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Strand or Zero 88


BrightSpark

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Hey all,

 

I'm looking for a new lighting desk for the theatre here, and I've got two main options to choose from - a Strand Preset Palette or a Leap Frog 48/96. I have heard a lot of different peoples opinions on them both - especially the Strand - and I'm not sure what to do! Has anyone got experience on both consoles, that can let me know what they think?

 

Thanks!

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The main house at the theatre I'm at use a Strand 550, and they have a smaller space with a pallette. The two main technicians of the bigger space hate it (similar to many comments on the BR) BUT - the small space technician loves it to bits - mainly because he uses it every day, has remembered how to forget 'real' Strand syntax and operational processes, and has learnt the new desks style of working.

 

I'd probably suggest that the only real way to find out if it suits you - is try both of them and see?

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I never understood why people ask questions like this (no offense). It makes sense if they are specific questions (i.e. has this had errors in the past etc). But surely its all down to personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with? If you know your going to be using it for the next 10 years then get a trial run of as many as you can think of. Better still, see if its possible for a rep to demo them?

 

My personal preference? Leapfrog. 2 Reasons... Firstly the Pallete has some stupidly placed buttons and just plain annoys me (this coming from a person who trained on 300/500's). Secondally I havent ever used a Congo Junior. We have the Leapfrogs on the hire circuit and they are great. Ideal for the customers on one end of the market we deal most frequently with (we have the Pearl Expert for the other side of the coin). Both desks are out pretty much the same amounts as eachother. However the higher you go, its not so much about brand snobery as people think. Its about what the op feels comfortable with or the most important what will do what you actually need it to do.

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I generally run between 85 - 92 channels, with no movers in the rig. We currently have a Jands Event Plus 60/120 which is on its last legs. I learnt on this desk and have only really used this in the theatre since. I need to get a console that is around 15,000 ($NZ). I have the Strand here on a trial basis, but haven't really had much of a chance to really sit down and have a play with it. I will hopefully be trying the Leapfrog early next year. The main reason for asking is that I have been told to look at some reviews of each desk - their pros and cons etc. Because of the amount of community events we have coming through, the desk has to be easy for a beginner to use, and it has to be quick for me to program. So far, every comment I have heard about the Strand has been a negative one. This is why I'm asking. :P
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Given where the OP is, and given the OP has lots of community people "coming through", I'm surprised that TheatreLight aren't near the top of the list, purely on the basis that everyone in NZ knows how to operate one...
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Mind if I ask what theatre are you are working for/with?

 

I'm curious to know who in NZ is looking at this range of console - such a small country.

Obviously I'm biased being a console developer myself but after so many trade shows I can probably give you a bit of run down on the different console options out there. Phone number below...

 

Martin

 

Martin Searancke

Dream Solutions Ltd (LightFactory)

Auckland, New Zealand

+64 21 778 592

martin@lifact.com

www.lifact.com

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You still haven't said whether there's a reason for the Congo Jr not being in the list in your first post ...

I will back Gareth up here, seriously take a good look at the ETC Congo... I was a staunch Strand user until I bought some of these little fellows, wow they pack a punch...couple the main console with a master wing then you will have a desk that is hard to beat for both theatrical stacking and live playback applications.

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I generally run between 85 - 92 channels, with no movers in the rig.

If you only use 85 - 92 channels with no movers why do you need such a big desk? If you want to go with the Frog range might I suggest a Bull Frog as there is 96 channels (patchable to any of the two DMX universes available) and support to up to 24 movers if you ever need any plus some spare money for spares or new lamps.

 

EDIT: Just remembered that the Bull Frog is a discontinued product!

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The Bull Frog was discontinued earlier this year and replaced by the Leap Frog 96. The Leap Frog 48 & 96 allow patching of upto 248 or 296 fixtures, of any type (a "dimmer" is just another type of fixture), and can also be used in a command line style using the Multi Funciton Keys, or via an external keypad.
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