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Bay Area Scuba Lovers Message Board Gear and Equipment Forum › ScubaPro MK25 vs MK17

ScubaPro MK25 vs MK17

Jamie W.
user 9399215
San Jose, CA
Post #: 1

I need some advice on what regulator to get. I am looking into either the Scuba Pro MK25 or 17. The dealer at the store told me that the MK25 is easier breathing, more durable, and better for technical diving (cave, wreck, and deep diving). But I also heard that the MK25 is unreliable in cold water but yet better than the M17 in warmer water. And that the M17 is better in cold water.

I will be starting out doing more recreational dives but eventually in a couple of months I want to do the cave, wreck, deep diving, and other more advanced diving. So is the MK17 suitable for the technical dives or am I better off getting the MK25.

I am basically basing my criteria on regulator that
* Performs well in both cold and warm water -- don't want to have to get 2 regulators
* Can be used for recreational dives and technical dives - caves, wrecks, deep dive, etc.

The dealer is willing to sell me the MK25/S600 at a 15-16% discount. I did not ask about the MK17/S600 but I think I can get it at least a 10-12% discount on it.

Also any feedback you have about the ScubaPro Knighthawk BCD, ScubaPro Everflex wetsuit, and ScubaPro Aladin Teg 2G (3 Gauge console) would be helpful.

Quick response would be appreciated as I would like to make purchase my gears on Friday.

Thank you

David D.
Clifton Park, NY
Post #: 19
- Have you researched regulators yourself or have you become comfortable with someone who is suggesting from among what they have to offer? Either of those is a valid way to make your decision.
- My original service technician and dive buddy where I used to live told me ScubaPro is a difficult rebuild with a lot of parts that are replaced each year at rebuild time. At the time he told me that the rebuild kits were not easy to get and required the trained and certified technician to own the specialized rebuilding tools. Of course only ever take your regulator to a qualified technician trained by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
- What do you mean by cave and wreck diving? Looking into a cave or swimming near a wreck and looking which is as close as anyone should ever get while diving with a recreational equipment configuration? Or full penetration diving into an overhead environment which is technical diving requiring appropriate training, experience, and equipment configuration with complete redundancy of all life support systems?
- Look into Global Underwater Explorers (GUE) which follow the so-called Do It Right (DIR) philosophy and see what they suggest. GUE came out of far penetration cave diving in Florida, the most deadly sport with a higher mortality rate than NASCAR driving. I have been told the DIR rig is an Apeks regulator although I believe that is overstated and the truth is everyone on the dive team should have the same equipment configuration.
- My recreational regulator configuration is based on a technical configuration and includes an Apeks ATX200 as primary with second stage on a 7-feet hose and an Apeks ATX50 on a necklace ready for me to use if my buddy needs my primary; this rig has served me well for three and a half years with annual service, overhaul, and rebuild as we are all trained is standard operating procedure (SOP).
- May I suggest we only purchase equipment from those trained, qualified, and equipped to service such equipment as they sell?
- Buy good life support equipment and develop skills.
- Purchasing life support equipment is not what I would consider suited to making a quick decision.

Good luck in your decision-making.


A former member
Post #: 10
Hi Jamie,

If you're planning on doing deep/cave/tech dives, you're going to need at least 3 regulators at some point - doubles and a pony reg. Maybe you should start with a Mk2/G250 combo to start with and then when you're ready to make the big purchase of tech regs, switch the Mk2 to pony reg status.

I use the Mk25/s600 combo on doubles and I've used it in very cold water without a problem. It sounds like you are buying new, which is good, and just as a word of advice to anyone else reading this: do NOT buy Scubapro regs USED, unless you get a smoking deal on them. One of the best benefits of buying their product is that Scubapro will supply the parts free during your annual service, but only to the original purchaser and only if purchased from an authorized dealer. My girlfriend bought her Mk25/s600 on Craigslist from someone who only dove once and didn't like diving, so she sold the regs and since they were almost brand new, my GF paid just a little less than full price. Every year she has to pay $60 more for her annual service than what I pay, so knowing that, we would have never purchased those used regs unless they were sold for less than half of retail.

Also, watch out for the sale specials at scubapro dealers. every few months they will have a seminar, sale, whatever, where they have sales reps there giving a speech and they will also give away discount coupons for up to 40% off a reg. If you're shopping for one, that is the time to get it, during that sale.

Andrew Y.
user 10419972
Belmont, CA
Post #: 3

Anything in scubapro line will work in monterey.
I dove mk2, m5, MK20, 15, 20 & 25 regs.
my favs MK20 (the newer one with wide holes on a body)
They really all work pretty good., and im a big guy.
I work on my own regs so i dont care for parts.
Apeks are also awesome.
if buying new i would look into zeagle, xs scuba and hog stages, they seems to be avesome value.
user 8266134
Santa Clara, CA
Post #: 20
Hey Jamie,

I'm sorry this is late in coming. I hope it's still of use to someone.

I'm a little curious why you're considering only SP, but there's really no need for you to go into it- your reasons are your own, and SP makes good equipment- the MK25 and MK17 each are great regs.

The MK17 is a diaphragm regulator, whereas the MK25 is a piston design. If you don't know what that means, Google is your friend. There's plenty of good info out there about how each system is built and works. The takeaway from those points is that the MK17 is a better choice for more extreme conditions (cold, toxic environment, etc.), but the MK25 delivers a slightly higher flow rate.

To be frank, you'll likely never dive in conditions wherein either of those factors will be relevant. The MK25 with the cold water kit has worked well for me in a number of ice dives, and can certainly handle the local conditions. The point at which the MK17 flow rate might start to become an issue is (if I remember correctly) somewhere around 400 ft while while you and your buddy are simultaneously breathing off the same reg.

(Side note: never find yourself simultaneously breathing off the same first stage at 400 ft.)

In most functional respects, the regs will perform very similarly. That leaves you instead with concerns related more to convenience and aesthetics. If you're interested in going tech, I'd steer you towards the MK25s. They double up very nicely. The low pressure ports on the MK17 are mounted statically, whereas on the MK25 they're free to rotate. This extra degree of freedom makes a big difference in your hose routing. The MK25 is a bit more expensive, but it's well worth the cost when doubling.

As a point of reference, I dive my doubles with 2 MK25/S600 combos. I have a MK17/S600 combo waiting for me when I get around to buying a deco bottle. I bought the MK17 in a financial pinch; if I could do it differently, I'd have bought a MK25. In the end, though, the difference is immaterial. It just might have made maintenance a bit simpler if I decide to start servicing them on my own.

As far as the other stuff you mentioned: the Knighthawk is a wonderful BCD, but you can't use a BCD for tech. If that's really your intended path, save yourself the frustration and $$, and invest in a backplate and wing. Start with a single wing for now, and upgrade when you decide to go doubles.

Again, if you're going tech you'll want a drysuit (and most instructors will require it out here). Decompression can add a lot of time to your dive, and a wetsuit won't provide the insulation you need for long dive times in this environment.

As for the computer: if you're going tech, a console won't pass muster. You'll need a wrist mount computer for depth/time, and quite likely another for backup. For gas, you'll have an analog pressure gauge clipped off to the left waist D-ring on your harness. This is a pretty standard setup; all tech instructors and divers I've encountered thus far abide by this system. Additionally, I've met some tech divers that love their sophisticated computer that tracks depth/mix and builds a deco profile, and others that consider them useless/dangerous. It varies greatly from person to person and agency to agency. No matter what computer you buy, though, if you're considering tech, you need to take accountability for your own profile. Plan your dive/dive your plan. Even contingencies should be accommodated in your dive plan. They'll drill that into you in tech training, and for good reason. This logic makes a profile tracking computer basically useless for tech, but they're still great for rec. I dive with an old Uwatec Aladdin that tracks Nitrox. It's small, simple, and I love it. On my rec dives, I set it for my mix, and only need to loosely plan my dive. I let the computer tell me how much time I have at my current depth (just bear in mind, this is ONLY for rec). In my opinion, you really don't need one that tracks multiple mixes- like I said, you'll be planning your profiles for tech, but one that does Nitrox is very handy for rec dive vacations.

Finally, some people opt for the wireless transmitter mounted to a first stage, to transmit gas pressure to a wrist mounted computer. I love them for rec, but you'll find them unnecessary in tech classes. I ultimately ended up taking mine off. The analog gauge will be all that's required (and it will be required, no matter what other gas tracking equipment you have). I've not done cave diving, but I hear that most instructors don't allow the transmitters in that environment. Apparently, some have sheared off when the tanks bang against the cave- bad news. Ultimately, it's your call, but if I could do it again, I'd have saved the money on the transmitter and spent it on more regs (you'll need plenty of those for tech).

Feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

user 8266134
Santa Clara, CA
Post #: 21

One more thing. I just reread your original post- it sounds like you were certified a fairly short time ago. While tech diving can be very rewarding and is a great goal to have, I'd recommend waiting some time before seriously considering the training. There's so much to see and do above 130 feet; don't shortchange yourself on those experiences.

Not only will you be glad you took that time to relax and simply enjoy diving, you'll build a matrix of experience and tested skills that will prove invaluable in further training.

I'm not telling you to forget about tech- I know what it's like to have that bug. Just make sure you take some time to smell the roses. There's nothing down there that won't still be there in a few years.

As far as gear: I'd strongly suggest waiting a while before purchasing anything. Rent different sets of gear, takes notes on what you do/don't like. Borrow a backplate/wing and see how it feels. There's no rush to buy, and (once again) you'll be glad you took the time to research and make an educated decision. I can't tell you how many people I know who, when they were new, bought a set of gear, sold it a year later, and then bought the set that they actually want.

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