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I've narrowed my choice down to these two. Both are available from the LDS and they 'recommend' both. Main difference I was able to gather between the two was service costs with the Atomic apprently running $200/service vs the Aqualung only costing ~$80 each service (due to Aqualung covering parts as part of their warranty).
90% of diving will be in Pac NW region with drysuit and colder water.
I recently had the same debate, but mine was the LX Supreme Vs. the B2.
I opted for the LX supreme, the ACD was what swayed me in favour of the Aqualung. the service was negligible since you service a Atomic ever 2 years Vs. every year on a aqualung.
For the longest time something bugged me about the Atomic Regs, it was nothing I could put my finger on, it was not a performance relate issue, I recently figured it out. They are too "Fisher Price" for my taste, and by this I mean they look like toys, not serious diving equipment.
I like colour like anyone else, but if you put too much of it on a second stage it looks funny, and well toyish and cheap even though in this case it's anything but.
I have an SS1 as my "Air2" as well so I am not Anti-Atomic.
I have, until recently, only rented gear. The one problem that I have had with a regulator was with an atomic. I don't know the model. At the Carthaginian wreck on Maui, at about 90', I started sucking water. Purging didn't help. The backup worked! At about 60' I tried it again and it seemed fine. Back on board, the DM pulled the cover off and declared that there was nothing wrong. Too bad, It was the first dive of the day and my last with rental gear. I realize that this was probably a situation with this particular reg. But, once bitten...
I dive an aqualung legend lx supreme and love it I have also used a atomic b2. They are both excellent breathers in warm and cold waters. The legend is environmentally sealed and with the m1 it is filled with christo lube in the piston area. They call it sealed. So it is a matter if you want a piston or a diaphram reg.
I own 5 Legends and one Atomic B2 I won in a photo contest. The legends are hands down my favorite regs over the Atomics. The B2 breathes fine but has a high supersonic whistle when pulled on hard. Very very annoying. The legends work very well deep or shallow and the ACD is a nice feature when changing tanks on a boat in the wind and rain etc. I wont get rid of the B2 as it is a nice reg but its a backup only when compared to the Legends for me.
I use both regs. Our rental regs are Atomic Z1s. My wife has a B2 and many of my friends and instructors that I work with own M1s. I own 2 Apeks ATX 200s which are essentially identical to the Legend without the ACD.
Both regs breath really well. Both M1 and Legend are environmentally sealed and good cold water regs.
Legend is dry sealed diaphram design.
M1 is cristo lube sealed piston design.
M1 has a smaller first and second stage with a low profile first stage design and a swivel for LP ports.
Legend is a bit bigger (both first and second stages) and has nice hose routing options as well as ACD in first stage.
Legend has comfo-bite mouthpieces which I really like.
Atomic being on swivel is virtually weightless in your mouth.
I prefer servicing the Legend and its dry sealed first stage.
Which one do you think looks cooler? Maybe that will need to be the final decision maker!
"I may be vile and pernicious, but you can't look away. I bet you think I'm delicious, with the stuff that I say."