Church Production

Review: Chauvet Professional Colorado 1 Tri-7 Tour

The Tri-7 has 52 features and capabilities that let it keep up with its larger competitors just fine.

By Paul Chapman
November 8, 2013 2:39 pm EST

Topics: Lighting,
Tags: compact, fixture, LED, lighting,

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I also appreciated the friendly and understandable user-interface.

Chauvet Professional’s COLORado 1 Tri-7 Tour fixture is yet another success in Chauvet’s line of professional-grade LED fixtures. When I first unboxed the unit, I was a little taken aback by how small it was compared to some of the other fixtures currently in our two lighting rigs. In both our fixed venue and our portable venue, we use primarily Elation LED pars—either the Arena Par or the DLED. It was difficult to get a basis for comparison given that these Chauvet and Elation fixtures are so inherently different. Nevertheless, the Tri-7 has a few features and capabilities that let it keep up with its larger competitors just fine.

With seven RGB (red, green, blue) LEDs and an approximate life expectancy of 50,000 hours, the Tri-7 is both versatile and long-lasting. A unit like this could be used to provide a general color wash over a small area. One might also find it useful as an affordable and space-conscious replacement for older analog fixtures that require some sort of moving component to generate color.

While smaller than its closest comparable family member, the 1-Tri Tour, the Tri-7 sports additional connectivity options and an expanded operating mode palette. Five DMX modes are accessible by either 3-pin or 5-pin connections. Up to 38 units can be supported through the Neutrik PowerCon input and output connectors depending on configuration—cutting down on the need for additional circuits when laying out your light plot.

The compact but robust frame makes the Tri-7 ideal for installation into tight spaces. The double-bracket yoke is effective both for overhead mounting or serving as a floor stand. The tight beam and field angles combined with a luminance of nearly 400 lux at 16 feet give it just the right amount of punch for a smaller venue.

Currently, some of our other LED pars are being used as uplighting to provide wash for some crumpled window-screen material that serves as [a] backdrop in our fixed venue. I took one of those out of line and tossed the Tri-7 in its place. Taking into account the size difference of the fixtures, I was still pleasantly surprised by how much of the material it was able to light without bleeding off onto the other surfaces the way my current fixtures do. At this point, I’ve developed a degree of acceptable bleed from our current LED fixtures and just written it off as artistic collateral. The Tri-7 required no such collateral and, although it would take a few more fixtures to light the entire surface, the precision definitely made up for the lower output.

I also appreciated the friendly and understandable user-interface. Inside the menu, you’ll find standard controls for things like DMX personality, addressing, and master/slave configuration. Also available are options for custom programs, color and dimmer curves, and white calibration—useful in fine-tuning the fixture’s color temperature to better blend with the rest of your look. All of these things are accessible with optional fixed password protection to guard your settings should you have need to leave the fixture in a public area.

When using onboard effects, the fixture has nine different color macros, over 20 different strobe settings, 10 automatic programs, and room for 10 custom program settings. Auto programs make way for color mixing without the use of a DMX controller. The additional custom programs provide for up to 30 scenes in each of the 10 customs.

In a large-church environment, the Tri-7 would make a great decorative fixture—something that adds a pop of color on stage without being a real integral element. The overall wash might be adequate in a smaller space, such as a chapel or student ministry worship room. Having just returned from a children’s ministry retreat, this is the type of fixture I would have liked for a color accent as opposed to the Chroma-Q CF12s that I used. Less bulky, but just as effective in a low-ceiling setting.

Overall, it doesn’t compete with the larger LED wash fixtures that I’m used to operating. But that’s not the intent for this fixture.

Chauvet Professional has larger, more powerful options. However, if you’re not trying to cover a wide area, the Colorado 1 Tri-7 Tour is definitely worth exploring.


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