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What do you think of the Source Four JR?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by bwhiteford, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. bwhiteford

    bwhiteford Member

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    Hey all,
    I'm thinking about adding a few ellipsoidals to my mobile setup, and i've got my eye on these ETC source four JR's. I like that they are smaller for transport, and also are a bit easier on the budget.

    What do you think? Should I just go with a regular source four instead?
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    They don't have the optical quality a s4 does. If you are going to be using them to project gobos etc, go with a full sized. They also don't have the power a S4 does, but then again, you get what you pay for. All and all, they are good units for the price. I have a few in my stock and use them pretty regularly. Otherwise, they are solid units. They blow a 360q out of the water.
     
  3. highschooltech

    highschooltech Active Member

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    I personally see no major problems with them even though there are a few things that would make me think about buying the full size instead. One of the biggest issues is that you can't swap the barrels of the Jrs (which doesn't sound like an issuse for you). The gobos that it takes are size M not a or B (might be a problem). Finally the fixtures only accept up to the 575w lamp (which again might not be a problem as they are still bright). On the plus side they are lighter and smaller than their larger brothers which for mobile is a plus. They are also a good amount cheaper.

    The question is do you need the features of the regular S4 or can you live without them to get a smaller cheaper unit?
     
  4. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I've used the jr's and the full size. They work great for small theaters but they do have some things I don't like. You can't overlap shutter cuts like you can one the full size (to make a triangle). I have full sized s4s at my theater and I love being able to just change the lenses instead of the instrument.
     
  5. lieperjp

    lieperjp Well-Known Member

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    We've got a few S4 Jr. Zooms and in comparison to the other S4s (19/26 deg) they just aren't as good. Don't get me wrong, they're still very good lights, but the regular S4 is for me. Although, my problem could just be the zoom feature and not the S4 Jr itself.
     
  6. TheSwami

    TheSwami Member

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    I'm currently ALDing a show in a small 'thrust' blackbox space that had a rep plot that consistds entirely of 36-degree S4 Jr's. They're serving pretty well, and while they don't have the punch of the full size model, they're plenty bright and controllable for most applications. And yes, having to use M-size gobo's is a pain, but hopefully the Jr's can be general lighting and you can rely on the Sr's to punch out the template pattern cleanly.

    73
     
  7. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Here is the million dollar question, what is the setup for?
     
  8. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    The smaller of my two spaces has Source 4 Jr Zooms for its AP lighting. They work very well in that application. The zoom function makes them very versitile little fixtures.

    Over on my main stage, I have a few regular Source 4 Jr.'s, which I use in positions where I need an instrument that's somewhat smaller than a regular Source 4. I also have several replacement lenses for those times when I need a difeferent beam spread, and changing the lenses on the Jr. is almost as easy as changing the barrel on a standard Source 4.

    The only real down side I've experienced with the zooms is that at close range they tend to spill a little more than the standard Source 4's do.
     
  9. bwhiteford

    bwhiteford Member

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    No particular setup, but I do some corporate events and things where the speaker at a podium needs to be lit. I also do some smaller productions with a mobile truss (last one was a 30 foot truss on lifts for a dance production). Right now i'm using clunky Altman 6x9's, and i'm starting to look into upgrading my inventory to something more modern and easier to move around.

    Thanks for your advice so far!
     
  10. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    S4 Jr's will fit that bill nicely. They are also a bit lighter, which when you are hauling them around will be a good thing.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Smaller, Lighter, Cheaper, not quite as good of optics but hey you can't have everything. Don't try to use them from the second balcony rail in a 2000 seat auditorium... but for small venues and simple portable set ups like yours, they are a perfect match.
     
  12. RTDesigns

    RTDesigns Member

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    If it were my choice, I'd keep the altmans. I have several S4 jr zooms, and wish I were rid of them. The shutters suck. The altmans may be clunkier so to speak, but they will last forever.
     
  13. houseoutgo

    houseoutgo Member

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    the only thing i absolutly hate about the jrs is that you cannot rotate the barrell. the template holders luckally give you some flexability to rotate the gobo a bit but it is not as good as the s4. Other then that they are pretty good little instruments. I have used them for two years at summerstock in a small space and they have worked out fine.
     
  14. tcahall

    tcahall Member

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    I use S4 Jrs all the time and love them. Most of our lighting is in small venues (weddings and corporate) and in tents. Ours are all zooms and I wouldn't change for anything. For the wattage, they have a lot of punch and the zoom capability is outstanding for this application.

    I agree I wouldn't try them from the second electric of a 2000 seat auditorium, but that's not the application.

    Tim.

    P.S. sometimes the M size gobo can be an issue if your customer has B
     
  15. Spader

    Spader Member

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    I. HATE. THOSE. LIGHTS.

    My main complaint that I use: The Source Four is so awesome because you can leave it on for 45 minutes and then go and focus it with your bare hands, so long as you know which part of the fixture not to touch. With the Jr, it doesn't seem to have any heat control at all, and focusing it becomes very painful without gloves after even five minutes. This is especially annoying to me because I dislike using gloves in general because they make my hands so much more insensitive to things.

    Just my two cents. I've also heard that because they are so cheaply made, Going with an actual Source Four fixture will turn out to be less expensive in the long run.
     
  16. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Please do elaborate.
     
  17. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Strangely enough, I've never experienced this problem. Is t because my lights don't get hot? No. Is it because I have asbestos fingers? That's up for debate. You don't suppose it could be that I always have a pair of gloves in my back pocket when I work, could it? Maybe.:mrgreen:

    If you have the proper tools, a hot light is not a problem. You don't need to wear them all the time. Just pull them out when you need them. If you think regular gloves are hard to work with, you should try the electrically rated gloves I have to wear when I'm doing any type of live electrical work. Then add to that all the other PPE I have to wear for category two arc flash protection. That stuff is certainly not fun to work in.

    As for other annoying work wear, I hate wearing hats, but I work at an outdoor venue, so I wear a hat to keep the top of my head from getting sunburned.

    Sometimes you just have to put up with life's little irritations and just get on with the job.
     
  18. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    What cdub260 said. You think the heat kicking off a little S4 Junior is bad?

    Try dealing with the heat that comes from an old Kliegl light, with NO convenient hand holds. Do some lighting with the universally-hated Altman 1KL6 series, (better than nothing as long as it shoots light). I had exclusively 360Qs in high school. We got it good these days.
     
  19. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    Oh yes, I remember the old Altmans at my high school and how hot they got, but they've got nothing on Thomas bars with 1k aluminum par 64's. I had burn scars on my forearms for several years just from brushing up against one of those during a focus when I was 18 or 19.:boohoo:
     
  20. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    I have been working in a theatre with them and can say I hate them with a passion. The shutters are horrible as others have pointed out. You can't rotate the barrel for tricky shutter cuts and/or gobos. The gobo size is M, all my clients/people that rent the theatre use A or B (mostly B), so that aggravates them when they have to buy more gobos or rent fixtures. They also aren't rated for 750w lamps, which I use often (all the ParNels and big S4 lekos are lamped as such). The other major pain is I and renters have to move whole fixtures vs swapping barrels. This means more them to hang plots/return to rep plot. The optic quality also isn't as good as there big brothers either.

    All and all, they cost about 33% less then what the big ones cost. I would gladly trade the whole inventory of them in this space for 2/3s as many big boys, and every designer/show that comes through there agrees. I also feel they just aren't worth the cost difference based on all their negatives vs their bigger siblings. Despite all this, I can see a justified use for them in some spaces. I have a couple of installs which I used them for permanent gobo projection/stage wash/area wash. But as for touring/live theatre with ever changing plots, I think they are a waste.
     

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