Vinyl is alive and will live forever - and vinyl players are needed in order to listen to and play vinyl records. Get acquainted with the most relevant models of dj turntables today.
Of course, over the past years digital technologies won the leading positions due to simplicity of its use, but even here the vinyl remains relevant, because timecode systems are very popular among DJs - everyone likes pleasant tactile sensations when mixing records, and the turntable culture has become richer and more affordable.
What is a vinyl player? This is a device where there is an engine that rotates the so-called platter, on which a soft gasket is situated, and a record is placed on top. The engine works with a certain number of revs, in addition we can influence the speed of rotation using the pitch control. A cartridge with a needle is placed on the record, which, converting vibrations into electric current, reads the information about the sound wave from the vinyl tracks. The cartridge is attached to the tone arm, a special lever where there is a wire inside. Via this wire the audio signal goes into the amplifier, then into stereo output.
So, what should djs pay attention to when choosing an appropriate vinyl player ?
The engine must have a direct drive. This means that the platter is spinning directly along with the engine without any intermediaries such as belts. For audiophiles this may appear a disadvantage in some cases.
The engine must be powerful enough to provide good traction. When a plate is stopped with a hand to find the necessary part of music or is spinning during the scratch, there may be a slight pressure on the platter and the engine respectively. The speed mustn’t cause any audible consequences when the plate returns to normal position.
Weight of the platter affects these consequences. It ought to be quite heavy and stable.
In general, the player itself must also be heavy, because we deal with the transformation of vibrations into sound and we don’t need unnecessary vibrations. The turntable must be as stable as possible so that even the strongest vibrations of the dance floor and sound system don’t shake it.
The presence of quartz stabilization is useful. Ok, everything is spinning, but we need a constant and the same speed in order to clearly control the pace. Quartz stabilization maintains the speed at the desired number of revolutions. On the coolest hi-end players stabilizers, like those in the atomic clock, are generally used.
It is better to have an S-shaped tone arm, so that the needle is as parallel as possible to the track in any position from the edge to the center.
A high-quality cartridge must be installed on the tone arm, which is selected depending on the purpose - for example, some of them are suitable for listening, others for scratching.
There are a lot of other factors, such as the presence of backlight, the possibility to replace cords, convenient tuning of a tone arm, grounding, the maximum pitch and other significant things.
The classic vinyl player, in which most of these factors are balanced, is the Technics SL-1210, its particularly successful mk2 and mk5 models.
Technics have an optimal traction and are suitable for ordinary mixing and for turntabling tricks. In fact, the club standard, the first version of a turntable was made back in the 70s of the last century, and since then “technics” have become a common name for vinyl players. The model is out of production, but still it is valued, because the diligent Japanese have tried their best to make the turntables durable.
Vestax players were also very popular, but at the moment their production has been stopped, and the company has completely closed.
However, sales of vinyl have been growing for several years now, Traktor and Serato are also trying to promote their DVS, so a few companies still have the opportunity to share market.
So, we’ll tell you about some modern direct-drive players - choose and purchase if you decided to consider the vinyl issue.
This player copies the classics in many aspects, but it adds a bit of innovation. A quick start accelerates the engine to 33⅓ rpm in just 0.3 seconds, and the engine power is confirmed by the ability to add or reduce the pitch by 50%. The sound quality is also excellent, because of the anti-vibration design, the player is even compared to some belt-based audiophile models. Many DJs who have tried this player, claim that this is a new classic. By the way, at Allfordj we considered the PLX-1000 , a more detailed look is here : First inside look at the Pioneer PLX-1000
If the pioneers chose the classics, then Reloop is for futurism. The distinguishing feature of this unique model consists in the presence of MIDI-interface. With its help you can control some of the functions of your DJ programme, for example Serato Scratch Live. It allows you to switch between hot spots quickly, create loops, play the prepared samples, combining these effects with scratches. As a player, this Reloop is also good, besides the direct drive and quartz stabilization in it, you can adjust the traction force and platter start / stop speed.
Audio-Technica AT LP1240 USB
The model looks quite stylish, has a powerful engine and a digital stabilization system. The player does not have any unique functions, but all the usual ones work as they should. There is a limited edition, made in a beautiful white color with high-quality lacquer coating.
Audio-Technica AT LP1240 USB
This spinner is very powerful and one of those that allows you to accelerate the speed to 78 revs per minute. The device is mostly meant for DJs, for example, a completely useless second Play button for audiophiles will be very useful for vinyl masters. The player can be connected via USB to a computer to record sound from it, it is convenient if you are an old-school pirate. On the whole, it is a worthy machine.
This player can be connected via USB and S / PDIF for digitizing records, there is even a special software from iZotope included. In other aspects it is quite ordinary. Pitch can be adjusted only by 12%, but the engine is powerful and can accelerate up to 78 revolutions. Good budget model.
Audio-Technica AT LP120 USB
Another solution with the ability to connect via USB. The digitizing of this quality is hardly needed, but as an additional option it is quite relevant. For example, if you are an old grandfather and your advanced grandson gave you an mp3 player. It is also funny that the free Audacity programme is included in the package. Well, okay, this model is clearly worth attention, given its price, it is made with good quality, the engine is powerful, the device looks and sounds quite good.
We’ve talked mainly about S-shaped tone arms, but there are also straight ones. This is just what is installed in this model. Straight tone arms fit well for scratching, but S-shaped are still more versatile and preferable. If you are a beginner, then the second play button is useful to you, from which you can conveniently start and stop playback from any position. Also the advantage of this model is the availability of high-quality cartridge Stanton 500.v3 in the suite.
Attractive minimalistic design and the same set of functions - only the most necessary. The engine is not the most powerful, but there is quartz stabilization, S-shaped tone arm, good weight and comfortable backlight - a stylish and budget solution.
Choose it according to your budget, scratch, listen and if there is vinyl - take care about it.) Even on the most budget models you can learn all the basics and then move on to more advanced players. Soon we will make a guide on vinyl care.