Yeah I'm planning on buying several... we'll see how the budget goes but I'm hoping to have up to 12 wash lights and 8 profiles for my new black box. I've seen the demo several times and really been impressed. They are very slick. They are not super fast... probably would not make you very happy if you want them for concert purposes. But they are fast enough for theater purposes and very quiet. The color is really good. They did a very good job with the pastels. I was told Ocean Optics makes the dichroic filters that Vari-lite uses so its a good product. They do cut down on the lumen output of the S4 a bit so you need to use 750 lamps for sure. If you are using them in a fairly steep down angle you need to buy a 16.5" extra long yoke which is another $85.
Bid prices I got from a national dealer:
-Seachanger Profile unit WITHOUT Source Four, with extended yoke, about $1,750
-Seachanger Wash, with Source Four Burner/reflector, extended yoke, barn door adapter ring, and City theatrical Barn door, about $1,950
Only used the HES Color Merge. Good product, quiet, but slow on the changes. And I didn't like the extra power supply, but I guess doing that was better than having all the weight in the fixture.
I'm told the Sea Changer has more color flexibility, and does ambers and greens better. As for the hanging thing, the Color Merge didn't affect the ability to point it anywhere I wanted. You could tilt it over 180 degrees, and that was more than enough for me. The module went between the rear and front sections of the barrel with two screws, and was only about 2" thick. Sea Changer, I don't know.
Interesting. I hate the internal power supply. I don't want to have to run three cables to each light (dimmer, AC, DMX). I would much prefer running a 4-pin data/power line. Hang 12 of them on a pipe and see how much of a mess you make with the cables.
I've spoken at length with the guys from Ocean Optics. In my opinion they're about 80% of the way to an amazing product. It's fine for a Broadway show that hangs once. I find the product much less appealing to the regional theatre market, where you move your gear around depending on the show.
And yes, you some punch from the lights. And the long yokes needed will mean you can't hang them on the same pipe as the rest of your electrics and have all the gear make the shots needed and be out of sightlines.