Apeks DS4 Fixed First Stage
Sometimes you feel like a nut... sometimes you don't. Apeks also offers a version of this first stage with a swivel turret port configuration; the Apeks DST is $100.00 higher in price but otherwise offers the same performance.
When purchased separately, individual regulator stages remain as factory configured by the manufacturer and final integration must, out of necessity, become a customer responsibility.
Apeks DS4 Fixed First Stage
- Over-balanced diaphragm design for superb performance at extreme depths
- Proven reliability preferred by the most demanding technical divers
- Environmentally sealed for cold water tolerance
- Four fixed position LP ports plus one HP port on the sides of the polished chrome brass body
- DIN connector and is Nitrox Ready
The Apeks DS4 First Stage is a work horse with years of proven performance and reliability preferred by the most demanding technical divers. The Apeks DS4 is a unique over-balanced, diaphragm design - as the diver descends, the over-balancing feature allows the intermediate pressure gas in the hose to increase at a rate faster than ambient resulting in superb performance at extreme depths. The polished chrome plated body has one standard high pressure 7/16-inch hose port and four standard high-flow low pressure 3/8-inch hose ports in fixed orientation; popular for doubles, sidemount and stage configurations. An environmental seal keeps water out of the main spring chamber thus preventing ice buildup and keeping silt and contamination out. The DS4 comes standard with a DIN connector and is Nitrox Ready.
When purchased separately, individual regulator stages remain as factory configured by the manufacturer and final integration must, out of necessity, become a customer responsibility. Please note that when this 1st stage is sold "raw" as received from the factory and not part of a package, it will have three of the four LP ports plugged (i.e. one LP port will be open with a plastic dust cap) and the HP port will also be plugged. FYI, do NOT attempt to unscrew what appears to be a conical shaped hose port plug on the top of the body, is actually the HP balance chamber plug..
Apeks brand regulators include a Limited Lifetime Warranty as long as they are inspected or serviced annually by an AQUALUNG AMERICA Authorized Dealer. This warranty covers the original owner against defects in parts or workmanship for the lifetime of the regulator and includes the Free-Parts-For-Life Program as outlined on their website.
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Fixed Port vs Swivel Turret
The internal structure of the fixed port design allows for a very direct gas flow through the first stage, providing optimal performance. The fixed port design is also typically the most compact as well as being lower cost when compared to a similar swivel turret design. The most common objection to the swivel design is that it adds O-rings and moving parts to a more complex gas path, theoretically being less reliable and of lower performance.
Regardless of port design performance, streamlined hose routing is a significant concern for experienced divers, where careful hose routing can make a noticeable reduction of drag. The absolute cleanest hose routing for some regulator package configurations is only available using the swivel turret design while for other configurations an equally clean or cleaner routing might be available using a fixed port design; especially in doubles, sidemount and stage technical configurations.
However, in our experience with quality regulators these theoretical concerns about reliability and performance are irrelevant. All the regulators offered by Dive Gear Express are high performance products with proven reliability, and the reality is that both these designs will more than meet your expectations. The choice is largely a matter of personal preference.