The Scubapro D-Series is one of the most successful scuba diving regulators in the history of scuba diving. I love looking at the vintage diving equipment as it just shows almost 60 years of design and development of this ultra smooth gas delivery system. It is a testimony to the gifted engineers, inventors, and designers that made this fantastic piece of equipment.
Search your feelings! You know that your new fabulously looking regulator has a humble but noble heritage. Cath Bates wrote on our Blog, "In the early 1960s, Gustav Dalla Valle (an importer of Cressi and Beuchat) and Dick Bonin (a US Navy SEAL officer) bought the rights to the name Scubapro for 1 US dollar. Gustav continued to say he overpaid for the company his whole career! Revered as the Rolls Royce of scuba diving, Scubapro spent more money on research, design and development than any other company". (Mikes Dive Blog "Scubapro - a Brief History", 04/12/20 by Cath Bates)
The Scubapro D Series regulators history started a couple of years before Darth Vader delivered the famous line in the iconic Star Wars movie. To this day, we can only speculate if Darth Vader's famous mask's design was inspired by the Scubapro Pilot or Scubapro Air 1, but let's take a quick sentimental journey into the Scubapro D-series history.
Scubapro Pilot Regulator - 1977
It does not yet quite look like a D series, but the resemblance is there - The Scubapro's Pilot regulator design and performance was terrific - it provided a servo-assisted valve. Scubapro wanted to produce a state-of-the-art regulator at an affordable price. The regulator delivered exceptional breathing performance and became famous among scuba diving professionals, civilians, and military personnel. Still, there were a few problems with the design of the Pilot. It was ahead of the times and required a degree of precision engineering, which was not available in the 70s so selected parts had to be hand crafted - as recalled later by inventor Tony Christianson.
Meanwhile, the US Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU) tested the Pilot. It concluded that the equipment is most suitable for deep experimental dives, which they performed in the late 70s to depths exceeding 400 meters! Navy volunteers spent on a dive up to 34 days. Allegedly the commemorative plaque still hangs in the Scubapro HQ. What started with the Scubapro Pilot regulator formed one of the most successful product lines in scuba diving.
Scubapro Air 1 Regulator - 1979
The Scubapro Air 1 was produced simultaneously as the Pilot but eventually succeeded its predecessor. The casing was designed in such a way to accommodate Pilots internal mechanism, and, unlike Pilot made from chrome-plated brass, the Scubapro Air 1's casing was built mainly from polymer materials. The characteristic shape given to the second stage had awarded it the nickname after the best pilot in a galaxy - Darth Vader.
Scubapro D-300 Regulator - 1986
The next step in the evolution of the Air 1 regulator and the first one to bear the Scubapro's D-Series coding. Like the predecessors, it offered unparallel breathing smoothness, thanks to the same breathing valve as the Scubapro Air1.
Scubapro D-350 Regulator - 1991
The year 1991 saw the release of the next version of one of the most popular regulators in the Scubapro range. Apart from introducing more reliable internal materials, the improvements in design focused on improving the ease of servicing by changing poppet design. Other changes included the dive/predive switch as well as branding touches.
Scubapro D-400 Regulator - 1994
The Scubapro D-400 continued to bear to the torch of exceptional performance - a world-famous regulator delivering smooth and sensitive performance. The Darth Vader name stuck to the unique design and carried on throughout the whole series.
Scubapro MK25 EVO D420 Regulator - 2019
A few decades later, the D-420 Regulator delivers 21st-century quality, reliability and performance known for the top-spec regulators and is famous for extra smooth and comfortable breathing gas delivery systems.
The Scubapro D420 second stage features fibreglass-reinforced casing with great looking top dive/pre-dive switch. Additionally, it offers left or right side low-pressure hose conversion to suit divers personal set-up preferences (great for technical diving application including sidemount diving). The new D420 second stage features Progressive Air Control which is air-balanced, making sure that the breathing gas flows smoothly at the surface as well as your max depth. Scubapro also took the modern approach designing new airflow winglets for smoother airflow. The lower position of diaphragm in the casing takes advantage of gas flow gradient factor, making breathing even more natural and easier. Exhaust tees on this second stage will efficiently divert bubbles away from your face, while a large size purge button will be easy to operate even with thicker gloves.
Here at Mike's Dive Store we offer the best configurations for the type of diving you do and Scubapro D420 is offered in four configurations with Scubapro Mk19 or Mk 25 first stages.
The new air-balanced diaphragm of MK19 EVO first stage features a new, smaller and lighter design in comparison to its predecessor. This pedigree first stage is all about delivering a consistent and smooth airflow which performs at every stage of dive even in the most demanding breathing conditions. The chamber in MK19 regulator is dry, environmentally sealed and together with a double spring make it, in line with the Scubapro's best regulator traditions, highly capable cold water performance regulator.
If you enjoy diving in even colder waters. The Scubapro's Mk 25 EVO first stage includes Patented XTIS (Extended Thermal Insulating System) fully insulates the inner mechanism from the environment, improving cold-water resistance by 30% and delaying ice formation in extreme cold-water conditions without compromising breathing performance.
Sure - there are more expensive and better rigs on the market, and some include rare metals such as Titanium. However, Scubapro D-Series still carries the original tagline, a "state-of-the-art regulator at an affordable price". It delivers ultra smooth performance, easy breathing at any depth and it definitely looks like something out of Star Wars movie. After all, Deep Down, you want the Best!
Scubapro recently also commissioned a matching D-Mask, in line with the primary regulator. As standard the D-Mask comes in black with blue accents to match the D420 regulator colour scheme but colour kits are available to customise the look. It comes with a choice of black or clear skirts in two sizes: Medium or Small as well as a special wide fit in the black skirt. It also comes with a black Comfort Strap and an adaptor for mounting the Galileo HUD hands-free dive computer.
Mike's Dive Store is all about providing the best regulators for the type of diving you do. If you have any questions or you are not sure which Scubapro Regulator to choose, do not hesitate to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.