Equinox Triton Beam
So, apparently last month’s review wasn't too awful and I have been let loose with something else to put through its paces, the Triton Beam from the Prolight Concepts Group’s Equinox brand. Billed as a 30-Watt LED moving head beam fixture with motorised focus, a three facet prism and a frost filter on board, alongside 9 colours plus open and 14 GOBOs plus open – on paper it looks very impressive. The best bit, it's retailing at about £340 – that’s what really piqued my interest!
Now, before we go into the specifics of the Triton Beam, let’s get our heads around exactly what this is (as I must admit, I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of the ‘Beam’ part of this product’s name myself). It may look like your common-or-garden moving head, but it isn't. It's specifically designed to create extremely tight mid-air beam effects, which means that it has a much narrower beam angle than the Spot fixtures that are more commonly used by mobile DJs. If you’re looking for a multi-purpose moving head to use in small-to-medium-sized rooms, that can project pretty GOBO patterns on the dancefloor or spotlight a first dance, this isn’t the fixture for you. If your venues won't let you use haze, it also isn't for you. However, if you do get to use haze and work in large venues, then this could be just what you’re looking for. This caught me on the hop as I'm looking for a good quality moving head for general use but this is a far more specific unit. It is designed specifically for one job, which it delivers on in spades.
This head is all about its beams, so a 30-Watt source may sound a little low. However, Prolight quote it as delivering 106,000 Lux at 2 metres and also claim that its beam is visible to a distance of up to 50 metres! That’s quite a claim, yet – based on my testing – it’s one that is fully justified. The key to being able to deliver such impressive output is a combination of efficient optics and that very narrow beam angle I mentioned earlier. The lens on this unit is BIG, dominating the front of the head, and is set to a really tight 2 degrees (we’re talking pin spot narrow here).
The downside to this small beam angle is that the size of the GOBOs is pretty small, even over distance. But it’s the beams themselves that this fixture is all about. Bright and vivid and well-defined, they cut through a hazy atmosphere so that the GOBO patterns can be seen shaping the beam in mid-air. It is a really interesting effect, that has the potential to create real wow-factor when used in multiples in a big, dark, smoke-filled room.
Turn on the rotating prism and you get three tightly grouped beams spinning through the air, which gives another dimension to the effect. A Frost Filter is also included, which gives you a more diffused beam. This creates a kind of soft-edged wash/beam effect that, whilst dimmer than the non-filtered beam, looks nice without being too intense.
To test the unit I put out some light haze in a long room and focused out at around 25 metres. I was very surprised at just how far that beam remains coherent as well as how vibrant the colours appear. Big beams of coloured light sound fun? Well, yes they are… I was impressed anyway!
If you do a lot of jobs with big open plan rooms, or are looking for an install unit to put up in the gods to cover the floor, then this one’s well worth a look. Because of the 2-degree beam angle, achieving focus on the projected GOBO patterns can be a bit tricky. Ideally you would want to focus out directly to the far wall and use a bit of DMX magic to play the beams around that area. Because this head has a motorised focus, for an install you could also alter the focus for different projection distances to keep the patterns relatively sharp (again, using DMX). If you don't, the focus will slide as the beams move and your end image will suffer. The unit does have built in programs, including a front-facing option designed for mobile DJs, and will run sound active. But DMX is where you really need to be to get the most from it.
One of the really nice things on this fixture is the menu. I was pleasantly surprised to find it has a nice big (2.5”) backlit LCD and it is pretty well laid out. It has long been a gripe of mine that many such displays tend to be incomprehensible to mere mortals, so kudos to Prolight on getting this one right. It’s split down into logical categories, which makes it very easy to set the DMX address as well as locate specific functions and options.
At 8.2kg, the unit is very easily manageable. And, with measurements of 382 x 270 x 140mm, it is very compact. The base of the unit, in particular, is surprisingly small. However, even when throwing it through its full 630-degrees of pan and 270-degrees of tilt, I found that it remained solid with no rocking around.
In the box you get a power lead, XLR cable and Omega bracket along with a clearly-written instruction book. Power input is via a standard IEC socket, and an output IEC is also included to allow the power supply for multiple fixtures to be daisy-chained together.
So, to sum up: whilst the Equinox Triton Beam isn't what I expected, it’s a cracking unit if used correctly. If I'm honest, it isn’t going to tick the boxes for those looking for a flexible fixture that can be used for short distance GOBO projection as well as mid-air effects. However, for anyone that has had their eye on a Sharpie-style effect, but choked at the cost, then this could be well worth a punt. It certainly has all the features at the right price for what it does, so if beams float your boat this one’s a contender. Until next time, have fun people!
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 88, Pages 76-77.