Posted on August 27 2021
Purchase the Shocker Amp @ Punisher's PB:
Purchase the Planet Eclipse Gtek 170R @ Punisher's PB:
Shocker Amp Paintball Gun:
The Shocker Amp was released to the paintball world around NXL World Cup 2020. With this release, there was a lot of hype regarding what would be different. The Shocker Amp is now into circulation and has not disappointed it's fan base. The Amp core of this marker is arguably one of the best shooting platforms of any gun regardless of price point. Coupled with the amazing shot quality comes the quick ability for mechanical conversion of the CC (classic conversion) frame of the Amp. Other features coupled with the mechanical capability and shot quality make this marker a top contender.
Planet Eclipse Gtek 170R:
The Gtek 170R has been in circulation for a longer time than the Shocker Amp. It was originally released at Paintball Extravaganza in 2019. Since then, the 170R has set the bar high with it's toolless battery exchange, toolless eye covers, and gamma core bolt system. The gamma core drivetrain was initially released in the original Gtek and was so proven for reliability, efficiency, shot quality, and paint handling that it eventually has worked it's way into the high-end marker from Planet Eclipse, the CS2 Pro. For all of these reasons, the Gtek 170R is definitely stiff competition for ANY marker in the $800-900 price range.
The Planet Eclipse 170R has an aluminum case that does a great job in protecting the marker. The aluminum case has a metal zipper which does not seem to ever want to break. Inside the case, Planet Eclipse includes a full set of extra parts including o-rings to rebuild the entire gun, detents, popular screws like grip screws, breech sensor cover latch, and more. Extras also include a Planet Eclipse barrel sock, Allen keys (tool tube), and Planet Eclipse lube. A 47 page color manual does an excellent job of explaining everything about the marker including parts diagrams, troubleshooting diagnoses, and other settings.
The Shocker Amp gun case also features a nice metal zipper. Inside, there is a smaller parts kit (not as inclusive as the Gtek 170R), Shocker Grease (lube), and a nice Allen key set.
Overall, the Gtek 170R packaging is nicer than the Shocker Amp due to the extra things that are included like the color manual and parts kit.
The Shocker Amp comes standard with the Freak XL barrel system with a 0.687 insert. The Freak XL barrel is a very popular barrel system as you can easily exchange aluminum or stainless steel inserts. The 14 inch tip features spiral porting which gives the barrel a great sound signature.
The Gtek 170R comes standard with a 2 piece Shaft 5 barrel that is 14.5 inches in length. The aluminum barrel is a little thicker than the Freak XL. This is a great barrel as well but is not as versatile as the Freak XL due to the XL inserts which quickly allows users to bore match their paintballs.
Overall, we feel that the Shocker Amp wins when it comes to stock barrel system. The Freak XL is a common upgrade barrel that comes standard with the Amp due to the famous insert system. This barrel is featured on other popular markers like the DLX Luxe X and Luxe TM40 for a reason.
Both the Shocker Amp and Gtek 170R feature a lever lock Feedneck. The Gtek 170R's Feedneck has a slightly larger thumbwheel to make it easy adjusting the tightness on your loader. The 170R lever is also slightly longer and for this reason the 170R has the better Feedneck.
The gamma core engine of the 170R is an extremely popular bolt system for good reason. The gamma core is very reliable, efficient, smooth, and easy on paint. The 170R's solenoid is placed in the rear of the trigger frame where the spool moves back to release air into the bolt system. The gamma core shines in it's efficiency due to the rebound of the spool assembly to close the first spool trapping some of the air in the main chamber. The 170R gamma core is accessed by the quick-release bonnet on the back of the marker body by lifting up and pulling out.
The Shocker Amp's Amp core is very efficient as well and is very smooth shooting. There were some initial issues with the travel speed of the forward stroke of the bolt causing paint handling issues. Since the first batch of guns has been released, this has been resolved and the Shocker Amp is now extremely reliable and can handle brittle paintballs very well. The bolt system on the Amp is accessed by turning the protruding bolt cap 1/4 counterclockwise turn and pulling the bolt system out. The integrated QEV (quick exhaust valve) of the Amp core allows for extremely efficient and quick shooting of the mechanical version of the marker.
Both of these bolt systems are extremely reliable which is the arguing point of the gamma core, which came first and some argue the Amp core is replicated off of. The Amp core's integrated Qev valve is definitely a nice feature including the 1 screw of the trigger frame to switch out between mechanical and electronic operation. For this reason, the Amp core wins it in our eyes. The Amp shoots slightly better for our personal taste as well and is mechanically optimized.
Trigger Frame & Ergonomics:
The Gtek 170R and Shocker Amp both have wonderful ergonomics in different ways. The Gtek 170R has a slightly larger fore grip and trigger frame which makes it more ideal for players with larger hands. The Shocker Amp is much thinner in the hands both for the fore grip and the trigger frame.
An important thing to mention between the trigger frames of these guns is that the 9V battery and HPR is located in different areas. With the Gtek 170R, the battery is house in the fore grip and with simply pulling down the grip, you can have access to changing your battery. You can also remove the breech sensor cover by simply pulling a latch into the unlock position. This makes cleaning the 170R eyes as well as changing the Planet Eclipse detents extremely easy on the Gtek. The Shocker Amp 9V battery cannot be exchanged without the use of an Allen key to remove 3 screws on the left side of the grips. The battery directly connects to the Amp circuit board with metal battery connections that are attached to the board. Previous models of the Shocker including the Shocker RSX and Shocker XLS used a wire battery harness which made it difficult to get the wires inside the frame. Lastly, the Amp eye covers are also not toolless and require 1 Allen screw to remove them which give access to the eyes and detents for maintenance.
Mechanical frames: The Planet Eclipse 170R and Shocker Amp both offer a mechanical frame. The CC (classic conversion frame) of the Shocker Amp can be removed with the removal of one Allen screw. The tool free solenoid valve removal is accomplished by simply pulling up on a latch once the trigger frame has been removed from the body of the gun. The mechanical valve can then be quickly installed with the latch lever system once the solenoid valve has been removed. There are no cords left between the body of the Amp and the trigger frame. The 2-piece board designs uses wireless contact pads for the lower circuit board to talk to the upper board.
With the Gtek 170R, the mechanical frame uses 2 Allen screws to exchange between mechanical and electronic. The Gtek 170R mechanical frame includes the 3-way valve inside the frame so no swapping of the mechanical valve and electronic solenoid is needed.
The grips, regulator piston, solenoid gasket, regulator spring and POPS ASA does need to also be swapped with the 170R whereas the CC frame includes grips and ASA so there are no need to swap these with the Amp. Both mechanical frames are extremely smooth with the 3 way adjustable pivot trigger of the 170R and the CC frame adjustable aluminum trigger.
Summary: Overall, both markers offer GREAT features in one way or another. Both guns offer a mechanical frame, both guns have color grip kits, both guns are lightweight, and both guns offer a programmable OLED main board. The Gtek 170R is easier to maintain due to its toolless access of the battery and eye covers. The Shocker Amp is not toolless but does offer easier mechanical conversion as well as a thinner feel in the hands which is attractive to some players. The Shocker Amp does also weigh less at 1 pound 12 ounces which is 2 ounces lighter than the 170R at 1 pound 14 ounces.
Both of these markers offer an OLED display board with many different features in which you can change. To get into programming mode with either marker, simply turn the marker on while depressing the trigger. The Shocker Amp circuit board offers 14 different settings while the Gtek 170R board only offers 9. Common settings between the 2 include preset firing modes, mechanical debounce, game timer, and rate of fire cap (with eyes on and off). The Gtek 170R board sets itself apart by allowing the user to change display amongst total shot count, timer, and rate of fire. The Shocker Amp board does not have a shot counter which is definitely something that some users will consider a negative. The Shocker Amp board also has some more technical settings such as FSDO (first shot drop off) timer and adjustment, mechanical AND trigger debounce, and eye mode. Both boards turn on the same way and offer an LED light at the top by the power button to make it easier to see functionality of the marker when in bright sun. The power button of the Shocker Amp is plastic and a little easier to depress than the Gtek power button, but the Amp power button has also been noted to sometimes fall off.
Overall, both boards are extremely similar and easily as tunable. However, we feel that the Shocker board is slightly better due to it's greater tunability and power button. The downside to the Shocker Amp's board is that there is no in depth manual, as with the Gtek 170R, to explain all the settings.
Overall Impressions / Summary:
The Shocker Amp and Gtek 170R both offer high end performance at a fraction of the price as new. Mechanically, the Shocker Amp definitely stands out with it's awesome shot and quick mechanical frame conversion. However, the Gtek 170R offers a greater functionality with the Planet Eclipse in depth manual, toolless eye covers, toolless battery exchange, and very reliable Planet Eclipse gamma core drivetrain. Both markers also has some great upgrades available such as upgraded bolts (PE ST3 soft tip bolt, Adrenaline Shocker Amp F16 bolt), color grip kits, and mechanical frames. For us, it comes down to preference on which we would want to use. We prefer the shot quality and the ergonomics of the Shocker Amp. However, the features of the Gtek 170R make it very hard to argue that it is not the winner. So, the Planet Eclipse Gtek 170R takes the dub on this competition purely for it's ease of use.
If you have read our comparison this far, thank you so much for hearing us out. With that, we would love to hear YOUR opinion! Please drop a comment below and sound off on our social media pages!!