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Mares regulator, keep or exchange...

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

  1. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    The abyss 2nd stage you posted a picture of is a few generations old but other than the cover it is functionally the same inside as newer abyss 2nd stages. The 22 1st stage with the prestige is nicer from a cosmetic and weight standpoint and it will definitely have the non spherical seat poppet like current models, the problem you will have is when the plastic mesh grid of the prestige 2nd stage breaks you will might have a tough time finding a replacement cover.

    I believe the red "T" on the older MR22 1st stage indicates the "newer" T style high pressure poppet, this also mean the high pressure seat is replaceable and not machined into the body of the 1st stage. The biggest detractor of this 1st stage is it is heavy but that should only be a concern if you plan to travel by air. The MR22 1st stage that comes with the prestige 2nd stage is newer, lighter, but there is nothing functionally better except that it might have a later generation of high pressure poppet with more durable sealing surface but given the age of both of them they should be serviced and this part could/should be replaced with the latest poppet design.

    Whether you should trade it all in for other gear or not is based on whether you want a reg set or other gear. The recommendation would be contingent on what other gear, how old it is and what condition it is in.

    Since all the reg sets are old enough to need servicing even though they are in the box, perhaps a decent recommendation is for you to keep the MR12/proton metal setup, have them serviced and use the $80 to purchase an spg and octo and then dive the crap out of the setup for the next couple of years.

    -Z
     
    Anar likes this.
  2. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
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    First off, the number describes the first stage and the name is the second stage. So you are looking at Proton Metal second stages attached to a 12 first stage, I followed the link in your last post and if it's the set here Регулятор MARES Мод. PROTON 12 METAL - INT - Корган Центр the first stage is an MR12T. This is good because it is nearly the current version internally and will be automatically be upgraded to the current version at your first service if they use the current service kit.

    Given your situation and what you'll be using them for, I'd keep your regset. I'm a fan of the Proton Metal second stages and use them myself. They are noticeably more compact and lighter than the Abyss and they work very well. I'm actually looking for another set now for my son to start diving with when he turns 12 later this year.

    The 12 first stage is a step below the 22 (and 42) in ultimate performance, but is more than good enough for any recreational diving. Actually before the 22 was developed, the MR12 was the Mares top of the line first stage and was even selected for use by the US Navy. More importantly for your situation, it is much smaller and lighter. The old-style 22 that comes with the Abyss you are looking at weighs over 1100 grams while the MR12T weighs 674 g.

    Quick comments on your other Mares options (I don't know anything about the Dacor regs):

    MARES Мод. ABYSS 42 - INT - The MR42T first stage is a scaled down 22, weight is similar to the MR12T. It is a great reg, the only issue is that it's now an orphan. It was discontinued in 2008 and does not share service parts with any other regulators (unlike the 12 and 22 which share service parts with regs that are still in production). Mares is supporting it for now, but there's no guarantees.

    Prestige 22 - The Prestige was Mares standard midrange (plastic-bodied) second stage for over 10 years. This is a solid and dependable set, but even with the trimmed dow nversion of the 22 (781 grams), this is very much a full size regset.

    MARES Мод. LOOP 15X - INT - DIN - Loop is plastic bodied with an unusual hose routing. The 15X is comparable in quality to the 12, but around 100g heavier. These are currently in production.

    MARES Мод. ROVER 12 - INT - The Rover is Mares budget plastic second stage. I would pass.

    MARES Мод. INSTINCT 12S - INT - Compact, plastic-bodied second stage. It's compact and light which is nice and the most recently made of the regs on this list, but the second is a real step down in quality from the Proton Metal.

    MARES Мод. PROTON - The plastic version of the Proton was just OK and it was last made in 2008. Skip this one.

    Thank you, Anar
     
  3. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    Just a note that in my first response I referred to the MR12 as a piston type 1st stage. To my knowledge the MR12 is a balance diaphragm 1st stage....I have edited that post to correct my error.

    -Z
     
  4. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
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    Yes, balanced diaphragm. As far as I know, the only Mares pistons have been the R series. R1 > R2 > R2S.
     
  5. Ontwreckdiver

    Ontwreckdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: St Thomas, Ontario, Canada
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    Definitely upgrade to a MR 22 Abyss if it's only $80, it's a great reg. I have been diving one for about 20 years and it has never missed a beat diving up here in the Great Lakes. If it ever dies I would definitely get another Abyss. BTW I have a Proton Metal as my octo.
     
    Anar likes this.
  6. Anar

    Anar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Kazakhstan
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    A little update)

    I went to the store today, wanted to check out Abyss 22 in person. It turns out they had an outdated picture, the model that the store has in stock is actually the new version. It looked and felt awesome, I can understand why it was a top choice. The second stage is not heavy at all. I was about to go for it.. but turns out the prices were incorrect as well, since the Proton is the discounted model, I would have to pay about 200$ extra for Abyss, so no go.

    Actually after reading your advices, I think, Proton 12 is a good option for me for a first reg. set. Also it is a present, and it kinda feels good to keep the original one :)

    I learnt a lot while investigating this option, especially, from replies to my question. Thank you very much everyone for all the prompt answers and very useful info! Excited to try it out!
     
  7. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    $200 + trade in for a brand new MR22 and new Abyss 2nd stage is actually not bad., if the abyss 2nd stage is new...but if the abyss 2nd stage is the one that you depicted then it was a good move to pass as that cover was discontinued a number of years ago...inside it is all the same but the cover does give a sense of relative age of the 2nd stage.

    You should be able to do a search on the Proton to learn about it and any idiosyncrasies that model of 2nd stag has. The MR12 1st stage is decent workhorse type reg at a good price when it was a current design...I know of a bunch of people who use the MR12 as their reg of choice on their stage bottles.

    I think you made a good choice in the end. If you can find another proton metal 2nd stage on ebay or here on SB it would make for a good octo setup...another good inexpensive option is a Prestige 2nd stage either the regular version or the dedicated octo version (yellow).

    -Z
     
    Anar and Ontwreckdiver like this.
  8. lowwall

    lowwall Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago
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    Proton Metal seconds don't have any unusual issues. Well, the bypass/VAD design means Mares seconds don't need a dive/pre-dive switch (although a few models have them for marketing purposes) and high-performance regs without a pre-dive switch (or with one that is set to dive) will freeflow if you fully dunk them cover first. They will stop as soon as you turn the mouthpiece down and can be avoided by entering the water in with the mouthpiece in your mouth or by holding the mouthpiece down.

    Note that Mares regs sold as octos are detuned a little bit to avoid this. That and the color are the only difference between a Mares reg sold as a primary and as an octo. Personally, I prefer to have my octo tuned to primary specs and try to remember to orient it correctly on entry.

    I've been working on a little guide to Mares regs of the last 20 years which might be helpful to the OP. I think I'll have it posted this weekend.
     
    Anar, Ontwreckdiver and Zef like this.
  9. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
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    The last version of the Abyss 2nd stage cover can be used on any of the previous versions and iterations - Orbiter, Ruby, Voltrex, etc. so it's not like it can't be replaced if need be, or updated if desired. Just one or two cover variants may require a different lever height adjustment.
     
    Anar likes this.
  10. Zef

    Zef Divemaster

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    I agree...but I was using the 2nd stage cover to guesstimate the relative age of the 2nd and 1st stage. My thinking is it is not as great a deal if you have a reg that is 10+ years old by cover design and it requires service before use....much better deal if it is just a couple of years old and can be dived right out of the box.

    -Z
     
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