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Thread: is it really worth spending any more than $300 dollars on a controller anymore?

  1. #11
    Technoez Rek_Aviles's Avatar
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    The thing with MIDI controllers is that there isn't much to them and prices have come down so much that you CAN get a decent well-built controller in the $300 price range. The expensive ones are those that are putting everything in one controller, like dual-screens to move away from staring at a screen/laptop. Regardless of the brand or how well those are put together, there are a lot more components that can go bad - more likely to fail IMO.

  2. #12
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    ALL the DJs I work with use controllers, most are Pioneer DDJ-SX but one guy has an SR and others use various other mid level non pioneer controllers. One DJ has/had a cheap Traktor but guess what it died on the last gig so hopefully she has upgraded that by next time.
    I think the same rules apply here as with other electronic components, you get what you pay for so there is a minimum you need to spend to get something reliable with decent features but there is also a point of diminishing returns after which you're not really buying much except bragging rights.
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  3. #13
    Jingle Bans Manu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post
    how cheap are we talking here? i have had expensive equipment fail on me. and i have had cheap equipment that never failed
    That is subjective. Let's say, buy the cheapest buy twice. In my experience, the cheap nasty brands never perform as well as the ones we acknowledge as superior in quality overall.

    I've also had some (though very few) expensive equipment fails, but nowhere near as much as the cheapest stuff. Worst I have seen was on a brand new, out of the box and newly installed TL Audio studio mixer. It's a big expensive daddy, and it turned up with one channel solo button that was faulty, and led to many practical jokes before an engineer turned up to repair it (you can't ship the thing back, it's a very large beast).

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    That is subjective. Let's say, buy the cheapest buy twice. In my experience, the cheap nasty brands never perform as well as the ones we acknowledge as superior in quality overall.
    that hasnt been my experience with controllers.

    like, with traditional equipment there seemed to be a rule of thumb with brand names, I was always unhappy with anything by Gemini , Numark or Kam, anything by Technics, Vestax and a few others was always good.

    with controllers, the cheapest have given me the least hassle.

    Cheap
    Hercules MK11 - never a spot of trouble
    Hercules RMX - never a spot of trouble
    Numark Mixtrack Platinum (which i use now) - never a spot of trouble

    Expensive
    MC6000 - buttons failed after short time, whole thing died during an important gig
    NS7 - goes ballistic when your WIFI is switched on, wont work with windows 10 64bit (failed during a gig once - reason unclear, may have been a laptop issue)
    MC4000 (a friends) buttons beginning to fail after 1 year

    so i guess the point im making is, you are going to buy twice anyways, so might aswell buy cheap.

    I have a mixtrack Edge aswell, really tiny flat controller the exact dimensions of an Ipad, I used it when i travelled to south america (had a few bar gigs there during my travels) its the only controller that i can say for sure has inferior sound but the bigger cheap ones sound fine. I use a DI box with the controllers to give me the option of XLR and to remove any buzz in the system due to unbalanced connections.


    Quote Originally Posted by Manu View Post
    That is subjective.
    Thats true, I say buy according to what money you have to throw around. but in the knowledge that after 300 dollars or so ,you are going for looks mostly, and maybe some tactile control
    I do miss using my NS7 because turning platters are something I have always been at home with ,but anything that doesnt turn, it really deosnt matter what grade it is, all the same to me.

    people have approached me to take photos of my mixtrack platinum because they thought it looked cool, they never did that with my NS7 LOL
    Last edited by DJ Matt; 09-27-2019 at 06:37 AM.
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  5. #15
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    I don't think that this is a money argument. I think it's a value argument. Controllers offer a significantly higher value than non-controller setups but up until about 2 years ago the pace of change obsoleted them quickly. That hectic pace seems to be gone now and controllers in general seem to be a mature product.

    The downside of controllers is that they aren't built to withstand punishment of wild DJs and DJ booths. They're typically targeting the aspiring and mobile DJ crowd... not club residents. Controllers can last if owners care for and maintain them properly. For example, my original Traktor Kontrol S4 is still going and it's been, what, 10 years?
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  6. #16
    Jingle Bans Manu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Matt View Post

    people have approached me to take photos of my mixtrack platinum because they thought it looked cool, they never did that with my NS7 LOL
    There was that Russian kid one evening, rich son of someone inside a private summer school for rich kids.

    I was setting up the gear and whatnot in a little chapel (perfect for sound ), Numark CDN-88 (decent bit of kit without being overly expensive back in the day),CD and minidisc backup, my now retired old beast of a 12 channel mixer. Peavey amp, 2x Peavey speakers + 2x Calrsbro speakers. That was enough to wipe your head off if you stay close.

    Lights, etc.

    So this kid comes up to my face saying,

    Aye vill noht cohme to your parteh toniteh, beecus you doo noht rahve any Tekerniques
    So I "apologised" (read: platitude) for not bringing my decks, explaining that it's a lot more gear and records to lug around. But he was too precious, and everyone else had a blast that evening. I find that mostly it's the children who want to have a go at it, regardless of what it looks like.
    Last edited by Manu; 10-02-2019 at 04:05 PM.

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