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Fixed (Non Swiveling) First Stage - Not A Good Idea?

Discussion in 'Sidemount Diving' started by MARK1992, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. MARK1992

    MARK1992 Angel Fish

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    Hello all,

    I currently own a set of regulators which are in a typical recreational setup (secondary donate hose lengths).

    Scubapro Mk17 Evo
    Scubapro S600
    Scubapro R195

    I understand the general opinion is that a swiveling turret design makes hose routing much easier and cleaner.
    However, I'm considering a second Mk17 Evo as I'm highly unwilling to shell out for two new first stages.

    Is this a highly compromised setup/solution? Can I get away with it? How about a Mk25 Evo to add to my existing Mk17 Evo?

    Appreciate your thoughts and suggestions! Thank you!
     
  2. Asheron

    Asheron Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NORCAL
    98
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    Swivels make life much easier in sidemount and i wouldnt even consider a first stage without them.

    Have you considered maybe buying a dedicated SM setup from Deep Six OR HOG? They are much cheaper and of equivilent quality to Scubapro. For the price of a mk25/s600 you can purchase 2 complete setups.

    Edit add: Is Tecline available where you are? Ive seen thrm around when i traVel and they seem like good products also.
     
  3. MARK1992

    MARK1992 Angel Fish

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    My concern is the annual (or biannual) shop visit. But then again if I'm worried about that should I even be delving into tec diving.............?
     
  4. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    15,184
    6,509
    113
    @MARK1992 they work fine. I've used nonswivel first stages for the better part of a decade, though have gone back to swivel turrets this year *got a great deal on MK25's*

    Bigger concern I'd have is that you will have non-matching second stages and you may not enjoy being on the R195 for half the dive compared to the S600. If you're going to get another first stage, I'd bite the bullet and get a higher performing second stage with it.

    Now, if you stay with Scubapro, just understand that you will essentially be relying on a shop to service them as getting parts is a bit of a PITA since Scubapro as vehemently opposed to self service *like will cancel someones dealership status if caught opposed to it*, so it is not a brand I recommend to people who are committed to technical diving. It has nothing to do with how good they are, suitability, etc. as many of us use them, but as a technical diver, you need to be able to either self-service or afford a full backup set of regulators. Most things that go wrong with regs can be fixed in less than half an hour with minimal quantities of tools. All of this "service anywhere in the world" that gets spewed is fantastic, but are you going to pay out the nose for overnight service on a regulator? The cost of doing that is nearly the cost of the regulator itself, and you are still likely going to miss the next day of diving. If you can service yourself, then it takes an hour with some allen keys and an o-ring pick and you're not going to miss any diving. Only alternate to that is to carry spares and that ain't cheap....

    about to go on a quite lengthy cave dive, non-swivel first stages. Their Poseidon 3960's, but same concept as the MK17. Biggest annoyance on the left tank is that the hoses aren't "pretty" when stowed on land, no issues in the water. Biggest annoyance on the right tank is that when you donate the long hose, it has the potential to kink off if the guy pulls too hard.
    15025390_10157748947445134_3212809053223266062_o.jpg

    I do second @Asheron though. A MK17 is going to run you $350, and with the S600 about $650. A full Deep6 Signature set is $900 with much lower total cost of ownership. The cost delta will get real small considering you're going to have to buy new inflator hoses- $50, another SPG w/ hose-$80, another short hose for the left bottle and potentially another for the right bottle-$20-$50, etc. So $550 if you use the R195, $850 if you get a new second stage, vs $900 and you get lower cost of ownership with the Deep6 *remember that the first service, including parts, is free so that's at least $200 with 4 stages from Scubapro if you don't have parts for life, half that if you do*.
     
  5. Asheron

    Asheron Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NORCAL
    98
    31
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    I’d like to also add on Scubapro. I own 3-mk17, 2-mk25, 4-g260, 2-s600 and after going through the difficulty of finding parts and servicing the S600, I was very underwhelmed by the construction of the balance chamber and how they just slide half-ass together. The G260 is a far superior assembly design and both first stages are nicely constructed.

    Also the plethora of specialized tools to rebuild is rediculous. I have been much happier with the construction of Aqualung/Apeks and Deep 6.

    Maybe consider keeping the mk17/s600 as a very nice recreational setup and getting out of the Scubapro game before it’s too late like it is for me:)
    Edit: bad spelling
     
  6. MARK1992

    MARK1992 Angel Fish

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    Hi tbone, thank you for your detailed reply.

    Regarding the R195, I think I'm at a stage of my diving where 1. I probably wouldn't notice 2. Might not be that demanding on the regulator. I was thinking of waiting it out till it breaks then I'll replace it with something else. :p

    Point taken on the servicing. I've not done any service on my own equipment - does sound a bit scary. But might be something to learn.

    I was considering keeping the Scubapro set as a rec set. Will struggle with storage (living in an apartment in Singapore!) though. Friend's got a Hog D3 full SM kit brand new and unused and he's trying to get rid of it. Might see if I can snag it for a good price.
     
  7. tbone1004

    tbone1004 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
    15,184
    6,509
    113
    @MARK1992 you'll notice, but if the HOG set is going for a good deal, you will probably not be in it for much more than trying to get your scubapro set sorted out anyway.
     
  8. MARK1992

    MARK1992 Angel Fish

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    You're probably right. Will be keeping my options open. Thanks for your opinion!
     

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