The DJ Turntable - That Familiar Feeling
Vinyl records are a fantastic source of music for DJing. Vinyl gives an uncompressed audio format with subtle, warm characteristics. The frontrunner in the DJ deck world has always been the popular Technics SL-1210. The mark 2 iteration of this deck is still a prime choice amongst turntablists and home listeners alike. The 1210 is commonplace in bars and clubs. Is it possible to prepare for a gig using the newer offerings born from the 'vinyl revival'? Products from Pioneer DJ, Audio Technica, Denon DJ and Reloop are all ready to have the needle dropped; hoping to match the quality of their tried and trusted predecessor. Check out 'The DJ Turntable - That Familiar Feeling':
Pioneer DJ PLX-500
As frontrunners in the digital DJ industry, Pioneer DJ would be expected to produce a high quality DJ deck. They achieve this with two offerings, the PLX-500 and PLX-1000.
The Pioneer DJ PLX-500
has everything you need to start DJing on vinyl. The PLX-500 has the familiar s-shaped tonearm, pitch adjustment of +/-8% and three speeds (33 1/3, 45 and 78 rpm). Another useful feature of the 500 is the USB output, making digitisation of your records a breeze. Running at either phono or line level, this deck is a serious contender in the sub £300.00 turntable market. Available in either black or white.
Pioneer DJ PLX-1000
The PLX-500 provides the basic features for DJing. The next model up, though, is probably the closest 'modern' turntable you can get to the SL-1210MK2. The Pioneer PLX-1000
gets to 33 1/3 rpm in less than half a second, and has impressive torque with a familiar feel. Whilst this £599.00 deck comes with the standard Pioneer cartridge, it really shines with an upgrade such as the Ortofon Concorde DJ (or any in the Concorde range, for that matter). On top of the standard +-8% tempo threshold, the PLX-1000 offers +-16% and even +-50%. There is also a button that reverts you straight back to zero. Mixing on a pair of the 1000's soon starts to feel like you are using the right gear for the purpose. Great sonic quality and reliable, rigid design, with a sleek brushed black finish.
Audio Technica AT-LP140XP
As another big name in the audio world, Audio Technica have a long history of manufacturing high quality turntables and cartridges. It is a no brainer that they would compete in the DJ market, and they do so with the AT-LP140XP
. This deck comes with a phono output only, so make sure your mixer or pre-amp has an onboard phono stage/phono RCA input. At £379.00, it does well to challenge the Pioneer PLX-1000 (which is £200.00 more) with an elegant torque and pitch adjustment of up to +-24%. Aside from the circular play button, both finishes (black and silver) have a very 'SL-1210' feel to them, so if you want the look and sound of that reputed deck without the cost, this might be one to go for!
Reloop RP-7000 MK2
At a quick glance, you would be forgiven for thinking this is an SL-1210, and you only have to use it to confirm that it is not too dismiliar. Physically this deck also has similiar characteristics to an Audio Technica LP140XP, except it has a square play button (all hail the square play button) and a glossier black finish. The RP-7000MK2
is Quartz driven with upper-torque direct drive and comes in at £435.00, which is higher than two very decent decks on this list. Still, this turntable is definitely one to try!
Denon Prime VL12
The Denon Prime
range is really impressing DJ's with it's forward thinking approach. The turntable entry in the Prime series is the VL12
, a Quartz locked deck that competes with the Pioneer PLX-1000. This deck has an LED ring under the platter that can be set to the colour of your choice, on of the smoothest feeling deck on this list. If you are at this level in the market, there is little (if any) that compete. It may not look anything like the SL-1210, but that is the purpose of the Prime series; it represents the future of DJing, not the past.
All of these turntable are available from our website