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Author Topic: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"  (Read 3791 times)

Adam Becker

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Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« on: January 16, 2011, 10:15:02 am »

Hi everyone, my name is Adam and I'm a newbie to this site, I just signed up for it today.  I never knew about it until I was doing a search on smartmac reviews and just by chance stumbled across it.  Seems like a great forum with a lot of people with great knowledge on lights, more than me, which is great cause I am learning and want to learn.

I have done a search on here and have read what I could find, but this decision is driving me crazy "been debating this for over a month now" and I would like others opinions.  I'm looking at purchasing a couple of movers, I would like to stay around the $2000 mark for each unit.  I have been looking into the Smartmac, the Mac Krypton, Blizzard's new Torrent, and Elations new Platinum 5r.  I have never seen any of these up close, and would like opinions from people that have.

I'm a mobile DJ, right now I have 4-scx700s, 2 minimacs, and more misc lighting.  I also use the Freekie for a controller, which I have realized now that it is a limited controller.  Actually, I really couldn't use it if I went with the Krypton or Elation head because of the channel limitations.  If I went that route I have heard good things on the Show Designer 1???  I am on a budget to a point.  I've thought about selling the 700s and minimacs to get a little more cash.  If I sold them, I may just use the two movers on totems with TVs mounted to them, some wash, and uplighting for weddings, if that means anything for the decision on the movers.  Sometimes less is more for weddings if you know what I mean.  I don't want to lug in 10 units when 2 nice ones will do = quicker set-up and takedown.

How do the smartmacs compare to the minimacs?  Are they that much brighter, better of a unit, etc...

Things I like and dislike on the units.

Smartmac - pros - no fans, built in macros, decently bright,kind of has a stand alone mode
          cons - not many gobos, no prism,

Krypton - pros - brighter, prism, more gobos
         cons - no built in macros or stand alone, need different DMX contruller

Torrent - Pros - LED, decent features
         Cons - New fixture, no one seems to have them, need a different DMX controller

Elation 5r - Pros - brightest, lots of features = dual gobo wheel, prism, Frost effect "which looks very nice for weddings", least expensive by a couple hundred bucks, weight
            Cons - I'm not familiar with Elation.  I am a big Martin guy, but would consider trying something different, I've never owned an Elation.  Gobo size is really small 14mm, so to have a custom gobo made, "goboman said it would be touch unless it was initials", need to get a different dmx controller

I'm just looking for any advice, opionions, or recomendations on the units and a better way to lean towards.  Thanks everyone.

Adam B
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James Feenstra

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 01:58:11 pm »

Adam Becker wrote on Sun, 16 January 2011 10:15


Krypton - cons - no built in macros or stand alone

since when?

built in macros:
8 prism/gobo macros, dmx values 216-255 on channel 8 (or 11 if ex mode)

and stand alone takes FOREVER to set up something, but can be done

will they move around and do a show by themselves? no, but can you run them stand alone? definitely can

Smile
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James Feenstra
Lighting, Audio and Special Effects Design

Adam Becker

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 02:35:55 pm »

I should have been more specific, they don't have movement macros which help a lot when programing for me since I am use to a Freekie controller.  

With the stand alone, what you just said seems like a con to me.  You have to remember I am a mobile guy, so worst case my DMX controller died on me, at least I could run them in a stand alone or music mode.  I just look at this as a con, but the light still has many other good things to it.

Adam
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Duane Massey

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 04:40:10 pm »

If you're talking street price, also consider the Elation Design Spot Pro ( $1,800). If you're looking for "bang for the buck", at least consider the ADJ Vizi-series.

The Showdesigner 1 is a great cost-effective controller. The instructional video is pretty much useless, and the manual is acceptable but limited. Contact one of us here who uses them a lot for some help in getting up to speed on it if you go that route.
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Duane Massey
Houston, Texas, USA

Thomas Bishop

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 11:38:20 am »

Hey, Adam, welcome to PSW!  I am currently in the process of making the switch from MAC250's to the Elation Platinum Spot 5R (I have two at the moment) and couldn't be happier.  I have been doing a lot of work with a DJ company, doing uplighting and totems for Sweet 16 parties and some weddings.  Here is their Facebook site where they have a ton of pictures from various setups.  Mostly that's the PS5R on the vertical truss, usually 42" screens mounted, and uplighting around the room.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=254040&id=82432765 47
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=251828&id=82432765 47

Also, as far as the gobos for the PS5R... We get ours made at Gobosource.com and they told us that because of the small size they must be glass.  This does add some cost to the custom gobos.  Also, the gobos are not quite as easy to remove as on a MAC250, but this is really my only (minor) complaint about the PS5R.
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Adam Becker

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 07:16:38 pm »

Hi Thomas, thanks for sharing the pics.  You guys have a very nice set-up, clean and clssy.  QSC, nice choice, I run them as well Wink.

The ps5r's look nice and bright.  Have you had any problems with them?  I also wanted to ask how you like the frost feature?  That feature their really intrigues me, having a spot and wash all in one.

I will have to check out that gobo site.  How much is it to have a glass gobo made, guessing not cheap?

Thanks for the info, much appreciated.

Adam
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Thomas Bishop

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2011, 01:25:05 pm »

Custom glass gobos from Gobo Source are $109 for the first one, $69 for each additional.  Custom metal gobos are $74 and $29.  The only issue I have with the PS5R's is that neither one will lamp on/off via DMX.  I have them set to do so but they will not respond to a lamp on/off command.  I've only tried it on one console and I'm thinking that it has to do with the personality file rather than the fixture.  If only one had this issue I would say it's the light, but both of them...  I LOVE the frost feature.  This is THE reason I will be buying lots more of these units.  Even on the small gigs where I'm only using two lights they can light the entire dance floor very well.  Before I had them I was using MAC250's to spotlight the entrances and first dances.  I would have to set up several position cues in order to follow the bridal party from the entrance door to the dance floor.  Now I just point them at the dance floor, turn them into wash units, and everything is well lit.  I can't wait to get 4-6 more and use them as the only front lighting on truss for concerts.

I really can't recommend them enough and look forward to buying more very soon.  I plan on having 6 of them by April; I just need to sell these MAC250's first.
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Adam Becker

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Re: Advice on moving heads "around $2000 price point"
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2011, 09:29:01 am »

Thanks Thomas for all the info.  I havn't ordered them yet, but am very much thinking of it.

Adam Becker
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