Whatever is the genre you enjoy writing in or performing, it’s of absolute importance to get the proper equipment.
Well, you don’t actually need anything prestigious, unless you’re planning to become a professional. But there should be at least something decent to get the job done right.
In this case, we won’t be talking about an instrument in the conventional sense. After doing a bit of our own lurking and research about the good old classic DJ turntables (the classic kind of lurking you do when you’re bored), we remembered one old piece that brought back some great memories. The turntable in question is Stanton STR8-100.
Since we’re huge fans of digging up old stuff that everyone seems to have forgotten, we’ve decided to take a closer look into the STR8-100 and see what actually makes it so special.
It’s a fairly older piece, not exactly the widely-known and a “mainstream” one, so it was kind of tricky to dig up all the details and find all the nuances about its operation.
Nonetheless, we love challenges, especially when it comes to older and somewhat obscure-ish stuff out there. Well, here it goes.
Now, despite being an older product that’s not manufactured anymore, it’s still fairly popular on the market of used turntables thanks to its features, qualities, operation, and reliability.
First off, it’s a straight arm turntable, and this is one of its very popular features.
While some may argue that straight arm turntables ruin records faster, a lot of the turntable lovers actually look for this particular feature since it holds down to the groove better, which makes it more reliable when it comes to the control. Whatever you might think of it, it’s a fact that a lot of people out there are fond of straight arms.
Speaking of its arm, it is designed to be completely height-adjustable and to prevent any kind of skipping, as much as it’s possible.
Next up, it’s important to note that STR8-100 can play records at three different speeds, both in forward and reverse. These speeds are 33 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm.
Not only does this allow you to work with all the different kinds of vinyl to play at original speed, but it also allows you to play stuff slower or faster, which does improve the overall creative potential that this piece provides and makes it a great buy for sample diggers.
There are options for either phono or standard line outputs. This means that you can plug it directly into the mixer without a ground or a “phono in” cable.
The exciting stuff comes with the “Key Correction” feature.
With it, you’re able to change the record speed but without shifting its pitch.
This is a pretty rad little thing to have on board of a turntable and is yet another thing that gives more room for musician’s creativity.
The only thing we would like to address here is that a more proper name for the feature would be “Pitch Correction.”
There are a few other important features to note here. For instance, there’s the retractable target light, blue LED indicators, and the adjustable feet.
When it comes to some additional outputs and inputs, it also includes S/PDIF as well as a standard 3.5 mm line input. The addition of the S/PDIF allows a digital input which opens up the world of possibilities if you want to connect it to a computer.
A short version of the performance review? It works fantastic! To explain it further, we’ll look into the features explained above and how well they present themselves in practice.
With the Staton SR8 1000 everything is so easily accessible and it’s built with practicality in mind. The skip-proof system works like a charm. There’s almost no way for your needle to skip in any standard settings so you won’t need to worry about that.
While most of the turntablists and DJs do not use 78 rpm records, it’s still nice to have this feature. Especially knowing that there’s the pitch adjustment feature that can allow you to play the material faster without going high in pitch.
Of course, the controls work solidly and nothing seems to be going out of the ordinary. If you know what you’re doing, this is the perfect tool for you.
There are probably a few more or less minor details, one of them being the lack of a dust cover. As of performance, this is a fully professional piece that can still find use in this day and age.
Speaking of the design, this is usually a subjective issue. Although we would point out that the bright silver finish is just wonderful. It’s all rounded up with an addition of blue LEDs that both serve their function (provide light to the controls in darker settings) and are a nice touch to the design.
But what’s really important to note here is that Stanton STR8-100 is a very well-built turntable. You won’t have any worries even with some rougher handling. It’s built to last.
In their official material that you get with the STR8-100, Stanton explains how “reinventing the wheel is not an easy job.”
This might be a bit of an overconfident remark, but this turntable is actually pretty good. So good that you’ll actually find many people today actively looking for this particular product.
And we don’t blame them. With such a tight arm, different outputs, and most of all three speeds that play both forward and in reverse, and the pitch correction at different RPMs ñ it’s no wonder. We would be surprised if it weren’t so highly sought after.
These days, you’ll be able to find one of these somewhere above $400 and below $500, depending on the turntable’s overall condition. We’d say that it’s worth it. Just make sure that you’re already familiar with turntables and how they work. Such an older piece (dare we say “retro”?) might not be the best option for beginners.