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Author Topic: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands  (Read 3240 times)

Scott Holtzman

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2019, 05:51:23 pm »

Just a follow up on this.  The movers finally came (slow boat) after about 3-4 weeks.  All seem to be operating.  They are small, have fairly narrow beams (wish they were wider), and pretty bright compared to my other crummy fill lights.  They seem to move and dim ok.  Just started programming so I'll know more later. 

FWIW the $500 for the 6 lights was the tip of the iceberg.  I needed another ethernet-dmx node, t tops (2) hanging clamps (6), wireless dmx xmit/rcv doodads (set of 3) and some dmx cables and terminators.    That all cost nearly what the lights cost.

Expensive education but I expect I could sell most of it as a complete setup to some DJ and make most of it back.

--Kevin

Cheap education, from another perspective consider yourself lucky.  The fixtures my clients are looking for are 3-5k each, hence why I am not getting into the lighting business.  20 platinum spots, rigging, cases and a few spares is 70k investment.
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Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2019, 10:29:06 am »

Here's the link:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32839827235.html?spm=a2g0s.12269583.0.0.405b39be7C4oUj

Rob - Yes on safety cables.  These are a ways away from being used live.  But that will be a concern before they are used live.

Scott - yes it adds up for quality gear.  I have not yet figured how I'll transport these.  So some sort of cases loom in the future.    If they never leave my family room I will have learned most of what I want to.

--Kevin
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2019, 09:39:33 pm »

Scott - yes it adds up for quality gear.  I have not yet figured how I'll transport these.  So some sort of cases loom in the future.

Yep.  As has been said many times, every time you want to jump up a "level" of game be it in sound, lights, or another service it's more or less a doubling of your investment to date, having to make that investment at once.  I also stand by my statements that we're very lucky as an industry to have so many options available to us, even at the very low investment level.  Not only does it offer more people an opportunity to learn the art, but enables small operators to do things that were financially and logistically unfeasible even a decade ago.  That said, there comes a point that cheap is great until it's not.  Controllers that have limited functions and output, moving lights that don't dim well or match in color...  There comes the point that you need to pay a professional price for a professional product with professional features.  Tupperware bins and orange extension cords are a common sight in the bar band scene, but something you'll (almost) never see at the pro level.  Hatchbacks and SUVs become trucks and commercial trailers...  Fun stuff for sure, but I'd wager my investments thus far in things like cords/cables, cable ramps, truss, cases, adapters, clamps, and all the other logistical "stuff" you need to make a show go on would outweigh my investments in shiny speakers and moving lights.  Best of luck with the project though! 
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Kevin_Tisdall

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2019, 10:53:45 am »

Jeff -

I completely get it.  I got here by being in a band and accumulating gear and being forced/interested in learning to use it.  (1974-ish).  Then I had enough of a system to pile up and work as a small operator in bars.   That was ok but I wanted bigger and could not figure out how to do that.  Went to work for a medium-sized audio company in CT for a while.  Did some big theaters and huge clubs with pro gear at the end of the ground-stack era.  Didn't like the lifestyle and gave it up.   Went back to bands and now just back to very small systems in small places working out of a pickup truck.  Mainly for my own interest.

--Kevin
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Dave Batistig

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2019, 08:28:30 am »

I'm a colorblind sound guy.   But bands I do audio for like it if I can bring some lights.  So I have a small led thinpar setup with 8 cheap chinese ~60watt and a pair of older Chauvet 4-bar minis on stands.   Wireless DMX (donner) to an DMXKing eDMX ethernet converter.  Connected to my Apple airport extreme same as the x32 runs with and use luminair3 to control.

Take 15 min to set up, runs on its own and bands like having something more than driveway spots....   Learning something about DMX lighting was just about worth what it all cost.

I've been dying to try using movers but I can't justify any in the 'good quality' range.   This isn't for profit - it's for my own learning and entertainment/challenge.   Very small places and never flown above 10-12 ft.

I see that Sweetwater has the Martin thrill mini movers on sale.  I could get 4 (budget around $1000).  I would run a separate universe for these.   Mainly like to try the rain, beam shape, and ability to possibly move as solo backlight or other simple mover functions.   Not into the dj bounc-the-lights-all-over-the-room thing.

Question is whether these fit the bill as cheap, decent for the purpose, effective/worth it or is there a better way.  One thing I don't want are pin spots.  I'd hope to have a wider cone of light at short range.  max trim will be ablout 12ft and stages are usually less than 40wide X 20deep.

Thoughts?

--Kevin

I have been using ArtFox Lighting fixtures for a few years now. Chinese manufacturing with warehouses in LA and Texas. Tech support has been surprisingly good. Now, these are a little more expensive than what you may find on Ebay, but the additional features and the support are worth it.
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Mal Brown

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2019, 09:19:36 pm »

How do you deal with Artfox ?  Email ? There are a couple of lights there Im interested in,,  mostly the 12x10 color mixing ip65 rated flat par
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Jason Murphy

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2019, 01:54:22 am »

I'm a colorblind sound guy.   But bands I do audio for like it if I can bring some lights.  So I have a small led thinpar setup with 8 cheap chinese ~60watt and a pair of older Chauvet 4-bar minis on stands.   Wireless DMX (donner) to an DMXKing eDMX ethernet converter.  Connected to my Apple airport extreme same as the x32 runs with and use luminair3 to control.

Take 15 min to set up, runs on its own and bands like having something more than driveway spots....   Learning something about DMX lighting was just about worth what it all cost.

I've been dying to try using movers but I can't justify any in the 'good quality' range.   This isn't for profit - it's for my own learning and entertainment/challenge.   Very small places and never flown above 10-12 ft.

I see that Sweetwater has the Martin thrill mini movers on sale.  I could get 4 (budget around $1000).  I would run a separate universe for these.   Mainly like to try the rain, beam shape, and ability to possibly move as solo backlight or other simple mover functions.   Not into the dj bounc-the-lights-all-over-the-room thing.

Question is whether these fit the bill as cheap, decent for the purpose, effective/worth it or is there a better way.  One thing I don't want are pin spots.  I'd hope to have a wider cone of light at short range.  max trim will be ablout 12ft and stages are usually less than 40wide X 20deep.

Thoughts?

--Kevin

I know a lot of people are "anti-China junk", but if you're on a budget and not super-serious about lighting, it's pretty much the only way to go. I have a three piece acoustic band and we've been slowly building our light rig over the last 4-5 years. I run a very similar setup with the Behringer XR16 mixer/airport extreme/Luminair 3 and do everything from stage on my iPad Pro 12.9".

We just purchased two of the 230w beam moving head ClayPaky knock-offs from a seller in Texas and I couldn't be happier with them. I read a lot of mixed reviews, but for the price I absolutely thought it was worth the gamble. A set of two with the custom flight case came in right around $900. Aside from that, we have four of the Chauvet Intimidator Spot 155 LEDs which have served us well for a few years now in terms of durability, brightness and overall function. The one real downside to the knock-off lights is that they can be difficult to program with a software dmx controller unless you're well versed in programming.
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2019, 07:35:40 pm »

I know a lot of people are "anti-China junk"...

The one real downside to the knock-off lights is that they can be difficult to program with a software dmx controller unless you're well versed in programming.

Hi Jason, while I can't speak for everyone, I wouldn't say that a lot of people are "anti-China junk".  It all comes down to getting what you pay for and using products within their intended market.  Many people here have had excellent using no-name imports from China.  I personally chose not to pursue that route as my business model doesn't support that type of investment, but there's certainly nothing wrong with it.  One way to look at things is to ask the question "what happens if it breaks"?  Can I get parts or replacements in a reasonable timeframe?  Can I rent a replacement from a local vendor?  If you're just having fun with a house party, a bar gig, or similar - a bruised ego might be the only worry.  For many of us though, faulty equipment can lead to lost revenue.  While all equipment can (and will) need attention from time to time, there's a reason why you generally only see the name brand fixtures used for events that matter.

Along those lines, there's a lot more you're paying for than the name "Clay Paky".  Assuming that you mean Sharpy knock-offs, you'll see some differences between the real deal and the flood of Chinese counterfeits on the market besides ease of programming.  Output, beam quality, color consistency, movement precision/repeatability, and overall reliability are some of the objective comparisons you can make.  Service, unit/parts availability, and rider friendliness are other things you're paying for.  I'm no means an ETC or Clay Paky fanboy, but I'm happy to pay a premium when a premium product is needed.  The price of "good enough" has also dropped quite substantially too - ADJ and Chauvet DJ have many entry level products that work well when "premium" isn't needed but you still want a manual written in English.  Good luck!
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #28 on: July 29, 2019, 03:06:28 am »

Hi Jason, while I can't speak for everyone, I wouldn't say that a lot of people are "anti-China junk".  It all comes down to getting what you pay for and using products within their intended market.  Many people here have had excellent using no-name imports from China.  I personally chose not to pursue that route as my business model doesn't support that type of investment, but there's certainly nothing wrong with it.  One way to look at things is to ask the question "what happens if it breaks"?  Can I get parts or replacements in a reasonable timeframe?  Can I rent a replacement from a local vendor?  If you're just having fun with a house party, a bar gig, or similar - a bruised ego might be the only worry.  For many of us though, faulty equipment can lead to lost revenue.  While all equipment can (and will) need attention from time to time, there's a reason why you generally only see the name brand fixtures used for events that matter.

Along those lines, there's a lot more you're paying for than the name "Clay Paky".  Assuming that you mean Sharpy knock-offs, you'll see some differences between the real deal and the flood of Chinese counterfeits on the market besides ease of programming.  Output, beam quality, color consistency, movement precision/repeatability, and overall reliability are some of the objective comparisons you can make.  Service, unit/parts availability, and rider friendliness are other things you're paying for.  I'm no means an ETC or Clay Paky fanboy, but I'm happy to pay a premium when a premium product is needed.  The price of "good enough" has also dropped quite substantially too - ADJ and Chauvet DJ have many entry level products that work well when "premium" isn't needed but you still want a manual written in English.  Good luck!

Seems all of us have accumulated a few of the Chinese 5R and 7R Sharpie knockoffs.  All of us meaning my local peers in the mid level business.  Certainly 8th Day (they are right here in Cleveland) doesn't have any.

There are so many versions, 3 years ago they were horrendous.  The newer ones (with the large color LCD and single knob interface) software version 2.1x or better are a big improvement.  You can get power supplies, ballast, lamps, position sensors, motors and other items needed to keep them running.

They are affectionately known around here as "Charpie's"

Here is a pic of 10 of them being staged for a show.  8 5R's and 2 7R's

Once I have the show done on Tuesday I can upload some pics.




« Last Edit: July 29, 2019, 03:12:23 am by Scott Holtzman »
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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Jeff Lelko

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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2019, 08:24:34 pm »

Seems all of us have accumulated a few of the Chinese 5R and 7R Sharpie knockoffs.

That's good to hear that these are improving.  A few of the folks in the Cleveland area have given me feedback on theirs a while ago too when I considered investing in a few dozen.  It's hard to go wrong for the money, but what's also interesting is that used legit Sharpys can now be had for under $1000.  Something like the Rogue R2X Beam can be had "new" for a bit more too.  Has the Chinese market converged enough on a model that getting parts is becoming easier, or is it still the same deal as buying LED Pars, in that you'll never get the same thing twice?   
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Re: Cheap but usable Movers for bar bands
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2019, 08:24:34 pm »


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