PRG Best Boy vs VL3515

MK 17

New Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Location
Chicago
Hi All,

PRG is trying to sub the VL3515s in my order for their Best Boy HP Spot (the 1500w version) so they don't have to ship the VLs out to Chicago. They sent me a comparison form (attached) and it makes it seem like its everything the VL is and more with no drawbacks. Does anyone have experience with them? I'd love to get some unbiased reviews.

Furthermore, can anyone speak to the necessity of such a bright unit? This show is a production of Little Shop in a 1000 seat house with seating reaching slightly over 100' away from the stage and trims of 20'-25'. This is my first time designing in such a big house. I'm usually working in much smaller and lower places so I typically get VL440s. I've been going as bright as possible to be safe, but it's dominating my budget.
 

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np18358

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2011
Location
South Florida
Can't speak to the Best Boy HP, however I can say that PRG has always been great to work with, and I am sure any of their products are top-notch. I do think that you may be able to use a less intense instrument. A 20' trim is really not so high, and I don't think you would have a problem with a Mac Viper or VL3000/3500 (perhaps even less). Only you can decide what intensity works for you, and will likely depend on how you are using the instruments, and what the conventionals are like (wattage and quantity). Also if you plan to color correct or not. As well, if you want the instruments to really cut through and be noticed, or more to simply accent and highlight on top of other instruments. For me, I want the Movers to be intense enough to cut through my Front Light and Color washes when color-corrected to 3200K.

I don't know what they have in stock or available locally, but I think a "1000W class" instrument, such as a Mac Viper or VL3000 would be just fine. You may even find that a 700W instrument such as Mac 700 is sufficient, meaning you can either save money or get more instruments. Perhaps you could visit their shop and demo the instruments? Not the same as in the theatre, but that will at least give you an idea as to the intensity.
 

MikeJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Location
Here and There
I think you will find the Best Boy to be as good as the 3515, but if you have your heart set on them, I think ILC in Arlington Heights has VL3515 in rental inventory.
 

Pie4Weebl

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
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Feb 22, 2006
Location
New York City
For a venue that small, I would think a 700 watt unit with shutters (alpha spots pehaps) would be a better move, a best boy seems like overkill. Or a Viper Performance would be a great choice.
 

rochem

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2008
Location
New York, NY
If you've never used a Best Boy, you're in for a treat. They're really well-made and well-designed units, are relatively bulletproof, and are basically built to do everything when cost isn't an issue. The only real drawbacks is that they're very big and very heavy, but if you were already set on the 3515 then the Best Boy won't be significantly larger or heavier. I believe that they're also louder than the 3515s, but that's just based on personal experience and I may be wrong. Long story short, you're getting a superior fixture for the same price as a VL3515, so I'd consider that a win.

Having said that, without knowing the specifics of your design or venue, I would imagine that these units will be somewhat overkill for what you need. If budget is an issue, I think downgrading to a 700w fixture would probably be okay, especially if this allows you to get a lot more fixtures.