So, we got in a HZ-500 couple weeks ago now. For its first show, it ran for Monday for about 7 hours, Tuesday for about 12 hours, Wednesday for about 12 hours, Thursday for about 6 hours, and Saturday for about 14 hours without a single hiccup. Of the course of that time period roughly 50 hours, it used about 2-2.5 liters of fluid which is incredible. The unit itself just sounds like a small air compressor and has very little volume to it. I would say the intake fan is louder then the compressor itself. It comes in a road case and can live in there. The only lid that needs to be open for it to work is a small trap door, as seen in the photos below. It also has DMX in (no thru though) and a timer just like the X series, so if full on is too much haze for the space, you can set up an interval and duration for it to tone it down. The menus are also easy to navigate. Here are some photos of the HZ-500:
This is a shot of the whole unit. As seen, it is not very large at all. About 3/4s of the size of the X-310s that we also own.
This is a shot of the control section. It is under the right half of the lid in the shot above. Note the right angle IEC that comes with it and a small gap in the case for it to pop it. This is nice because you can latch it down and note worry about people playing with it, in my case children for this particular show.
This is the section in which the haze comes out and also where fluid is added. It is under the left half of the lid in the photo above.
Now, here are my only complaints with the unit. First, filling the thing with fluid is a pain. You unscrew the silver cap seen in the photo above and pour the fluid in there. This wouldn't be bad except for two things: A) cap is too centered on the unit to tip a bottle into it without fluid getting all over, this is easily corrected with a funnel however. Just make sure the funnel is used ONLY for the hazer (I have a small one that lives in the lid of the unit now). B) The fluid falls through the sponge, so it gets backed up quickly and takes time to run through the sponge into the tank. The unit itself says that you should fill it in 200cc intervals and wait about 10 seconds between intervals and then 5 minutes unit you turn the machine on to haze so all fluid can fall down through the sponge. Maybe the next version will have a separate spot for the fluid to pour into for refilling to make it both quicker and easier.
Next problem is the haze comes right out the top, which is fine if the unit sits center stage somewhere. however, almost all the shows I am on, I need the unit to sit off stage left or right. This is easily corrected however with a small fan, so not really a big issue. However, for setting center stage this would be great and as such, the unit I have travels with a 12" fan now which is no big deal.
Last problem, this little guy weighs a TON. It weighs probably more then our X-310s. Again, this isn't so much an issue as a gripe. My boss went to pick it up and was dumbfounded by how much it weighs. I haven't pulled it out of the case yet to see if is the case, the unit itself or a little of both. No big deal, since the thing is set and forget.
All and all, I love the unit. I haven't tried it with oil yet, but the water looks great. The X-310 when doing haze isn't as fine, tend to create roaming clouds on stage, looks soupy for the people on stage, the 'haze' doesn't hang as long, and is quite a bit louder as well as power hungry. However, if you need a unit to do both fog and haze do to budget or other reasons, I would highly recommend the the X-310. However, you are still much better off using a hazer to haze and a fogger to fog (the X-310 does count as a fogger since that is technically what it is). Quite happy with my purchase and might grab another one or two.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affliated with Elation, Antari, and/or any and/or all other AMDJ Family companies (including but not limited to Global Truss, Accliam, AMDJ, American Audio). As such, my views and opinions do not reflect that of AMDJ Family and are strictly my own. Just a guy trying to help some other guys out .