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Mares regulator, keep or exchange...

Discussion in 'Regulators' started by Anar, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Anar

    Anar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kazakhstan
    12
    0
    1
    Hi, everyone!

    Need an advice on a Mares Regulator, that I got as a present. I dive mostly in warm waters as a recreational diver (about 40-60 divers a year). I only dive when travelling, so weight/size and easy servicing are important.

    I got Mares Proton 12 Metal-INT (both 1st and 2nd stage). I read some reviews on it, but most of them 12-15 years old. So I am not sure whether it is still good or if it an old model stocked for a while (not so many divers in my country). I can not return it, however I can exchange for a different model or other diving gear.

    I can't decide, if I should
    a) keep Proton 12 Metal;
    b) exchange it for a different model;
    c) exhange it for other dive gear.

    Any advice or input will be highly appreciated.

    My options for regulators for exchange are limited to:
    MARES Мод. ABYSS 42 - INT
    MARES Мод. ABYSS 22 - INT
    MARES Мод. LOOP 15X - INT - DIN
    MARES Мод. ROVER 12 - INT
    MARES Мод. INSTINCT 12S - INT
    DACOR Мод. EAGLE PRO DPD - INT
    DACOR Мод. VIPER AMERICA - INT
    MARES Мод. PROTON


    Thank you, Anar





     
  2. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    If you could exchange it at no cost then I recommend the Abyss 22. Great reg set.

    The MR42 is a smaller version and uses a smaller HP poppet that may be harder to find as time goes by.

    Dacor was bought by Mares years ago and was killed off. Getting Dacor regs serviced could be a problem.

    The rover 12 is relatively what you have with the proton 12 except you have the proton metal instead of the plastic rover.

    The regular proton at the end of your list would be step I the wrong direction

    The loop and instinct 2nd stages are newer than the rest of the 2nd stages in terms of when they were initially released but the 12s coupled with the instinct 2nd does not get you step up in 1st stage....the 15x is a balanced diaphragm 1st stage which is a good step above the 12, but I think the abyss 2nd stage is better than the loop and when that purge button on the loop eventually degrades/cracks you might have a hard time replacing it....also the loop hose routing is out the bottom which is fine except for the fact that it dictates how your hoses will be routed...I like a standard 2nd stage with a 70 or 90 degree adapter instead if I am going to use a "normal" length hose.

    The MR22 1st stage and Abyss 2nd stage were just discontinued not long ago except for the Navy model which uses an older poppet design in the 1st stage (actually same design as they currently use just the sealing surface is a different material). The MR22 Abyss is a work horse regulator and should give you years of use...there is no bs flexible purge button to degrade like some of the others on your list. Compared to the proton metal 2nd stage the abyss 2nd stage is better and it is metal and well.

    MR22 Abyss for the win. I would be surprised if you get a different opinion.

    -Z
     
    Anar likes this.
  3. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    2,514
    1,511
    113
    The Dacor regs on your list are actually Mares and can still be serviced with Mares parts, but yes, they are old enough to not consider trading for them. I would avoid the MR42 due to age also.
    Also, Abyss 22 is a great regulator, but that name has been used for quite a while so no telling which generation you are looking at. If a newer iteration I would go with it, if an older generation with the really heavy 1st stage and no adjustment port on the 2nd stage, then I would think twice.

    Aside from the Abyss possibility, I don't see anything on that list that is a compelling alternative. Depending on the service history of your Proton Metal, the 1st stage may need a poppet valve upgrade. Also, even though the 2nd stage is metal, don't assume it is a solid performer in cold water. I think even the Proton Ice did not live up to expectations for that use.
     
    Anar likes this.
  4. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    Unless the MR22 has the older spherical hp seat it is functionally the same inside as the newer trimmed down MR22 1st stage...the only deterent would be if it was a 1st generation of MR22 which to my understanding had the high pressure seat machined into the body making it not replaceable but Mares changed from that design within a year or two after they introduced the MR22 from what I recall. Also, I don't think there is a functional difference in the Abyss 2nd stage with or without the adjustment port...the adjustment port just makes it easier to dial in the lever height of the 2nd stage.

    I would take an older hunk of brass MR22 over a 12 any day unless it was a 1st gen without the removable hp seat, or a ruby, but then again the ruby 22 1st stage could be converted by changing the poppet and hp seat. Not much to go wrong with the abyss second stages....they work and work and work.

    -Z
     
    Anar likes this.
  5. Anar

    Anar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kazakhstan
    12
    0
    1
    Thank you so much for such a detailed answers Zef and jackD342) Much appreciated!

    So the best options is Abyss 22. I will have to pay about 80$ extra, but seems like it might be worth it. I read a bit about it as well, while investigating Proton 12 (comparison of Mares regulators). I read in some of the reviews that the Abyss second stage is quite heavy and takes time getting used to (I am small). Does it apply to old generation Abyss only? How can I understand from the box, which iteration it is (older / newer). I am going to the store tomorrow, is there a specific question I can ask to find out, whether the model of Abyss 22 they have in stock is a newer version? The sales personnel are not experts in dive gear, it is a store that sells all sort of sports equipment.

    Also I missed another option that they have in stock - MARES Мод. PRESTIGE 22 NTT - INT. What do you think about it?
    Also if Abyss turns out to be an old model. Do you think, I should just exchange Proton 12 Metal for some other diving gear (like a BCD), instead keeping it or still go for old Abyss.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    Newer trimmed down version of MR22:
    mr-22-.jpg
    Older beefier version of MR22:
    OwKm8hVXkIfduWUpGIfLwdNHrpl2ME0qpDoj5mwbpXCX7cLhIkEFze4lgadsZ_FuntwM6ao0iCieh3yl_F8iBmaH_a-UxAQA.jpg
     
    Anar likes this.
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    It is hard to evaluate the deal without at least seeing pictures of the 1st and 2nd stages. The Abyss 2nd stage is a better model than the prestige but the prestige is not a bad reg.

    Are you getting these from a shop? Will these need service or are they ready to dive? I think paying $80 + the trade may be a bit high for the abyss 22 combo....perhaps you can negotiate down to around $50...but that is only a good deal if the reg set is in recently serviced condition as one can buy a MR22 and abyss 2nd stage used for around $80 -$100 if one looks around enough. You will still need an octo and perhaps an SPG. Perhaps for the $80 (+ trade of the MR12 and proton) you an get them to throw in an octo and spg to give you a complete set up.

    -Z
     
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  8. Anar

    Anar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kazakhstan
    12
    0
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    Attached Files:

  9. Anar

    Anar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kazakhstan
    12
    0
    1
  10. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    2,514
    1,511
    113
    Based on the age of most your list and the fact that all of these seem to be in the original box, yes you should expect to have whichever one you wind up with serviced before use. Expect a one-time valve upgrade on the older models, and maybe a couple of other possible parts upgrades such as an Abyss lever arm.
     
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