Restoring Vestax PDX d3s turntables — my next project

Vestax PDX d3s Dj turntable deck restoration project (14)

While DJWORX might be all about delivering a daily dose of all that is new and shiny in the world of… ummm new DJ shiny, it is important to recognise where all this stuff has come from. So I’m making it my mission to introduce you to the roots of DJ gear, and from time to time, show you the path your new gear has walked to get to your DJ cave. But first, a story.

Last year, I accompanied Mrs DJWORX down south for a training course in the sleepy village of Alfriston. Nestling at one end is a bookshop — an inspiring haven called Much Ado Books. Having an intimate relationship with fine leather-bound editions (the olds are craftsman bookbinders), I was immediately inspired by this cornucopia of printed works, both old and new, to the point were I almost immediately decided that once I’d got too old to be taken seriously as a technology hack, and thus slipping into irrelevance, I would open a shop that sold quality books and rare vinyl, while I sat curmudgeonly behind the counter restoring classic DJ gear. Hell it sounds like an amazing thing to do now… buys lottery ticket…

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So I’m combining my desire to restore, repair and otherwise tastefully pimp classic lumps of DJ gear with my actual need for more setups in the worxlab. Now when I talk of classics, I generally keep coming back to Vestax. I have a lot of love for them, because they have always dared to be different and not always played it safe. They’ve made mistakes of course, but it’s only through trying and failing that you develop and grow. And one area they really made an impact in was turntables.

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So I scoured eBay and Gumtree for “vestax” and after missing a few pairs, I stumbled across a single Vestax PDX d3s for £60. But the real score was a pair in allegedly good order with flight cases that I managed to snag for just £93. Now comparing the eBay picture to the actual reality of the condition of the decks is chalk and cheese, but nothing a little soap and water won’t initially fix.

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The first deck is in better overall condition, but is missing a foot and only puts audio out through one channel. The pair of decks are in perfect working order, but have clearly been heavily gigged with, and been the victim of more than a few sweet sticky drinks. A little TLC on one of them showed me that it’s purely cosmetic and both could be in great condition in no time.

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But then I wondered about doing a proper restoration job, stripping everything off, replacing more or less every piece of metal, respraying the case and getting decals from the Vestax vault in Japan. Or perhaps a little more of a pimp job, where I did the case in gloss black, and made new custom plates in the Fab Lab next door. I still don’t know if I want to keep the essence of what I love about Vestax, or inject the DJWORX branding into them.

So I ask you this — what would you do? Restoration or tasteful deck pimping?

Vestax PDX d3s Gallery