# Are Source Fours over priced?

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
Just as the title says, do you think Source Fours are over priced? I was talking to a friend of mine a couple days ago and mentioned me picking up some more Source Fours, and he said don't, they are overpriced. My response was there isn't anything all that better out there, they last forever, etc.

So the second part of this question is, is there anything better out there? I did a small gig on Tuesday night, just some up lighting, and lighting for a tent so people could see under it. I also mentioned to him about picking up some more Source Fours, to which his response was, we could have did this with Opti Pars http://www.elationlighting.com/product.asp?ProductIDNumber=1148&cat=Stage Lighting
I didn't bother responding to this, because I didn't want to dig myself a hole. However, if he ever did, I would strongly protest. So, I ask the vets, what are your thoughts so I am better armed for when these questions are thrown my way again.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
Just as the title says, do you think Source Fours are over priced? I was talking to a friend of mine a couple days ago and mentioned me picking up some more Source Fours, and he said don't, they are overpriced. My response was there isn't anything all that better out there, they last forever, etc.
So the second part of this question is, is there anything better out there? I did a small gig on Tuesday night, just some up lighting, and lighting for a tent so people could see under it. I also mentioned to him about picking up some more Source Fours, to which his response was, we could have did this with Opti Pars http://www.elationlighting.com/product.asp?ProductIDNumber=1148&cat=Stage Lighting
I didn't bother responding to this, because I didn't want to dig myself a hole. However, if he ever did, I would strongly protest. So, I ask the vets, what are your thoughts so I am better armed for when these questions are thrown my way again.
The S4 Par is about $150 with a lamp, vs. an Altman Par64 with 4 lamps at around the$160 or so ($72 for a can,$23 per lamp x 4 lamps to equal the 4 S4 lenses). S4 seems like a bargain as it's smaller, uses less wattage (@750w), easier to store lenses then lamps, etc...

S4 ellipsoidals, well no real competition except the Selecons, which are pricier and lack compatibility with a LOT of rental and in-house gear. And don't even think about a Shakespeare as competition to an S4.

So my answer, the S4's are cost effective and in my mind, not overpriced.

SB

#### Hughesie

##### Well-Known Member
i think you can buy two selecon pacfics for the price of one s4

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
well if you are using them as just wash fixtures and not shooting gobos or hard edges sure you could use a par and do the job just as well. I wouldn't use an opti-par, or a starpar, etc is the way to go.

#### JustinPBrunei

##### Member
I was wondering --
what's the comparison with ETC S4 and Selecon?
I've never try Selecon before. Beside the durability, shape of S4.
Well, I have no idea how to put it into words.
It would be nice is someone can give me some technical brief on this one.

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
The opti-par is a knock off of the S4 par, of course its going to be cheaper. And if thats not a knock off... I don't know what is with exception of the mario 3000 (no really, it exist). ETC has the best product out there for the money, and you can not compare it to knock offs because your not going to get the quality and your not paying for the R&D.

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
Thats what I am kinda getting at. There really is nothing comparing S4s vs anything really. There is no data I can give to my boss saying S4s are this much brighter, this much more durable, etc. SteveB made a great point about the fact that par cans, 64s, 56s, 46s, 38s, etc all need different and more expensive lamps for different angles. Thats a hard number I can hand out, saying inventory and stock will go way up because of these. The one nice part about these pars however is they are now making LED caps for these pars to replace the lamps. It is cheaper then buying a brand new LED par like a Coemar. So how does something like that come into play?

What I am doing is basically explaining tech to a non tech person, just the person happens to be a sound guy not a light guy. I can talk about optics and lamp efficiency till I'm blue in the face, at the end of the day, my boss, like most bosses, want the most for the least amount of money to put on the best show possible. Sometimes quantity is better then quality, sometimes visa versa, sometimes a balance.

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Thats what I am kinda getting at. There really is nothing comparing S4s vs anything really. There is no data I can give to my boss saying S4s are this much brighter, this much more durable, etc. SteveB made a great point about the fact that par cans, 64s, 56s, 46s, 38s, etc all need different and more expensive lamps for different angles. Thats a hard number I can hand out, saying inventory and stock will go way up because of these. The one nice part about these pars however is they are now making LED caps for these pars to replace the lamps. It is cheaper then buying a brand new LED par like a Coemar. So how does something like that come into play?
What I am doing is basically explaining tech to a non tech person, just the person happens to be a sound guy not a light guy. I can talk about optics and lamp efficiency till I'm blue in the face, at the end of the day, my boss, like most bosses, want the most for the least amount of money to put on the best show possible. Sometimes quantity is better then quality, sometimes visa versa, sometimes a balance.
There is a footcandle output comparison chart out there, comparing all the major manufactuers. And with the LED par... don't buy coemar, ever. Its right up there with ADJ and Behringer in my opinion.

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
Coemar makes one thing and one thing only that I would currently buy from them, the ParLite LED. Its a very good LED par, great for truss warmers or truss socks. A par 36 with an LED cap could do the same thing however. And with a truss sock, no one would ever see it, just the colors it puts out. So why bother with the Coemar then? Thats what my boss is asking. He also comes from a rock background where the more, the better.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
I was wondering --
what's the comparison with ETC S4 and Selecon?
I've never try Selecon before. Beside the durability, shape of S4.
Well, I have no idea how to put it into words.
It would be nice is someone can give me some technical brief on this one.
I've been really impressed with Selecon. They have a very intelligent design behind them an you over and over say, "wow that's a great idea that I haven't seen on another fixture. The heat all vents out the top so they run cooler than any other instrument. Compared to a S4, the field is flatter and more even. I have the feeling the difference between beam angle and field angle is almost zero. If you drop a gobo in a selecon, it's as crisp as a S4 with a donut. So the optics are very good... probably superior but hard to tell without a shoot out. The barrel rotates 360, and a lot of other handy features. The lamp mounts in the up position and then a mirror shoots the visible light forward while allowing I.R. to pass out the top through a heat sink, this makes them banana shaped and a little more difficult to pack in tight together. It also means there is a definite side that needs to be up. Plus it doesn't use an HPL lamp so there's definite disadvantage. I looked very hard at Selecon for my new theater but decided that the advantages just don't out way the fact that they are more expensive here and there are very few of them here. I know that my ETC inventory will keep me very happy for many years and if things break, it won't be hard to get parts. Plus ETC's customer service is tops. If I lived in Oz where they are cheaper than S4's I would gladly purchase a whole rig of Selecon. But here it doesn't make a lot of sense. I am going to purchase 8 Selecon zooms for the specific purpose of pattern projection, but beyond that I'm all ETC.

Maybe some of the Aussies can elaborate more on the Selecons, I've just demoed them a few times.

Back to the original question, the Strand SL isn't a BAD alternative to the S4 (The Shakespeare is). The SL has a few cool features not in the S4. And I can see why in some cases you might choose it over the S4, but it's not enough to get me to buy them.

As for the S4 PAR, nothing out there is close. It's a great lighting instrument and has been pointed out it's cheaper in the long run than even an old cheap PAR 64 and a collection of lamps. First remember that anything else out there is a knock off of the S4 PAR. I've never used a Starpar but everyone I've talked to hates them and says they are vastly inferior. The optipar I don't know much about either... I do know that some of the knock offs out there don't use the borosilicate glass so they come with a cage to prevent heat shattered lenses from falling out and killing people... NOW THAT'S a GREAT feature.

Haven't used the Parnel in more than a demo. A lot of people don't seem to like them as they aren't really a PAR or a Fresnel. But I've also heard people who say get over that and try them, they are really convenient and put out a lot of nice even light. It seems to be an interesting alternative to something like the Selecon PC. Both are concepts not embraced in the U.S. but I can definitely see their value. It's just hard getting designers to move past PARs, Fresnels, and ERS instruments and try something new.

A friend of mine said, "Make my whole inventory Source Four... I'd buy Source Four shoes if they made them."

#### SerraAva

##### Active Member
Lol, thanks gaff. You should defiantly try using Parnels some time. They can be easier to work with then pars thanks to the zoom feature, no lens swap, and a round beam, making for nice, even washes. I still use pars for things like back light because the oval shape is more convenient for something like that.

#### Mirrai

##### Member
At my school we use parnels all of the time, we mostly replaced our fresnels with them. They are great intruments to work with, great ease of use and very nice coverage.

#### icewolf08

##### CBMod
CB Mods
gaff, I am wondering why you think that that the fact that the Selecon doesn't use an HPL lamp is a disadvantage? I have a feeling ship would be able to tell us (and probably has already) that there are many lamps that are more efficient than the HPL.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
gaff, I am wondering why you think that that the fact that the Selecon doesn't use an HPL lamp is a disadvantage? I have a feeling ship would be able to tell us (and probably has already) that there are many lamps that are more efficient than the HPL.
In general... and I'm sure Ship can make me look like an idiot here with a bunch of exceptions.. but I'm going ahead anyway....

In general when you look at lumen output in the same wattage class among the half a dozen most common lamps that are used, the HPL 575C and 750C are the brightest of their classes. At the same time the HPL 575X is the longest lasting lamp of it's wattage. Best of all if you buy any Source Four product you can swap HPL lamps all day long between all of them. That's awesome. Low budget and need a lot of life.. the HPL 575x will last a LONG time and still put out a good chunk of light. Need some punch on a couple of instruments? No problem throw in a 750C for the show and switch back to long life later. In short the HPL is among the brightest and longest lasting and it's interchangeable within the entire ETC line.

Ok shoot me down... EHG's last longer than 750x and GLA's are brighter than 575x... I know. But can you use the same lamp in all their products too?

#### Logos

##### Well-Known Member
i think you can buy two selecon pacfics for the price of one s4
In Australia. Source 4's are horribly expensive here. Selecon is pricey but more affordable.
I don't see S4's much here in SA. Used them in the UK a bit but frankly I tended to the Strand SL there. Cheaper in the UK.
The Selecon Pacific is a great lantern. Runs cool and incredibly good optics and is a zoom. What more can you want.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Thats what I am kinda getting at. There really is nothing comparing S4s vs anything really. There is no data I can give to my boss saying S4s are this much brighter, this much more durable, etc. SteveB made a great point about the fact that par cans, 64s, 56s, 46s, 38s, etc all need different and more expensive lamps for different angles. Thats a hard number I can hand out, saying inventory and stock will go way up because of these. The one nice part about these pars however is they are now making LED caps for these pars to replace the lamps. It is cheaper then buying a brand new LED par like a Coemar. So how does something like that come into play?
What I am doing is basically explaining tech to a non tech person, just the person happens to be a sound guy not a light guy. I can talk about optics and lamp efficiency till I'm blue in the face, at the end of the day, my boss, like most bosses, want the most for the least amount of money to put on the best show possible. Sometimes quantity is better then quality, sometimes visa versa, sometimes a balance.
As others have said, get out a photometrics book and a lamp price list. Compare dollars per lumen. That's all the info you need.