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Upgrading to Twinset

Discussion in 'Dive Equipment' started by reefer, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. reefer

    reefer Active Member

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    The past year I have been diving with a single cylinder and wing with long hose config. I'm getting to the point where I am looking to start investing in the necessary equipment for upgrading to a twinset. My preference is as 12 litre concave eurocylinder style twinset with manifold.

    So far I have purchased a double Halcyon Evolve 40 wing off eBay, which I can just swap onto my current stainless backplate.

    To my mind, that leaves me needing a twinset and an extra 1st stage. I'd rather purchase these items new.

    1 st Stage Dilemmas:
    I currently have the Apeks XTX 100 1st stage - this was part of the package deal that made up my single wing setup.

    Is the XTX 100 first stage a decent regulator to use on a twinset, or should I sell up and buy a pair of some other 1st stages?

    I've seen the XTX 100 1st stage with fifth port for £220. Question, do I need to additionally
    purchase the fifth port adapter X 2 for this setup, or is this something I could upgrade to at a later point?

    From what I have read, the fifth port adapter is purely to improve the hose routing.



    Twinset Dilemma

    The usual sites list a 12 l twin setup with concave cylinders, Apeks manifold o2 clean for around £720 in total.

    Up until recently, Go Dive listed an Apeks 12l Twinset (concave Apeks cylinders, manifold etc) for £479 !!! Is there
    any reason not to go for the Apeks kit? I have heard a couple of comments alleging Apeks have cut corners with this package. I find this hard to believe and wonder if this is simply a case of sour grapes from other retailers. I would assume cylinder manufacturers are bound to pretty strict regulations
    and can't believe someone like Apeks would lower their standards. Assuming I can still bag this deal, is there any reason for me not to save nearly £300 ?

    Cheers
     
  2. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    My last twinset was about £450 , concave euro BTS set up valves etc from underwater explorers. I think they only get more expensive with the exotic valves etc. https://www.dirdirect.com/Twin-Sets/ Looks like they’ve gone up a bit. £700+ is twin 15’s , you don’t need those, you need a rebreather :smuggrin
     
  3. reefer

    reefer Active Member

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    re-breather is next year after the divorce ;)

    On that link (https://www.dirdirect.com/Twin-Sets/ ), as soon as you put Apeks manifold on it from the drop down, you hit the magic £730, which brings tears to my eyes.

    I'm assuming the Apeks manifold is a worthwhile upgrade over the generic manifold? Thats not based on any firm evidence I have, other than reading around various forum posts suggesting that the Apeks remain smooth for longer.
     
  4. Nick Ward

    Nick Ward Active Member

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    First stage : sell what you have now and get two DS4s... almost everyone I know on twins have those...

    For the twin set, I’d look on eBay: I know you’d said you’d rather buy new, but they’re fairly regular on there and go for anything in the 250-350 range... so other than looking used, there’s little in the way of downsides and much in the way positives! (FWIW, my twin 12s cost me £75 and just needed the test on top!)
     
  5. Vanny

    Vanny Active Member

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    Personally I had no issue with the stock BTS valves / manifold. I believe my euros are now on there third owner and no probs outside of usual servicing.

    Depending on your local service costs the only thing to watch for is twinset at £250 plus test and clean if needed (£120) for me at Kent diving and your not far off your go dive new price. So second hand is good but with a decent amount of test left.
     
  6. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Checks the manufacture dates and whether O2 clean when buying new - could be old stock hence why might be cheaper.

    I had Apeks valves on mine and swapped to DIR Zone (I think) as I often found them graunching up and becoming very difficult to turn until dismantled and cleaned.
     
  7. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    Aquanauts do a 12l apeks twinset for £529.99 (including delivery) which may be a bit more than that GoDive offer, but still better than £730

    http://www.aquanauts.co.uk/dive-equipment/diving-cylinders/apeks-cylinders/apeks-12-litre-twinset

    Obviously don't spend north of £600 on a twinset when you can build exactly the same apeks set up for far less

    http://www.aquanauts.co.uk/dive-equ...-cylinders/apeks-12-litre-sidemount-cylinders - both cylinders (£398.00) (flat bottom extra tenner)
    https://4thelement-diving.co.uk/pro...inflator-or-exhaust-valve?variant=17799036484 - manifold (£68.85)
    https://4thelement-diving.co.uk/col...roducts/copy-of-apeks-twin-cylinder-bands-5-5 - apeks bands (£69.00)

    Total = £535.85 not including any delivery

    If you can cope without apeks bands which aren't necessary unless you're going for the complete look then that'll save £30 ish

    This set up went second hand on eBay the other week for £350 in test, so keep checking and something might come along

    And as previously mentioned, nothing has to be apeks
     
  8. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    Although it's nice to have matching first stages, it's not essential at all. All you need is a simple -- and cheap -- DS4 with an ATX40 ref. You can get these *new* for less than £200 (plus hose). Look at 4thElementDiving. This is essentially a stage cylinder set.

    The keep an eye open for a second hand XTX to match your existing one (or a reasonable price twinset pair).

    Tins. The flat bottomed euros are excellent and the ones to go for. Second hand is best, with a newish test and O2 clean. The problem is they never come up when you're looking. So don't turn down a round bottomed pair (keep them until you find a replacement flat-bottomed pair and flog them.

    Stick to the white euros and avoid the yellow twinsets. They tend to be more 'stubby' and frequently have wider gaps between the tins which makes finding 'V' weights difficult.

    Tins are easy to buy second hand. The test is the important thing. If at all dubious get them tested and get an agreement that the seller will refund if they fail.

    Second hand regs are more subtle. I've bought most of mine second hand (9 sets!). Some I've had serviced before using, some I haven't, all work. All but two regs (Mk25's) are Apeks.

    Once you've sorted the twinset it's all down to learning how to use them, but that's another thread.
     
  9. timmyg

    timmyg Super Moderator
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    The best cylinders in terms of balance & weighting are the round bottom euros. Flat/concave are slightly tail heavy.

    I have both & it’s a much of a muchness, but I know people who find it hard to trim the flat ones.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #9 timmyg, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    Tribal Chestnut likes this.
  10. NickPicks

    NickPicks Active Member

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    I changed to a twinset about 12 months ago.

    I bought the GoDive flat bottomed "euro" (actually Vitkovice) twinset with Apeks manifold, and it's lovely (although people keep pointing out how shiny it looks!)
    The extra 1st stage came from JustApeks (DS4). This will function exactly as your XTX100, but won't look identical, and the XTX may have slightly straighter hose routing. I think if you did go for the 5th port (on XTX or DST), it lets the backup reg hose come out without such a tight bend, but most people seem to manage without on DS4s.

    You seem to already have the rest of the stuff you need.

    TimmyG has an excellent set of blogs on how to set up a twinset including cylinders, wing, harness and regs. I found it incredibly useful when setting up mine.
     
  11. reefer

    reefer Active Member

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    Really appreciate the advice everyone.Its always good to hear a range of opinions.

    Unfortunately for me, the Go Dive Apeks twinset package appears to have been pulled from their site. If only I'd grabbed it the other week!

    I'm going to keep my eye open on eBay etc for any bargains that may pop up twinset wise second hand (keeping in mind the cylinder / manifold service I would want). I'm not in a hurry to get this, so can afford to patiently lurk until the time is right :geek:
     
  12. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    I've never managed to grab one from ebay - always found them on the forums, or even FB's scuba kit sales pages.
     
  13. reefer

    reefer Active Member

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    I have my eyes open on face book, forums and eBay. I'm sure something will turn up.

    As a side note, I'm told that Apeks are changing their cylinder supplier and once this is finalised the twinset package should be listed again at Go Dive - although pricing is unknown at this point.
     
  14. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    Interesting. Anyone ever had problems with Vitkovice cylinders? I read somewhere they're a bit lighter than euros for some reason, which may or may not be a good thing.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS 6T using Tapatalk
     
  15. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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    The good news is there's standards for cylinders and regular testing to verify them. Never heard of a cylinder failing. Valves yes, but cylinders don't go phut (or more likely bang!). Makes buying them relatively risk free too.
     
  16. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    I meant more in terms of trim than the cylinder exploding

    Sent from my ONEPLUS 6T using Tapatalk
     
  17. jb2cool

    jb2cool Moderator
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    I've had Vitkovice cylinders for about 6 years and not had any issues. They are fairly light (13.2Kg I think) which makes them a bit lighter than any other euro cylinder I've seen but the weight distribution seems ok. They got me through fundies and the diving I've done since.
     
  18. Tribal Chestnut

    Tribal Chestnut Well-Known Member
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    Another with Vitkovice cylinders here and no issues to report.
     
  19. furryman

    furryman hmmmm
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    Err... yes, they do go bang.
    Effing Big Bang in fact.
    Thankfully pretty rare, and usually due to mistreatment, like the 3l pony that went bang at Stoney a few years ago (rusty inside). Thankfully nobody was killed on that occasion, but there have been fatalities.
    Remember that next time the fill station operator gets a big arsey about stamps and labels. Testing standards are there for a reason.
     
  20. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
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