Need advice: Numark turntables + timecode or new controller?
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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice: Numark turntables + timecode or new controller?

    Summary: I'm a beginner, and I'm looking to invest ~$400 in new gear. Should I pick a controller or go with a cheap Numark turntables + timecode setup with Traktor?

    I'm a bedroom DJ looking to take things a little more seriously, but having fun at the same time. I have a day job that I'm planning to stick with, so DJing would be really more of a hobby, perhaps spinning at some house parties here and there mostly. I don't anticipate getting paid for gigs ever, so I'm a little hesitant in plunking down a lot of $$$ for expensive gear.

    I've owned a Numark Total Control for about 4 years now, and I do mess around with it from time to time, but overall its a toy, so I'm thinking of upgrading my gear. I had a chance to play around with some 1200s and I absolutely loved mixing on vinyl - it was so much more fun and interactive than turning the jog wheels of my TC! So now, I need advice from you guys on whether I should pick up some turntables.

    I spin trance/progressive house, and some occasional house music, nothing too fancy like scratching/cue-point juggling etc, so I don't *need* the specific features that either platform will offer. My main goal is to have fun.

    I've been eyeing the Numark DJ in a box setup for $130:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NUMARK-DJ-IN...ht_3774wt_1048

    I could pair this up with a used Audio 8 DJ + timecode vinyls for about $250 for a total cost of $380

    I do love the awesome routines that Ean puts up, so I'm also interested in controllers. I've been eyeing the new Behringer modular controllers - it seems like I can get a pretty versatile setup for about $300-$400.

    The question is - what would you guys recommend? Is it too late in the game to get turntables?
    Last edited by projectd; 03-11-2012 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    Those are Belt drive turntables. Using belt drive turntables for Djing is like using a teaspoon for hand-gliding. STAY AWAY! In fact I think it's highly irresponsible for companies like Numark to even produce something that is so wildly unsuitable for any kind of mixing/scratching.

    There are plenty of good TT's you can get second hand but you'd need more money. For $400 you can get a Kontrol S2 which is probably the best way to go unless you have more cash for tables.
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    Tech Guru deevey's Avatar
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    In fact I think it's highly irresponsible for companies like Numark to even produce something that is so wildly unsuitable for any kind of mixing/scratching.
    I think thats a bit harsh TBH, SOME belt drive turntables are just fine for learning the ropes, in fact many of them are better and have more torque than bad direct drives some companies push out - they certainly wont hold pitch as consistantly but it'll teach you to ride the pitch better.

    Agreed for scratching deffo not reccommended but a plastic sheet under the slipmat makes them useable for the basics.

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor Michielygil's Avatar
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    And where in your price calculation comes the extra money for Scratch software? Or is it bundled with the used audio 8 you mentioned? Don't forget, that'll set you back another $ 300
    2x A. Audio HTD 4.5 | Sony MDR 7506 | Xone:4D | Sony Vaio E i7 | 2x KRK 8 | Traktor Scratch Pro 2 | Launchpad | NI Maschine | NI Komplete 8 | Ableton Live 9

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michielygil View Post
    And where in your price calculation comes the extra money for Scratch software? Or is it bundled with the used audio 8 you mentioned? Don't forget, that'll set you back another $ 300
    Yup - I searched completed listings on ebay and it looks like a few Audio 4 soundcards + Traktor Scratch + control vinyls were sold at around $150. Audio 8 soundcards are higher, but I'm thinking that Audio 4 will suffice. At the moment there seems to be nothing on ebay, but I'm not in a rush - I can wait for a lower priced auction that comes with the software.

    @Smitten - are belt drive turntables really that bad? I'm not looking to get into scratching, just want to start off with beat matching and mixing. If these are really inaccurate, esp with regards to sending timecode signals, then I'll look into something else
    Last edited by projectd; 03-11-2012 at 02:16 PM.

  6. #6
    DJTT Scribe Mod smiTTTen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deevey View Post
    I think thats a bit harsh TBH, SOME belt drive turntables are just fine for learning the ropes, in fact many of them are better and have more torque than bad direct drives some companies push out
    You're right, maybe that was a little harsh but having played on countless sets over the years I really can't imagine anyone sticking with them for any length of time due to their massive limitations and I just can't see ever recommending them. I think it makes more sense to either save up for direct drive or stick with controllers in the short term. The OP also mentioned really wanting to go for decks after playing on Technics. There's obviously a monumental difference in the experience there too.

    Putting the interface and software considerations aside for a minute, it might be worth looking at some used Vestax PDX2000s. You can sometimes snatch them off ebay for as little as $75 each (I did) and they would be an excellent deck to play on for the money.
    Beats By Dre is like audio flu for your balls.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittten View Post
    Putting the interface and software considerations aside for a minute, it might be worth looking at some used Vestax PDX2000s. You can sometimes snatch them off ebay for as little as $75 each (I did) and they would be an excellent deck to play on for the money.
    Hmm, nothing on eBay for the moment besides a pair of used PDX2000s for $330. I feel a little iffy buying used turntables - esp because I know nothing about their maintenance and upkeep, so if something was to break, it would be a hassle for me to fix by myself.

    On a broader note - what do you guys feel about buying turntables in 2012 in general? Is that a silly decision, esp given that there are so many decent controller options available these days?

  8. #8

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    Buying used technics is not so sketchy and definitely stay away from belt drives I bought a pair way back when and returned as quickly as could could only afford one good turntable at time and thought a belt drive would be ok was wrong paid a little but more and bought a Stanton direct drive that lasted a decent amount of time.


    Hey I have a total control ni use with traktor an a x1 not bad jogs work for nudging which is all that matters.

    However my ns6 is way more fun to use but I still don't know how I feel about itch.

  9. #9
    Tech Guru dripstep's Avatar
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    Stay away from belt drive if you can, they will teach you how to ride the pitch very fast, but will limit you later on down the road. I've got Gemini PT-1000s, and they have an insane amount of torque, and cost me 400 with a mixer all used. BUT, if you are looking towards a controller, look at the S2. Solid piece of gear.
    2 x gemini PT 1000 . Gemini PS-525 . X1
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    manners don't cost a thing dude - never forget that, it'll help you in all walks of life.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucidstrings View Post
    Hey I have a total control ni use with traktor an a x1 not bad jogs work for nudging which is all that matters.

    However my ns6 is way more fun to use but I still don't know how I feel about itch.
    The problem with my Total Control is that I feel its not very responsive. It also doesn't have a layout that's makes it easy to use Traktor - but I guess thats why you have an X1.

    The NS6 is a solid controller, but Itch for me is a no-go...I want to stick with Traktor. The upcoming Numark 4Trak looks good, but its way out of my budget at > $1000.

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