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I went through a lot of bedroom deejay equipment when I was younger, including a range of vinyl and CD decks, for the purposes of home mixing. I guess you could also buy this as a standalone deck just to play records on, but the real idea is to get a couple and then mix with them, or at least try to! Alongside Gemini and Technics, Numark is up there with the trusted names. I am not sure they are seen as quite as swanky as Tehnics, but this direct drive turntable is great for the budding mixer. Obviously, like I found you need a table or desk or large flat surface area, it is very hard to use these on the floor and you do not want to be getting fluff on it either or it could clog up the needle. The look of this model is pretty darned cool though, sleek blacks and silvers keep the look minimal and smart and thus suitable for bedroom or club performance. You should allow about half a metre per deck and keep in mind that you will need to run the cable round the back into the mains too. The direct drive means it starts fast and stops fast too, making mixing that bit slicker. The best features here have to be the robust design work on the deck, sturdy and built to last and the generous sized buttons which make it easy for deejays to get to grips with. Also very handy for playing in the dark so you can't make too many mistakes! I liked the ten percent pitch variation on these, as some cheaper decks only allow six percent which is not quite enough. This enables you to mix a wider variety of tracks at different tempos. The arm of the deck is silver, sturdy and rests, albeit quite delicately in the little holding bay. Be careful here because once released, they are prone to jogging and sliding so you need to be precise. An anti skating device will help prevent too many slips on the deck allowing for an overall smoother performance and once the needle is down, you should be good to go. These days this deck will cost about one hundred pounds, whereas a few years back it was nearly double that. Prices have come down across the board though in deejay equipment which makes it an affordable hobby. This is a decent starter deck though or maybe as you second deck if you have come from using a belt drive turntable.
The Numark TT200's were the first decks I ever purchased. I got them on some advice from a friend, and I have had great use out of them. Originally I paid £200 each for them but you can get them closer to £100 now. You can use this turntable at 33/45 and 78 rpm and the pitch control goes from -10 to +10. This is pretty much standard on turntables these days though. The TT200's come in a silver and black colour. The black is a matt finish and the silver is glossy. The top is made of steel and it has a rubberised base, this means it won't mark any table on which it is on and also makes it sturdier. They are direct drive turntables; this means that when you press the play button they instantly start up at the correct playing speed, there isn't that slight delay you get with belt drive turntables. For some reason these turntables have two play buttons. I am not sure why this is, it looks good, but I don't feel that it is necessary really. Spec wise it competes strongly with some of the higher end turntables on the market. This makes it good value for money as it is so much cheaper, yet it does all the same things! It even has the same torque as Technics 1210's (industry standard turntables). There are two tone arms that come with the turntable; a straight arm and an s-shaped one. These simply screw in and you can use whichever one suits your style of djing, e.g. whether you are a scratch dj. You also get a detachable aluminium light that helps when in the dark and looking to find the start point on your record. Although this is good I never needed to use it because I had the light in my bedroom, but I used it a couple of times simply because I had it and it didn't last long before it stopped working! You can buy replacements cheaply enough but I didn't need these. If the pitch fader breaks you can easily replace it with a new one, but this never happened to me so I was ok. The layout of the main controls mean you can operate this deck in either the standard "mixing" position - or turn it 90 degrees for the "battle" position. All in all these are a top quality turntable for a fraction of the price, well worth getting especially so for beginners. I no longer DJ so actually have a pair of these to sell, if you are interested and are in the Manchester area, let me know!
As my first turntables, I am reasonably happy about them. Numark was perhaps one of the first ones to introduce fashion to turntables and even now (many years after these models first saw the daylight) it looks stylish and sexy. More importantly, despite low price and cheaper materials, it does look and feel quite sturdy - the only thing which you are actually afraid to give a harder treatment is the pitch. All controls are well placed and easy to access (not that there are too many of them + reverse button is a bit more difficult to reach but I don't use it too often anyway) and the two HUUUUGE on/off buttons are simply priceless for scratch DJs! A choice of straight and S-shaped tonearms is a nice option though cannot claim that one could not live without it. Apart from this, there are no functions worth special mention - just plain simple no nonsense turntables with all the regular stuff you would expect to find - 33/45/78 speeds, +-10% pitch with quartz button, usual connections. When it comes to actually using it, despite its competitive pricing the turntable work quite well and could be used even professionally. High torque means the platter gets to full speed in no time while the anti skate settings allow you to get the best combination of needle & vinyl wear vs stability. The only and actually quite big problem is the speed hold which is way behind Technics or Vestax but that is a well known issue of Numark. Even when you find the perfect pitch level for beatmatching the digital technology cannot hold the speed at the same level too well and you have to constantly readjust the speed which can become an issue if you like long transitions. Furthermore the the speed is automatically set to 0% within around half a centimeter each way from zero level mark which is sometimes annoying too! In general, fair quality, beautiful design and ease of use makes these the recommended turntables for wannabe dj's who wants the vinyl feel. At the end, you can get a pair of these for less than a pack of crisps!
Numark turntables were the first ones I bought many years ago when I started out and do I always have a special place in my heart for their products. When the TT200 was released I was quite impressed by the design and some of the features so decided to check them out. The TT200 looks very cool indeed. They are not shaped like other turntables; rectangular with harsh corners, this has a much more sleeker looking design with luxurious looking smooth edges and a dual coloured faceplate (silver and black). The smart design takes nothing away from the sturdiness of the turntable and I reckon that this could take quite a battering before playback became affected. The platter and the tone-arm feel strong and I would image they would stand up to a fair bit of force. When making any contact with the record being played the needle only skipped when excessive force was used. There are two really appealing features of this turntable that stand out for me; the play button and the reverse feature. This turntable can play at 33/45 and 78 rpm but you also get the option to play your track in reverse. Admittedly the use of this feature if pretty limited but it is a cool addition and the more creative people amongst us would utilise this well. The two play buttons is a feature which scratch djs would find useful. Many scratch djs set up the turntable sideways so that they have better access to the vinyl but this also means that access to the buttons can be limited. Not with this little badboy. I've never needed this feature as I can't scratch for fudge but it is a nice addition which I know a few people love! The pitch ranges from -10 to +10 which is pretty much the standard nowdays so nothing exciting to report there. One last thing that impressed me was the fact that you can easily change the tone arm from straight to 's' shaped very easily depending on what you need from it (scratching etc) As a direct drive turntable from a 'brand name' you would expect to pay a fair bit for this but it's not overpriced and is one of the cheapest on the market. I would definitely say it's worth the money.