A Buyer's Guide to Disco Decks

Disco decks differ from home audio equipment significantly in that they are designed to be used in pairs, built to be robust and because they offer additional features that a home stereo system simply won't. There are lots of different manufacturers of vinyl disco decks, as well as those which play compact discs. A good many of these are available on eBay to bid for or purchase, so what do you need to know before you proceed with obtaining a set?

What are the key characteristics of disco decks?

The first thing that you should note about a set of disco decks is that they will offer you the chance to speed the music up or to slow it down. This allows for fluency with mixing between tracks in what is referred to by DJs as beat matching. In addition, many disco decks will offer you features such as:

  • Direct drive mechanisms that allows for greater reliability with speed.
  • Jog dial buttons which allow you to manipulate a CD and scratch it as though it were a vinyl record.
  • Digital audio effects like flange or echo.
  • LED lights which help you to see what you are doing whilst DJing.
Can you buy disco decks as single units?

Although many twin vinyl decks are for sale on eBay, there are plenty of single ones to choose from as well. You will need a pair of CD or vinyl decks to DJ properly, but if you simply want to replace one of your current decks, then this is no problem.

Do you need another device to mix with disco decks?

Some disco decks are all-in-one units which include two CD players or vinyl turntables and a central mixer including a crossfader which allows you to switch the audio back and forth between them. Many are not, however, so you will need to purchase a separate mixer console that allows you to do this. Opt for a two-channel mixer which is perfectly adequate for most novice DJs as well as many professional ones.

What accessories should you consider with disco decks?

In order to listen to a track that you are cueing up to play next, a pair of noise-cancelling DJ headphones is a good idea. Spare cartridges for vinyl decks are also advisable, so you can replace a stylus when one wears out. So you can plug your system into a PA, you will also need speaker connectors, too.