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MAC III First Impressions

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Pie4Weebl, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    New York City
    When I got back into the shop this evening I noticed a black wrapped pallet had shown up in the lighting bay, after opening it up I found out that martin had shipped us a demo of the new MAC III. I did not have time to hook it up to the board so here are some really brief impressions:

    -Color saturation is amazing, the color wheel gave some great dark colors that are pretty rare out there
    -Surprisingly Quite Movement
    -Big as can be, the unit actually had 4 handles on it which was convenient, one on either side of the base and then two on the top of the yolk.
    -Awkward LCD position: where the units LCD screen was made it awkward at some positions to see it as the yolk could cover it up.
    -Crappy road case: the side of the unit was already getting scratched from the case, but that may just be the cases upstaging uses...
    -Gobos were so so, wasn't too blown away by any
    -It was bright, but a shoot out has not been done yet so I don't know what to compare it to, I will probably compare it to a VL3K if I get time.

    Any other questions, if you ask specifics I can probably get an answer for you tomorrow.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  2. thommyboy

    thommyboy Active Member

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    When I talked to a rep following LDI he said that the case seemed to have a LOT of extra space inside, possibly allowing for additional say shutters. What are the odds?
  3. RonaldBeal

    RonaldBeal Active Member

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    I had them on tour.
    Not impressed.
    Other than the thickness of the beam, they didn't really cut through the MAC 700's
    Software is still buggy. Lamps lost intensity fairly quickly.
    I suspect eventually they will get the SW and lamp problems solved, but for the time being (and price) I'll stick with VL3k spots for now.
  4. CavezziMagnum

    CavezziMagnum Member

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    Atlanta, GA USA
    We have had this instrument in our shop for the last 2 weeks, and we think it is great. Although for its 117lb weight, there are only 2 real major breakthroughs for this bohemoth of a fixture.

    1) The LCD Screen. This thing is brilliant. It makes it easier to perform all functions that normally would be performed through the LED screen like on the 700s, etc. Not only is it easier to see everything, but if there is any type of error on the instrument, it notifies you and tells exactly what the issue is. And supposedly, if you have the right software, the instrument will communicate back to the console, so you don't have to go and check every fixture.

    2) The zoom. Holy cow! What a zoom! From a 20' throw, it zoomed in to a 2' diameter, and then could iris down what comparitively would be called a pinspot. Yet, it could also zoom out to a larger beam than could be contained on our 20' high wall. The interesting catch: The light output when zoomed in compared to when it is zoomed out all the way, is not as dramatic as expected.

    I expected that the spot would be significantly brighter when brought in to nearly a 5degree compared to the almost 50 degree zoom, yet it was not as impressive as hoped.

    The gobos are not as useful as hoped. Martin did include some better gobos than before, and the dual wheel is always a plus. But they seriously need better break-ups for their stock wheel.

    Another great feature of the MAC III is the animation wheel. It is very classy and allows the MAC III to make incredible water and fire effects. In fact, we liked it better when we made it ourselves on the MAC III than we did with Martin's very own DC-1 and DC-2, their specific water and fire effects units.

    One last thing, the footprint of this unit is actually smaller than a Mac 2kPro. The actual "brain" is what I am referring to, not the lamp and head itself. It is much larger than the rest of the MAC family. In fact, we pulled a 3 stooges routine where I almost got smacked in the face with it as my coworker messed with the pan wheel.

    All in all, for $19,000 you're getting a pretty sweet effects instrument. I can totally see this being useful for many rock concerts and tours. For theatre, 1 could come in handy for specials and spots.

    Happy Holidays everyone!
  5. RonaldBeal

    RonaldBeal Active Member

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    More thoughts:

    LCD: Great for seeing a problem from the ground. Requires lots of monkey climbing skills trying to see the display when you are on the truss, above the fixture. Also not a feature a designer is going to spend extra on.

    Zoom: Big Fast zoom, too bad it doesn't keep a gobo in focus while zooming, like some VL and CP fixtures. (I've been told it may be implemented in software eventually.)

    Room inside: most of the "empty" space is room for the zoom to move, don't see much room for anything to add.

    For almost $20,000 I can get two or three of several other fixtures that do the same things!

    Lamps: With seven active fixtures, we swapped ALL lamps twice over a seven week period! (don't forget to add that cost into your budget!)

    Boot up: Go have dinner while you wait for the fixture to boot up. It might be done when you get back. (a small exaggeration, but only if you don't eat quickly!)

    test software: you have to write "cues" and then play them back to test the fixture without a console. (or use the "manual" control in the menu functions... can't walk away!)

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