Mulching with 3-blade decks
I have a Simplicity Regent with a 40 inch dedicated mulching deck. This has 2 overlapping counter-rotating blades driven by a toothed belt (similar to the old JD Freedom 42 deck). I love the combination of mulching and striping that this machine does. However, I have moved to a house with a larger 1.5 acre plot, mostly lawn. It is now taking 90 minutes to get around it, if I rush. Most of the lawn is quite unobstructed with fairly long runs for which a wider deck ought to speed things up.
I am wondering about changing to a larger machine and am thinking about a Simplicity Conquest, which in UK comes with a 50 inch deck and 23 HP Vanguard in the 2-wheel drive version. My main question/concern is whether such a 3-blade deck with a mulching kit would give comparable mulching performance to a 2-blade dedicated mulching deck. I won't save time if I can get round the lawn quicker, but then have to go round picking up lots of clumps of grass! I have found that provided I cut regularly, the Regent deck lives up to the mulching promise of all the cuttings disappearing, even in less than perfectly dry conditions.
I could also consider the JD X320 or X540, but I would need to add the grass groomer kit to satisfy my striping requirement. My impression is that the Conquest fits between these 2 models in capability, but the Conquest is about the same price in the UK as the X320 with 48 inch deck. My nearest dealer who sold me the Regent 5 years ago is also (mainly?) a JD dealer, and unfortunately has changed from Simplicity to Snapper this year (apparently
the colour and the name are better!) but he says he can still get the Simplicity models.
Any advice would be much appreciated.