I would not flip a coin between my new 72" VX4 and my old (2006) 66" XR-7 deck where cut quality is concerned, but in dry grass and leaves such as I am dealing with now, the XR-7 is hands down better. There is entirely too much blow-out from the VX4, meaning it will cover the deck and operator up in dry grass, leaves and dust. The leaf dust because of being so dry is really bad this year, I dropped the cutting height down into the 2" range trying to see if it helped the problem but to no avail. The XR-7 deck does not cut the leaves into the smaller pieces the VX4 does, but it is a pleasure to know everything moving under the deck will either be left behind the mower; or moved out and away from the operator via the discharge. There is so much difference in how these two decks handle this problem, I find myself always preferring to use my old mower versus the new one. I hate to say I've got a new 2012, 11k dollar mower, and much prefer my older 2006 in this dry cutting scenario, but the truth, is the truth.