For a Eng/ Reality/ News/ Corporate mixer I own quite a few boompoles but each one has a different purpose:
Firstly I only own Ktek boompoles and despite what other mixers may say I think they make the highest quality boompoles at the best price point. I am considering adding a Loon Audio boompole ( A newer Company) which has some interesting innovations and designs. But that will be a 2009 addition to my kit. The following are the poles I own:
Ktek 79cc- It is my smallest boompole it will fit in a 1510 pelican case and is great for shows, Which I don’t use my boompole very much it is easy to clip onto my bag. Due to its small size it is great except it only extend about 7 feet
Ktek Avalon News pole extend to about 10 feet great for most of my Reality and news gigs
Ktek Carbon Fiber Stage pole- Extends to almost 17 feet. By far my favorite pole. It is like driving a BMW or other high end car. The others are more like driving a Honda do a good job very robust but not pretty. I don’t use this pole much anymore since it doesn’t collapse down past 3 feet and is over $600.00 dollars. But it is so smooth and easy to use. The other day I had to a scene in a swimming pole alot of wide shots and movement. So I used this pole it made my life so much easier and made me glad I didn’t sell this pole last year when someone wanted to buy it!!!
I personally don’t like VDB poles as they are plastic and find the locking collars less than satisfactory and haven’t used any other brand poles. So this is just my 2cent. The avalon news pole cabled is less than $200.00 well worth the $$$$$