Martin or cheaper?

Which automateds to you prefer?

  • American DJ

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  • Chauvet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • SGM

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Omnisistem

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Our school as well as our church are looking into purchasing some new automateds, and I keep requesting Martin MACs. However, being in HS makes the adults loose respect, and they want to go with other brands that cost less. Does anyone know of a good moving head that has great reliability, rot gobos, RGB, and a price under $2000?
Well, though all I really work on is Martin rigs, I have seen alot of Omnisystem lighting in clubs.

American DJ, etc is not going to have the quality you are looking for including color mixing. They usualy have 12-24 colors in them and you cant mix and match.

The Martin Mac 250 Kripton is a good starting moving head that has a lot of great features for it's price. I was just talking to a guy who bought I beleive 4 250s and roadcases and lightjockey for a backup all for about 10 grand. which is a good deal.

I would never try and push a MiniMac so dont even ask what I think about them. :)

Like I always say, if you dont have the money now for something, it's best to wait till you do instead of getting lower quality gear.
Not just quality, but beam spread, throw, intensity, color temperature, etc. Cheap stuff gets you less of a lot of things.

If you're going to buy from a retailer that is close by, have them bring out a few different fixtures and put them in the venue for a demo. Once the powers that be see the differences, and that cheap fixtures are less than adequate, and therefore more money in the long run, they will understand the point.
You should be able to get MAC 250's for a reasonable price. The big local lighting shop here has a bunch of them selling for $2000 CDN.
I agree. By all means don't settle for something cheaper than you should. With movers I think it would be safe to say you get what you pay for.
Has anyone else used any of the Robe range of moving head lights?

I have used them for many shows controled from a 520i, and have not yet had any problems with them regarding setup, use or abilities.

Was very impressed with the large number of features and attributes that is comparable with the Martin series of lights, at I believe a fraction of the cost.

Might be worth a look.

Just an example, but I have found their middle range spot, the 575XT for £2100, with a middle range wash of the same series number in at the same price.
Robe hasn't made many inroads in the U.S. yet. I've seen them once. They seem decent, especially for the money. I'm really surprised at how inexpensive they are compared to other European products, considering the dollar's slide against the Euro. I don't know whether the Czech Republic is part of the European Union, but that may have something to do with it. If I were to buy them, I'd be very concerned about tech support and repairs.
Can't help you on the tech support side, we have always had a local company who are Robe certified come out, and I can't say whether that extends to other parts of the world.
I believe Robe carries a 2-year warranty. Also, there is an American division ROBEAmerica. (based in California) seems to carry many of their products. If I were to purchase a moving light system I would probably consider the 250XT Line over the Martin Mac 250 Line of equipment.
what do you think about Elation Professional? I believe they are the sister company of American DJ. Of course so is LSC. Elation seems to have good (as far as features) higher-end moving lights.I believe they have a 150mm CYM automated wash light out for about $1200 and a moving head spot for about $1700. They also have a scanner with rotating gobos for $800. All use MSD 250w lamps and 'high quality' components. I believe by looking at them they are made of plastic, but most intelligent lights are. I just don't know what grade of material it is. It's probably just made by Fisher-Price.
I have little experience with Elation, but my customers never ask for them. Over 90% of my customers want HES, Martin, and the rest are ok with whatever. Seldom does anyone ask for anything else, but when they do, it's usually Coemar, Vari, or Clay Paky.

One thing I have tried is a 575 watt scanner. It was pretty decent, but too heavy for its power. I'd rather have a moving head if I have to deal with that kind of weight. Plus, it was already discontinued when I used it. That seems to be an ongoing issue with ADJ brands. They don't stay on the market long enough to get any buzz going so they get dropped.
I would never request Elation if I had access to Martin, Robe, High-End, Vari, etc... The only time I would want them is if I was on a very small budget, and it was more of a club environment.
Elation I believe is owned by ADJ and makes their gear. Even before this, it was the main supplier as ADJ is a distributer not a manufacturer. To American DJ's credit, while fixtures might become discontinued, you often can still get parts for them long after the fact in a way name brands at some point stop making repair parts available.

You get what you pay for. There is many brands of lighting equipment out there, all have problems with use of them over time and most frequently use the same lamps. Much less seem to have features in common. How much the innitial investment is worth over what the fixture really will do and do well, fast, fairly quietly and accurately, verses how long it will continue doing so is all part of what you most often are paying for.

If your need is more for short term benefits and cost, than long term and overall usefulness perhaps these are attributes that will be more useful. On the other hand, perhaps a used lighting fixture of a more name brand will be of more use in being about the same price but perhaps a older model and often in more frequent need of repair.

I would not say such gear is crap, nor often any ADJ gear since quality all around in the industry keeps going up. Still it often is a question of what in the long term will best serve your use of it. In addition to the Martin, High End, VeriLite, Coemar Clay Parker, Phobus, Syncrolite and Robe lines, products like SGM even Hubbell have gear out there attempting to both do the DJ gear sales and the high end production sales.

Chauvet would be a similiar line to the ADJ and Elation gear for instance. Chen Imports is now defunct however in being a scam.

Elektralite, Optima, area also out there to start a list going.

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