I've done both dedicated single & double stack dedicated scopes up to 60mm aperture, and huge aperture single stacks with a Quark up to 200mm.
I used to think aperture was king, even for visual.
It's very personal for one thing. It's not as simple as "this" is better than "that."
What I've found for my own personal bias with respect to visual is that I would rather have a dedicated, shorter double stack for pure visual over a larger aperture single stack (Quark or not!) in most situations. The Quark is fairly comfortable, but as many have noted, eye position matters a lot and so it's not something you stand and sway around trying to do, it's better to sit and be comfortable and careful so you can take in the view. I found binoviews to improve this immensely, to the point where I don't really get black outs with my binoviewers, I don't know why, but I can look through them and get very few tunnel like looks with binos with my Quark, which makes viewing with my Quark about as comfortable as using a dedicated short telescope for the same purpose. So for me, if it was a single stack, I'll take my Quark plus binos over any dedicated small aperture single stack. So in this way, I will favor aperture because my Quark + binos is about as comfortable and quite better than most small aperture single stacks. But, that's the caveat, single stacking viewing. I highly recommend you never look through a double stack unless you're ready to spend money. It's that much better. Enough that I made the statement about, I will take a visual only dedicated double stacked scope for solar viewing, over a much larger aperture single stack solar scope for visual purposes. The double stack is just more contrasty, the continuum at the limb supressed, and plages and filaments pop very bright and dark so the contrast is very good. Visually, I absolutely love looking through a double stacked 60mm for example way more than even looking through my 120mm with a Quark and binoviewer. They are both comfortable to look through (with the binos). So it came down to the visual difference and the contrast beats aperture in my book, under casual viewing conditions for most features. Granted, I have a 200mm HA scope, but I still would rather look through a much smaller double stack. The smaller aperture will work almost all the time and not be seeing dependent like a big aperture scope will be, and the contrast of the double stack is so much different that I prefer it over a large aperture single stack. That said, double stacking makes it dimmer. But, a full disc with a long focal length eyepiece is very bright in a double stack. If your goal is high resolution viewing, the double stacks will be very dim. For some, too dim! But, when I'm doing casual visual, I'm not looking through a big scope. Most people are not because of the setup time and seeing limits. While it will provide a higher resolution view with a big aperture and the Quark, it's not nearly as fast and simple as a much smaller double stack dedicated scope that doesn't need a tracking mount to operate, etc, and weigh over 20+lbs and all that. So again, for visual, I'd take a smaller double stack over a larger aperture single stack and Quark.
The easiest and most pleasing visual experience for me so far is a full disc FOV (low power) with long focal length eyepieces (bright view) through any aperture double-stack (generally smaller due to size/cost) such as 60mm, give or take based on budget. Instant views. Bright views. Comfortable to view, for me it was no different than viewing at night through a typical refractor and typical eyepiece setup. If you're ok with full disc views, and/or much dimmer high power views, then this is the easiest, simplest, best way to go in my book. The double stack views are just so contrasty and gorgeous that I prefer them, visually, over a much larger aperture single stack.
If your interests are high resolution, a single stack is pretty much it, because to crank up the power of magnification in a double stack is going to come from having either shorter focal length eyepieces and a double stack (dim view) or a really large aperture double stacked ($$$$$). Mean while, a large aperture single stack will be much brighter and show you every little detail if seeing allows. For me, this is where my Quark & Binoviewers come in, with my larger scopes (120mm to 200mm) when seeing allows.
Either way, I find binoviewers on either system much more comfortable and easy to use than a monoview approach. My Quark + bino is about as comfy to use as my single eyepiece dedicated scopes. The difference again comes down to contrast and brightness and for my eyes a double stack simple provides the better easier fast visual experience if you want it easy and comfortable.
Best way to do it? Both! But when I'm in my later years and I have to choose between my biggest single stack and a small double stack, for visual, it will be the small double stack for visual every time.
As for eyepiece selection, for either system, I much prefer simple high contrast eyepieces that are longer focal length. They're just more comfortable to me and very bright with high contrast. The sun is what, 1 degree? So having a 4~5 degree or larger FOV from a fancy eyepiece doesn't get you anything. I've tried nicer eyepieces on different setups and at the end of the day, I'm happy with a cheap 32mm~25mm plossl over something far better when it comes to HA viewing. Bright and high contrast, FOV doesn't matter much, again, you're not looking at a star field you're looking at 1 star and it's 1 degree visually so it sort of makes it really, really easy in that sense. But I absolutely consider binoviewers a must!
40mm Double Stack
60mm Double Stack
40~80mm Single Stack (ST80 + Quark + Binos)
120mm Single Stack (F8 + Quark + Binos)
150mm Single Stack (F8 + Quark + Binos)
200mm Single Stack (F10 + Quark + Binos)
I would want a double stacked 90mm dedicated scope if I had to choose just one for the rest of my solar-experience-days visually and for imaging. Binos & double stacking is just bliss when it comes to HA visual.
Edited by MalVeauX, 01 June 2019 - 08:39 PM.