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Need help/advice on building a little rig...

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by muvment, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    Background: I've been in and around the lighting and maser world for about 15 years and cut my teeth on intellabeams. Recently, I have been working for a laser company and realized that I miss intelligent lights and have to do something about it.

    So, I'd like to build a little budget rig for use at clubs and other electronic music events. Emphasis will be on live shows.

    The budget is about $4k. I plan on borrowing the truss, cable, and possibly the controller if I can't find a decent or cheap one. So about $4k for fixtures. I already have a couple of af1000 data flashes and a controller as well as some coemar wash.

    I could get 8 trackspots (or more), 4 technobeams, or a couple of Martin mac 250s and maybe some technobeams or trackspots to add to it. It would probably be trackspot 1s, as I can't seem to find any deals on trackspot 2s. The benefit of the trackspots is that lamps are cheap, they take up little room, they're extremely durable, and I know them better than any other fixture, but they're pretty boring compared to the other fixtures.

    Prices I've discovered so far:
    Trackspots: approx $400-$450
    Technobeams: $900-$1k w/o iris
    Mac 250s - $800-$1100

    Any advice on what I should go with or where I should look for good deals on used lights? Or, in the alternative, is anybody selling any of these fixtures or comparable fixtures? Durability is pretty important, so I don't think i can consider anybody but Martin and High End at this price range.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Huge lots pop up on ebay of trackspots all the time, they are probably gunked up but they could work fairly well again. Solaris network is a good place to get used stuff. Also, sometimes a call to a local rental house might convince some people to get rid of some old gear that has been sitting in the corner for a long time.
     
  3. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    I've been watching ebay like a hawk, but nothing good yet. Solaris network is a little pricey, but I have not tried negotiating yet. And I have not stopped short of calling just my local rental houses, but every rental house i can find on the internet. So far, I've found a single Mac 250 (original) for $800 in Chicago. I've also found a plethora of ibeams and cyberlights at cheap prices, but they're just too heavy and large to transport in my car easily.
     
  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    If you consider going a bit lower in fixture class, the Martin Roboscan 518's are really nice units for 250 watts. With a three facet prism, and the huge capacity of the color wheel, and the rotating gobos, they can really put on a nice show. And as an added bonus, they're tiny. You can find lots of 4 in very good condition on ebay now and then. And they run a little bit lower in price, so you could definitely get 10 or 12 of them. A good rig might be a pair of Mac 250's with 6 Roboscan 518's. I think that you could definitely swing that for under $4K. That would be a very nice package.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  5. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    Are you telling me that these roboscan pro 518s can put out similar lumens, gobos, colors, prisms, etc as a technobeam? Are they near as durable as trackspots? If thats the case, I may have to settle for a lower class of fixture, given my budget constraints. I haven't used the roboscan fixtures since 97 and wasn't very impressed w/ them back then. but perhaps things have changed.

    Also, do you think the robos could handle a week in the desert? Just asking.
     
  6. lamphead

    lamphead Member

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    You might consider a ETC smartfade ML. We just got one at work last week where I work for doing small events and working on moving lights in the shop. A great deal for a little over $2000.00
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I don't know exactly how they match up because I haven't used them together, but I have used 518's in a club install before (I didn't install them, just used them). The 518's are said to have 2000 lumens output (the pro version, don't know about the original version) with a 16 degree focused beam angle. I personally thought that they looked fairly bright, about as bright as a trackspot, and I really like the rotating gobos and three facet prism, and the gobos can get nice and sharp (but it's manual focus only, so you have to decide where you want them to be very sharp...). It takes an MSD 250/2 lamp, and is fairly robust if you don't get it wet (not so much moisture, but actual splashes on the exterior usually find their way inside pretty quick). I haven't actually used a techobeam - i've only ever used 518's, trackspots, and intellabeam 700 HX's - all older stuff - when it comes to scanners.

    I honestly have no basis for judging whether they'd work in your "week in the desert" situation, but I'd say yes just from my limited experience with them. I've used them in a club install once, and outside once - that's where I learned about the splashes.

    It's a discontinued product, but you can find data here: http://www.martin.com/specification/specification.asp?product=roboscanpro518&subgroup=Scanners

    I haven't liked many of the "red-line" roboscans, but the later units seem much better.

    But I, as with many others, will recommend original MAC250's without hesitation as long as they've been well cared for. It seems like you're on to this as well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2007
  8. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've got one Mac 250E in good working condition that I'll part with for a reasonable price.

    800-582-2421
     
  9. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    LightBroker can have some good stuff if you haven't already looked there.
     
  10. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    I've been looking and can't seem to find any information on the 250E. Can anybody find any information on this light? I want to be sure that if I pair it with a regular 250, there will be no differences (as far as speed of fixture, color & gobo wheels, etc).

    Also, if I go with a pair of mac 250s, I'll fill out the system with at least 4 trackspots. What controller would work with this type of setup (that is inexpensive and good for live shows)?
     
  11. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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  12. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    I've got a pair of technobeams and some dataflashes. To finish off the system, I'm not sure if I should go with 4 trackspots or 2 Mac 250s. Anyone want to urge me in a direction?

    The rig will be primarily for electronic shows and because I don't have any trussing, I'll be mounting the fixtures to anything I can find in a venue. I might also do an occasional band, although I'm more into audience abuse than band abuse. However, I am not opposed to turning the dataflashes around and knocking the band over everytime they suck.
     
  13. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    you might want to look into getting a pair of boom basses and pipe so you can get those suckers in the air.
     
  14. muvment

    muvment Active Member

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    Any recomendations for this stuff? I would like to pay as little as possible (obviously). However, i'm not too keen on the ebay junk for this. Is it possible to build something adequate from home depot? I'd probably like to get the fixtures to about a 9-10 foot height. Or, I can just turn down every show that doesn't have random things to mount the lights on. But that doesn't seem like a good idea.
     
  15. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    American DJ:

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/American-DJ-Crank-II-Mobile-Trussing-System-for-Stage-Lights?sku=801152
     
  16. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    From that product description: "With this stage light truss system, you can set up everything at eye level, then easily crank up to 10" high."

    LOL
     
  17. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Or buy a ladder.
     
  18. cue1go

    cue1go Member

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    Since we're only talking about a club-size rig, your thoughts on fixtures look very good. Look into auctioned equipment from major companies. For example, a lot of gear is retired after going out from a shop on a multi-year lease. I know PRG (www.prg.com) auctions gear off occasionally, as do many other rental houses. Theses are probably more reliable than something like ebay.
     

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