cd players

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
my friend, who is also the lighting tech i do most of my work with, and i are thinking of buying a dual cd player and dj mixer to use with some equipment i have from my brother's band and do a little DJing to make some money and have some fun. we already know how to dj, and have done it before. since there has been some criticism in a recent post of gemini cd players i was wondering what type of cd player is out there that is better quality without costing too much money. basically the brands that seem to be within my price range and i see listed on musiciansfriend.com (which is guitar center) are numark, stanton, american audio and gemini, denon and pioneer are too expensive. out of the listed brands, or any other cheap models i dont know of, what is the best? Most of the brands that i have listed seem relatively even in their ratings on musicians friend. each has good and bad models. thanks for what im sure will b very helpful information.
 

Mayhem

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Jan 21, 2004
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Australia
This sort of advice is very difficult to give as we all place different values on different aspects of equipment; also some people are biased against some equipment.

It already looks like you are heading in the right direction by trying to find out the pros and cons of each make/model.

Set yourself a price limit and work within that. You may find people will bag the cheaper brands and in many cases, they will do the job that you want, just not for as long as the more expensive brands.

Another thing to do is to see if you can find out if certain makes/models are frequently returned for warranty or repair work. Be careful however, as some people may say that brand x gives problems, purely because they stock brand y and want you to buy that particular model. As such, shop around and see if a pattern begins to emerge.

I would imagine that you are going to be paying cash for this CD player? If so, ask for cash discount, or at least get them to thro in some leads etc.

In most cases, you will have made enough money to buy a better CD player before this one fails. This is a good way to look at things. You have to start off somewhere and perhaps you will not make any money for a while. However, once you have built up enough capital, you can then replace selected items of equipment with higher quality items. Sell or rent out the older ones and keep building your inventory. This is how I started out.
 

rgsw

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Jun 5, 2004
go mp3 - either computers (laptop best) or as I would love if I had enough money a fleet of ipods
 

The_Guest

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Jun 29, 2004
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Detroit, MI
Have had great experiences with Marantz (not denon, horrible cd players) and Tascam.
 

Foxinabox10

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May 1, 2004
Location
Boston, MA
Marantz is pretty close to the head of the line. They have always worked well for me.
 

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
i cannot find any marantz cd players that look like they are designed for DJing, most appear to be either cd/tape cd/radio or recording devices, but none seem to be designed for my purpose, unless im looking in the wrong part of their site. I am also rather confused because the marantz site lists a model that says denon on it, but i was under the impression that denon was bad and mrants good, could the companies have merged, please enlighten me :?
 

Mayhem

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Australia
Hi Matt - have you walked into your local sound and lighting or DJ store and had a play with anything yet? By all means, gather as much information as you can on the various makes and models on the market but always get down to the store and have a play!

The other advantage of going to the store is that not only can you touch and play with the equipment but you can also talk to other aspiring DJ's and see what they have or have used.

In my previous post, I had assumed that you would have done this but in the day and age of the web, I know a lot of people buy equipment over the net without ever having seen or used it before hand. Now I know that there are a lot of review sites that are designed to take the hard work out of things and provide very detailed reviews but I still think that nothing beats good old leg work in seeing the gear in person and in use.

Also - for what it is worth - I personally am not a fan of using computers for DJ'ing. Sure I will use them in the workshop for testing to running up equipment but for my mind, there are too many things that can go wrong.

The way I look at is this - you are much better off in using a piece of equipment that is specifically designed to do one thing only, rather than one that is designed to do several thousand things all at once.

As I said - just my thoughts.
 

zac850

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Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
I find it intersting that you say that. I personally trust my computer to run sound then I trust a CD. I import the CD onto my laptop (or just the song), and connect my laptop to the sound board. I feel much more comftorable because I know that the sound won't skip or jump or anything like that. Also, I can look on my laptop in iTunes and see what track is playing, how long the track is, what its called, the artist, etc.

For long running shows (I'm doing Summer and Smoke now, 9 shows, 3 weeks) I have all of the music on a CD sitting in a CD player, but that CD player is off, and its there more if I forget my laptop.

I found this to be the best when I ran sound for a school lip sync. In the space of about 15 minutes I had about 30 kids trying to give me 30 CD's. I simply asked them to write on a slip of paper there name, the track number, and what the track is called. I imported all the songs in my laptop, and just ran down the list in iTunes.

Since my school only has a 5 CD changer, every 5 acts I would need to stop the show, and eject the CD's, and re-set the CD's up. With the pace of the show, that was not an option.
 

Mayhem

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I am sure that for certain applications, this would be fine. I also know that you use a Mac, so you are probably running off a more stable platform than PC. I have just heard too many "blue screen of death" stories and seen problems at (albeit low grade) parties to risk wrecking a client’s show.

Remember - I run a mobile DJ service and if I balls up a show then 1) I don't get paid, 2) I risk being sued for breach of contract and 3) I don't get any follow on bookings. All of these hit me in the pocket and will cost me a lot more than a decent set of CD players would.

Also, for the work that I do, I cannot go past two single CD players. One CD playing and one cued up and ready to go. Keep in mind that most DJ's will not have a "set" which can be cued up ahead of time and most will mix on the fly. This is one of the skills that set us aside and is why people pay us good money to ensure their gig is a success.

Different horses for different courses I guess, but from my own experience it is not something that I would recommend for DJ's.
 

DMXtools

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Oct 14, 2003
Location
Elgin, IL, USA
I use a Windoze PC, mainly because what few Mac applications are available for electronic design are pretty primitive and grossly overpriced. I would never trust my Windoze PC to run a show (sound or lights).

I'm not a DJ - I do live sound for rock concerts. My CD player is this old Kenwood home-stereo CD changer. It's got a 6-CD magazine I use for in-between live acts (most of my shows are 4 or 5 local bands) and a single-CD drawer (some bands have prerecorded intros they want played to start their set). It's been banged around from gig to gig, without a road case, for years without a problem. I hope you find something as reliable.

John
 

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
Meyhem, i have spent alot of time trying out cd players in guitar center and sam ash which are the only stores i know of near me that supply this type of equipmet, however, just messin around in guitar center for a little while many models seem very similar, and does not give me an idea of the reliability or extra fetures u might not notice at a glance that one cd player has and another does not. i have used my laptop in addition to a cd player so that if the laptop failed, which it did, i had something to fall back on. after a quick reboot my laptop which was almost brand new at the time was back to normal, but had i not had a cd player there it would have been a catastrophe, because of that i will stick to a regular cd player. i have noticed that some cd players come with a mp3 mode that seem to run the mp3 as if it is a track on a cd, however you do pay for this feature.
 

Foxinabox10

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Boston, MA
You can look up a specific model on Amazon.com and see the reviews that others who have used the product have given it.
 

Mayhem

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Matt - it looks like you are doing all the right things here and now is probably the time to sit down and look at the units that are in your budget, and make a list of the features that each has and does not have.

Also make note of what reviews each one has received (if they are all by the same reviewer, this will be better than several independent reviews).

As I said in my earlier post, also take note of what advice those standing behind the counter, currently using and those fixing the products have to say.

Once you have all of this - you then need to bite the bullet and narrow it down to one for which you are going to hand over your hard earned cash!

Also keep in mind that DMXtools has raised a very good point in his comment about using household CD players. I certainly used them when I first started out and whilst they are long dead and buried, they did the job whilst I was first starting out doing parties etc. In fact, I first started out when I was playing in a live band and we were tired of the venue playing a CD between out sets that contained several of the songs that we were playing that night. It just evolved form there.

I cannot recall the cost involved but I got them from Pawn shops and they worked fine until I had enough money to upgrade.

Good luck!
 

DMXtools

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Oct 14, 2003
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Elgin, IL, USA
Pawn shops... wow! That's exactly where I got my old, used Kenwood - for $29.95 (with two spare magazines).

John
 

bdesmond

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Mar 8, 2004
Location
Chicago, IL USA
How's this work with magazines for a CD player (I've never owned/used anything other than a single tray one)? One a tape library for backing up servers, you load perhaps ten tapes into a slotted box, slide it in a door, set it on a shelf, etc, and depending on the type of library, the arm either empties the magazine and stores the tapes internally staight away, or the magazine just goes in and snaps in and thats the shelving for the tapes.
 

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
well bdesmond, im not quite sure i understand your post right, but i think ur trying to ask how a dual cd player works. its actually just 2 single cd trays in one unit. each has individual cue play and effect buttons as well as a pitch control which controls playback speed. the more advanced a model is the more controlls it has, and the more u can do with it.
 

DMXtools

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Oct 14, 2003
Location
Elgin, IL, USA
The magazine for my Kenwood is a little plastic box, about 5.5" square by 1.5" tall with trays for 6 CDs stacked into it. Buttons on the front of the CD player let you select which of the seven CD's to play (6 in the magazine, one in a standard single-CD drawer). I generally load the magazine with 5 disks of music similar to that being presented by the bands and one of "chase 'em out" music to be played after the last band, to help clear the hall a little faster when the show's over. For a rock-and-roll show, that's usually "The World's Greatest Polkas" or "Xavier Cugat's Greatest Hits." I tried "Country Favorites of the 60's" but the kids started line-dancing.

John
 

sound_nerd

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Nov 24, 2004
Location
Toronto Ontario
Ok, I have pretty good experience with dual cd players. I've used American Audio (used to be AmericanDj) , Denon, Numark, and Gemini. Gemini I found to work ok (it was a rental) but the overal comstruction was horrid. The Denons are my personal favorite (DN-1800F can be had for about $500) and thats what is in my current rig, Numark I have found to be very good also, but their lower line stuff seems to be lacking in features. American Audio is definately the best bang for your buck dual cd players out there. Tons of features, not many problems in my experience with them, and one can be had (refurbished, or new) for around $250-350 (model 3000 mkII). You are best off to hit up the local pro audio shop (or dj shop) and check out their used gear as well. Used gear that was well taken care of would be an excellent start for a budding mobile dj.
 

ccfan213

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Jun 20, 2004
Location
Maryland
actually, i just bought my equipment this morning (i know it was a long time from when i made this topic till now) anyway, i bought a numark cdn25 for $200 while it had less features than the american audio and stanton models of the same price, it just feels better to use. the numark has nice rubber jog wheels and the others have these little plastic wheels, i just liked the feel better.
 

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