# Oh my....

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
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So, somehow I randomly came across this quote on the website of a lighting company in Australia.

"Bear in mind that old theatre lights are very close in performance to new ones and that, in lighting, quantity is more important that quality, so if the choice is to recondition 10 old lights or buy one new one, then the choice is clear."

Umm, other than the part about choosing to recondition 10 over buying one new, I find this quote rather odd. Old lights are definatly not close in performance to new lights, and to say that quantity is more important than quality.......I might have to go look at the Selecon website to feel better.

derekleffew

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
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Personally I would rather have 60 fixture that throw light out one end then 20 or 30 source fours. Yes older fixtures are a pain to keep up and running but sometimes it is simply a numbers game. A properly working altman 360 (old brown things) actually puts out a pretty decent quality of light. It lacks the punch and the color temperature of a S4, but it still gets the job done. Basicly what they are trying to say is if you have a choice to buy 50 new source fours or recondition/clean/re-lamp/new sockets for your 30 year old collection of 200 360s, do the 360s. The old 6x9 is still a great fixture. Newer lights can get more out of a lower wattage lamp, but if you got the power its not really an issue. Right now with the show I am working on we have 300 S4s, 16 PC beams, 12 VL3ks, 40 cxi, 30 forerunners, and we still have up 10 to 15 6x22, 20 6x9's, and a ton of old XRAY strips with 4 color rondels. Just because its old doesnt mean that it still isnt usefull. It might be a pain to focus and maintain, but if it still works its better then nothing.

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
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Footer, while I understand and believe the point you are making (indeed I have made it myself on several occassions), the message they are sending here does not readily convey that sentiment. Sure, we understand the point they are trying to make, but to the average buyer or person in charge of the money, the point would be, IMHO, lost in translation. As I see it, they oversimplified the message, which has made it unclear. It has been said many times that magic can be made with crappy 6x9's, and Nnew S4's can be made to look like crap. Just because someone has a large quantity of 6x9's doesn't mean their designs will be better than someone with only a few Source 4's.

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#### Logos

##### Well-Known Member
I'd love to know what website that was on so I never do business with them. In a way I agree but it was so badly phrased. I have some very old PC lanterns I use for gobo's. I wouldn't give them up because I can use them for say a breakup wash get a beautiful clear effect and use my newer more versatile lanterns for the jobs they are best at. I pick up a lot of old mistreated gear and repair it. I then tend to use it to do installs in small spaces that don't use their lights much. It means I can do a really cheap but useful rig for them which I will them maintain. In that situation it's probably better for me to put in 12 carefully restored CCT Minuettes than 4 Selecon Acclaims because that is all the client can afford. In a way that is probably what they are talking about.

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
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Ok, before we all freak out, how about we all look at this in its proper context. I know we are in the age of taking a quote and running with it, but I would hope that we can do a bit better then fox news.

http://www.allthingstheatre.net.au/intro.htm

Thats is where the quote came from. If you look at their site you can see that they are in the business of rehabbing old theatres, every piece of gear included. They are selling labor, and to sell labor you have to have something to labor on. It is in their best interest to tell people that they can get just about the same amount of quality out of that old 6x9 as a new 36 deg. From the looks of it they are selling a great service for theatres and schools that have a decent space that has simply fallen into disrepair. Instead of contractors walking in and saying throw it all in a landfill and gut the place, these contractors walk in, say yes we can work with this, fix everything, get everything back up to code and get you back to near new. There are thousands of schools out there that could use this service and spend 5 to 10 grand then spending 150 grand to get the same thing they already had, but it just was not working to its full potential.

Before we all jump off the deep end and say that this place is the devil and we should never do business with them, lets take a step back and really look at where that quote came from.

Edit: Actually after further reading I would hands down love to work with this company. I hope there is a service like this in the states. This is right up this forums alley. Basically they specialize in helping out school theatre dept. They are available anytime for anything you need. It looks like a pretty amazing service.

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#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
A properly working altman 360 (old brown things) actually puts out a pretty decent quality of light. It lacks the punch and the color temperature of a S4, but it still gets the job done. .
I can think of quite a few scenarios where this is not true, one being an LD/SM of a medium sized dance company on tour using a house rig of hundreds of 360Q's, whose color temp is so different then the S4's used in nearly every other house the event plays, that MAJOR changes in color choice and possibly in intensities must be made, as well as a whole lot of futile explaining to the artistic director as to why the show looks like crap. Not too mention "we can't use the rotators", or "I know the gobo's don't look as crisp".

Been there, done that, no thanks. I'll take the new gear any day.

FWIW, the OP was quoted as "10 year old lights", which might very well simply be the first gen. S4's !.

On a similar topic, I was explaining color filters and choices to 2 of our newbie stagehands today, one of whom asked me how come I don't use GAM Color or Apollo color that much. I proceed to explain how my eye and brain can readily visualize what Roscolux and Lee filters look like when used in a lighting fixture, as opposed to viewed in the swatch book, but that I have trouble with the Apollo and GAM, due to the "newness: of the filter line.

Similarly, how the designer Tharon Musser (Chorus Line, Little Night Music, Dreamgirls, Ballroom, 42st., etc...) essentially made the choice to retire from the industry when she realized (among other issues) that she could no longer visualize the color using the newer S4's and the like, having had a difficult time enough with the transition to quartz lamps from pure incandescents.

SB

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
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I can think of quite a few scenarios where this is not true, one being an LD/SM of a medium sized dance company on tour using a house rig of hundreds of 360Q's, whose color temp is so different then the S4's used in nearly every other house the event plays, that MAJOR changes in color choice and possibly in intensities must be made, as well as a whole lot of futile explaining to the artistic director as to why the show looks like crap. Not too mention "we can't use the rotators", or "I know the gobo's don't look as crisp".
In that situation, yes, having uniform lights in each venue is a must, and totally agree with you. I have traveled with plots designed for s4's and gone to places without and wanted to kill myself when chasing inhibitive subs the entire night. On the other hand, for a theatre that does one show in one space and that one light will never do anything else and you can make the intesity changess or put in the color correction needed, then your no worse off. For image projection, older fixtures really do suck, they simply do not have the optics for it. For a front wash, side, traditional systems, the older fixtures will do what you need them to. Once again, if its the choice between 40 fixtures s4's or 200 360's or 360q's (well maintained), im going to take the numbers before the quality.

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#### Logos

##### Well-Known Member
I just looked at the website and yeah. I was completely wrong, I would like to work with them. I do exactly the same thing on a much smaller scale. I will be getting in touch with them, I am intrigued by their statement that they have spares for many older lights. I have a number of shells that need only one or two items and some rewiring to become usful lights again.

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
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I should have taken a closer look at their website. They seem like a pretty cool company. I wonder if such a thing could work here in the States, anyone want to try?

However, the wording of that statement still scares me.

#### Bean

##### Member
Its interesting that no one has managed, (as far as we know) to contact us yet.
I'm Sean, as you may have seen from the site.
And even though this statement is true for most of our school audience, how would you like it said, as to not to "still scares me."?

#### gafftapegreenia

##### CBMod
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First, let me say, welcome to the Booth, we're a interesting and interested group of people.

My feelings on this statement were that it was easily misunderstood. A school board and similar group of individuals would likely use this to support the idea that the theatre(s) under their authority are just fine with the equipment they have and there is no need to put money into updating the program. I find this mainly in the "qauntity over quality" statement. Those who know little about lighting would likely rather spend money to keep buying lamps for 2K fresnels than update them to use more efficient lamps or buy new instruments that would save money on gel, lamps and power in the long run. If they get stuck an idea like this it can become very hard to convince otherwise.

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#### David Ashton

##### Well-Known Member
I have just come across this thread on "google" which I was not aware of and I would like a right of reply.The comments I made must be read in the context of my customer base which is schools and amateur dramatic groups.In a school situation I generally try to give them a basic rig to cover 4 areas with a key light a fill light and a back light in warm and cold, 4 specials and some cyc lights, seldom is there budget for any thing bigger than this.As the drama room height is between 9-14 ft the only practical luminere is the fresnel and my comment about old lights being as good as new is fairly accurate when talking about fresnels.Now I need 30+ lights to do this rig and typically there will be 10-20 in the drama room and a dozen or so in the store room in various states of disrepair.The function of a school is to teach the kids the basics of lighting and to this end a full rig of old lights is much more useful than half a rig of new lights.So my "business plan" is to get a full rig to show them how it can work and then replace the older lights over time.Showing a client a working rig while explaining how we can upgrade it is much easier than trying to explain the theoretical benefits of buying a new rig.As to dance it is never possible in our schools to have a permanent side lit dance rig as the rooms are multi use and lighting ladders would be destroyed, so the dancers only get good lighting at their concert.As I only use profiles for the odd drama special, a dekkle wash or gobo projection I can't justify spending on the excellent new range of profiles on the market until the rest of the rig is up to standard.Now the nature of a website is that you need to get your message over to your client, who is probably not even basically technical, in a concise way and that is why we simplified the message as we did. I hope this clarifies some of the issues raised in this thread.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
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Fight Leukemia
Here here!
I know I've been discussing fall arrest a lot lately, does anyone know if there is any ADJ branded self retracting lifelines on the market?
ADJ fall arrest... Charc I know it's Saturday night but drinking is illegal for 16 year olds. It's also not good for you to get so wasted you think ADJ fall arrest is a good idea. Now go lay down and sleep it off.

P.S. Forget ADJ... I'm going with all Chinese knock off gear from E-bay.

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
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Its interesting that no one has managed, (as far as we know) to contact us yet.
I'm Sean, as you may have seen from the site.
And even though this statement is true for most of our school audience, how would you like it said, as to not to "still scares me."?
Trying to be nice here because this is your first post, but I'm really confused. First, who are you? The "All Things Theater" website says that they are a two person company and that the names of those people are Robyn and David. You said your name is Sean, "as you may have seen from the site". I don't find the name Sean anywhere on that site.

Secondly, Why is it interesting that no one has contacted you? Most of us live on the other side of the world so hiring you would be insane. Also most of the people around here know how to make minor repairs and bench focus an instrument and so we wouldn't need your company in the first place. True there are a few Aussies here but only one has responded to this thread. I also know you've got a pretty large continent down there, so it's extremely unlikely that you'll find a potential customer close enough to use your services here.

Third, I think you are asking, why do some people have a such a problem with the idea that refurbishing is better than replacing and that there isn't much difference between old and new instruments. You've read the debate on that already. A solid case has been made that spending money on old lighting is an energy foolish choice, the color temperature and quality of light is NOT the same, and (a new point I want to throw out) one could argue that you are short changing students by training them on out of date equipment. The idea that quantity is more important than quality is the one I disagree with the most. A little bad light and a lot of bad light is still bad light. You must see why some people have a legitimate reason to disagree with you.

Finally, I question the basic premise that your company will refurbish 10 instruments for the cost of one new instrument. I'm not sure about prices in Oz, but in the US I can get a new Source Four for about $300 I have a hard time believing anyone here would come in and remove, clean, make minor repairs, bench focus, and rehang 10 old instruments for$300.

Again, I'm not trying to start a flame war here but what were you expecting?

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
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Similarly, how the designer Tharon Musser (Chorus Line, Little Night Music, Dreamgirls, Ballroom, 42st., etc...) essentially made the choice to retire from the industry when she realized (among other issues) that she could no longer visualize the color using the newer S4's and the like, having had a difficult time enough with the transition to quartz lamps from pure incandescents.

SB
Have you read David Barbour's article "Thinking about Tharon" in the Sept. 2007 issue of Lighting and Sound America? I hope she is comfortable in her current condition. My thoughts and prayers are with her and Marilyn.

Another Broadway lighting designer echoed the same sentiment regarding the SourceFour at the Broadway Lighting Masters Class I attended in 1996. Wish I could remember who it was.

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
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...Just because its old doesnt mean that it still isnt usefull. ...
I resemble that remark!

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
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I should have taken a closer look at their website. They seem like a pretty cool company. I wonder if such a thing could work here in the States, anyone want to try?...
I know of a company that refurbishes and distributes MicroStar/AppleStar Apple IIe's to community theatres as an affordable memory lighting control system. Does that count?

Fixtures are a slightly different matter. Time and Materials for refurbishment cost money. Time generally costs more than materials, but still. A careful ROE is required. Sometimes the bean counters will let you buy new stuff, but won't pay to fix the old. But most High Schools and Colleges have nothing but free labor and proper bench-focussing only costs the electricity to light the lamp for 10 minutes/unit maximum. A gallon of distilled water costs what, 97¢? And that lamp inside had better be the one that ship recommends for your application. New lamps have to be purchased at some point anyway, so stop buying FELs. Unless they're what Ship told you to use!

#### derekleffew

##### Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
P.S. Forget ADJ... I'm going with all Chinese knock off gear from E-bay.
I apologize in advance for "drifting the thread." But Gafftaper started it. Mommy, he's looking out my window...

Would you rather purchase:

(1) Coemar ParLite LED for $1375 (Map price, is that MSRP?) http://www.mylpr.com/coemar/parlite.htm OR (4) Chauvet COLORSplash 200B http://www.chauvetlighting.com/fixtures/ledpar200_fix.shtml at$300?/each BillESC please correct my pricing, I just guessed and am probably way off.

OR

(12) of these. http://www.solarisnetwork.com/item_2765 at $109/each? Hey, I got ripped off by ebay, I paid$131 for mine! Oh, there's a minimum order of 10, so they can't boat them across the Pacific one at a time.

Would someone who knows more than I please make a poll and start a new thread? Then this post can be deleted.

#### David Ashton

##### Well-Known Member
Returning to Gafftaper,
1 we are All Things Theatre, not Theater
2 Sean is mentioned on the site under "want to do a rock musical"
3 as you were discussing and criticizing us it might have been polite to drop us an email to explain our position.
4 if can explain how to light my 4 areas in 2 colours with 12 nice new source 4 I would like to know how you do that, in my opinion the concepts of key, fill and back lighting is infinitely more important than some slight imperfections of striation or a 10% less efficient instrument.The principals of lamp adjustment and focus are essentially unchanged over the last 50 years.
The colour temperature of all my lights new and old is 3200 so I don't see point of that comment, I'm not using par38's
Finally your opinion that refurbishing is better than new is a very corporate idea, any one of my state school clients would need 15 years to buy a full rig of lights on their available budget and by that time it would be out of date again.
To return to my original point; using a quote of mine which is directed to a specific low budget market and using it in reference to a corporate budget situation is unfair and misleading.
Sorry I forgot to state that refurbishing 10 lights for under \$400, which is less than the cost of a source 4 is easy and which we do on a monthly basis, our cost structure is different to yours as our lights are imported and are more expensive.

Senior Team