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I'm considering replacing my current desks (an 18 ch MJL Rock Desk, Artistic Licence Preset 12 and a Zero 88 Linebacker), preferably with a single desk.


Suggestions please. (Current ideas are an Alcora, or Strand 200 assuming they get the bugs out of it)


For larger jobs I'll continue to hire.


Minimum 24 channels, some kind of removable memory. Easy playback required for when I leave it with a marginally trained 'operator'.

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Try the Zero 88 frog




It's got a floppy disk for removable memory, and the higher desks in the range can also run a small number of moving lights. I can't vouch of ease of use til next month when I finally get my hands on one, but someone else will fill you in on that I'm sure.


Hope this helps,



ADD: It's a 24/48 and does have a GO button, which is always nice :D

ADD 2: Gareth is a good person to speak to re: Strand 200 series

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To be honest, I don't think there's any real alternatives to Strand and Zero 88 at that end of the market. They are the "industry standard", and if you need to hire out your gear, you might find that having something obscure brings in less business.


However, here are some other manufacturers and products:


(1) ADB - Tango

(2) Anytronics - probably nothing suitable

(3) Avab - Presto

(4) Behringer - Eurolight

(5) Celco - Pathfinder

(6) Jands - Stage or ESP

(7) Light Processor - probably nothing suitable, but new desks coming soon

(8) LSC Lighting - maXim S or M

(9) MA Lighting - Lightcommander 12/2 or 24/6

(10) Multiform - Zodiac

(11) Pulsar - probably nothing suitable


I'm not too familiar with most of the above, and you'll need to check them out yourself, particularly regarding memory playback. Some are well-regarded manufacturers, others possibly less so.


A few other things to point out:


(1) Use of a desk in wide mode is often a bit fiddly.

(2) Take the cost of a demux or analogue modules (as used by Alcora/Elara) into account if you need analogue outputs.

(3) You may want a desk with LTP control if you plan to use movers or scrollers.


With this type of question, having some more information about the application and budget will help narrow down the options. Some of the above, and the Frog as mentioned by Stu, are a lot dearer than an Alcora or Strand 200.


Hope this helps,



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I will vouch for the frog (updated sirius?) series - I started on the sirius 24 and then moved up to the frog - when it has been programmed; it is v.simple to use (line up the cue and hit go.)

+ you can still use the linebacker

it's a bit of a shame about the paint job, :D but otherwise its a very nice board for small scale shows.


if you will only be using 24 generic channels; the other 24 on the second preset can be used for DMX scrollers... (it seemed to work when we did it)

the submasters are pretty good, except that when using settings from multiple pages it becomes pretty confusing.


(even on the frog you can use movers but it is slow without any toys to help you)

hope that helps,

andrew clunie

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Thanks for your replies,


I'll certainly check out some of these products.


I've looked at the behringer and although it has some nice features it's not really enough of a theatre desk for my useage (the price is nice though).


The Frog's are probably larger than I'd regularly need so someone would have to do a very good price for me to consider them. (My local hire company has one and does me a good price when I need it).


I don't mind using wide mode providing it's not too horrible.


Budget is partly dependant on resale / trade in prices but under 1K.


Usage is mostly pantos/musicals using conventions.



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I would agree with the Frog.. neat little desk, very easy to use, and if you have people in using the venue who have never seen a Strand 200 before, they can still use the presets on the frog without having the need for a desk baby sitter to do the programming for them.


Not wanting to cause any upset here... but go and get a demo desk from AC Lighting, in fact ask for every one on the above list and have a play with all of them !!! :D B) I am sure Ian would be pleased to hear from you ;)

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