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mayastig
January 26th, 2006, 12:15 PM
I've been looking and reading a lot on Apex first stages. So far with the second stages im planning on getting the ATX50, ive tried it in the pool and in open water, and it is a beautiful reg at that. I'm not sure if the ATX200 is worth the extra price if the only differences one can experience is the breathing at deeper depths, some have said its noticable others say not. I havent personally tried the 200, so I really cannot say.

Anyways, im looking at the first stages and what I've come up with are the DST/DS4/FST. Does anyone know the real differences (pros & cons, besides the turret) between these 3? what are the performance differences as well? Im open to other first stages like the scubapro mk25, etc etc. any opinions, ideas would be great :D

Vie
January 26th, 2006, 12:23 PM
The ATX50, ATX100 and ATX200 second stages are exactly the same (apart from cosmetic front cover). Apeks is also introducing the new XTX series of second stages. The DS4 and DST are basically the same (DST has the turret); the FST offers the best hose routing for doubles, imho. The FSR offers the best hose routing for single tank.

Usually pairing: DST/ATX50, FST/TX100 or ATX100. The DS4 is a special order first stage (sold by itself) that is very popular because of its comparable performance and low price compared to the FST and FSR. One advantage of the DS4 was that it had 4x 3/8" LP ports (the DST, FST and FSR had 3x 3/8" ports and 1x 1/2" port for the primary second stage, which made it necessary to use a custom hose or an adapter). To confuse matter further, Apeks is introducing "new" DST, FST and FSR models with 4x 3/8" LP ports to accompany the XTX series second stages. Internally, most Apeks first stages are very similar (although the FSR has the removable ARCAP valve seat feature) and all use the same service kit - Apeks claim increased performance for the FSR but the FST seems to be the best Apeks performer when it comes to so-called "breathing machine performance" tests.

For warm water single tank diving, I am a big fan of the Scubapro MK20/25 + G250HP or S600 second stage.

mayastig
January 26th, 2006, 12:29 PM
yeah thats what ive been hearing as well. any thoughts on the first stages from apex?

Vie
January 26th, 2006, 12:37 PM
See above.

mayastig
January 26th, 2006, 12:41 PM
vie thanks for the information. comparing the ds4 and fsr, which would have an advantage for single tank usage apart from the hose routing. im keeping the dst out of the comparison for the moment.

Vie
January 26th, 2006, 12:45 PM
I would say the FSR offers no advantage over the DS4, apart from hose routing. DS4 is cheaper, reliable, does not have the 1/2" port and will perform just as well as the FSR in most situations, imho.

Snowbear
January 27th, 2006, 02:02 AM
I have a DST, DS4 and 2 ATX 200 first stages. I really like the DS4 for being a solid, reliable reg. I have noticed absolutely no difference in breathability at any depth between any of these first stages.... or between the ATX50 and ATX200 second stages.

I don't like the hose routing of the ATX200 for single tank use, but I prefer it over the DS4 for doubles. The DS4 is better, IMO, for single tank hose routing. The DST was my first reg and has been relegated to deco/stage tank use.

Hoosier
January 27th, 2006, 02:29 AM
My vote is ATX100 or TX100.......

m3830431
January 27th, 2006, 09:16 AM
ATX 50 works for me.

rescuediver009
January 27th, 2006, 11:01 PM
Aside from external differences, the DS4 is popular for its size reliability, environmental seal, and as mentioned its price. Internally the 100 and 200 first stages vary greatly. They are based on the theory that the less turns the air makes the less resistance it encounters. the 100 inproved the air passage of the DS4 and the 200 creates an even more direct airflow.
Unfortunately, most comparisons of these regs are not justified as the regs compared are not tuned equally, and cannot afford the best possible breathing. In short, you will not be cheaping out buying any Apeks model regulator. They have anything and everything any diver looks for in their line up.

Snowbear
January 27th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Unfortunately, most comparisons of these regs are not justified as the regs compared are not tuned equally, and cannot afford the best possible breathing. In short, you will not be cheaping out buying any Apeks model regulator. They have anything and everything any diver looks for in their line up.
I tune my own :D

That said, you are correct.... my own evaluation of these regs is purely subjective.

mayastig
January 28th, 2006, 12:04 PM
I don't like the hose routing of the ATX200 for single tank use, but I prefer it over the DS4 for doubles. The DS4 is better, IMO, for single tank hose routing. The DST was my first reg and has been relegated to deco/stage tank use.

would you happen to have pictures of the DS4 hose routing? I'm considering in getting the DS4 as my first stage for single tank

rescuediver009
January 28th, 2006, 04:44 PM
do you mean hose routing for singles or doubles?
If you are talking singles, the number of ports limits the routing options to 1. Everyones will be the same. The only variation will be in hose length and where they go.

Vie
January 29th, 2006, 10:07 PM
would you happen to have pictures of the DS4 hose routing? I'm considering in getting the DS4 as my first stage for single tank

Stephen Ash has posted some great pics of DS4 hose routing (hog) for single tank:

http://www.scubaboard.com/showthread.php?t=114689

http://www.scubaboard.com/showthread.php?t=20478

mayastig
January 30th, 2006, 08:27 AM
thanks for the link, just what i was looking for

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