While I’m not especially impacted by the lockdown (less shopping and longer hair is the worst I’m experiencing), I’m taking this time to do some much-needed housekeeping. And the skratchworx and DJWORX Flickr accounts have come under scrutiny because of the crazy annual subscription charges for no return. I’ll be switching them both to free accounts and saving an arm and leg in the process.

While doing this, I realised that I’ve taken a lot of pictures over the years — 8000+ over 17 years, 460+ reviews, and 30+ trade shows in reality. And it feels like such a shame that they languish unseen and that so much good gear gets forgotten. So I started running a series on Instagram with the #djgearfromyesteryear hashtag, and the community seems to be getting into it.

Yesterday however, Dan suggested running it on DJWORX first, a move that makes a great deal of sense. So today, I’ll republish the ones I’ve already posted over on Instagram here, and then tomorrow carry on posting fresh sets from the archives.

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE

It’s good to showcase these old units — we get to review them for just a short window in time, but it’s only when people have bought them and have long term user experience that a fuller picture is painted. It’s good to get feedback from DJs who may have bought them based on reading our reviews, even if it’s just to vent for persuading them to sell a body part to buy what turned out to be a complete piece of shit.

It’s not just that though — I know for a fact that some of you will be looking for things to do during the lockdown. And a good place to start is to rummage under the bed, unbox stuff in the garage, or venture into the attic aka the place where old stuff goes to die. Enjoy the meander through your DJ past, and if you really don’t use it anymore, sell it, recycle it, or donate it to good causes. Don’t just bin it.

Anyway, here’s what has been posted so far. I have A LOT of folders to choose from. One per day until I get bored. So far however, I’m loving the trip down memory lane.

OVER TO YOU

Did you or do you own any of these? Have you dug out your old DJ crap out of sheer lockdown boredom?

 

View this post on Instagram

In the last 17 years, I’ve taken 8000+ pictures covering a staggering 460+ reviews and more than 30 trade shows for skratchworx.com and djworx.com. Some of you probably aren’t even that old yet.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I got serious about photography in 2005 with the Pro X Fade review, and started uploading sets to Flickr in 2008. And in these lockdown times, I think it’ll be fun to do a visual timeline of some of those images. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Not all of them you understand, but once a day I’ll upload a set of photos of products you know, some you don’t, and others you just forgot about.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I have no idea how long I’ll do it for, but I suspect it’ll be long past when your boredom threshold has been reached. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣As is the way with social media, I’ve come up with a suitable hashtag — #djgearfromyesteryear that’s suitably descriptive. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣The first is from 2008 (I have improved since), and is the Korg KAOSSILATOR, a yellow box of noises that captured the hearts of many DJs. It spawned a version 2, plus a small range of similar pocket sized battery powered units from Korg. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣More than anything, it was cheap enough to be a fun purchase and delivered just enough to justify the relatively tiny price tag. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣@korgofficial @korguk ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #korg #kaossilator #retrodj

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Today's #djgearfromyesteryear is the brilliant but underrated Ecler NUO 2.0 mixer. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Although adopting a turntablist friendly narrow format, and being upgradeable to the utterly wonderful Ecler Eternal crosfader, it failed to capture the hearts and minds of scratch DJs, who were more focussed on the HAK 360 and 380 models. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣It was also launched with NUO3, 4, and 5 models, and just looked a bit lost in comparison, especially in the same space as the (at the time space age) NUO5. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Should you stumble across one on eBay, it's definitely worth a look, although it seems that Ecler's do command high prices, and with good reason. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #ecler #turntablist #scratchdj #turntablism

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

I did promise diversity from my #djgearfromyesteryear series, and there’s little that’s as out there as the EKS OTUS. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣http://skratchworx.com/reviews/otus.php ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣EKS was a company that dared to be different. Be it hardware or software, they pushed beyond boundaries and made products how they wanted to see DJing executed. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣While their original XP-5 and XP-10 controlllers were fairly conventional in a modern controller sense, the OTUS saw the line in the sand and stepped right over it to deliver a stunning exercise in design, branding, and functionality. I personally loved the dual layer functionality and use of across-the-board colour to indicate which layer was engaged. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I fear however that while the DJ scene was in the full throes of anything goes, the OTUS was just a little too far past the line for most. They headed back towards the line however with the OTUS RAW, an updated controller that brought dual analogue pitch controls in favour of the touch strips, but this still failed to attract a user base of a sustainable size. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣After showing a prototype standalone two channel controller (EKS LAB) that ended up being shelved, EKS went on to deliver The One, a groundbreaking DJ software that while quite brilliant in modular concept, was just a tad too far outside the established DJ software paradigm to connect with most people. Seems that the world just wasn’t ready for EKS. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Sadly, EKS is no more. But I hope that they’re remembered fondly. Because I miss their presence.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣On a personal note, I enjoyed shooting this a lot. It's very easy on the eye, and a great thing to point a camera at, but I also liked shooting on a coloured background. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #eks #djcontroller

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

It's the turn of @denondjofficial in my #djgearfromyesteryear series. There are many units that I could choose from, and will most likely get to them in time. But today it's the turn on the ridiculously small DN-S1200 CD and media player. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I hate to labour this point, but it was so small — basically an 9 inch square of everything you needed. It played CDs and USB media, and unusually for a media player had built in effects. It was also pretty fully specced MIDI wise too. It was also cool to be able to add your own artwork under the plastic platter too. And it was no slouch in the scratch department either. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣All the way back in time (well 2009), the first glimpses of Engine Prime DNA were on show. The Denon Music Manager took a slightly different approach to modern laptop based solutions — it scanned USB devices for music and created a library directly on that device. Not exactly quick, but it worked. Sadly it was Windows only, so we Mac users had to use the 1200 for analysis, something that it wasn’t that hot at. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣All in all, the Denon DN-S1200 was a diminutive powerhouse. We need more tiny units like this. Perhaps the new Denon DJ Prime Go standalone player will lead to a call for equally small players like this, although Denon DJ would probably want to walk a bloody huge screen on it these days. 😉 ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #Denon #denondj #dns1200 #mediaplayer #olddjgear

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Time for a left fielder for today’s #djgearfromyesteryear, and that’s the Stanton SCS.3d, which with the SCS.3m was part of the SC System 3 touch controller offering. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Stanton is a DJ company with a long history in DJing. But when the controller revolution took a hold of the senses and wallets of the masses, they went off down their own path, one that created a very compelling magnetic snap together modular format, one that you can take to be the originator of the Traktor Kontrol X1, Z1, and F1 format controllers. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣While some throw themselves at the latest developments, history has not been kind to touch controls from a DJ perspective. And the SC system did not hold back in this respect, which in part was a reason for not taking off. People prefer proper tactile controls — the previously post EKS OTUS controller did the same, and then spawned the OTUS RAW with more in the way of real controls. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Ultimately, the lack of properly tactile controls combined with a MIDI middleware saw the SC system languish on the fringes while everyone went mad (with good reason) for physical jog wheels. It’s another example of pushing the envelope too far even for the rapidly moving DJ tech market. But unlike other technologies, touch is unlikely to be rediscovered by another generation.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣We will however remember it fondly, more than anything for sticking a middle finger up at playing safe, even if it meant pushing the envelope just a tad too far. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #stanton #stantondj #scs3d #scs3m #scsystem #dascratch

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Here’s a perfect lump of DJ stuff for #djgearfromyesteryear. Allen & Heath is a company steeped in mixers of all sizes, so it came as quite a surprise when they pumped out a Serato ITCH fuelled controller. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣The Xone:DX was A&H’s vision of what a controller should be, made very much in the distinctive design touches seen on the other Xone mixers, and built like a tank. And it tried to stick to their mixer strengths too, focussing more on offering brilliant sound and effects, and less on keeping scratchers and button pushers happy. There were after all a heap of other products out at that time for them. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣On this same note, the Xone:DX was also a four channel mixer with a 20 channel audio interface too. You could pretty much have all the ins and outs you wanted. Sadly, those little rubber jogs were its achilles heel from a more conventional controller perspective. So while it could have attracted a wider audience, the focus on Xone customers wanting a controller in mixer clothing limited the appeal. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣But walking this lonely path, the Xone:DX pleased some (like me), but not enough for A+H to make another full controller. And with the software market being so volatile right now, I’m not holding my breath for another. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣That said, if NI were to get into bed with A&H properly, then some real Traktor magic could happen. God knows there’s a user base gagging for that union to be consecrated. Sort it out people — money is waiting, and I suspect a lot of it too. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #allenandheath #xoneofficial #xone #xonedx #serato

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

You know those charts that show the ascent of man from ape to full upright Homo Sapien? Well today’s #djgearfromyesteryear is the start of Denon DJ’s evolutionary scale. Well, almost first but I’ll get to that. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣The Denon DN-S3700 delivered a serious WTF moment for the DJ industry. It certainly wasn’t the first motorised player from Denon — the DN-HS5500 was a unit that was so full of firsts that the usual hyperbole-laced PR actually stood up to scrutiny. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣But the DN-S3700 answered the call for something more turntable like. And when you make the obvious comparison with the just announced SC6000M Prime, you can see the direct lineage from 2008 to today. That said, Denon DJ is still an inch short on vinyl size right now, but that would mean a bigger unit and new flight cases for all. I'd love to see it happen though. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣But as much as the 3700 delivered a significant step forward, and features wise clearly left the offerings from Pioneer in the rear view mirror, the market was still happier with the industry standard CDJ.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣Features alone weren’t and never will be enough. This is a lesson that so many companies have failed to learn over the years — stop bringing tech to a brand fight. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣That said, Denon DJ seems to be winning a few hearts, minds, and pay checks with the new Prime range. The DN-S3700 paved the way for the SC6000M, a unit that should hold them in good stead for a number of years to come. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #denondj #dns3700 #motorisedplatter #denondjofficial

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

I’m sure some of you were waiting for Vestax to appear in my #djgearfromyesteryear series. Today is that day.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣As a company, Vestax has a DJ heritage that stretches way before the advent of skratchworx in 2003, but the VCI-300 is a unit that is key to the digital DJ revolution. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣For me, the original VCI-100 before it for me was the pivotal unit that launched the controller age. In retrospect, it was a trial balloon that tested the waters, and found a genuine appetite within the DJ community for such things. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣The VCI-100 saw a MKII, but the VCI-300 really honed the format into a coherent offering that worked out of the box with Serato ITCH. It became a firm favourite, leading to the hugely successful VCI-380, and the somewhat less popular VCI-400, but there’s a whole story behind that unit that is best left to my memoirs. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Even now, I’d be happy to use the VCI-300. It might not have the large hot cues of more recent controller iterations, but it worked perfectly, and importantly was such fun to use, especially if you used the matching VFX1 controller alongside it. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #vestax #seratodj #serato #vci300 #djcontroller

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Carrying on the #djgearfromyesteryear series is the Serato and Ortofon S-120 cart.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Out of the 460+ reviews, I obviously have my favourites. And with this, I went in deep. I learned a huge amount doing this, and is probably the closest I got to writing a training piece on skratchworx. Even now, it’s definitely worth a read — http://skratchworx.com/reviews/s120.php.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Upon reading about the S-120, I had suspected this would be be little more than a marketing exercise — a cool paint job wrapped in jargon that few would care to look into. The Serato logo would be enough ensure that they would fly off the shelves to adoring fans. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣But I was quite wrong. The S-120 was a complete rework of how the Concorde and OMs worked. It turns out that they were actually designed with DVS users in mind, and my inquisitive mind and macro lens captured that detail. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣It’s fair to say that in a DJ sense, you’re either in the Shure or Ortofon camp. I was a dedicated 44-7 user, but after this review I jumped ship and have never looked back. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I’m down to three S-120s now after clumsily bending a needle, and have yet to try out the new Concorde MK2s, which I’m assured are even better. But after this review, Ortofon had me as a fan. ⁣ ⁣Where is your allegiance? ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #ortofon #seratodj #serato #djcartridge #djcart #djneedle #ortofons120

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Related to the last #djgearfromyesteryear post is another shoot with the Ortofon S-120s, this time with the Smokin’ Shells headshells. Seems silly not to post them today. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I don’t think this actually made it to a review, but I took pictures anyway. I was sent an unengraved pair of these shiny beauties back in 2010, and wondered how I could get the skratchworx logo on a pair. So I popped off to my local shopping centre, and armed with the logo on a USB key, my local engraver did the very best he could to put the logo in the right place. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Laser etching technology has moved on somewhat, and if I did the same again the results would look much better. But I’m really pleased with how these turned out. And you can still get Smokin’ Shells today.⁣ ⁣ ⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #ortofon #seratodj #serato #djcartridge #djcart #djneedle #ortofons120 #smokinshells

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on

View this post on Instagram

Do you remember the days when there were Traktor controllers not made by Native Instruments? The Pioneer (no DJ back then) DDJ-T1 was released in 2011 just a little after NI’s own Kontrol S4, and was a 4 channel partner product to the 2 channel Serato ITCH fuelled DDJ-S1.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣In the days before rekordbox, Pioneer hitched their cart onto just about every other software going, and in this case Traktor and ITCH at more or less the same time. While similar, they were quite different controllers and shows how the leading software players were heading down paths where one controller wouldn’t fit all, no matter how good your mapping skills were. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣I always found Traktor mappings for non Traktor controllers to be a compromise. For me, you made your software decision (because that’s where the features are) and bought the hardware that it was designed to use. Luckily I preferred Serato and got to play with a much broader range of units that worked out of the box.⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣Now, nine years later Pioneer DJ has rekordbox, a software with a growing user base and a huge number of rekordbox dedicated controllers playing bedrooms and gigs all over the world. They’re still playing nice with Serato, and making dedicated controllers for them, but NI is very much making controllers for themselves and nobody else. Anything can happen though. ⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣#djgearfromyesteryear #djworx #djgear #djtechnology #worxlab #djpictures #nativeinstruments #seratoitch #serato #pioneerdj #traktorpro

A post shared by DJWORX (@worx) on


THE COMMENTS SECTION

Commenting Etiquette

Welcome to DJWORX. It’s the most engaged community around, and we have a handful of house rules to keep it that way:
  • • Be polite and constructive.
  • • Treat others as you would expect to be treated. So please disengage keyboard warrior mode before hammering in a full caps rant.
  • • Stay on topic.
  • • Consider your tone of voice. Telling someone that they’re wrong comes across better as “I don’t agree and here’s why”.
  • • No links to copyrighted or offensive material.
Life is way too short to waste time policing comments. So break the rules and you’re out. It’s just the internet, and  the DJWORX community is way more important than catering to the fragile egos of ranting trolls. I trust I have been crystal clear.