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Upgrade from MK16/S550

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by hawksbillturtle, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. hawksbillturtle

    hawksbillturtle Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cambridge, UK

    I have owned Scubapro MK16/S550 regulators for a while now and have been quite happy with their performance & reliability.
    I am now thinking about buying a new set of regulators with similar spec & price bracket.
    Which current models should I be looking at?

  2. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    Upgrade the S550 with an adjustment knob which makes it into an S600 and keep using your current setup. it should last a lifetime. Although I would recommend getting another second stage that is identical to your first stage like an S600. That way both your regs breathe great. I bungee my backup under my chin so I always know right where it is.

    Today the HOG regs are very popular since they breathe nice, yet are affordable to buy, and service.
  3. SCUBAPRO Harry

    SCUBAPRO Harry Dive Equipment Manufacturer

    # of Dives:
    Yes, the combo you have is a great breathing regulator; however, in aswer to your question, the logical upgrade would be the new MK11/C200 (white) or MK11/C300. Corresponding MSRP's are $449.00 & $499.00. Excellent breathers and bit less weight for travel: SCUBAPRO - MK11/C200
    keep diving ...
    beaverdivers likes this.
  4. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    This is in the regulator forum rather than the Scubapro forum so I'll be really honest and not feel too guilty doing it, but there are a few things to consider about "upgrading" an already very good regulator...

    The Mk 17 is a sealed first stage and uses a thinner diaphragm and an extra washer to give the poppet a bit more working range. Which is to say it offers a little more potential flow than the MK 11 (although Scubapro could do the same thing to the Mk 11, they just don't) and if your Mk 16 has been upgraded to Mk 17 internals (which is almost certain if you've had it serviced in the last few years as Scubapro did the upgrade free at annual service), the Mk 17 is a better match to the Mk 16 than is the Mk 11. And the better cold water performance is extra frosting on the cake.

    The C200 and C300 are cutting edge in terms of un balanced second stages and offer very good performance, but I have not found mine to be on par with an S555, S600 or G250V, and my opinion is that any of those three would give you performance closer to your current S550.

    Personally, the Mk 16 is a superb reg, and the upgrade to Mk 17 internals resolved any seat alignment issues that may have remained in the Mk 16 design. (Scubapro has historically used an evolutionary design approach and makes upgrades backwards compatible into older models, and that applied to the Mk 16/Mk 17 internal changes). Consequently, all you'd really gain with a Mk 17 is another HP port and a sealed ambient chamber at the cost of slightly larger size.

    The Mk 11 uses the same basic reg body as the Mk 17 (in fact, I added the half a dozen or so different Mk 17 parts to upgrade the two Mk 11s I had to Mk 17 status) but lacks a sealed ambient chamber so it is a little smaller. As noted above, is "detuned" a bit compared to the Mk 16/Mk 17 in terms of maximum flow potential, so you would not gain anything going with a Mk 11 other than slightly smaller size than a Mk 17 and minimally smaller size than a Mk 16.

    Thus if it were me, I'd stay with the Mk 16, unless I needed a sealed first stage for cold water diving, and/or a second HP port and just get a new second stage if I felt the need to upgrade anything. I'm not sure what you are using for an Octo, but your "old" S550 would be great in that application if you get a new S600 or G250V second stage to go with your "old" Mk 16.

    Another thing to consider is that Scubapro dropped the free parts for life warranty, unless you buy the reg as part of a reg/BC/computer combo, and that adds up to a LOT of money. Which means if you have kept the old warranty up with the required annual services (or rehabilitated prior to November), you'll continue to get free parts on your old reg, that you can't get on the new reg unless you go with a whole new reg/BC/computer package. Some dealers will "batch" sales of a BC, reg and computer among different customers to get the FPFL for the reg customer, but that gets complicated and many dealers probably won't play that game.

    So until Scubapro gets a clue and goes back to the old FPFL policy, they've actually created a disincentive for customers who got regular annual regulator service to buy a new reg.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
    Zung and axxel57 like this.
  5. hawksbillturtle

    hawksbillturtle Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Cambridge, UK
    Thank you all for the good advice! :)
    I'm inclined to keep the MK16/S550 combination as I usually dive in warm waters anyway.
    Six2Life likes this.
  6. Six2Life

    Six2Life Solo Diver

    In light of DA's post, I fail to see how a MK11/Cwhatever would be either logical or an upgrade.

    From the buyer's perspective anyways...
  7. buddhasummer

    buddhasummer Divemaster

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Good idea I think, that's what I'd do, certainly based on DA Aquamasters post he knows what he's talking about.
  8. James R

    James R PADI Pro

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Austin, TX USA
    I would definitely keep what you have and just spend that money on airfare to a nice dive spot!

    I dive a MK17 w/A700 and my gf has MK11/s555 - they'll be in service for years. I service and tune them annually and never have any issues or let down. As stated you can add the adjustment knob to your s555, but I don't have it on my gf's reg. I am not sure I really see it as being necessary. I never use the adjuster on my A700 b/c I tune it to exactly how I want it to dive and leave it alone.
  9. DA Aquamaster

    DA Aquamaster Directional Toast ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: NC
    No hate mail from Scubapro yet, but I've obviously killed some sales.

    The other side of the coin however is that it's just the downside of making and selling really good regs and providing great support for them. When that's the case, there just isn't the she need to replace the reg that you might have with another brand or model that offers less performance or is left unsupported as soon as its discontinued.

    It's the greater value the customer gets for the greater upfront cost.
    CMAN likes this.
  10. quickfreze

    quickfreze Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kennsaw, GA
    I agree with DA Aquamaster, the free upgrade of internals for the MK16 almost kills the need to "upgrade" your first stage, and the S555 is a great breather by itself, especially with the upgrade which makes it like an S600. I work at a dive shop in Marietta, and we are a BIG SP dealer which lets me play with just about every SP combo offered throughout the past (along with MANY ppl conjure up themselves) and the MK16/S555 is one of my "forgotten favorites" where ppl have moved on to "bigger and better things," but in reality it's something many should have prob just held onto and saved a lot of money. I say buy an S600 as a new first and keep the S555 as your octo :)

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