REVIEW: Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Mixer



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.

Introduction

Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Scratch Mixer (23)

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.

First Impressions

Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Scratch Mixer (24)

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.

Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Scratch Mixer (22)

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.


Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Scratch Mixer (8)

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).

Vestax PMC-05 Pro IV Scratch Mixer (28)

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.

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  • DJ Mattik

    Love this mixer, big fan of the CF-X2. Had it in my VCi-300 and now my VCI-380. It’s really great to be able to use the same fader no matter using DVS/Vinyl or MIDI controller.

  • DJ Rock Well

    Good review… I’ve been waiting for this for a while now ;)

    When I first saw this mixer at BPM 2010 I liked the cross fader but not much else. But about a year ago I was in the market for a new scratch mixer with a propriety xfade, plus a third input/channel and an FX loop that could be sent to all three… ideally something well built with all the usual scratch controls and ins/outs. I kept in coming back to one of these, and at the £550 there were selling for they were almost good value too.

    All that put me off was the slew of moans on various forums about terrible build quality issues, particularly with early units. In the end I took a chance on one making sure to check everything from various forum rants as soon as I got it. My one is solid and has worked perfectly to date..

    Since I’ve had it, I’ve noticed a lot of other scratch djs approach it with caution, be it for poor build rep, flashy lights or it’s lightweight fader… But most seem to be pleasantly surprised that it’s actually quite good, mine’s definitely won a few fans along the way.

    Given time to get used to it, my favourite thing about it overall would have to be that CF-X2 fader. It does not have a particularly nice feel in the hand (like an innofader or my Rane), but once you get past the Lego block fader cap and the slightly loose, cheap feel, it cuts so sweet.
    I also own or have regular access to; a P&G, an innofader, a Rane TTM, a Pro X Fade and a Pioneer 707 optical… But overall my favourite is definitely the CF-X2 (followed by the Rane, for the record).

  • DJ Rock Well

    Good review… I’ve been waiting for this for a while now ;)

    When I first saw this mixer at BPM 2010 I liked the cross fader but not much else. But about a year ago I was in the market for a new scratch mixer with a propriety xfade, plus a third input/channel and an FX loop that could be sent to all three… ideally something well built with all the usual scratch controls and ins/outs. I kept in coming back to one of these, and at the £550 there were selling for they were almost good value too.

    All that put me off was the slew of moans on various forums about terrible build quality issues, particularly with early units. In the end I took a chance on one making sure to check everything from various forum rants as soon as I got it. My one is solid and has worked perfectly to date..

    Since I’ve had it, I’ve noticed a lot of other scratch djs approach it with caution, be it for poor build rep, flashy lights or it’s lightweight fader… But most seem to be pleasantly surprised that it’s actually quite good, mine’s definitely won a few fans along the way.

    Given time to get used to it, my favourite thing about it overall would have to be that CF-X2 fader. It does not have a particularly nice feel in the hand (like an innofader or my Rane), but once you get past the Lego block fader cap and the slightly loose, cheap feel, it cuts so sweet.

    I also own or have regular access to; a P&G, an innofader, a Rane TTM, a Pro X Fade and a Pioneer 707 optical… But overall my favourite is definitely the CF-X2 (followed by the Rane, for the record).

  • https://www.google.com/profiles/116089573951887279634 Dj Vertigo

    Great review. Definately got my interest. When I bought the 08, years ago, the main reason was all the cue options, like being able to hear the return track pre fader. I should have returned it while I had the chance, because you can only listen to all those awesome inputs post fade, which is useless. Does the new 05 solve this issue? Cheers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1427768273 Luis Garcia

    Nice can I hope they add a sound card one day

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/beat3productions Dj L-Biz

    Great Review – backs up my feelings about the mixer exactly.

    The fader for me is massive selling point – its perfect for me (but i could see why it may not be everyone’s cup of tea it is so very light)
    Not sure how to compare the sound quality myself – sounds crisper than my old Ecler Mixer imho.

    I think they missed a trick not having any midi assignable pots & i havent worked to how to map the mute/toggle switches (with out still muting the audio) But the button bank is genius and well placed and the buttons are by no means mpc style but are solid and work well. Also there is not much chance of a miss hit or half press. having the scroll knobs for track selctions is great again not sure if there is an option to use these to control effects (i went for the simple option of track selection)

    The build quaility is good – i was worried about the bit of wobble on the eq pots as on my mixer there is a clear gap between the edges around the pots and there seems to be some left to right play but very minimal.
    Overal a great mixer and really useful dvs options midi faders for all you video kids and a fair sight cheaper than a new Rane.
    My only issue with it now is that my vci380 has taken pride of place between my tts in my setup and i am so close to whipping the fader out my 05pro to put in the vci….

  • DJ Tito

    Do anyone know how to connect 2 dvs boxes on this mixer or how that works? Anyone have a video or tutorial. The video posted does not show how to actual get it done.

    Firstly, the mixer supports the simultaneous connection of 2 DVS boxes – the first via the usual stereo phono and line input, the second via a switchable line/phono level output and second line input, as first seen on the earlier PMC-05 Mk III DX (see Johnny 1 Move’s review elsewhere in the skratchworx archive for a detailed video demonstration).

  • disqus_1G4zMZMIML

    Can anyone tell me what the 2 screws and plate to the left of the contours for the line and crossfader is for? I am also worried about build quality for this mixer. has anyone heard or read anything negative? I purchased 2 used from Guitar Center (both of which went back to GC for a full refund). I like this mixer because 1) it has midi, 2) it is half the price of the Rane 62, 3) the cross-fader is really nice, 4) the headphone and volume cue are faders. This mixer reminds me of my Vestax 07 Pro.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.chism.10 James Chism

      I found out what the plate for is for. You can buy an external Vestax USB soundcard called the TUB-1 (google it on youtube). The TUB-1 allos you to record your mixes onto a computer and also you are able to play music from your computer directly into your mixer. Unfortunately, the TUB-1 is now supposedly discontinued.

  • Richieboy37

    I like the clean metal build a lot and the cross fader is just with my Denon x-1600.
    But he’s now 700euro., in holland and I never felt one. Most here is pioneer,but it seems well build with enough in and outputs. The only question is, how does it sound……
    Gr from holland