When I first started diving I bought a scuba package online as my first equipment setup. It included a discontinued model Mares regulator (I didn’t know that at the time), a buoyancy control device, and a console with dive timer, compass, and pressure gauge.
I dove with that for a couple years, but couldn’t find anyone who serviced the regulator. You know how some of those low-end models make their way into oblivion because nobody wants to work on them, or they can’t because the parts are no longer available.
For that reason I don’t recommend that new divers make the equipment selections I did when I first started out. I thought I would save money by ordering a less expensive outfit.
Big mistake that.
After that first couple years diving that regulator got hard to breathe on, so I upgraded to the Mares Abyss. You can read my review on that reg here. I always thought that Abyss was a great regulator, and I enjoyed diving with it.
One day I took my Mares into my local dive shop for service, got to browsing the displays, and spotted the Oceanic Delta 4 regulator. My attention immediately peaked as I noticed the swivel between the hose and second stage. I played around with twirling that reg for a few moments and started asking for more information.
The first thoughts on my mind as I moved that thing around was about some diving memories.
Often when I dive some motion or other to my side grabs my attention. Those are usually quick, and demanding distractions, and cause me to turn my head fast in an attempt to see what it is before it disappears.
My Abyss wasn’t designed for fast turning of the head.
That stiff connection of the reg to the hose makes for limited movement from side-to-side. As I turned my head the hose pulled in the opposite direction, and threatened to rip the regulator out of my mouth.
I missed a lot of whatever created those distractions over the years when I suddenly stopped turning my head to look because I didn’t want to lose my reg.
As I looked over that Delta 4 I got the idea that the swivel would eliminate that problem.
Another attraction of the Delta for me is the lifetime warranty on parts. The annual service for me is about half what service on the Mares cost. The dive shop took my Abyss on trade, which knocked the price down some too. So I decided to give the Delta a try.
During the years since that time I got used to diving the Delta. With the swivel there I’m able to turn my head further, and swifter, without the threat of losing my reg. I enjoy a wider range of sea life viewing now.
One thing that I lost in the transition from the Abyss to the Delta 4 came in a difference of breathing ease between the two regs.
Sometimes I like to establish my buoyancy, hang upside down in the water, and watch the sun’s rays bouncing around on the surface. I just float there a while enjoying the light display.
The Mares Abyss breathes really easy when you’re upside down like that. The Delta 4 is a little harder to breathe in that position. The Oceanic has a breathing effort adjustment knob that the Mares doesn’t feature. It lets you open the air passage for easier breathing during a dive. That helps the ease of breathing while in the upside down position. But even with the knob in full open position the Delta still breathes a bit harder than the Abyss.
Still, I find this is a great reg, and I do recommend it. I don’t think you’ll be sorry if you decide Oceanic Delta 4 is the scuba regulator for you.