Monday, August 31, 2009

::Dear Vestax & Numark, You Officially Suck::

Wouldn't life be sweet if vinyl records were 3 inches in diameter? Crate digging woes and storage issues for OCD vinyl audiophiles like me would vanish in a puff of smoke. I mean, think about it...this little jawn would fit right into your pocket:

(YouTube video embedded)

But alas, it would all be at the expense of maximum groove capacity. So much for wishful thinking. What prompted such a random thought, you ask? Well, I've finally come to the conclusion that the Numark PT-01 USB (and its less tech savvy predecessor, the PT-01) is a laughable piece of technology. I've had mine for a year now (upgraded from both the Vestax Handy Trax and the PT-01) and have had variable speed issues and general design gripes. It's far too bulky for easy travel and maximum portability (utilizing 6 D batteries with measurements like 12" X 12" X 4", this jawn is pretty heavy when fully loaded):

It's hard to conceive that this hulking monster was even designed and manufactured in the 21st century. It's almost as if Numark dusted off an old design from the mid nineties and decided to roll with it nearly 10 years later. Same thing with the Handy Trax. I mean, all the YouTube vids showing DJs mixing with a set of portable turntables are great for PR...

(YouTube video embedded)

(YouTube video embedded)

...but how many people who buy these things are buying them with the intention of actually juggling beats with them?! C'mon. Seriously. Most folks buy these things for crate digging. Period. So portability and streamlined design are paramount for most of the folks who intend to use it.

However...instead of writing scathing letters to Vestax and Numark...I just decided to upgrade. Well, kinda. It's actually a throwback upgrade. Say hi to my newest toy, the Audio Technica Mister Disc!

(YouTube video embedded)

Originally manufactured in 1983 by Audio Technica, the Mister Disc (model # AT-770) was sold exclusively in the U.S. market while its close cousin the Sound Burger (model # AT-727) was sold in Audio Technica's native Japan. The only distinguishing factor between the two, besides the name, was the fact that Mister Disc was only available in a metallic silver while the Sound Burger was made available in a variety of lively colors:

Its been praised both for its sound quality (attributed to its magnetic cartridge versus the more ubiquitous ceramic cartridges used by the Vestax and the Numark models) and portability (it utilizes 3 C batteries with the measurements 11.4" X 4" X 2.5"). That same year Sony (the OTHER Japanese electronics company) came out with a competitive, more innovative take on the Sound Burger/ Mister Disc:

The Flamingo was an upright version of the Audio Technica machine. Actually, they jacked the design. Straight up. But the main difference was that the Flamingo was a vertical loading design that utilized a tone arm with linear tracking. DAMN!!

(YouTube video embedded)

Flamingos are harder to find than the Sound Burger/ Mister Disc...and are hella expensive! But there have also been other "bites" of the Audio Technica design. Such as Dual's PRP 5:

...also jacked and manufactured by German electronics company Saba as the McDisc (McDisc = Burger...get it?):

(YouTube video embedded)

And the Twin Singer:

...which lived up to its name by also having a recessed cassette tape player:

But I digress...either way, the Mister Disc is a great solution to my problem. I managed to snag one recently (had to pay a small fortune, of course...but not as much as most) and can't wait to take it out with me on my next dig. Stay tuned...

1 comment:

Enildem said...

Thanks for this huge listing.
I own a pathé marconi PE1 similar to the Saba but with yellow button and a better finished design.

I found this luckily for 50€!

And the needle for the soundburger and generic is this one > ZAFIRA réf 6879.8 - THOMSON DN 105/SOUND BURGER