I’m mopping up after last week’s BPM 2013 and came across a few pictures I snapped along the way. Yes I did bust out the fisheye, but you can at least get a better idea of what the new Reloop RP-8000 (and 7000 too) look like.
Nutshelling, the Reloop RP-7000 is an off-the-shelf Hanpin factory turntable, generally referred to as a super OEM. Reloop‘s earlier RP-6000 is a super OEM in the truest sense i.e. it’s pretty much unchanged from Hanpin’s standard offering. The RP-7000 and especially the RP-8000 are considerably altered from the original, having new tooling for the case and controls.
Luckily for the DJ scene, the original Hanpin model is well regarded, and bar one rare issue with a tonearm screw coming loose sometimes, the super OEM is a very high quality unit. Thus Reloop is building upon very solid foundations. But obviously, with the demise of Technics leaving a… well Technics-shaped hole in the DJ scene, it makes perfect sense to model new turntables on this established classic. And Reloop has done a pretty good making the RP-7000 looking very much like a 1200. They’ve even made them the same weight as well.
The new Reloops have several advantages over the original Technics of course — high torque, ±50% pitch, start/stop speed, and a second stop button spring to mind. And while doubtlessly the RP-7000 will turn a few heads away from the acknowledged heir to the Technics throne i.e. the Stanton ST and STR8-150, it’s the RP-8000 that has caused a commotion in the DJ community since last Saturday.
While we’ve already covered it, it’s worth adding a little more experience to the posted facts. So Sam Hulley and Dan Morse scribbled a few first thoughts:
I kind of feel like every new product I get my hands on at the moment, I just gush compliments about. Fortunately for the DJ industry, I am not alone feeling like this, and the Reloop RP-8000 certainly doesn’t disappoint.
The implementation of MIDI in a turntable is something that many people will like. A handful of people will complain that MIDI has no place on an analogue machine, but other than this, I can’t see a large ‘anti RP-8000’ party getting any momentum. Novation and Native Instruments may not be too happy about the release, as the RP-8000’s functions completely eradicate the need for a Dicer, and go towards nullifying many of the functions on Native X1 Mk2.
Not dissimilar to mixers with MIDI and certified soundcards built in (Z2 for example), having all the functionality you would ever need in your bedroom, may not translate well when turning up at a club and finding two 1210s and an ageing mixer. Unless the RP-8000 makes its way into the clubs, I can’t see people ditching their modular MIDI units, to invest in an all in one solution. You never know though — Reloop’s charge into the turntable market may well ignite the turntable resurgence in clubs. If these are built to last (they feel like they are), at £585 a pop, these may be an attractive asset for night clubs, and sat next to Pioneer CDJ’s, these are great value for money.
Wow, so during the usual frantic surge of product launches that come with BPM, Reloop dragon punch the competition and show off something completely left-field… by releasing a twist on the age-old turntable.
Not content with riding on the mini revival of turntables, Reloop have taken a cue from the Technics design and thrown it into the 21st century by adding some frankly-overdue MIDI integration via USB. Having seen what it can do, I was ready to offer up my trusty 1210s as a trade.
Everything feels really nice, with soft buttons, lots of flexibility, and a way of browsing your library from the turntable. For those that just want a more traditional turntable, Reloop here you, and offer up the RP7000 for a smidgeon less.
Obviously, we need to talk about the MIDI buttons. Building these right into the unit is fraught with danger. Keeping the needle in the groove is no mean feat most of the time, but when you’ve got buttons getting hammered, the chances of slippage are radically increased, but then again nothing that relative mode can’t deal with. After all, the buttons are for use with DVS software, so relative mode is inevitable.
The buttons are perched a right on the edge of the case as well. Not knowing the dimensions of a 1200 off by heart, nor carry a tape measure around with me all the time, I suspect that the RP-8000 is designed to be the same dimensions as a 1200, thus the space for the buttons is limited. They’re located in a recessed panel, and the platter does slightly encroach onto them. I feel that a better solution may have been to take the outer edge away from the recess and move the buttons, or make them a little bigger. I’m sure however that Reloop kicked around many variations before deciding on this final solution.
If we were in the award giving game, the Reloop RP-8000 would get star of the BPM show. Aside from being a very good unit, it’s also an extremely brave move from Reloop. But as previously mentioned, we have detected a definite feeling of nostalgia for simpler times, and you can’t hark back further than the Technics. We’re very much looking forward to testing these out.