Originally Posted by MJB
I am not a fan at all of the XR7 deck at least in my area. He may have cut the other lawn shorter than you do normally, leaving more clippings plus most reps don't know any of the tricks we use to hide the clippings, so my guess would be its a better deck than the xr7. But your older Hustler deck probably cuts better and stays cleaner than the xr7 also.
Yes on all accounts except for cutting height. I went over with him to talk to the widow that owns the house. I wanted to explain why there was a clean cut guy was cutting her lawn with a new shinny mower instead of ratty old me to put her mind at ease. He and I then discussed what height to cut it at and it looked right my naked eye when I saw it afterward. It's not to say the deck could have needed calibrated to the deck height control guage.
Comparing anything to the XR7 is extreme, I know, and yea, the standard SZ deck did better with clippings then the XR7.
I guess what I was trying to say was the 460 X Factor deck did a slightly nicer job with the clippings, and that the idea that you gave of trying different blades on it was possibly warranted. I wasn't running the stand on so I can't say if anything could have been done to change the final outcome.