Obliged for your insight. I think that is exactly what I am looking for.
I have really enjoyed the MX 78's for their power and tenacity. On big, wide eastern groomers, they are inspiring and unflappable. And if I skied where and how I have for the past five decades, I can think of no better ride, especially with the VIST system. But over the past couple years, I have been expanding my terrain "quiver." Maine ski areas have been opening up some wonderful glades. I have dabbled in them with limited success. What makes the MX78's so great for me on fast groomers I found created challenges for me in tight spaces where nimble and slarveable is called for. I confess I do not yet have the skill set yet for these conditions - or the confidence. I have tried carving my way through a tight grove of Maine trees. I tried. I have also been hitting the bumps lately as well. Guess I was just getting a bit bored with the undeniable thrill of fast groomer carving. Again, the MX78's just do not like to go slow or nimbly, at least in the 176cm and my size (175 lbs/5'9). And that flat tail just wants to stay engaged which has kept me locked in when I just want them to let go.Frankly, I do not think my reflexes are what they once were either.
So I went to the Kastle ski finder tool and plugged in my data. Interesting that for downhill/expert in my size with 20%/30% powder, the only two skis recommended were the MX78's in 176cm (which I own) and the FX84 in 184cm. For 40% powder, the FX 84 remains and the MX 83 and MX 88 are recommended. To the extent this tool reflects the company's own perspective, they consider the MX78 and FX84 most closely matched. This surprised me but not as much as the fact that they regard the FX84 to be more of a front side ski than the MX83 and MX88, particularly given the new tip rise, which I always associate with soft snow skis.
I also did due diligence reading your reviews and many others who extol the virtues of the FX84 in bumps and in the terrain where I have found the MX78's a handful. The $399 deal at the Clymb made the decision as easy as it gets. So I just bought a pair in 176cm. Now that I have the Souls on the wide side and the Hart Phoenix carvers, I will sell the MX98's which I never bonded with. The MX78's will be much harder to part with. I am sure I will concoct a reason to keep them. I think this is a good 3-4 ski quiver for what I am likely to encounter here in Maine and on my pilgrimage back to Powder Mtn (Shhhhhh....) in February.
Scott, thanks again for your invaluable contributions to this site, and how you "enable" all of us so well.
I was in a similar situation as you. MX78 with the exact same issues as you, and a Soul 7 at the wide side (partially due to your initial review). I filled the middle hole with a Blizzard Mag 8.5ti. Definitely easier in bumps and off piste than the MX, probably due to both length and rocker. While I no longer feel I need the MX, I can't see parting with that Kastle feel so I think I'm just going to keep them despite the fact that they'd be an easy sale.
BTW, just spent a week at Big Sky and Bridger Bowl and the Soul 7's were perfect.