Wrap Up of the Apollo Big City Bash – Washington D.C.

Editors Note: I would like to welcome John Hathcock to iSquint as a guest writer. From time to time, you will see write ups from John starting today with his write up on the Apollo Design Big City Bash Washington, D.C. Thanks John and welcome!

Yesterday was The Apollo Design Big City Bash that hit Washington, DC. Hosted in the aptly picked Chesapeake Room at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the BCB was a hit.  Guests were greeted at the door by Rita LeFavour from Apollo and a stack of sandwiches that would make Jered from Subway jealous and taken on a tour of the Apollo product line.

Starting at the entrance was a plasma screen running Apollo’s sister company, Blue Pony’s demo DVD.  Blue Pony offers users custom video clips, footage for digital signage, promo clips, etc.  Basically Blue Pony is the digital side of the gobo wheel and your DL-3’s best friend!  Moving on from there was Apollo’s gel display featuring their exclusive perf-gel (prepunched for hand tearing) and gel wraps (fluorescent tube wraps that can be installed without removing the bulbs). The gel wraps are a personal favorite, big improvement!

Next up was Apollo’s bread and butter: custom and stock gobos.  Let me tell you right now, we can put the debate on quality to rest.  Lasers are the highest quality manufacturing process you can get and Apollo just proved it.  On the display table was an M sized B&W SuperResolution Glass gobo that looked like a line breakup, oh if only! Rich Dale hands me a jeweler’s magnifier and said take a look.  OK, why not.  It was a multi-page article printed from Wikipedia.  It was fully legible and I was blown away!  Lets see and etched gobo do that!

After I recovered from my awe, I moved on to the first of the new offerings from Apollo: The Multiform LED’s.  Apollo is the exclusive US distributor for the Multiform Multispot 1009 and the Multibeam 1018.  Both units are available in a brushed silver finish with a free-standing yoke, on-board effects, 3-pin DMX, and Master/Slave functionality.  The Multispot features 9, 1w RGB Edixeon emitters with a blended output at a standard 30 degree field.  The fixture is compact and virtually silent even with a small cooling fan.  I am also betting its intentionally designed to fit inside 12in box truss with the shape of the fixture.  The Multibeam 1018 is the big brother with 18, 1w RGB Edixeon emitters and a more box like frame.  Both units have an excellent output for their price range and are set to compete against the offerings of Chauvet and Elation with the reputation of Apollo backing them up!

The next table featured Apollo’s Color Scroller and gate effects lines.  In recent years Apollo has closed the gap in the scroller market and (at least in my opinion) come out ahead of its competition.  Leading the pack is the MXR color mixing scroller with dual CYM strings.  Its newest cousin and recent upgrade is the Smart Color Pro series.  The SC Pro’s replace the standard versions as an industry leading design and feature set that places them squarely in the competition’s path. The best feature, you can change the scroll’s from the front window without any dis assembly!  Both the MXR’s and the SC Pro’s feature 4-pin DMX/power connections and LED addressing screens (NO MORE DIP SWITCHES!!!).  The MXR’s feature a 7.5in rear aperture and the SC Pro’s are available in 5.25in, 7.25in and 10in aperture sizes to cover all the fixtures in the market.

The final table featured the last of the new lines for Apollo, the Spotlight series of fixtures.  Designed primarily for architectural uses, the Spotlight series fills in an excellent niche that will help your clientele find that perfect look for their space.  Starting the line is the miniFresnel with a 7.5 to 53 degree beam, available in halogen or arc lamp. The miniFresnel features an excellent light field in a nice, compact design.  Next up were the miniProfile Spot and miniProfile Zoom.  Both available in halogen or arc lamp, they feature excellent, clean gobo projection in an attractive, small package.  Rich even mentioned that a gobo rotator will be available soon for the zoom fixture.

Moving on there was probably the most unique piece, the miniPAR.  At first I was like, its a pin spot…but it is so much more than that.  If the Chinese import pin spots are the BJ’s wholesale of the lighting world, these fixtures are the Nordstroms! This is the pin spot you want to hang in the Ritz Carlton, walk away and not worry about them calling you for replacements. Best part:  It’s got a dimmable transformer!

Rounding out the lot were two entries that were a little surprising: the D1000 cyc light and the miniLED.  The D1000’s are a totally new approach the the conventional cyc.  Using the industry standard lamps, the D1000 takes the cyc light and makes it user friendly again.  After a rather interesting look from Rich, I placed my hand on the back of the fixture while turned on. First thing that popped in my head was “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer. I will face my fear…” But it wasn’t necessary. The fixture was just slightly warm, but not a threat.  Focus was a breeze, there is a knob on the back you pull out and the fixture slides up and down.

Last but not least, the miniLED.  These are truly impressive little lights.  Featuring a matrix of 5 x 3w RGB leds, they have a nice even output and a fully blended color mix.  Designed for use by either DMX (5-pin) or a nice sized hand held remote, these fixtures would be just as at home in a museum as over your local pub counter.  They are the perfect closing piece to the new line.

Apollo’s done it again.  They have taken a niche market and expanded and revitalized it.  I can’t wait to see what will come out of the “horse’s mouth” next!  Oh, and did I mention there’s cinnamon gum now?