For the professional or amateur DJ, whether using his or her decks every weekend or just for occasional engagements, there are certain items of kit that are essential. But even a fully equipped DJ, who has the best decks or computer, audio mixer or amplifier, speakers, headphones and microphone, can fall at the last hurdle, since no gig can succeed without adequate support for the decks. As a fundamental precaution, therefore, every DJ needs to put on their shopping list a suitably sturdy deck stand.
The purchase of a DJ deck stand, as with all highly-specialist goods, can involve a lengthy trip to a stockist of whom just a few exist around the country. DJ suppliers also operate online, helpfully, bearing in mind how many customers live far from the physical shops. For a really ample range of deck stands, both new and used, the online auction site, eBay, is a deservedly popular choice, very often resulting in a moderate savings on the usual retail price.
What the aspiring, or for that matter, fully-fledged DJ needs to consider when anticipating a deck stand purchase are the following aspects: Is the stand principally for housing DJ decks at home? Does the stand need to be portable for use at gigs? How important is image? Should the stand's appearance help generate further business? What type of material is best? What is the budget? These questions help to guide the purchaser when arriving at a decision.
Reasons for Acquiring a DJ Deck Stand
With the diversity of opportunities that exist for DJing, including weddings, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and fundraising events of every kind, the necessity for the DJ to be flexible and willing to improvise goes without saying. The installations, or lack of them, in village halls, pubs, and private homes to name but three types of venue, are not necessarily suitable for the safe setting up of valuable decks. Naturally enough, when the music is required outdoors, in a marquee, at a rave or in a client’s garden, the provision of a physical support for the DJ’s equipment is entirely down to the DJ.
Equally, in order to present a professional image, the performing DJ really needs to have an authentic-looking set-up, not just in terms of appearance, but also in order to do an efficient job. The alternative of worrying about how and where to position the equipment can only lead to poor quality DJing. The relatively modest investment required to become the owner of a DJ deck stand can make all the difference to the impact on those attending the event, as well as boosting the DJ’s personal self-confidence, and leading to further bookings.
Materials for DJ Deck Stands
The range of materials from which deck stands are made is surprisingly diverse. Plywood, MDF, plastic, steel, including substances that have been veneered in wood-effect laminate, are among the principal materials. Usually lightweight, deck stands, nevertheless, need to be sturdy. For this reason, the most economical, if not the best-looking, tend to be the steel versions, which essentially comprise tubular bars and struts, forming a simple framework, not unlike scaffolding.
Real wood stands, on the other hand, are rare and are often the product of home carpentry, where a seller has lovingly adapted a genuine mahogany desk or table to create the necessary DJ furniture, this adding a measure of gravitas to their passion.
Types of Deck Stands
The principal distinguishing factors when it comes to DJ deck stands are cost, visual impact, and portability. A stand intended for permanent home use may be a luxury for some hobbyist DJs. Instead, many prefer to buy a stand that can travel to clubs and venues; furthermore, there are merits to both types.
Home DJ Deck Stands
Often made from MDF, supplied in flat-pack form for the purchaser to assemble, and originating from specialist manufacturers, static deck stands can be found that have a club design. Equipped with assorted height-adjustable shelves and niches, they create a complete home DJing base. From behind this vantage point, the charismatic DJ can survey his or her crowd, while dishing up distinctive sounds. This style is, therefore, ideal for the young or young-at-heart DJ, who is lucky enough to have an entertainment space at home, whether a basement, garage, games room, or dedicated dance floor.
Another model of home or studio deck stand closely resembles a taller-than-normal desk, and is more purely functional, ideal for the home studio, or for a practice room where a DJ perfects his or her craft, alone. In both cases, the advantage of plain MDF is that the owner has all the fun of painting and otherwise customising the stand, adding as much adornment as they wish. The material also keeps the price down, and MDF stands are, consequently, among the cheapest available.
DJ Deck Booths
Of all DJ deck stands, the most expensive and distinctive-looking version is the so-called booth. These range from relatively lightweight and flimsy structures to eye-catching space-age marvels. At both ends of the scale, the booth takes the form of a console-type structure with a panel or facade facing the audience, rather like a modesty panel. This may be a curved, plywood, art-deco style model, a stainless steel, 1950s-shaped item, or a space-age hand-built assortment of modules, the entire product resembling a steel drum ensemble.
Collapsible Deck Stands
Among portable deck stands, a number of variations exist. At one end of the scale is the basic, skeletal design, amounting to a heavy-duty frame supported on four load-spreading feet. The advantages of this industrial-looking design are that it has an honest, un-gimmicky appearance, is inexpensive, and long-lasting, provided it is subjected to normal treatment. These tend to be manufactured in a uniformly black matt coating and can come optionally with bars or shelves, which can support accessories.
Alternatively, a pop-up style of deck stand provides a ready-to-go complete console with a colourful facade concealing the DJ’s equipment. LED light kits are sometimes optionally available with these stands. A good idea is to select a product for which spares are available, should any of the components give out, become damaged in transit, or become lost.
Additional Items and Accessories
The convenience of a stand that comes with its own carrying bag is worth consideration. If not, a search on eBay may turn up a suitable and capacious enough bag for a collapsible deck stand.
A lighting rig turns the experience from audio to audio-visual, and is the obvious way to create that club atmosphere at the least promising of venues. Lighting rigs can come as part of a DJ deck stand or can, in many cases, be attached retrospectively. The simplest of these comprises a bar on posts, known as a truss, extending beyond the width of the deck stand and serving to liven up and add glamour to the event.
Lastly, also on the market are fabric protective covers. These include individual turntable dust covers, but can also mean a close-fitting, tent-like item, which shrouds the deck stand and its contents when they are not in use, protecting the kit from dust, knocks, and spillage. It is often made from wool fabric, ensuring that it is opaque, and tends to come in a dark colour.
Buying DJ Deck Stands on eBay
Whether you are a dedicated, or merely occasional, DJ, if you are fed up trying to weave your magic while making do with improvised or downright unsuitable housing for your kit, eBay can most certainly prove to be your fastest route to a solution. As the owner of valuable equipment, possibly including the latest in digital DJ controllers, it is verging on folly not to invest in custom-built support. Rather than scouring the neighbourhood for the one specialist shop that may stock a mere one or two stands or may have to place an order on your behalf, involving a delay and the necessity of returning to the shop for collection, searching the auction site, eBay, from home makes sound sense. The convenience of online shopping leaves the DJ free to concentrate on cueing, looping, and fading.
The first decision is whether to buy a static permanent home for your decks, or a portable one to take on the road. With this initial aspect decided, factors such as dimensions, colour, number of bars or shelves, material, and ease of assembly come into play. Comfort and user-friendliness are also worth considering, and to this end, buyers often favour a contoured shape, where the DJ stands are in the gently rounded niche intended for that purpose.
Releasing valuable communal space in the home, deck stands represent a piece of furniture in their own right, and are indubitably a sound investment. They give the DJing enthusiast greater motivation to practise and perfect his or her skills. The deck stand allows its owner constant access to much-loved tracks, and hence, makes a really good gift. With a suitable stand for spinning vinyl, DJing skills need never gather dust, and equipment need not be packed labouriously away after every use. Equally, as part of their professional toolkit, the right deck stand enables a DJ to travel to sundry engagements and to set up shop within minutes.
Prospective purchasers find eBay an ideal shop window and source for this specialist item. Using the bidding system, it is possible to obtain a remarkable bargain, or at the very worst, to save a few pounds on shop prices. The full gamut of possible DJ deck stands produced up and down the length of the UK tends to be represented, and customers can consider collection in person, especially in the case of bulkier, ready-assembled stands. Hence, buying a DJ deck stand need not be a daunting prospect, but instead an exciting, and possibly career-boosting acquisition.