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The1yankee

All star system 7 mask v Wilson alum dyna-lite

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What would one recommend

Wilson is $97 purchase officials with 10% discount code

System 7  $74 sportsunlimitedinc 15% discount code

Seems like that system 7, compared to Wilson, is got way better field of vision, although I heard that Wilson pads are thick, so may be what cuts down field of view. That's just by looking at front of both masks. System 7 has the flat bars so gaps Will be a lil wider in mask I'd say.

Anybody have an opinion on what  mask they would go with?

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If you are looking at the FM4000, I will offer that I could not wear a 6 stitch with out it hitting the bars.  Vision is great and it is light but it interfered with my visor. 

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I carry four masks in my arsenal – 2 +POS ZRO-G's, a Honig's K-4, and an All-Star FM4000.

The FM4000 is a very tough, very strong mask, but this very progressive geometry does not make for a typical, expected mask shape (and I mean that in all three dimensions). Keep in mind that All-Star is a catcher's company, first and foremost, and the FM4000 was designed for catchers primarily (not solely, but still). Some things that will jump out to you are that the mask is fairly shallow, and doesn't allow a hat to be worn, brim-forward (as it better be should for an umpire), with anything more than a 4-stitch. The included pads – All-Star LUC "AirFoam" pads – are good, but the forehead pad is a bit on the small side, simply because the mask is intended to be worn with a reverse batting helmet (the so-called "skullcap"). Also, there isn't room to mount a sun visor (unless your name is @Thunderheads ). The chin guard (what most colloquially call the "extended throat guard") is rather small as well, and that's because the majority of catchers are taught to drop their chin to receive / block a low pitch. What are we taught as umpires? Yup, to keep our head still, chin out. Now, with the shortness and forward rake of the chin guard on the FM4000, it's rather easy to mount a dangling throat guard, certainly. On that note, pay attention to how All-Star is guiding us as to where to properly mount a dangling throat guard; yes, it's supposed to attach to the bottom bar of the main mask body, behind the chin guard. No, it's not supposed to hang off the very bottom of the chin guard itself (way to be, Diamond you idiots).

As you point out, it is a hollow steel mask, and uses I-bar construction on its horizontal components. This is to promote visibility without compromising strength. All-Star really over-engineered this thing. The only aspect that it comes up short on in quality is the paint – All-Star just can't do a real powdercoat process on these masks, due to the cost, so it's just a simple painting process they apply, and it does wear off rather quickly. Most (amateur) catchers don't really care, but if you're particular about the appearance of your gear, you will.

You'll see the FM4000 out and about in the Major Leagues a lot this season, as All-Star used its planform for their elite-level mask, the FM4000MAG. Yes, the "MAG" stands for Magnesium, and the mask is a weld-less, die-cast Magnesium alloy. Eat your heart out, titanium. Here's your lunch, aluminum.

That's not to say that Aluminum masks are bad masks – they're not. They're quite good, as long as the welds don't pop...

... oh. Ohhhhh... Yeah, that's been happening to Wilson Aluminum DynaLites. Because aluminum doesn't bend, all that resonant energy has to go someplace, and the welds are the first things to fail, especially if they're just stamped out, pell-mell, by some factory in China.

When I pay $40 for a mask frame, whether it be aluminum or hollow steel, and then buy $40 pads (Team Wendys), a $12 harness, and a $10 sun visor, and my mask bends, am I going to be all that upset about it? Nah, not really... it's a $40 mask frame, it did its job. However, when I pay $110 for an aluminum mask – which is comprised of a (overpriced, overhyped) harness at $15, "Memory Foam" pads at $28, leaving the frame to be ... $67??!!) – which is not supposed to bend, and the welds pop... do you think I'm going to be upset?

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35 minutes ago, MadMax said:

... do you think I'm going to be upset?

Why, yes you will be! 

I'm starting to become a gear snob.  This forum is having an effect on me.  I can't afford to be a gear snob, I have a family.

I like the +POS frames... I only wish the chin guard was a bit longer and the ear guards were just a little wider.  But then, it would be a Nike.   I have a Zro-g in my gear as well. The charcoal color - I really like it. 

I tried All Star and it just felt "off" to me. I loved the vision and thin bars, but every time I went to take my mask off it felt funny due to the single bar up front instead of the normal U-bar with two vertical bars.  I grew used to it, but never fully adapted to my All Star so I sold it.

I've had Nikes (love them), Adidas (same as Nike, just not as light, welds aren't as clean, and coloring is odd silver), +POS (like), All Star (okay), Diamond (okay) and Wilson 3007 & 3008 masks (like them).   To me, as long as it's not a double-bar mask, then you'll have fairly good vision out of it.   Again, it's personal preference, but the mask will not make you a better umpire. Getting into the right position, hustling, reading and reacting, and timing is what will make you a good umpire.

MadMax has a lot of very good advice from which you can profit.  He, and others on here, have been a treasure trove of valuable information for me as well. 

Find a mask that fits you and you are comfortable in and get out there and call some baseball!

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On 3/3/2018 at 1:27 AM, The1yankee said:

What would one recommend

Wilson is $97 purchase officials with 10% discount code

System 7  $74 sportsunlimitedinc 15% discount code

Seems like that system 7, compared to Wilson, is got way better field of vision, although I heard that Wilson pads are thick, so may be what cuts down field of view. That's just by looking at front of both masks. System 7 has the flat bars so gaps Will be a lil wider in mask I'd say.

Anybody have an opinion on what  mask they would go with?

I wear the Wilson titanium mask with stock Wilson pads and have no issues with visibility, other than the blind umpire thing, but that isn't the mask fault.

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On 3/3/2018 at 2:27 AM, The1yankee said:

... although I heard that Wilson pads are thick, so may be what cuts down field of view. That's just by looking at front of both masks. System 7 has the flat bars so gaps Will be a lil wider in mask I'd say.

 

15 hours ago, umpstu said:

I wear the Wilson titanium mask with stock Wilson pads and have no issues with visibility, other than the blind umpire thing, but that isn't the mask fault.

That’s not necessarily the case, @The1yankee. Some Wilson masks have “visibility issues” because A) Wilson DynaLites (Steel, AKA the Cro-Moly) are vinyl dipped, thickening the already hefty bars, B) other than their Memory Foam pads, Wilson uses a lot of leather pads. And, while they use rather nice leather, they make them like sausage casings, instead of the precision cut shapes All-Star uses. This makes for a bulbous shape when fitted to a mask, and C) this is especially true of the Wilson wraparound pads. The “face portal” is the same, it just looks smaller and more confined because those wraparounds are a-lotta pad!

Best example is @umpstu‘s Wilson Titanium, using stock leathers versus wraparounds. It’s the same titanium wireframe mask, but why does the wraparound one look so heavy, clunky, and... odd? Hmmmmm...

19 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

I like the +POS frames... I only wish the chin guard was a bit longer and the ear guards were just a little wider.  But then, it would be a Nike.   I have a Zro-g in my gear as well. The charcoal color - I really like it. 

I've had Nikes (love them), Adidas (same as Nike, just not as light, welds aren't as clean, and coloring is odd silver),

The +POS and Honig’s K-4 frames really are the best value for your dollar, primarily because they are sold as frames alone. The Honig’s is a real Everyman’s mask, with its generous sizing, discreet crown guard, oversized ear guards and short, forward -raked, square chin guard allowing you to learn, train, and be safe while making mistakes. The ZRO-G evokes the iconic Nike, but the forward -raked chin guard allows a dangling throat guard (which new umpires should consider using) and the cost – $40 – allows you to take it into places where you fear to stand with a Nike out of concern of getting it bent (see this?! This is why we can’t have nice things!!).

Diamond used to offer their market-smashing iX3 aluminum as a frame alone. Ump-Attire even carried it! Now that was a great value! We could get an aluminum frame, with all their nifty safety features, and then get the pads and harness of our own choosing, for approximately $95. Wilson trotting out their version of an aluminum mask squashed that idea, because there’s more profit for them in a mask bundle, equipped with two-bit pads and a pathetic harness.

The Nike isn’t for everybody. Remember, its origins lay with a catcher – a HoF (to be) catcher at that – who hated dangling throat guards and knew better than to turn his head. The Adidas/Reebok versions are using the same planform – we’ve confirmed as much – but there must not be anywhere the Quality Controls in place on these latest orders. That, and I think that these latest versions are using Titanal instead of Titanium.

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That's right, I forgot about the Honig's.   I really like their mask as well. The navy one with tan calfskin pads is great for HS ball - where navy shirts are still required in Ohio and some other states.  It's only $39.99 + shipping.  The calfskin pads feel great on your face and offer what I'd call above average protection.  The mask is large so it offers full protection as well like Max says above.

It's surprisingly light for it's large size also. 

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