- by Chris Lose
in Road Tests
I recently had the pleasure of programming the Chauvet booth for InfoComm 2016. I was able to use the newest fixtures that the Florida-based company had to offer. The Maverick MK2 Spot especially impressed me. I didn’t even realize that it was an LED fixture until I was told half way through the day. I’ve known Chauvet to be the less expensive alternative to other manufacturers for years. This fixture has made me rethink my perception of Chauvet in several ways. Chauvet’s Professional product line is continuing the trend that the Nexus Panel started, taking Chauvet off of the alternate list and moving them to the preferred list.
The MK2 Spot is a fully featured 440W LED yoke spot fixture including CMY+CTO color mixing, a color wheel, zoom optics, and two rotating gobo wheels.
The first thing I noticed taking the fixture out of the cardboard box is the rugged build. The MK2 spot has a solid feel. It seems much more rugged than the Chauvet products I have used in the past. I wouldn’t be hesitant to put this equipment in a pre-rig truss and let it bounce around on the truck for a few weeks. The housing material is a high-impact flame retardant polymer that is soft to the touch. It almost feels like a rubberized truck bed liner. Chauvet included soft round handles in all the right places to make the sixty-pound fixture manageable even when wearing white gloves.
The auto-sensing power supply accepts any power from 100-240V. After plugging the Spot into a 110v wall socket using the True 1 connector I was ready to start configuring. The touch screen made addressing quick and easy. There are only two modes; 24 channel and 32 channel. Thank you, Chauvet; that’s all I need. With the ability to control the Maverick MK2 Spot over DMX, Art-Net, sACN, or by WDMX, there is an option for every situation. I used DMX for the testing process. As an added feature, this fixture can receive Art-Net in and send out DMX, simplifying cable runs. All of these control options are built into the fixture and easily accessible from the menu.
The MK2 Spot is stunningly bright with precision-engineered optics, boasting 18,000 lumens from 20 feet away when zoomed tight. Powered by a 440W LED engine, this fixture boasts a CMY+CTO color mixing system, two six-position rotating slot and lock gobo wheels, a seven-position-plus white color wheel, variable frost and a three-facet prism. All of this is projected through a snappy, 13° to 37° zoom system. As if that’s not enough, they include a lightning quick iris complete with several effects that have adjustable rates. There is also a variable frost that can be used to soften the edges of the flat field, or you can put a sine wave on it for some interesting aerial effects.
The MK2 Spot has all of the features of most other spots with a few extra tricks such as dual lenticular lenses, gobo shake, autofocus and some convenient move in black options. You can set the fixture to dim every time it moves or changes colors. That feature comes in handy during theatrical applications.
The MK2 Spot moves and responds just as well as many fixtures in its class that cost much more. The pan and tilt movement is smooth and has precision repeatability. I programmed a few pin spot looks to the center of the mirror ball in the room, then tossed a few ballyhoos at it to see if it returned to the original position. It did every time. The movement is faster than a VL3500, but not as quick as a beam fixture. The MK2 Spot can be set to Pan and Tilt Ranges of 540°, 360° or 180° pan and 270°, 180° or 90° tilt.
There are two rotating gobo wheels with six gobos each. The first five in each wheel are patterns that create impressive aerials and patterns. The sixth position in each wheel is a lenticular lens. The lenses can be used to break up any of the patterns in the other wheel. When I put both lenticular lenses in at the same time and rotated them in opposing directions, I was able to create a rather interesting water feature. Focusing from one lenticular lens to the other is a trippy effect. The one complaint I have about the gobo selection is the organization. Both wheels have texture patterns and aerial gobos. I prefer when manufacturers separate the aerial gobos from the patterns on each wheel. I was impressed to see that I can focus in on any gobo at both narrow and full zoom. Morphing between the two wheels allows you to focus in on each pattern with minimal intensity loss. In addition to gobo rotation, Chauvet also added a gobo bounce mode that twists the gobos both ways. This overrides the rotation value. I see it as a new alternative to the normal random strobe for heavy metal blasts. One can add the prism effect on top of any gobo (or alone) and rotate that as well for more visual effects.
One feature that I like, in particular, is the color roll pause. You can spin the color wheel in either direction and have it stop wherever it is during the spin, instead of snapping to a certain color when exiting the color roll. The MK2 Spot comes with the option to do split colors and can continuously scroll at variable speeds. The color mixing system is snappy, with CMY flags and a CTO flag. The color wheel includes red, orange, green, blue, magenta, yellow and UV.
The fixture’s designers in Florida did a fine job when considering the technicians that will be maintaining these fixtures in the field. No special tools are necessary to open up the fixture. The filters are easy to change and readily accessible. The pan and tilt locks are simple to use. The hanging hardware is convenient and versatile. The cooling system is stellar. Even after hours of abuse, the head is still cool to the touch. The power supply is auto-ranging, and the fixture only consumes 740 watts.
At a Glance
Not Just for DJs
The MK2 Spot has all of the features of most other spots with a few extra tricks such as dual lenticular lenses, strobe shake, autofocus and some convenient move in black options. Along with bright, arc-lamp quality output, the MK2 Spot moves and responds just as well as many fixtures in its class that cost much more. Priced within reach of the DJ market, this fixture’s features and durability also make it appropriate for concert and theatrical touring along with permanent installations.
Chauvet Maverick MK2 Spot
- PROS: Bright, energy efficient LED source capable of being used where an LD might otherwise specify arc lamp fixtures. Rugged enclosure. Gobo bounce mode. Color roll pause option.
- CONS: Autofocus is not as precise as I have seen in other fixtures
- 440W LED light source
- LED rated for 50,000 hours
- CMY+CTO color mixing system
- Two gobo wheels
- 13° to 37° zoom optics
- Iris, 3-facet prism & frost
- 16-bit dimming
- DMX , WDMX, sACN, Art-Net
- Size: 15.1” x 9.8” x 26.4”
- Weight: 62.8 lbs.
- Wattage: 740 watts
- MSRP: $6,669.99
- Made By: Chauvet Professional
- More Info: www.chauvetlighting.com