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Zhumell Z10 with eyepiece or Apertura + Tweakers?

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#1 ClusterHunter110

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:15 AM

Now, I know this thread won't be super popular...just a question I had, and knew no where else to go to get it answered.

Zhumell makes the same exact dob as Apertura (to any newcomers who are wondering), but put up their ups and downs, my question includes these ups and downs.

From how I understand it, Hayneedle's customer service is so-so, sells the dobs $20 cheaper than Apertura, and the name sounds cooler.

OpticsMart sells their dobs at around stock price. Excellent customer service from David (great guy by the way :)), and includes the Tweaker's package.

For the extra $130, would it just be worth going the way of the Tweaker's package or do a Zhumell and get an extra 2" eyepiece? And what eyepiece would be great at around $150?

It's a small question, I know, but it's all I need. Answers will be much appreciated! :grin:

#2 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:21 AM

Personally.. I would go with the Apertura either way.. $20 difference is not enough to justify taking a hit on the customer service.

My own inclination would be to do the mods myself and save the money for a chair or an eyepiece...

Jon

#3 kevinrr

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:26 AM

I have made several purchases from hayneedle and have never failed to get anything except perfect service. In fact I bought my son's Zhummel Aurora 70 telescope and it showed up with a non functional tracking drive motor...one call to a very nice guy had a replacement motor on it's way to me, no questions asked.

#4 ClusterHunter110

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:33 AM

Personally.. I would go with the Apertura either way.. $20 difference is not enough to justify taking a hit on the customer service.

My own inclination would be to do the mods myself and save the money for a chair or an eyepiece...

Jon


....I can't argue with the chair. Observing without a dob would be a pain in the neck. And back... :lol:

What's even nicer is they sell the grip knob, springs etc. on the accessories page! So you really can DIY. :)

#5 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:08 AM

I have made several purchases from hayneedle and have never failed to get anything except perfect service. In fact I bought my son's Zhummel Aurora 70 telescope and it showed up with a non functional tracking drive motor...one call to a very nice guy had a replacement motor on it's way to me, no questions asked.


I think the difference is in the customer service model. Hayneedle doesn't have anyone who can actually help you understand your telescope, understand why you might be having a particular problem, you are not talking with someone who gets out and actually uses the telescope.. If you call up Hayneedle and are confused about how to collimate your scope, my understanding is that they don't really have anyone who can help.

With Opticsmart, customer service is provided by someone who is skilled at using a telescope. In the long run, that translates into a better telescope, the finishing touches and more importantly, it results in you having a better understanding of your scope and how to make it work for you.

Sure, you can buy the Zhumell and depend on someone like myself to help with understand how to get the most out of your scope but for $20, please support Apertura, they are providing support beyond what folks like me can do..

Jon

#6 Billytk

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:43 AM

I got the tweakers dream package with my 8" dob and I feel it was worth the money. The flocking is installed perfectly. I don't know if I could have done near as good of a job. Also, Dave handles his own customer service. I would happily purchase from him again.

#7 schang

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 06:41 AM

I have dealt with both of them and was very satisfied with both of their customer services, though Opticsmart's service staff is more knowledgeable about the details of the scope and its accessories than those at the Telescopes.com. It is a personal choice you will have to decide for yourself, budget-wise and how handy you are.

#8 lamplight

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:46 AM

The tweakers and the raci and the customer service = apertura . Plus you somehow know David is a great guy. And you're considering saving $20? :john:

As a business owner I'll never get this thinking.

Btw that little knob /handle thing I never even use it, I just push the EP or top of the tube myself. Since my hand is there. I also haven't used the light shroud thing as I made my own dew shield. I have no idea if the stock springs are no good but the upgraded ones are fine, flocking is perfect as mentioned. No way in he'll I could do it that good.

#9 coopman

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:02 PM

My AD10 arrived at my house the next day, but I'm only a state away. I did not order the tweaker's package, but have ordered some of the tweaks like stronger springs and secondary collimation screws since I got my scope. You will not be able to beat Opticsmart's service elsewhere. I can't recommend them highly enough.

#10 REC

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:17 PM

I have the A10 now a month and I love it. I got the tweaker deal and the flocking is great. I appears to be well made and was nicely packed. The laser collimator works great and is pretty easy. I have only done it once so far, but I only move it from my house to the patio.

I have an SCT 8" and this Dob compliments it well. Still learning my way around the stars in the finder scope as I have been spoiled by the GOTO SCT. I took me 5 min. the other night to find the double cluster and I knew where it was! The views are quite different in this scope with the wider viewing area than the SCT. At 10" aperture it is sure grabs a lot of light. You will see quite a difference from the ETX as well and I have one too....and CA made!

Yeah, definitely get a chair. When I placed the order for the scope, I added the Starbound chair to go with it. The 30mm EP is not bad. I had plenty of EP's laying around.

Now I have gone full circle and have all four types of scopes...Mak, SCT, Refractor and now a Newtonian which is what I started with 50 yrs. ago! OMG...who said that!

Clear Skies!

BYW...the customer service is OUTSTANDING!

#11 esd726

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

I'd personally get the Zhumell with an eyepiece. The only thing in the Tweakers Package I would "like" would be the "push/pull" knob. I liked the Orion XTs I had with those on it, but that sn't worth that much to me to spend all that extra $. Most of those things you can just add yourself if you want anyway. Now if you just talk the basic package, on either one, then it might come down to the customer service. If you are thinking you would need to contact for them at sometime than that might be something you take into consideration. All comes down to what YOU want :). I don't think you will regret whatever way you go. I'm hoping to also get one of these, if I can ever get that much $ saved up. So will be interesting reading what people say.

#12 bigstormgirl

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:13 PM

I have nothing but praise for David and Rex at Opticsmart. I did something pretty stupid when I first got my AD10 (with tweakers package), and they got me back on track. Both have patience of saints!

#13 BrettG

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:26 PM

I have never dealt with either of these companies, but I am considering getting this Z10 package, it has an additional EP (16mm 100 degree) and a telrad, for slightly more than the A10 tweakers package.

Here

#14 REC

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:34 PM

Well yeah, that is an interesting bundle with all those extra items! Either way, your going to enjoy these scopes.

#15 ClusterHunter110

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 04:29 PM

Yeah...about the "saving $20" I didn't even know what I was thinking....I sound sort of stupid after saying that. :tonofbricks:

Well I have a little more confidence in OpticsMart than Hayneedle, so Opticsmart it is. On a little note, are David and Rex the only ones working at OpticsMart or are there more? :question:

#16 Billytk

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:25 PM

Ask David himself. Send him a PM, he posts here on CN every now and then.

#17 Pastor Collux

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 07:20 PM

If I had to do it over again, I would have purchased David's Apertura AD8 with the Preinstalled Setting Circle mod and leveling feet instead of the Zhumell Z8. I wish all Dobs came like that. His mod includes the digital angle finder (based on the Wixey WR300) with red backlight and a red LED clip-on light so you can see the setting circle in the dark.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Z8. Purchased David's HALO and Alti-Gauge for it and they'll be here this week. Just wish I'd done a bit more research first.

#18 ClusterHunter110

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:02 PM

If I had to do it over again, I would have purchased David's Apertura AD8 with the Preinstalled Setting Circle mod and leveling feet instead of the Zhumell Z8. I wish all Dobs came like that. His mod includes the digital angle finder (based on the Wixey WR300) with red backlight and a red LED clip-on light so you can see the setting circle in the dark.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Z8. Purchased David's HALO and Alti-Gauge for it and they'll be here this week. Just wish I'd done a bit more research first.


Grats on the setting circles! I was planning on getting the tweaker's package now and then get the leveling feet and base some time afterwards.

Where did you order the digital angle finder? :question:

#19 Pastor Collux

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 08:15 PM

ClusterHunter110-

The digital angle finder now comes packaged when you order the HALO setting circle for the Z8. I inquired David at Opticsmart if I could purchase his "Alti-Gauge" as a stand-alone item, since I only saw it available in his Preinstalled Setting Circle mod for the Apertura Dobs. He combined it with the purchase of a HALO for the Z8 for an extra $30.

You might want to shoot him a PM or e-mail to see if you can order the angle finder from him.

#20 sealcove

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:04 PM

I can just add that I am extremely happy with my AD10 with the tweakers package. I don't know that I really needed the upgrade, but I am still glad I went for it. Opticsmart was great to deal with all the way around, and having knowledgeable dealer was a big attraction for me.

#21 Robert T

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:42 PM

If it makes any difference, I got the Apertura and the customer service has been great (I had an issue with the laser collimator and they helped me get it sorted out).

I didn't get the tweaker's package, I wasn't quite convinced it was worth it and instead spent the money on some nicer eyepieces.

I should also relay my experience with Hayneedle - I was on a wait list for a Meade Ultra Wide eyepiece and after waiting awhile contacted them and got very good customer service about when they expected their next shipment (they didn't string me along, they said it was going to be a long wait). I'd buy from them again if they had product in stock :p

#22 lamplight

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 04:28 PM

That new zhummel package definitely looks more competitive with the tweakers. Personally one of my main reasons was that the zhummel finder is not advertised as a correct image finder , (merely right angle), whereas the apertura one is. I didn't want to have to buy another RACI for the dob. (The raci is nothing special , but works fine, is lightweight, and similar if not the same thing as the Orion finders)

Anyhow like people said already, same scope just pick your preferred accessories and favorite vendor.

#23 pftarch

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:12 PM

I can't weigh in on the Apertura as I haven't dealt with them (but they sure are getting high marks here in this thread).

I have had dealings with Hayneedle/Telescopes.com and they have all been outstanding. They were very good on a return of a 10" dob. (I don't want to go into a whole lot of detail, but they went WAY above what would have constituted good customer service.)

I haven't had to ask them for "technical" advice, but I suspect that what Jon says is true. I was willing to accept a lack of technical skill in exchange for low price and good delivery/return service. (I do the same at Best Buy, Walmart, Target, etc.) However, it was NOT my first scope purchase, and I really didn't need much guidance.

I love my GSO dob, so you will probably win either way you go. I do agree that for $20 difference, I would consider it a "tie", and getting the extra support early on isn't a bad idea.

Peter T.






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