While there’s no denying that the roots of DJing remain with the turntable, in recent years, the electronic music world has become so immersed with new controllers and fancy gadgets that we often forget where everything started. Reloop has decided that it’s time for the world to experience a turntable renaissance of sorts with the launch of the RP-8000, a brand new hybrid, high-torque turntable which combines direct drive technology with digital controls for your DJ software.
What it is
The easiest way to summarize the RP-8000 (MSRP $799.99) is that it’s a modern, enhanced version of the Technics 1200. The controls are clearly designed to give users the impression that they’re using an updated version of the 1200s with all the additional features and MIDI controls as the icing on the cake.
What we like
The inclusion of MIDI is the big standout feature of the RP-8000, as well as a huge knob that can be used to control Serato (or any other DJ software). This opens up a whole new world of possibilities to an otherwise simple and straightforward device. In light of this, the RP-8000 can actually be considered a hybrid analog/digital turntable. Some of the other cool and unique features you’ll find include a digital LED display for pitch, eight rubber MIDI pads, four MIDI layer buttons, and an over-sized encoder knob — all of which can all be easily programmed and mapped to any MIDI compatible DJ software available.
How it looks and feels
The RP-8000 has a very familiar look-and-feel to most OEM turntables available, consisting of black aluminum top plating, aluminum pitch sliders, motor-off controls and start-stop buttons found on the bottom corners. Aesthetically, it’s very reminiscent of the Technics 1200 and it’s extremely evident that Reloop has designed this turntable with the 1200 fanatic in mind. As such, scratchers and old-school turntablists will feel right at home.
What we’d improve
There’s not much that Reloop has done wrong with this product, however, the inclusion of a dust cover would have been nice. Additionally, the MIDI pads are a bit close together, which may result in an accidental pressing of the wrong button during a fast-paced live performance.
We must admit that Reloop has made a very bold decision in releasing a modern turntable at a time when vinyl sales are at an all-time low. However, they’ve done a great job putting a modern twist on staple classic piece of hardware, something that ensures future generations will be able to appreciate the foundation of DJing turntablism for many years to come. Those who miss the golden age needn’t worry as Reloop has spent an immense amount of time and energy in ensuring the transition from the 1200s to the RP-8000s is as seamless as possible. If you do happen to be in the market for a turntable, you would be hard pressed to find a better option than the RP-8000 available today.