It wasn’t that long ago that you would only really find moving heads in large nightclubs, commercial theatres, and rock concerts, however, over recent years the size and price of moving heads has decreased dramatically, making them a must-have fixture for many mobile DJs. The Headbanger 10 from Stagg Pro Lighting takes these two factors to the extreme, and offers a compact, lightweight unit, at a very affordable price.
- Build Quality - 7/10
- Brightness - 7/10
- Features - 6/10
- Value for Money - 9/10
- [Overall - 7/10]
Now I know what some of you may be thinking - "Small and cheap... Must be rubbish!" - and to be honest, part of me thought this as well, however, once I saw the unit, I was rather surprised. Although lightweight, at only 2.75kg, the fixture does feel well built, with a primarily plastic construction and sturdy metal base. On the head itself, you will find 7 x 10W RGBW LEDs, giving endless colour mixing possibilities. Stagg have done well to go for RGBW over just RGB, as the addition of white is really useful for a range of things such as spot lighting the Wedding cake, or strobing during a big dance number.
Moving onto the base of the unit, there is standard 4-button LED display allowing you to control the fixture’s various settings, and on the back there is the IEC power input socket, as well as three-pin DMX in and out connections. It is worth noting there is no power outlet to daisy chain multiple fixtures together - slightly annoying as this is what we have come to expect, but by no means the end of the world.
Included in the box, you also get a hanging bracket, which gets bolted onto the base of the unit using two Allen bolts - Stagg actually include four Allen bolts in the box just incase you lose them. Also included is a UK IEC power lead, and a European IEC power lead.
When I powered up the Headbanger 10, once calibrated, the light immediately started doing it’s own thing in "Auto" mode. The output was very impressive from such a small unit, and the colour mixing was very even. Whilst the panning was very smooth and fast, the tilt wasn’t quite as smooth. At slow speeds you could see the head juddering slightly as it tilted, however, you couldn’t see this juddering on the output, as there is no hard edge on the colour wash. I also noticed the specifications state a maximum tilt of 270°, however, in reality this is actually nearer 180°.
If DMX isn’t your thing, you can access both "Auto" mode and "Sound" mode from the 4-button LED display. Under "Auto" mode you have the option to either activate it or deactivate it by selecting either "Yes" or "No", and under "Sound" mode you are able to adjust the built-in microphone’s sensitivity from 0-100. Whilst I was setting the sound sensitivity, I noticed the "Up" and "Down" buttons on the 4-button LED display are mislabeled - not a problem, just a little confusing until you get used to it. The Headbanger 10 also offers master/slave mode if you are using multiple units together, with the option of inverting the pan and/or tilt where required. There is a hidden "Balance" menu that can be accessed by holding down the "Enter" button. This allows you to manually set the maximum brightness of each LED - Red, Green, Blue, and White - meaning you can actually dim the fixture down if required, without going anywhere near a DMX controller.
On the other hand, you may prefer to DMX control your lightshow, and the Headbanger 10 allows you to do this in either 7-channel mode or 12-channel mode. In 7-channel mode, you have basic control of the fixture with pan and tilt control, a master dimmer, and a dimmer for each colour of LED. In 12-channel mode, you gain fine pan and tilt control, preset colour macros, strobe speed, and sound active mode control. Personally I prefer the 12-channel mode as it allows me to combine manual DMX control, with the built in sound active programs, giving the best of both worlds.
The Headbanger 10 is a very impressive compact fixture, that I feel is ideal for mobile DJs as a much more exciting alternative to LED par cans - giving both movement, as well as wash - without breaking the bank. It is extremely simple to use, either with or without DMX, making it quick and easy to setup and operate. Overall, a very nice lighting effect that creates that nightclub atmosphere at a very affordable price.
- + Compact, lightweight, and affordable
- + Bright, even colour mixing, and smooth movement
- + Quick and simple to setup and operate
- - Limited built in programs
- - No power outlet
- - Maximum tilt nearer 180°