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I am considering these two regulators, and wondred if one was better than the other. I typically dive in both the Great Lakes sometimes when the wate is in the 40's and in Florida (warm). I dive within the 130' depth.
So I want a "high perfomance" reg that can go "cold" but not necessarily ice cold.
Which on is the better breather, and which one is the better cold water reg. Is one clearly superior?
I dive with both an Abyss and Proton Ice - Abyss as primary on a long hose and Proton Ice around my neck. I don't do any real "cold water" diving - the quarry here gets into the upper 40's at the bottom - so that is as low as I have tried them.
The Abyss is a smooth breather - but it is heavy and I find it much more comfortable with a SeaCure mouthpiece. It also as a longer exhaust T, so there is less bubble interferrance.
The Proton Ice is lighter, and feels great with the mouthpiece that it comes with. It is also a smooth breather and it is easy to adjust the Proton series, so you can get it to breathe as easy as you want (the Abyss is harder to make adjustments on). There is a little more bubble interferrance with the Proton Ice because of the shorter exhaust T - but less than with a standard Proton or Proton XL.
The purge is a little better with the Abyss - but not really a significant difference. Both breathe the same at 30 ft and 100 ft. I like the smaller size of the Proton Ice for a bungeed back-up. And being all metal, they both help reduce dry mouth.
I would find it hard to find fault with either one.
Interestingly, I bought my stepson a TUSA RS230, to use for training - and because of the adjustible 2nd stage - it is hard to tell the difference between it and the Mares regs (I took it for a test dive to check it out before giving it to him).
I think there is little differnce between most of the mid to top line regulators - I would choose based upon a combination of price and service availability - a lot of which depends on whether you are going to maintain your own gear.
I dive an Abyss as my primary and a Proton metal on a necklace. The Abyss is a better breather. I have had my Abyss for 7 years and have never had any problems with it. I dive mostly the great lakes and have dove mine in water temps down to 36 degrees. If you dive mostly in colder water you definitly want a metal reg.