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Who are the top three Dobsonian makers?

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#26 Pinbout

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 12:54 PM

well lets change the title to custom dob makers...

#27 Starman81

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:11 PM

As a fan of custom dobs, but currently on the 'sidelines' until the time is right, my dream custom dob choices would be:

1- Teeter
2- StarStructure
3- Webster

A few Teeter's at very nice prices have popped up on that other site, so that gives me hope that if buying used and the timing is right, the 'dream' scope could be a reality much sooner.

#28 csrlice12

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:18 PM

and Teeter just came out with the "Stark" line...Premium structures with decent, but commercial mirrors I believe....

#29 Mike B

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:27 PM

and Teeter just came out with the "Stark" line...



Personally, i'm waiting for his "Potts" line... a curvilinear mirror & rocker assembly, with outstanding struts.
:whistle:

#30 csrlice12

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:31 PM

Maybe it'll come in a red motive with gold mirrors........

#31 Aquatone

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:41 PM

Perhaps we could exclude all opinions from posters who justify their purchase decisions by listing instruments that are in the telescope lists in their signatures? Or at least comment on personal experience with ALL instruments listed.

I can play too. A Lockwood / Tom Osypowski Spica Eyes is certainly the highest quality and most sophisticated custom Dobsonian or alt/az Newtonian available today. No bias at all.

Chris

#32 Darren Drake

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:51 PM

Wow no mention of Obsession except by me. 5-10 years ago the name would have been all over this thread. I guess they have not changed much in the last couple decades. Interesting....

#33 Mike B

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:58 PM

Perhaps we could exclude all opinions from posters who justify their purchase decisions by listing instruments that are in the telescope lists in their signatures


Yet those are the scopes each poster likely has the most experience & familiarity with. And remember, they (we) didn't "justify the purchase" based on our siglines... the scopes weren't *IN* the siglines until they were purchased! :lol:

I have a 16" starsplitter II with a steve swayze mirror. Great sharp views. I know they don't make the starsplitter anymore but once in awhile they come up for resale. They would rate high on the list



This would also limit maybe one of the better options, as stated above- buying a scope "used", not "new"... which opens the field to those- like the "Starsplitter"- which are no longer currently being made. Being "used" in NO WAY should render them a non-contender! :ubetcha: Quite the contrary- if "premium" is what you're after, a "used" Dob, like the Starsplitter, can offer serious bang for yer buck!

#34 Starman81

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:11 PM

Perhaps we could exclude all opinions from posters who justify their purchase decisions by listing instruments that are in the telescope lists in their signatures? Or at least comment on personal experience with ALL instruments listed.

I can play too. A Lockwood / Tom Osypowski Spica Eyes is certainly the highest quality and most sophisticated custom Dobsonian or alt/az Newtonian available today. No bias at all.

Chris


When people spend that kind of money, they spend to get the best, so it should be no surprise that they believe their choice to at least be in the top 3, if not the #1. Remember, this is after all an opinion poll.

#35 gatorengineer

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:19 PM

I think the answer is size dependent...... and it is assumed / Presumed that you are in the 20" plus class.

It also assumes that the opinion is independent of ""value""

#36 LateViewer

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:52 PM

Wow no mention of Obsession except by me. 5-10 years ago the name would have been all over this thread. I guess they have not changed much in the last couple decades. Interesting....


I was thinking the same thing when I read this thread but when I thought about it Obsession has not been on my wish list for a while....

#37 gaz-in

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 04:27 PM

For the type of scope they build (different than other mentioned so far)...I think Dobstuff deserves a mention...well thought out and built, reasonably priced, and do what they were designed to well.

#38 davidpitre

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 06:29 PM

I also think the answer depends on the size category.
For larger aperture:
Starstucture
JPAstrocraft
Webster
Osypowski

For smaller dobs:
Portaball
Teeter

Obsession does indeed make a fine telescope, though I think they need to modernize a bit before they would be considered in the top tier. I consider an Astrosystems factory built scope a step above an Obsession. Very solid and well built. Starmaster is undeniably well built as well. I'd put it just under those I mentioned for large aperture. OMI appears to make a very impressive super large dob, though I've never seen one. Jim Lowery owns a 48" (Yes. Everything is bigger and better in Texas) , and I have only heard good reports. Their 30" looks to be quite portable compared to other 30"ers.

#39 omahaastro

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:54 PM

I will say this... I own two Obsessions... one is 15 years old... the other is 20 years old... and they both still perform flawlessly. My 30" moves in Dobson's hole, just as easily as my 18", and it has a full thickness mirror in it. These telescopes also maintain their value like no other Dob's I've seen, so someone must think they're still worth something. ;)

#40 sn1987a

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 07:17 AM

Webster
SDM http://www.sdmtelesc...au/gallery.html
Plettstone


Suchting
Kennedy
Zambuto

Ok I am probably biased and a little inexperienced

#41 Markovich

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:02 AM

Yep, totally agree.


I will say this... I own two Obsessions... one is 15 years old... the other is 20 years old... and they both still perform flawlessly. My 30" moves in Dobson's hole, just as easily as my 18", and it has a full thickness mirror in it. These telescopes also maintain their value like no other Dob's I've seen, so someone must think they're still worth something. ;)



#42 demiles

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 09:27 AM

Each maker has their own features that make them unique, so every reply here is merely our own opinion.

Starstructure
Obsession
Teeter

#43 Starman1

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:37 AM

Webster
SDM http://www.sdmtelesc...au/gallery.html
Plettstone


Suchting
Kennedy
Zambuto

Ok I am probably biased and a little inexperienced


Yeah, it's too bad Michelle Stone stopped making scopes. They were really nice, the ones I saw.

#44 Mirzam

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 10:46 AM

I give Starmaster credit for leading the way with ultra-fast dobsonians (with crucial support from Mike Lockwood and Al Nagler).

I also give Obsession credit for their innovative Ultra Compact series of telescopes, which have some very good design features, despite a few shortcomings.

JimC

#45 maknewtnut

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:43 AM

1) StarStructure

the rest

#46 claytonjandl11

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:30 PM

Perhaps we could exclude all opinions from posters who justify their purchase decisions by listing instruments that are in the telescope lists in their signatures? Or at least comment on personal experience with ALL instruments listed.

I can play too. A Lockwood / Tom Osypowski Spica Eyes is certainly the highest quality and most sophisticated custom Dobsonian or alt/az Newtonian available today. No bias at all.

Chris


I'd have to agree. Spica Eyes scopes are bullet proof and are extremeley easy to use, set up, and hold collimation better than any newtonian I've ever used. Also for me being a clutchless drive is a very big plus. And lets not forget the optics. I have a Lightholder mirror and the views are every bit as good as any Lockwood mirror telescoope I've looked thru, even Tom O's personal scope has a Lightholser mirror, and I've looked thru it and it's excelent. Starstructure is also up there with Spica Eyes. IMO I give a slight nod to Spica Eyes, only because of the clutchless drive. After that I think it's a toss up between premium makers.

Nick T. :jump:

#47 chaoscosmos

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:44 PM

One thing that turns me away from investing in a premium scope is it seems they're a bit too concerned with finishing it like a piece of furniture, for my taste. I don't want to pay for that, because I wouldn't be displaying the scope in my living room. I just want something that works, and is durable. But hey, I'm 61 so it doesn't have to look like a vintage Drexel coffee table 30 years from now. That's why I'm somewhat curious about Dobstuff, if I decide to go other than my probable route for a $500 Z10 or Astrotech. The other factor being that although I love astronomy I've got other interests and things to spend money on, and already great views with my 4" refractor. I applaud all you hard core Dob guys though, and if you get enjoyment out of it you're also keeping these small manufacturers afloat... :)

#48 LateViewer

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:59 PM

I have been thinking about a Lightholder mirror. Availability is a consideration. I have noticed Rob Teeter offers them as we'll as Zambuto. Premium mirror?

#49 claytonjandl11

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:15 PM

I have been thinking about a Lightholder mirror. Availability is a consideration. I have noticed Rob Teeter offers them as we'll as Zambuto. Premium mirror?


From what I've seen (looked thru) I'd say yes without exception.

Nick T.

#50 Mr. Marbles

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 03:49 PM

I never heard of SDM but then I saw they were Down Under ... and so are you.






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