Controller Shopping (Part 3)

Until now I have not really considered a pair of tabletop turntable style controllers because many include expensive motor driven platters, and two units plus a mixer are required. 

($500 x2) I just finished reading the manual for the Denon DN-S1200. I noticed one of these at a shop but didn't really check the feel or quality, but now I'm seriously considering a pair. This compact (9" square) tabletop unit operates as a stand alone CD or USB player, or as a software controller, and has integrated a decent, 24 bit, ASIO sound interface. So with a pair of these and a traditional mixer I can spin in software, or I can leave the computer home and just pack a USB drive with a few hundred .WAV files. (That's really all I wanted in the first place.) Denon has three other players on the market now, but all include motor driven platters.

($300 x2 refrub) Numark has the similar iCDX which can be purchases direct for $300 for a refurb unit. I can only assume they meet Numark's standard of low quality and function. No mention of sound interface specs online or in the manual. 

($700 x2) Pioneer's entry, the CDj-400 is amusingly expensive for a device that has no sound interface and can play no formats besides CD and MP3. (Not even WAV which is basically CD audio format? Seriously?) Pioneer enjoys being revered as the best player manufacturer. I gushed over the CDJ-1000 when it was initially launched. Their adoption of new technology has been glacial though.

($350+$700) Back at the 'software only' controller camp, this set of units is now a serious contender: Allen & Heath's XONE 1D and XONE 2D. The 1D is an elegant controller with MIDI and USB connections only. It could be used directly with a computer or chained through MIDI to an XONE 2D. The 2D combines the same controls as the 1D, a crossfader control, and some impressive sound hardware. The ASIO sound interface operates up to 24 bit 96 kHz (can input 192 kHz), and has enough input output channels for a seriously equipped DJ. After reading the Allen & Heath manuals, and knowing their mixers have a great rep for club installations, this combo has risen to a top spot on my list.

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