Although DJ technology has evolved far into digital realms, it's origins of turntables and vinyl records are still very relevant today for DJs who favour a more traditional and analog approach. Performing with such a minimal setup relies on manual skill in order to be creative which led to the birth of turntablism – a competitive sub-culture of DJing which celebrates and furthers the art of creating musical compositions using existing music found on vinyl records.

Platter & tonearm

A turntable is a device, commonly recognised by having many key parts. Most notable are the platter and tonearm which have historically been essential for the playback of music. The platter, makes up the bulk of the turntable's surface and can be driven by a motor, either directly or indirectly with a belt.

Vinyl records are placed on this platter and rotated at constant speeds while a cartridge attached to the tonearm is then delicately placed onto the vinyl surface to read and play back the music. Various types of cartridges are available to suit the performance style and preference of a DJ.

Motor & torque

The torque of a turntable refers to the turning power of the platter, which is dependent on the strength and efficiency of the motor attached to it. Belt-drive motors are in-directly linked to the platter with a belt and perform with a lower torque than a direct drive motor which is in direct contact with the platter.

Direct drive turntables are often more expensive and preferential for demanding and professional uses, whereas belt-drive turntables may be a more cost-effective way to get started as a DJ.



Belt-drive

Direct-drive

Uses a belt-driven motor, de-couples the drive from the platter Uses a direct-driven motor, drive is coupled to the platter
Usually has a lower torque (< 1 kg/cm) Can perform with a torque up to 4.5 kg/cm
Belt is subject to wear and tear and may need replacing regularly Low wear and tear
Susceptible to external influences such as temperature and humidity Less susceptible to external influences
Suitable for private use Recommended for professional use in live environments such as clubs or festivals
Recommended for demanding DJ applications such as scratching and turntablism performances

Signal transmission

A turntable alone is incapable of outputting sound without a supplementary device to receive the signal data. For traditional operation, it is necessary for a needle (housed in a cartridge) to be placed onto the surface of a rotating record, in order to play it.

A second option known as DVS (digital vinyl system) also makes use of a cartridge but adds an audio interface and DJ software into the signal chain to convert analog information to digital data. So rather than playing regular analog records containing music, timecode vinyls are used which contain a continuous tone that the software understands and responds by playing music from a digital source.

A third option known as PHASE, eradicates the need for a cartridge and tonearm entirely by using a wireless transmission device to play back music from DJ software. The wireless remotes capture the turntable's rotation information and send this to a receiver which will then processes this into a signal.



Analog vinyl

DVS (digital vinyl systems)

Phase

Has its own characteristic, often associated with a rich analog sound Benefits from all the advantages of digital audio while keeping the feel of an analog turntable Benefits from all the advantages of digital audio while keeping the feel of an analog turntable
Is still one of the few possibilities to physically buy music Easily carry your whole music library with you in digital file formats Also allows you to take your whole music library with you
An emotional affair, many records have a high collector's value Still subject to wear and tear but timecode vinyls can be easily replaced No wear and tear whatsoever, eradicates the need for a cartridge
Does not cover the entire audible frequency range compared to digital audio Advanced functionality, integration of various performance modes, effects, and MIDI technology Also offers advanced functionality with various performance modes, effects, and MIDI technology
Has a lower dynamic range than digital audio Simply switch between digital and analog audio on your mixer Clean and noise-free control signal which is impervious to feedback, vibrations and other unwanted external interference
Subject to high wear and tear which will degrade playback quality
Has a puristic feel in comparison to today's technical possibilities

Build & construction

Depending on the price range, you'll find differences in the quality of the turntable's construction. The goal is to isolate unwanted vibrations and ambient noise as much as possible. The most obvious indicator is the overall weight, giving a hint on the materials used.

Through combinations of metal, rubber and synthetic materials, the damping can be further improved. Particularly durable turntables are also equipped with a metal surface that is coated with a scratch-resistant finish.

Additional features

What else do you need on a turntable? There are several additional features like reverse function, wider pitch ranges (Ultrapitch) and MIDI compatible control sections that can take your DJ performances to a new level of creativity. Whether you need those features really depends on what you'd like to use the turntable for.

For instance, if you're mixing music of a similar BPM, you won't need Ultrapitch (usually a range of +/-50%) – this is a useful feature when mixing music with totally different BPM ranges, or for turntablism-style pitching tricks, or even for producers to record and sample analog records in extreme pitch ranges. If you choose to play with a digital vinyl system (DVS) you may also like to have an additional MIDI section to control performance modes in your DJ software. This can add a new dimensions to a live DJ set with features such as cue points, looping, and key-shifting.



List of features available:

MIDI control elements for advanced functionality
Digital LC display
Platter Play mode
Adjustable platter torque
Adjustable brake time
Height-adjustable tone arm base
Turntable speeds (33 1/3, 45, 78 RPM)
Wider pitch ranges such as Ultrapitch
Quartz lock
Secondary start/stop button
Reverse play function
Phono, line or USB outputs
Detachable cables and pop up light

You get what you pay for

As a general rule, turntables are priced according to their build quality and features, and so professional standard products are usually priced in the upper tiers of the market. Likewise, cheaper turntables are usually not suitable to handle the demands of professional DJ use. The intended use or application of a turntable should be a deciding factor when choosing which model to buy, for example, bedroom DJing, live tour performances, or for turntablism and DJ battles.



Pro

Con

The most tactile way of DJing with an unparalleled analog feel Susceptible to their environment, particularly in live settings where feedback and needle skipping can effect performance
Authentic and traditional image of DJing and vinyl culture Not very portable and requires a lot of space
Physical and emotional experience Mechanical devices that require maintenance for optimum performance

Our Products

Here at Reloop, we are dedicated to preserving Turntablism culture by incorporating state of the art technology and developing an extensive and robust range of products to suit turntablists of all levels.

RP-8000 MK2

RP-7000 MK2

RP-4000 MK2

RP-8000 MK2 RP-7000 MK2 RP-4000 MK2
Upper-torque direct drive
turntable instrument
Upper-torque direct drive turntable High-torque direct drive DJ turntable
Designed for Serato DJ Pro Adjustable tonearm with anti-skating Torque of more than 1.6kg/cm
Platter Play mode Rubber inlay for reduction of vibrations Pitch control +/-10% and +/-20%
Extra large performance pads Phono and line output 3 speeds 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM
Rigid chassis construction Classy painted metallic finish Classy painted metallic finish
€599.- €499.- €289.-

RP-2000 USB MK2

RP-2000 MK2

RP-1000 MK2

RP-2000 USB MK2 RP-2000 MK2 RP-1000 MK2
Direct drive DJ turntable Direct drive DJ turntable Belt drive DJ/Hi-Fi turntable
High-powered motor High-powered motor Safety mains switch
USB audio output for digitizing records Pitch control +/- 8% Pitch control +/- 10%
Phono and line output Shock absorbing feet Shock absorbing feet
Classy painted metallic finish Classy painted metallic finish Classy painted metallic finish
€279.- €249.- €219.-

Take a look




  • Reloop RP-8000 MK2 - Upper torque hybrid turntable instrument (Introduction)

  • RP-7000 MK2 – NextGen professional upper torque turntable system (Introduction)

  • RP-7000 MK2 NextGen turntable - Did You Know? (Tutorial)

  • RP-8000 & RMX-80 - Turntablism showcase by DJ Angelo (Routine)

  • RP-7000 MK2 + RMX-90 w/ DJ Delta (Routine)

  • RP-8000 - Performance w/ DJ Angelo #4PLAY