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Paramount MX or CGE PRO ?

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#1 Psyire

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 11:54 PM

Well like a few people around here I'm considering upgrading to the Paramount MX due to the sale going on right now. However I wouldn't mind a few opinions on the matter before dropping $8K+ on what for me is a 'hobby'.

I'm currently using a wedge mounted CPC1100 and I've been getting some decent images with this setup. (or at least what I would call decent) You can check out my astrobin site in my sig. if you want to see some of them. My scopes include the C11, 120ED & 80ED. The problem I'm having is when the weather (seeing) isn't up to imaging with the C11, then I still have to lug it around due to it being mounted to the CPC. I also can't use the 120ED for imaging because it's just too much weight for the CPC+C11 to handle well. As you can imagine this just isn't optimal and leads to me foregoing imaging on quite a few nights due to 'the hassle'.

So my original thought was to upgrade my mount to the CGE Pro and solve the problem. I would defork the C11(as I've extensively modified it) and either sell the forks or keep them until I decide to sell the C11 someday. With the current PMX sale going on I'm really stuck on whether it would be a good idea to bite the bullet and go straight for what I would call a 'premium' mount. I've pretty much ruled out all the others in this price range. I originally thought I would go with an AP mount, but with the sale on the PMX it's just much more attractive than the 900 and too far away from the 1600 to consider. (I don't want to go used as I want full warranty/support from the manufacturer) My $$ limit is definately 10K or preferably less.

So having never used an equatorial mount I'm a bit nervous to be spending this much on one.. I'm interested in expanding my image portfolio with higher quality images that are easier to obtain. (Galaxies, Nebula, Clusters, Etc) Is there anybody who has personal experience with both the Pro and PMX? I have a pier and plan to leave either one semi-permanently mounted outside.

I know the easy answer is to buy the PMX and forget about the CGEPRO because it's better in every way shape and form. BUT part of me wonders if I would be just as happy with the CGEPRO and $3K in my pocket... (or an upgraded camera, lol)

#2 Joe C

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:06 AM

Personally, with the current track record, I would stay away from the CGE. I would spend the extra and go with a MX. Sure it will gost a few grand more but what you will have is a lifetime mount that will perform without issue.

Another in the price range that will give great performance and for a bit less than the MX is the Losmandy Titan. I can say first hand that this mount performs far above its cost. Mine has a corrected PE of 1.6.

#3 frolinmod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:07 AM

Oh how we agonize over these decisions, but this honestly isn't a difficult decision to make. The mount is the most important part of the system. Get the better mount.

#4 orlyandico

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:39 AM

+1

Unlike luxury goods (where say a Rolex doesn't buy you better performance than a Casio) with mounts you DO get what you pay for.

Had I known this I could have saved a lot of money by NOT buying lower-tier mounts.

#5 Whichwayisnorth

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:01 PM

The MX is a much better mount but the 8K doesn't include a tripod. If you happen to need a tripod I believe they are 2K more from Bisque or a little more than half that from 3rd party. Also as I am sure you are aware you need a computer attached at all times to the ParamountMX whereas the CGE-PRO is standalone.

#6 Calypte

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:05 PM

For me this would be a no-brainer. Go with the paramount.

#7 jarin

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:20 PM

I had a CGE-Pro for 1.5 years, and have now owned the MX for exactly one year. The MX is the better mount, no doubt. However, (maybe I was one of the few) - I really had no problems with the Pro, and imaged many successful targets in the time I had it. I would say mine was worth the money I paid for it, so I don't have any regrets. All that being said - if you can afford it get the MX (and an equally as nice tripod, Rob Miller if/when he surfaces again, or the Bisque one).

Jeff

#8 frolinmod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:29 PM

From the opening post:

I have a pier and plan to leave either one semi-permanently mounted outside.

Which is perfect for either mount. The MX is highly portable, but doesn't have to be used in that mode. Not putting a polar scope in also opens up more room for through the mount cabling. :cool:


#9 PhilCo126

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Another Paramount vote here, although it might be interesting to wait how the EQ-8 will perform...

#10 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

I had a CGE-Pro for 1.5 years, and have now owned the MX for exactly one year. The MX is the better mount, no doubt. However, (maybe I was one of the few) - I really had no problems with the Pro, and imaged many successful targets in the time I had it. I would say mine was worth the money I paid for it, so I don't have any regrets. All that being said - if you can afford it get the MX (and an equally as nice tripod, Rob Miller if/when he surfaces again, or the Bisque one).

Jeff


This is probably the only post that is relevant.. He has had both mounts.. But I guess you did ask for "opinions"..

I've said it before and i'll say it again, for the 4th time, I will smoke any gear driven mount with my pro.. but with the money I saved switching to Geico, I was able to upgrade the mount with a TDM and aeroquest/deepspace products TLC... :roflmao:

#11 frolinmod

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 03:56 PM

Jeff, you had a CGE PRO and now have an MX. Why did you upgrade to the MX?

#12 jarin

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

Jeff, you had a CGE PRO and now have an MX. Why did you upgrade to the MX?


It was a lot of little things more than any one thing.

In no particular order, in rough-form and off the top of my head:

- Pro is very heavy
- Pro is bulky
- Pro's dovetail is small, and the clutch knobs are placed in a bad spot and are hard to turn
- Pro's tripod (I'm a remote drive-to/setup/teardown user) is ginormous. No idea why they made it so tall
- The PE on mine wasn't bad (2.5 with PemPRO), but I knew I could do better
- The 3 or 4 people I knew that had one just had the best things to say about Paramounts (that was about 35% of my decision)
- Bisque's cust service (positive)
- SkyX's constant development (positive) - eventually using one program for everything
- I started to get worried about failures on the mount. Multiple reports of RA drives failing, circuit boards, etc
- A few times I did have issues guiding in DEC, unexplained, and from what I heard afterwards, a firmware issue

Plus, the MX just looked so damned cool. Which honestly was about 15/20% of it. :-)

Jeff

#13 Psyire

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

Well.. all this talk definately isn't helping me save any money. lol It's good though, this is exactly what I was looking to hear. Thanks for the comparison info Jeff, some of what your saying is exactly what I was thinking when deciding to maybe make the jump up to the PMX. I'm not 100% sure that I'm going to purchase, but I feel better about being more informed about the differences between the two mounts.

#14 kbastro

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:23 AM

the 2 mounts are not in the same league,,,
the cge pro is an ok mount in all....
but it does run a distant 2nd compared to an MX

kb

#15 cn register 5

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:42 PM

The CGEM is a distant second in price as well.

If money is a consideration - and it almost always is - then the difference may be between a CGE Pro and a decent OTA and/or camera and a MX with nothing left to buy anything to put on it.

I would try to get some hands on experience with the CGE Pro, even if it means a bit of travelling. I'd also join a CGE Pro group and talk to people with real world experience with using it.

Chris

#16 Psyire

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:54 PM

Thanks for the continued comments. Chris, although the CGEM has tempted me as a 2nd mount to my CPC, I don't think it would be an upgrade of sorts. It would allow me to image with the 120ED but I think a lot of the tracking challenges I face with my current mount would be evident in the CGEM as well. (ie. 10-15min sub exposures with a low discard rate)

My current mount performance is noted here: http://www.cloudynig.../Number/3720564

#17 orlyandico

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 02:35 AM

so your CPC is giving 5" peak-to-peak with PEC enabled.

the CGE Pro won't be substantially better. Although the raw PE is guaranteed to be 10" p-p (vs 25" for your CPC) according to Celestron's own data the PE with PEC enabled is about 5" p-p (0.91" rms) - much better that the CPC but still not mind-blowing.

http://www.celestron...-pro-mount.html

if the MX is anywhere like an AP (and I assume it is) you can expect 2" to 3" p-p uncorrected and sub 0.5" with PEM enabled.

#18 korborh

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:29 AM

The value of PE is not really important for imaging in the range where CGE Pro is spec'd at. Autoguiding is required for serious DSO imaging (yes even PMX) for *best* results, and the smoothness of PE is really what one needs to worry about.
The CGE Pro is worth a serious look for 3k less.

#19 cn register 5

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 05:33 PM

If you're looking for people who will help you justify spending more this is the place to come :)

Is the extra justified? I'd love to be able to find out - or better still not to care. But it's the same as with all high end equipment, the extra 20% performance costs 80% more.

Chris

#20 Matt Houston

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 11:41 AM

I owned a CGE-Pro for a short period when they first came out. I'm 6 ft 1 tall and the mount was quite high. I found it challenging to lift my 14" scope up that high. I could just imagine someone under 6 ft. If you can go to the gym and lift a 45 pound Olympic plate above your head then you'll be fine.

Secondly, it weighs a ton. When I take a scope and set it up, I prefer to set up the tripod/pier first, then bring the mount in it's entirety and connect it, then lastly bring the scope out and connect it to the mount. With the CGE-Pro, the mount weighs I think around 75 pounds. It was a bit much to carry so I had to disconnect the DEC/RA pieces and carry them individually. I didn't like that. Just my two cents.

#21 Psyire

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:51 PM

At this point I plan on ordering the PMX on tuesday. It really hasn't been as easy as one might think to make this decision. Especially now that Celestron has announced a 10% sale on all CGEM/CGEPRO setups. I really appreciate all the info provided in this thread, it has helped a lot in figuring out what setup might be best for me. At the end of the day I want a mount that feels like it's a dramatic improvement from the one I'm using and I think the PMX has the best chance of doing that in my price range. In the perfect world I would wait and see what is replacing the AP900 and what the price is going to be.. but if I do that the PMX will no longer be on sale and I'll need to spend even more to get what I'm after.

Now.. if only there was a fund I could put money into that would make the clouds disappear I'd be all set. (It's been an ugly winter for nice clear nights here)

#22 wolfman_4_ever

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:56 PM

Excellent choice!

Congrats and have fun with the new mount!..

#23 Psyire

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:38 PM

So ya.. looks like I won't be getting an MX 'soon'. They sold the last one this morning and I called to order one after work and my retailer was making the call tomorrow to check inventory. Bah! Not to happy.. Now I don't know whether to take advantage of the sale thats on until March 15, or wait and see what the new AP1100 is going to be all about. Either way it looks as though my plans have come to a screetching halt for now... To whoever bought the last one, you better be fist pumping!

#24 saadabbasi

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:54 PM

Psyire, maybe worth calling OPT? I was interested in buying from and they had a few in stock. Though in the end I ordered from SB, you might get lucky!

#25 Psyire

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

I'm actually in Canada so bringing something this costly across the boarder isn't too feasible. I'm better off buying from a Canadian dealer in which case it's much harder to find a place that has stock..






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