Is Scubapro what it used to be?

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by sandiego_frank, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. sandiego_frank

    sandiego_frank Angel Fish

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: san diego
    23
    4
    0
    I dove for 10+ years in the 70's and early 80's and used a Scubapro Mk 5. Due to family, work, etc. I stopped diving and am now getting back into it (I'm 62). Have started over with certification (too long out of it, too much has changed), and am looking to buy good equipment. LDS says that Scubapro isn't what it used to be quality wise and recommends Atomic. Is that comment true about Scubapro? How does a Scubapro M25/A700 match up against an Atomic B2? I will mostly be diving in Southern California.
     
  2. awap

    awap Giant Squid

    # of Dives:
    Location: Central TX
    14,266
    3,346
    113
    I took a Mk5 /Balanced Adjustable /Adjustable over all other options and retired my Mk20/G500 in the process. Lots of brands provide high quality, High performing regulators. The biggest difference between any two is probably the price.
     
  3. diveprof

    diveprof Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives:
    Location: Evans, GA (underwater of course)
    1,780
    236
    63
    The LDS has much competition with Scuba Pro products as they are now available online. Quality is still excellent. Atomic makes good regs too. Atomic is not sold on line so he likely has a larger profit margin.
     
    floridanewbe and Hatul like this.
  4. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Tech Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    15,939
    7,401
    113
    Second what awap said. No regulator today is junk. They all work. ScubaPro is a very good reg. Overpriced for me, but a good reg nonetheless. Is it better than Atomic or vice versa? Depends on what you and your wallet think. For my money and budget there are better ones.
     
  5. couv

    couv Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 13th floor of the Ivory Tower
    3,214
    520
    113
    Go back to your local dive shop and say, "Thanks guys, I took your advice and bought a good old MK5 /109 and you're right! Breathes great and you saved me a ton of money." It is after all good advice.
     
  6. Fishpie

    Fishpie Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Fort Lauderdale
    1,626
    220
    0
    I don't think the quality has exactly dropped, although like most manufacturers they do use cheaper plastic parts rather than the traditional brass in the majority of their 2nd stages.....although they are finding out that there are many divers willing to pay a premium for metal construction.
    The A700 is as good as any regulator made, as is the Atomic.

    I personally have recently gone the direction of "downgrading" my regs from MK25's and 20's back to MK10's and 5's.
    I find them much simpler to service and parts are easy to source.
    I am never going to need the added performance that the later models possibly offer.

    I also had some very high end sets for use by my students (Zeagle's, Apeks, Atomic, AquaLung's and Scubapro's) and have gone back to US Divers Conshelfs and SEA's.
    I mainly did this for ease of servicing but also found that 2nd stages with soft purge covers and some exhaust T's just don't hold up well with the kind of use and storage I abused them with.

    .....bottom line is really not much has changed since you were diving (but a shop owner trying to sell you a new reg won't see it that way).
     
  7. nfarrar

    nfarrar Nassau Grouper

    108
    22
    0
    I have a
    Scubapro M25/A700 and M25/G600. They are both great. I prefer the 700 to the 600. It seams to be almost impossible to make free flow but either are great. My only issue with Scubapro is that they really havent come out with anything revolutionary in a long time. Everything is just a worked over version of the last model. Scubapro 90% marketing and monopoly and 10% R&D if I had to guess. G250V? Also they just about did away with free Parts for life unless you by a Scubapro regulator, BCD and Computer(Scubapro or Subgear BCD and Computer) all at the same time. That used to be one of the big selling points of Scubapro, WARRANTY.
    Scubapro regulators still have lifetime warranties but free parts for life aren't standard anymore. If you forget to have your reg serviced EVERY year on the dot your parts for life is over. No reinstatement. Rumor has it at a resent Platinum Dealer meeting(platinum dealer is Scubapro code for exclusively a Scubapro dealer) a lot of dealers complained about the warranty changes. I bet before long the PFL(Parts for Life) is back or warranty reinstatement is back. I get the idea that Johnson Outdoors the parent company is have a lot of trouble. They will have to do something. I also dont like how Scubapro just about refuses to deal is any manner with end users. The answer to ANY question is ask/check with a local Scubapro dealer. So, you want make sure you like your local dealer first. An advantage to Scubapro is the number of service shops/techs around. If my A700 breaks in the Cayman Islands I can get it fixed pretty easy. I know I can find parts for the MK25 and G600 on the island. not to sure about the A700. There are Scubapro shops everywhere.

    There another great brand out Hog. 1 Hog D1 1st and 2 2nd stages can be had for HALF the cost of a Scubapro M25/A700. IMHO it breaths just as good as the Scubapro M25/A700. You can easily buy the Hog service kits for around $15-20 a stage and service them yourself if you have any reg service exp.

    If you have your heart set on
    Scubapro its not a bad thing. I had to have a
    Scubapro M25/A700 and a Scubapro M25/G600 before that. I dont regret it one bit. I love that chromed metal body. Awap and Jim said "none of the regulators made today are junk." I dont have to exp to speak to that. I do know if you go with Scubapro, Atomic, Hog or Apeks you will do fine.

    That is just my 2 cents. It cant buy you a cup of coffee any more. So its worth nothing. Just my opinion. What ever you do welcome back to diving! Enjoy it!

    Later Mon,
    Nick
     
  8. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Oklahoma
    2,410
    430
    0
    I agree with the above posters that alot of LDS may possibly feel betrayed by Scubapro. They were exclusive to brick and morter stores with strict policies not to sell via internet. This kind of forced a markup on the products as if you wanted scubapro you paid what the LDS wanted to charge. If you did not want to pay it you either spent a ton of money in gas traveling to lands far off to the next dealer (In most cases) or you simply used a competitor. Now with the internet being fair game with scubapro the rules have changed and its opened up competition. Its only forseeable some LDS would feel betrayed by this action.

    It was a long time coming though because everyone is becoming dollar savy and looking for the best deal for the dollar. After all isnt that how this whole economy got in a mess with Chinas low wages??? People would see a regulator at a shop for 800 dollars but find it on sites like leisurepro for 350 its a no brainer where they spent their dime. Who really needs a lifetime warranty on a basic fin with nothing but fin and strap?

    Scubapro revised their business model also which is where the consumer looks differently upon them. They used to offer free parts for life but changed this policy for reasons unknown to me. This leads to the question of why pay more to get less???

    Anyway I am not trying to start a debate just giving insight as to why many shops and consumers are really upset with scubapro.
     
    nfarrar likes this.
  9. GROBIOG

    GROBIOG Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: SFL
    155
    32
    0
    Profit margin is the same, it is related to how much was paid for and how much is sold for.


    You mean either G250 or S600.
    I also prefer my A700 over the S600(metal barrel), I find the air comes out a bit more moist on the A700.
    The impression on Platinum dealer meeting on this side is that the parts for life issue is firm and dealers were encouraged on creative solutions of their own.


    Internet sales does NOT mean fair game, the prices are the SAME for everyone, rule changes? Is that for LDS, now they are authorized to sell online, and for the ones already selling online, like Leisurepro, now they ARE authorized dealers and they have to adhere to same rules, so their price IS the same as your LDS. And if you haven't noticed, prices aren't set by LDS, it is set by Scubapro themselves.



    Now, I do have to agree that Scubapro is not the same company, apparently a lot of people were laid off and it is showing on the service, nothing terrible, specially compared to other companies, just an observation of not the superior service it is/was known for.
    This however has nothing to do with product quality that I've been able to observe though. IMHO, I think it is still the BEST regulator out there, MK25 with A700/S600/G250V, I don't think there is anything better, Apeks and Atomic are just as good.
     
  10. diversteve

    diversteve Administrator Staff Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    19,739
    2,571
    113
    I looked at both and bought Atomic. All Atomics have a 2 year service interval - IDK about Scubapro. Atomic was actually started by two former Scubapro engineers. Get the swivel if you go Atomic. I guess in the unlikely event that you'd need to send it to the factory - Atomic Aquatics is in Huntington Beach.

    Actually they are - thru Shopatron on their website and other retailers. Scubatoys is one. Atomic Scuba Gear and Dive Equipment However it seems like they're at full retail so all you'd save is the tax. So maybe this is one case where supporting the LDS makes sense.
     
  11. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Oklahoma
    2,410
    430
    0
    They have to advertise the same price yes. MAP (Minimum advertised price) you can get better deals by just calling and asking. So not exactly the same as an LDS.
     
  12. awap

    awap Giant Squid

    # of Dives:
    Location: Central TX
    14,266
    3,346
    113
    Scubapro does not use MAP. Scubapro dictates a minimum sale price (MSRP - 10%) in their dealer agreement. But dealers can create leeway with added items and packages if they chose to compete in that manner.
     
  13. GROBIOG

    GROBIOG Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: SFL
    155
    32
    0
    Exactly the same as LDS.
    You can walk into a Scubapro dealer and pick up a catalog, the prices will be listed there and ALL authorized dealers are agreed on dealer contract to adhere, advertised price is not based on minimum ox maximum, it is to be the SAME for everyone as stipulated by Scubapro.
    Scubapro only allows a max 10% discount, wheather buying online or on LDS, anything different is breaking contract dealer agreement, but that is a different subject.
     
  14. k ellis

    k ellis Divemaster

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Oklahoma
    2,410
    430
    0
    Interesting. A person learns something new everyday. :) Thank you!
     
  15. mahjong

    mahjong Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Mountain View, CA
    902
    43
    28
    Echoing everyone here, Scubapro regs are certainly top of the line. They do redesign things to make new models. As others have noted, however, they tend only to tweek older designs in making their new designs. They tend to eschew "revolutionary" changes. But sometimes they "hit" and sometimes they "miss." Most of the time only a good technician will be able to ascertain the "hits" and "misses." Fromwhat I have heard, the Scubapro piston 1st stage remains at the very top of its class, while the Atomic 2nd stages might edge out the Scubapro ones. But we are splitting hairs here, I suspect.

    For my part, I avoid making hair splitting decisions by sticking with my MK10s, R109s, and R108s. They serve me nicely in cold NorCal waters. See below: that's Point Lobos this past weekend. Two MK10s mounted on a Scubapro isolation manifold, which is mounted on dual Scubapro/Faber MP72s. 49F, max depth 95'.


















    [​IMG]
     
  16. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    480
    0
    All the problems I see with Scubapro are with their business model and their tactics.
    Besides that they are good regs.
    I have an older MK20/G200B that was my first new reg and the other new one I bought was a MK2/R190 as a pony reg.
    All my other regs I got used. My main reg now is a MK5/109BA with a 109 adjustable on a necklace.
    I like it better than the plastic ones.
    I have a bunch of other regs people have given me over the years, MK3, more MK5's, Conshelfs, double hoses, Dacors.
    I'll probably never buy a new reg again, no need to, the old stuff works just as well.
     
    k ellis likes this.
  17. nfarrar

    nfarrar Nassau Grouper

    108
    22
    0
    Thats a problem. Used to you could walk in and buy a only regulator and get PFL. I think you could buy a first or second stage alone and still get it. Now you have to buy a complete lift support system. Scubapro regulator and Scubapro or Subgear BCD and Computer. How many people buy all 3 at once? Really? Sure some do. I did. But im not the norm. A lot of people used to get one or two parts at a time. Then upgrade a system at a time. In 2 or 3 years if Scubapro comes out with a new regulator I will have zero interest. No PFL on the new reg. I would have to turn around and buy a BCD and computer too to get PFL... That bull. I love Scubapro but can no longer justify the premium without the added service. Scubapro/local dealers loss. I buy lots of gear. They will have to work for it. Everyone else is willing to. Its not the dealers fault but they have to watch their large item sales plummet.

    I cant believe SB had the balls to encourage dealers to come up with their own options! Hey we all 86ing one of our biggest selling points. You guys are on your own and have to makeup for it some how "inhouse". What a deal! I cant see why more dealers where not excited about that.

    Look at it this way. A MK25/A700 is $800. A Hog D1 1st/2nd is $260 online. I havent found anyone yet(not that they are not out there. just not on here.) that has said the Hog D1 is inferior to any SB. The Hog has a 2 year service interval and 1 year inspection. How years can I go if I buy a new Hog D1 every 2 years before I spend $800? My local dealer told me he didnt trust "those other brand" when Hog got brought up. Funny how the people who have never used a Hog regulator have the biggest opinion about them. He comparied Hog to a Sherwood Gemini Breathable Inflator. I told him once he dove and broke one apart Id take his opinion into account.

    I want SB and my local dealer to do well. Without the service/warranty they cant make it on "brand" alone. Brand can only go so far so long. I want the old Scubapro of yeaster year. They started off as a highend prograde line. How many commercial divers use them now? Now days the professional end of SB is the marketing.

    Theres another 2 cents in the jar. lol

    ---------- Post added April 23rd, 2012 at 10:05 PM ----------

    I love those metal bodies! They just dont build them like that anymore.
     
  18. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    22,159
    2,730
    0
    Atomic today occupies the niche that ScubaPro had many years ago, good performing but wildly overpriced gear. There are many other brands out there that perform as well (or better) that ScubaPro or Atomic (I for one would rather not have a piston regulator). If you want an established brand with great support, I'd look to Oceanic or Mares, if you want the best performance for your buck ... I think HOG has what it takes.
     
    ZKY and nfarrar like this.
  19. ZKY

    ZKY Minimalist ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Santa Rosa, California
    2,644
    480
    0
    I second the mention of Hog regs.
    They are the future of how dive gear will be sold and serviced.
    It's all about the internet baby!
     
  20. Thalassamania

    Thalassamania Diving Polymath ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: On a large pile of smokin' A'a, the most isolated
    22,159
    2,730
    0
    Frankly I think the PFL was a scam anyway. You got free parts for life (parts that had a bizarre level or markup to show the "savings") and you paid through the teeth for the labor (compared to say shipping your regulator to someone like Professional Scuba Repair, who does know how to service it). The PFL scam was to get you back into the store every 12 months and yet not really cost the store anything because you were captive to their labor charges. Buy a HOG ... use it for two years, sell it on eBay for a third of what you paid for it and buy another ... you'll come out way ahead, and (IMHO) you'll have a better regulator. If you want you can even take the same "factory" class that other do to learn how to fix it, and HOG is happy to sell parts to you!
     

Share This Page