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pauloem

What regulator to buy?

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I use an old Cressi regulator, and it's starting to require too much maintenance. I'm looking for a new regulator, but don't know which one. After reading lots of reviews and tests, I've come up with the Atomic B2, which appears to be one of the best ones out there. However, I live in Brazil, and Atomic has no dealer here. Scubapro, on the other hand, has a dealer here and retailers all around the country. And I've always liked Scubapro (I use a Glide Plus BCD and love it), and I'm also interested in the MK25/X650.

 

So I'm in a big dillema: do I buy the best equipment, or the one with the nearest dealer? Is there a big difference between them in terms of quality (ease of breathing, weight, comfort, durability, maintenance)?

 

Thanks!

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HI,

I have got quite a array of regs from Jetstreams, cylons, Dacor, Atomics M1s,

they all have good points, but I think the best is Atomics M1s, comfortable, great breath,

compact, great exhaust away from eyesight. But I am sure that their are other great regs

which ohers will tell you about.

Andy

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I'm quite happy with another UK product, Apeks. I am using the ds4 first stage with (older type) TX40 and TX50 second stages.

 

The newer models look a bit better, but the inner workings are very similar.

 

I'm not too keen on scubapro, but thats a bit personal that has to do with the behaviour of the importer. I would also rather use a membrane type first stage (even better, a sealed one) then an open type piston valve.

 

The Mk25 doesnt seem to be too equiped for cold water diving, but I guess brazil aint that cold.....

 

For comparison tests, look up www.divernet.com, they do quite a bit of independent testing.

 

Gerard

Edited by Cerianthus

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I would go for a reg that has dealer support - you will struggle to get it maintained otherwise.

 

Most of the top regs can deliver more than enough air for even extreme exertion within air diving ranges. Atomics are great but as said, you have no dealer support. You won't go wrong with a Scubapro or Apeks - they are both leading brands. Personally I would go for the Mk25 S600 combo if you go for the Scubapro - I've never liked the range that the X650 originated from (D350, 400 etc). The S600 has a strong pedigree, originating from the original Mk10/G250. If you are intending on diving cold water then the Apeks is certainly a better option, or choose the Scubapro Mk17 diaphragm first stage instead of the Mk 25. The Mk17 is designed for cold water use.

 

Steve

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I was in the market for a new regulator when I was in Guam, and was sold on the Atomic B2 after trying a friends. But there were no atomic dealers there.

 

I am willing to purchace gray market online via Leisurepro.com, but they were out of stock at the time.

 

I called around to several dive shops whose numbers I pulled frombusiness listings from various locations, and finially found a shop in Georgia that would ship to me if I sent them a money order.

 

Atomic makes quality gear and I wanted one. I know that the Scubapro regs are excellent also, and doubt that you'd be unhappy with one, but if you reallly want Atomic there's always someone willing to do business if you look hard enough.

 

Take care,

John

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Steve's point about availability of service support near where you live (and where you dive, if different) is well taken. Everybody I know who has an Atomic regulator likes them a lot, but they also say they wouldn't have one if they lived in Asia like I do. Ultimately, the differences in quality (breathing, reliability, etc.) among the top regulators such as Atomic, Scubapro and Apeks are pretty subtle.

 

I used Scubapro regs (MK20, Mk25s, G250s, S600s) for many years and really liked them. But last year I switched to Apeks. The bottom line was that the Scubapro agent in Jakarta badly messed up the servicing of my regs once two years ago. (No, they'll never get a second chance either.)

 

After that, I was having the regs serviced in Singapore. The tech at Richmond Supplies and Service really knows what he is doing, but he's also busy. Despite numerous requests, Richmond refused to allow me to "reserve" a place in line in advance of my visits to Singapore - my gear entered the queue the day I took it to their shop. The wait was generally several weeks, so I almost always had at least one full regulator set at Richmond's either waiting to be serviced or waiting for me to get back to Singapore to pick it up.

 

In the end, I switched to Apeks not because I necessarily like the reg better than Scubapro (these are both very good, very rugged pieces of equipment), but because the Apeks dealer and service supplier was willing to be flexible and try to finish the maintenance work on my regs during a single visit.

Edited by frogfish

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I had a quick look at a description of the Atomic reg mentioned, and dont understand what the hubbub is about. To me the only thing that is special is the titanium, otherwise the principles and design are straightforward.

 

In all fairness: I've never seen one, so maybe the brand hasnt crossed to the Netherlands as well.

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The first regulator I bought was a Scubapro. Why - my course director and his staff recommended it, though of course they were working out of a dive shop and were more than likely getting commission! At first I thought it was great, though when it needed a service, it really had to be serviced. It would start to breath really poorly, so much so I didn't like using it and used the rental gear from the dive shop I was working in at the time. As I was living away from a decent service centre so it was difficult to get the reg' serviced properly. When I did get it serviced it always came back from servicing cleaner, but not much better and I'd have to make adjustments to it myself to make it breath better. Then it would last maybe 3-4 months before if NEEDED to be serviced again. I like to do my own servicing, but the G500 and that standard of reg is not all easy to set up right without all the scubapro tooling and equipment to get the breathing rate exact.

 

In the dive shop where I first started to work there were lots of really old and well beaten up Aleks reg's. Even though I am from England where they are made I'd never heard of this brand. I used one of these when my Scubapro was out of action and quickly noticed that it breathed better than my scubapro, even though it was totally battered, beaten up and looked like it needed to be binned. I took one apart and noticed how simple it was. Later I ordered a few spare parts and the service kits for 7 reg's (cheap as well), fully cleaned and serviced them all. All these reg's went back into the rental kit and all breathed much better than my Scubapro. Needless to say as soon as I could I bought my own Apeks. I don't treat my dive kit too well as I am often none stop diving for periods of time, however my reg' treats me like a King and has never let me down, ask anyone who has ever owned an Apeks, they will tell you they wouldn't buy any other afterwards.

 

I would highly recommend Apeks as they are very robust, last a very long time between services and in all my time with my Apeks I have never HAD to have it serviced. I just clean once in a while and when I have time I simply give it to the guy in my local dive kit shop, they have the ultrasonic bath to clean it properly and the right kit to do a better job than I ever could do.

 

However, if you have no access to Apeks regs at all or have no way of getting them serviced then I'd simply say don't buy one, also don't buy an Atomic or any other reg’ you can't get serviced either. If you do you will have to send it away for servicing each time which will only be a hassle. I would simply go with scubapro, make sure you get to know the guy who is going to service your kit... The reason behind this, I'd say that over 90% of regulator problems happen after servicing. You want to look the guy in the eye when you pick yours up and say is it all OK! This is serious, I ahve taken many divers out on dive boats and at resorts and a huge majority of problems relating the reg's comes after they have been serviced.

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Buy the one with the best support. A great reg won't do you any good if it's broken.

 

Gerard, regarding the hubub over the Atomic regs: as soon as you dive one, you'll understand. It is the smoothest, easiest breathing reg I have ever used.

 

All the best, James

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I switched to scubapro because my LDS is certified on them. I had a Mares. I now own the MK20 with a G550 and I've had no problem to date. I've even been in current which was so bad you had no choice but to use a hook to hold your ground. Reg performed great and breathes easy. My only problem with the whole setup to date is the alternate air source. The R190 quacks like a duck and breathes awful. I took it back it, they said "the scubapro 190s do that because they have a large diaphram". This bothered me somewhat.

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I now own the MK20 with a G550 and I've had no problem to date. I've even been in current which was so bad you had no choice but to use a hook to hold your ground.

 

There is a recall on the MK20, send it to Scubapro and they will send you a new MK25.

 

I too own Scubapro, I've owned regulators of 10 different brands and settled with Scubapro (I have an MK25T and S600). To me, Scubapro is the best (although I never used Atomic), I use my regs a lot, about 200 dives/year, and Scubapro never let me down (my regs are now almost 10 years old).

 

There was a question about the MK25 not being good at cold water, well, now there is the MK25 AF (anti-freeze).

 

Paulo, if I were you, with no Atomic dealers in Brazil, I would get the Scubapro just because of the dealers. The Scubapro warranty is excellent (as long as you service them every year), and you can service them anywhere in the world (well, except maybe Jakarta and Singapore ;) ).

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