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Lighting desks


Which is the Best brand of lighting desk  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is the Best brand of lighting desk

    • Strand 500 series
    • Avolites Pearl 2004
    • zero 88 elara
    • Flying pig whole hog three
    • NJD logic 4004

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For my money the Elara is the best desk. I own one, I bought it myself and it does what I ask of it. If I'd had a bit more money to spend I might have bought something a bit bigger.


But then I don't have to make a living directly from theatre. I do live events for fun, for money I do something else.


I also quite like the look of the Strand 200 which, had it been around when I bought the Elara I might have bought instead. I also use a Frog which for the money is pretty good.


For some situations the NJD will piss all over anything else on the market. No discussion.


Whilst Nick might have phrased the question differently I don't think the question is inherently invalid.

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Righty-ho ... irrelevance and other dross removed, thread made all warm and fluffy again, all parties hopefully happy, thread re-opened, seconds out, round two! :o


Re. the point Brian made about the Strand 200 - yes, it gives the Elara a serious run for its money. Probably even more so in the very near future ... the R&D chaps at Strand's factory have redesigned some of the electronics and re-written some of the software to get rid of some of the oddities that the board previously exhibited. I had one of the first desks off the production line and it had a small number of rather irritating quirks inherent in it, but fair play to Strand, they listened to what I (and others) had to say about it and made some changes accordingly. I don't know whether the updates are on "general release" yet, or when they're going to start putting it into production consoles, but mine's going up to the factory on Friday to have all the new bits fitted, so when it comes back I'm expecting great things ... I'll let you know.

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The only real way to compare these, I suppose, is on the basis on value for money. How much bang for your buck do you get?



On that basis: I'll plump for the 500. (And indeed have, kind of)

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Guest lightnix

For sheer buskability I'd plump for a Pearl, although I will admit it is less than ideal for Theatre. I really like the graphics tab and find it a great desk for "getting things going" quickly.


My favourite of all time was the Mini Artisan and I'd love to get my paws on a Virtuoso DX. The use of good, old-fashioned memory numbers clicks perfectly with me.

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Having said that, if you only need a Strand 200 - the Strand 500 is terrible value for money because you're not gonna make full use of it.


And, as it happens, I know of a case where a school refitting their hall bought a Strand 500-series yet really could have bought a 200 series (or the then-equivalent, MX) and done much better - kids and equipment of that sensitivity don't mix, and, many crashes and undeleted programs later, the thing is almost unusable. So, in that case it wasn't value for money, and they could have bought a few more lanterns for the price difference.


Though personally, I'd go for a 500 or an ETC Expression (or, indeed, an Express).

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-1- The 530 for theatre/stage productions.touring etc

-2- The Hog for rock/roll where time is available for plotting

-3- Pearl for more hands on - instant lighting

-4- Elara for the smaller simpler shows where nothing too fancy is needed, plenty of hands of available still

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I'll plump for the 500.  (And indeed have, kind of)

And you're not alone. I visit many theatres throughout the UK in the course of my work, and almost all the ones who are buying new desks are going for Strand, purely because that's what most of the venues on the touring circuit have.


In fact, I even know of at least one venue which has ditched a perfectly good ETC desk in favour of a Strand, mainly for just that reason.

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A number of posts have been removed from this topic by various moderators due to being "off topic". Any queries should be directed to an administrator, via PM, and not posted onto the board.


Oh yeah, and its got to be a 500 series for theatre, or Pearl for live....unless your gig is small enough to warrent a Fat Frog

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How about a revised poll?

As I'm not really close enough to that end of the business, others may have a better idea of nominees, so I'll leave that to them.


Possible criteria could be:-


Best nightclub controller

Best desk for school or "Village Hall" amdram

Best desk for small/medium/large theatre

Best R&R desk (small & large scale)


Worst desk ever designed (My vote would go for the AVAB Tenor)

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