# S4 Revolution revisited

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
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There were a lot of messages a while back about the Source4 Revolution that seem to be based mostly on what people read in a magazine or saw at a demo. There was a definite lack of people who actually owned and used one on a regular basis. Now that it's been out a while... and the color scrollers are falling out killing people... I'm wondering if there are any new thoughts out there from people who have first hand experience.

Some of the past issues people debated were:
-Too expensive for what you could get for the same price from Martin
-Dumbed down Martin vs. Tool designed for theater not concerts
-It's just a S4 with a moving yoke and color scroller
-Too big

Any new opinions?

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
I call it the manatee of lighting world.

But seriously its slow, almost silent, moderately accurate, and not full of features.

But if you plan on buying an source four, auto yoke, mecanical iris, mechanical shutters, Gobo rotator and an colour changer; then its just a bit more money and you can have it all in one unit... a relvolution

but hey it must be true thats the sales pitch i got from etc.

but they are easy to tech when they are on the ground up in the air a pain in the ass its mostly because there are allot of screws

JH

#### moojoe

##### Active Member
when i demoed the revolution, i didnt like it that much. you can get a lot for for around the same price so i didnt see the point in it.
there was one thing i liked a lot in it, and that was the lamp. i loved how the lamp came out, I wish that could become standard for all insusturments(unless they charge a lot more for it)

#### Footer

##### Senior Team
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though they are silent they are a WAY WAY to slow.... if you are used to programming vl's or anything remotely fast these things take forever to get to their mark.... by the time you have spun them up to what you want they are barley moving.... also the size thing really gets in the way... go with a vl1000.... also i wold like a CYM module for it....

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
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I'm gonna bump this thread to see if now a few months later anyone has had more experiance with these fixtures. I just found out today that for a production of Urine Town I am ALD for we will be purchasing 6 of them.

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
My school just in theroy bought 6 of them i still hate them ...

JH

#### farmerjo1111

##### Member
Like I tell everone that asks me about them...They are not a moving light they are a moving special. You can't compair them to a Vari-Lite or a Martin it is a different fixture for a different application. I love to use the fixture as a moving special but that is about it. I look at it like a beefed up Source 4 Zoom on a AutoYoke. Its another tool that is aviable to use. In the right situation this is a great fixture to have.

Dustin Strobush
ETC Systems Group

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
But for the same price or less i could purchase, A mac 250 Entour, or another middle range moving light. And if your buying it for the colour temp, could you not just throw in CTO on the second colour wheel of higher end moving light. Or put some 1/4 blue in all your conventionals.

JH

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
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But for the same price or less i could purchase, A mac 250 Entour, or another middle range moving light. And if your buying it for the colour temp, could you not just throw in CTO on the second colour wheel of higher end moving light. Or put some 1/4 blue in all your conventionals.
JH

Could you really pruchase new fixtures for that price? I mean they end up around only $3K per unit right, while something like a mac 700 is around$13K per fixture.

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
But a mac 700 is the top of the line. I could get something like a mac 250 entour for about 3 grand. So why get something thats not very versitile as our freind from ETC points out its only use is an moving special. A mac 250 could be used as a moving special, a gobo projector, a moving beam of light, Flash and trash, really any use you can come up with. plus they wont take up much room in your grid or inventory. Vs. an S4 Revolution there much bigger.

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
But for the same price or less i could purchase, A mac 250 Entour, or another middle range moving light. And if your buying it for the colour temp, could you not just throw in CTO on the second colour wheel of higher end moving light. Or put some 1/4 blue in all your conventionals.
JH

Putting in CTO on an arc lamp doesn't make it a match for an incandescent fixture. The color rendition is totally different. If you doubt this, think for a minute about all the big boys that make incandescent wash units. The Martin doesn't have shutters, as well, so it makes it a bit tough to use as a door frame special, as example. The Martin has 12 colors. The S4 20 in a gel string that match actual gel in conventional fixtures.

The S4 Revo concept is, as farmerjo states, not a R&R flash and trash unit. That market is well covered by 30 or so different versions from - well everybody. The Revolution and VL1000 are designed to be used as a blend with a theatrical conventional rig.

SB

#### jonhirsh

##### Active Member
Ok so i think our disagreement is weither rock units can be used for theatre or not. I think its nice that the S4 Rev. is designed for theatre that doesnot make it a good unit. But it is well put together and sturdy but i just dont like them. I belive you can use rock lights and translate it to theatre but you and many others disagree. I like the colour temp differnce. but some do not.

JH

#### SteveB

##### Well-Known Member
Ok so i think our disagreement is weither rock units can be used for theatre or not. I think its nice that the S4 Rev. is designed for theatre that doesnot make it a good unit. But it is well put together and sturdy but i just dont like them. I belive you can use rock lights and translate it to theatre but you and many others disagree. I like the colour temp differnce. but some do not.
JH

There's such a thing as right tool for the job. With every type of fixture in the world to choose from, Broadway designers use S4 Revo's and VL1000's all the time specifically to blend with the rest of the incandescents. They also use Mac 200's for imaging, VL500's for washes, or whatever is the correct tool. Read the recent article in whatever Theater Crafts is currently called about the design for the Neal Young movie, where the designer used VL1000's as key lights.

Recommending a Martin 250 when the original post wanted info. on a Revolution is dumb.

Note that I don't use any Revolutions, but would love to have 40 or so. My most recent purchase and my first step into movers are High End Studio Spot CMY/Zooms. Seems like an odd purchase to a lot of folks, except for the following criteria.

1) The order was put together as a proposal in spring of '04 that went to purchase with no other available input on my part.

2) I wanted an arc lamp, punchy enough for the throw (20-30ft.), thus 575. I wanted CMY for flexibility, and zooming to deal with the times the fixtures re-locate and I need image size control. In '04 no-one besides High End made such a beast. Now of course there's the Varilite 2000 series, the MAC 700 and the Alpha Spots from Clay Paky. I wish..... Bottom line is the fixtures are very nice and do what I need. A Varilite 1000 would not. Neither would a Revolution. The HES ended up as the right tool for the job.

SB

#### pacman

##### Active Member
I agree that the Revolution should not be compared to all the other moving heads on the market. As has been said repeatedly in various threads, it has its place for certain applications. It's like my high school shop teacher always said; "Use the right tool for the job." If you don't need the features the Revolution offers, or you have need for the things it doesn't do well, use something else! ETC has been very specific about what the Revolution is intended to do & I've never heard them suggest it as a replacement for a Martin, HES, etc.

As requested in the bump, maybe someone who uses Revolutions regularly can post specifics about their experience with them. I have a few coming in a couple of weeks & will share what I learn about them.

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
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so it seems we have not actually purchased the fixtures yet so the other ALD and I are going to push for VL1000TSD fixtures instead.

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#### JSFox

##### Active Member
After a bunch of research we brought in the Revo's and VL1000TSD's for a couple of weeks trial. We REALLY liked the concept of the drop in modules (verstl and potentially economical), but disliked the implementation. The lack of CMY was huge. There have been times when the Revo's gel string would have come in handy on the VL's though. The VL's were also a bit faster, more accurate in consistently hitting their marks (critical for a number of specials where shutters need to be perfectly on the edge of scenery or very tight on a performer) and had better diffusion control than the Revo's. The 70 degree zoom out on the VL's is also nice.

The primary drawbacks to the VL's for us are the lack of a second rotating gobo (actually just a second fixed gobo would help) so doing a realistic water movement or similar is difficult, no dowsing shutters (so can't strobe or even bump on/off very fast), and we wish they moved faster. Of course instead of 6 VL1000's we could have 2 3500's or Mac2000's that have all these features. We're very happy with the VL1000's.

With a shutter and rotating gobo module the Revo would have run a bit more than the VL which made the choice even easier.

#### Pie4Weebl

##### Well-Known Member
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Thats an interesting point about the VL1000's not having two gobos, we went downtown last week and demo'd those and when we found they would cost just about the same as a revolution the choice was pretty easy.

On thing we are debating on now is control. The vari*lite rep tried to sell us on the marquee console, but at the same time we are looking at a whole hog IPC. Anyone have any experiance with the Marquee console?

#### gafftaper

##### Senior Team
Senior Team
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I got to use Horizon which is the previous version of the Marquee software. I liked it quite a bit. I saw a demo of a Marquee ILC and was very impressed. The fact that it uses plain english is great. You can tell it to turn clockwise 40 degrees or rotate at 15 rpm. Very nice. It's also got that ability to correct the track of an intelligent light so that it moves in a straight line across the stage and doesn't arc between point a and b. It seems well done and very competitively priced.

#### lightbyfire

##### Member
Tech is finally over for our show so I have time to respond to this.

We have had six revolutions for about a year now, and have been nothing but impressed with them. while the shutter module is loud, in a larger space it would go reletively unnoticed over the white noise of fans from scrollers etc. the tradable modules have proven very versitile and useful. having gel strings instead of cmy has actually also proven useful, in that you can be sure you are getting the right color (and color temp with the revo lamp) in other words you can blend it into a wash for smooth highlighting rather than standout specials.

possibly one of the most noticable positive aspects of our revolutionis is that in one year and around 8 productions we have not had to service a any of them.

There are some downsides, as mentioned previously, they are large, kind of blocky, but they are also light. they can be used in a black box, but the shutter module stepper motors are just a little too loud, and if you are doing snap moves on anything you will have problems. The frost doors also tend to slam. we have also had issues with hitting the same mark after large pans.

I like how they have been refered to as moving specials, because that is what they are best for, and they do it well. I would recomend them for any middle sized venue in need of a fixture that can replace 30 specials in a rig easily.

#### pyrus

##### Member
Ok, so I am bumping an old thread. I have been working with S4 Revs. for my current production, and have been having issues with some of them. The biggest problem we had was oneforgetting where home position was. also, i occaisionally get one or two the develop a case of parkinsons disease from time to time. The staff (I'm a contractor for this show)has had to deal with this for some time, one guy told me that it is a problem with one of the drive belts, but to replace it means re-cueing that fixture into the whole show.

I wonder if some of the problems have to do with the board though, they have a Congo.

I love how the things are near silent though. heck, the color scrollers are the loudest part of the unit. The lack of CMY really bugs me because the varilites at my high school did.

One other little oddity of the Revs. is that they have strange habits for manual shutdown. I have one i have to turn on and off every night that since it is not on the main independant that all the other DMX devices are on. When I shut it down, I have to turn it off, swivel it around, pull out the gobo unit and spin the changer, and finally re-insert the gobo unit. Don't ask me why it likes this, but it gets cranky if I don't.