April 22, 2006

Numark PT-01 Portable Turntable

Numark PT-01 Portable Turntable
In today’s world, with Nano iPods and miniature portable DVD players flooding the market, it is rare that one comes across something like this. A superb product that incorporates state-of-the-art technology with yester-year’s musical medium. When one thinks of, “on-the-go” portable tunes, it is safe to say a miniature vinyl player would not top the list of efficiently portable products. This assumption being made, it is interesting to note that NUMARK has done just that.., with the introduction of the NUMARK PT-01 Portable Turntable. While the apparent sales of this unit have included the recreational record connoisseur for use in the home, I would recommend the PT-01 to a different type of audiophile completely. I would venture to state that this portable player was created mainly with the crate digging DJ in mind.

While most good record stores, especially those specializing in the hip-hop and electronic genres, possess convenient listening stations on-site, there are many that do not. The PT-01 comes in very handy when perusing through the used section at the local vinyl dive (with permission from the establishment first of course). With both 3/4″ and 1/8″ headphone jacks included, and a huge power cell the holds 6 D batteries (the PT-01 also includes a 12v AC power source), devoted DJ’s can seek out those undiscovered hooks, breaks, and drums without disturbing other patrons. Where this unit truly shines, however, is in those dusty and dark back-corners of thrift stores and garage sales. Every crate-digging DJ knows exactly what it feels like to look at a huge stack of vinyl and think to themselves, “I just wish I could listen to all of these records so I would know what to buy!” Of course you end up going home with 5-10 records, and crossing your fingers that the gods of wax have smiled upon you. These frustrating days are over once you have the PT-01 at your disposal. The size of the PT-01 itself is perfect, measuring 12″x12″x4″, it fits into any crate or record bag perfectly. I do, however, have some reservations about recommending this unit for use as a standard player in the home.

Numark PT-01 Portable Turntable

The PT-01 does offer some very unique and convenient features, but it is also lacking some key elements which may limit the ability of the player to function effectively as a home unit. There is no stop/start button, which means that to stop the record from spinning the tone-arm must be lifted and placed back on its mount. There is a way around this problem, and that is to use the on/off button on the side of the player. This can be done to stop the record while leaving the needle in the groove, but I don’t know if it is recommended by the manufacturer. The tone-arm is also light and short, and therefore difficult to pick up without skitting it across the record. If you are the owner of the player it is not recommended that guests and friends attempt to operate it, or you may end up with some scratched records. Another negative aspect of the player is stability.

Unlike the heavier more solid make-up of its brothers and sisters, the PT-01 is light, which makes it great for portability, but very susceptible to jostles and bounces. You do not want anyone dancing near the player while it is in use, unless it is on a very stable surface. The PT-01 does have 33, 45, and 78 rpm speeds, which is nice, but the pitch control (+/- %10) is fairly useless since I would recommend highly against using this player for actual DJing. The PT-01 is fairly expensive, ranging from $80 to over $100, and that is why I would recommend purchasing a standard record player of the same quality if it is to be used primarily as a home stereo addition. The PT-01 does have RCA jacks which makes it a possible home stereo component, but I would limit that to only the occasional vinyl listener. Overall I have been very impressed with this product and would judge it as follows.

Portable unit for crate digging DJ: 9/10
Home stereo use: 3/10