paintball gun.