A Performer's Guide to Vinyl DJ Decks

Vinyl DJ decks differ from digital DJ decks because they play analogue records, which means you can use them to scratch, mix, and crossfade in the traditional way that DJs have been doing for decades. Like many other sorts of DJ equipment, such as microphones and disco lights, you can find some high-quality DJ turntables available to bid on at eBay. Before making a purchase, it is worth understanding a few of the key features to look out for so you buy the right ones for you.

What brands of vinyl DJ decks are there?

Professional vinyl DJ decks are not the same as the turntables that are designed for home stereo systems. Even beginner-level DJ turntables will be more robust and have features that you won't find on HiFi equipment, though some brands make decks for both DJs and domestic consumers. Among the brands you will regularly find on eBay, there are:

  • Homemix.
  • Citronix.
  • Technics.
  • Numark.
  • Stanton.
Should you buy a belt or direct drive turntable?

This comes down to personal preference. Many people who DJ professionally believe that a high-torque, direct-drive system for a turntable's platter offers the smoothest response when scratching and cueing. That said, many top-class DJs use turntables with a belt-driven system.

Can you buy vinyl DJ decks singly?

Yes, you can purchase lone DJ turntables via eBay. This is a good option if you simply want to replace one. Nevertheless, it is advisable to purchase your DJ decks in pairs, so that you can use them to mix and perform with. Two of the same type are usually considered better than those which differ.

What pitch range should you look for?

If you want to beat match the records you are mixing with, then the ability to shift the pitch of one or both of your turntables will be essential. Basically, this means adjusting the speed of a platter, such that it will play your chosen song at a new tempo. Many vinyl DJ decks will offer you the ability to raise or reduce the speed of a record by 8%. If you do a lot of beat matching when DJing, then you may want to opt for a pair of turntables that offers greater flexibility, such as 12% variance.