NEWS: The @Numark PT01 Scratch Portable Turntable.

0
472

INTRODUCTION

One thing I’ve come to learn in my 50 years on this planet, it’s that things are cyclical. Sometimes it’s a natural evolution, but other times it’s sparked by a rebellion against the natural order of things. And for me, portablism represents both sides of this coin.

On one hand, dabbling in the lowest-of-the-low end of turntables for hardcore scratching is pure fun. And on the other hand, it’s a rebellion against the tyranny of enforced static scratching on decades-old expensive paradigms. And on a third hand, it’s a simple matter of finding some new directions for turntablism, itself a rebellion against the digital direction that scratching has propelled itself into.

But regardless of the reasons, the tools of the portablism trade are cheap plastic portable turntables. The now long discontinued Vestax Handytrax was the weapon of choice for the scene, but with Vestax‘s demise, the used prices for these units on eBay spiralled to ridiculous levels. The Numark PT01 was another favourite for portablists, but that has been discontinued too. The updated PT01 USB is apparently still available, although certainly in cripplingly short supply in Europe at this moment, a situation that’s due to be fixed shortly I’m told.

Enter the PT01 Scratch, a portablist specific edition, that comes complete with a “scratch switch”, an intriguing alternative on the perennial issue of velcroing an external fader in a box to the chassis.

But can a switch offer the same experience as a fader? Let’s see.

numark-pt01-scratch-review-12-1280x853

INTRODUCTION

One thing I’ve come to learn in my 50 years on this planet, it’s that things are cyclical. Sometimes it’s a natural evolution, but other times it’s sparked by a rebellion against the natural order of things. And for me, portablism represents both sides of this coin.

On one hand, dabbling in the lowest-of-the-low end of turntables for hardcore scratching is pure fun. And on the other hand, it’s a rebellion against the tyranny of enforced static scratching on decades-old expensive paradigms. And on a third hand, it’s a simple matter of finding some new directions for turntablism, itself a rebellion against the digital direction that scratching has propelled itself into.

But regardless of the reasons, the tools of the portablism trade are cheap plastic portable turntables. The now long discontinued Vestax Handytrax was the weapon of choice for the scene, but with Vestax‘s demise, the used prices for these units on eBay spiralled to ridiculous levels. The Numark PT01 was another favourite for portablists, but that has been discontinued too. The updated PT01 USB is apparently still available, although certainly in cripplingly short supply in Europe at this moment, a situation that’s due to be fixed shortly I’m told.

Enter the PT01 Scratch, a portablist specific edition, that comes complete with a “scratch switch”, an intriguing alternative on the perennial issue of velcroing an external fader in a box to the chassis.

But can a switch offer the same experience as a fader? Let’s see.

numark-pt01-scratch-review-12-1280x853

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

If you’re reading this, it’s highly likely that you’re already a portablist, and know what the old PT01 is about, and probably only give a crap about this new fangled scratch switch right? But for the sake of completeness, let’s give a quick run down of what the PT01 Scratch is all about.

The PT01 Scratch is a portable turntable. Battery (6 x D type) or mains powered (included), this all plastic little box of scratch joy has had a rather cool black and red makeover (including a slip mat), but appears to be pretty much the same as the old model.

There are however two new features — the switch is something that I’ll cover a little later, but the other addition is a mini jack line in. This allows you to hook up an external input, most likely a phone so that you can run beats from a looper. There’s a volume control for the input too. It’s worth noting that this input plays through and is unaffected by the scratch switch.

Features wise, the PT01 Scratch has a built-in speaker, the quality of which is at best adequate even with the tone control. It’s fine for personal listening and scratching, but you’re not filling a room full of people with this. There are however headphone outputs and RCA line outs for hooking up to external sound sources. From a sound quality perspective, the supplied needle does an acceptable job of listening to vinyl through speakers or headphones, but nobody is buying one of these for audio fidelity.

numark-pt01-scratch-review-4-1280x817

On this point — with nothing plugged in, the audio comes through the built-in speaker. Plugging into speakers via line out kills the built-in speaker, and plugging in headphones kills headphones and line out. Headphone output takes priority and doesn’t technically allow for monitoring — something to consider when performing or recording performances.

Off the back of this, it goes without saying that while you can rip vinyl via the USB port using the free EZ Vinyl software, the quality of the needle does mean that the resulting file isn’t going to be of epic quality.

Rounding off the playing features are a 33/45/78 switch and 10% pitch control. The latter is nice to have if you fancy having a pair of these wrapped around a small mixer for some fun with 45s.

But when all is said and done, you get what you pay for. And I’d be quite happy to shell out around a ton to be able to play vinyl in the corner of my bedroom. But now to the reason why the PT01 Scratch exists at all.

S/O SKRATCHWORX

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Reply