CHAUVET DJ Intimidator Spot 475Z
As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. The more you spend, the more you get. And the CHAVUET DJ Intimidator Spot 475 is easily the biggest, brightest AND most expensive moving head I've ever had on my test bench.
Let's get straight down to basics. The Intimidator Spot 475Z is the biggest, heaviest and brightest LED-based moving head in the current CHAUVET DJ product line-up. Inside you get a 250W white LED source. That's right, TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY watts! That's almost as bright as one of those lamps on the local Police chopper!! This is combined with dual GOBO wheels, two prisms, motorised zoom and focus all wrapped up in a soft-feel plastic case weighing around 16kg.
The LED is off-the-scale bright and needs two fans to keep it cool. On the night I used the 475Zs I was geared up for a party in a large marquee, however, due to the inclement weather, the marquee started to leak and the party was moved to the local village hall. I could only keep these switched on for a small amount of time because, with a brightness of over 14,000 lux at 5 meters, they were too overpowering for the room! Of course, using DMX you can always dim down the output if required, however on this occasion I’d only planned to use them in a standalone Master/Slave configuration.
The colours are amazing and are super vibrant, especially with that LED source behind them. The orange, which is often a dull colour on LED-powered movers, is gorgeous and reminded me of fresh oranges hanging on a tree. The red is in your face, rich, just like tomatoes, and the lime green, one of my favourite colours, well, I could've stared at it forever!
You get some serious choices when it comes to GOBOs too. There is one static GOBO wheel loaded with eight GOBOs plus open, along with a GOBO shake function. Then, on top of that, there is also a rotating GOBO wheel with seven interchangeable patterns, also with shake function. The fixture offers a 13 to 28-degree zoom range along with motorised focus. This allows GOBO projections of varying sizes to be created and kept sharp regardless of the projection distance and also allows you to deliberately blur GOBO patterns out to create subtle textures. The fixture also offers a GOBO morphing feature which allows smooth transitions when changing GOBOs from one wheel to the other.
The effect capabilities of the Intimidator Spot 475Z are taken to another level by two, 6-facet rotating prisms, one circular and one linear, both delivering stunning aerial effects. Being an LED-powered fixture, it also offers smooth electronic dimming and a strobe rate up to 20Hz, all controllable through DMX.
For those of you who like to use DMX, you've got the choice of using 10 or 16 channels, giving full access to all of the Intimidator Spot 475Z's features. If you don't, the 475Z offers built-in programs as well as Sound Active and Master/Slave modes. It also boasts the Totem Mode that is a popular feature across CHAUVET DJ's range, which keeps movements concentrated forwards and on the dancefloor. If you own CHAVUET DJ's IRC-6 remote controller, you can use it with the 475Z too, which is pretty neat!
On the front, you'll find a bright, full-colour screen giving you access to all of the built-in features as well as DMX addressing. Around the back, you've got 3-pin DMX input and output sockets along with Neutrik's locking PowerCON sockets for mains power input and thru.
In terms of build quality, for the discerning buyer, you'll be pleased to know the 475Z has a relatively solid body that, if road-cased properly, I’m sure will last you a long while. However, being a large, professional fixture, it's certainly not something I would store in a gig-bag, like its smaller counterparts.
Performance-wise, the Intimidator Spot 475Z certainly does not disappoint. After power-up, the pure white LED fires up and lights up the entire street! The motorised zoom, while not the quickest I've seen, certainly beats having to manually adjust it with your hands and, used in conjunction with the 6-facet prisms, you can get a LOT of coverage. Anything that rotates does so quickly or slowly, depending on the effect you want to achieve, and also smoothly.
The pan and tilt motion is fast, precise and certainly on point with incredibly smooth movements at the slower end of the scale, perfect for first dances and also those high-energy moments when the party is rocking. Switching between GOBOs, even across the two wheels, is lightning quick, even when you drop in a prism, and the strobe is both instant and intense.
Right at the beginning of this review, I said that the more you spend, the more you get, and that's certainly true of the Intimidator Spot 475Z. You get a serious amount of bang for your buck with a great collection of advanced features and incredible brightness. It's not a fixture you should underestimate either, so if your average party size is multiple hundreds, or you play in large rooms or marquees often, then this would be a great addition to your lighting stock. If you're playing to 100 people on average, week in week out, then it's not the product to go for. In such cases I would recommend the CHAUVET DJ Intimidator Spot 260, which I reviewed in issue 93. Whichever you go for, both are amazing products that you should definitely consider if you’re looking to invest in new moving head spot fixtures.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 95, Pages 72-74.