Many people ask me about my equipment and what they need to get started with scratching and turntablism.
So here is my personal set up:
- 2 x Technics SL-1200 MK2 (Silver Finish, SL-1210 are black in colour, that is the only difference in case you were wondering). I also have shiny silver faceplates that cover the decks because everyone needs a little bling in their lives!
- Vestax 06 Pro A mixer with Penny and Gilles crossfader, although I have recently upgraded to a Pro X Fade crossfader
- Sennheiser 25-1 Headphones (Comfy, nice and loud, exclude ambient noise)
- Shure M447 Cartridges + Needles (The scratch standard for needles)
- Butter Rug Slipmats
- Various scratch records / battle weapons, some favs include Superseal, Superseal 2, Delux Shampoo Breaks
And on the Digital side:
- Serato Scratch
- Macbook Pro
- Logic Pro for production
I previously owned the first release of Vestax PDX 2000 and whilst these are also very good and have more features, I personally prefer the feel of Technics.
I have had this set up since 2000 and it’s still going strong. The Technics were second hand. The Penny and Gilles crossfader replaced the standard Vestax crossfader and is very good, but I have just worn it out. I upgraded to the Pro X Fade which has more control over cut in etc, although I have been told by many that the innofader is now the ultimate.
If you are new to scratching and mixing, whilst I wholeheartedly recommend my personal setup, I advise that you get down to a store or mates house and have a play with various setups so you can make your own decision and find what works for you. My mixer is inexpensive in the grand scheme of things but with the upgraded cross fader it has served me well and I have had no complaints. I’m looking to upgrade to the Rane TTM57 for integration with Serato Scratch.
One area that I wish I had paid more attention to when I first started was the area of turntables. I got some Soundlab direct drives but quite frankly they couldn’t hack the pace and I quickly outgrew them. I replaced one at a time with the Vestax PDX, before swapping the PDXs for the Technics 1200s I have now.
My advice is if you have limited funds, start off with ONE good turntable so you can practice scratching without getting frustrated with a deck that is lagging behind. If you decide that *ahem* “scratching isn’t for you”, Technics hold their value particularly well. One note, don’t bother with the MK5, MK2 all the way!