Pairing my Mares Abyss (2004) secondary to a mares R2s primary

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# of dives
50 - 99
Hi, I dive in salt water 2 to 3 weeks a year while on vacation. Nothing special or deep, some nitrox.

I own a set of mares Abyss regs from around 2004. I really like them while in the water, .... but really dont like the big bulky primary for travel and I think the primary really is a Cadillac for what I need.

I recently was able to buy a brand new mares R2s unbalanced piston primary for around 60$. I really dont need anything fancy for my limited vacation diving, and I want to cut down on maint costs. (1 MOVING part makes more sense for what I'm doing)

My question is this, .... my plan was to use my secondary abyss (turbo model) on the R2s and maybe put something like the Xs scuba alt air on as the safe second. Does this sound ok, or should I look for a different secondary?

Again, I want a simple primary to clean, inexpensive parts etc but if there's a much lighter or better suited seconday for the R2s I'd like to know. Is the Rover its normally paired with more suited than my abyss?



Scuba Instructor
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Some info that might help you:

1. There is nothing wrong at all with pairing the Abyss 2nd stage regulator with your R2S 1st stage.

2. The XS Scuba AltAir should work with the Mares R2 first stage as well, though it may not come adjusted for it out of the box. You might find it free flows if the AltAir is tuned to a lower IP (intermediate pressure) than the R2S is designed for. This an easy adjustment for a shop or competent DIY tech to make.

3. Among the configurations the Mares Rover 2nd stage comes in, it comes paired with the 2S 1st stage. There is a yellow octopus version of the Rover 2nd stage that is an option albeit a little more expensive than the XS Scuba AltAir.

4. The AltAir is side venting puck style 2nd stage with the hose attachment directly opposite the mouth piece. Some find this configuration uncomfortable when breathing off it as the hose tends to lever the regulator downward causing jaw fatigue.

Hope that helps.



ScubaBoard Supporter
ScubaBoard Supporter
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I had one of those XS pancake octo regs. I was less than impressed with it so much so that I threw it in the trash after it partially dissassembled itself in the water. I then bought an Oceanic of similar design. I was using these as an octopus second stage and as a second stage for a pony bottle other times. Well, it turns out in a real use it was very lacking. My point is that since then, I am back to using a real second stage for my secondary or pony. I now have a SP R190, an AL Core and Poseidon Jetstream second stages for that duty. The Core in particular is a rugged high performance second stage that I am long familiar with as it is just the Titan LX renamed. If you or your buddy needs a regulator, you need a real one, my opinion.



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# of dives
200 - 499
Your Abyss second stage will work fine with the R2S.

I would not recommend the XS pancake octo. If you need an octo, you are going to want something with good, not marginal, performance.

Do you have an octo currently? If not, you can get a new Rover octo for $110 right now at leisurepro - Mares Rover Octopus and no doubt other places.

An easy way to save weight and make the regs easier to pack is to replace your rubber hoses with new braided ones.

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