ProSoundWeb Community

Sound Reinforcement - Forums for Live Sound Professionals - Your Displayed Name Must Be Your Real Full Name To Post In The Live Sound Forums => Lighting Forum => Topic started by: Steve Cook on November 03, 2018, 02:12:18 pm

Title: Older Moving Spots
Post by: Steve Cook on November 03, 2018, 02:12:18 pm
Looking at adding some fixtures for clients.  I want to add moving spots because I dig the rotating prism. 
The bulk of my work is outdoor festivals, fashion shows, political events and some simple corporate events.  What got me looking at moving spots was getting a good, powerful white for the fashion shows.  Instead of adding Source 4's to my inventory.

I've been looking at older fixtures and thinking about taking a gamble on getting some that won't break down.  I don't know if i would really trust any Mac 2k's (or 2k II).  But I'm leaning towards some Robe 1200's or 575, or possibly Vari-Lite VL3500.

It's more power than I really need, but can be had for $500-$1k ea.  Yes, the weight sucks, but in my opinion these fixtures should meet my needs at an affordable price point. 

Thoughts, fellas?  I'm audio guy, my LD skills are pretty weak.  But I think these would be great fixtures to learn.  (oh and hopefully not repair!)
Title: Re: Older Moving Spots
Post by: Jeff Lelko on November 04, 2018, 06:21:22 pm
Hi Steve, itís a tough call.  The prices you see on sites such as and gearsource are very tempting, but used moving lights are always a gamble, especially ones around the age that youíre looking to buy.  Prisms arenít hard to find, and neither is a good (enough) white.  Neither of your criteria points scream to go buy old light fixtures.  They WILL break down and they WILL need parts, attention, and TLC. 

I still have some High End Studio Beams in inventory that are quickly reaching the 20 year old mark, and while Iíve maintained them with the intention of doing so until an LED fixture of equivalent output and color mixing quality is available (and they finally are), this isnít a model Iíd buy into today.  Five to ten years ago it made sense in the right situation, but not now. 

Some fixtures hold up better than others, but given the tremendous improvement in lighting instruments over the past decade thereís a reason why people are selling these dinosaurs for next to nothing.

My vote would be to strongly consider something at the upper end of the Chauvet Rogue Series.  Itís not too far beyond the upper limit of your budget, and thatís money youíll quickly save by not having to buy replacement parts for old lights.  Trust me, that cost adds up quickly.  Youíll also avoid having a reputation of using outdated equipment of questionable reliability, if that matters for anything.  If you canít afford even something like a Rogue series fixture, Iíd suggest renting until you can.  Otherwise, youíre just going to end up with fixtures in various states of disrepair that donít make financial sense to continue maintaining.

Also, with these bigger lights you have to really pay attention to the power they need.  Many canít run on 120v power.  Hope this helps! 
Title: Re: Older Moving Spots
Post by: Jerome Malsack on November 05, 2018, 02:45:59 pm
yes  second on jeff's  comments. 
Title: Re: Older Moving Spots
Post by: Brian Jojade on November 15, 2018, 12:50:35 am
The good old lights are hard to beat.  A friend of mine has a big inventory of HES 575 spots and colors.  Up until a couple years ago, it was tough to find anything inexpensively priced that could keep up with the 575's.  The LED stuff wasn't there yet.  Today, not so much.  They are still impressive, but the LEDs are good enough that it's not worth the effort to use the 575's.

As the lights get older, they need a lot of maintenance.  It's very annoying when a color wheel decides to go rogue and you end up with one light that is mismatched. Having to secure more power makes it not worth it to bring them out much anymore.

Now when you need the punch, the Mac 2Ks are an impressive fixture that you can't get reasonably priced LED alternatives for yet.  The power requirements though make them a bit of a challenge to use as most venues won't have 240 available pre-wired.  Again though, you're dealing with an older fixture, so be ready for maintenance.  If you do buy them used, find ones with a magnetic ballast instead of the switching ballast. Yeah, they're quite a bit heavier, but the magnetic ballast will last a lot longer.  Switching supplies tend to give up on life much sooner, and unexpectedly.