REGULATOR Oceanic GT reg

Far better below the surface
Some words stick in your mind. I remember checking into a rather exclusive hotel in the Scottish Highlands run by an ex-New York banker who was inclined to wear plus-fours and play the part of the Laird. It all seemed a bit twee.
One of the guests interrupted the occasion by rushing into reception from the lounge, where some form of parlour game was in progress. He wanted to check the meaning of the word meretricious. I wondered whether he was referring to our host
 As it was, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay, and forgave the ex-New York banker his little bit of whimsy. Meretricious means false, tawdry, bright and attractive on the surface, but not what it appears to be. One could make that mistake by going on first impressions with the Oceanic GT regulator.
 It does look a bit plastic and tinsel, with the nasty, shiny, stuck-on label on its CDX-5 first stage and a very lightweight plastic second stage. Well, thats how it struck me on the surface. How did it do once I got it well below that I found it superb!
The Oceanic GT has about the most lightweight second stage you will find, and with its orthodontic mouthpiece it was very comfortable indeed. Its derived from the successful Oceanic Gamma but without any of its annoying switches.
 I have never noticed the need for a venturi plus/minus control, and as for a breathing-resistance adjustment knob, why would anyone want to crank up the cracking pressure on a properly maintained regulator
 If I want less air I simply demand less by inhaling less forcibly. It is a demand-valve, after all!
The unit is easy in the mouth and just as easy when it comes to getting at its interior to remove any grit or detritus that might have made its way inside during a rough shore-entry. The mechanism inside looks simple but nicely finished, and the front of the regulator complete with its rubber diaphragm fits back together without fuss.
 The CDX-5 is the latest in a line of successful diaphragm-type first stages. It has two high-pressure and four low-pressure ports. Although we at Diver have proved the simpler and cheaper Oceanic piston first stage to be almost beyond criticism when it comes to performance, the guys at Oceanic in the UK prefer to sell diaphragm valves, as so many of their customers are likely to throw themselves into a lake after purchasing a new regulator.
 No, I didnt mean that! I meant that they like to try a new regulator at a cold freshwater inland site, and diaphragm-style valves are generally less likely to give problems with malfunction due to freezing than piston types.
 I tried the Oceanic GT several times, to a depth approaching 50m. It was always unobtrusive in the way it worked. The small exhaust-T managed to direct the exhaled bubbles well away from my face, and when at times I found myself working really hard and heaving heavily, the supply of air it gave me continued to be as smooth and diffuse as it had been when Id been hanging around in the shallows.
 There was never any tendency to gush or flutter, which can happen in these circumstances with some other valves.
 I am not an ANSTI machine. My impressions tend to be merely subjective or, as Michael Winner would say: Calm down, its only an opinion. However, I did use the Oceanic alongside another regulator and was thus able to make a direct comparison. That regulator was the Atomic B2, and regular readers will know that I hold that item in the highest esteem. The performance of the Oceanic GT with CDX-5 first stage appeared to match it.
 Do I have any complaints Not about the valve. But the high-pressure gauge that was supplied in a console with depth-gauge and compass alongside the GT was a heavy enough lump to clout the most nimble buddy after a dive - so I left it on the dive-deck of Red Sea liveaboard mv Excel and used a nicer one instead.
Meretricious-looking or not, the Oceanic GT does the job.
The Oceanic GT with CDX-5 first stage costs £212.

  • Oceanic SW 01404 891819, www.oceanicuk.com

  • Divernet Divernet Divernet
    + Superb performer

    - Looks a little meretricious!