• Review: Eclectic Breaks Pro X Fade

    Many scratch DJs favour analogue faders over other alternatives such as optical faders and the Pro X Fade from Eclectic Breaks is an after-market analogue replacement crossfader for various mixers.

    Attachment 142


    Considerations when buying a fader for scratching.

    The following are important things when choosing a fader if you're a scratch DJ: -

    Curve - This is largely dictated by your mixer. The curve is how quickly it goes from being able to hear the sound coming in, to the sound hitting full volume as you move the fader. The more quickly this occurs, the less distance you have to move the fader for this to happen. With most scratching techniques (other than fading ones) you want the crossfader to work basically like a switch, rather than having the sound fade in and out after a longer distance.

    Lag - This is the amount of dead space at each end of the fader, so it's how far you have to move the fader before you initially hear any sound. Some DJs like to have a little bit of lag at the ends of the fader, while others like it to cut in as sharply as possible.

    Tension - This is how stiff the fader feels when you slide it left and right. Again, how much fader tension DJs want will vary from DJ to DJ, but most scratch DJs would want the fader to be nearer the lighter end of the scale as opposed to nearer the stiffer end.

    Stem/Fader cap - The fader stem needs to be strong. Scratch/battle DJs give their faders a healthy beating compared to regular mix DJs, so the last thing you want is a fader that has a stem that's likely to snap. Also, the shape of the fader cap makes a difference, with some DJs preferring a triangular sloped fader cap and others preferring a rectangular shape.

    Sound - One of the reasons scratch DJs will go for an analogue fader is because of sound. It gives you a nice natural sound without any unwanted clicking or popping - the sort of sounds you might hear if you try and scratch with your line switch, for example.

    Mixers and fitting.

    Here's the list of mixers that this fader will fit into, copied from EB's website: -

    Vestax PMC 05, 06, 07, 007, all versions except for Samurai digital x-fader. Fits PMC007 pro & QFO /QFO LE, use top plate from standard fit fader.
    Allen & Heath all Xone Mixers.
    Numark SM-1.
    Stanton SK-series, all VCA alps/P&G/Focus compatible mixers except SK-4 and SK5.
    You may be able to fit this fader into other mixers too, but double-check before you buy. I have the fader fitted into an Ecler Hak 310, which isn't on the list of supported mixers and it did require a slight modification to the wiring in order to get it to work, but it wasn't that hard to fit and it works just fine.

    Adjustments and features.

    The Pro X Fade has a couple of adjustments that many faders do not have. If you look at the image of the fader above, you can see a little wheel at each end of the fader rail. Turning these wheels moves them in and out and allows you to adjust the lag. Also, there is a little hole under the fader stem where you can use an Allen key (provided) to adjust the tension of the fader. With the tension set on the lowest setting, the fader is very light and smooth.

    Included with the Pro X Fade is a little keyring type thing and attached to that are some tools for adjusting the fader tension and for cleaning the fader. You also get a small tube of DeoxIT oil from Caig for lubing the fader.

    The fader tracks are made of 100% conductive plastic for a long life and reduced bleeding. The fader stem is thick and strong and is about 8mm wide. I can't guarantee that it will never snap, but they've clearly done their best to build the fader to last. The fader cap is sloped/triangular rather than rectangular, but you can probably get hold of a rectangular fader cap that that will fit if you prefer that shape. The fader is also very easy to take apart to clean as you just pull the cover off and the fader looks just as it does in the image at the top of this thread.

    All in all, it's a nice package and you can tell it's been designed by DJs for DJs. No corners have been cut with the quality and they've included the tools you'll need to fit, adjust and clean the fader.

    Sound, performance and overall rating.

    In use, the Pro X Fade sounds and feels great. I have the tension set as low as it can go and I like just a small bit of lag at the ends of the fader. There is no unwanted clicking/popping nor bleeding. Obviously, replacing a fader is not going to turn a n00b into Qbert, but if you want a quality replacement fader for your mixer than I would certainly recommend this one.

    I have had this fader fitted to my mixer for 5 or 6 years now and it's still going strong. I have read comments on forums where a few DJs have said that it needs cleaning more often than some other faders, but I haven't really found that to be the case. I have found that the lag adjustment wheels can move very slightly over a very long period of time, but this isn't a huge issue - it's not like you'll need to take the fader apart every 3 months to readjust them.

    It retails at 90 in the UK which is in the upper price range for a fader, but in the long term I feel that it's worth it as I have been able to adjust the tension/lag to my liking and the fader has lasted a long time. Obviously, this is just anecdotal evidence from one person, so I can't speak for the longevity of the product for all users.

    Overall, I think it's an excellent, well thought out fader that's been built by DJs for DJs and doesn't leave you wanting for anything with what's included in the box. My one criticism would be the price, which I feel is perhaps a touch too high, but then if you get several years of use out of it as I have, then 90 isn't a huge amount to pay.

    Oh, and one last thing - I have not used an Innofader, so I can't say how the 2 compare (cos I know someone might ask about that!).

    Links.

    You can find more info on the Eclectic Breaks website here: -

    http://www.eclecticbreaks.com/proxfade/
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Review: Eclectic Breaks Pro X Fade started by Sigma View original post
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