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PLASA SPECIAL REPORT - DAY 1

A bad start - train 25 minutes late and eventually an hour late into Kings Cross. Bugger. Rush to Earls Court via Black cab (a route I'm sure earned maximum fare for the cabbie and gave yours truely a sightseers voyage around London.Eventually gave up and wondered around aimlessly looking for familiar faces. Found familiar faces and spent the rest of the day hunting down new gear with techie genius Deft. Anyway - enough pre-amble and to business.

Vestax

QFO - At last in the flesh - or perspex case as it turns out. It's real and it works. It is still however a prototype as far as we can see. It seems - as rumoured - to be a hybrid deck/mixer. Most definately designed with battle position in mind, the most intriguing thing about it is the crossfader on the front and a headphone socket as well. I'm not exactly sure how this is going to work right now but I'll ask tomorrow. Anyway - pictures below. See if you can work out how it's going to work.

RUMOUR UPDATE - And the new rumoured Qbert mixer? When asked on the stand, Vestax said "It's all bollocks - internet rumour - don't know where it came from". Basically the only product Vestax are working on with Qbert and Yogafrog is the QFO. The Warlord and Atom are not going to be Vestax products.
PMC-05Pro III - We almost missed this one. The Vestax baby scratch mixer gets an update. A slightly redesigned layout to free up the cross fader area a littl emore but now with a switchable send a recieve loop.


PMC-007 - The sales blurb says "The PMC-007, like it's predecessors the PMC-05Pro and PMC-07Pro, is a professional 2 channel (PGM) battle worthy mixer perfect for serious scratch DJs who are looking for improved sound quality, control and flexible options to increase their creative potential". Looking at the spec, it does rather seem like a replacement for the 07.

In a nutshell, here's the breakdown:

• 2 channel battle mixer with clear area around the crossfader
• 3 band eq on each channel
• A new feature - scratch EQ. Hitting the button instantly switches the EQ to a prefined Hi, Mid or low.
• Send and recieve effects loops on both channels
• Cross fader freeze - allows you to practice a scratch without the sound coming through the speaker.
• Rapid Exchange Fader system - faders are swappable in a quoted 30 seconds by virtue of a quick access system.
• Balanced XLR outputs
• 1/4" and mini jack headphone options

Seems Vestax are getting into curves. Take a look at the pics to see the curvy edges. It's been noted (for some strange reason controversially elsewhere on the net) that this mixer has not mounting holes for playing out - in some ways limiting the application of this mixer. Time will tell if this is the case.

Numark



CDX - Rather than a broken model or a marketing man talking in vague terms about the product - now we've had a chance to experience a real working prototype. Bascially it's a TTX body and platter with a CD drive grafted inside and technical gubbins at the back. Still very much at protoype stage but very much working as a skratch deck. First impressions are good. It's real vinyl sat on top and reacts as you'd expect. Still to do some more testing tomorrow with the finer points of skratch technique - too much noise on DJ Sunday. It has all the usual features you'd expect from a deck in this class but the vinyl feel makes it feel a little more acceptable to skratch djs. More pictures and info tomorrow.

Technics








After a long period of speculation and many "are they/aren't they" rumours - it's here. The long awaited Technics SL-DZ1200 is a reality and totally in your face at PLASA.

On the left you can see images from the press lauch of the deck. Paul Dekayne and Cutmaster Swift put the deck through it's paces, giving an impressive demonstration fo the features. And the deck was on display on the Technics/DMC stand - but not powered up. It's a nice size - the platter itself is 8-9" across, sitting nicely between the regular CD platter size and full 12" vinyl.

No technical information is available right now but features include (in no order):

• Manual cue point - you can set the start of the sample to a user specifiable point on the platter
• Vinyl simulation effects
• Pitch Lock
• Instant reverse/forward
• Brake speed control
• Real time recording - skratch up a storm and use it as a sample
• Skratch from SD media

I'm there tomorrow as well so I'll get more info and report back.

Personally speaking, I like what I'm seeing so far. The official release is some way off. Various versions of the deck were floating around - all subtly different but showing that the product is still in development. Expect a spring launch.

More tomorrow where I'll be hooking up with Denon, Pioneer and more on the Technics and Numark decks


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