Everyone wants the truth, or at least the truth as they want it to be. Makers of diving equipment want me to say how wonderful all their kit is, but if I say an entry-level item is wonderful, why would they think they could still sell top-dollar items
 I recently went away with three different-brand regulators. One was a horrible performer and I await the lawyers letter. One was sublime and thats one manufacturer who will not shout at me at the US DEMA diving trade show this year.
 The third was one I had tried before, and the British distributor had asked me to take another look. Why Because the first example I tested more than a year ago was horrible too, and I told you about my experiences with it.
It was apparently a rogue specimen, made the Friday after Italy were knocked out of the World Cup. Hydrotech tells me that it never managed to sell a single one of that first consignment, but that recent batches are a different kettle of fish.
 The Dacor Eagle Pro DPD is made in the same HTM factory as Mares products. Im told that the company has upped sticks from Italy and moved to the Czech Republic, but wherever its based, its marketeers think the Dacor brand has a better profile than Mares in the USA.
 However, the Eagle Pro is not just Mares with a different name. It has a diaphragm-style first stage unique to Dacor, in that the primary second-stage hose is connected via a swivel. This lets you route the hose almost any way you like, though the O-ring at the swivel must surely be a weak point in time to come.
 There are three other medium-pressure and two hp ports well spaced around the regulator barrel. The all-plastic second stage uses the patent Mares VAD Bi-pass tube design, which effectively avoids exponential free-flows at the surface.
 Even so, the Eagle also has a dive/predive switch. Why It probably has more to do with acceptability in the US marketplace than necessity. I ignored it. Its quite hard to operate with a gloved hand anyway.
 The second stage, also unique to the Dacor brand, is mostly plastic and almost weightless in water. It looks compact, but has a deep internal funnel that takes up space. It sends the air spiralling into your mouth in quite a concentrated squirt.
 The internal surface of this funnel is shiny thermoplastics, which I assume stops ice forming. Hydrotech tells me that the Eagle Pro has been successfully CE cold-water tested. It certainly has a Teflon-coated demand lever that sheds ice effectively. There dont seem to be any other concessions to cold freshwater diving and, like all plastic second stages, it does feel a little cheap.
 Overall this product gives plenty or air but I cannot tell you that delivery was as sublime as that of the doubly expensive regulator I used alongside it. Its what you would expect of a mid-range product. I dived it to 50m with no problem and it seems a good option for those on a limited budget.
 It certainly laid to rest the ghost of that 2002 Eagle. Its a competent performer and Im pleased to be able to say that this Eagle is no dead duck!
The Dacor Eagle Pro DPD costs £234.
  • Hydrotech 01455 275030, www.hydrotech.co.uk

  • Divernet Divernet
    + Good mid-price performer
    + Easy hose routeing

    - Not as compact as it first appears