I have a Meade LX3 10" in excellent condition and removed the OTA and put it in an LX200GPS 10" and it's been working great for years. I own an LXD75 with SN10" and they have also worked great for years. I wanted a larger eq mount and the LX80's specs had me excited for a while but it ended up being a bummer. So I ended up returning it, disappointed. I also returned the 10" ota, mostly because they had just switched to crinkle paint. They told me that only 40% of the people made a negative comment about the switch.(people that stopped at their booth in one of the telescope conventions) And they were acting proud of this.
That got me to buy a Celestron CGE. They were made (machined) in the USA but they stopped making it and switched to (cast) China made mounts. I bought a 9.25 Edge, I wasn't very happy when I got it and found it was basically a C9.25 with a $1,000. field flattner on the back. I really wanted a Meade 12" ota but since they are using cheap crinkle paint instead of the beautiful high gloss dark blue paint like my 10" has I said no way, not at that price, and got a new 11" fastar capable Celestron ota painted in gloss black and I can use the same f6.3 reducer/flattner that I use on my Meade 10". Meade told me they switched to crinkle paint to cut costs and man hours. If their making the best optics and priced that way, they should look that way too, like they use too. I would never buy a car with crinkle paint, especially at a premium price. I like to polish my ota's and show them off just like my cars. I like my new 11" but I really wanted another Meade ota.
I think Meade has the best optics but they are heavy, pricey and are painted with cheap looking crinkle paint instead of the high gloss blue. All their mounts are priced really high these days so that's out of the question too. As much as I want to buy Meade again, because I feel they have the best quality optics and mounts, they are preventing me from doing so themselves.
Most Americans buy expensive things like tv's and cellphones, laptops and when they break they just throw them away and buy another high priced one without much complaint. I think Meade felt that we would do that with telescopes. And maybe that's why they have abandoned support on past products. What they should realize is we tend to keep telescopes and mounts and expect to use them for a lifetime.
I feel if Meade would go back to making the best quality at a price most people can afford like they use to then they could come back strong. And I think now that they are selling some of the parts on their website to us customers, it's a real good step in the right direction.
Edited by neilson, 11 September 2014 - 10:32 PM.