Although you will hear a lot of negative things here and elsewhere about the fixtures from China, I don't really think the audience cares! (Just all us snobby lighting designers)
The Matrix is a kicking fixture. Sure, if you want to drop 7 to 10 grand, there are fixtures out there that will blow the lid off of it, but the Matrix is priced at $1500, and for that price it's a neat fixture to get started with. Here's the thing- Are you going to take it out on tour? Are you going to be renting it out? Or, are you using it yourself, and intend to handle it with care? If it's the last one, you will probably have a lot of fun from a fixture that gives you bang for the buck. Have fun!
Pros: Cheap, Bright, Fun, lots of features
Cons: Not UL approved, Keep away from roadies, will not outlast more expensive fixtures, Harder to get good support when there are problems.
I've seen the Matrix 575's in action a few times. They're are very impressive for the price. The prism is one of the best I've seen. I love the gobos and colors. I've been looking into adding two of these to my rig.
I don't know how durable/road worthy they are, I've been wondering this myself. The band I know that has them seems very happy with them.
The thing about low end fixtures is that they can be quirky and fragile. This one actually looks pretty good, but here's the deal: If you only have a couple and you are handling them yourself, its a big bang for the buck, and you can deal with the quirks if any. However, if you were to be traveling with 40 of them mounted in a truss, doing city after city, these same problems would drive you nuts and probably create a lot of crew friction when things broke. So, it's all about the intended usage.
One gripe I have about some of the low end equipment is that support is very thin. (I have a button on a cheap DMX controller that even the manufacturer can't tell me what its for!) Another problem is weight. Most of the low end equipment uses transformer ballasts and the units are heavy compared to higher cost units that use solid state ballasts. So, again, it all comes back to your intended usage.
I have 6 of these Matrix 575s that I bought two years and a half ago. They were demos/overstock, but basically in new condition. I have them hung on an upstage truss about 25ft in the air and have been using them about 6 hours a week for two years.
The lights have been very reliable for me. I've replaced one lamp, so far, but nothing else significant. I have never moved them since they were installed, so can't comment on their roadworthiness. However, they are very heavy, so I wouldn't want to move them around much.
Maybe two of three times over their life, one will wake up a little confused about position, but I just home it again via DMX commands and everything is fine. I've never had an issue with them getting confused while running a show.
The stock colors in the wheels are pretty good( 12 total plus open, I think). The pale pink isn't very useful for me, and the there are two bright pinks that are all fairly similar. But, overall a good selection.
Stock gobos are pretty useful too. One wheel with static gobos and one with rotating gobos. Not sure if any are replaceable, I haven't tried. The gobo selection is pretty good for stock gobos. Again, a lot of personal preference there.
Rotating prism, variable focus. I think that is it for features.
Really nothing bad to say. For the price I paid for lights that were basically now, it would be hard to justify any complaint.
I've worked with 4 for the past few years and only one prob. the mount for the pan motor keeps coming apart. Other than that they are very nice. also if any one needs a good NSI DDL for them let me know I wrote one cause the one NSI has is f'd up.
I used 2 for a show I designed this winter. I actually really liked the gobo selection and the color choices. Prism is great too. For our setting they were very close to the stage and the narrow lens gave me a few problems. I also don't think the optics were very efficient. I used them side by side with Elation's Design Spot 250's and the 250's gave me a lot more flexibility. For not too much more I'm a huge fan of the DS250s but thats just my preference.