Brand Familiarity

Sylak

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Oct 26, 2006
Location
Alfred, NY
So, working in an auditorium from teh school district down the road, I've encountered some pretty messed up things, ie. various sound equipment issues, an unusable two channel clear-com system thats missing all the 6-pin XLR but has the headsets, unchangeable houselights,
But the weirdest thing to me was the dimmer and light board brand. So, I'm goign to ask you other lighting techs how familiar you are with some more and less prominent lighting brands, just to see what the general concensus is.
Rank them with 1-11 with 1 being the most familiar name, and 11 being the least. (forgive me for bad spellings)

ETC
Hub Electric
Leprecan
Levation/NSI
American DJ/Elation
Altman
Flying Pig Systems
Horizon
Electronics Diversified
Other
 

Sylak

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Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Location
Alfred, NY
No, but it's still the idea that some of us still use their equipment, and I'm sure some of the older people here remember when they still existed.
 

BillESC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Location
Kilmarnock, VA
Altman - Dealer 34 years
Leviton/NSI - Dealer 30+ years
ETC - Dealer 20+ years
American DJ/Elation - Dealer 7 years
Hub Electric - Worked on and replaced this equipment
Electronics Diversified - Worked on and replaced this equipment
Leprecon - Have operated several of their touring boards
Flying Pig Systems - No experience
Horizon - No experience
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
ETC-1
Hub Electric-11
Leprecan-2
Levation/NSI-4
American DJ/Elation-5
Altman-1
Flying Pig Systems-1
Horizon-5
Electronics Diversified-11
Other

For the record... I hate Leprechaun!
 

Logos

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
From another continent

I know and have used ETC and like it.
I know and have used American DJ it's OK.
I know Altman and have seen a couple of Lanterns
I've never heard of any of the rest.
 

gafftaper

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Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
ETC
Hub Electric
Leprecan
Levation/NSI
American DJ/Elation
Altman
Flying Pig Systems
Horizon
Electronics Diversified
Other
That's kind of a weird list as you are mixing apples and oranges quite a bit.
We've been around this topic a few times in a variety of ways. You'll never find two people who agree 100% on this topic but I think I can summarize. You also have some brands missing so I'm going to add a few things.

Light Control Consoles...
If your purpose is controlling moving lights for a concert tour... the top choices are probably a Hog, a GrandMA, and a Martin Maxxyz

If your purpose is generally theatrical control consoles... the top choices are ETC and Strand.

If you are looking for a computer based lighting system there are options from all of the above brands plus Horizon... which is owned by the same company that owns, Vari-lite, and Strand by the way. The horizon software is now the core software for all of Strand's new consoles.

Moving lights...

If you are looking for the actual moving lights the best are Martin, Vari-lite, and High End. Robe is big in Europe... and might also belong on this list, I'm not sure about that.

ADJ, Elation, Chauvet are all essentially DJ gear... Elation is one that has a lot of people talking because they recently hired a top designer in the industry. There is a lot of talk about them trying to move up in the world from the DJ level to being a top player competing with Martin and Varilight... the jury is still out on that. Their newly released Powerspot 700 has gotten a lot of positive talk. I wouldn't buy ADJ or Chauvet... unless all I wanted was a cheap DJ effect.

Dimmers...
ETC is generally considered the best in the dimming world followed by Strand.

Control and Dimmers in the bargain basement:

Leprachaun, Lightronics, Dove, EDI, NSI... You'll find a HUGE argument about which of these are good and which suck. As far as ranking... I'm not going to go there. Do some searching and you'll find several arguments on the best of the cheap stuff. Personally I wouldn't buy Leprachaun or Lighttronics, the other brands I'm comfortable with if I can't afford the good ones listed above... but they aren't as good.

Conventional Lights

Altman: Want a Fresnel, Strip light, or Wash light, Altman makes some of the best. The 360Q was the most popular ERS for over a decade... and still isn't a bad option if you can't afford a Source Four. ETC Source Four and Selecon Pacific are the best in the ERS world... Selecon is from New Zealand so it's kind of expensive to get here in the states. Given a choice I would probably choose Selecon over ETC Source Four... but both are excellent.

I've Never heard of Hub Electric.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
ADJ, Elation, Chauvet are all essentially DJ gear... Elation is one that has a lot of people talking because they recently hired a top designer in the industry. There is a lot of talk about them trying to move up in the world from the DJ level to being a top player competing with Martin and Varilight... the jury is still out on that. Their newly released Powerspot 700 has gotten a lot of positive talk. I wouldn't buy ADJ or Chauvet... unless all I wanted was a cheap DJ effect.
It's late, but for some reason I thought it'd be funny if there was a lurker here that worked for ADJ or Chauvet, and their products just kept getting trashed time and time again. I'd hazard a guess it doesn't feel to well to be regarded as the "cheap-o manufacturer".
 

gafftaper

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It's late, but for some reason I thought it'd be funny if there was a lurker here that worked for ADJ or Chauvet, and their products just kept getting trashed time and time again. I'd hazard a guess it doesn't feel to well to be regarded as the "cheap-o manufacturer".
You notice I didn't say ADJ or Chauvet is garbage. They make what they make for a specific market. That market isn't Broadway it's mostly high school dance DJ's. I've got no problem with them. Some people are buying Chauvet movers as a cheap way to get their school into the intelligent lighting world. Hey that's fine. You just aren't getting something that is going to have the quality, durability, long life, or the fine effects of a Mac 700... on the other hand you can get 2 or 3 Chauvet's for the price of one Mac 700. These companies have their place and their market... it's just generally not the people on this board.

Leprechaun and Lighttronics on the other hand do make junk.
 

Sean

Active Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Location
Alexandria, VA
So, working in an auditorium from teh school district down the road, I've encountered some pretty messed up things, ie. various sound equipment issues, an unusable two channel clear-com system thats missing all the 6-pin XLR but has the headsets, unchangeable houselights,
But the weirdest thing to me was the dimmer and light board brand. So, I'm goign to ask you other lighting techs how familiar you are with some more and less prominent lighting brands, just to see what the general concensus is.
Rank them with 1-11 with 1 being the most familiar name, and 11 being the least. (forgive me for bad spellings)
ETC
Hub Electric
Leprecan
Levation/NSI
American DJ/Elation
Altman
Flying Pig Systems
Horizon
Electronics Diversified
Other
I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with this list. I've used equipment from all of the above. Hub Electric went out of business some years back, I believe. They were a major player, especially in the Mid-west in the 50's and 60's. All of the other companies mentioned make products that are out there, now, being used professionally. They all make different products that have their place in the world.

What is it that you're trying to point out?

--Sean
 

gafftapegreenia

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CB Mods
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Sep 24, 2005
Location
Michigan
Honestly, I like the DJ lights for what they are, simple, cheap, basic, cheesey effects. When you need that look, hey you got it. What is more classic than a PAR 36 helecopter? Although, for some reason I do like Chauvet's offerings better. Maybe it's just how they present themselves, for some reason they seem less "ghetto". On Elation, I must agree, why pay high end prices for low end gear. However, if your looking for cheap gear or stuff for light duty, why not. Every light has a place. They wouldn't make it if they couldn't sell it.

And for Leprechon, they do make one thing we all love, the LittleLite.
 

Grog12

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Location
Denver, CO
And here I find myself disagreeing with gaff for the first time. Personally I dislike the Selecon. Given my druthers (yes I just used that term) I'd prefer a Altman Shakes if ETC was unavailable. Granted I'd probably take the PS over a Strand SL...but hey that's just me.
 

gafftaper

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Seattle, WA
And here I find myself disagreeing with gaff for the first time. Personally I dislike the Selecon. Given my druthers (yes I just used that term) I'd prefer a Altman Shakes if ETC was unavailable. Granted I'd probably take the PS over a Strand SL...but hey that's just me.
REALLY?

What don't you like? The sharper focus? no need for a donut? no need for a color extender, the smooth flat field? the 360 degree barrel rotation? the fact you can print your own transparencies and project them? the better heat management? Granted they look like a metal banana... but so many features make them way cooler.

I have to admit that for my new theater I'm going with mostly Source Fours instead of Selecon. But that is because of the cost and long term concerns about getting parts in 10 years. Although I feel Selecon is superior, it's much safer to stay with the rest of the herd. As such my inventory is going to be 84 Source Fours and 12 Selecon Zooms primarily for gobos and transparencies.

Although they are made down under... which means the metric system is involved in their production... Hmmm... I may have to rethink this.
 

Logos

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Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Location
Launceston Tasmania
Selecon are New Zealand made and you know how they feel about sheep over there.
Given the choice between Selecon and Source 4 here I go the other way. The Source 4 is more expensive than the Selecon Pacific down here. I wouldn't worry about parts I think the Company will be around. It's made a huge inroad into Europe.
And yes it's metric. It's all a plot to force you guys over to the decimal side of the force.
 

gafftaper

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Selecon are New Zealand made and you know how they feel about sheep over there.
Given the choice between Selecon and Source 4 here I go the other way. The Source 4 is more expensive than the Selecon Pacific down here. I wouldn't worry about parts I think the Company will be around. It's made a huge inroad into Europe.
And yes it's metric. It's all a plot to force you guys over to the decimal side of the force.
It's not so much that I worry about the company existing... it's a great product and there's enough market down under to keep them going just fine. It's having a reliable distribution network here on the top side of the world that makes me nervous. My impression of there dealer network is a little concerned. They seem to be trying really hard to make a way into the U.S. But it seems like an uphill battle.
 

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
I've seen many spellings, for what I thought was one manufacturer. Can I confirm that Leprecon is all the same company? Which means, as gaff would phrase it, a local community theatre I recently helped out installed junk?
 

Grog12

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Location
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REALLY?
What don't you like? The sharper focus? no need for a donut? no need for a color extender, the smooth flat field? the 360 degree barrel rotation? the fact you can print your own transparencies and project them? the better heat management? Granted they look like a metal banana... but so many features make them way cooler.
Uhm the sharper focus is a matter of opinion. I've never once needed a donut or a color extender. The smooth flat field is again a matter of opinion. You only need 360 barrel rotation if you have idiots putting in your gobo's. I've never once found a situtation where I wanted to print my own transparencies though that is one feature I like.

But what I really don't like?

Is the heat managment system. Namely because you could cook steaks on that thing. And its a **** good way to get a 3rd degree burn. Especially since it took them something like 4 years to put the black safety grating on the instruments.
 

len

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Oct 23, 2004
Location
Chicagoland