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sandiego_frank
April 23rd, 2012, 04:18 PM
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.

awap
April 23rd, 2012, 04:55 PM
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.

diveprof
April 23rd, 2012, 05:11 PM
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.

Jim Lapenta
April 23rd, 2012, 05:12 PM
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.

couv
April 23rd, 2012, 05:13 PM
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.

Fishpie
April 23rd, 2012, 05:14 PM
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).

nfarrar
April 23rd, 2012, 07:17 PM
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

k ellis
April 23rd, 2012, 07:34 PM
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.

GROBIOG
April 23rd, 2012, 08:42 PM
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.

Profit margin is the same, it is related to how much was paid for and how much is sold for.




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


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.



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.

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.

diversteve
April 23rd, 2012, 09:35 PM
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.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.


Atomic makes good regs too. Atomic is not sold on line so he likely has a larger profit margin.Actually they are - thru Shopatron on their website and other retailers. Scubatoys is one. Atomic Scuba Gear and Dive Equipment (http://www.scubatoys.com/store/Scubavendors.asp?txtsearchParamMan=110) 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.

k ellis
April 23rd, 2012, 09:35 PM
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.





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.

awap
April 23rd, 2012, 09:54 PM
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.

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.

GROBIOG
April 23rd, 2012, 09:56 PM
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.

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.

k ellis
April 23rd, 2012, 09:58 PM
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.

Interesting. A person learns something new everyday. :) Thank you!

mahjong
April 23rd, 2012, 10:49 PM
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'.


















http://thumbp15-ne1.thumb.mail.yahoo.com/tn?sid=2098504124&mid=AMTjimIAAO8eT5Si%2FQp%2BSTczf2s&midoffset=2_0_0_1_467167&partid=2&f=1258&fid=Inbox&w=637&h=480&httperr=1

ZKY
April 23rd, 2012, 11:00 PM
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.

nfarrar
April 23rd, 2012, 11:03 PM
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.


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 ----------


All the problems I see with Scubapro are with their business model and their tactics.
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 love those metal bodies! They just dont build them like that anymore.

Thalassamania
April 23rd, 2012, 11:39 PM
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
April 23rd, 2012, 11:44 PM
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!

Thalassamania
April 23rd, 2012, 11:58 PM
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!

nfarrar
April 24th, 2012, 12:02 AM
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!

Spot on about the Hogs. You are a wise man.

mahjong
April 24th, 2012, 12:03 AM
A number of these posts couple product and marketing in drawing conclusions. When marketing creeps up and takes pains to couple itself with the product such that they are inseperable, I run for the hills. This is scuba gear, folks. Life support stuff. All companies need to market. Fact of modern capitalist life. But when marketing becomes part of the rationale for purchase, I'm gone. I have no experience with HOG regulators. But reading their website blurb on why it makes practical sense to buy their stuff exceeds my marketing threshhold. I do know who to ask for a wise and no-nonsense assessment about what's under the hood, though. And just out of curiousity I will do so tomorrow when I take my tanks in for reloading.

It's just out of curiosity, though, for I see no need to buy a new regulator. I suspect that most people who buy new are themselves relatively new to diving.

---------- Post added April 23rd, 2012 at 09:17 PM ----------

I think this comment is problematic. Where do you go for servicing that you feel you're getting fleeced? There is no substitute for a first-rate technician. Yes, they are not in abundance. And they DEFINITELY are NOT recent graduates of the "factory" class. If you can find a truly first-rate technician (not a website with a fixed location that knows how to service regs) then that technician cannot charge you enough ever to justify the complaint of "too much."

If you have pimple-faced "factory" class certificate recipients who in college majored in marketing then perhaps I can comprehend your defense of what almost smacks of a "disposable regulator" model. Use it for two years, dump it, and buy a new one. Statistically speaking, you will very likely live through it. But will you be fun to talk to at apres dive parties? That's the real question ;).



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!

Thalassamania
April 24th, 2012, 02:44 AM
A number of these posts couple product and marketing in drawing conclusions. When marketing creeps up and takes pains to couple itself with the product such that they are inseperable, I run for the hills. This is scuba gear, folks. Life support stuff. All companies need to market. Fact of modern capitalist life. But when marketing becomes part of the rationale for purchase, I'm gone. I have no experience with HOG regulators. But reading their website blurb on why it makes practical sense to buy their stuff exceeds my marketing threshhold. I do know who to ask for a wise and no-nonsense assessment about what's under the hood, though. And just out of curiousity I will do so tomorrow when I take my tanks in for reloading.

It's just out of curiosity, though, for I see no need to buy a new regulator. I suspect that most people who buy new are themselves relatively new to diving.

---------- Post added April 23rd, 2012 at 09:17 PM ----------

I think this comment is problematic. Where do you go for servicing that you feel you're getting fleeced? There is no substitute for a first-rate technician. Yes, they are not in abundance. And they DEFINITELY are NOT recent graduates of the "factory" class. If you can find a truly first-rate technician (not a website with a fixed location that knows how to service regs) then that technician cannot charge you enough ever to justify the complaint of "too much."

If you have pimple-faced "factory" class certificate recipients who in college majored in marketing then perhaps I can comprehend your defense of what almost smacks of a "disposable regulator" model. Use it for two years, dump it, and buy a new one. Statistically speaking, you will very likely live through it. But will you be fun to talk to at apres dive parties? That's the real question ;).It maybe problematic to you, to me the problem was the inspection, maintenance and repair of one the order of a hundred regulators each year. In my experience, the best way to accomplish this is with a university employed, dedicated regulator technician and when the load overwhelmed him ... send the overflow to Professional Scuba Repair. In no case would I use an LDS where the "tech" is also the tank monkey, the salesman, the floorsweeper and maybe the instructor and even owner (pimples optional).

Actually servicing a regulator, even if it is, "life support," is slightly easier than fixing a running toilet, what you really need is a modicum of mechanical ability, a handful of tools, strong motivation (fixing one's own usually supplies that in spades) and a tiny bit of training. If you really thing that it takes more ... you've fallen for the "life support" marketing pitch, which only exists to appeal to and excite your amygdala rather than your fore-brain.

Ozwald
April 24th, 2012, 08:26 AM
I am probably one of the minority on the HOG regs. Although they are of a decent quality and very inexpensive as far as regs go if you can put say an MK17/25 and a A700/G250V and say that there is no noticable difference in the feel and quality......well that's just crazy.

And yes, I know that there is a huge discrepancy in price but IMHO there is a huge difference in quality as well. I had the HOGs....sold em. It's a personal thing. I am of the opinion that everyone wants to believe that they are up there with the Atomic's and the Scubapro stuff and that's okay but are they really.....I am not so sure. Bottom line is if you are happy than that's cool.

My wife has a bunch of "Coach" bags. She has a a few that are knock offs and she has a few that are real. They both do the same thing just as good as each other. In fact they look identical when you first look at them. It's when you look real close that you notice the difference.

mahjong
April 24th, 2012, 10:55 AM
"Actually servicing a regulator, even if it is, "life support," is slightly easier than fixing a running toilet, what you really need is a modicum of mechanical ability, a handful of tools, strong motivation (fixing one's own usually supplies that in spades) and a tiny bit of training. If you really thing that it takes more ... you've fallen for the "life support" marketing pitch, which only exists to appeal to and excite your amygdala rather than your fore-brain."

You left out two things: A book and experience-based comprehension of the theory behind different regulator designs and deep first-hand experience with the historical evolution of each regulator model made by each company--or at least as many of the major ones as is possible, the more the better. Almost anyone with some training can replace pieces and parts using a service kit. But only someone who really understands the theory and who has historically deep experience with a given model can anticipate problems and repair/rebuild in a way that corrects in advance of problems, and can TUNE a regulator to work as best as it possibly can. Indeed, some service kits coming from manufacturers have problems--sometimes only "some" of the service kits have problems, the ones in one batch from Cambodia instead of Thailand, say. A shim might be needed here, a filing down of an edge or surface there--all done in advance of the problem occuring. There are these technicians out there, and in fact the manufacturers rely on them for feedback, and I know of instances where they even consult with them in making design improvements. Typically, such technicians like to talk with you about your reg and the work done--this is because they have an artisan's passion for what they do. I will NEVER drop off a reg at a counter with a clerk and leave the shop without chatting with the technician who will service it. I called Scubapro and told them my requirements of a technician and they recommended to me the technician I should go to in my area: "That's the guy I'd want servicing my regs," is exactly what the Scubapro person told me (and there are at least three shops closer to me with authorized Scubapro technicians). And the guy they led me to is also the guy they consult with about many things regarding their regulators. I have been in the back of the shop at the work bench with my technician when he was on the phone talking with Scubapro about regulator design issues.

You will never find a technician with qualifications/experience the likes of which I described above also responsible for sweepeing floors, selling snorkels and fins, and planning/organizing trips to Cozumel. He may do some teaching in the shop that s/he might own, and s/he may go on an occasional dive trip with the shop--and this is not a bad thing. It not only keeps him/her in the water, but it also allows him/her to establish a personal relationship with many customers and it breaks the monotony of servicing hundreds of regs/year, something that is not only a business requirement but also necessary to stay on top of his/her craft--and it is, again, a craft. Some balance is a good thing.

ZKY
April 24th, 2012, 11:43 AM
In some ways I think Scubapro is a sinking ship.
Like I said, their products are decent but way over priced and that is the hype end of it.
Just because something is much more expensive that another product doesn't mean the quality equals the increase in price.
Scubapro has insisted on only selling their regs through an "authorized dealer" with stringent price guidelines. They support this model by advertising hype. When you pay full price for a SP reg you are paying 110% retail, when you get a 10% discount you are paying 100% retail.
Some dealers have adopted the 10% discount as their regular everyday price.
However, there is a whole black (or grey) market of SP regs. Leisure pro and other outlets used to sell SP at way below the allowed 10% discount and some say that SP was actually letting unsold regs out the back door to these discounters and then pretending that they had no control over it, that the products were being brought in from Europe. I say Bull sh_t!
If that was the case there's no way regs from Europe could beat prices on US soil. Things are more expensive in Europe not less and then there's duty to pay.
Nobody will probably ever know the real truth but I have my beliefs.

So as the overpriced LDS sinks so will SP since they insist on attaching themselves to certain stores that they can move in on.
Companies like hog are going to win regardless if you think their regs are not as good. At half the price they *might* be 1 or 2% less of a reg to the extremely finicky diver who can tell the difference, not 50% less of a reg.
Some may like them better.
I don't like strong arm tactics, but I do like SP regs (the old ones) and I have found a way to get parts so I can do my own work.

BTW, anybody with any mechanical ability at all can learn to work on regs. There is a learning curve for sure and the reg being worked on needs to be researched thoroughly. But I also think the do it yourselfer working on their own stuff has a tendancy to be way more anal about every aspect of the service or rebuild. There are techs out there that I wouldn't let fill my tire let alone work on my regs.
The really good ones are far and few between and who says they aren't overloaded, stressed, and underpayed?

One last thing. As more and more instructors become independent there will be a bigger market for alternative gear companies.
Also dive shops that are sick of being bullied will have a chance to sell gear that they have flexibility with.
The power SP holds (or used to hold) will some day be gone.

JamesK
April 24th, 2012, 11:58 AM
I have owned my Mk20/G250 and Mk25/G250 for 10 years now and never had a problem with them. I love them. Phenomenal setups IMO. I have no problem recommending ScubaPro now a days either. They still make excellent gear. However, with brands like Dive Rite and HOG on the scene (I own a handful of DR, and am replacing my Buechat regswith HOG), I do not see a reason for me to spend that kind of money anymore.

All in all, I don't know of many regs that are just plain crap for recreational diving. I have certain things I look for in a reg, and many brands/models do not offer that, but that does not make them crap.

mahjong
April 24th, 2012, 12:11 PM
You may be right about the sinking ship and who, in the LR, wins or loses. I honestly don't know and don't care. It is beside the point. It has to do with the nature of the larger business environment, which I believe does NOT serve the scuba market very well, esp the regulator market. You can criticize SP's response (tactics or whatever you call them) to this business environment. I will not argue, because it is not what is at issue to me. My concern is the product and I do not buy new regulators.

Regs made in response to and specifically to succeed in today's cutthroat business environement are of no interest to me. This is why I dive mainly MK10s and R109s.

Incidentally, what is the basis of the accusation of "advertising hype"? SP is not exactly like Coke or Pepsi with advertising, are they? They don't advertise on TV or before movies at local cineplexes, do they? They advertise in Scuba magazines, like many other companies. And they produce glossy catalogs. Catalogs are a good example of my point: The older Scubapro catalogs are genuinely informative and educational. They describe every detail about a product, including very technical details. They had complete diagrams of the internal workings of their regs in the catalogs. This changed at some point when marketing became more about image than information--probably some time in the 1990s. This change also roughly marks the cutoff of products for me. I prefer the products made prior to the marketing turn from info to image. This doesn't mean the stuff that came after the turn is all bad. But it does mean that there are considerations going on in product redesigns that involve more than just performance issues. These other nonperformance issues complicate things more than is necessary. And, yes, they also tend to be the basis of jacking up prices.

Hatul
April 24th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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.

I suspect that's part of the explanation as the prices for Atomic regs are more or less fixed and the profit margin is high.

The other reason is psychological as the Scubapro dealers lose their privileged position they feel let down as now they have to compete with online sites.

silver02ca
April 29th, 2012, 06:47 AM
I have used/serviced many makes/models of regulators over the years and still prefer scubapro all the time.

abnfrog
May 18th, 2012, 06:21 PM
sp shot them selfs in the foot with this new policy of no free parts , i have been servicing reg for over 25 years, and diy with out training is just dumb ,i have over 75 personal regs iv always liked sp , rebuilt 100s , i have just switched my personal sp regs to atomic . johnson world wide made a big mistake taking that kits for life away i think there going to lose more money than giving away a 5 dollar kit every year .............

chile7236
May 18th, 2012, 07:52 PM
over the last year, i am hearing more and more "less than stellar" things about SP and their CS...

awap
May 18th, 2012, 08:03 PM
sp shot them selfs in the foot with this new policy of no free parts , i have been servicing reg for over 25 years, and diy with out training is just dumb ,i have over 75 personal regs iv always liked sp , rebuilt 100s , i have just switched my personal sp regs to atomic . johnson world wide made a big mistake taking that kits for life away i think there going to lose more money than giving away a 5 dollar kit every year .............

And a day of no-fail training makes it smart???

I figure the cost of a kit to Scubapro is closer to $1

couv
May 18th, 2012, 08:24 PM
....not to mention the savings realized by of avoiding an unnecessary "annual" service. But never mind that, everyone should learn to inspect their own equipment.

Thalassamania
May 18th, 2012, 08:30 PM
The whole thing was basically a hoax from the get go. It was a loss leader for the shops designed back in the days of the illegal "fair-trade" arrangement between NASDS, ScubaPro, and Bailey Suits that forced folks back into the LDS, every year, to "keep their warranty." First of all, there was no warranty that was effected by the yearly service arrangement, there was a parts for life arrangement based on the fear of loosing a warranty that was either not revocable or not in effect. The real joke of it all was that there were any number of really competent regulator repair operations that were not ScubaPro dealers who'd do great servicing, at a lower total price than most ScubaPro dealers would even with the "free parts" deal. They laughed all the way to the bank. Frankly I can't see what SP gained by cancelling the program, except that with the death of "Fair Trade" and NASDS and the rise of the internet, the scam was being seen for what it was.

BDSC
May 18th, 2012, 08:44 PM
How does a Scubapro M25/A700 match up against an Atomic B2?

Buy the Atomic. I had SP regs for the first 19 or so years of my diving. In 2010 I bought an Atomic T2x. Last year I bought my wife a B2. Atomic regs are the very best regs on the market today. How do I know? Because that's what I own.

Rich Keller
May 19th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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.

I would use your original reg if you still have it. Scubapro still makes parts for every reg they ever sold. Find a good LDS that deals with Scubapro and they should be able to restore them to like new status if they are still in reasonable shape. A few years ago I picked up an R109, R108HP, MK3 and MK5 then got rid of my newer regs. These are every bit as good as what is on the market today and are very easy to service yourself.

James R
May 19th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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.

You can get a metal air barrel for that S600, and it wont crack like the plastic ones are prone to.


--

To compare the skill and experience needed to service and properly tune a reg set to fixing a toilet is pretty ridiculous in my opinion.

Thalassamania
May 19th, 2012, 02:58 PM
You can get a metal air barrel for that S600, and it wont crack like the plastic ones are prone to.


--

To compare the skill and experience needed to service and properly tune a reg set to fixing a toilet is pretty ridiculous in my opinion.Then I can only assume that you've never done both.

beaverdivers
May 19th, 2012, 04:08 PM
Scubapro is still the best. They have a full line of regs., B.C.'s and gear.

They continue to introduce new and exciting products, but still sell & support 40 year old classics.

For example, the new nova's and the Jet fins; the new MK17/A700 and the MK2 plus/G250V.

They still support regs that are decades old.

IMHO, Scubapro's customer service is # 1.

Next year, I will have 40 years diving their gear.

I just did 26 hours on the new X-Tek backplate in Cozumel.
However, I still love my classic!

Thalassamania
May 19th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Scubapro is still the best. They have a full line of regs., B.C.'s and gear.

They continue to introduce new and exciting products, but still sell & support 40 year old classics.

For example, the new nova's and the Jet fins; the new MK17/A700 and the MK2 plus/G250V.

They still support regs that are decades old.

IMHO, Scubapro's customer service is # 1.

Next year, I will have 40 years diving their gear.

I just did 26 hours on the new X-Tek backplate in Cozumel.
However, I still love my classic!Looking at your website explains why you hold those opinions. Do you sell anything but ScubaPro?

James R
May 19th, 2012, 05:18 PM
Then I can only assume that you've never done both.

You know what they say about assumptions, right?

Thalassamania
May 19th, 2012, 06:48 PM
You know what they say about assumptions, right?

You mean:

"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." - Orville Wright.

awap
May 19th, 2012, 07:06 PM
To compare the skill and experience needed to service and properly tune a reg set to fixing a toilet is pretty ridiculous in my opinion.

I do understand why you say that - it is your job.

And I do agree. There are probably not many reg techs that could make a living as a plumber.

Tfast78
May 19th, 2012, 09:02 PM
My LDS is still honoring the FPFL (I guess they took the figure something out on your own that SP threw at them seriously) on new regs if you bring them in yearly. I honestly don't mind getting them checked out and serviced by a professional once a year.

Just my two cents :homealone:

Scott L
May 19th, 2012, 09:14 PM
It may just be a better mouse trap, but my Atomic ST1 is far superior from a quality manufacturing/engineering standpoint to it's SP MK25 rival. You really cannot keep them in the same room. The SP MK25 will scamper into the closet. A BMW vs. a Fiat, which by the way stands for - fix it again Tony. :)

Yes, it is materially more expensive...

beaverdivers
May 19th, 2012, 09:42 PM
Looking at your website explains why you hold those opinions. Do you sell anything but ScubaPro?Thank You for visiting
Beaver Divers.com.

We do primarily sell SCUBAPRO.

We sell SCUBAPRO as a matter of choice.

Beaver Divers sells SCUBAPRO because of my personal experience ( 40 yrs. ) and belief in their products.

If we choose, we can sell any brand. Any manufacture would love to have our business.

We are in a unique position, located at about 8,000'; Beaver Divers is the only dive shop in about 100 mile radius.

We have carried almost all SCUBA brands in the last 25 years.

Yes, we have 100 or more products that are not SCUBAPRO.

Now, Beaver Divers is able to ship SCUBAPRO nation-wide.

I'm am excited because now I can share my Love of their products at the best price.

We are shipping SCUBAPRO to Florida, Texas and Cali.

Who would have thought that a dive store located in the mountains would be providing the best SCUBA gear to divers that live by the Ocean?

Did you notice our by-line?

nfarrar
May 19th, 2012, 09:58 PM
Dont get drunk and pass out on the cool-aid.... Who can afford or even justify the price on the X-Tek line but a dealer? Dive Rite, Hollis and Hog are just as good or better and HALF the price. Thanks just I'll just keep the other half and spend it in Cozmel or the Caymans. IMHO the X-Tek line is "faux tech" gear. It looks tech but isnt. The only ppl I have seen diving X-Tek are instructors how like plates but the LDS makes the instructors use gear the LDS sells. Then they all have other brands at home they use anytime not instructing for that LDS. Dont get me wrong SP still makes some good regulators but the only thing new and exciting are the marketing books and fliers(except the A700). But even the A700 isnt "new". Brass chrome plated 2nd stage. Hmmmm I have seen these before...

Who would buy a R109/R156-Balanced Adjustable new if SP started to reproduce they "unmolested" and "improved"? I sure would. But that wouldnt be exciting or new enough for SP.

Later Mon,
Nick

---------- Post added May 19th, 2012 at 09:01 PM ----------


Looking at your website explains why you hold those opinions. Do you sell anything but ScubaPro?


Thalassamania

You know wht they say "When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail".

Scott L
May 19th, 2012, 10:04 PM
Beaver Divers.com.

I have passed by your store a hundred times on the north side of I-70 between Beaver Creek and Vail. Great T-shirts as well. Good luck!

nfarrar
May 19th, 2012, 10:05 PM
Thank You for visiting
Beaver Divers.com.

We do primarily sell SCUBAPRO.

We sell SCUBAPRO as a matter of choice.

Beaver Divers sells SCUBAPRO because of my personal experience ( 40 yrs. ) and belief in their products.

If we choose, we can sell any brand. Any manufacture would love to have our business.



Not other brands of Regulators and keep that Platinum/exclusive Scubapro status!

ZKY
May 19th, 2012, 11:03 PM
Scubapro is still the best. They have a full line of regs., B.C.'s and gear.

They continue to introduce new and exciting products, but still sell & support 40 year old classics.

For example, the new nova's and the Jet fins; the new MK17/A700 and the MK2 plus/G250V.

They still support regs that are decades old.

IMHO, Scubapro's customer service is # 1.

Next year, I will have 40 years diving their gear.

I just did 26 hours on the new X-Tek backplate in Cozumel.
However, I still love my classic!

They do??
Then why was I told that I couldn't get a face plate for my G200B circa 1998?
They wanted to sell me a whole new upgraded "kit" of some sort for around $300.
*BUT* -and they said- that if I had kept up with the annual services they would have warranteed the face plate. Please explain to me what an annual service record and a shattered face plate have to do with each other? They couldn't explain either.
I just wanted a godamn face plate, pretty simple really. That should be about $35 tops.


Do you sell exhaust T's for 109's? They were still made less than 40 years ago.

James R
May 19th, 2012, 11:28 PM
You mean:

"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." - Orville Wright.

No thats not what I meant, but that quote shows his wisdom.


I do understand why you say that - it is your job.

And I do agree. There are probably not many reg techs that could make a living as a plumber.


It really has nothing to do with why I said that. It's simply my opinion, and besides that I wouldn't call doing a few regs a month "my job." I could make more at HEB stocking shelves than working on regs for a living! :)

--

Id like a hog to play with. The last set I saw in the shop we (4 people) couldn't make breathe worth a crap without free flowing. That can't be the norm. There's way too many people that know how to tune a reg swearing by them.

halocline
May 20th, 2012, 08:19 AM
I do understand why you say that - it is your job.

And I do agree. There are probably not many reg techs that could make a living as a plumber.

Plumbing is way harder without a doubt. But, plumbers have to actually go to school, do an apprenticeship (typically for years), pass exams, and get a license. And lots of them still suck! The sole requirements for being a regulator technician are working at a dealership and taking a one-day no fail course. It's a good thing regulators are so easy to work on, because if they weren't, this type of sham-training would result in A LOT of disasters.

---------- Post added May 20th, 2012 at 07:29 AM ----------




Id like a hog to play with. The last set I saw in the shop we (4 people) couldn't make breathe worth a crap without free flowing. That can't be the norm. There's way too many people that know how to tune a reg swearing by them.

When the sherwood SR1 came out a friend bought one and I was surprised at how terrible it breathed, yet he swore up and down that it out-performed his G250. Peoples' perceptions of regulator performance are very subjective.

I'm curious about hog performance as well. I suspect that, like the vast majority of regulators out there, they perform perfectly adequately. Regulators are a fun hobby, and I enjoy tweeking mine for maximum performance, but in truth almost anything will work fine and allow you to enjoy the dive.

couv
May 20th, 2012, 09:01 AM
....Id like a hog to play with. The last set I saw in the shop we (4 people) couldn't make breathe worth a crap without free flowing. ........

Perhaps you should call a plumber; or maybe a pig farmer.

awap
May 20th, 2012, 11:05 AM
They do??
Then why was I told that I couldn't get a face plate for my G200B circa 1998?
They wanted to sell me a whole new upgraded "kit" of some sort for around $300.
*BUT* -and they said- that if I had kept up with the annual services they would have warranteed the face plate. Please explain to me what an annual service record and a shattered face plate have to do with each other? They couldn't explain either.
I just wanted a godamn face plate, pretty simple really. That should be about $35 tops.


Do you sell exhaust T's for 109's? They were still made less than 40 years ago.

I suspect that any of the full size. similar looking SP face plates will work on your G200B - it just will not have the correct logo. Then again, if that were correct, SP would have told you that and taken care of your problem - wouldn't they???? Just looking at part numbers, it is clear that the G200/200B and the G250 use the same case. I'd bet they still support G250 front covers.

I put an S550 purge cover on my R295 to make it easier to store with the purge depressed. Thankfully, SP does not do much unnecessary engineering.

Exhaust Ts and rubber covers are often available for the 109/156. I think they re-run a batch every now and then based on demand.

Great regulators (like so many), usually. Company business practices leave a lot to be desired.

BTW I finally picked up one of your plates. My wife says she is going to stick with here TransPac so I guess I'll just have to suck it up and use it myself. Love it when a plan comes together.

cbrich
May 21st, 2012, 04:35 PM
I do understand why you say that - it is your job.


WOW, that is ridiculous assumption. Do you even know James?

---------- Post added May 21st, 2012 at 03:40 PM ----------


Perhaps you should call a plumber; or maybe a pig farmer.

Since you said it, these were professionals

1) Plumber for nuclear submarines
2) Pig Farmer from Iowa
3) Temporary Laborer
4) The technician

:rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3:: rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3::r ofl3::rofl3::rofl3::rofl3:

---------- Post added May 21st, 2012 at 03:42 PM ----------


Plumbing is way harder without a doubt. But, plumbers have to actually go to school, do an apprenticeship (typically for years), pass exams, and get a license. And lots of them still suck! The sole requirements for being a regulator technician are working at a dealership and taking a one-day no fail course. It's a good thing regulators are so easy to work on, because if they weren't, this type of sham-training would result in A LOT of disasters.

---------- Post added May 20th, 2012 at 07:29 AM ----------



When the sherwood SR1 came out a friend bought one and I was surprised at how terrible it breathed, yet he swore up and down that it out-performed his G250. Peoples' perceptions of regulator performance are very subjective.

I'm curious about hog performance as well. I suspect that, like the vast majority of regulators out there, they perform perfectly adequately. Regulators are a fun hobby, and I enjoy tweeking mine for maximum performance, but in truth almost anything will work fine and allow you to enjoy the dive.

In My Opinion: No better, No worse than a Dive Rite, or the Apex, or the Zeagle, that look just like it.

awap
May 21st, 2012, 04:59 PM
WOW, that is ridiculous assumption. Do you even know James?

---------- Post added May 21st, 2012 at 03:40 PM ----------



All I know of James is what he has posted including his profile:

Occupation:Chief Misinformation Officer

James R
May 21st, 2012, 05:16 PM
Perhaps you should call a plumber; or maybe a pig farmer.


I am not sure if this makes you a "thoughtful contributor," but it was funny either way!

I wanted to use a "your momma" joke, but SB seems to be a bit uptight lately so I left it alone.


All I know of James is what he has posted including his profile:

Occupation:Chief Misinformation Officer

I am flattered to know people are checking up on me :)

--

I still think it's easier to fix a toilet. I didn't say that I think reg work is easier than the whole trade of plumbing, as it's clearly not even close. I guess on SB you need to specify such things because people love to twist what you post around for you in order to suit their agenda or opinions.

A toilet, though, is still pretty freaking easy to fix. I wish someone would just flush this thread down one, actually.

cbrich
May 21st, 2012, 05:21 PM
All I know of James is what he has posted including his profile:

Occupation:Chief Misinformation Officer

:rofl3: We are on an Internet forum. :rofl3:

---------- Post added May 21st, 2012 at 04:25 PM ----------




I wanted to use a "your momma" joke, but SB seems to be a bit uptight lately so I left it alone.



:rofl3: You should, because we are on an Internet Forum. :rofl3:

Thalassamania
May 21st, 2012, 06:02 PM
...

I wanted to use a "your momma" joke, but SB seems to be a bit uptight lately so I left it alone. ...

Go ahead ... I give you safe passage across the wasteland.

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