I supose some may yell FOUL since I build the GAMOLO, but if you know me then you know I have played with them all.
Yes, the "Water" levi built for Doug was nice....but remember, we are talking here about a MAMMOUTH piece of equipment....nothing anyone today, even Cooperfield, would schelp around. It was hydraulic....really a GAMOLO ONE on steriods!
Like everyone else, I dropped hydraulics in the early 1980's because of the weight & size. But, there is nothing smoothier than a hydraulic rig and nothing else can lift enormous weights.
Its just that they are so over engineered for a performer's needs. The hydraulic rig I built for S&R can lift 500 lbs.! Lynette weights 120....so you can see why the world downsized to electromechanical pistons.
To answer your question....If money was no object....I would have Owens or Johnny build me a custom, one off, hydraulic. But, if I needed something more practical, affordable, and AVAILABLE....then I would purchase a GAMOLO.
Reason? The European made Yogi, etc. products are [censored], unreliable, cables jam, wiring assbackwards, etc., etc. You don't have to take my word for it...just ask anyone who has purchased one....they all feel burned.
You might be able to locate an old Abbott's Astrophere....but the chain belt driven motors tend to break and its really designed to work off a flat bed truck or deep in stage three with a large backdrop.
I would also avoid the old "Lighter Than Air" (1200 lbs.!) chain belt driven rigs since they were very loud & drained all lights!
If you are satisfied with just a suspension...Abbott's Super X still gives great photo ops!