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I happened to flick through the TV channels this afternoon and to my surprise, as I was flicking I caught a glimpse of a VL2 on a kids programme, so I stayed on the channel and realised that they had about 20 VL2's all moving and in working order and this programme had been made in 2004. I couldn't beleieve it, I thought that VL2's were now deceased into history books!? Seems as though they are not.


It's weird thinking that some of the earliest pioneering fixtures are still being used today. As a fan of intellligents I'd love to own a couple of VL1's or go back to the first time they were used on at the Genesis concert in Barcelona, 1981. Ha even though that's a few yrs before my time, it would be like seeing history books re-written. **if anyone knows where I can get pics of that concert please pass on the address - I can't find any on the net. cheers**

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Guest lightnix

I suppose the best place to start would be PRG in Greenford. You might also contact EML Productions in Belgium or Vari-lite Deutschland (part of Showtec) in Cologne.


Despite the rise of Series 300 in the 1990's there was still a considerable demand from lighting designers for Series 200 luminaires. the VL2C (as it had become by then) was especially favoured for the number of colours it could produce and its "graceful" movement, while the VL4 remained popular for its small size, speed and bright beam. Although no longer supported by the Vari-lite software, a means of controlling them from DMX desks was developed, using a V*L Smart DMX unit to convert DMX into a "broadcast data only" Series 200 signal.


The last time I set a system like that up was around 2000-2001. I think the VL2C took around 10-12 channels.


The only place I've seen any photos of early Vari-lite shows (apart from Greenford) is in A Different Light by Lewis Lee, although I think it's out of print now. I can't find any on the Web either ;)

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If you want to hire a VL2 - PRG/VLPS do have them still......


They used them on 'Stars in Their Eyes' I beleive along with the Virtuoso (if thats how you spell it)..


VL2s are still used, but compared to the sereies 300 stuff, they are rarly used, as lightnix said, because there is this 'broadcast only' signal.


Not knowing much about Sereies200/300 stuff I am not 100% sure, but there are still VL2s knocking about - but more commonly the VL2C.

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The VL2 is still quite popular with some LD's in rock and Roll as the speed of the colour wheel is amazing, also it have two colour wheels giving you colour mixing capability, Vl2c are still used on stars in their eyes, Elton John, Robbie williams, and currently on a celebrity wrestling show, more TV Rubbish hay.


The VL4 is also still around, currently on 'His dark materials' from the national theatre and the Josh groban (american bloke) tour.


if you want to see Vl2c really do their thing get the early pink floyd DVD's amazing.

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Yes, PRG do still have some VL2's (23 x 2B, 250 x 2C), as well as original Artisans to run them if you wish - very reasonable rental rates!

There is even a show that first went out in 1998, and which is going out again this spring that will have 14 of them, because the designer doesn't want to have to replot!



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A question for all those who've actually worked with the VL2 and VL4, as well as more recent Vari-Lite stuff:


As someone with limited experience of Series 300 as well as 2000/ 3000 stuff, it's not obvious to me what role the VL2 and VL4 have to play in new designs, to judge by their specification on paper.


Am I missing a trick? Should I be considering them over the Series 300/ 2000 stuff for certain applications, or can I treat them simply as legacy fixtures?

I would imagine the reliability of newer kit should be better a) because like any manufacturer VL have made incremental improvements to the way they do things, and b) because the newer kit has been used for fewer hours?

I keep hearing "speed" of colour bump cited as a strength of the VL2 - is it really that much faster than the 2000 spot?


BTW, control for me is always DMX - I really can't imagine Artisans coming out to play on one of my shows (where 30 moving heads defines "very big" for me...).


Any opinions? Thanks!



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The application reflects pricing I guess. PRG do insist you have large knowledge of the series 300/200 fixtures (as they are not plug and play), but VL2Cs list at £140 week, where as a V6 is £100.


If you want to pay the money and you have the room for the ACS racks (or the mini ones) then probably, but you will need training. You can get DMX things for ACS racks to make them DMX.


The VL2C has fast colour colourchanging, and subsequently is good for rock'n'roll. The VL4 I THINK I am correct in saying is the wash equivalent to the VL2C like a Mac300 is to a Mac250.


But as I said before, you have to go on the course and it lasts a week I beleive? One of our techs has done all the VL courses so it maybe an idea to e-mail him; andrew@ets.******.co.uk E-mail address edited out at request of domain owner

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Sorry to keep adding things, but I have just thought that newer desks (I may be wrong) do not have the VL2 or VL4 in their fixture libaries.


Have a look on the the manufacturers website (the people who made your desk) and see if the VL2 or VL4 is listed.


Just checked on the AVO site and I noticed the VL1 is there, as is the VL2C and the VL4.

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