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Opti-Par

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by Les, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone ever seen an American Dj Opti-Par? I doubt the company American Dj actually manufactures it, because I have seen several "clones" on the market with different names on them. Anyways, they are 'similar' to an ETC Source Four Par, at least the aesthetics are, come with a complete lens kit (NSP, MSP, MFL, WFL), rated for 575 watts (HX-600, GLA, ETC...), and can be picked up for about $85.00. They seem sturdy enough with their die-cast housing, they are cheaper than an Altman Professional Par 64, they consume less power, come with lenses, have lamp compatability with many ellipsoidals, and are available in black, white, and chrome. I've seen this on www.stagelights.com and elsewhere. I'm just wondering why the big, power-hungry par 64's are still more popular when they are seemingly more expensive to operate.
     
  2. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the opti-par uses HPL lamps.
    Oops.
     
  3. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hiya,
    Well a PAR lamp will last longer and take more of a "bang" in a truck than a S4 Par/opti-par HPL lamp will. The HPL lamps do not like to be kicked around, can be a pain to change while hot, and Par Lamps don't usually "need" a pre-heating, while an HPL would need one...and on a tour or show or constant use thing, that goes up and down in the same day and with gear that gets bounced from venue to venue--the Par Can will last a long long time and take quite a beating. In the long run a par is simpler and cheaper. Additionally, a par can can be re-bent back into a shape that works if it gets bent up...where if you crushed a Opti-par, that would be it for the reflector, lense and housing. If you break a lamp in a par you replace the lamp which is very common (sometimes at hardware stores)--if you break the lense on an Opti-par--are you sure the venue or area will have a spare? If you break a reflector in the OptiPar--its out until it can be replace--but there is no reflector in a Par Can. Sockets in a par can run about $5-$8 to replace and can be done in a few minutes, where you have a bit more work to do with a HPL socket to replace it. The Par Can is a lot more durable for road use and longer life..its a very simple fixture that is hard to mess up..tho I know every tour tries to.

    Plus--how else are you gonna make Par-Can Popcorn... ;)

    -wolf
     
  4. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Since I'm in high school, we don't usually have the chance to make this "par-can popcorn". Sounds great for late-night lighting hangs/focus sessions. I would love a tutorial if possible...
    THX.
     
  5. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Par-Can popcorn... hum, never tried that but I did heat up a hot pocket with the heat coming from a three phase generator. :D
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Be good guys! While Dave is away the cat's should not play. No tutorials on what beam spread lamp is best for cooking the turkey. That's already been discussed on Lighting network anyway.

    This is a theater website thus one might also note that you get what you pay for. The American DJ opti-par will not live up to the expected use of that from a more expensive fixture. That's leaving what you bought to the people that follow you to either use after it burns up or to atttempt to re-wire. It also means that the made in China unit will be economized in copying in such ways that in copying them slight details will be left out. Sometimes the lamp just won't seat well and there is no usefull adjustment for this unlike with the ETC that also might not seat but you can adjust, other times the materials used are less strong and reliable especially when they break. Gonna be a long time to wait on replacement parts shipped in from China sould something break. Plus you get the shipping charge given the dealer even places the order due to the pain in the rear factor. Parts can take a lot of phone calls and time.

    Such things are to be considered. The opti-par be it what ever lamp it uses just did not impress me last time I had to prep some for resale at times. Save up another $50.00 and just buy a ETC or Altman new style parcan.

    As for road worthyness during touring, read the above. These fixtures don't need to ride around in the back of a truck hopefully, and even so, the S-4 Par always travels with spare lamps and is much less prone to wiggle problems than a rock and roll parcan. Riveted parts on the parcan verses bolted and cast parts on the S-4. Much less chance it's going to develop problems especially at the yoke lock as common to rock fixtures. Avoid the aluminum rock can for theater anway and go steel. Much better fixtures where weight is not a major facor.

    On power hungry PAR 64 fixtures, it depends upon your application. There is both energy saver bulbs that have almost a similar output to a 1Kw or even 1.2Kw lamp for tons less wattage, and I can't see much of use in more than a 500w size for most theaters anyway thus the power issue is moot. You either need a really brightly lit and large stage to necessitate 1Kw lamps, or are overkill and will be dimming anyway once you find your balance. 1Kw cans are rock cans and not necessary for the most part in a show unless it's in a stadium.
     
  7. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    My best guess is that a 1kw NSP par64 lamp would cook any turkey.lol.
    You could probably even fry a hamburger on the safety screen.
    (I would NEVER do that, of course, its just good to know that theatrical lighting can also double as culinary resources.)
    Thanks for the info, Ship, I'll keep this in mind when I get some real parcans. Right now I own 6 360Q's (5 that work), 8 '97 Source Four 19degree, 4 par 38's, and various "DJ/Club" f/x by ADJ and Chauvet.
    I also have a 12/24 ch Chauvet TFX-24C DMX board, but I can't decide if I like it because it seems kind of cheap. I bought most of my F/X from Crossroad's Audio in Dallas Texas, and the rest from www.cheaplights.com who are a warehouse-based company. You really have to be careful when buying form them because you don't get to see the gear before you buy it. That, and some of the manufacturers are questionable. This is where I got the TFX-24C. It all works, but you obviously can't judge a product just by seeing it's pic on the net. Sometimes, the unit's appearences are even different when they show up at your house. My last complaint is that my board didn't come with any instructions, other that the Quickstart printed on the bottom... Oh yeah... NO power switch! When you plug it in, its on! I'm sorry, but that's just freakin' weird!!! It does come on in blackout though.
     

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