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  #1  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:01 AM
Scotty Mac
 
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FAO: E&S DJR 400 Owners, Ex-Owners, and Regular Users

Hey guys/gals Wanted to hear from any of you current or former owners of the DJR 400 and pick your brains about what (if anything) you would change about the mixer since using it for a while and run a few mod ideas I had by you about a custom one I am considering having E&S produce for me. As you already know, this is a very expensive mixer so I'm really trying to do my homework and any input would be greatly appreciated. I realize that what I'm after might not even be 100% possible yet. Want to get this right from the start of course should I pull the trigger on this project. Thanks in advance.

Proposed modification from existing standard DJR 400 (illustration attached below)

Eliminate send/return signal loop. I have zero need or desire for using any outboard special effects.

Change channel input configuration from 3 phono/3 line to 2 phono/4 line. This will better suit the popular combination of 2 TTs, 2 CDs, and a DVS.

Change channel EQs bass controls so that they cut to true "0" (OFF) rather than -12dB.

Add a true record output with independent level control which has a signal that is completely unaffected by the master and booth output levels. This way live recordings can be accomplished by having a constant signal level out to the recording device, regardless of how loud/soft the master and booth volumes are throughout the performance.

Add LEDs next to each cue button so their is a quick visual reference as to which channel is being monitored when cueing in headphones. As it is now, there are only buttons and in a dark environment have know idea what channel is being monitored without feeling them.

Add second row of input signal LEDs and assign each row to true left/right so that there is visual confirmation of left/right signal which is critical when using a DVS.

Add a XLR mic input with independent level control. I despise voiceovers during live sets and this would hardly ever be used, but when it's needed, it's needed.

Re-label silkscreened text to reflect mods and correct text that was originally mis-labeled (ie: change gains starting at "0" rather than "1", changing "BASS" to "LOW" or "HIGH" to "TREBLE" on isolator so it's consistent with channel EQs, inconsistent CAPS and Lowers, etc.)

Current Production (Back)


Current Production (Top)


Proposed Mods (Back & Top)
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2009, 05:57 PM
djone djone is offline
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humm, i'm affraid there's not enough space for all those.
each time i talk to jerome, he always comes back to this: space .. we've spoken about some of those mods a few years back.

i had a DJR400 for a while but i didn't keep it, it was fun to play around when travelling but i prefer the urei & bozak for home & studio.
from my perspective what's missing is also good step out transformers .. but here again, not enough space to fit in this format.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2009, 05:59 PM
djone djone is offline
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by the way the basic version doesn't have the send/return, so if you don't need it, then it's (a bit) cheaper
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2009, 06:06 PM
djone djone is offline
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as a side note, in this format it's probably the best mixer one can get.
i guess everyone who tried it will agree it sounds nice.

also E&S built very solid equipment, i'm using a fex stuffs from jerome for a while now and never had any problem.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2009, 06:37 PM
Scotty Mac
 
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Thanks for the feedback djone.

Can you elaborate a bit on the space issue? Reason I ask is I thought I took more out (effects knobs, loop in/out jacks) than put in and drew it pretty much to scale. I'm not an engineer so I realize there's more to it than just sketching something out (lol). I think I need to prioritize my needs/wants list first and then go from there.

BTW: The interest in this at this time is primarily as a portable unit. I'm sick and tired of sending robust tracks through the countless Pioneer mixers I'm forced to deal with out in the field only to have their sound quality destroyed. It should be a crime. With one of these babies I wouldn't mind showing up early to plug in if it means music can finally breathe.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2009, 07:20 PM
voltcontrol voltcontrol is offline
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DJR with what you're suggesting + 3band iso on each channel (and no master iso) would be my ideal mixer.

O yeah and VUmetering for each channel.

Last edited by voltcontrol : 07-31-2009 at 07:22 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2009, 03:59 AM
Pern Pern is offline
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One option is to add a small "extension Box" to the mixer.

This would:

- Double the available Line inputs
- Add Mic Input
- Add Extra Zone and REC output

Just connect all Line Inputs to this first, then from it to the mixer.
Connect Booth output to it.

This is not that hard or expensive to do.


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  #8  
Old 08-01-2009, 04:44 AM
Pern Pern is offline
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Or Add a generic DJ Mixer ext box.

It contains:

- 2 ch Line mixer (Connect to Line 1)
- 2 ch Line mixer (Connect to Line 3)
- 2 ch Line + Mic mixer (Connect to Line 4)
- 3 Stereo Outputs .
- Option to link Mix 2 + 3 to Mix 1 if you just want to use one or two input(s) on your mixer.
- Option to link Mix 1 to OUT in. This mix your mixer with this unit adding 6 AUX inputs + mic to your mixer output.


mmm , this is something i could use myself. Maybee i should build one.


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Last edited by Pern : 08-01-2009 at 05:51 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2009, 05:52 AM
T. Tauri T. Tauri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Mac
BTW: The interest in this at this time is primarily as a portable unit. I'm sick and tired of sending robust tracks through the countless Pioneer mixers I'm forced to deal with out in the field only to have their sound quality destroyed. It should be a crime.

I feel you... Recently moved to the Minneapolis, and it's Pio city here. Spent years in NYC not having to touch one and it spoiled me. Been pondering the E&S again myself for exactly the same reason, even though its an imperfect solution for me.

Peece,
T. Tauri
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2009, 01:32 PM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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The only thing I don't like about the original design is the lack of cue/pgrm blend knob on the headphones and the cue send to headphone being just a button for each channel when there is not any pre-fader gain knob available. So I'd add the blend knob and probably get the buttons replaced with send knobs, so I could...uhh...send whatever volume of the cue signals I wanted. Of course, you can hook up a headphone amp to the send on the back and use the front/bottom knobs, but I'd wanna keep those.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2009, 02:35 PM
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mynameismatt mynameismatt is offline
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Here's the inside to kinda give you an idea:

http://www.wavemusic.com/community/s...ead.php?t=7901
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2009, 03:06 PM
Dj Greg G Dj Greg G is offline
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I've had several mods for mine. Mario did these; Phono 2 is now a line and the Isolator is now +6db max. I thought the Isolator had a little too much gain. Jerome did these mods; the cue buttons changed so that now when you press them in the VU meter still represents the program rather than the cue.

Scotty like yourself I would like led lights next to the cues as well. After a couple of drinks I can barely find the mixer let alone a little cue button.
I think every button needs an indicator light. If it were a rotary cue then no big deal. Added cue/program mix option and had the mixer re-grounded. Even quieter!

Dual led meter, mic input and record output those would be nice too. I'll keep the send and return, I don't use it that often but it adds to the resell. The eqs sound great on this mixer, with the +6db mod on the Isolator I can live with it. 0db to +6db would be cool too, adds a more interesting mix.

Scotty you're a Rane man and I have the TTM57SL for my mobile mixer so I feel you on these mods. I think the mixer can be bigger like a 10" mixer with the same weight and all of these features and more can be added.

I'll tell you one thing you can plug this mixer in your set and go. No extra processing needed. You look at it and then you hear it and it totally amazes you.Aside from it all Jerome is a professional. He doesn't care if you're a superstar Dj or a bedroom one. He's totally committed to his product and he wants you to be happy with it. His custom service is excellent.

It's a great mixer, I just don't have the time to play with it as often. Might put it up on the Trading post. We'll see.







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  #13  
Old 08-01-2009, 03:21 PM
Dj Greg G Dj Greg G is offline
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You can use the line input as a mic input. I've used a 1/4" mono or xlr to rca male cable.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2009, 11:05 AM
bbc bbc is offline
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Well mine had a LOT of mods. I've mentioned them here before but I'll go over them again, a lot are what you have asked for!

*I had a record out. It's super loud though, so it's always distorted, but I told the rep, a good buddy of mine here in Japan and he made me a special lead that reduces it perfectly. But hopefully I'll be in Europe next summer so I may drop it off to Jerome personally so he can fix it. At 200 Euro for shipping, I'll live with a special lead for now.

*I had a mic input put in the front. It's SO powerful! I was thinking though, maybe it wasn't a good idea, maybe a separate mic amp would of been much better, as it would have a better sound and you could process it easier!?! Anyway, he gave me the option to have this as an addition to the CH4 knob, so it could be EQed, or as a 5th channel with it's own gain knob on the front, but no EQ. I chose it as a 5th channel.

*I had the boost on the isolator changed to 6db max.

*I had the channel selector buttons moved to the front of the mixer. This has helped so many times, I don't have to fiddle with buttons on the back at all, just switches on the front. I ask for buttons, but it arrived with switches, which I thought would be bad during transport, but they aren't such a problem now.

*I had the channels configured differently. CH1 - line/line, CH2 - phono, CH3 - phono/line, CH4 - line. This has helped more than I would ever imagine! I know I would never need it, but there has been more than one occasion when someone has wanted to plug their laptop in to my mixer (what a pain in the ass!). Anyway, having the extra line channels and the switches on the front REALLY made this such a breeze.


My regrets and what hopefully I can do something about next summer are:

*Even though I would probably NEVER use them, I wish I had the effect send/return for each channel. I think about it a lot and this is an incredible feature.

*I LOVE the fact you get the cue volume on the meter when you select it, but when mixing, I like to see the master level, so what I was thinking was a switch to change the view between master level and cue level.

*The master volume meter is PRE isolator, so if you have a stupid DJ boosting all channels, then it's not going to show on the meter which sucks.

*I wish there was a mechanical stop after 7 on the master, because after 7 the mixer sounds like ass (trust me, this wasn't me that did it, but it's a pain in the ass to go over and explain to the DJ every time that going over 7 doesn't make it any louder, it just distorts it more).

*Totally agree with a light for the cue buttons. Even if you feel, sometimes it's hard to tell, I would LOVE this feature.

*Not keeping the 3rd phono input somehow.


Most of the other stuff mentioned in this thread can be done, but it will COST you The headphone blend option is available.

As for EQ, I'm sick of them, I wish my mixer didn't have them at all, they aren't needed. Plus you have an incredible isolator there to utilize.

When I was getting mine down, I asked for the EQ's to have a depression at 0 so they kinda clicked in. He said it was possible, but would be VERY expensive, so I opted out of that option.

As for the silk screen, I have the original screen, which is all wrong, but I've taped it all up and written all over it, so it's no big deal. Plus the DJ's can see clearly what is what. I aint about being pretty, I'm about the music But I'd say, an individual silk screen would cost a HEAP!

The basic versions has a effects loop, but no send knobs that's all. This has got me SO many times when setting up. 'Everything is working perfectly, but no sounds, why?' The freaking effects loop cords aren't plugged in! Hahaha.

The best bit? It fits right in the front of my record bag! I squeeze it in a 15 inch laptop cover case, take half as many records, and chuck it right in the front! Power pack in the headphone pocket and away I go!

I can't get over how light this thing is! It seems even lighter than the power pack! And it packs such an amazing PUNCH! I still think a Urei and Bozak are better, just, but they aint gunna fit in your record bag along with an isolator, VU meter and rack! And can you imagine the bullshit you would go through telling the club your bringing your rack mixer to the club! Pffffff.

Greg G, what did you do to ground it? I'm curious!


As for mods, in the end, all you can do is ask! Like I said, it will cost (a lot!), be I'm sure he will try to work around a solution for you. It took me MONTHS to get everything right, which I wasn't happy about at all, but now it's in my hands, I'm really happy. Hopefully I can work on those mods and have EXACTLY what I want soon, till then, I'm still stoked.
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2009, 11:57 AM
Reticuli Reticuli is offline
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BBC,

Is the record out distorted by your recording gear or at the output from the mixer itself?

Why do you want to see the cue meter if there are no pre-fader gain knobs?
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2009, 12:54 PM
Dj Greg G Dj Greg G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbc
Greg G, what did you do to ground it? I'm curious!

I was getting a buzzing, so I sent it back to Jerome and he fixed. I didn't open it up to see how he grounded it, but it's extremely quiet now and I can crank it up pretty high with no problems at all. I just thought it could be quieter and he reduced the noise significantly.
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  #17  
Old 08-02-2009, 01:44 PM
Dj Greg G Dj Greg G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbc
As for EQ, I'm sick of them, I wish my mixer didn't have them at all, they aren't needed. Plus you have an incredible isolator there to utilize.

When you use an Isolator as a Program eq your going to boost or reduce all your incoming channels if you don't have it set to flat during your mix. Having individual eq's alleviates this problem. Set the DJR-400 bass eq at full cut (-12db) it give's you a four way mid-bass effect along with the isolator.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:27 AM
bbc bbc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
BBC,

Is the record out distorted by your recording gear or at the output from the mixer itself?

Why do you want to see the cue meter if there are no pre-fader gain knobs?

No it's not my recording gear, I can have the recording volume right down, so it's not clipping, but it still sound super compressed. If I use the booth out to record, it sounds great, as I can adjust it. But with the cord (which apparently have resistors at one end of the cord), it has dropped the output level of the record out significantly, and now it sounds great out of both the record out and the booth out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Greg G
I was getting a buzzing, so I sent it back to Jerome and he fixed. I didn't open it up to see how he grounded it, but it's extremely quiet now and I can crank it up pretty high with no problems at all. I just thought it could be quieter and he reduced the noise significantly.

How much did it cost you to send it back? Did he cover shipping?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Greg G
When you use an Isolator as a Program eq your going to boost or reduce all your incoming channels if you don't have it set to flat during your mix. Having individual eq's alleviates this problem. Set the DJR-400 bass eq at full cut (-12db) it give's you a four way mid-bass effect along with the isolator.

Yeah, I just don't think it's needed. Bozak and Urei sound amazing without EQ, I don't think my DJR needs it. Plus it's only noob DJ's that use it on my DJR anyway, they use it the same way they would a slide mixer, by cutting the bass of the incoming song, then switching it with the live track once the level is right up. I find this really unoriginal and not needed, as the DJR blends so well (unlike any Pioneer mixer). Plus it's so fiddly to mess around with each channels EQ, the knobs and spacing is so small, it looks so awkward!
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2009, 09:36 AM
bbc bbc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reticuli
Why do you want to see the cue meter if there are no pre-fader gain knobs?

Sorry I didn't answer this question before, I just saw it. It's great to see the level of channel pre fader, as you learn where you have to put the knob to make it hit the sweet spot. If the level is peaking perfectly just under the orange on the VU, then you have to have the knob at 7 when mix. If it's one light less, then you need to have it at 6, if it's one light more, then you need to have it at 8. I just love it, it's the only thing I miss when I used a Urei or Bozak, it's the one thing it has over these two mixers.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2009, 11:11 AM
Scotty Mac
 
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Wow! Thanks for all the great input guys. Very helpful. Lots here to process. Will be back shortly with a few follow up questions.
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  #21  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:00 PM
Scotty Mac
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pern
One option is to add a small "extension Box" to the mixer.

Good idea Pern. That could work, but it's really not an option for me personally. One of the things that's attracting me to the 400 is its size and simplicity in an all-in-one chassis solution. Appreciate the input though. Thanks.
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  #22  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:04 PM
Scotty Mac
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by T. Tauri
I feel you... Recently moved to the Minneapolis, and it's Pio city here. Spent years in NYC not having to touch one and it spoiled me. Been pondering the E&S again myself for exactly the same reason, even though its an imperfect solution for me.

Peece,
T. Tauri

Amen. It's like playing Russian Roulette here as far as mixers go. The 400 might just make my odds foolproof. With any luck, I can get these imperfection minimized with mods (:fingers crossed:)
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  #23  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:06 PM
Scotty Mac
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by mynameismatt
Here's the inside to kinda give you an idea:

http://www.wavemusic.com/community/s...ead.php?t=7901

Ooooooooh! DJ Porn! Awesome. I need a tissue now. Thanks.
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  #24  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:09 PM
Scotty Mac
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj Greg G
[i]I've had several mods for mine. Mario did these; Phono 2 is now a line and the Isolator is now +6db max. I thought the Isolator had a little too much gain. Jerome did these mods; the cue buttons changed so that now when you press them in the VU meter still represents the program rather than the cue.

Scotty like yourself I would like led lights next to the cues as well. After a couple of drinks I can barely find the mixer let alone a little cue button.
I think every button needs an indicator light. If it were a rotary cue then no big deal. Added cue/program mix option and had the mixer re-grounded. Even quieter!

Dual led meter, mic input and record output those would be nice too. I'll keep the send and return, I don't use it that often but it adds to the resell. The eqs sound great on this mixer, with the +6db mod on the Isolator I can live with it. 0db to +6db would be cool too, adds a more interesting mix.

Scotty you're a Rane man and I have the TTM57SL for my mobile mixer so I feel you on these mods. I think the mixer can be bigger like a 10" mixer with the same weight and all of these features and more can be added.

I'll tell you one thing you can plug this mixer in your set and go. No extra processing needed. You look at it and then you hear it and it totally amazes you.Aside from it all Jerome is a professional. He doesn't care if you're a superstar Dj or a bedroom one. He's totally committed to his product and he wants you to be happy with it. His custom service is excellent.

It's a great mixer, I just don't have the time to play with it as often. Might put it up on the Trading post. We'll see.

Thanks for all the insight Greg. You've given me plenty of food for thought. Couple questions about your pics. What are the two knobs for I highlight with red arrows?



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  #25  
Old 08-03-2009, 03:17 PM
Scotty Mac
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbc
Well mine had a LOT of mods. I've mentioned them here before but I'll go over them again, a lot are what you have asked for!

*I had a record out. It's super loud though, so it's always distorted, but I told the rep, a good buddy of mine here in Japan and he made me a special lead that reduces it perfectly. But hopefully I'll be in Europe next summer so I may drop it off to Jerome personally so he can fix it. At 200 Euro for shipping, I'll live with a special lead for now.

*I had a mic input put in the front. It's SO powerful! I was thinking though, maybe it wasn't a good idea, maybe a separate mic amp would of been much better, as it would have a better sound and you could process it easier!?! Anyway, he gave me the option to have this as an addition to the CH4 knob, so it could be EQed, or as a 5th channel with it's own gain knob on the front, but no EQ. I chose it as a 5th channel.

*I had the boost on the isolator changed to 6db max.

*I had the channel selector buttons moved to the front of the mixer. This has helped so many times, I don't have to fiddle with buttons on the back at all, just switches on the front. I ask for buttons, but it arrived with switches, which I thought would be bad during transport, but they aren't such a problem now.

*I had the channels configured differently. CH1 - line/line, CH2 - phono, CH3 - phono/line, CH4 - line. This has helped more than I would ever imagine! I know I would never need it, but there has been more than one occasion when someone has wanted to plug their laptop in to my mixer (what a pain in the ass!). Anyway, having the extra line channels and the switches on the front REALLY made this such a breeze.


My regrets and what hopefully I can do something about next summer are:

*Even though I would probably NEVER use them, I wish I had the effect send/return for each channel. I think about it a lot and this is an incredible feature.

*I LOVE the fact you get the cue volume on the meter when you select it, but when mixing, I like to see the master level, so what I was thinking was a switch to change the view between master level and cue level.

*The master volume meter is PRE isolator, so if you have a stupid DJ boosting all channels, then it's not going to show on the meter which sucks.

*I wish there was a mechanical stop after 7 on the master, because after 7 the mixer sounds like ass (trust me, this wasn't me that did it, but it's a pain in the ass to go over and explain to the DJ every time that going over 7 doesn't make it any louder, it just distorts it more).

*Totally agree with a light for the cue buttons. Even if you feel, sometimes it's hard to tell, I would LOVE this feature.

*Not keeping the 3rd phono input somehow.


Most of the other stuff mentioned in this thread can be done, but it will COST you The headphone blend option is available.

As for EQ, I'm sick of them, I wish my mixer didn't have them at all, they aren't needed. Plus you have an incredible isolator there to utilize.

When I was getting mine down, I asked for the EQ's to have a depression at 0 so they kinda clicked in. He said it was possible, but would be VERY expensive, so I opted out of that option.

As for the silk screen, I have the original screen, which is all wrong, but I've taped it all up and written all over it, so it's no big deal. Plus the DJ's can see clearly what is what. I aint about being pretty, I'm about the music But I'd say, an individual silk screen would cost a HEAP!

The basic versions has a effects loop, but no send knobs that's all. This has got me SO many times when setting up. 'Everything is working perfectly, but no sounds, why?' The freaking effects loop cords aren't plugged in! Hahaha.

The best bit? It fits right in the front of my record bag! I squeeze it in a 15 inch laptop cover case, take half as many records, and chuck it right in the front! Power pack in the headphone pocket and away I go!

I can't get over how light this thing is! It seems even lighter than the power pack! And it packs such an amazing PUNCH! I still think a Urei and Bozak are better, just, but they aint gunna fit in your record bag along with an isolator, VU meter and rack! And can you imagine the bullshit you would go through telling the club your bringing your rack mixer to the club! Pffffff.

Greg G, what did you do to ground it? I'm curious!


As for mods, in the end, all you can do is ask! Like I said, it will cost (a lot!), be I'm sure he will try to work around a solution for you. It took me MONTHS to get everything right, which I wasn't happy about at all, but now it's in my hands, I'm really happy. Hopefully I can work on those mods and have EXACTLY what I want soon, till then, I'm still stoked.


Thank you too bbc for the wealth of info. Much appreciated.

The main reason I'm after true cut to zero bass on the individual channel EQs is there are times when I want to ride the bassline from one track over another to create a totally different sound to the second track. If one track just has beats it's OK, but you can't do this correctly if you have competing basslines as you'll end up with just a mess of conflicting bass info. In my experience, if a mixer only allows for attenuation of a channel's bass and not true cut, then it limits your mixing choices and makes bassline swaps next to impossible.

Regarding silk-screening, I was under the impression alternates where offered based on these pictures I've found that show variations on labeling vs. the others shown here. Note the LOW/MID/HIGH on isolator, PHONO 1/PHONO2/CD 1/CD 2 channel labels plus they are above knobs, BASS & TREBLE are above knobs, and the minimized text at top section. This one also appears to be sans-LED signal meter.


Last edited by Scotty Mac : 08-03-2009 at 03:54 PM.
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