Archive for June, 2010


Numark NS7 In-Depth Review

Hey Hey

I thought I would give an updated rundown on the pros and cons of the Numark NS7.  I don’t own one of these units but two of my long-term students each have their own NS7 and I have spent many hours getting familiar with this piece of hardware and the ITCH software.  Almost all positive things to say in this review! I’ll try to make it brief since the hardware has been out for a long time.

The NUMARK NS7 DJ hardware is still my #1 piece of recommended equipment for a beginner DJ who is starting out with a digital library of music.   It has a few limitations and real vinyl turntables equipped with  Serato ScratchLive are still the best all-around DJ controllers, but the advantages of real tables are balanced with incredible ease of use, portability and VERY good scratch control.  Really only the turntablist (if your DJing relies heavily on scratching) or the DJ who uses effects extensively has any reason to find fault with the NS7.  The price is fairly reasonable for a fully integrated digital DJ system ($1225 or below on ProAudioStar.Com with free shipping) and the only way you will get a system that performs this well for cheaper is if you inherit it from your DJ buddy who is buying one of these.  Expect more price comparison details in my next review.


The robust quality of the hardware is the biggest selling point of this system.  It manages to be both compact and sturdy.  With two high powered spinning platters that put out some real torque, you can expect a very reliable piece of equipment.  The NS7 feels and performs well above the level of quality that I have come to expect from NUMARK.  They put in a huge amount of work to make sure the design was efficient and functioned well.  The integrated mixer has a great feel and is comparable to the features on a mid-high end mixer such as a Vestax PMC 05  (crossfader has a bulky but very soft feel, similar to RANE crossfaders, but bigger. Very fast and sharp cuts) and the button placement is flawless. The features list is massive and allows you to fully exploit the advantages of digital DJing (library navigation from the NS7 is solid, Hot Cues are easily at hand and VERY useful, extensive loop functions).  The sound is thick and rich and since you have both DIGITAL XLR outputs and RCA outputs you don’t sacrifice any sound quality.  The whole unit is pretty heavy (which is a good thing) but not overly cumbersome. It is compact enough that any DJ could move it on their own if they had the proper carrying case.

Literally every aspect of this hardware functions GREAT.  I have experienced very little downside to this machine and I recommend it to my students without hesitation.   I will be publishing a comparison review between the NS7, the Vestax VCI-300 and the traditional Technics setup very soon.  These are the only three equipment configurations that I recommend to my students (other than a beginner budget setup).


BUT, there are definitely a FEW downsides to the NS7. No one setup will do everything perfect.  Here are my list of CONS for the NS7

No Integrated Effects or Sampler

Since ScratchLive 2.0 came out a couple of months back, the new software has a HUGE built in Sampler and a very deep effects processing unit.  Having these two units built into your system is a MAJOR addition to the ScratchLive software.  Right now you would need to shell out some cash to get the NS7’s NSFX controller.  It integrates nicely with the hardware but will cost you $200 extra.  The sampler is also a big deal for Hip-Hop DJs or anybody that enjoys the occasional Siren or Horror movie drop… can work around it for sure, but this is a very big miss for Serato ITCH.

The Feel will NEVER be as good as Vinyl

For the scratch DJ the feel of pushing a simulated 7″ platter will never match the feel of scratching a real record, or a control record.  Try it out yourself because I know some DJs that really love the feel of the NS7. It works GREAT for scratching, but isn’t quite the same thing.  Also,  pushing or pulling the record to make fine adjustments to your mix is problematic.  Neither me nor my students have been able to get the hang of this just yet (it seems like the tiny record is just too lightweight for it to be adjusted while spinning).  The platter is robust enough to be pushed though, and the fine pitch adjustments work VERY well. Nuff said.

The included Laptop Stand is CRAP

Just skip it….it puts the laptop WAY too far away. Invest in something that will raise your laptop up, so that it is in the air over the top of the mixer.

Overall a very good option if not the best.

Check out the IN-DEPTH Skratchworx review HERE for way more detail.