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Deep 6 reg comparison against AL LUX Supreme

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by Diving Dubai, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113
    1. Introduction

    To be fair I’ve been intrigued with the Deep 6 regulators and their whole business concept. I’m not in the market for a new reg, but am often asked what I think, and what I recommend
    As @RainPilot had already taken the plunge and invested in some, and kindly offered me the loan of one to try and set one up as a Stage reg.

    This isn’t a lab test, or indeed anything scientific, and indeed all my impressions and comments must be taken with the caveat that they are personal and subjective, but that said I’ve tried to be open minded and unbiased with my thoughts.

    I’ll be comparing the Deep 6 (D6) against my current reg, the Aqualung Legend LUX Supreme (AL) I’ve got 2 of these sets. They’ve served me well for over 3 years with around 400 dives between them. They weren’t my first regs (previously Legend LX) but I’ve never regretted their purchase.

    I have two of these, both DIN. I like them very much, although they look a bit battered as most diving is on boats where the kit lies on the deck between dives. They have never let me down and have been faultless in their operation despite my unloving treatment of them.

    The only way to compare underwater is for me to take the D6 reg down on a slung tank with my AL on my back so I can swap around underwater to my hearts content.

    Both the AL and the D6 units are CE marked for cold water use, so in my eyes totally equal.

    The technical details for both can be found on the relevant manufacturers sites
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  2. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113
    2. Initial impressions:

    I’m not going into detail, about the tech spec. You can find it out on the relevant manufacturing sites. This is all my impressions from opening the box as it were.

    Deep Six 1st stage.

    Out of the box it feels like a nice well made unit. It weighs in at a hefty 840g (1.8lb) as opposed to 640g (1.4lb) for the AL unit. The D6 is a turret with 5 LP and 2 HP ports. Everything seems well laid out – I’ve never used a turret 1st stage (although my wife has one)

    The Din wheel is all metal, although the Din wheel feels nice, the grip is quite smooth, I’d have preferred the ridges to be “sharper” for more grip. The AL is a rounded triangular rubber grip – it feels nicer.

    A lot of the metal parts have a deep brown coating. I don’t know how durable this will be (I'm guessing it will be) but it has a nice finish.

    A minor comment, you get better contrast between a normal metal finish and O-ring than you do on this, meaning you need more than a quick glance to check on the O-ring

    Deep 6 2nd stage

    Like the 1st stage it seems nicely made. Metal parts have the same brown coating. And the same grip feel.

    The 2nd stage feels and looks a bigger unit. It’s 75mm (2.95”) dia and weighs 270g (0.59lb). This compares with 210g (0.22lb) and 64mm (2.51”) for the AL.

    The numbers don’t give as much difference as it seems visually. I will say the D6 unit looks well build and certainly more so than the AL (which isn’t exactly fragile)

    The Purge on the D6 is “rubber” and feels like it needs less pressure to push then the AL (plastic faced purge).

    Two things pop out here.

    The breathing control. On the AL it requires a rotation of 270 degrees from open to closed – easily a single movement with one turn. On the D6 it rotates 540 degrees (a turn and a half) so two goes from open to closed. Not sure why this is.

    The mouthpiece. While comfortable, it feels very flexible. The AL mouthpiece grips like a mouthguard. The D6 reg moves around a lot more on the end of the mouthpiece. For me, I’d need to change the mouth piece. Often on dives in current, my current reg gets a fair movement vibration, I think the D6 would be uncomfortable in these conditions.

    That said, a mouthpiece is an easy change, and very personal.

    Happy for @cerich and or @LandonL to jump in here.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  3. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113
    3. Diving the Deep 6

    I had 2 dives on it, so had just over 1 hour breathing it underwater (the rest being on my AL) I used my AL for descent and ascent, so the D6 was only used at depth (20-30m) I did swithc between both regs but gave precedence to the D6.

    With the dive lever to max, I tried the breathing control knob a number of times. Yes, I could feel some change, but nothing dramatic, and you need 2 twists on it (1 and 1 half turns) from open to closed (rather than the 0.75 turns of the AL) which is made with one twist. The AL doesn't have a dive lever as it's a combination control.

    I hated the mouth piece.

    I’d taken the lip guard off my AL so they had a similar feel (while I don’t need it for cold water, we do get stinging plankton and the lip shield is nice to stop that tingling)

    The D6 mouthpiece felt hard and uncomfortable needing a firmer bite. The AL just sits there, you don’t feel it, as it grips like a gum shield supported by the roof of your mouth and is a softer silicone on the bite (mine have not worn out of been replaced)

    But importantly how did it breath? It was okay. It didn’t feel as though it required more force than the AL, but it did feel less smooth or less refined. Hard to explain, When swapping back to the AL it was like an old friend (I discounted the mouth piece) there was just something different.

    This was an easy dive, around a couple of wrecks. No current down below. I would be interested to try the D6 on my usual sites with decent current and high workload, to see how it breaths and works out in those conditions but I’d need to change the mouth piece for sure, as it’s a loan reg that wouldn’t be fair.

    Changing tanks was a challenge, my original thoughts were correct that the Din wheel provides no grip, in order to remove it I had to used my dive gloves for grip. The AL on the other hand had no such issues.

    That Din wheel needs to be more "grippy"
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  4. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113
    4. Verdict

    This is hard.

    The AL set as used shows a US $643 ($515 special price on Dive Stock) although DRIS shows them at $1200!

    The Deep 6 shows a Website price of $325

    With the D6 you get the nice hard case and the service parts and 2 yr service intervals. I don’t service my own regs, given that I spent 10 years stripping Jet engines down to nuts and bolts in the military, reg servicing should be no problems. However, I have a great LDS within a 10min drive, so not an issue.

    Also I choose to service annually. My regs are in salt water weekly, (obviously more than some and less than others) they get exposed to harsh summer temps (above 40C 110F in the shade) and sand. The fine airborne sand here gets everywhere. We don't get the parts for life here, so that isn't a factor. That said I'd probably learn to service my D6 regs, just so I could if I needed to.

    I would still service my D6 reqs annually. The Service kits are a nice touch, and I'd take thanm on vacation as a "just in case", But I've never (touch wood) had a reg issue on vacation as they'r echecked regularly.


    I handed the regs around the boat, everyone liked the look and feel, everyone thought the spare O ring in the cap was genius (and it is) And everyone thought the price was great. I totally get the 5th port and the turret now. But I equally love the ACD (not everyone’s cup of tea I know) on the AL

    So on paper and logically yup the D6 reg is the way to go. I’d have to change the mouthpiece which isn’t a big deal, and I’d have to buy a soft reg bag (a Deep 6 one would be nice)

    A $300 difference is not to be sniffed at, and I’d certainly recommend them to someone wanting a new first set without a hesitation.

    But I’m still left disappointed.

    I really wanted to love this reg, I love what Chris and the team are doing to change the industry norms. They appear to be very customer focused and that’s great.

    I wanted an excuse to not return them to @RainPilot , or to buy myself a couple of sets – in Orange and to Invest in a great start up. But I can’t.

    There is something about them which leaves me a bit empty, If I brought them they’d live on the shelf as I’d always go to my AL sets. I need little or no justification to go buy something new and shiny but not in this case I’m afraid, and THAT is my biggest disappointment.

    Thanks to @RainPilot for letting me try them and looking forward to input from @cerich or @LandonL and am happy to answer any questions

    Gutted as I quite fancied a goat too....
     
  5. Marie13

    Marie13 Great Lakes Mermaid ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Great Lakes
    6,038
    4,391
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    DD, I'm with you on the AL/Apeks mouthpiece. It's just lovely.

    I have an XTX50 reg on my pony and it came with the spare O ring on the cap.

    Interesting review. Thanks.
     
  6. AJ

    AJ Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Netherlands
    641
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    63
    Interesting review. Maybe your expectations were a litlte bit too high from the start? The main reason I'am interested in these regs is price and the fifth port for doubles. They seem to have a good price/performance ratio, but I don't expect them to change my diving experience. They're just regs :) Your review confirmed what I was thinking and won't put me off buying as replacement for my Scubapro's when I decide go sidemount or stage diving. Thanks for your review.

    Btw: mouthpiece fit is very personal, I like Scubapro and do not like AL/Apeks. But there's no problem in changing them.
     
  7. offfi

    offfi Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Austria
    102
    43
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    The AL mouthpiece is simply the best. ;-)
    I even bought a pair for my Oceanic regs.
    Not really an argument against the D6 though, as the mouthpiece is probably patented and they can easily be retrofitted (~$7 a piece).
     
  8. RainPilot

    RainPilot CCR Instructor Staff Member

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: UAE
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    You are welcome to change the mouthpiece if you like, I'm in no hurry to get that one back for now.

    I've got the other 5 to play with :yeahbaby:
     
  9. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113

    Fair comment. Maybe you're right and my expectation were high. I went in wanting them to be as good if not better than my AL. What's really annoying to me, is that I can't put my finger on exactly what the difference in breathing is. There is just something that makes it less refined. But I'll admit that is very subjective.

    I think you'll do well with them, an I don't know how they will compare with the Scubapro, or indeed how the Scubapro will compare to mine (perhaps I need to borrow my wife's Scubapro set)

    Agree with mouthpiece being very personal, but the D6 is a bit nasty - and I just wanted to give D6 some feedback

    @RainPilot Next trip to the Musandam is in March, if you're happy for me to hang on to them I'll swap mouthpieces and take them up there, I believe we're going to get to dive the Jaws, which should give then (and me) a good current test.
     
  10. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,278
    3,112
    113
    One additional bit of info

    When washing them out and drying them, I found (obviously ) they would free flow with teh dive switch to dive and the breathing adjuster fully open, However it only took a quarter turn backwards to stop the free flow. Not being a reg guru not sure if that has any importance or not (teh AL needs a good half turn
     

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