As long as I’ve been reading the astro discussion boards, (beginning, in my case, with S.A.A. back in the day) there have been plenty of folks who love to hate Meade. I’ve owned some Meade gear but have no loyalty to any manufacturer. I’ve owned at least as much Celestron gear as Meade, and more Takahashi gear than either of those – plus a sampling from many other vendors. There are brands that I will probably never own because I don’t like them, but I don’t waste my time posting about how much I don’t like them or trying to make them appear worse than they are.
Of course, with the RCX fiasco and now the LX800 and LX80 releases Meade has left itself open to much strong criticism and some of it is justified. On the other hand, even when they do something right, as in updating the LX800 models to an improved LX850, the griping isn’t reduced. I’ve seen it stated many times that the LX800 is a clone of the much smaller and lighter Mach 1 and therefore can’t carry as much. I do have a suggestion as to a source of that confusion – looking at separate photos there’s no relative scale. The Mach1 has a skinny 1.125″ CW shaft, while the LX850 has a shaft of 1.75″. If photos are framed so the CW shafts appear similar, the LX850 will appear to be a similar size. Maybe that is what folks are seeing.
The new mounts are shipping now – first the replacements for the returned LX800 models, then pre-orders, and then new orders. I look forward to seeing some actual reports from users and, perhaps, less unfounded speculation by those with an axe to grind.