There are a bewildering array of portable record players on the market today. The surge in the marketplace for collectors vinyl has added many options for portable scratchers around the world. But which one should you choose? Let’s run through a few contenders and see which ones you should spin, and which you should skip.
Vestax Handy Trax
The portable record player I have used the most and my own personal favourite is Vestax’s classic Handy Trax model. Sadly now discontinued this is a big favourite amongst the portablist crew and represents in my opinion the pinnacle as far as feel and cool factor go. It’s manufacturer Vestax is no longer trading, so the increased rarity has made it’s value inflate dramatically, with models on eBay fetching unprecedented sums. As such it’s hard to recommend the Handy Trax these days unless you find yourself a bargain, or inherit! Early models didn’t include the USB interface which makes DVS use easier, so check your model before following our setup guide.
A better choice for everyday use has got to be the Numark PT-01. Although not currently in production in it’s original flavour, there are still a large amount of units available. It’s newer silbling the PT-01 scratch is in live production right now and incorporates the controversial ‘scratch switch’ – a rocking switch which replicates the functionality of a traditional fader, if not exactly the feel. At around just £100 it’s got to be the portable of choice at the moment – but be warned, without some serious modding you won’t be able to fix up a DVS setup which uses the internal scratch switch – you will need to hook up a third party external fader.
There have been over the years tons of portable players and some of these models may well be modded to take a portable fader and link up to Serato or Traktor.. Also on the market are models from companies like Ion and Crossley. Whilst not having much experience of these myself, I haven’t heard anybody have great results scratching on theses models, but as popularity increases expect to hear more from these guys. Lastly some have had success with Numark’s PT-01 Touring, although milage may vary with this one – it’s bulkier design may be a downside, but a built in rechargeable battery may well be a boon!