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Martin CX Colour changers


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Hi everyone,

I am looking to purchase some intelligent lighting, I was originally looking at moving heads but have now decided they are out of my price range for the time being. However, for what I need, the CX range look like a bargain. Would you recommend me buying the CX-4's over the CX-2's, as the price is much cheaper for the CX-2's? The cheapest price I have found for the CX-2's is £272 from Thomann, does anyone know a cheaper company?

I have also noticed that the lamp in the CX-2 is a 250w halogen, but the lamp in the CX-4 is a 150w discharge lamp. As the CX-4 is more expensive, wouldn't you expect the lamp to be brighter? And if so what is the main difference in brightness between Discharge and Halogen?

Thanks for all your help in advance,



<Edit> If any of my information is wrong, please feel free to correct me.

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This may (or may not) help these are copied from the martin website www.martin.dk It depends on what you want to use these lights for.


I did notice that the halogen lamps can be brighter (by lumens) if you use a short life ELC lamp - did'nt know there was a choice.


The discharge lamps may be more expencive to replace as well.


Discharge lamps do not have an element and burn "rare earth" gases, they should be changed at the end of thier advised life, if they blow they will generally shatter - the bigger the lamp the bigger the bang, not to mention the mess inside the body of the light. They also have to cold start, the pressure of the hot gas will not allow them the re-strike whilst hot.




Photometrics (Standard)

Light output (w/ CDM-SA/T): 1110 lumens

Illuminance (lux or fc): 29,400 cd/distance2 (m or ft)

Diameter: 0.28 x distance

Beam angle: 16°

Measurement conditions: 230 V, 50 Hz; no effects applied

Measurement source: Philips CDM-SA/T 150


Electromechanical effects

Color wheel: 6 colors, 3 CTC filters, 1 multicolor, open; split positions

Effect wheel: 6 colors, 4 beam reducers, 4 gobos, frost, open, closed; flash effects

Dimmer: 0 - 100%





Photometrics (Standard)

Field angle: 16°

Light output (with 97000104 halogen lamp, ELC, 24 V/250 W, 50 hr): 1460 lumens

Light output (with 97000107 halogen lamp, ELC, 24 V/250 W, 500 hr): 890 lumens



Electromechanical effects

Color wheel: 15 full colors, 2 split-colors, open

Effect wheel: 10 pattern gobos, 5 iris gobos, frost, open, closed

Dimmer: Electronic, 0 - 100%

Variable strobe: up to approximately 6 flashes per second


Hope this helps



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There is something odd about those figures.


A filament lamp, as in the CX-2, gives out about 6.5% of it's input power as useful light, at an rate of 26 lumens per watt. A discharge source is about 31% efficient at around 95 lumens per watt. Given they both have the same beam angle, and I'd hope similar quality optics, I'd expect the CX4 to give out at least twice as much light - except it doesn't.


Before choosing, I'd try and arrange a side-by-side shoot out.

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I hope these simpler facts may be of help....


The CX-2 Halogen lamp (known as an ELC, which is 24v, 250w) lasts for an amount of hours dependant on the version of lamp you choose. There are basically 3 variants - ELC3H which lasts for 50 hours, expect to pay about £6 - £8. ELC5H which lasts 500 hours, expect to pay £10 - £12 and the less common ELC7H which lasts for 750 hours, expect to pay £15+. For this sort of money you should expect to get a Philips branded lamp (a good, well known brand) and may even be able to pay a bit less for another brand, or even an unbranded lamp.


The CX-4 Discharge lamp CDMT150 is again a philips lamp. Its lamp life is quoted as 6000 hours but you may get a bit more in practice. You should expect to pay £40 - £45.


The main differences are the colour temperature - or the actual colour of the beam when the projector is in open white. A halogen lamp will be a little more yellow, meaning the colours will all look a bit warmer, which may suit lighting people. A discharge lamp will look a bit bluer, which can fool the eyes in to thinking the lamp is actually brighter as the beam looks clearer. Colours will be a bit cooler so will look a bit colder on people. Also, if you move a halogen lamp while its still warm you can damage the filament and drastically shoten the lamp life, or even blow the lamp.


In terms of the insides of the fixture, there will be a few more components inside the CX-4, so it may require a bit more effort to fix if anything should go wrong.


As far as light output goes, the 150w/250w thing is a little misleading. You should find some photometrics on the martin website which should give you the light output in lumens of each of the fixtures. In my opinion, you will find the CX-4 a little brighter, particularly over longer distance, where the discharge lamp will have a little more punch.


Hope this helps....

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Hi there I,m only guessing so don't take this a gospel but the CX-4 is also a more sophisticated light as you will see on the Martin website...... 77colours compared to the CX-2`s........... !, loads of other functions witch you will either want or not but worth looking into ...


I,m just giving my newbie opinion but they are quite different lights in spec............


buttercreamt :( .

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the CX2 is very much a 'disco' light and like mentioned above the lamp life is not great.


If your using them for a small bar or mobile disco they will be great if you looking to do more you might as well save your money.

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