By Chase Jewell – Sound & Lighting Tutor
For years, I’ve had a pair of Stanton STR8-60 turntables that I used for my events that I would use for doing timecode mixes. This was mostly for my bar, club, and school dance gigs. And while these turntables did the job, after five rebuilds and years of use, it was time to upgrade them. I did a lot of research on what I should choose from when it came to my DJ turntables. I narrowed it down to the Pioneer SLX-1000 , the classic Technics SL 1200 mk2, and the Reloop RP-8000 Hybrid Turntables. I was very torn on what decision to make because all of these turntables were great options for my timecode setup. Finally, one day I saw the video from Arnoldo Offerman detailing why he ditched his technics for the Reloops and I was sold.
I’ll go over all the great reasons why I chose these turntables and go over all the great features of them.
First, the Reloop RP-8000 Hybrid Turntables are set up exactly how you are used to with other turntables. If you have ever used Technics these have the same layout and basic design as they do–down to the S-Shaped tonearm. These are midi capable with almost ALL of the parts, aside from the tonearm and platter.
It features eight midi pad buttons on each turntable with different options for each. For all your major DJ software, such as Serato, Virtual DJ, and Traktor, these turntables will have native midi mappings but you can map them as you wish. The play/pause buttons are even mappable (though I don’t know why you’d want to map those). Also, they feature adjustable torque settings and adjustable start/brake settings. This is a GODSEND for turntable DJs because you can set the start/brake to the lowest setting and it’s almost like pausing with a controller. And the torque is phenomenal for cueing tracks as well as scratching to allow the platter to move under the record while you are adjusting it.
Look and Feel
When I opened the boxes of my new turntables (thanks to Justin Schwarz from iDJNow for making it so much easier), I was immediately impressed. They are very well packaged, and even if the box was thrown around in shipment, I am sure no damage at all would occur to the product itself. They are very sleek and good looking. The gloss black color really stands out next to your mixer in your coffin case. If you like to set up your turntables in battle configuration the play/stop buttons on both sides really helps ensure a comfortable setup without having to reach far or around other items. The midi buttons and cue, loop, slicer and sampler options for them are second nature and have a great feel while pushing them.
You can set up the LCD display on them to display either the tempo setting for the turntable or to pull the BPM from your DJ software and display it on screen. With internal grounding, you don’t ever have to worry about ground interference again, and you can set the outputs to line or phono whichever you prefer to use. All of the included cables have L-shaped ends for the turntable side to ensure a perfect fit without worrying about clearance. All the functions are so smooth and have the classic feel of the Technics in a brand new package.
I personally use Virtual DJ for my timecode setup (the reasons why are for another whole article, haha). The ability to set the start/brake and torque give these turntables a great benefit to all DJs. In a turntablist setting this gives you a head up on the competition. If you prefer a more classic feel you can have that too! The midi pads on the turntables work GREAT! You can have up to eight cue points, eight different options for loops, eight options on your slicer, and eight different samples. You can even split the functions between the pads to have half do one thing and the other half do another.
The response time from them is spot on and eliminates the need for dicers or other midi pad options unless you go deeper into on the fly production. Each turntable has a track select knob to load tracks onto their respective deck which keeps you from always using your mouse. AND you can daisy chain the turntables up to four times with their USB cables; this way they can all be sourced from one USB port. I had no problems with a four-hour set playing tracks all night long and keeping smooth transitions and fast responses on them.
To sum it up, the Reloop RP-8000 Hybrid Turntables are probably the best I have put my hands on. And for the MAP of $699 they are truly a steal! I hope to use these for longer than my Stantons and keep them going years to come. As with anything I always recommend you try for yourself to find what’s best for you, but I would definitely recommend these turntables for anyone who either is experienced with turntablism or someone who wants to break into the turntablist game!
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