Let me say my exposure to lighting has ranged from bottom of the barrel toy store stuff to top of the line fixtures on tours and brough by for-hire companies, so while I may not have seen it all, I have seen the range.
Why I am choosing American DJ? As a purchaser/end user, it was the first brand I came across. Convenient, isn't it? They made what I wanted and needed at what seemed to be a decent price. When you're just jumping in, you can't really determine what is and isn't a good price. When it's your money, then you can evaluate and decide for yourself.
Most of my fixtures have been ADJ. 32 Par38's right there would prove that, but I have plenty of others.
A couple of years ago, I needed more. I wanted color changers and moving heads. I went elsewhere. What have I experienced? Well, both are the same brand that isn't ADJ. I bought 4 color changers and 2 moving head units. The moving head units seem flaky. Excessive color wheel, gobo wheel and shutter movement. Even the movement is not exactly the greatest. The color changers? They seem to break bulbs in transport. Heck, half of them had bulbs broken in shipping to me, and the other half broke during transport to a gig.
What did this fixtures give me over the ADJ ones? Maybe more colors on the color wheel, maybe an extra gobo. Maybe a few extra dollars in my pocket at the end of the day.
Am I pleased? Sort of. They work. They get the job done.
Now, I realize many items are OEM'ed by the same company, probably in China. The bulk of the assembly and manufacturing is done there. Seems the final work is done probably elsewhere, even at corporate. This is where the chipsets, color wheels and gobo wheels get stuffed in.
Not to get really snooty, but I have some dimmer packs also by that other company, and tearing the back panel off those and my ADJ models, they are IDENTICAL.(yes, they are) But let's look at some other factors: While the other brand hasn't been used(no need to), despite careful transport, the softer metal has bent. An easy repair, but annoying. ADJ is using a harder metal and hasn't bent.
Comparing like for like, it seems sometimes even if the other one appears to have a few more bells and whistles at a lower cost, they seem to save that money somewhere, know what I mean?
Here's my thoughts: I'm sticking with ADJ. Why? Seems to have the quality I need for now. Tech support is good. Repairs are good. And if I have an issue, 1 phone call takes care of it.
Yes, price can be a factor. What do those intangibles end up costing? Is what you save really worth it? I do this for a business. I have to make business decisions. There's more to things than the bottom line price. I'm getting overall a better value for my ADJ lights.
And that's why I'm sticking with ADJ.
Need proof? Just bought 8 64B LED Pro's and MyDMX and 4 LTS-2 stand systems. That's within the last 2 weeks.
I need to get some scanners soon. I need to get some more moving heads soon. It's nice when I can save time not looking at loads of other sites. That saves me time, and hence money. Business.