Link: Vestax • Price: $1099 /€829 /£665
Preface from The Editor
This is a remnant from the days of skratchworx – a product review that’s hung around in my inbox for far too long, but is perhaps the most requested in a long time. I publish it for posterity, but also because I believe it to be a seriously great 2 channel mixer for scratch and DVS use.
First released in 1997, the original PMC-05 Pro put Vestax firmly on the turntablist map with its combination of great design and smooth VCA faders. With the launch of Vestax PMC-07 and PMC-08, the 05 was relegated to the lower end of the range, receiving regular tweaks in the face of changing DJ requirements and stiffer competition. Now, the PMC-05 Pro is back as Vestax new flagship two channel scratch mixer, reinvented for the DVS DJ.
Functionally and aesthetically the Mk IV owes more to the PMC-08 than any of its brushed metal predecessors. The piano black model reviewed looks very much a flagship product in both size and finish compared with earlier models. Build quality is good, with metal construction throughout and a solid, albeit slightly lightweight for its size chassis. The smooth metal face plate feels similar to the PMC-08, split around two thirds up for easy access to the faders via four flush mounted screws.
There’s a lot going on feature wise, but the fader area remains remarkably clean, with headphone volume fader, cueing and effects send/return controls placed conveniently to the near left and right. Cueing between channel one and two is via a dedicated fader, with an additional switchable pot to allow selection between this, master output, SUB and effects inputs. Sitting between the line faders are the familiar two LED strips for level metering, switchable between stereo master out and individual channel level monitoring. Each channel is also equipped with a new ‘chunky style’ dedicated channel mute/’transformer’ switch.
Dominating the middle of the mixer are the assignable MIDI controls for DVS control, above which sits the three band EQ, gain and line input selection controls for each channel, but no balance/pan controls. All knobs are the now standard Vestax rubberised type, sitting on metal stemmed pots. Fader curve, lag and reverse controls sit on the front of the mixer, flanked either side by polished protective bars and to the right, the two headphone output jacks (standard ¼ inch and mini jack).
Round the back you’ll find XLR master outputs, ¼ inch jacks for booth output and stereo phono AUX outputs – all controllable via pots on the top right of the mixer. The Pro IV has gained a switchable mic/line session input named SUB, with its own dedicated three band EQ, Mute button and a very useful 3 bar LED meter for monitoring levels. These controls are shared between a Line 7 stereo phono input and XLR combo MIC input round the back. The SUB input can’t be assigned to the crossfader, but being cue-able means you effectively have three useable channels to play with.
Finally, power is supplied by the same external power brick as the last of the PMC-05 series, which although not as desirable as an internal supply, is still preferable to the model Vestax shipped with the PMC-08.