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REVIEW: NUMARK NS7II

Numark claim that their NS7II is the best DJ controller ever built — is this a boast too far?

Given the amazing reputation that the original NS7 has rightfully gained, the release of the next generation NS7II has had many tongues wagging in the DJ community, especially given the fact that Numark are making the bold claim that this is the best DJ controller that has ever been built — well they would say that wouldn’t they? But the question remains, is this really the best DJ controller money can buy? The short answer is “probably”, unless portability is high on the list of features that will sway the decision to hand over the cash.

Just like the original, the NS7II is a massive controller in every way, from the intimidating size and weight to the stunning amount of top-notch features and quality components that Numark have crammed into its all-metal case. Numark have clearly gone for a no-compromise approach when designing and building this controller and have gone to town on this, their flagship controller — size and weight be damned, the NS7II is all about making the best possible machine for mixing which is a refreshing change from the built-to-a-budget controllers so often released into the market.

The NS7II is a four-channel controller with a four-channel mixer designed to be used in conjunction with Serato DJ and has more than a few significant improvements over the original NS7. The most notable of these improvements are the new mixer, which now has four channels rather than the two channels found on the original NS7, as well as built-in FX control and the addition of eight RGB colour pad style trigger buttons to each deck section.

Of course there were many features that the original NS7 got exactly right first time too, such as the stunning motorised platters complete with vinyl and slip mats which thankfully have also made their way into the NS7II.

The build quality of the NS7II is nothing short of breathtaking. The case is made entirely from metal, components such as buttons and faders are all of the highest quality and feel amazing to use. Many of the knobs are touch-sensitive which means instant control and some rather fancy features like being able to use the EQ knobs as kill switches when the shift button is engaged.

The control surface is beautifully designed, managing to pack a dizzying array of controls onto the front panel without feeling cluttered. All of the controls are nicely spaced and logically laid out, adding to the user friendly nature of the NS7II.

As mentioned previously, the NS7II has a fully featured four-channel mixer, which is also capable of working as a stand-alone mixer and has a generous amount of inputs including two mic inputs and four aux inputs, two of which are capable of accepting either line or phono level signals. Each mixer channel has a three-band EQ, gain control knob, filter control knob and two FX engage buttons, and its own 11 segment LED level meter. The mixer’s master section is equally well-appointed, with a master level meter, booth and master gain controls, track browsing section with an encoder knob and eight dedicated buttons to make finding and loading tracks a joy.

The deck sections are equally blessed with outstanding features, including a needle style touch-sensitive “strip search”, four encoders complete with LED ring indicators for FX control, five hot cue buttons and eight pad-style buttons that can be used for cues, rolls, loops, samples and splicer functions. The addition of Pioneer style slip mode is the final icing on an already impressive cake, which allows DJs to scratch and cut the platter with the track resuming at the point it would have been at, had the platters not been touched.

The NS7II is a thing of beauty. It manages to tick every single box and is simply wonderful to use. Even diehard vinyl purists will find this controller fun and intuitive once they get their hands on it. It is extremely rare to find a piece of DJ equipment that has been so well-designed and executed. The designers at Numark have outdone themselves once again. This controller is absolutely exceptional and unless portability is a major deciding factor DJs will be hard pressed to find a better purchase.

 

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