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Buying old vs new - cheap rigs- Steadicam Master Series

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  • 2 weeks later...


Nothing wrong with Gimbal, I should have added that to my list of gear that you're keeping on a Master sled.

What was traditional was you got rid of K section and all the rest.  Now people are using the K section in some form, from what I hear.

The top stage is ok but not great from what I remember.

So in the end you're not left with much from the original rig.

You've gotten good advice from others here, so I'm sure they know more than me.


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I owned a Master Sled, and still own the arm as backup.  The arm is decent.

The reality you must face, and be honest with yourself about, is are you prepared to put a lot of work and money into upgrading the sled?  I've seen some nice looking upgrades that pretty much re-do the entire sled, but at that point are you really saving much money compared to getting into a lightly used PRO sled for example?  The Master is not modular.  Top stage has way too much potential to come loose and cause all sorts of problems.  It was a good gimbal but if it needs service you can't simply remove it from the sled.  I realize many are trying to get into the steadicam craft on a ridiculously low budget compared to investing in top gear brand new and creating a relationship with the manufacturer....but personally...I'd recommend staying away from all these older CP/Tiffen products as your primary sled.  You WILL have headaches.  

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Hi Everyone /Joel Soh .

Apart from all of the issues with the masters sled which is about 30 years old now the arm had several issues as well . The main issue was the bones upper and lower after some time would have hair line cracks starting to appear . The wall of the bones was to thin so at different points cracking would appear .Quite a few operators here in Australia had a local machinist make new bones with thicker wall and the problem was solved .The masters rig was good in it day but that was 30 years ago and many things have changed  for the better since  then  .If it is cost only you are looking at I would save my money and weight until I could afford a newer rig like a clipper or Archer or a Pro 1 .As I also live in Melbourne and if you would like to talk about this further just let me know here ok . 

Good luck



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  • 2 weeks later...

I just picked up a Master Sled from a working guy who was moving from NYC to Europe. It's weighty as hell for sure. I've practiced with Aero30s and they feel like a refreshing summer breeze in comparison to the monster Master sled. I'm looking into getting the HDSDI mod as well. 

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