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Product Review Scubapro Mk25 A700 Regulator

By Lee Johnson Managing Director

It’s here! The newest addition to the Scubapro fleet of regulators, the MK 25 A700 has arrived.

We were told about this regulator about 2 years ago when it was in the research and development stages at Scubapro HQ and we were then very excited about what was going to be “the best breathing regulator on the market.” This was a very big call since we already all dived with the best regulator out there in the Mk 25 S600. Surely this regulator couldn’t be that much better…

Well, it is!!!


 

Being Scubapro Australian Dealer of the year, you do get some cool benefits such as when a new regulator comes into play – they send you a sample to play with and do the show and tell thing with. When I opened the box of the newest arrival I was very pleasantly surprised. The body of the second stage is metal – a great start for the old schoolers who say bah humbug to the lightweight plastic design regulators out there – even though some of these plastics are as strong as some of the metals, I also noticed how compact this regulator is. Awesome! The first stage had also had a facelift. A chromed finish and a more streamlined look make it aesthetically one of the best looking regulators out there.

So after getting over the look of the regulator – which Scubapro have certainly listened to what the industry demands, I had to test the performance. We were told that the A700 second stage would out perform anything that its predecessors could throw at it… they were right. I took the regulator with me to a place where I knew I could give a regulator a real test. BALI. (In the name of research of course and to be able to give you an honest review – I promise it was all work… really). I headed to a dive site they call “The Drop Off” which is in Tulumben on the Eastern side of Bali. It’s quite a good site as it has good depth (54m) and is clear enough to be able to do out and back swimming when you want to give the regs what for in the workload side of things. The first thing I have to say here is that I already dive with the best regulator in the world (which no other regulator manufacturers can or would deny), on a daily basis, the Mk25 S600. As far as performance goes, you can keep your Poseidon’s, your Apex and your Legends, not that these regulators aren’t good performing regulators, I have dived with all of them, but there really is no comparison. So the new regulator had a lot to live up to, and it did. I descended with my buddy Joey who was there for “support” (work too she promises), down to the bottom 54m (if you are a PADI Asia staff member and reading this… 40m).

Scubapro A700 RegulatorThe regulator breathed there as effortlessly as it did at the surface. In fact the air seemed thinner than normal instead of thicker. To jump on a sort of semi technical bit of information here, I need you to just imagine for a second, when you breathe at the surface, you are breathing at one atmosphere… Your lung capacity is x 1. When you drop below the surface to 10 metres, you are breathing a lung capacity x 2. This means that your regulator is now feeding you twice the amount of air than you would breathe at the surface. At 20 metres, 3 times etc. So at 50 metres, your regulator has to be able to provide you the equivalent of 6 times your lung capacity in every single breath. The Mk 25 A700 did that without any effort, without feeling any drag on the air delivery and without any shortness of air supply on repetitive breaths. The air flow rate from the Mk 25 is the highest of any regulator on the market, the delivery of the A700 is the highest of any second stage on the market… There was no possibility of not coming to the conclusion I came to… after sitting on the bottom for a minute it was time to put the reg under a bit of a workload to test delivery. All I can say at this point is that the regulator worked as well under load as it did at the surface and I would even go as far as to say the deeper this regulator goes, and the harder you work, the better it performs. One of the guys with us swam down to see how the test was going and took out his S600 second stage and swapped it with my A700 and sat for a minute. On return to the surface, he said he was very impressed and that it breathed significantly better than the reg he was using (same first stage too before you ask J). I guess a direct comparison is always the best and I was only too happy to take back my reg once he’d finished. Another thing to mention – and I know you will think this is weird, but the upside down test… No water! The regulator balance was perfect, the same as the right way up and I didn’t find myself gurgling water like most regulators do. It was a totally effortless way to breathe upside down so catching Crays shouldn’t be a problem either.

The weight of the A700 did concern me initially – I thought for sure there was going to be jaw fatigue from the weight. I was pleasantly surprised when I dived with it… no weight issues at all. The regulator being more compact created less drag and the dual flow air exhausts break up the bubbles into smaller ones so as not to obstruct any vision… These guys have thought of everything!

The conclusion to my try dive with a MK25 A700… I now own one. I know you are probably thinking yeah right, he’s just saying that or yeah but he owns a dive shop he’d have to get one… let me tell you, this regulator leaves you thinking “I have to have one”. Flow rates aside, this regulator is ideal for depth, shallow diving, hard workload, comfort and it looks awesome. I am happy for anyone to take one of these regulators for a dive but be warned… Once you try one… It is going to cost you. – You WILL want one.

The regulator retails for $1595 as a Mk25 or $1395 for a Mk17 both with A700 second stages, Perth Scuba’s price will be $1435 for Mk25 and $1250 for the Mk17 and don’t forget, club members will get an additional 10% off so the final price for the Mk25 A700 is $1295 and the Mk17 A700 is $1125. Smart buy will leave you paying just $19.90 per week with a $260 deposit (12 months) for the Mk 25 A700 or $17.30 per week with a $225 deposit (12 Months) for the Mk 17.


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