Review: Stanton DJC.4

 

21 September 2012 - Justin Milla - The DJ List - http://thedjlist.com/news/2012/09/review_stanton_djc4/

Stanton DJC.4 Top View

Reviewed by Justin Milla (The DJ List)

Brand: Stanton
Price: $349.00
Software: Virtual DJ LE 4-Deck Edition (Traktor Pro mapping available)
Power: USB 2.0 cable or AC Adapter (not included)
Weight: 6.4 pounds (2.92 kg)
Dimensions: 16.1 x 11.7 x 2.6 inches (41 x 29.7 x 6.5 cm)

Right out of the box the DJC.4 feels solid.  As a late adopter into the controller scene I am always wary of cheaply crafted plastic pieces, and there aren’t any to be found here.  All surface materials are high quality and will stand the test of time and club abuse.  Compared to competitor products the material choices feel like pro gear and not toys. It’s also packed with a ton of knobs and buttons.  In its compact size there are 58 plastic buttons, 6 rubber transport controls, two jog wheels, 18 knobs and 5 faders (including the replaceable crossfader).

Input/Ouputs

·       2 stereo RCA inputs (line or phono)
·       1/8″ stereo Aux Input with Input Gain knob and PC/Thru switch
·       2 Master Outs: balanced 1/4″ outputs or unbalanced stereo RCA outputs
·       USB and power jacks
·       1/4″ Mic input with level control and Mic Off/On switch
·       2 headphones outs: 1/8″ and 1/4″ stereo (active simultaneously for you DJ duos),
·       Headphones Mix and Headphones Level controls

Additional font and back controls

·       Grounding post
·       Power on/off button
·       2 jog wheel Touch Sensitivity knobs
·       Crossfader curve control: long fade to quick cut
·       On/Off switch

Putting it to the test

I played around with the unit in my studio and then took it out for a small private event.  Due to its compact size the unit fits nicely in both my larger backpack and my compact travel backpack.  The unit is easy to use, especially if you have experience with controllers or DJ equipment.  If this is your first unit, I would recommend reading through the manual and getting familiar with the array of features.

Illumination is well dialed.  Not too bright in a dark environment but still works great in daylight.  Illumination is also not over kill and it is apparent someone went through a curation process to select only necessary components to light up.  The flashy details are also well sorted and thought out.  Spun hairline on the decks is so subtle it almost looks like a pure polished surface.

Tracks load up smoothly and we are in action with some music.  The faders are smooth and accurate.   A nice touch is the replaceable crossfader.  Although I wouldn’t choose this unit for a scratch intensive DJ, it could very well wear out after some heavy use and it's nice to have the option to replace.  That said, the fader worked well for scratching once I dialed it in to a quick cut and feels quality enough to last.

One feature that is really nice is that the six EQ knobs and six infinite knobs are all push encoders, and the infinite knobs all click when turned or pressed. Each of the 3 band EQ buttons acts as a kill switch when pressed.  Although if you press all three for one channel you still hear some sound.

The jogwheels feel nice to the touch with rubber sides and a smooth finished top.  There is a touch sensitivity adjust for the jog wheels which adjusts all the way from a back spin tightness to a slow bend on the wide side.  I don’t see myself scratching much with these but there is a scratch button which may prove useful.

The DJC.4 comes bundled with Virtual DJ LE 7 software.  In addition you can download a Traktor midi map here.

Although Virtual DJ is not the preferred software for most Professionals it has all the functionality to perform.  The device’s control scheme was designed for a one-to-one connection with an included version of Virtual DJ 7 LE. If you want the added features of the Pro version it will cost you about $299.  One nice feature of Virtual DJ is the ability to mix music videos.  The DJC.4 has included the ability to separate the video and audio fade to allow for some fancy audio/visual mixing.

Summary

Likes: Weight feels like pro gear and provides a sense of security. Knobs and faders provide accurate feedback.  Push-button EQ knobs. Traktor Mapping.  Compact footprint.  Reasonable price

Dislikes: Lack of proper 4 channel mixer, 2 channels and 2 virtual channels. AC adapter not included (only USB). Lite version of Virtual DJ (purchase Pro version).  No booth outputs.

I think that the DJC.4 would make a great unit for someone who is looking for a compact high quality unit.  There are other options in this price range (especially if you upgrade to VDJ Pro) so you might want to weigh your options before making a choice.  I think that due to the flexibility and wide array of inputs this makes sense for someone to use the phono and line inputs to run turntable, Cd player, synths or some other audio devices through the virtual channels.  It would make a nice compact unit as a central hub all for a low price.

The DJC.4 is a notch above an entry level controller, but would be a great buy for someone looking to get into  the controller world.  There are a lot of great features packed into a small footprint.  Its not the cheapest controller you can get but, its cheaper than an investment into turntables or CDJ's and allows a user a full range of options. You can purchase the DJC.4 at Amazon.com for $349.00.


Justin Milla is a San Francisco DJ and music producer as well as contributor to The DJ List. Justin holds a residency at Vessel Nightclub and is one half of the duo FACE DRUGS.

 

Photos

Stanton DJC.4 Angle ViewStanton DJC.4 Angle View
Stanton DJC.4 Back ViewStanton DJC.4 Back View
Stanton DJC.4 Front ViewStanton DJC.4 Front View
 
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