“ Manufacturer: Numark / Type: CD Player „
- Introduction -
The Numark Axis 9 cd decks are what could be classed as budget range decks available for around £200 per unit online. (considerably cheaper than other units available on the market)
Numark produces many well designed and professionally built audio products for a fraction of the price than those charged by other more preferred manufacturers, although the prices are lower Numark still hold a strong reputation in the market for the more amateur users or those on a budget.
When it comes to CD decks there are certain features that a DJ will demand and certain attractions which can improve the performance of the overall set which is normally significantly noticeable within the price difference.
The Numark Axis 9's are compact decks which are ideal for creating a setup in a small area or to have the option of fitting turntables alongside the decks in comparison to larger units which would use more surface area.
- Appearance -
The outer case looks quite cheap I have to admit however is constructed well, it has a glossy black finish with a fairly large jogdial along with large Cue, Pause and Play/Stutter button.
- Features -
There are loop functions and several effects including "scratch mode" which can also be used to cue tracks to a specific point and a pitch bend control along with the normal pitch which is very sensitive and seems to hold the bpm very well without any issues. The unit is a front loading tray and accepts only CD's or CD recordables.
The unit is also anti-shock resistant for up to 48 seconds which really helps to limit jumping tracks.
The deck also features a standard 4 bar BPM counter which is easy to synchronise tracks between two units.
- Sound & Overall Quality -
The sound is comparable to what you would expect from any average cd deck on the market, delivered simply with a standard RCA phono lead, the unit is powered with a standard 13amp/230v kettle lead which is also controlled by a voltage switchover for use in country's supplying at 115v.
The display is a red LCD screen which is clear to read and simply shows the remaining track/overall time, current bpm and pitch.
My only problem ever encountered with these decks are that if there are any scratches on a cd then it will always seem to skip on tracks where as it wouldn't on a laptop or say Pioneer cdjs.
Overall though not a bad piece of kit for a first purchase or just a set of decks for the bedroom.
Thanks for reading
These were the first decks I bought, and I was happy with them at the time. The built in effects are always fun to play with, and I liked the fact it has two loop ins and two loop outs, meaning you can create two loops in the same song and go back to them etc. The soft buttons aren't ideal, and after a lot of use, you don't always get a response from the buttons and you need to press them in their sweet spots to get them to work. The jog wheel is WAY too light, compared to other decks I have played on, and it's a shame that it's only compatible with Audio CD's, meaning on average about 12 club mixes per CD = LOTS OF CDS!!!! Apart from all that it's a good deck, and considering the price I definately recommend it to any starter DJ's, to see if they feel like they want to continue onto something a bit better.
Perfect if your looking to DJ a small house party, or just wanna play around DJing in your bedroom.
The axis 9 is very well built, it feels rugged and strong, definitely not cheap and nasty and the buttons are soft, but strong. The wheels feel comfortable to use, work nice and smoothly and are very responsive. The axis 9 is very portable and easy to carry around.
There are some extras on the axis 9's along with all the standard axis series features. The keylock is probably the feature I use the most when mixing and to me the axis 9's seem do a much better job others within this price band, The axis 9 has a range of effects which are really easy to use, the most notable being the scratch function which is a direct improvement from early axis models such as the axis 8. The looping buttons are easy to use. There are 2 loop banks for you to use, each has its own set of control buttons. After learning to beatmatch them, they become effortless to use
If you're an amateur/semi-pro DJ, be it at a local club or at one of the largest nights in your area, this is probably going on your list this christmas!
The wheel for scratching is massively responsive; i've not used anything nearly as accurate for a long time. Not only this, but it also has many, many effects (as expected for the price) effects you can utilize to tune the sounds you want and need. The beatkeeper with auto-sync is pretty nifty too if you need that feature, and it works suprisingly well!
Pitch and key change come as standard, and you can use both at the same time which can make for some interesting (and hilarious if you're with some friends) effects.
Another key feature that sold this for me was the online updates (for free) which promises many new features and upgrades for this gear.
Overall, theres a lot of features for the price and the quality is sublime!
Don't get me wrong, this is no Pioneer CDJ1000, but for the money these decks are fantastic. There are 2 very easy to use samplers on each deck, a BPM counter, 3 different pitch control settings, an excellent scratch function, as well as some natty sound effects. The large jog wheel is tactile and precise and the deck feels pretty solid.
I am in essence a die hard Technics 1200 fan (have been for years) and never thought I'd see the day when I'd be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age, but hell, these things are so easy and so much fun to use. I was beat matching and sampling with ease after just one evening of using them. Now I won't go back, as these combined with a decent four channel mixer and a pair of turn-tables makes for hours of fun and creativity. Great Fun and so easy to use! Brilliant!
The Axis 8, 9, CDN-90, and CDX make great MIDI controllers of external sequencers if used correctly in SmartLoop mode and you apply a little ingenuity.
The effects work well. 2-5 on the phaser, a little down on the mixer's treble, and a touch of extra bass matches to the sound of the Whitelabel cartridges.
The pitch resolution is about .025% at 6% range and .05 or better on all the other ranges.
Firmware upgrades are easy.
The extensive calibration procedure necessary to prevent skips, freezes, or accidental closing of the tray.
MIDI is poor if you are attempting to sync to an actual CD song playing on that deck.
Pitching down with keylock on (keying up) will cause enough distortion of the sound as to make the function worthless unless you are keying down and/or pitching up. Keylock is more useful for locking after you've pitched to your beatmatch speed and you want to hide the pitch bending you'll be doing.
The pitch accuracy is poor to the point that actual useable resolution is only about twice the resolution at the lower settings. So for 6% you'll get closer to .05%, and on the others it's closer to about .1% in the real world. This is due to the pitch wavering by one unit increment in either direction. 25% is fairly stable to .1% of its actual resolution, but you really need to baby-sit the 100% range.
I do not like how the display doesn't actually show the true pitch resolution. The percent range should have a one hundredth digit to show you the actual setting, not rounded to the nearest .1%. In the lower ranges the 1 in "100" is not used, so they could have simply moved things over when in any other range. Perhaps Numark was worried people would freak out when they saw the exact pitch quantity wavering. If you cover up that portion of the display with some non-residue studio tape, that can make things more intuitive for mixing.
Finally, Numark's CD players (at least the Axis 8's I own) appear to be missing a Low-Pass filter to lop off the highest frequencies at the post-DAC filter stage, or they implemented the wrong one. If you do a frequency test sweep on the unit it will show a strong upward slope on the top few octaves that will make CD's much brighter than they should be. At 20khz it's more than 5dB louder than it should be, and I find that quite troubling.
I went through 8 Axis 8's and one additional repair before I got two that worked correctly and was instrumental in helping the company nail down problems with the design, particularly the MIDI system. But there are still obviously some design choices I'm displeased with, so I would like to just give it 3 stars and be kind to it only for being cheap. The MIDI system, however, bumps it back up to 4 stars for me.