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Contender to a GP-DX ?

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#1 Emanuele

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:08 PM

Finding a GP-DX with SS2K, at a reasonable price, is a bit hard.....

...so are there are any other mounts of the same build quality and tracking capabilities in the same price range? (or at least in the price range I can afford :$800-$950)

I will mount the head on a Gitzo GT5531S Carbon Fiber tripod. Payload rated at 55 lbs.

I will be using this mount with Canon lenses, and in general with <500mm focal length scopes, for guided and unguided exposures.

What's out there worth buying?

:)

Thank you,
Emanuele

#2 Taylor

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:53 PM

There are your LXD75s by Meade and ASGT by Celestron, but they are not machined as well as the GP-DX.
Vixen is known for machining better gears than the Chinese clones.
However, people have taken awesome astrophotos with the two mounts named above, check out Clownfish's stuff in the film SLR section, its a very well performing mount and you can snag them for <$550 on AMart. A lot of people choose to hypertune them for max performance and almost everyone seems pleased with them.

Maybe an Orion Sirius go-to as well? I don't know anything about that mount but its not too expensive used either.

#3 GShaffer

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:52 PM

I have all three, lxd75, CG5 ASGT and a GP-DX with SS2K-PC

GPDX is the best of the 3, CG5 coming in a very close 2nd after a little work and the lxd75 not far behind with nothing done to it.

The GPDX is a step up in terms of quality of build IMO out of the box but with a little tuning the CG5 has also makes me happy. My biggest issue with the lxd75 is the alignment process.....the ASGT is just better in that respect period. Mechanically they are comparable. In my case I am just plain sold on the SS2k with the vixen though.....it is an awesome goto and vixen should never have gone with the starbook IMO......

#4 jrcrilly

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:57 PM

In my case I am just plain sold on the SS2k with the vixen though.....it is an awesome goto and vixen should never have gone with the starbook IMO......


Me, too. I've owned a couple of Sphinx mounts and just never learned to love the Starbook. The SS2K rules.

#5 pollux

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:54 PM

I haven't tried the SS2K. But when I had the Sphinx SXD I really loved its StarBook

#6 GShaffer

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:40 AM

I bet you didnt love the fact that it didnt save its alignment or pec settings between sessions :)

I haven't tried the SS2K. But when I had the Sphinx SXD I really loved its StarBook



#7 pollux

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:48 AM

I bet you didnt love the fact that it didnt save its alignment or pec settings between sessions :)


To be honest I don't really care about these as I observe in different site each time....

I like Starbook because of its star map built in the screen.

#8 Emanuele

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:21 AM

Oh...thanks guys!
I guess the GP-DX is irreplaceable then, eh? I have been trying to find one for a while now, but without luck. :(

#9 GShaffer

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:53 AM

I can concede that point :)

But in my case I like going to star parties and those tend to run multiple nights.....Its nice to be able to shut down and pickup where I left off the next night. Besides the display on the starbook was too bright to suit me although it does look pretty.

Even Vixen seems to acknowledge the starbook has its limitations since they still sell the SS2k with their high end observatory mount the Gailax or whatever its called.

I bet you didnt love the fact that it didnt save its alignment or pec settings between sessions :)


To be honest I don't really care about these as I observe in different site each time....

I like Starbook because of its star map built in the screen.



#10 GShaffer

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:11 AM

Only one I am aware of for sale right now is listed both here and on Amart for $1200 without a tripod (the amart ad does say he will throw in an Ioptron tripod) but even though it is listed as mint condition thats a couple hundred to the high side imo.....at least based on past listing prices and the fact it has been listed for a month or so without moving.

Oh...thanks guys!
I guess the GP-DX is irreplaceable then, eh? I have been trying to find one for a while now, but without luck. :(



#11 Emanuele

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:31 AM

Only one I am aware of for sale right now is listed both here and on Amart for $1200 without a tripod (the amart ad does say he will throw in an Ioptron tripod) but even though it is listed as mint condition thats a couple hundred to the high side imo.....at least based on past listing prices and the fact it has been listed for a month or so without moving.



exactly! I contacted the seller a couple of times but he won't lower the price. I would pay $900 for it, maximum.

#12 Taylor

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:08 PM

That seems very high for a GP-DX. The average of what they go for is what you offered, $900 + ship.
I paid $1250 for a used-3-times Sphinx with $400 in accessories included.

#13 Emanuele

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:13 PM

right, and a CGEM or Atlas can be found for $900! That's absurd actually.

#14 Taylor

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:52 PM

right, and a CGEM or Atlas can be found for $900! That's absurd actually.


He'll figure it out when it doesn't sell for months.
Or he'll find some unfortunate sucker to actually pay that, one way or another...

#15 BarrySimon615

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

right, and a CGEM or Atlas can be found for $900! That's absurd actually.


He'll figure it out when it doesn't sell for months.
Or he'll find some unfortunate sucker to actually pay that, one way or another...


Of course, the safeguard here is to avoid selling anything for too low a price. My procedure when I have something for sale is to do a classified search on AstroMart, going back 3 years to see what comparables were being offered for. In the case of the Vixen GP-DX mount, they seem to be offered at from anywhere from about $700 to as high as $1500. I bet a lot of the difference depends upon accessories offered with the mounts and overall condition of the mount. Accordingly an "unfortunate sucker" may be a very lucky guy.

One of the big variables also is availability. As soon as a piece of equipment becomes hard to find due to either demand, discontinuation of production, age, etc., the price generally goes up. Case in point would be Unitron telescopes and mounts. They are no longer being made, there is high demand, and the mounts in particular are quite nice, functional and pleasing. A Unitron 3" equatorial refractor today in excellent condition which sold for $675 new in 1975 or so commands a price of better than $2000.00 today. It is all about supply and demand. For those of us that want something bad enough and see a good example of same, who is to say we are a poor sucker for buying something we want, particularly if we have done our homework and know exactly what we are getting?

I just recently bought a used Takahashi EM10 mount on AstroMart for use with my TAK TSA 102. It is an expensive mount with capabilities perhaps just barely and argueably greater than my Vixen Super Polaris DX mount; however I wanted it. At the same time I now find it hard to justify keeping my Vixen SP-DX, so it has been up for sale for the past several weeks. I set my price based upon what was being paid for the SP-DX over the past several years (and the price was negotiable) no serious interest so the price was lowered. It still sits at what I consider to be a fair price but I guess today's market does not support that. That's ok, I just as soon keep it and use it as a driven alt-azimuth mount (which it will do quite well), the real shame would have been if it sold too low. My hobby today is supported by sales of other hobby stuff that I sell, purchases being funded by sales.

FYI - the quality in respect to workmanship, tolerances, fit and finish cannot be compared when looking at a Vixen GP-DX or SP-DX and comparing that to an Atlas or CGEM. Just like a Unitron equatorial mount for a 3" cannot be compared to the old standard wrinkle finish black Tasco or Meade equatorial mounts for their 3" refractors

Barry Simon, Owner/Moderator
UnitronTelescopes Yahoo Group

#16 Taylor

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 03:54 PM

Wow, quite the response...
The one for $1200 includes ONLY the EQ head and computer, no tripod, no case, no accessories, nothing.
Not sure if I would call someone who purchases it at that price lucky.
They average with a tripod a few worthwhile accessories for 2009 at the $1100-$1300 price point, sometimes for a lucky buyer they have gone a touch under $1000.

#17 BarrySimon615

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:02 PM

Wow, quite the response...
The one for $1200 includes ONLY the EQ head and computer, no tripod, no case, no accessories, nothing.
Not sure if I would call someone who purchases it at that price lucky.
They average with a tripod a few worthwhile accessories for 2009 at the $1100-$1300 price point, sometimes for a lucky buyer they have gone a touch under $1000.


Yes, and I would have to agree with you. The particular one you describe, is, based upon looking at comparables, overpriced. It will likely be withdrawn, or the price lowered. Either way, a little homework goes a long way in pricing something for sale. Key is to buy for a fair price and to sell for a fair price, that way everyone is happy. As I mentioned before things start to get a bit nuts when an item for whatever reason becomes highly coveted. Witness the Rukl "Atlas of the Moon" before they were reprinted or things like a first edition TeleVue Nagler 11 mm eyepiece in excellent condition.

Barry Simon

#18 jrcrilly

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 04:55 PM

right, and a CGEM or Atlas can be found for $900! That's absurd actually.


I dunno. I definitely wouldn't swap my GPDX/SS2K for either of those.

#19 Emanuele

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:24 PM

John, me neither: but I was just commenting on the fact that those two mounts are way bigger with higher payload capacity than the GP-DX!

#20 GShaffer

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:31 PM

You got that right! :)

#21 jrcrilly

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 05:31 PM

John, me neither: but I was just commenting on the fact that those two mounts are way bigger with higher payload capacity than the GP-DX!


Sure - but that doesn't have to mean they are worth more. I'd rather have an EM-11 than any of them but it has a smaller load capacity than any of these.

#22 vegasMike

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 04:52 AM

Emanuele, you mention that you will be using a Gitzo but another option for you. If you pick up a Vixen GPDX mount head only, it will bolt right to the newer ASGT tripod that has the 2" steel tube legs. This tripod is heavier (17lbs) than the flimsy extruded plasticky aluminum tripod that came with the GPDX but WELL worth the extra weight in the form of added stability. These can be had for around $125 if you shop around the Mart. So, if you dont mind having a green mount and a black tripod, that would be the ticket :waytogo:

#23 vegasMike

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:12 AM

check it out, just posted.

http://www.astromart...ified_id=637648

#24 Emanuele

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 11:57 AM

Thanks Mike,
but that does not have the SS2K accessory! :)






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