Numark ibattlepack Review
iBATTLEPACK is a direct-drive turntable pack for performing with vinyl, iPod or iPhone, and more. iBATTLEPACK features iM1, the world's first DJ mixer that records your mix to your iPod. You can also perform with tracks from your iPod, connect optional gear like CD players, mics, and preview your mix in HF125 DJ headphones.
TT1625 DIRECT-DRIVE TURNTABLES
Pitch-adjustable DJ turntables with aluminum platters and performance controls. Complete with slipmats, cartridges, and connection cables.
iM1 TWO-CHANNEL MIXER WITH DOCK FOR iPod
Rugged, reliable faders, replaceable crossfader, and a built-in dock for iPod. Record your set to iPod and mix in tracks from iPod.
HF125 DJ HEADPHONES
Cue in comfort and enjoy clean, clear sound on stage or at home.
* iM1, the first DJ mixer that enables you to play from and record your mix to iPod or iPhone
* Direct-drive TT1625 turntables deliver professional feel and performance
* High-quality HF125 DJ headphones provide clean, clean, comfortable cueing
* Includes all the little pieces you need: slipmats, cartridges, and connection cables
* Two-channel mixer has inputs for CD players and other sources, plus a mic channel
* Dock for iPod works with all docking iPod and iPhone models
* Turntables feature ±10 pitch control, 33/45 RPM speeds, and dual start/stop buttons
Recently News And Reviews got the opportunity to expand it’s review types and kicked off by looking at a complete DJ package setup with the Numark name branding. Amoung the short list of leading manufacturers for DJ equipment and accessories, The ICD DJ in a box recevied a respectable 9.0/10 editor mark.
Continuing the DJ theme is another complete DJ setup, again with the Numark name branding. The ibattlepack is a completely different DJ setup to that of the ICD DJ, instead of using CD’s as it’s main method of digital mixing, the ibattlepack utilizes vinyl records as it’s weapon of choice.
A Closer Look
Similar to the ICD DJ In A Box setup, you’ll receive everything you need to be up and running within minutes. A complete DJ package, in the box is two TT1625 Direct Drive Turntables, one iM1 mixer and a pair of Numarks HF125 headphones. As detailed on the Numark site, here is the product description for the HF125 headphones:
One place a DJ can’t compromise, is in how they hear their mix. The Numark HF-125 headphone set delivers the goods with flexible 7-position independently adjustable dual ear cups, large 40mm Mylar speaker drivers, 6′ tangle-resistant cord with 1/4″ connector, and padded headband and ear cups.
The ibattlepack is very similar in appearance to Numark’s DJ in a box complete DJ package. The difference between the two is the drive type. The DJ In A Box utilizes belt-drive turntables, while the ibattlepack makes use of direct-drive turntables. In direct-drive turntables, the motor is located directly under the center of the platter and is connected to the platter directly. Direct-drive turntables may suffer from vibration due to the motor. This is less of an issue for belt-drive turntables. However, in recent years, shock-absorbing (less dense) material, placed between the motor and platter, has been used to cut back on vibrations. The torque on direct-drive turntables is usually much higher than on belt drive models. This means the platter speed is less susceptible to outside forces (stylus, hand). Higher torque also means the platter will accelerate to its proper speed faster so less distortion is heard when the record begins to play.
Both the included TT1625 units are identical in appearance. Looking at them from their positioning detailed in the included handbook (with the tonearm running down the right side), to the left of each unit are the turntable motor Stop/Start buttons.
Positioned in the center of the unit is the aluminum platter. As previously stated, Numark have bundled everything you need to get started immediately in their DJ packages, so also included are 2 x Numark branded slipmats. With the platter removed, there’s not really much to see other than the locking plate.
Sitting just above the tonearm is the Power button. The tonearm itself is made up of 4 parts: at the back is the counter weight and scale ring: The Counterweight is used to balance the head shell and cartridge assembly so that the proper amount of stylus pressure is applied to the record. Sitting on the tonearm pedastal is the Anti-Skate Adjustment: This knob is used to compensate for inward tracking forces.The final two pieces are the arm clip and the Cartridge and Headshell: The cartridge is pre-mounted on a standard headshell. The cartridge is user replaceable and is compatible with a variety of standard cartridges.
Towards the bottom edge of the unit is the RPM buttons, selectable between 33 and 45 RPM, if the unit is powered down whilst in 45 RPM mode, when the unit is switched on again it will automatically revert to the default 33 RPM setting. To the far right of the tonearm is the pitch LED light (This LED illuminates green when the pitch slider is set at 0%. When the pitch slider is moved away from zero, the LED illuminates red) and the Pitch Slider (this slide control allows the pitch to be increased or decreased by 10%).
Also differing in design to it’s predecessor, the ibattlepack also includes the iM1 mixer with iPod dock. The iM1 Mixer features 2 channels that are shared between the two included NDX200 CD players. The Mixer itself however can be used with any setup variation you desire. A nice feature of the iM1 is the ability to record your program mixes to your iPod itself.
At the very front of the unit is where you’ll find 2 x 1/4″ jacks for your headphones and microphone. At the rear of the iM1 is your master Output RCA (for speakers/amp), 2 x line output ports (for CD players, samplers, or audio interfaces), 2 x PHONO inputs (used for turntables etc) and your grounding terminal – particularly useful if using phono-level turntables that feature a grounding wire. Some turntables do feature a grounding wire built in to the RCA connector, therefore the grounding terminal is not needed – however this is useful port to have ‘just-in-case’.
The top panel is where you’ll find all the usual controls. Situated in the center is the illusive iPod dock. Surrounding this to the left and right are input selectors (this selects the input source to be routed to the corresponding channel), channel gain (adjusts the corresponding channels pre-fader), channel treble, and channel bass.
Sitting directly underneath the iPod docking station is the Master volume control dial, Mic audio level dial and the cue gain (used for adjusting the headphone audio level).
Towards the bottom of the unit is where you’ll find the corresponding channel fader sliders, Cue slider (used to mix between channels 1 and 2 in the headphones), and the crossfader (this blends audio playing between channels 1 and 2). A nice feature here is the user-replaceable crossfader panel.