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Strand ?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by pjc, Dec 12, 2006.

  1. pjc

    pjc Member

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    We are looking to upgrade our 750 seat theatre, we now own a Strand520, and would like to control some vl1000 in the future, and have a backup - so has anyone played with one or heard about the new Strand consoles ?(combo with the Marquee)?

    As well, since the new takeover by Genlyte, Strand's service dep. here in Canada has become truly abismal. Anyone have any thoughts on the future of Strand? and should one invest in a first generation console in general?

    Thanks, PJC.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    They just put the new 500 killer on their website, you might want to take a look at it. Why do you want to upgrade from the 520, is there a feature that it does not have that you want? I have ran nearly everything in the VL line off a 520i without an issue, though they are not hog fast, they are rather quick. I have posted in the past about the future of Strand, and my feeling is Strand makes one of the best legit theatre tracking consoles on the market. They are easy to work with, and integrate well with different equipment. They are way to deep in the industry to go away anytime soon.
     
  3. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    I wrote up a report on the new boards in another thread . Heres the link:
    http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4237

    I am surprised the service is getting worse. The Strand rep from USA said that Genlyte was 100% behind Strand. Maybe if you are not getting good service contact Head Office.

    The Palette series only have the encoders in software whereas the Light Palette has hardware encoders.

    As for controlling the VL1000 even the Palette range which replaces the 300 series will do a good job. This series is more like the old 500 series.

    I believe the new boards can read old show files but if you use moving lights I don't think it goes back the other way. This is because there are new libraries for the fixtures.

    I would definetly take the time to attend a demo.
     
  4. TechiGoz

    TechiGoz Active Member

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    I agree totally. I have also run movers, VL 1000's included off the 520i. Its not lightning fast, but it does the job, in my opinion, perfectly. It is one of the best consoles for mixed use, and is a great tracking console as Footer4321 said.
     
  5. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    My personal opinion of the genlyte take over and the issues you raised with service etc. is this. Give it a year, it's not uncommon during corporate change-overs for there to be an extended "rough-spot" I know the guys at ET had a hell of a time when they were acquired. Moving from here to Texas is enough to throw anybody. Give it a bit of time for communication line to be realigned and I bet you'll see some vast improvements. It's my feeling that Genlyte is very committed to it's new acquistion.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I would have to agree with that. Vari-Lite has not suffered, as well as the other companies Genlyte owns (which is a pretty large amount, they serve everything from operating room lighting to kitchen lighting.
     
  7. pjc

    pjc Member

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    Thanks for all the discussion, I also have read your other threads regarding the new Strand boards - I suppose my question is based on the ability our theatre has for an upgrade - we also need a back-up board, and therefore I was hoping to get feedback on the future of Strand and if it is a good idea to stick to Strand rather then say, switch to ETC or something else.

    ps we have CD80 dimmers.

    Thanks, P.
     
  8. Diarmuid

    Diarmuid Active Member

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    To be honest with you, I am actually jealous of anyone with a 520, they are my favourite desk and I have found them to be one of the easiest desks to use.

    If you just need a backup, then couldnt you see whether you can get a system along the lines of this one http://www.zero88.com/en/products/3/22 its made by Zero88 (UK) and will interface with their line of frog desks, but if you could find one with Strand compatibility, then that would let you operate a back-up if the worst happened.

    I think that Strand should be fine in the future, however I personally wouldn't buy a desk from them (cos I dont have the money!!:p) at the moment at least but unless it was desperatley needed wait a little while until things settled down.

    Regards buying a back-up desk, the key question is do you really need one? We have an extremley dodgy lighting desk that has a tendency to crash when you edit live using the mouse however we have been able to survive by trying to avoid the mouse during shows, unless you desperatley need to upgrade, I would suggest spending the money on an extra one of those VLs you mentioned or just a new crew TV!!:grin:

    Diarmuid
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2006
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I think that a backup desk is essential. We have an ETC Reflection (don't know if they make them any more), but it's really nice. If the DMX drops, it holds the dmx values for one universe where they are, and allows you to use 6 pages (I think, may be more) of 12 faders and bump buttons to construct or recall scenes and subs that you have recorded in to it. It's a tiny unit, and not capable of constructing scenes on its own, the subs/scenes are pre-recorded from output values of the big console during tech rehearsals.
     
  10. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    another solution is to get a pc based system, use it for the intells, but you can also use it as a back up board
    Sharyn
     
  11. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    In general I ditto others comments about the usefulness of the 520.
    I can also understand the "want" for a backup solution, but have to wonder is it cost effective ?.
    - Is the 520 a "buggy" console ?. Generally, no. Service for this console is OK as far as Strand goes (I'm of the opinion that under Genlyte, Strand service will greatly improve - it has too as they have a dismal reputation for servicing great equipment).
    - Have you had glitches/failures of the 520 to date ?. If so, have those issues been resolved ?. Is that the reason for a want for a backup ?.
    - Are you in a remote area where getting a FedEx replacement overnight is not an option, or cannot get fast repair service or loaner ?.
    In general, the only full backup consoles that are in use are on big buck tours, or on big-time events that are so time critical that failure for a few minutes is a disaster. I have seen very few facilities that keep a 2nd console around "just in case". Again, in general, there are better solutions, such as good tech support, stocking critical components (external power supply), etc... I think about all those wonderful nice new facilities I read about cropping up all around the USA that have Congo here, 520 there, Expression/Emphasis, etc... Pretty much none of these facilities buy a second console, mostly as 1) Tech support is generally very good, or 2) The console are generally very reliable.
    All said, one of my prime requirements for a console is that
    a local shop or service facility exist that can get me a loaner/rental ASAP. This is one of the primary reasons we use 3 Express console for 3 theaters - built in backup (assuming all 3 theaters are not in use at the same time), as well as a LOT of these consoles in the NYC rental market.
    SB
     

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