Been working on a new console design since I had to sell my old one (too big for the new apartment).
This is a mock up, built quick 'n' dirty out of pine to test out the feel. I haven't seen any consoles with the mixer above the decks before and I'd always thought it could work. After all, you spend most of time with your hands on the decks, not on the mixer, so why is the mixer always in front? The obvious reason is because having to reach *over* the turntables is more dangerous than reaching over a mixer. So, a lot depends on getting the placement of the mixer right.
So far, this is working great. I love the feel of having the mixer and isolator at chest height. The height of the turntables is 36" right now and the mixer is 12" above that (measured to the bottom of the turntables). 12" feels like a good amount of space: the mixer isn't too high and yet there's still room to change records without banging them against the underside of the mixer shelf.
I think I'll raise the height of the whole thing a few inches in the next version. The turntables feel a little lower than I like them. Will have to see if this makes the mixer too high, or if I'll have to decrease the 12" between TTs and mixer.
One other issue is that the headphone cord now hangs down dangerously close to the tonearms when mixing. So, I'll need to run an extension cable around the back and up underneath so the phones can plug into a jack mounted on the turntables' level.