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James Louis

K-Tek BOOMBOX Treat Yo'self

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Tucking my gear away this morning, and thought I'd relay my experiences thus far with the boombox. I don't get as much soundstage work as I do EXT, on-location. When I saw it in the showroom I was a bit on the fence. It's a sturdier piece of wood than something you'd tuck under one arm and yell "wait up guys!" But I came around to it. And the price might throw people off, compared to just buying an apple box. Not to mention, a nesting storage box or something of that nature might be more in the spirit of what you need. 

All those reservations aside.  I picked one up in the spirit of Treat Yo'Self day (Parks and Recreation reference). My justification primarily had to do with curbside shooting, where the drainage slope already chips away at my height and where there are few options for putting down the boom. There someone might head up a stoop, walk into the frame, etc, and limit where you can boom. 

That and the fact that I now need to patch or toss out my 5th pair of jeans for tearing out the ass just behind the same pocket. That comes at a price too! I have a standing desk in my work studio, but the same apple box I've been using is splintered and sharp along the edges and serves as stand in for kitchen stool, etc. I think a lot of unfinished apple boxes with a fine edge could cause that problem.

So how does the boombox stand up? Like a charm. It's certainly deep and heavy enough to handle an extended 14'/16' poll without a windjammer. I haven't discovered it's tipping point in terms of fulcrum or wind vector, but honestly I wasn't looking for it either. And naturally by eliminating the "Los Angeles" dimension of the box, the "New York" is certainly more stable. On that point, however, if you're on a gravely sidewalk for example, or the surface is not flat, this box can be every bit as wobbly and risky as a standard apple box. So the same common sense which served you thus far still applies here. And keep in mind that the cylinder for the boom is straight down the middle of the box, big enough for the full heel of your shoe to sink (I often use moccasin/driving shoes for interiors or anything that lets me feel the surface, but still.) That could lead to a nasty fall/strain, so get your bearings up there and stay put.

As for sitting, it is certainly boss to have a chair as you migrate around the set. And I get to keep all the new jeans I sprung for recently! If you have good posture, or still think the old seats at Shay were enough, your butt and the boom can share the space (see picture). The handles are convenient and comfortable. And the cylinder is deep enough to carry your shotgun in it's case to set, or less critical gear, at least so long as the weather holds. It's a pretty convenient place for a trash receptacle, or loose ends until you have a moment to address them.

Thought I'd use my butane to etch my name on one side, but there's little risk to anyone thinking that's their apple box. Not to mention, the lovely finish on the box would burn and cause my contact info to blur. For those who think "it's such a nice box, and you're certainly paying for it. I'd feel bad when it got it's first scratch." Well beyond the normal scratches from a flat cement ground, you're typically going to use the bottom side down (unless you adhered to my safety note, and flipped it over when you boom full height.) You won't see the wear.

 

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Well the Boom Caddy is collapsable, but they are going to weigh about the same. The hexagonal shape might avoid more wobbles, but the base isn't wide enough for using as an apple box. They are both designed to accommodate right angle connectors; K-tek intentionally introduced this along with the Sidekick, which goes one further by freeing up the butt end of a pole when you are using a wireless transmitter.

And I didn't mention anything about folks using this for the studio lot. I think there it makes even more sense. I wouldn't use this for on the street day playing. But if you have exteriors in varying locations, and the box can be packed up in the truck, it's worthwhile.

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