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Haze machines.

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Category: Other Chat
Forum Name: Lighting Talk
Forum Description: All your lampy, laser and 'other' special FX needs....
Printed Date: 12 April 2021 at 11:20pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.03 -

Topic: Haze machines.
Posted By: bin juice24
Subject: Haze machines.
Date Posted: 13 January 2021 at 11:03pm
Do you get what you pay for? Are some better than others? Are some worth avoiding?

Thanks again.

Posted By: James Tengo
Date Posted: 13 January 2021 at 11:57pm
The smaller the particulate the better. You definitely get what you pay for at the top end of the market. First decision is cracked oil vs glycol based fluids.
The best haze is widely considered to be CO2 driven cracked oil machines like the mdg atme. These tend to be larger units which need CO2 bottles, but have very low fluid consumption, and the finest haze, great for TV work.
The other type of cracked oil machines are compressor driven units like the Reel Fx DF50, which are noisy and messy (open oil reservoir - never tip them!)
When it comes to glycol based machines, in my opinion the best are the smoke factory tour hazer / look solutions unique / hazebase base hazer - basically the same machine in different packaging. Two come built into flightcases with larger bottles, and it’s the tour hazer 2 that I prefer. I’d pick them over compressor based units, and at full output they get towards the smoke end of the haze output scale, which can be useful, however I often employ an external fan to disperse the haze further. Fluid is very specific to these three machines, don’t go using any old generic fluid. In the States the Ultratec Radiance hazer is popular, last tour I did over there I was carrying a pair of base hazers so managed to get a good comparison where the house had the radiance units, and I’ll stick with my preference, but wouldn’t turn my nose up at them if offered. The LeMaitre MVS is ok, some of the Jem units are alright, but if you are spending that sort of money you can get a second hand tour hazer. Buy once, cry once.
I don’t have that much experience of the current budget end of the glycol market, so don’t have any specific model recommendations, some Antari machines have surprised me in the past. I was very impressed with a £30 unit from Thomann I picked up in an emergency on an Orbital tour in Germany, we absolutely beasted it for two weeks and it refused to die. 

Posted By: monkeypuzzle
Date Posted: 14 January 2021 at 8:48am
Have to second what’s just been said. Although the likes of the look unique seem expensive and so does the fluid, it’s hard to drain the tank, I have an old Martin magnum and I’m going through fluid at quite a rate. Cost wise within just a short amount of time a Unique or the like will easily cheaper. They are MUCH more controllable right across the range compared to the cheaper units which seem to let huge belches out when you want a subtle mist on a smaller stage.

blah blah blah blah blah......

Posted By: csg
Date Posted: 14 January 2021 at 9:32am
my favourite of the fog machines that I've got here is the look solutions cryo fog...but not really a hazer!

from the machines i do have:

Antari F7's - had a pair of these for  7 or so years and they have been 100% reliable. Flightcase'd machine, works as a smooth output hazer with an air pump to eliminate lumpy output at low levels, and a separate controllable fan ( speed via dmx, manual angle). has a fog machine mode to for when smoke is needed. very versatile , kind of does it all.

Antari HZ500 - oil cracker, but i now run them with the new antari water based cracker fluid ( really boring job, involves completely stripping the machine, opening the sealed tank, completely cleaning and rebuilding, but the water based fluid is residue free with very similar hang to oil). beams from lasers etc pop more from this haze compared with a glycol based machine as the particles are more reflective than absorptive. some machines are 8-9 years old, no reliability issues whatsoever. Similar output to DF50, much quieter and about 25% of the purchase price!

Antari HZ1000 - bigger version of above with additional blower fan to spin the output wide and far. twin compressors, so controllable volume output. Heavy, but I'm yet to find a venue this will not haze. Also now running on the water based fluid and 100% reliable so far ( 30 months approx)

Cirro strata CS6 - old skool oil cracker, tv and film boys like these. Expensive, can leave residue if overused, but very effective.

I used to run le maitre and Jem, the Antari pro stuff above is much more reliable in my direct experience.

“The fact is this is about identifying what we do best and finding more ways of doing less of it better”

Posted By: James Tengo
Date Posted: 14 January 2021 at 3:01pm
Are the Antari HZ500 the same as the Robe FT 500 pro? It’s the hazer GLS stock, and I’ve struggled with their output... any tips on getting them to do more than a weak dribble of haze? Does the water based fluid make a big difference? 

Posted By: csg
Date Posted: 14 January 2021 at 6:47pm
No idea, the antari has been copied by numerous Chinese manufacturers however, but I would be surprised if that was being used. The proper ones are made in Taiwan, not China.
Output wise, one machine is generally adequate for a 1500 seater venue, 25x75M frame marquee etc size venue. Would generally use the F7’s on outdoor stages. The waterbased fluid does not seem to alter output, just improve any residue issues or concerns.

I used to run the concept machines ( same principle as MDG), fabulous results but PITA requiring gas bottles, inc a spare..

“The fact is this is about identifying what we do best and finding more ways of doing less of it better”

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