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Vixen Sphinx vs ASGT

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#1 Pedestal

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 05:53 PM

Comparing these two mounts, a couple of things stand out. Price, $2k/$750 and weight, 19.2lbs/37.5lbs. The ASGT has 2" steel legs, the Sphinx says aluminum, but gives no diameter.
So what makes the Sphinx so much more expensive than other comparable carry weight class (25/30lbs) mounts?

#2 jrcrilly

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 06:03 PM

So what makes the Sphinx so much more expensive than other comparable carry weight class (25/30lbs) mounts?


It's actually in the middle price-wise. More expensive than the Chinese stuff (Jingua, Synta) but less expensive than the other Japanese stuff in that weight class (TAK). Quality and performance determine the relative pricing.

#3 Luigi

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 06:45 AM

>>>Quality and performance determine the relative pricing. <<<

In this case it may be an inverse correlation, IMO. The CG5 is a a much better value, especially if you shop around and get it for ~$600. With the Vixen, you're paying for cosmetics and cachet, and getting less stability for a given load and most prefer the Celestron handcontroller UI. I donwsized from having a G11 for 10+ years and am quite satisifed with the CG5 performance and stability with my 16 lb OTAs.

#4 adamsp123

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 06:55 AM

Although I own and love my Vixen Sphinx SVX (I got it secondhand, wouldn't pay new price) it is a VERY capable mount even managed to image using a Meade 10" SNT at 30 lbs on it (and on the HAL aluminium Tripod), but I have to agree with Luigi the CG5 at new prices is hard to beat in value for money terms.

#5 amys

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 09:25 AM

I have both mounts. The Sphinx is very solid, well designed and very easy to set up. With the tripod partially retracted, it holds my 7" Mak very well, and I have to tap the scope to get it to shake. I personally like the Starbook except it's too bright, although I wish it had the long list of stars and double stars that the Celestron Hand controller has.

I find the CG-5 to be almost flimsy in comparison. It's quite light compared to the Sphinx and it's weight distribution requires me to use a lot more counterweights for my scopes than I do with the Sphinx. I also find it more annoying to set up, with cords being too short, the alignment aids for DEC and RA being very difficult to see, knobs being too small and poorly placed, etc. It's also extremely noisy when slewing.

However, the steel tripod is very solid and the go-tos are very accurate. It is absolutely silent while tracking. I use the 2-star alignment routine with 2 calibration stars and it works great. On the whole, I think it is an excellent value.

#6 Taylor

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:27 AM

>>>Quality and performance determine the relative pricing. <<<

In this case it may be an inverse correlation, IMO. The CG5 is a a much better value, especially if you shop around and get it for ~$600. With the Vixen, you're paying for cosmetics and cachet, and getting less stability for a given load and most prefer the Celestron handcontroller UI. I donwsized from having a G11 for 10+ years and am quite satisifed with the CG5 performance and stability with my 16 lb OTAs.


Less stability?? There are people imaging with the SXW with Meade schmidt-newts pushing 25-30 lbs.

It is a very well machined mount with great accuracy and is extremely smooth. When using my SXW I could find no mechanical complaints at all, it was all top notch.
Never owned a CG5 so I won't comment on a mount I haven't owned and used repeatedly, but I did have an LXD75 and next step up is very noticeable in terms of machining quality, fit and finish, and software in the hand controller.

This juxtaposition between Chinese and Japanese astro brands has popped up again and again on here, and this won't be the last, but it always ends the same. Some people want the bang for the buck Chinese versions, and some people are willing to pay more for the one that looks a little nicer and is machined to slightly better tolerances, and then you have the guy willing to pay even more for the machined aluminum AP and Losmandy stuff, each step up has a price.
This same argument can be had with anything, how much are you willing to pay for a little more machining tolerances, some sleeker looks, tad more engineering? Ex: Audi vs. Subaru, Toshiba vs. Vizio, etc.
One is value and one is premium, both get the job done, and both do it well.

#7 Da Bear

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 08:35 PM

I currently own a Sphinx, and have owned four CG5's. The CG5 when cleaned up as shown in Andy's Shot Glass is a really good visual mount, and an ok AP mount. The Sphinx is a great visual mount and a very good AP mount out of the box. The Sphinx Starbook takes a couple of session to get used too, and is very accurate. Also the Polaris finder scope on the Sphinx is top notch, much better than anything available in the under $2500 mount market.

Da Bear

#8 Pedestal

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:08 PM

I find the CG-5 to be almost flimsy in comparison. It's quite light compared to the Sphinx and it's weight distribution requires me to use a lot more counterweights for my scopes than I do with the Sphinx.


I have to ask for clarification, here. Orion lists the Sphinx as weighing considerably less than the ASGT? Is this incorrect?

#9 pollux

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:29 PM

the 35 lbs load capacity of cg5 IMHO is way too overly exaggerated

vixen on the other hand like other Japanese manufacturers are tend to br conservative with their numbers

#10 jrcrilly

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:24 PM

I have to ask for clarification, here. Orion lists the Sphinx as weighing considerably less than the ASGT? Is this incorrect?


The difference in specified weight is probably from the tripod. The Synta mount has a steel tripod, while the Vixen is supplied with a higher-tech HAL aluminum unit. It makes a BIG difference when transporting them.

#11 Luigi

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:04 PM

>>>Vixen is supplied with a higher-tech HAL aluminum unit<<<

I agree if higher tech means wobblier.

#12 jrcrilly

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 12:12 PM

>>>Vixen is supplied with a higher-tech HAL aluminum unit<<<

I agree if higher tech means wobblier.


:lol:Then we disagree! ;)

#13 rmollise

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 03:31 PM

Comparing these two mounts, a couple of things stand out. Price, $2k/$750 and weight, 19.2lbs/37.5lbs. The ASGT has 2" steel legs, the Sphinx says aluminum, but gives no diameter.
So what makes the Sphinx so much more expensive than other comparable carry weight class (25/30lbs) mounts?


Before considering a Sphinx, I'd have a stroll through the archives of the Sphinx Yahoogroup. Frankly, it's had a _history_ of problems, and some folks have had performance not _up there_ with a CG5. Are all these problems solved? Maybe...I'd do some reading and asking there.

#14 Ian Robinson

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 11:59 AM

Quality wise it's no comparison, Vixen's sphinx , like their other GEMs , is top quality , and their quality of build beat any Celestron or Meade or Losmandy or Skywatcher GEM. So do their performance.

In GEMs , you get what you pay for .

#15 donsinger1

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 02:56 PM

In GEMs , you get what you pay for .


Yep, agreed. The Vixens are well built and crafted...but, that does not mean beans if the software does not work well.

D

#16 rmollise

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Posted 22 August 2009 - 05:21 PM

Quality wise it's no comparison, Vixen's sphinx , like their other GEMs , is top quality , and their quality of build beat any Celestron or Meade or Losmandy or Skywatcher GEM. So do their performance.

In GEMs , you get what you pay for .


Maybe. Again, this mount has had a lot of troubles. Having to send your GEM back because one of the axes is too stiff to allow you to balance and causes the drive to make funny noises is not my idea of quality, but this has been one of the Sphinx problems users, and more than one, have encountered.






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