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Atomic v. Apeks v. Mares

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by Benwood, Mar 13, 2001.

  1. Benwood

    Benwood Guest

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    Hi everybody. I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm having a real tough time choosing between an Atomic B1, Mares Abyss and Apeks TX100.

    Here in the Boston are there are price differences as well as dealer issues. I can get the Abyss for $449, B1 for $535 and Apeks for $537. But, here are my issues/concerns.

    I'm not all that impresses w/the Atomic dealers. The 2 most convenient both appear as if their businesses are doing quite poorly which makes we wonder whether they'll be there for servicing. But, I've read so much about what great regs Atomic makes. It's the one reg that I've yet to read a single criticism of. Although I have 3 concerns: 1) I love u/w photography and am concerned about bubble dispersion w/such a small second stage, and 2) I am still leary about not having my reg serviced every year, 3) the cost of parts replaced at servicing is extraordinarily high for Atomic.

    I've used an Abyss and thought it performed remarkably well. But, it's weakness lies in ergonomics. The stifff hose required me to use a SeaCure mouthpiece, which is a huge piece of plastic to have in one's mouth.

    As for Apeks, my concern is reports I've read of wet-breathing. Also, I'm hearing conflicting information from local dealers about whether or not the manufacturer covers the cost of parts at the annual servicing.

    My diving consists of 3 annual 1 week to 1- day trips to warm water locations (Florida, Caribbean) but I think I'm finally going to try some local (New England) diving this summer.

    Thanks for your help.

    Benwood

     
  2. 50sdiver

    50sdiver Guest

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    Benwood:
    I haven't dove with any of the reg you mentioned, but I can help with the stiff hose problem. Do a mod on what the cave divers do, and put a long (5ft) hose on the primary and run the hose down your right side, under your arm, and back up to your mouth. the mod is to put a swivel at the reg so there is no tension on your mouth.
    Dive year around, it's just as nice in the winter. Just get a good wet/dry suit.
    50sDiver
     
  3. Nathan

    Nathan Angel Fish

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    Well I don't know about the Apeks or the Mares. I do have an Atomic reg and I like it (I tend to hang around up side down a lot Hrmm go figure) any way it dosen't breathe wet like most of the other regs that I tried.

    Just my .02¥

    Nathan

     
  4. large_diver

    large_diver Loggerhead Turtle

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    Hi Benwood,

    I too live in Boston and am in the market for a reg (just started diving last year -- virtually all of my dives to date have been here in New England). Interested in hearing where you saw that price for the B1 -- this is currently #1 on my list of choices. I agree that most of the Atomic dealers in Mass tend to be smaller (perhaps financially unstable) shops. Service is key and there isn't a shop you feel comfortable with within a reasonable distance that will service Atomics, you may want to consider looking at other brands.

    The only exception to the "small shop" profile seems to be United Divers in Somerville (they also have a shop down in Providence). They quoted me a price of $630 for a B1 without environmental sealing. They are pretty helpful there -- I went to see them late last summer and told them I was interested in buying a B1 -- they let me rent one on 2 different occasions (they use Atomic Z1s for their normal rental gear). Not the easiest place to get to if you live south or west of Boston, but might be worth a shot if you want to try one out this summer before buying. They have a website (not totally current) at:

    http://www.uniteddivers.com

    I think you will be hard pressed to find any reg brand that hasn't received some negative press at one time or another. I used to think Scubapro regs were "bulletproof", but have received some less than growing reviews about some of their recnt products. Even Atomic has just had a recall (affected a series of regs manufactured back in 1999) -- although they have handled this in such an up front and professional manner that it only solidified my positive image of the company.

    I don't have any experience with Mares or Apeks regs, but have heard mainly positive comments about their performance here in New England.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions.


     
  5. Warhammer

    Warhammer Manta Ray

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    If you haven't saw any negative feedback on the Atomic regs, then you just haven't looked in the right place. Divernet did a review of the Ti2 Titanium a while back and sited a weak point in the second stage diaphragm. You can find it here. But that isn't the exact model you are asking about. And as stated above, they recently had a recall, which to me is not necessarily a bad thing. It's good to know that when a problem arises their willing to fix it.

    I own a new set of Apeks regs; TX50, TX40 octo, & DST 1st to be exact, and they breath dry in any postion I care to put them in. Wet breathing use to be a problem, but it has apparently been fixed. The warranty thing, I'm not sure about. The manual makes no mention of "free parts". Zeagle had that in their manual when they use to distribute the Apeks line. But when I bought my set, my dealer said I'd get free parts for life. Wether that's his policy or Apeks's policy, I'm not sure. But as long as he's there, I don't really care. I absolutely adore my regs and wouldn't trade them for any other reg on the market, including the TX100 or any of the other lines. But that's just me. Out of all the gear I own, these are my babies. :)
     
  6. Tavi

    Tavi NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Rochester, NY
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    Hi, If you didn't know, That Sea-Cure mouthpiece can be trimed to any size you want.It can be reshaped too. It doesn't have to be a huge piece of plastic.
    Tavi
     
  7. DiverInAk

    DiverInAk Nassau Grouper

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    I just want to point out a couple of things. One, the review by Divernet on the Atomic was followed up in December of the same year. Apparently the regulator was taken apart and put together incorrectly prior to the failure. Read the follow up

    Also, there have been regulator recalls from many manufacturers, including ScubaPro. Take a look through NOAA's site here and you'll see references to various diving safety issues and recalls.

     
  8. Benwood

    Benwood Guest

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    United Divers is a competent enough group of people, BUT, they think a good deal is to sell at MSRP. I'm buying about $1,800 of equipment and Doug told me that since I'm making such a large purchase he wants to cut me a break. So, he offered to cut the price on the Atomic B1 from $630 to $610. Gee, thanks Doug! And United Divers shop looks like a shack in a third-world country, it's in a very low-rent area, so I am not sympathetic to and argument that they have lots of overhead to cover. Their overhead does not begin to compare to most of their competitors.

    I don't want to name other names because I don't want to risk placing other shops in difficult positions with repsect to their dealer agreements. But, a couple Mass. dealers have offered 10% off on the equipment I'm buying (not up to mail-order standards, but I do expect to pay more to support the local guys) which is not great, but I do appreciate the gesture of goodwill. That wins points with me. One of the local shops that offered me 10% off also offered an additional 5% off if I pay in cash.

    Thanks to all for your help.
     
  9. DiverCCRN

    DiverCCRN Angel Fish

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    Location: Northern NJ
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    I have a Zeagle Tech-50D and LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT.

    Never had a problem with wet breathing and I too tend to hang upside down quite a bit. It also rated very well in diving past recreational limits too....

    I get free parts every year I service my Zeagle (Apeks) regs. Only problem is the nearest dive shop that services Zeagle is one hour away.
     
  10. DiverInAk

    DiverInAk Nassau Grouper

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    Sounds like the same story in this neck of th woods. I originally approached my LDS looking to purchase dry suit, diveware, reg, computer and BC. All told, a little over $5,000 MSRP. My discount, a little less than 8%! Gee, thanks.

    I still can't understand my local shop not giving a set 10% off for students. You figure if you take a class there, then have an incentive to buy gear there, you'll be back for more.

    Well, glad you've found someone who can make a deal!
     

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