Modded or mid-price rotary mixers

For a long time I’ve wanted a rotary mixer. I’ve got a Clubman at my office that I’ll never get rid of (it has a fader but the circuitry is Bozak quality- it makes the quietist album cut sound like the loudest cleanest 12”) but for my home set up I think it’s finally time to put my beat ass vestax to bed. The bulk of the rotary mixers are a couple thousand dollars which is a lot for a guy making tapes for himself, but now I’m seeing a lot of modified Xones pop up at a lower price point.

Is there a consensus price-conscious pick for rotary joints? I’m not trying to pretend I’m Danny Krivit, I just think the rotary style is far better suited to disco than a fader and I’m hoping there’s at least one mid-market rotary that people endorse.

I’ve got a Mastersounds Radius 2 which I love, they’ve dropped the price on them recently to £799.

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I got my Xone23 modded using the MC Audio solutions kit. Love it. When I took it to my guy I got him to jumper both the phono channels too - can sound a bit spicy at times but actually gives the filter something to do now (which was the aim).

Only tricky thing with the mixer is how the channel volume is exponential (or something other than linear) so the last little turn of the knob is pretty severe. Exactly the same story when it had faders (and the weird-shaped faceplate) though obviously. To get around this I try and pretend 9 is the max but let me know what your suggestions/solutions are.

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https://reverb.com/item/37572848-dark-bahamas-xone-23-rotary-mp2015-edition?page=1&filter=seller#reviews

Anyone ever mess with this?

I’ve got the Onnitronic TrmMk2, I really like it though it’s very basic. I also have Xone23 and 22 and am aiming to get the Kit from MC Audio to convert one of them.
My friend has the Mastersounds which he loves, we use it for gigs sometimes but i’ve never enjoyed mixing on it somehow.
I’ve got access to the Sound Solution FF4.2R which again i’ve used for gigs and it sounds amazing and is really tricked out in a good way. Well thought out mixer.
If money wasn’t an issue, which it very much is, i’d love to try the Isonoe.

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Just bought an omnitronic. Very very excited. Looks more than adequate For my basic bedroom guy needs. Thanks everyone. Really enjoying this forum.

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I bought the mixer of my dreams, an Alpha Recording System 4100, planning to buy the isolator as soon as I can, but sometimes I wonder how much it would cost to build a 4 channel EQ with led meters, or if something like the Rane XP 2016 exist but with 4 channels.
Any tip/reccomendation?

I have the Omnitronic (MK3) and it’s a delight.

Slightly off piste - looking for an effects unit to run/record through the above, any of you wonderful people got any pointers?

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What is it about rotary mixers that excites people so much? That’s not loaded - I haven’t mixed in 15 years (except at a mates 40th) - I just recall the arguments going back a long way & never understood why.

[genuine question]

For me it’s just about what’s more compatible with my mixing style- I want a smooth musical blend, often between two records that are unquantized. I still pass the occasional day cutting up ultimate breaks and beats but on the whole I would just rather have a set up that lets you cream a cool blend together as I’m mostly making tapes for my own enjoyment and that of my friends.

What I don’t get though (& this may well be ignorance), on a fader you go from 1-10 and or from one deck to another (on the x fader). Isn’t that the same on a rotary mix but one is a slider and the other a knob?

I may have totally misunderstood the fundamentals here.

Yeah it’s a difference in how you control it and the effect that the control has on the mix that results. Or to think of it a different way it’s more like you can go from 1-10 on each side to your taste and coupled with some (hopefully tasteful) eq it’s just a more intuitive way to blend. I have no idea if that even makes sense. The other way to put it is “it just feels better.”

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I suppose it comes down to mixing style, they are very smooth. I have a lot of friends that have dropped serious $$$ on Condesa rotary mixers, for home set ups. They have in most part bad amps and speakers and don’t mix(soul DJ’s mostly) but swear it “sounds amazing”. Bit of a head scratcher that one.

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Nah you have nailed the fundamental difference. Except there’s no crossfader on a rotary mixer (unless you do the Xone23 mod in such a way that you leave it in, or you are Kon and commission a custom Condesa with a crossfader on it).

The inferred/implied difference is that people opting to make mixers with knobs instead of faders are more likely to pay more attention to everything else and use better quality components, better designed circuits etc. This is was probably a valid point of view 20 years ago when one club you played at regularly had an Urei and another had a DJM-600 but in 2021 when an off-the-shelf A&H with faders sounds great and other brands are looking to produce entry-level rotary - the argument seems irrelevant.

They’re the perfect pairing to a bottle of natural wine

(E&S user with tongue in cheek)

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Nothing to do with your question, but this always makes me chuckle…

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Slightly off topic but I like a mixer that has a cue level meter. If you can get the levels right between two records, I think that’s a pretty smooth mix nearly there, whether using knobs or faders. For the past 12 months I’ve listened to a lot streamed sets and the drastic change in levels between records can be really annoying - I’m having to ride the level at home. My mixer is a very cheap one and it doesn’t have a proper meter but it does have a single dot for metering, which is still helpful - you can turn it up until it’s too high, then turn it back down a bit so it’s out of the red. Don’t know why DJs can’t use that to get the levels normal.

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I find that with the rotary mixer you don’t need the cue levels so much as you use your ears when you’re bringing in the next record. All about the ears.
As you say though, important if you’re using a crossfader.

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Another shout for Mastersounds Radius 2 or 4 here. Sound quality from it is off the scale, especially with the upgrade power supply they offer.

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Have an e&s but went to lion & lamb just before lockdown and the guys there had a handful of rotary mixers to try , e&s, isonoe, mastersounds, condesa, formula sound.

There wasn’t really much between them in sound quality, all sounded good. I preferred the condesa and formula sound tho.