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Atomic....Z2/3....B2...M1.......thoughts?

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by CapnBloodbeard, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    89
    34
    Hi all,
    Another quick regulator question...I haven't decided if I'm going for Atomic or not, but just in terms of the models....
    So, I understand that Z3 is just a Z2 with the comfort swivel.
    B2.......am I correct that the only difference again is a marginally nicer first stage (swivel, which may or not matter?). It's lighter, but all of about 40g....seems like a big price jump for not much difference.

    Then the M1......if I'm not mistaken, the M1 is for 80% EAN (well, I'll never be tech diving)...I'll never cave dive....but it's also for colder water too, isn't it? I don't dive cold now (in Melbourne Australia)....I think the Z2/3/B2 can go down to about 10deg C, does the M1 go colder than that? I'm just thinking 'what if I go somewhere colder'......the M1 also advertises a different 2nd stage design to minimise free flow in current (is that a thing I actually need to care about?)....

    Kind of thinking that if I don't care about the comfort swivel, then surely there isn't really any reason to get the B2 over the M1 - so just a matter of deciding whether it's worth the price jump from the Z2/3, right?

    And as for the swivel - well, a flexible braided hose reaches the same outcome of not having the hose pull the reg against my mouth, right? That's why I'm thinking that no swivel might be good (kinda like the idea of swapping out the hose, even if I get the M1).

    (Okay, that wasn't so quick. Not sorry!)
     
  2. lexvil

    lexvil Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: jamestown, ca.
    4,487
    4,379
    All three use the same parts internally as far as service, the M1 uses a Monel piston to give it the higher O2 rating along with the plated brass air tube in the second (same as the Z) the B2 uses a titanium air barrel.

    The comfort swivel of the B and Z3 are nice but not worth the cost in my opinion.

    The best option for the Z and B is to get the sealed version to keep stuff out of the regulator (M1 comes sealed) which makes maintaining it easier but it does add expense to the service.

    Z2 is a great reg, I don’t care about swivel turrets so that would be my option.
     
    Mark IV, StefinSB and Geo7 like this.
  3. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    89
    34
    Yeah that's all valid....the M1 is more suited for cold water too isn't it? Or is that covered by adding the seal to the Z2?
     
  4. BoltSnap

    BoltSnap Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Nomad
    6,831
    2,865
    Here are my thoughts on the swivel and the different Atomic models:

    1. LP second stage hose swivel: The swivel on the Atomic hoses is one of the best swivels in the market with the smoothest movement compared with other brands of swivels I have tried (including the Ominswivel). If you are going to be using the standard hose that comes with the Z3 or B3 regulator and you don't need to use a hose of a different length, then it is worth it and you should buy the Z3 or the B2. My problem with the Atomic swivel is that I use a longer hose for the primary second stage and I have to replace the standard length hose that comes with the Atomic regulator. Since the Atomic swivel is permanently attached to their hose, I have to put away the Atomic hose with the swivel and either buy another custom length with a swivel from Atomic at a great expense or buy a hose from a third party and a separate swivel from another vendor (this is what I do). I would have preferred that Atomic made the their swivel as a separate part from the hose so it can be used with all types and brands of hoses. It would have been the most ideal swivel to use. Permanently attached swivel makes the whole setup very expensive and a waste if you are going to ditch the hose/swivel to use a different length hose.

    If you don't need a different hose length and you will be happy with a standard length hose, then buy the Atomic Z3 and be happy with it.

    2. B2 vs. Z3/Z2: For my own recreational BM diving, I prefer the B2 and the ST1 over the Z3/Z2 because of the rotating turret and because of the more resilient material used in the first and second stages. I believe that it is worth it for me to pay more for the features I get with the ST1 and B2 (I use the ST1 the most for BM recreational diving). I use the Z2 with sealed first stage (without rotating turret and different material in the first and second stages) as loaners or for training. ALL of the Atomic regulators from the most expensive to the least expensive have the exact same performance when they are tuned to the same factory specs.

    3. M1: I use the M1 for technical diving since it is made specifically for technical and/or very cold water diving. I would use it for recreational diving over the Z2 if I didn't own the ST1 or the B2 already. It is good for technical and recreational diving especially if doing very cold/ice diving.

    I always recommend to buy a sealed first stage with any Atomic regulator (The M1, ST1 and the Tx come with a sealed first stage by default).
     
    Aotus likes this.
  5. Joneill

    Joneill ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,937
    1,848
    I have a T3 primary/B2 octo setup and love it. I really like the comfort swivels on both (helps the octo hose lay flatter when clipped off). They breathe wonderfully and have a long service interval - no issues in 6 years of ownership and no regrets. They were expensive, but I could afford them and viewed it as a 1 time investment for critical pieces of dive equipment.
     
    Robbyg, CapnBloodbeard and BoltSnap like this.
  6. donhealy

    donhealy Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: San Diego
    313
    93
    Some real life experience added as well. I bought the original B1 about 15 years ago. Upgraded it to the B2, which was primarily the air venting and the purge face. Always had the swivel and wouldn't change it for anything else. Both my son and son-in-law have the Z2. Both have the swivel. Yes, it's easy to modify for it. Originally the Z required service every year and the B every 2 years. Not sure that is the case any more. When diving with my kid's reg's I can't tell the difference in performance and neither can they. Both are great!

    Many great reg's to choose from out there. Just find one that fits well in your mouth and that you feel comfortable with. $$$ should not be the primary factor. Always buy the best that you can afford and that just feels the best in your mouth. At 100' you will appreciate it.
     
    CapnBloodbeard likes this.
  7. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Port Canaveral Florida
    805
    468
    My favorite is the ST-1. It gives you the corrosion resistance of the Titanium regs at a third lower price trading off heavier first stage weight. They also come sealed.

    I have a pair (primary and back-up identically configured with no octo) of Z3's I use for solo rec work in freshwater. They all breathe the same. They all breathe fantastic.
     
    BoltSnap and CapnBloodbeard like this.
  8. Streydog

    Streydog Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: DFW, TX
    1,073
    757
    I recently changed out my swivel hose on my B2 to a 40" hose with a elbow fitting to rout it under my right arm. I only have a few dives using it set up this way but so far I prefer it. I never found the swivel hose to be very comfortable. If you do change out the swivel hose you have to buy a $16 + jam nut.
     
    CapnBloodbeard likes this.
  9. spatty99

    spatty99 Registered

    6
    4
  10. CapnBloodbeard

    CapnBloodbeard Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    89
    34
    Thanks for your detailed response...

    With the B2, do you find the rotating turret makes that much of a difference?

    And why do you currently use the B2 over the M1 for recreational diving - just because of the swivel? No other real advantages?

    While I don't anticipate ice diving, the M1 is a little tempting as it has 'all the features just in case'....ie 'If I go down that route, I already have the reg for it'.....living in Melbourne I'd realistically consider temps down to about 10deg C (50 F) - I guess this is where sealing the first stage probably helps. Outside of that, would the M1 still offer advantage at these temps over the others (does the 2nd stage matter much here, or anything else I'm missing?)

    (I'm still considering Apeks and Aqualung, but if I can at least narrow down the Atomics then this gets me on my way to a decision!)
     

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