The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

Elation PowerSpot 700 CMY Review

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by icewolf08, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    So, I have now had the Elation PowerSpot 700 CMY in house for almost a week and I have had the chance to get a feel for it. As it is a new fixture, I know that people are anxious to hear a first hand review.

    My setup is as such: We are currently in tech for a show so I was not able to hang the fixture, so we set it up by our tech tables. The fixture is about 30-40 feet from the stage. Control is from our Strand 520 with a profile that I wrote which I would be happy to post if you want it.

    Before I even took the fixture from my local dealer (GTS in Salt Lake City, UT http://www.theatrelights.com) I spent about an hour with one of their techs, taking the fixture apart and putting it back together. This is actually a fairly simple process. The top and bottom covers of the head each have for snap-lock screws, providing quick release and since the screws don't come out, they are hard to loose. With the top cover off you have access to the effects module of which Elation currently makes two, one with CMY, 1 fixed and 1 rotating gobo wheel, effects wheel, varible CTO, and color wheel (this is the module I have). The other module currently offered has 1 fixed and 2 rotating gobo wheels, and two color wheels. Built into both modules is the shutter/dowser system and iris.

    The modules release very easily. They are held in place by two spring clips, and there is only one cable to unplug from the module that feeds it data and power. With the module removed from the fixture it opens like a book for easy access to gobos and color, for swapping or maintenance.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Built into the fixture are the three facet prism, capable of continuous rotation. The dual flag variable frost, and the zoom and focus.
    The pan and tilt systems are set on what our TD and myself see as sturdy, robust bearings. The lamp is not actually the one advertised on Elation's website, but the MSR 700 SA/DE.

    Setup and power up were very simple. The fixture runs through the same routine as most MLs, zeroing all the attributes and a self diagnostic and such. DMX addressing and various other features is accessed through the 4 digit LCD display and 4 buttons on the base of the fixture. Most of the menu items are easy to decipher even without the manual, especially if you have worked with other MLs before.

    With the fixture up and running I proceeded to try out all of the features. Pan and tilt first, are amazingly quiet and fast. I was always able to hit the same place every time I ran a cue for it. Next up was the color wheel. NOt much to report there, works like any fixed color wheel, whole colors, split colors, and continuous rotation in either direction.

    On to the gobos. Gobo wheel 1 is the fixed gobo wheel. as you can see in some of the images above the gobos are not interchangeable, in fact they are all cut in the same disc. I suppose it may be possible to swap out an entire disc, but that is a slight bummer (though it is as advertised). It also wouldn't surprise me if having an interchangeable fixed gobo wheel would jack the price up almost $1K. Gobo wheel 2 is the rotating gobo wheel. Decent stock gobos. Operation to be expected, gobos can be indexed or continuously rotated. Then we have the effects wheel (also can be seen in the images above). The effects wheel can be moved throughout the beam to create horizontal or vertical motion with variable speed in both directions.

    CMY color mixing is accomplished via a set of 6 flags (pictured below), 2 for each color. There is also a set of variable CTO flags. Color mixing was very smooth and capable of many colors. The CTO was also very useful and could come close to matching the color temp of our source fours.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Iris works well and can get very tight. I don't remember how many blades it has, but when you Iris in you can see them at sharp focus. Another money saving thing here I would imagine, as City Theatrical's Source Four Iris is about $112.

    Zoom is nice. It was also the loudest attribute in the fixture. 14˚-32˚ Zoom is a good range for us. It will give a good size field (which I could calculate if I wanted to) from the 27' high proscenium pipe where these will most likely hang. There is a visible loss of intensity as you zoom wide, but that is to be expected. Even at the widest zoom there is still very nice punch from the fixture.

    Frost, when they advertise this fixture as a hybrid Spot/Wash fixture they are not kidding. Withe frost in full you get a very nice soft edge wash. It may even be a little too diffuse, but I could see it being useful. Not sure if you can chance out the frost, I didn't try.

    I don't think there is much to say about the prism, it is a standard, rotatable 3 facet prism.

    So, we took a morning and brought up a Mac 2K Performance to compare the PowerSpot to. Our rental guys gave us the 2K with a new lamp and with all of the optics cleaned, compared to the PowerSpot which has been traveling around the country and we don't know how old the lamp is or when the optics were cleaned. We were running the 2K on 115v power, which the local Martin dealer guys though would men the PowerSpot would be brighter since the 2K prefers 208v. Well, the 2K was brighter, but not by that much. The PowerSpot has a slightly blue-er color temperature than the 2K. We were very surprised that the 700w fixture could even compete with the 1200w fixture. We felt like the Mac 2K was louder in is movement and some attributes, and it was also a little slower. Here is one of the other things that we feel separates the prices of a Martin fixture and an Elation, and that is the quality and amount of glass used for the lenses. The Martin fixtures have wider openings in the optical train, the gobos are larger, so this lets more light pass. On the other hand, the optical train of the PowerSpot is shorter. The feature set of both fixtures is very similar. The 2K Perf. only has one gobo wheel, but it has framing shutters. The 2K is a narrower zoom. Both fixtures have very similar body design (could be that Elation has a guy from Martin now). It was a very interesting comparison (there is a lousy photo below), could be worth seeing the PowerSpot shoot out against the Mac 700.

    [​IMG]

    So, after a week of testing and playing, we have decided to purchase two. I will let you all know how thins go with them. Also, feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer them.
     
    nickgts1 likes this.
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,655
    Likes Received:
    319
    Location:
    PA & NJ
    That's the kinda review that I've been looking for! Thanks muchly! The comparison with the 2K is definitely interesting. I am impressed by the fact that the pan and tilt were quite and quick, and that it was fairly accurate on stops for cues. Maybe Elation is gonna be able to make a name for itself now that it has a Martin guy on board!!

    (Just so no one attacks me, I know that "muchly" isn't a word).
     
  3. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Bethesda MD
    Thanks tons, that was a lot better than a lot of the reviews I read out there. Any other specific cons besides the nonreplaceable gobo wheel?
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    Well one of the concerns that we had is that we are buying a fixture with no track record. If you buy a Martin, even if you buy the new Mac 700, you know that the company and it's products have a good history. Elation is a relatively new company, and this is one of the first major professional fixtures from them (soon to be joined by the DesignSpot 575). The construction and parts seem solid, but no one knows yet what the service record for these fixtures will be.

    I am of the mind that if I take good care of them and don't abuse them while in use they will last. As with any device with so many moving parts eventually something will break down. I believe that my local dealer will be able to handle any work that I can't.
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    2,422
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Yeah the real question is durability, repair issues, and long term product support, stuff like that. There is a lot of low end junk out there and of course the high priced alternatives, but not much middle ground. Elation really seems to be doing all the right things to become that mid-level alternative. I guess well have to sit back and watch a bit to see how it works out. Please keep us informed with how you like your 700's. Thanks for the review.
     
  6. proaudio4

    proaudio4 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the review!
    I also feel Elation is stepping up their quality.
    I recently bought some of the new Design Wash 250 moving heads which we plan on using for small venues. I want to try their new Design Spot 575E.
     
  7. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    1
    I hate to sound like a nay sayer, particularly when we generally try to remain fixture neutral, but it still isn't clear to me where Elation, the brandstamp importer ends and Elation, an equipment designer/manufacturer begins. At NAMM this year the Chinese manufacturers were a huge presence, and what they were willing to offer on the show floor makes me really wonder about designs and intellectual property.

    Besides what folks would say on the floor, there seemed to be another level of bottom feeders at the show, willing to ship 100 unit lots of product already stamped "Elation", supposed complete with manuals, out of Indonesia, at rock bottom prices.

    Given that I don't see that level of gray market, remarket, whatever activity with a low end manufactuer like Chauvet, or higher end makers like Martin and Robe, it really makes me wonder how far they have really come from brandstamp origins.

    -jjf
     
  8. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    Ok jfitzpat, I have read your post like 3 times, and it could be just me, but I am not sure what you are saying (it has been a long week and I still have thee more shows before I get a day off).
     
  9. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know that feeling. What I am saying is I am not sure which products are 'Elation Products' - designed by, and exclusive to, Elation, and which are 'brand stamps', products bought from an overseas manufacturer and stamped with Elation's brand.

    Neither is bad or wrong, it just raises the question of rather or not Elation is ultimately in control of quality. The seeming existance of an Elation Gray Market at NAMM is what got me wondering.

    What I should have asked is, can we see closeup pictures of the PCBs? That would tell us a lot. Perhaps the annecdotal uptick in quality is a sign of Elation taking charge.

    -jjf
     
  10. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    I will shoot some photos of the PCBs in the fixtures when I take them out of the boxes (as I mentioned, I bought 2) Right now, as we are gearing up to finish our current production, and then mount Les Miserables space is at a premium in the shop an upstage of the current set. (the stigma of being the first regional theatre to mount Les Mis is getting to people...) So, I have an obscene stack of new instruments that still need to be unboxed and setup, and I didn't want to open the 700's until I had a place that wasn't around the build area to store them until hang, which is looking like it will be my office (like there isn't enough in there already...). So, yeah, I will get some photos for you all sometime in the next week, I have to unpack them and test them before I hang them anyway.
     
  11. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    More PowerSpot 700 Info

    So, I finally got around to unboxing my two PowerSpot 700 CMY's, and so far things are off to a good start. I was intrigued to note that I have serial numbers 73 and 75. According to Elation the first 50 went to dealers for demos, which leaves me as one of the first 25 owners. On account of this, the manual for these fixtures hasn't been published yet (there is a link on Elation's website, but it leads to the dimension drawing). After a quick call from my dealer to Elation we got an electronic copy of the pre-release manual, which I would be happy to email to anyone who asks.

    Here are the nice things to note. The fixture ships with a handy plastic carry case for manual, and spare parts. Packaged within the case are spare fuses and an assortment of spare screws for different parts of the fixture. Included with the fixture are the pre-installed gobos and effects wheel in the photos that I posted before, but they also include 4 additional effects wheels and 8 additional gobos. Below are images of the gobos and effects wheels.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Will post more as I have more to say.
     
  12. mattm

    mattm Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Re: More PowerSpot 700 Info

    Those look really similar to Apollo Gobo's. Is there any markings on them that might indicate the manufacture? Same for the animation discs. The unit that had for a demo was a protype and did not have any of the extra gobos.

    Matt McCormick
    www.cablepick.com
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    2,422
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    I just sent a PM to Kelite... we'll get your Apollo question answered.
     
  14. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

    Messages:
    4,056
    Likes Received:
    648
    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    Re: More PowerSpot 700 Info

    No markings, but I thought they look amazingly similar to Martin gobos and effects. And our demo fixture was the same, just came with what was already installed, so I had no idea that I got extras.

    EDIT: I do know that Apollo will cut any of their standard gobos in the size for the PowerSpot 700 without any extra charge. Rosco will do the same. I know because I have already been ordering gobos for them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
  15. jfitzpat

    jfitzpat Member

    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    1
    Re: More PowerSpot 700 Info

    They struck me as a best of Martin standards as well. I'd have to say I like what I can see in the photos of the assemblies, etc.

    -jjf
     
  16. mattm

    mattm Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Denver, CO
  17. Kelite

    Kelite Apollo Staff Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,067
    Likes Received:
    244
    Location:
    Fort Wayne IN, USA
    Hi Matt and all-

    Sorry so late in replying, as I have been mushing sled dogs in Montreal over the past week. I'll bet it snows there in July! :)

    The two gobo designs you've linked are indeed Apollo designs, but have been 'borrowed' by the off-shore source. Imitation is the highest form of flattery it has been said...
     
  18. Living Illusions

    Living Illusions Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    We got in our first Power Spot 700 last week. We are very impressed with it. All the features it has and weighing in under 65 pounds.
    Now we don't have a MAC2K to test side by side, but we are very pleased with the light output. If all goes as planned we will have 16 of these on a tour starting in September.

    I'll keep you posted as to how it goes, how they hold up, etc.


    Kevin
     
  19. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    2,422
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    That's interesting. Kind of goes with the concerns Jfitzpat had earlier in this thread about who is actually producing Elation products and the Chinese gray market. Although it does sound like these specific instruments are original.
     
  20. proaudio4

    proaudio4 Member

    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Kevin.

    I'm looking to hear more about the Power Spot 700.
     

Share This Page