As mentioned before, a clever way for DIY 45 storage boxes are: Using obsolete election posters! Those made of twin-wall plastic.
Here’s a little cryptic step-by-step movie how i did that, but you sure can use other techniques or constructions like maybe fixing the construction with rivet bolts or just wrap it in gaffer tape if you like…
The 45 storage box that also can be used as the stiffening inlay for the perfect 45 bag. See measurements in cm below
We’ve seen the Magma, Zomo, Rich Medina’s Tucker & Bloom or Stones Throw / Tanner Goods 45 record bags and their brand-series variations and I like most of them a lot! Only Zomo’sRagga Bag was notorious for always getting stuck with all those outer pockets. The foam inlay was quite protective but made this bag very chubby for the amount of records you actually could hold in it. Same with Magma’s old Riot Bagmodel, plus this zipper that never really worked. Newer Magma (look out for the Dusty Donuts & 45Live editions!) are great! Inspired by the also great luxury Tucker & Bloom bag. No problems at all besides the fact that with all those 45 bags -as often with phono equipment- the price tags are (in my opinion at least) a bit high for what they really are in the end…
Looking for alternatives I checked some beauty cases and liked this one particularly… but, well: it was not helping a lot price-wise.
Then I found something else: Durable! Waterproof! Thermos insulated! Cheap! Fishing cooler bags that is. Those bags are made for outdoor use, made of heavy duty nylon and are more often than not water resistant. The aluminum thermos inner lining is to protect your carp (or 45’s) from heat. Most of those bags are not stabilized and a bit sloppy. So what you need to stiffen the bag is a bottom plate or -even better- plates on every wall to put inside and you have a perfectly working budget 45 bag.
My favorite material for that: Twin-wall medium soft plastic material as you can easily cut and fold it. You can build a 4-wall & bottom inlay just like that paper cube you probably had to do in grammar school! To find that material grab an expired election poster or buy one in a a crafts store, artists supply or architectural modeling store, … or certainly on ebay (German here) too.
There’s so many fishing bag models out there, so many different sizes and variations that you might wanna hunt for your own perfect bag. Watch out for getting one with zippers on the top edge (and not somewhere in the middle of the top) and take care that the measurements are minimum & best 20cm (8 inch) in height and with.
The one I championed in terms of size, stability and price was that one:
I am 100% happy with it! it’s approx 10cm longer than the average dj bag and so more records fit in (40% more compared to a Magma Riot Bag for example).
Size 45cm x 21cm x 22cm / 17.7in x 8.2in x 8.6in
Weight empty: 1,0 kg / 2.2 pound
Weight full: approx. 9,3 kg / 20.5 pound
Holds max. 130 records fully armed in heavy duty cardboard sleeves along with poly-lined paper inner sleeves & crystal outer sleeves / ca. 150-200 in blank paper sleeves
accepted as cabin luggage dimensions for most air-flight companies
overall material, zippers, stitching, straps & hooks etc: at least as solid or better than the average brand-name DJ-bag.
Here’s some pics with twin-wall inlay & led light (very handy in dark clubs) the AA battery case to run the lights is a plastic box that easily fits in somewhere outside that twin-wall stabilizer inner. Alternatively: a flat power bank with a USB-connected led…
(German Ebay link there, if somewhere else just copy the name and Google for wherever your region you are at)
The same thing with a front pocket for headphones, styli and 45 adapters. Different brand name, supposedly same manufacturer, same dimensions, same solid quality too. I ordered one and am 100% happy with it. The front bag is not the largest but big enough for some adapters, maybe a flat stylus case (such as those Ortofon or Shure White Label cases) and / or a headset, I guess most with foldable / rotating ear-cups or a Sennheiser 25 will do but for really big beasts (like a Pioneer Pro or the big Audiotechnica) the pocket is too small.
Always the discussion about the horrible sound of MP3, very interestingly quite often from sound engineers in clubs that have unfavorably room acoustics plus a shit p.a. installed.
I heard enough terrible MP3 files in my life but I learned that it mostly is from crappy converter software, wrong adjustment of the settings or terrible original material (as rotten vinyl recorded with bad equipment or even worse like rips from ultra-compressed Youtube clips or such). With good equipment, knowledge and a bit of passion, a high quality MP3 does sound: Good!
The sound of a vinyl record is a story on it’s own. Digital always means reduced mechanical scanning (digital “stairsteps” no matter how fine), on the other hand theres so much additional disturbance sources in the vinyl audio chain: stylus, preamp, interference, feedback, dust, wow & flutter (disability to hold the correct speed that is) wich we are so used to that we actually see some of the imperfections as “warm sound”, I indeed do so.
So do you believe you can hear the difference between uncompressed high-definition audio, a 320kbps MP3 and a super-compressed 128kbps file? The american National Public Radio, NPR created a test. Turn up the volume and give it a try!
With a proper headphone plugged right in to my (totally average soundcard) laptop, I guessed 3 WAV’s out of 6, the other 3 were 320 files. And to be honest: with Neil Young it was random that i didn’t chose the 128kbps file…
My claim: MP3’s bad image seems to be much imaginantion, a lot of wannabe expert knowledge plus tons of poor converting – but not much substance.
good to your records + sounds great + sticks in the groove
There’s no ad-financed links or no other reason (as every other post on my site) but the one that I’m quite exited about the following I wanna share with you !!
[edit: after this long time without club life, it was at most possible to dj outdoors, a note: The Nagaoka is more sensitive to wind gusts at open-air gigs due to the low weight of max. 2 grams. The tonearm lifts off faster in storms than with a stylus which can tolerate 4 grams and more.]
The Nagaoka MP-110 is widely known as a budget top quality phono system for it’s neutral to warm sound and silky treble, plus the fact that it’s needle seems to be very generous to hide some slight scratches & worn vinylgrooves. This is why I bought one to digitize my records the best way my budget allowed me. It’s price isca. €130.00but check Ebay for €112,00 incl headshell at some Japanese sellers likethisgentleman.
But on top of that, as I accidentally found out – and then purposely tested: This is a perfect choice for Dj-use, especially for those who play vintage and worthy records!
For decades now I was totally happy with the Stanton 890SA/FS model for it’s warm sound and most of all for being so protective to the records – and the extraordinary loud volume. I always appreciated the Shure Whitelabel for the warm and detailed sound and also to mention the Grado Dj-200 for the complexity. With Grado it is a question of taste (as every thing concerning the senses certainly are) as I never liked it’s treble too much, but – most important: the way it tortures records while back-cueing is brutal! Shure M44-7>>> here are proper replacement styli you can buy for them ! <<< sounds hard but is one league with Stanton for low record-wear, still the most important point for me! So they are all great …. for a dj cartridge. Ortofon Concordes may have developed over the years but apart from easy installation i never liked the thin and dead sound and especially the heavy record-wear. Generally all mentioned cartridges just cannot keep up with the lovely ad detailed sound Nagaoka MP-110 produces. It is simply a different level!
Although it’s an elliptical stylus, the record-wear is absolute minimum, so to say on one level with the Shure M44-7 and Stanton 890SA/FS or better.
It’s praised in most hifi forums for being such a great sounding thing for such little money. It actually seems to share this position meanwhile with the legendary Denon DL-110 (a great sounding system witch is in no way suitable for dj’ing). It’s always ridiculous to describe sound, but the best way to do so: Music sounds simply more lovely than before, no matter how long you listen. A good comparison between a Grado blue stylus (also very decent, not recommended for dj purposes!) and the Nagaoka MP-110. Listen to the cymbal-like sounds on the trashy pink pop 12″ !
With good internet connection & quality headphones you might get an impression (the details in the treble!)
When it comes to turntablism the Shure wins by far for it’s skipping resistance, no question. The MP-110 does all cueing, back-spinning and a little wicky-wicky-scratching thingy with ease. Remember it is a hifi system, so the metal that holds the diamond (cantilever) is less stiff as a dj-one would be and the recommended / ideal weight adjustment is 1,5 – 2 grams. But when you’re not scratching until the needle starts smoking the system behaves just fine. To put on some extra weight for heavily warped records works but don’t forget to get back to your 2 grams for the next record since the cantilever starts to sag down at heavier weights – not good for the record-wear (especially while back-spinning)
Club dj’s know the problem concerning vinyl (or better the turntables & dj booths) can produce bass feedback at loud volumes, especially since most sound engineers in clubs have lost their knowledge about turntable setup and maintenance. So, one of the most important: Nagaoka’s feedback behavior is better than all the mentioned cartridges! I claim that after months of experience now. Remember it is always depending on the material and built of the dj booth, the shape of the venue, where the sub-woofers are placed, how worn the tonearm fixation is … and lots of other details, so this cannot be a general result, but I have used them Nagaoka’s in maybe a dozen different situations by now and it is an über-positive impression so far.
Output volume is “average” (5mV) equal as the notorious in-house Ortofon OM Pro S (6mV) but not as loud as Shure M44 (9,5 mV), Ortofon Nightclub (9,5 mV), Ortofon Q-Bert (11mV) or, the loudest, Stanton 890 (12mV). This can lead to quite different volume-levels when you combine Serato / CD or other media in your dj set but actually that does not matter at all as long as you know what a gain knob does, but actually sharing the booth along with other dj’s who set everything to the max: it might cause a problem.
Also not perfect is the fact that you don’t see the needle tip very good. This will take you maybe one or two extra revolutions of back-spinning while cueing each record.
Availability: you should get replacement forever since Nagaoka’s main business is replacement needles for all kinds of discontinued cartridges.
Replacement needles are €59,00 street price (Nov 2018) that means more expensive as Shure and one third of Grado (€180,00). I don’t want to put this fact down but usually you do need to replace your stylus every 500 to 1000 hours. Calculate 2 turntables = 2 cartridges = each playing out half the time, plus the necessary cueing per record. That equals ca. 300-600 club sets of 2 hours each or 100-200 6-hour marathons. Think of your records and record-wear before you have a thought on saving some 40 bucks on styli.
Note: Nagaoka DJ-03HD MM and cannot recommend it. Quite surprisingly I did experience quite heavy cueburn and silly needle skip at 3 grams. Strangely enough since this is supposed to be a dj needle but Nagaoka MP-110 has drmatically better specifications for dj purposes. Out of production now anyway and I’m not surprised really.
I haven’t tried the Taruya models yet (and I know I should soon do so! (Anybody with experience for that? Please let me know if so!) but overall until now the Nagaoka is the best choice i found in my 30+ years of quite intensive searching for a perfect DJ-cartridge so far.
PLUS: – better sound than all existing DJ-cartridges i ever tried (and those were a lot) – very low record-wear – very good feedback insensibility
MINUS – not the loudest – stylus tip not well visible – costly replacement needles – more delicate for wind at open air sets
Varia Instruments, a swiss manufacturer known for their rotary mixers, just released a platter-weight that includes a slide-out 45 adapter. Interesting detail seems to be the sticky rubber texture that is claimed to let you control the records by handling the weight. Cost CHF 89.00 (aprox € 75.00 or $ 89.00) plus shipping
After years of research and endless fine adjusting efforts in his mad scientist castle, Atomic Cafe‘s Roland Schunk is about to start his line of hi-class vinyl record storage furniture soon on his website.
Expect nothing else than great looking and hyperfunctional phono furniture and accessoires, handcrafted of the finest materials.
Just bought a new set of Beyerdynamic DT770’s on te manufacturer’s website as b-stock and they attached a set of free Custom Street headphones.
Solid built, extremely good in isolating the ambience around which is essential for loud clubs since: You can mix much better when the volume of your headphone is at a low volume (after you checked the tune, just in the phase of blending two tracks). If you never experienced that: Try it, you’ll be surprised!
Anyway, Custom Street headset has a solid, durable construction, sounds loud and nicely neutral (as long as you don’t turn on that very affective bass boost) comes with a detatchable 1 m cable (changeable with any 3,5 mm cable on the market) and a gig bag (plus some nerdy things to “style” your ear cups.
Wyh am I mentioning this? Because the thing costr regularely €120.00 it seems they didn’t suceed to marked that model and now you can find it for €40.00 Which makes it the cheapest serious dj headphone around. Be quick if you wanna catch one!
Try your luck searching them since they’re sold out at the manufacturer now (Nov 2018)