New Diver need advice on mid range gear, (diving mostly in California ,Mexico, South east Asia)

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Minor clarification.

We provide the initial set of kits for free. The labor at the first service is also free. So if you return your initial kits with the regs for service, your total cost is just the shipping.

Subsequent services are done at a flat rate per stage, which includes the kits.
Good to know.

I did see in the FAQ that your initial service price is locked in for as long as you own the regs, but what is the current price per stage? And how much are the kits for the qualified DIYer (or those who want to take kits with them when travelling)?

For comparison DGX kits on the XTRA are $29 for a first stage and $19 for a second. The current service cost (which includes the kits) is $95 for a first and $75 for a second.
 
These are some very good points that I have to think about. So when getting regs services you pay for labor and service kits and parts? Or are the kits already the parts? How often do you need to get them serviced?
Most manufacturers today recommend servicing every 2 years or 200 dives, whichever comes first. Some will include free service parts if you keep up this schedule. Many of us prefer to keep an eye on the condition of our regs and service only when there is a performance issue rather than stick to a fixed schedule. There's a recent thread on this at Your opinion regarding regulator service intervals .

Even if you decide to stick to the manufacturer recommendation, spending $15 for an IP gauge and running through Couv's checklist well before big trips can save save you a lot of headaches. (I'll attach @rsingler 's version of the checklist to this post.)

Back to servicing. During a service, the entire reg is dismantled, cleaned and inspected. The reg is then reassembled with new parts where required and tested. The service kits include all the wear parts that are replaced as a matter of course during every service. Most of these are o-rings or backing washers, but also the first stage filter, usually second stage exhaust valves and maybe diaphragms.

Here's a picture of a disassembled diaphragm first stage (it has both DIN and yoke fittings at bottom center if you are trying to figure out what's going on). All the parts labeled in red are included in the service kit and are replaced during a service.

service_parts.jpg


Sometimes the inspection will reveal damage or wear to other parts that may have to be replaced. Many regs have a relatively inexpensive part of two that is expected to wear out but over a longer period than a normal service interval so aren't included in the kits. For example, in this reg, parts like the HP seat, HP spring and diaphragm could last anywhere from 200 to 2000 dives, but will eventually need to be replaced.

More serious issues are where a reg has been physically damaged by impact or hamfisted attempts at self-service or when the regs are so badly maintained that internal parts are corroded to the point that it won't seal properly even after heavy cleaning. This can get expensive and it may indicate that it's time to get a new reg (and then treat it better).
 

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ok bit the bullet ordered the dgx custom w steel backplate, so got bc part covered


Great choice. I have the same kit.

Take your time putting it together and enjoy. I always twist the shoulder straps the wrong way and have to fix em.

My SS plate was a bit shiny. If you aren't careful you could light a pelican on fire with it. It's cool that it could be used as a giant signal mirror, but I want to signal a helicopter, not shoot one down.

I spent some time sanding a nice brushed finish into it, to dull it down. I rounded the slots a bit with a file, at the same time.

I added an STA for convenience, not need. And it added more weight. But it worked fine box stock.
 
Great choice. I have the same kit.

Take your time putting it together and enjoy. I always twist the shoulder straps the wrong way and have to fix em.

My SS plate was a bit shiny. If you aren't careful you could light a pelican on fire with it. It's cool that it could be used as a giant signal mirror, but I want to signal a helicopter, not shoot one down.

I spent some time sanding a nice brushed finish into it, to dull it down. I rounded the slots a bit with a file, at the same time.

I added an STA for convenience, not need. And it added more weight. But it worked fine box stock.
Damn I dunno why but this is funny to me lol
 
I just got all my gear too (minus a wetsuit) and went with the DGX Custom BP/W w/ SS , and I love it so far. Putting it together was a bit of a learning experience (i.e., how to weave buckles, what knot to tie for bungees) but nothing "hard" i would say.

Adjusting the straps is also pretty easy and straightforward than some seem to suggest (imo but i'm still new), so I don't really see the need for the quick adjust straps that folks spend twice as much money on. Getting into and out of it was no issue either for me fwiw.
What reg did you get?
 
Looking over your calendar, my first thought is that your gear is going to be a small fraction of what you are spending on diving overall, so while you don't want to waste money, there's no need to fight for every dollar.

Which leads nicely to the regulator question. Of the two you mentioned, I'd go with the ScubaPro. But honestly, add an octo and the price is not that attractive, especially if it needs a service. So what would I recommend? Let's look at regs with features that will work for any kind of diving, even if you decide to get into really cold water at some point in the future.

If you don't mind mail order service then one of the following.


These are comparable regs, although IMO the Deep6 looks better and you have the advantage of being able to deal directly with the designer's company. The Deep 6 package is around $900 versus $550 for the DGX packages. But the Deep 6 does include a free first service versus $245 total for DGX (parts and labor for 3 stages). Deep 6 also includes free service kits for life with this reg, which will save you over a hundred bucks for each subsequent service. [Edit - see LandonL's response below]

If you want something that can be serviced anywhere in the world, the standard options are Aqualung/Apex (Aqualung currently owns Apex), Mares and ScubaPro.

Aqualung/Apex have financial issues that would cause me to stay away from their regs right now.

For Mares, their reg that is most comparable to the ones above (flagship environmentally sealed diaphragm with turret first stage and balanced adjustable seconds) is also conveniently available from DGX at $950 for either the single tank or streamlined package. This is covered by a worldwide warranty and can be serviced pretty much anywhere:


I'll leave ScubaPro to someone else. I'm personally not interested in new ScubaPro because I object to the company's anti-competitive dealer practices. This has nothing to do with the quality of their regulators which is top notch, but it results in prices that are much higher in the US than Europe, where these practices are prohibited by law.
Maaan those deep6 one I wanna get I like how it looks but my brain is telling me to just get the dgx one (it is half the price) still researching on how people like these both
 
Everytime the boat hit a wave, the plate caught someone's eye. It was bad.

Here's it, after sanding. I think 200 grit:
1000007948.jpg


The Dgx Deep6, Dive Rite Xt, and Hog diaphragm regs are all excellent. And reasonably priced.

I'm not into piston regs. I want a sealed cold water reg. Even if, for nothing but an easy rinse.
 
What reg did you get?
I stumbled upon a discounted but brand new HOG D3 regulator + octo set at a LDS for $375. The dive shop wanted to get rid of their non-ScubaPro equipment since they were a scubapro dealer (strange but i'll take it)

I didn't research it but I had heard good things about the HOG brand so I just jumped on it. Especially since I could support an LDS while still paying online prices. I'm not really qualified to give a review of it, but I have had zero complaints so far.
 
so BCD covered dgx with steel plate (395$)
dive watch covered used mk2s (330$tax and shipped)
used apeks rk3 for fins 100$
used mk25,s600,r295 (will get this serviced but got it for 303$ with tax and shipping)
the other stuff mask,boots,glove,hood,wetsuit ill get at my local shop.

and i think that makes me complete or am i missing something
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/swift/

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