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Mistral?

Discussion in 'Vintage Equipment Diving' started by pepperbelly, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. pepperbelly

    pepperbelly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas
    494
    215
    43
    There is an Aqualung DW Mistral reg for sale locally. It is in fair condition and is advertised as being a 1958 model and pre serial number.

    Is this worth playing with?
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  2. jvanostrand

    jvanostrand Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
    73
    54
    18
    The mistral is the simplest of the double-hose regs. It also breathes quite well. A service kit is as little as a 006 o-ring.
    Regs of that vintage require replacement rubber. They have two mushroom valves, a duck-bill exhaust valve that will likely need replacing and the hoses are likely cracked or at best hardened. You can buy replacements for all those, new, from VintageDoubleHose.com as well as any other parts you need.

    At the very least it's a good display item.

    At the very best you can service it (or send it to Vintage Double Hose) and dive it for fun. I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you get some training with the reg. At the very least you will be disappointed in the performance because there are specifics on how to set it up, at the most you'll die because you don't understand the small subtleties of diving a double-hose and the safety specifics. For example let's say the hoses end up behind you. How do you retrieve it? There's no octo, no SPG. How do you dive like that?

    People do dive these all the time and a group recently went to Truk diving double hose regs.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  3. GJC

    GJC Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Southern California, USA
    358
    244
    43
    For price reference, they seem to sell for about $100 regularly on EBay.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  4. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    8,765
    4,500
    113
    I had a Jet Air which is a cheaper version of the Mistral. Easy to work on and a pretty good breather. You must have it in the proper position on your back, it is very sensitive in its position relative to your lungs. The higher on your back you have it the harder it will breathe. Good luck!

    The Jet Air isn't a cheaper version NOW it was in 1958. Today because they are rare they sell for more.
     
  5. herman

    herman Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Raleigh,North Carolina
    9,535
    2,123
    113
    It is an easy first DH reg. You will need to replace ALL the rubber, don't go cheap and try to reuse the main diaphragm, reguardless of how it looks, its no where near the quality of the reproductions. Every part you may need and loads of expert advice is available on VDH and here (most of us are on both boards).
    I agree on the $100 price +/- $20 or so depending on condition.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  6. Nemrod

    Nemrod Solo Diver

    11,809
    1,958
    113
    The Mistral is a single stage regulator, the OP may not fully understand that. Mine, which I have owned since a pre-teen, is also a 1958. It was restored using VDH parts and upgraded with VDH seat/nozzle and DBE and silicone diaphragm. It breaths great. But, not so great on a 3,000 PSI cylinder. These single stage regs were meant for LP steel cylinders and from about 2,000 psi to empty, it breaths very easy. Much above 2,200 PSI and the cracking effort gets pretty high. I love mine. My opinion, 3,000 PSI use could degrade the seat/orifice. Over in the left middle:

    IMG-3961.jpg

    N
     
    axxel57 and AfterDark like this.
  7. Scuba Lawyer

    Scuba Lawyer Barracuda

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Laguna Beach, California
    474
    1,172
    93
    Mistral(s) are fantastic easy breathing bulletproof DH regs. At tank pressures below about 1500 psi they breathe easier than my Atomic!

    This is my every day use '58 Mistral.

    BdFyIN.jpg

    This is a set of his and hers 1958 Mistrals that I was informed were purchased new at Mel's Aqua Shop in 1959. They are on the "to do" list to overhaul. Very easy to fix up. Just be sure and set lever height on a 300-500 psi tank or else you will get free flow at low tank pressures. :)

    FSHjzF.jpg
     
  8. pepperbelly

    pepperbelly Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas
    494
    215
    43
    The one I saw was in much worse condition. Most of the finish is gone and no hoses or mouthpiece. Dad had an Aqualung Royal Aquamaster when he first started diving.
    I am somewhat familiar with doublehose regs but dad traded his in as soon as he saw the US Divers singlehose regs in about 1970.
    A doublehose reg would just be novelty for me. I probably wouldn’t buy one unless it was a steal.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  9. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
    8,765
    4,500
    113
    What's a little lost finish any? Here's my old new Royal Aqua Master
    Hookah fitting f.JPG
     
  10. Scuba Lawyer

    Scuba Lawyer Barracuda

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Laguna Beach, California
    474
    1,172
    93
    Yea, mine look like crap too. No way to clean them up. :)

    7QALBz.jpg
    IMHmtf.jpg
    WtziOi.jpg
     
    AfterDark likes this.

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