After years of reporting about gloriously heavy and expensive turntables that work straight out of the box, we appear to be in a new age of DIY. Portbalism has adopted a more home-brew ethos, which now has filtered right down into the actual turntable itself. The Spinbox is a decidedly low-key and fully self-contained entry into the turntable market, where the box it comes in is actually the turntable chassis itself.
Basically, some smart people have assembled OEM components and wrapped a selection of different cardboard boxes around them to make a self assembly turntable. IKEA must be kicking themselves right now — imagine the popularity of something called SPÏNN? They’d sell so many at £30 a go just for shits and giggles.
When I think about it, it’s the very same principle (and ironically the antithesis) as high-end audiophilia — taking individual components to make a fully tailored system that suits the end user, except in this case it’s using the lowest budget components.
It offers 33, 45, and 78 playback, has line in and line out ports, and integrated speakers. Importantly for portablists, the Spinbox isn’t battery driven. It is however USB powered, and can run from mobile chargers, leaving scope for power packs to be added for fully portable play.
The above video shows a few scratch DJs having a go on the Spinbox, complete with the usual stick-on fader in a box. It’s a matter of time before someone crafts a double walled cardboard or MDF box that has the fader inside.
I have no details on price, but this is going to be a Kickstarter project soon enough. Keep your eyes peeled. But given that they’ve published a picture of the complete kit, the portablist community will absolutely reverse engineer it and put out their own version — that’s how they roll.
Perhaps this will truly define the portablism market, providing the basic components and schematics for portablism in a box and let people go mad from there. But for me there’s a bigger picture that could change the industry.
Since the early days of skratchworx (check this from 12 years ago), I’ve wanted for DJs to be able to build their own systems to a component level. And while the Spinbox is a tad entry-level for most, perhaps this thinking could help the industry find a new path in delivering gear that people want, because right now it struggles to decide on standard fittings for faders. Sort it out — you’re holding back your own game.