After opening the package I found that Celestron had successfully performed the repair on the loose handle. When I originally called Celestron to get the repair authorization, I asked if they would also clean the optics, since there were some water spots on the corrector, presumably from dew. I was told that cleaning and collimating the optics was standard procedure on scopes returned for repair.
Upon inspecting the corrector, I found that the glass seemed nearly invisible. My initial reaction was, "Did they forget to install the corrector?" Of course, if they had, I realized that the secondary was in suspended animation.
I remember Roland Christen showing a photograph of his 10" RC, in which he noted that the coating on the corrector was so good that the secondary seemed to be floating in mid-air. Not trusting my initial reaction, (a man sees what he wants to see, etc....), I waited for my wife to come home from work and asked her to look at the scope from the corrector end.
"Look at this," I said, as I removed the dust cap. She wasn't sure of what she was supposed to see. "Looks nice," she said, and asked if she could reach inside the tube. As her hand moved toward the corrector, I gently held it back and said, "Don't you see the glass?" "Oh, I didn't realize it was there," she said. That is the gist of my tale.
My previous C-14 had standard Starbright Coatings, whose blue tinge was always obvious. But these XLT coatings, really seem to make the glass disappear.
In practical terms, the XLT's provide a 15% increase in transmission over the Starbright, which amounts to about 0.15 gain in magnitude, and for this scope is like adding an inch of aperture. Whether or not the XLT's will pay off in terms of increased visibility of low contrast planetary detail has yet to be seen, but I doubt that my observing site will ever allow me to see the difference. But, no matter; I use the C-14 mainly for deep space and save the sun, moon and planets for my 15-year old 6" Starfire.
P.S. I was very pleased with Celestron's prompt, courteous and competent service.