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H2Andy
May 27th, 2005, 11:15 PM
ok... this has been talked to death on here, and i was going around trying to
put all the threads ranking the various regulator manufacturers together, but
there's just too many of them and too many variations... so.... i thought i'd
start this thread regarding how we rank the various regulators.

this is what i have so far:

Top of the Line

Apeks
Atomic
Poseidon
ScubaPro
Zeagle



Middle of the Pack

Aeris
Aqualung
Cressi Sub
Dive Rite
Genesis
Mares
OMS
Oceanic
Tusa
US Divers
XS Scuba (IDI)


Economy Class

Apollo
Beauchat
Dacor
Seac-Sub
Sea Elite
Seaquest
Sherwood

Dangerous at Any Price

IST


any others? any disputes as to which category these belong to?

waiting to be ranked: ScubaMax

rescuediver009
May 27th, 2005, 11:26 PM
Although it is kinda cheesy and you will forever be rearanging your list because I am first I will say that although sherwood can be economy class the Maximus would be in the mid range I think.
secondly, I think that Mares and Aqualung make regs that will fit into every category (abyss/legend, voltrex/titan, and MR12/calypso respectively)

H2Andy
May 27th, 2005, 11:30 PM
yes, i am hoping people will disagree with the list, and hopefully i can figure
out what the consensus is on the rankings

PerroneFord
May 27th, 2005, 11:34 PM
I think the problem will be that each manufacturer makes a range of products, so listing their desireability solely by manufacturer is someone problematic. There are very few manufacturers who make only regs in one class. The entire line of current Apeks and Atomics seem to be in the top class..., but that seems an anomoly.

H2Andy
May 27th, 2005, 11:37 PM
hmmm... the real world intrudes

Lightning Fish
May 27th, 2005, 11:53 PM
hmmm... the real world intrudes
poke poke....

I think some of the Aqualung regs should be in the "top of the line" class, such as the Legend. The Titan is a great reg as well, but that's what I use so I won't comment on where I think it should go.

Cheers,
Bill.

diversteve
May 27th, 2005, 11:53 PM
Apollo
Beuchat
IDI
IST

(i'm bored)

H2Andy
May 27th, 2005, 11:55 PM
Apollo and Beuchat

thanks

i haven't heard much about these. where would you rank them?


How about IDI and IST? i have no clue where to put them either

diversteve
May 28th, 2005, 12:17 AM
thanks
i haven't heard much about these. where would you rank them?
How about IDI and IST? i have no clue where to put them either

Beuchat is probably upper middle range, I think they're sold in Canada and by Cochran here. Apollo is solidly middle range imho. Apollo makes the Bio-Filter and incorporates it into the only reg. they sell.

http://www.beuchatdiving.com/regulators1.htm
http://www.apollosportsusa.com/Products/Regulators/

Here's what scubadiving.com had to say about IST, so I'm guessing Economy, unless you want to add another lower class...

These two IST regulators should not be used for scuba diving. Not only did. they both fail every breathing simulator test, neither of them even ...

All I know about IDI is from Divebooty's website. And they're selling them so this might be slightly biased...Scubadiving listed all their models in "16 Budget Regulators"

The IDI Seaira Titanium Airtec Regulator is a top rated, high performace model loaded with features...

pdoege
May 28th, 2005, 12:45 AM
My Dive Rite RG2500 regs breathe as well as my ScubaPro Mk25/S600 regs.

The scubapro Mk25s have a lot of plastic parts in them, and the dive rite seems to be a simpler design. Parts kits for the Dive Rite regs are readily available as well.

I'd move them up a notch personally, they are phenomenal regs for the money.

One problem that I think this ranking will run into is that 1) All of the high end regs breathe about the same at any realistic depth 2) Most of the really high end, pricey regs are full of marketing gimmicks that make them troublesome to service or get parts for 3) There are only so many reg factories in the world and a lot of cheaper regs are actually clones of more expensive regs.

My advice would be to go for a solid mid-range reg that has good support in your area or that you can get parts for. There really doesn't seem to be a clear cut "best" at the moment.

Peter Doege

Dragon2115
May 28th, 2005, 07:10 AM
I have an easier ranking system...

Mine is the best, everybody else's is a distant second. ;) :1poke: :D

Snowbear
May 28th, 2005, 11:19 AM
I have found that regularly rinsing after use keeps the rankness out of my regulators :11:

I noticed you correctly put my regulator of choice at the top of the top of the line list :D

aquaoren
May 28th, 2005, 12:41 PM
hmmm... the real world intrudes
Yes, indeed. :D

uberspeed
May 28th, 2005, 10:35 PM
I can weigh in on the Aeris. I'd have to agree, middle to upper middle of the pack. My Atmos Pro breathes awesome, I cannot weigh in on serviceability, the inner workings, etc. so someone else (with more experience: especially servicing regs) may weigh in on that aspect of them (design, engineering, materials employed, etc.). Due to their relative "newness" and that they have a 2 year warranty and not lifetime like some other regs then I also think this firmly plants them in the category you have them in. All that being said I would say it breathed smoother to me than a MK25SA/S600 that I have tried and it certainly came in at a lower price point to boot. Also, I like the fact that Aeris as a company is aware that shunning online sales is just shooting yourself in the foot, IMHO.

TostitoBandito
May 28th, 2005, 11:02 PM
I think the problem will be that each manufacturer makes a range of products, so listing their desireability solely by manufacturer is someone problematic. There are very few manufacturers who make only regs in one class. The entire line of current Apeks and Atomics seem to be in the top class..., but that seems an anomoly.

Zeagle is the same way for the mostpart. Only maybe their cheapest reg might fall into middle of the pack but the rest are high-end.

Poseidon8118
May 29th, 2005, 12:19 AM
Good try but they need to be ranked by model not by company, i.e. Mares has some of the best WOB regulators out there, so has Aqua-Lung, etc. They also need to be ranked in two or three individual categories, i.e. cold water, tech, recreational-warm water, etc. I wish it was that simple as first stated in your original post...but its not.


You have to also weigh the fact that Apeks, AquaLung, US Divers, and Seaquest are the same company (AquaLung Group), and the same goes for Genesis, and Sherwood (Sherwood Group). Ah the heck with it....

WarmWaterDiver
May 29th, 2005, 12:59 AM
XS Scuba now owns the rights to what used to be IDI, as I understand things.

http://www.onlinescuba.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=4030

http://www.onlinescuba.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=4545A

I agree with the last poster - to heck with it. This is set up too subjectively, as the manufacturers' generally make specific models for low, middle, and higher priced target markets. I know H2Andy, who started the thread, has posted about how much he loves his Sea Elite reg which he says is the same as the Dive Rite reg with a different label (and to me, the Scubamax balanced diaphragm reg looks really similar ..., and someone else mentioned IST ...) How about it H2Andy? Do these look similar to your Sea Elite rig?

http://www.escubamax.com/.sc/ms/bdd/1114034727553182/9/nc/ee/242/DIAPHRAGM%20BALANCE

http://www.onlinescuba.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=4652

http://www.onlinescuba.com/eshop/10Expand.asp?ProductCode=4056

It is interesting the person who ranked Dive Rite higher than Scubapro maybe hasn't seen the latest simulator scores - for those who believe in things like science, that is.

But, the observation that just about all will work well within typical rec scuba depths is probably pretty much on the money. Then it comes down to personal preferences - like is the Lamborghini really better than the Ferrari, etc.

lord1234
May 29th, 2005, 09:22 AM
I saw a brand on ebay yesterday that isn't listed....Pro-Sub.

Vie
May 29th, 2005, 10:23 AM
Another new(ish) brand is Dynamo.

http://www.dynamodiving.com/

My LDS tells me that Dynamo have some kind of a relationship with Atomic Aquatics (something about Dynamo being the manufacturer for Atomic regs) but I have no idea whether there is some truth to this or if it is just a rumour/BS. Dynamo and Atomic first stages are remarkably similar looking...

kityip
May 29th, 2005, 12:01 PM
I like my Apeks :07:

Cheers.

Vie
May 29th, 2005, 12:18 PM
any others? any disputes as to which category these belong to?

You put TUSA in the middle tier, and yet some of their regs (such as the RS-460 X-Pert) are basically rebranded Scubapros. I agree with others who have suggested that ranking based on the manufacturer is rather misleading as some brands make a whole range of regulators, some great, some not so.

scubapro50
May 29th, 2005, 01:31 PM
I think the problem will be that each manufacturer makes a range of products, so listing their desireability solely by manufacturer is someone problematic. There are very few manufacturers who make only regs in one class. The entire line of current Apeks and Atomics seem to be in the top class..., but that seems an anomoly.
If that is the case about a manfacture making only one "class" of regulator then DACOR must rank "dead" last now. I would rank it behind IDI, IST, SCUBAMAX AND APOLLO just on the facts of the problems with DACOR in the past may continue into the future.

RoadWarrior
May 29th, 2005, 02:16 PM
Atomic #1

WarmWaterDiver
May 29th, 2005, 02:50 PM
I saw a brand on ebay yesterday that isn't listed....Pro-Sub.

I don't think Pro Sub is in business any more. Like others who have passed to the wayside (Abyss, IDI, Parkway, etc.). If some other company purchased the rights to Pro Sub, I haven't heard of it.

Hey, H2Andy - how about the Promate balanced diaphragm first stage, and range of second stage regulators - do you see similarity with the Sea Elite, Dive Rite, Scubamax, etc.? They have a wide range of colors available for the second stages I see - something the rest of the industry has somewhat moved away from in recent years.

http://www.promateusa.com/main.asp?cate=regulators

Rick Murchison
May 29th, 2005, 03:08 PM
Your list is interesting, though it's difficult to figure out how you reached your conclusions.
In the last "great regulator test" (about two years ago) that actually tested all the then current regs in head-to-head competition, the only scientific, measurable test (the machine tests) ranked the Aqualung Legend and the Aqualung Titan above all others in WOB.
I'm not associated with any regulator company, and when asked I will tell folks that "Any of the modern high-performance regs are excellent" and that they should "pick the one you like" after trying them out - because that's the truth, supported by both scientific testing and user subjective testing. The only other caveat I add is that if diving extremely cold water you should make sure you get the cold water model.
But when someone comes out with a list that fails to reflect the reality of the only actual measurement of regulator performance in favor of a popularity contest I have to speak up. Leaving Aqualung off the "top-of-the-line" list is just simply inaccurate.
Rick

redrover
May 29th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Well, maybe anyway.

When I first did research (primarily word of mouth), as a noob looking for a broad category direction to reduce my choices to decide from; I came to the same conclusions as H2Andy. (And, did not interpret them in a specific order of rank but within a category.)

WarmWaterDiver
May 29th, 2005, 06:22 PM
Your list is interesting, though it's difficult to figure out how you reached your conclusions.
In the last "great regulator test" (about two years ago) that actually tested all the then current regs in head-to-head competition, the only scientific, measurable test (the machine tests) ranked the Aqualung Legend and the Aqualung Titan above all others in WOB.
I'm not associated with any regulator company, and when asked I will tell folks that "Any of the modern high-performance regs are excellent" and that they should "pick the one you like" after trying them out - because that's the truth, supported by both scientific testing and user subjective testing. The only other caveat I add is that if diving extremely cold water you should make sure you get the cold water model.
But when someone comes out with a list that fails to reflect the reality of the only actual measurement of regulator performance in favor of a popularity contest I have to speak up. Leaving Aqualung off the "top-of-the-line" list is just simply inaccurate.
Rick

Rick,

I'm not associated with any regulator company either.

Can you post a link to that data? I don't ever remeber seeing this. I have seen Aqualung as well as other brands rated with 'perfect simulator scores', but not such a review where the Aqualung Titan nor the Aqualung Legend ranked 'above all others' in WOB.

Here's some examples of such studies and ratings I'm familiar with.

http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/regulators/the_best_of_everything_gear_guide_2003%3a_regulato rs/0/

That article had numerous brands and models written up as 'perfect simulator performance', including the two you mentioned (if Titan LX with the balanced second stage is considered instead of Titan). But not that two Aqualung products were superior in WOB to all others tested.

http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/regulators/the_mother_of_all_reg_reviews/

This review listed the Titan as 'Very Good' on the simulator for WOB, the Titan LX was rated as 'Excellent" on the same basis, and the Legend LX was also rated 'Excellent', but other brands and models earned the same rating of 'Excellent' on the simulator. In this chart, every regulator whose total rank on the simulator is '20' is a 'perfect score' on the simulator.

http://dive.scubadiving.com/html/200210regs_charts.html

I note the Dive Rite reg was only rated about halfway to '20' in the 2002 test above - and the most recent test I read, just this month, Dive Rite rated 18 out of 25. There were other regs that scored higher than 18 out of 25 on the simulator in the most recent test - one of which was the TUSA RS-460 mentioned earlier, another was the Mares MR12 Rebel.

This UK article showed the Legend LX Supreme to have the lowest overall WOB in that test, but doesn't mention the Titan nor Titan LX. There were several other brands and models rated at < 1 J/l WOB though.

http://www.divernet.com/equipment/1202regtest2.htm

Similar comments on this article.

http://www.divernet.com/equipment/0302regtest2.htm

Thanks in advance for the link - I'm always interested in data.

The latest such round of testing I'm familiar with now has a simulator score of 25 as a 'perfect score', where previously it was 20 (5 max rating times 4 categories), by now assigning a weighting factor of times 2 to the 'Category A' performance - which is the least severe test criteria of the 4 categories on the simulator test.

Of course, there were other Aqualung models that didn't achieve 'perfect simulator scores' (i.e. AL Calypso), underscoring the fact that many manufacturers market different models for different price ranges under the same overall brand name - mentioned previously.

H2Andy
May 29th, 2005, 10:45 PM
Your list is interesting, though it's difficult to figure out how you reached your conclusions.


just by reading a bunch of threads on here, as i explained in the first post :eyebrow:

more than anything, i was looking for opinions (which i am working with) to
"refine" the list to reflect people's opinions as much as possible

needless to say, since i haven't used 90% of the regs listed, it's nothing to do
with my personal preferences

by the way, it's seriously looking like the only "real" way to rank regs is going
to be by model, not just by brand

scubapro50
May 29th, 2005, 11:23 PM
my personal regulator tests of all the different brands and models I own : NUMBER #1 SCUBAPRO MK10 with a balanced 109 second stage ... NUMBER #2 DACOR 760 PACER XLT .... NUMBER #3 VOIT TITAN II J .... NUMBER #4 DACOR PACER 360 ... NUMBER #5 DACOR R4 doublehose ................. I do not work for any diving manfucturer and this is based on my personal experience with each model after 30 years of diving ......

LavaSurfer
June 9th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Hmmmm

IST seems to get a bad rap here
Maybe thier older regs were bad I saw some nasty reviews on teh 600 and 700 while shopping around, I wouldn't know but for economy the newer regs get great reviews on scubadiving.com and was a Scuba Labs Testers Choice.

IST SPORTS PROLINE R10 & R20
IST Sports' brand-new R10 adjustable and R20 nonadjustable regulators dominated breathing simulator tests in this price group. The R20 not only earned a perfect score, it was able to exceed 300 feet at the maximum breathing rate while maintaining a work of breathing of only 1.0 joule per liter--an outstanding achievement for a budget regulator. In-water tests show the R20 to breathe dry in all positions. The R10, while delivering fair breathing performance in the swimming position, has a tendency to breathe wet in a heads-down or face-up position.

Performance Data

Inhale Pressure: 12.86mbar
Inhale Pos Pressure: 4.91
Exhale Pressure: 10.11mbar
Ext Work of Breath: 0.72 J/I
Inhale work: 0.22
Pos Inhale Work: 0.10
Exhale Work: 0.65


I thought the review of the R10 was interesting since the R20 and R10 have the same first and the R10 is an adjustable second. thats the only diff.

I have several friends that dive the R10 and love them. I bought one. Maybe I am justifying my purchase but so far the only flaw I have found is the mouthpiece is a bit small. It breaths easy, I guess thats what really matters.

Ford or Chevy
No its not a Bently!

countryboy
June 9th, 2005, 09:51 AM
One of the recent dive mags has a regulator "shoot-out"... Can't remember the magazine name or the ranking of the regs.. Will look tonight when I am at home..

Performed subjective testing as well as bench testing, compiled the results, etc..

LavaSurfer
June 9th, 2005, 09:59 AM
One of the recent dive mags has a regulator "shoot-out"... Can't remember the magazine name or the ranking of the regs.. Will look tonight when I am at home..

Performed subjective testing as well as bench testing, compiled the results, etc..

http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/regulators/the_mother_of_all_reg_reviews/
This is a good one but it is 2 years old.

Heffey
June 9th, 2005, 10:25 AM
by the way, it's seriously looking like the only "real" way to rank regs is going
to be by model, not just by brand
Hey H2Andy, Interesting post. Itís sad to say however, that a real ranking that is valid from one person to another or from one type of diving to another is impossible. It is especially difficult to gain any pertinent data from people who actually own the regs, as people generally want to believe that what they own is the best and will only berate the possession if it sucks really bad and feel that they got hosed.
I believe that the only way to for a person to rank a reg is to stick it in their mouth and suck air. That corresponding ranking is however, only totally valid for that person.
Yesterday, I bought a Cressi-Sub Ellipse Titanium regulator. I expect it will fit my regulator needs precisely. If it sucks, Iím still going to say itís the best. At least until I get something else and then that POS is on its own. lol.
Jeffrey

jonix
June 9th, 2005, 10:34 AM
http://www.scubadiving.com/gear/regulators/the_mother_of_all_reg_reviews/
This is a good one but it is 2 years old.

i just visited the link and noticed the weakness of the OCEAN REEF Enterprise TR94 Polar and i quote...

"Weaknesses: Temperamental purge button. Above-average bubble interference."

what on earth is a temperamental purge button? :11:

uberspeed
June 9th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Perhaps when you hit it, it either doesn't engage all the time or some of the time it stays on.

Moogyboy
June 10th, 2005, 11:41 AM
Your list is interesting, though it's difficult to figure out how you reached your conclusions.
In the last "great regulator test" (about two years ago) that actually tested all the then current regs in head-to-head competition, the only scientific, measurable test (the machine tests) ranked the Aqualung Legend and the Aqualung Titan above all others in WOB.
I'm not associated with any regulator company, and when asked I will tell folks that "Any of the modern high-performance regs are excellent" and that they should "pick the one you like" after trying them out - because that's the truth, supported by both scientific testing and user subjective testing. The only other caveat I add is that if diving extremely cold water you should make sure you get the cold water model.
But when someone comes out with a list that fails to reflect the reality of the only actual measurement of regulator performance in favor of a popularity contest I have to speak up. Leaving Aqualung off the "top-of-the-line" list is just simply inaccurate.
Rick

I really think that the list is more reflective of manufacturers' reputations and/or image rather than empirical quality or performance. By that measure, I agree that Aqua Lung/USD belongs squarely in the top tier. Any ranking in terms of performance or whatever ought to be on a model by model basis. I guess, though that you could make generalizations about some mfgs having a rep for making mostly junk, but in that case I don't think that the "TOL/MOR/Budget" categories are accurate...how about "quality/marginal/junk"?

cheers

Billy S.

ps--post #300 for me!

Moogyboy
June 10th, 2005, 11:49 AM
For my part, from what I've seen and read, I would think that TUSA and Oceanic might go in Economy class. Sherwood might be borderline Economy/MOR. But I know nothing.

cheers

Billy S.

Moogyboy
June 10th, 2005, 11:55 AM
Oh, here's another category divvyup, based on the type of diver in whose mouth you most expect to find the reg in question:

1) Professional/Tech/DIR/Advanced Recreational Diver
2) Average Knowledgeable Diver
3) Vacationing Newbie Diver Who Kicks Up Clouds Of Silt And Mugs For Underwater Disposable Camera During Resort Course

:)

cheers

Billy S.

Drewpy
June 10th, 2005, 12:19 PM
When I made my decision a few years back..I based it on performance/reliability and ability to service/obtain parts overseas as well as local?
I ended up with a SP Mk 25 S600,but I think all high end regs are probably not much different?

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