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strand 300 series 48/96 or etc express 48/96

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by rgsw, Jun 14, 2004.

?

Which do you prefer?

  1. Strand 300 Series 48/96

    96.9%
  2. ETC Express 48/96

    3.1%
  1. rgsw

    rgsw Member

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    no well it depends "what is your use?" etc.... just give your honest opinion.

    thanks and sorry for sounding grumpy
     
  2. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    no well it depends "what is your use?" etc.... :D
     
  3. bdesmond

    bdesmond Active Member

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    Doing what others do is not a good way to make a decision which should be based on budget, space, and need.
     
  4. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    You raise a very good point.

    rgsw - the forum is full of individual comments, opinions and recommendations regarding a variety of products and manufacturers.

    This info, whilst very helpful and insightful should not be used as your sole basis for making a decision. At the end of the day, you will need to pick a product that you believe best suits your needs and budget.

    As you have narrowed it down to two products, I am hoping that this is because you have looked up the specs and even arranged for a demo of the boards, and not just because these were the two most common boards suggested on another thread.

    My advice (to you and anyone else in the same position) would be to first of all write a list of features/functions that you want the product to be able to perform. Secondly, list any other requirements, such as dimensions, weight etc.

    Once you have these, then look at the various product lines available from a variety of manufacturers. I would print out the spec sheets (available from most) and compare them with your list. This should enable you to narrow your choices down somewhat.

    Now that you have a handful of options, start looking at additional features that may be useful to you for current or future applications and start looking for information form other people on each. This will then build your list of pro’s and con’s for each.

    Try to get a demo of each (if possible). Once you have collected all your information on each product, look at the price (don’t forget to check with several distributors and to also see if they will give you a discount or throw in some leads etc).

    The reason I tend to leave pricing until the end is that some products may have initially been cut form the list because they were outside my budget. However, they may now be the one that I have decided will best suit my needs and it may be in my best interest to spend a bit more. If not, then you can always move down to the next one (within your budget).

    Also remember, that if someone has had a bad experience with something they will usually be more inclined to tell you than someone who has not. This is human nature and can bias your opinion. However, if you are repeatedly getting the same message form different people, you will need to consider what that message is. This is why a poll is probably not going to help you.

    I would strongly advise that you demo at least the top 3 on your wish list, if not more.
     
  5. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    Mayhem is exactly right. While I may be all for strand and think they are great desks, the main reason for that is because it was the lighting desk that suited our needs the best and fitted the situation/budget. I have learned how to use the desks properly and think they are great.

    Just because everyone uses them doesnt necessarily mean that they are going to be the best desk for you.... just because everyone drives chevy's (holdens) doesnt stop you from getting a ford becasue you like it better, same applies to desks... (keeping in mind holden is of cause better than ford)!
     
  6. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Damn right!

    I pray to Chevy - the God of horsepower 8)
     
  7. Radman

    Radman Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps he didn't need to make a decision. It's kinda like my "best lightboard ever period" question.

    Chevy: AMEN
     
  8. Phantom

    Phantom Member

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    My school had an OLD strand light board that sucked and then we upgraded to a ETC 24/48 with sensor racks :) Completely bombass. I currently got a new job and am using a Strand LBX running Genius (which is a much larger scale and older board) and i hate it. if its like the 300 series it is super inconvient and a great pain to use.
     
  9. dj_illusions

    dj_illusions Active Member

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    The new strands are great, you cant compare an old desk with a brand new desk, it just doesnt work!
     
  10. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Ughhh the god awful LBX, and that god damn golf ball, ughhh. I hate that console more than anything, besides the fact its total crap and it drops cues...ITS TOTALLY UGLY! This buisiness is very sexy, you gotta look good too. At the facility for the production I'm working on, they have an LBX. They have all strand consoles, it sucks it does not have any of the ETC Net features and it just plain sucks when using any sort of DMX device. It freaks just for being connected to a DMX controller. Plus I hate their Aux console to control the lights and operate the dimmers from switches placed around the auditorium. It's the stupidest thing in the world, it can't nearly do any of the neat things my ETC aux console can do. I wish I had pic of the strand one, but like at the fancy etc one I have.

    In the booth...
    http://msnusers.com/techphotospeter/picsofmike.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=81

    In the SM panel...
    http://msnusers.com/techphotospeter/picsofmike.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=86
     
  11. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Oh come on Jeff - don't hold back:

    Tell us what you really think :)
     
  12. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Okay Mayhem...
    Remember I'm not much of a lighting guy, occasionally help with designing or planning but the rigging generally makes me sick, heh. Strand's quality is really dropped within the past few years, they used to be top dogs but I just find the quality of their equipment, yes, even their fixtures to be of less quality compared to most of the market. Yes their consoles may be easier to use if you get into the knocks and crannies but still its common sense. I've seen these board drop cues, there is a processing issue in the LBX too many channels or complex operations it will simply crap out. I once saw this console freeze when there were only 12 coventials, about 16 house lights/scones, and 3 scanners. This thing is in running simple DMX toys than it is running advanced intels on an express.

    But I have heard some putting having fantastic luck with strand 500 series, I've just never knew anyone or have seen anyone with one. Is it me or does strand just never look good when I'm around. I must just jinks it all. While I may be overly ETC-fanatic at times, don't follow the hate strand stigma. AB, even though you'll probably like the strand. Just about 9 times out of 10, the express will fit your app the best vs. strand. Just talking from experience.
     
  13. Mayhem

    Mayhem Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Sorry Jeff - You will have to get use to my sense of humour :D

    Wasn’t having a dig – it is just a saying we have when someone is brutally honest in giving their opinion. I actually appreciate someone who says what they are thinking rather than hide it or just say what others want to hear.

    By the way – did you sort out your amp/rack mismatch??
     
  14. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I've decided to wait til the fall, my TD is done coming into the facility for the rest of the summer. However I will be coming back to borrow equipment for another production at another school within the district (some hanging mics and boundary mics, small 24ch console the design really suffers because of it). I'm prolly just make some more observations and continue to think up everything I can on the topic over the summer. I had already spent a few hours on the install before I realized the problem, it will be there in the fall we'll take care of it. If I do have to take it on the road you can wedge the door in easily w/o damaging anything but that's not what we want. I hate that stupid thing. Grrr.
     
  15. Phantom

    Phantom Member

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    Yep i do designing with the LBX and yes it does drop cues, just recently its internal battery died so everytime we powered it on it would do a cold start diag and make me push every button and check every LED. So starting the POS took 20 min. I havent used too many strand boards, but the ones i have used have sucked. Oh ya i really hate the golf ball.
     
  16. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Finally, I'm not only. Someone that isn't in my neck of the woods has heard of these strand problems. Esepecially the god awful LBX that so many schools posess today. My TD hates strand with passion, so it's a slight influence but I know not to rule them out completely. He give the strand rep a chance on trying to sell him one when the school was being renovated, these people grabbed everyone's throat in the district and someone did fall, in a bought a 20k strand package. While my TD bought an even more expensive ETC package, the ETC got installed and the strand was sitting in some long lost room in some long lost boxes somewhere in the school. Someone returned the equipment behind our backs but I believe we received no money for it even though it was money for our organization, I bet it was dumped into the "general funding" blackhole. These people really get desperate whens selling their equipment "See look it folds up, this would be GREAT for touring." too bad the guy didn't realize he was advertising for an install. My TD responded "why would I want to buy a folding "$$$" peice of crap." Some of us just don't get along, heh.
     
  17. MikeJM

    MikeJM Member

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    Strand LBX

    Another person who is not a fan of the Strand LBX here.

    I actually speak from experience rather than just hating it because of stories.

    Strand does denounce that console as their worst creation to date, and sometimes you can have a humorous conversation if you ever speak to techs from Strand on the phone while trying to repair the console.

    Some advice for anybody using the LBX.
    -If patch your house lights to a sub or channel on the board. I am not sure of exact reasoning behind this, but I believe it is because of a design flaw and the board can only handle so much and it has something to do with a processing chip (For lack of a better explanation). I will post the exact reason when I find out.

    Strand just hasn't kept up with new technology and put out new products, they are obsolete.

    I don't want to be completly one-sided here, if anyone has any advantages to going with Strand, please post.

    Some of the Strand consoles make me laugh-the ones that fold up like a briefcase. I remember going to Grandstage in Chicago for a seminar with my T.D. and they tried to sell us one, we just couldn't stop laughing.
    ETC all the way!!!!!!!!!!

    The_Guest- what are your experiences with the strand, you seem to not be a fan of them.- and yes the golfball is amusing.
     
  18. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    To actually none, I've never actually personally worked with the console. Many performance halls outside this area have them. I always remembered the light colored board in the back with the gold ball. I never knew it was the LBX until this year. I went to a few shows at SCHS when I was in 7th grade and there were a few accidents that year. The stage lights once froze up and wouldn't come on at a choir concert. I wouldn't have known if it was either and operator error. Of course you know I am a musician as well. I used to gig quite often. When I got into tech stuff I actually reconized the LBX that I've seen at venues I've played at. I have seen those consoles crap out, though it was not a personal experience, I've witnessed. I went to battles at a hall in lake orion a few times last year, they had an lbx. On average the console would black out accidently or occasionally freeze up. This was all before I knew anything about lighting, but I remember the golf ball on that console.
     
  19. Phantom

    Phantom Member

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    more strand problems

    I was doing a show with the much hated LBX and i had many, many problems. Our theater has 2 dimmer racks strand CD80SV's and one processor durring the middle of the show decides it hates its life and burns up. Our electrical cage is hot all the time but well within strands thresholds. So now that our LBX is dropping cues and craping on its self we now have to use the rack's PANIC on and off for 1/2 of our dimmers. It is a task to run a simple show.
     
  20. The_Guest

    The_Guest Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    The current venue I'm working at has an LBX and strand supervisor dimmers. I went into the dimmer room and noticed there were a handful of strand 2.4kW dimmer modules sitting on the floor next to it. And I have noticed in a few locations around the auditorium that the specfic stage pin jacks are taped off. Recently an electrician came in and had to repair a ribbon cable problem on the dimmers.
     

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