Getting started on vinyl: buy cheap, or save up?
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  1. #1
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    Default Getting started on vinyl: buy cheap, or save up?

    Hey guys, been DJing for a while now on a midi controller, but I've got dreams of switching over to a vinyl (maybe DVS) set up in the future. My rationale is that being able to DJ on Vinyl will make me more versatile, understand the craft a bit more and also enable me to get gigs at some point in the future.

    In terms of getting started though, I thought I'd ask you guys, is it worth on saving up my money for a pair of Technics and a good mixer, or will getting a cheaper set up (say, some Stanton 150s) be just as good? Would I need to upgrade from the Stanton rig in the future, or would that be able to carry me for a while?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    i've been struggling with myself whether to post ITT as my position is going to be controversial and i'm not in the mood for a big debate...

    i do agree that being able to DJ on vinyl is going to make you more versatile. vinyl is kinda pure. there are few visual clue about the track (you can see breaks and track position, but that's about it). you gotta beatmatch by ear (you can do that on cdj's, too, but there you def get clues about the tempo of the track from the display, whether consciously or subconsiously). you gotta get a grasp of tempo and key of your tracks (some people write that on the vinyl--i never did so for me it's different from traktor). all of that forces you to getting to know, forces you to understand your music. and that will make you a better dj.

    but vinyl has tremendous disadvantages. it is heavy. without some effort, sound quality is piss-poor compared to cd. even with substantial effort (choice of cartridge, tonearm, and turntable; cartridge alignment; setting of tracking force and anti-skating; vinyl cleaning, etc., etc.), vinyl is vastly inferior to cd technologically. you can spend thousands of dollars tweaking your vinyl setup and what do you get? if you're good, maybe the equivalent of 12-bits resolution in digital. assuming well-pressed records in near-mint condition. lastly, records are expensive compared to mp3s.

    full disclosure: i still buy vinyl on a regular basis. it so happens that in my preferred musical genres, vinyl-only releases are still quite common. so i buy vinyl in order to digitize it. (however, i rarely ever play vinyl sets anymore so it's not that i'm completely ignorant of my statements from above.)

    if you decide you must go for a vinyl setup, i think it's reasonable to strictly limit your spending. what's the point in chasing sound quality that will never be on par with a cd? imo, you can have just as much fun on cheapo TTs as on technics... (full disclosure once again: i learned to dj on entry-level belt-drive TTs.)
    Last edited by rgtb; 02-27-2012 at 05:50 PM.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor Jo3's Avatar
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    You don't have to spend a fortune on some second hand mkII technics. I purchased my first pair a few months ago along with traktor scratch pro 2 and an X1, and its the best realistic set up I can justify having (iv had a vci-100, an APC-40, a UC-33e, Midi-Fighters etc etc). Sometimes I use just my x1 with an xone 22, sometimes with the time code sometimes without, and iv got a few good vinyls. It's nice to able to have the choice, it keeps me interested. I find a full on controller set up gets boring very quickly. I thought about cheaper decks, but at the end of the day if you buy cheap you end up selling in a few months anyway to buy what you should have bought in the first place. Ultimately losing/spending more money. Gumtree and ebay is full of used technics for not that much, especially mkII's.
    MBPro - UC-33e - Audio 10 - TSP2 - Xone 22 - 1210's - Mackie MR5's

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronb View Post
    Hey guys, been DJing for a while now on a midi controller, but I've got dreams of switching over to a vinyl (maybe DVS) set up in the future. My rationale is that being able to DJ on Vinyl will make me more versatile, understand the craft a bit more and also enable me to get gigs at some point in the future.

    In terms of getting started though, I thought I'd ask you guys, is it worth on saving up my money for a pair of Technics and a good mixer, or will getting a cheaper set up (say, some Stanton 150s) be just as good? Would I need to upgrade from the Stanton rig in the future, or would that be able to carry me for a while?

    Thanks
    i want to add that vinyl records will cost you anywhere $15-25usd just for one track. vinyl records can expire/be reduced in sound quality after 200-800 plays (this depends on the needle/stylus used & how old/used/abused the record you purchased is). The needle(stylus) will expire after 500-3k spins. vinyl records when stored, must be kept 98% standing str8 up other wise they can become "warped". They shouldn't be squeezed with other records but remember they have to stand up str8 when stored.(to make this clear, your vinyl records SHOULD-not be leaning, they must stand up str8) for more info on records being warp just youtube "vinyl record warped". Vinyl records can be ruined due to improper climate storage. too hot/humid/moisture creates mold. or cold weather can cause a freeze burn. the stylus(needle) needs to be cleaned after the end of your dj practice session with a brush to remove the dust(read directions on how to properly use a brush. you dont brush it anyway you want/dont assume that this is common sense, there is a reason why the booklet of your stylus has the proper way to brush the stylus(needle)). sometimes the stylus plastic part(what holds the needle/stylus) can pick up debris,*if you have the plastic part touching the record grooves. you must be able to spot this(debris color is black) and remove it at the end of your dj practice session. I remove the debris with my finger tip nail, while being careful not to touch the stylus(needle). this is the plastic piece that holds the stylus(needle). old debris can slowly damage/wear your records. a much more thorough clean once every 1-3 months on the stylus is a must, the brush removes dust only. the stylus(needle) accumulates debris on the stylus overtime, not in a day or four days, but in a month to three, depending how often you practice. this should be cleaned every 1-3 months, not after every time you use the stylus/cartridge. before purchasing TT's you should learn in advance what type of needles you want to buy, depending on the needles as i mentioned before is related to how fast your vinyl records will get worn out. You should do a research on the difference between elliptical -vs- spherical stylus. If you live in a apartment building made of wood, you should learn about the insects called "silverfish" and do a research on the effects they have on ruining your vinyl records etc and also type this bug name in google images to take a look @ it and see if you remember seeing this bug in your apt/room, i have it in my room!!!. As your learning about stylus and vinyl record care, in your mind, the idea of having a "magnifier" should be dreamed or thought of in order to get a good look on the status of your stylus(needle) or the grooves on your vinyl records. I'm not trying to scare you, i want you to be aware of vinyl care.

    i mentioned a lot of things that you can google search. so a lot of keywords for you to google and learn more of. i hope you found this helpful since it took me 20min to type and think.
    2x numark TT's, djm350, and vinyls/records and that's all i use man.

  5. #5
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    thanks very much for your feedback guys! I really appreciate the time you took to post such detailed responses.

    From what I'm hearing, there's a lot of problems with the storage and maintenance of vinyl records - but I'm guessing that would be less of a problem if I went down the DVS route?

  6. #6
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    @cutflow: Dude. Paragraphs. Learn about them.



    @aaronb: To answer your OP. You're paying a premium for used goods. Get Technics if you want, but there's no guarantee that something that's withstood 20 years of beatings will last a 21st or 22nd year in your bedroom.

    As a disclaimer, I own Stanton ST-150s (three of them) but won't espouse their character (though you can read post #17 if you really want to know). Vestax do a brilliant deck as well, and Reloop have a deck like the Stanton (in that it's the same innards).



    In response to your second post. If you happened to get through all posts above, these answers seem to me bordering on academic or audiophile. To simplify matters:

    - Keep your equipment clear of dust.
    - Brush your wax before you play.
    - Store upright, rather than stacked.
    - Keep out of the sun.
    - Be weary of gunk building up on your needle.



    As far as DVS is concerned - it's a different problem, rather than less. You'll be less maid and more tech support:

    - Battling with connections.
    - Troubleshooting your machine.
    - Keeping software up-to-date.
    - Hoping up-to-date software doesn't break your setup.
    - Not being able to play tunes without your computer or a waveform.

    But this is something that comes with the territory.



    Solution? Buy the Stanton decks. Pick up your favourite DVS. Be choosey about your choice in digital tracks. Experience the love-hate experience that is crate digging.

  7. #7
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    I started with some Geminis, moved to Numark Pro TT-1s, and recently started hoarding Technics. The Numarks were fantastic for straight up mixing, as most mid-level turntables are. I made the jump to Technics because I wanted to start scratching and my Numarks couldn't handle my abuse. I still have them and they still work great. Got my kids using them now.

    I also know dozens of people who bought Technics before they even knew if they liked vinyl or mixing. Lots of them sold their gear off and lost money.

    I would go with something affordable and if you figure out you truly love vinyl, and want more from your decks than you are getting from your turntables, look to upgrade then. In the 90's, Technics were the bee's knees. Hence why I love them so much. But today, there are many different brands with the same level of commitment to quality. Best thing to do is try some out at a music store.

    I use both DVS and vinyl, so I can't really so to go one way or the other. I am always thinking; the more weapons in your arsenal the better.


    djproben - "But who can resist an album called "the Gay 90s"! I assumed it was going to be a lot of Moby and Keoki...."

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronb View Post
    Hey guys, been DJing for a while now on a midi controller, but I've got dreams of switching over to a vinyl (maybe DVS) set up in the future. My rationale is that being able to DJ on Vinyl will make me more versatile, understand the craft a bit more and also enable me to get gigs at some point in the future.

    In terms of getting started though, I thought I'd ask you guys, is it worth on saving up my money for a pair of Technics and a good mixer, or will getting a cheaper set up (say, some Stanton 150s) be just as good? Would I need to upgrade from the Stanton rig in the future, or would that be able to carry me for a while?

    Thanks
    Buy Technics turntables. And you will never look back.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
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    I had the same thing come up a bit back.

    I made the choice of saving up for exactly what I wanted (well, I went with MKII's over M5G's but same idea lol) and I'm very happy with it.

    There really is something to "no regrets" on getting your dream setup. While I'd love to try CDJ's and go totally non-computer in the future, this is the setup I've wanted for awhile now.
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  10. #10
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    The Numark TTXs are excellent for scratching and built like tanks. My only complain is that there is almost too much in the way of electronics inside them Too much unnecessary stuff.
    Beats By Dre is like audio flu for your balls.

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