S4 Series 2 Lustr vs Ovation E-910FC

IanTech

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Dec 6, 2018
Location
East Bay
Has anyone compared these fixtures? Any thoughts? I was thinking about purchasing a mix of them as I hear the Ovations have more saturated colors. I was thinking Ovations for high sides, back lighting, some front lighting and for the stage wash Source Four Series 2 Lustrs.

I know buying mega-clamps would be important with these fixtures, thanks to a previous thread I posted here, so I will put that in my proposal.

My second question is in regards to lens tubes. I heard you want the EDLT lens tubes, but over on /r/lightingdesign someone mentioned that the Ovation tubes not only fit the Source Four but are crisper with Gobos and have better optics than the EDLTs. If so, I was considering buying all Ovation lens tubes for both the S4s and the Ovations.

EDIT: What about frost filters?
 

SteveB

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Mar 20, 2004
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Can’t state as to one or the other as I’ve only used Lustrs. We have a lot of these, really nice fixture and color.

As compared to S4 incandescent ellipsoidals, where I would use a R132, in a Lustrous I use R119, etc R119 is now a R114, but frost works well.
 

DavidJones

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Jun 7, 2017
Location
Touring
Whatever you do, I probably would not buy a mixture of fixtures. It becomes a pain when you want them to both do the same thing. That being said, In a side by side comparison, the ovations do better-saturated colors, and are noticeably sharper than the Luster 2, they are also a bit brighter. I have never had a problem getting great front light whites and pastels from the ovation, though I did not do any exhaustive tests in that color range. I have used the ovations extensively, and they are very capable even for video and broadcast. Pretty much in my experience Ovation edges out the Lusters across the board. I think that the ETC HD lenses and ovation lenses are probably very similar, but I never flip-flopped them to check.

If you already have a much larger inventory of S4 lenses, you might consider just adding the bodies. The standard lenses work fine for general wash needs; for sharp gobos, I'd stick with the new lenses.

Chauvet only makes 14/19/26/36/50 lenses, so if you need 90/70/10/5, you will still have to go with ETC, but they all interchange just fine.
 

JChenault

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Location
seattle, wa USA
The Lustr uses 7 colors of LEDs. This means you will have less issues with metamerism than with the Ovation which uses 5 colors.

The use of 7 colors also allows a wider gamut of colors than a 5 color fixture. IE I am confident that you will be able to get more saturated colors with the Luster than the Ovation ( especially in deep DEEP blue).

Note that to get the intense colors with luster you may need to be in 7 color mode and have a console that supports it

The above is just the physics of light as I understand it.

If cost is an issue you might also want to look at the ETC ColorSource fixture ( 4 colors).

Get a sample of each fixture from your local distributor. Set them up side by side with an incandescent fixture and a console that can appropriately drive the fixtures. Look at them with different colors on various fabrics and the human skin. See which you think will work best. You will be spending many thousands of dollars on this project, so some early research is well worth the effort.
 
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IanTech

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Dec 6, 2018
Location
East Bay
The Lustr uses 7 colors of LEDs. This means you will have less issues with metamerism than with the Ovation which uses 5 colors.

The use of 7 colors also allows a wider gamut of colors than a 5 color fixture. IE I am confident that you will be able to get more saturated colors with the Luster than the Ovation ( especially in deep DEEP blue).

Note that to get the intense colors with luster you may need to be in 7 color mode and have a console that supports it

The above is just the physics of light as I understand it.

If cost is an issue you might also want to look at the ETC ColorSource fixture ( 4 colors).

Get a sample of each fixture from your local distributor. Set them up side by side with an incandescent fixture and a console that can appropriately drive the fixtures. Look at them with different colors on various fabrics and the human skin. See which you think will work best. You will be spending many thousands of dollars on this project, so some early research is well worth the effort.
Well based on the research, I've heard the Ovations have brighter and more saturated colors. Even on the VW models:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/led-conversion-upcoming.43179/page-3#post-376161

We have grandMA, so the board isn't an issue. I do think the S4 is better for a stage wash which is why I want to mix the fixtures. The S4 LED Series 2 Lustrs will stay on FOH 1 and 2.

Then this thread also mentions ETC being better as a company:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/chauvet-color-consistency.43135/#post-375356

Then here the S4's warm white is better and has more subtle colors:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/fixture-reviews.45474/#post-397826

And in my old thread @soundlight mentioned the ovations as a top choice:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/led-stage-wash-good-to-knows.45045/#post-393831
 
Last edited:

DavidJones

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Jun 7, 2017
Location
Touring
Well based on the research, I've heard the Ovations have brighter and more saturated colors. Even on the VW models:
https://www.controlbooth.com/threads/led-conversion-upcoming.43179/page-3#post-376161

We have grandMA, so the board isn't an issue. I do think the S4 is better for a stage wash which is why I want to mix the fixtures. The S4 LED Series 2 Lustrs will stay on FOH 1 and 2.
Yes, the Ovations are brighter and do a much better job in saturated colors. The Lusters strong point should be their ability to really fine tune light pastel/ common front light colors. With a Grandma, it's super easy to dial in different fixtures to matching colors and save them in as global presets, even in the same preset pool. To me, the annoyance in having many different fixtures is that it adds more presets to update. That might be a very small consideration to you, depending on your normal shows, tours, changeover times, etc. Sometimes I work on very tight time frames, and with many programmers/LDs, so simplicity and ease of use are key.

If I were going to buy a whole bunch of new fixtures, I would consider just going all Ovation lenses. Again this is more to my liking of having a more cohesive inventory, and fewer variables to think about.

I think your plan will probably make you pretty happy. I would really not complain about that setup if I walked into it. The Luster 2 is a great front light fixture and the Ovations will kick ass as sides/high sides/gobos. Personally, I would go all ovation, but I totally understand and respect the choice to do the Lusters at FOH.
 

soundofsparks

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Mar 7, 2015
Location
Louisville, KY
I've used both, although not simultaneously.

The Lustr2s really are the Cadillac right now no matter how you slice it. The 7-color system and the natural color rendering it produces is unrivaled. If you're lighting people, those are the fixtures for you.

The Ovations won't be as natural. If you're lighting objects that might not matter. I didn't have any real issues with the Ovations and they are certainly not a bad light by any means.

If you mix your rig, definitely put the Lustr2s FOH to light faces and use the Ovations for side/back or scenery.
 

rsmentele

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One big red flag for me with using the Ovations is the lack of TM-30 reporting (That I can find). That is a better standard for true color rendering of LEDs than CRI. CRI can be easily manipulated and gamed by manufacturers to seem like their fixtures render color better than reality.

I did find this really good review from Mike Wood on the Ovation. TM-30 measurement he took is 83. I very much trust his opinions, so you might find it helpful as well:
https://www.mikewoodconsulting.com/articles/ChauvetOvationE910FC.pdf

I was unable to find any in depth reviews on the Series 2.

But! If your facility is looking to purchase a good amount of fixtures, ask for demos! Side by side the options. Any dealer will be more than willing to offer that to you.
 

IanTech

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Dec 6, 2018
Location
East Bay
I've used both, although not simultaneously.

The Lustr2s really are the Cadillac right now no matter how you slice it. The 7-color system and the natural color rendering it produces is unrivaled. If you're lighting people, those are the fixtures for you.

The Ovations won't be as natural. If you're lighting objects that might not matter. I didn't have any real issues with the Ovations and they are certainly not a bad light by any means.

If you mix your rig, definitely put the Lustr2s FOH to light faces and use the Ovations for side/back or scenery.
One thing I should note is that we are a video venue, and livestream and record events. This includes, services, worship, police graduations, COLs, etc so color temp is very important.
 

IanTech

Active Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Location
East Bay
One big red flag for me with using the Ovations is the lack of TM-30 reporting (That I can find). That is a better standard for true color rendering of LEDs than CRI. CRI can be easily manipulated and gamed by manufacturers to seem like their fixtures render color better than reality.

I did find this really good review from Mike Wood on the Ovation. TM-30 measurement he took is 83. I very much trust his opinions, so you might find it helpful as well:
https://www.mikewoodconsulting.com/articles/ChauvetOvationE910FC.pdf

I was unable to find any in depth reviews on the Series 2.

But! If your facility is looking to purchase a good amount of fixtures, ask for demos! Side by side the options. Any dealer will be more than willing to offer that to you.
Is there a similar Mike Wood review for the Source Four Series 2 Lustrs?
 

rsmentele

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I stated in my post that I have been unable to find one. Did another generic google search and still didn't have much luck.

One interesting thing that I've found is that the college that performs testing on the human perspective of color rendering with an LED source uses Source 4 Lustrs. They stated that the only downside is that they cannot get as much granular control as they would like because of the bit depth limitations of the DMX protocol. 255 steps isn't enough for the level of detail that they would like to reach, but again the Luster is the only thing tool available to provide the level of spectrum control that they require, because of the 7 color array.
 

IanTech

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Location
East Bay
I stated in my post that I have been unable to find one. Did another generic google search and still didn't have much luck.

One interesting thing that I've found is that the college that performs testing on the human perspective of color rendering with an LED source uses Source 4 Lustrs. They stated that the only downside is that they cannot get as much granular control as they would like because of the bit depth limitations of the DMX protocol. 255 steps isn't enough for the level of detail that they would like to reach, but again the Luster is the only thing tool available to provide the level of spectrum control that they require, because of the 7 color array.
As it turns out, I emailed Mike Wood and he stated that the primary reason he does not have any ETC information is that he did consulting for them.
 

DavidJones

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Jun 7, 2017
Location
Touring
I stated in my post that I have been unable to find one. Did another generic google search and still didn't have much luck.

One interesting thing that I've found is that the college that performs testing on the human perspective of color rendering with an LED source uses Source 4 Lustrs. They stated that the only downside is that they cannot get as much granular control as they would like because of the bit depth limitations of the DMX protocol. 255 steps isn't enough for the level of detail that they would like to reach, but again the Luster is the only thing tool available to provide the level of spectrum control that they require, because of the 7 color array.
This seems odd to me. Perhaps they are unaware of 16-bit color channels. With the 8-bit color mixing, for sure you can see jumpy steps, but I challenge anyone who says that 65,025 steps for each color are not enough. Seriously with ETC's 7 color system its basically in incomprehensible number(is actually 4,915,441,435,064,644,177,113,043,212,890,625). That's 4.9 Decillion Combinations. Its more possible "colors" than every gel, manufactures catalog combined multiplied by the 255 steps of a typical 8-bit dimer.

So, I call complete BS. Makes sense that it was a college though. No offense intended, but academia is king of proclaiming to be experts and backing it up with very limited real-world experience.

But I could be wrong, maybe

four decillion ,
nine hundred fifteen nonillion ,
four hundred forty one octillion ,
four hundred thirty five septillion ,
sixty four sextillion ,
six hundred forty four quintillion ,
one hundred seventy seven quadrillion ,
one hundred thirteen trillion ,
forty three billion ,
two hundred twelve million ,
eight hundred ninety thousand ,
six hundred twenty five

possible outputs from a fixture is "not much granular control" in some circles. LOL.
 

Michael K

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Oct 23, 2015
Location
San Jose, CA
Perhaps they are unaware of 16-bit color channels.
Perhaps the quick approach of finals week is clouding this college student's comprehension, but there doesn't seem to be a 16-bit direct control channel mode listed in the quick guide, in fact, the only 16-bit parameter available in any of the modes is Hue. (same goes for the Desire series.) The Ovation E-930VW on the other hand offers two modes with 16-bit direct color control of its 6 colors.
 

DavidJones

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Location
Touring
Perhaps the quick approach of finals week is clouding this college student's comprehension, but there doesn't seem to be a 16-bit direct control channel mode listed in the quick guide, in fact, the only 16-bit parameter available in any of the modes is Hue. (same goes for the Desire series.) The Ovation E-930VW on the other hand offers two modes with 16-bit direct color control of its 6 colors.
Quite frankly, after looking at that guide, it's a little shocking that ETC does not list a direct control mode for 16-bit color control. So my response was incorrect from a mathematical standpoint, though it would hold true for the Ovation, minus one LED color. Personally, I have not used the Luster 2 very often as I find the Ovation to be a better-suited fixture for most of my needs and a better value, so I don't have a ton of experience looking through the different control modes. I was even more shocked to find 41 different control profile in the default GrandMA2 library. While many of these seem to be duplicate profiles with fan control enabled or disabled, or adding or subtracting strobe channels, Its still an absurd amount of fixture modes. It appears that ETC actually had 8 fixture modes, all of them fairly dumbed down assuming that the operator is incapable of mixing 7 colors. HSI and HSIC offer a 16-bit Hue while the 8-bit saturation and intensity effectively control the same parameters, so control of color output and intensity is still, in the realm of thousands if not billions of more shades that can be distinguished in any practical application.

So even though ETC does not give its users direct control of 16-bit color attributes, like Chauvet and almost any of the other competitors offer, the statement that DMX does not offer fine enough control, is demonstratively untrue, and shows a complete misunderstanding of the DMX standard, lack of knowledge and application of the standard, or simple incompetence of running a DMX controller. So much as I would not even be bothered to read any of their studies findings.

On a side note, the lack of user control of Luster 2s Is good to know about and disappointing. I consider this a mark against ETC when compared to the Ovations. I won't buy a fixture from a manufacturer that intentionally hobbles its features because they assume they are smarter than the user and don't believe a user can utilize them correctly. It probably works great with ETC desks, since they are closely integrated, but I sometimes I think that manufacturers are wearing blinders and do not realize the extreme level of control that other platforms offer, or even what their direct competitors are offering. It's surprising how often a product rep tells me "and we have this cool new thing", and I'm like, "yeah we have been doing that for like 5-6 years now with this other thing."