ProSoundWeb Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name  (Read 2334 times)

Steve Cook

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 145
  • Iowa City, IA
    • Steve Cook Sound
Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« on: July 12, 2017, 09:14:32 am »

I run a modest lighting rig for my events.  Just 8-12 pars for front wash, sometimes 8 in the rear.  For 2 years I've used some chinese direct RGBW I got from a buddy.  They did the job.  However, it's time for a change.  Over the holiday, I rented Elation SixPar 200 IP.  I took some pictures during the show, and the next day is when I realized how much better the Elation fixtures are.  Looking at the posted pic,  Everything looked awesome!  Every picture!  I can include those in this thread if you folks are interested. 

I'm now looking at buying 12 of the SixPars, and looking to the forum for advice as I don't have much experience in different brands.  The obvious first question is regarding a possible direct from China equivalent?  I can't find one, and, really, in my opinion, the quality of lighting isn't even close between the Elation and any of the Chinese direct ones I've seen. 

Alternative fixture at similar price point is the Blizzard Tournado or the Toughpars.  Without seeing them, I'm guessing the quality of lighting is going to be pretty much the same. 

Ideas?
Logged

Chris Pflieger

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2017, 10:52:50 am »

I think you've answered your first question - the Chinese knock-offs don't match the quality.

Do you need a weather-proof fixture? That's going to limit your choices, as you know.
Logged

Steve Cook

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 145
  • Iowa City, IA
    • Steve Cook Sound
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2017, 11:21:23 am »

I think you've answered your first question - the Chinese knock-offs don't match the quality.

Do you need a weather-proof fixture? That's going to limit your choices, as you know.
[/quote

Yea, gotta be IP rated.  I do about 40 shows outdoors a year. 
Logged

Keith Broughton

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2445
  • Toronto
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 02:30:29 pm »

I think you've answered your first question - the Chinese knock-offs don't match the quality.

Do you need a weather-proof fixture? That's going to limit your choices, as you know.
[/quote

Yea, gotta be IP rated.  I do about 40 shows outdoors a year.
And how about UL or other electrical approval?
The off shore fixtures I have seen need a special inspections sticker to pass electrical inspection and help reduce liability in case of an accident.
Logged
I don't care enough to be apathetic

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 627
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 04:34:39 pm »

In addition to everything already mentioned, name-brand fixtures (of a moderate to high quality) also excel in low-level performance and color matching.  The generic Chinese fixtures really start to struggle when operating at intensities below 10%.  Their dimming is "steppy" and won't give you a smooth halogen-equivalent dimming curve.  They also tend to flicker, especially on recorded video. 

Regarding color matching, this really reflects how well and consistent the fixture can replicate a given color.  If I tell my light board to replicate Rosco #02 (Bastard Amber), how accurately will the light actually produce that color compared to a halogen S4?  This is what really sets the premium fixtures apart from the budget fixtures, aside from the overall quality and durability already mentioned.

Now as I've said before in previous threads, if all you're going to do is blast random colors on a wall or build a pixel grid, 90% of what you're paying for in a premium fixture will be wasted.  Many forum members have had good luck with the sub-$100 fixtures from eBay, and when used in that given situation they do quite well.  The same fixtures would never hold up on a Broadway stage however...  At the same time, you can buy a few dozen Chinese Pars for the cost of one premium LED fixture.  You just have to figure out where the best bang-to-buck is for your current application.  Hope this helps!
Logged

Scott Holtzman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4040
  • Ghost AV - Avon Lake, OH
    • Ghost Audio Visual Systems, LLC
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2017, 06:15:22 pm »

The colorwheel and gobo rotation are two areas I have found the Chinese "Beam" clones lack in.   

Logged
Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
River Delta Audio is now:

Ghost Audio Visual Solutions, LLC
Cleveland OH
www.ghostav.rocks

Steve M Smith

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2976
  • Isle of Wight - England
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 03:08:52 am »

I wonder how many of these 'big name. brands are manufactured in China...

Quality has nothing to do with the country of manufacture.


Steve.
Logged

Dave Barker

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 49
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 09:25:58 am »

For me it's reliability.  When I took out what I will refer to as my Chinese fixtures say some 36x10 washes I would take out 8 and HOPE that 5-6 would work.  Even though they all worked in the shop when on site I always had issues.  It was always a crap shoot to figure it out.  A lot of time running dmx had to have certain type of fixtures on legs from a splitter couldn't just link fixture to fixture.  Had to keep washes together, sharpys together and so on.  I hated doing lights.  It just never seemed like it worked out of the gate.  I won't even comment on my IP65 par cans that I now refer to as my IP32.5 par cans.  I have 20 of them on bars and nearly everyone of them leaked and filled with water.

I have since purchased 24 of the Martin Rush series moving lights along with Elation pars and while they are made in China they have been rock solid.  I take them out hook them up and everything works the way the should.  I can't afford the big name Martin fixtures but these have made my life much easier and now I enjoy doing lights.
Logged

BrianHenry

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 166
  • NJ
    • Mountainside Studios, LLC
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 10:31:14 pm »

I have some cheap fixtures that I've had great luck with from a longevity standpoint. The problem for me as pointed out above is color and poor dimming curves. For these reasons I will probably be upgrading them well before they fail. Although it is kind of nice that they weigh next to nothing!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Logged

Craig Leerman

  • Spanning the Globe as a
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 549
  • Do Not Read This!
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2017, 02:15:00 pm »

I wonder how many of these 'big name. brands are manufactured in China...

Quality has nothing to do with the country of manufacture.


Steve.

Exactly.  Elation, Chauvet, ADJ, TEI, Blizzard, Mega, etc all have lights made in China.  The big difference is in quality control and binning the diodes so that the fixtures are color matched. There are many reputable companies in China that sell fixtures of their own design, not just " knock offs" and in a few cases that I know of the branded American fixture is actually a knock off of a design that was already made somewhere else.

I use a COB par (LEDJ brand from the UK) that is made in China that is one of the best led lights I have ever seen. it's rugged, well made and replaced some lights in my inventory from one of the above named manufacturers.
Logged
I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!

TechWorksReno.com
Facebook.com/TechWorksReno
Pinterest.com/TechWorks0492

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 896
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2017, 02:33:06 pm »


I use a COB par (LEDJ brand from the UK) that is made in China that is one of the best led lights I have ever seen. it's rugged, well made and replaced some lights in my inventory from one of the above named manufacturers.

Which one? The 36w unit?
Logged

frank kayser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1098
  • Maryland suburbs of Washington DC
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 10:34:34 am »

My experience with eight cheap fixtures - the red diodes in various sections on the circuit board would start to flicker and go out.  Under warranty, and until the seller cut us off, we went through 21 cans - and before we got cut off, we still had fixtures failing. No one ever did a failure analysis - but it seemed either bad soldering or a batch of bad red diodes. YMMV. 
Logged

Lyle Williams

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1193
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2017, 04:43:08 pm »

That's a pretty bad run Frank.

Across 40 disco/par led lights (maybe ~4000 leds in all?) I think I have three failed leds and a couple of blinky ones. Confined to two fixtures.
Logged

frank kayser

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1098
  • Maryland suburbs of Washington DC
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 06:52:21 pm »

That's a pretty bad run Frank.

Across 40 disco/par led lights (maybe ~4000 leds in all?) I think I have three failed leds and a couple of blinky ones. Confined to two fixtures.


Yeah, Lyle.  I'm just lucky that way.  I didn't buy them, just got saddled with them.  Sometimes you just have to put your experiences on the fact pile, and move on.
Logged

Graham Spice

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 69
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2017, 11:54:50 pm »

I use a COB par (LEDJ brand from the UK) that is made in China that is one of the best led lights I have ever seen. it's rugged, well made and replaced some lights in my inventory from one of the above named manufacturers.
I'd like to see a link on these fixtures, por favor
Logged

Craig Leerman

  • Spanning the Globe as a
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 549
  • Do Not Read This!
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2017, 01:25:14 pm »

I have the LEDJ SLIMLINE 1T36 fixtures in black housing. The have a 60 beam spread but a narrow lens that screws on securely is included. We use them as up lights and also for small stage washes.

Logged
I'm so old, when I was doing FOH for Tommy Dorsey, to balance out the horn section I would slide their chairs downstage and upstage to mix!

TechWorksReno.com
Facebook.com/TechWorksReno
Pinterest.com/TechWorks0492

Debbie Dunkley

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3294
  • Central North Carolina
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2017, 01:47:05 pm »

I have 8 X Blizzard Q12's that I got for their sheer lumen value - they are crazy bright. I usually use them along with some FX for average size stages. I also have a set of 4 x no name chinese cheapies that I use for very small stages - they are lighter and easier to transport too. They are less bright but still quite effective.
However, I can honestly say that the Chinese lamps which cost $40 each dim more smoothly than the Blizzards which cost me almost $300 each. Go figure......
Logged
A young child says to his mother, "Mom, when I grow up I'm going to be a musician." She replies, "Well honey, you know you can't do both."

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 627
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2017, 07:59:40 pm »

However, I can honestly say that the Chinese lamps which cost $40 each dim more smoothly than the Blizzards which cost me almost $300 each. Go figure......

It can really be a mixed bag sometimes!  I'm personally waiting for an RGBAW+UV COB Par from anybody, though the only one I know to exist is Generic Chinese, not that cheap, and even the company's own video makes it look pretty iffy... 
Logged

William Schnake

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 361
    • Schnake Sound
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2017, 09:27:24 pm »

The obvious first question is regarding a possible direct from China equivalent?  I can't find one, and, really, in my opinion, the quality of lighting isn't even close between the Elation and any of the Chinese direct ones I've seen. 

Alternative fixture at similar price point is the Blizzard Tournado or the Toughpars.  Without seeing them, I'm guessing the quality of lighting is going to be pretty much the same. 

Ideas?

When we first put together our LED light rig we purchased 32 BeCen 429 7 x 10 LEDs.  We had problems at first, lights worked then they didn't, then they did.  Finally, we replaced all of the electrical cable and since then we have not had a single light fail.  We now use these for smaller festivals and local shows that can afford to pay what it cost to rent our main rig.

Our main rig is now Martin Rush, some Martin Mac 600NTs, Martin Mac 250 and some Blizzards.  The build quality on the Martin is much better then the BeCen lights were.  It also makes a different in what your budget is and where you are going with you rig as far as productions.

Bill
Logged
Bill Schnake - Owner Schnake Sound, Inc

Avid/Crown/EAW/EV/Midas/RCF/Shure/Yamaha

schnakesound.com

Steve Garris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 896
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2017, 04:21:03 pm »

I have the LEDJ SLIMLINE 1T36 fixtures in black housing. The have a 60 beam spread but a narrow lens that screws on securely is included. We use them as up lights and also for small stage washes.

I've been temped to try this light like yours. I just wish it had amber!
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/555-27090?scode=GS401&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=google&scid=scplp555-27090&sc_intid=555-27090&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwevLBRCGARIsAKnAJvcXiQnOC7LCJla63JBAXDCs0iujQ1sJuJWRSIBNYCu9AGU3apdaCUAaAuKwEALw_wcB
Logged

Scott Hofmann

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 248
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2017, 09:07:42 am »

I've been temped to try this light like yours. I just wish it had amber!
http://www.mcmelectronics.com/product/555-27090?scode=GS401&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=google&scid=scplp555-27090&sc_intid=555-27090&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwevLBRCGARIsAKnAJvcXiQnOC7LCJla63JBAXDCs0iujQ1sJuJWRSIBNYCu9AGU3apdaCUAaAuKwEALw_wcB

I tried a couple of the MCM units you reference about a year ago and returned them because of color fringing around the outside of the beam of light. Tried to rationalize it, because otherwise they were quite good, but in the end it just wasn't acceptable.
Logged
Scott Hofmann

Jeff Lelko

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 627
  • Cape Canaveral, FL
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2017, 10:51:10 am »

...but in the end it just wasn't acceptable.

And that I think is at the center of the whole debate - what's your definition of acceptable?  If all you need is some generic eye candy, truss warmers, or basic wash lights for a small gig at a bar these very cheap fixtures can usually get by just fine.  It's when you start getting into more demanding applications where things like flicker-free, even field (with no fringing), true IP65, better color reproduction, smooth dimming, etc., become important and thus worth the much higher purchase price of the higher-end name brand fixtures.  A lot of it comes down to the business end of it too - why pay 3-4x the cost of a generic fixture for quality that I might only need once or twice a year...especially when buying fixtures by the dozen?   
Logged

Steve Cook

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 145
  • Iowa City, IA
    • Steve Cook Sound
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2017, 08:48:54 am »

 A lot of it comes down to the business end of it too - why pay 3-4x the cost of a generic fixture for quality that I might only need once or twice a year...especially when buying fixtures by the dozen?   
[/quote]

Great discussion, folks.  I bought 20 of the SixPar 200IP.  Cried once.  But, each time they have gone out, I smile and know I made the right choice for my situation. 
Logged

Rich Grisier

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 167
  • Erie, PA
Re: Differences of chinese fixtures vs Big Name
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2017, 02:58:45 pm »

I have 8 X Blizzard Q12's that I got for their sheer lumen value - they are crazy bright. I usually use them along with some FX for average size stages. I also have a set of 4 x no name chinese cheapies that I use for very small stages - they are lighter and easier to transport too. They are less bright but still quite effective.
However, I can honestly say that the Chinese lamps which cost $40 each dim more smoothly than the Blizzards which cost me almost $300 each. Go figure......

I have 12 Q12A's and have noticed the dimming is pretty choppy.  I also have 8 Blizzard RokBox's.  They have a setting which allows you to set the dimming bit depth for super smooth dimming.  After getting them I asked a Blizzard factory rep how to make the Q12's dim like the RokBox.  He said the Q12's couldn't do that.

The Q12's are crazy bright, but the RokBox is insanely bright.  I'd say 1 RokBox is about equal to 2 to 3 Q12's.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up
 


Page created in 0.082 seconds with 20 queries.