They say good things (or is that bad things?) come in threes, and this latest incarnation in Numark's popular NS7 range is looking better than ever now that it has reached its third edition — thanks to the addition of no less than three display screens. DJ Mag was very impressed with the Numark NV and its integrated screens in each deck section, and while that remains an excellent controller the NS7 III has really upped the ante.
This controller now has an incredibly impressive list of features including spinning platters, an all-metal construction, velocity-sensitive trigger-pads and now three screens — making this one of the most feature-packed Serato DJ controllers around, while still managing to keep the price very reasonable indeed.
The three screen interface found on the NS7 III is nothing short of gorgeous, with lovely high resolution colour displays put to great use. Each deck section has its own dedicated display which can be switched between track waveform display, FX control and loops. The central display, meanwhile, is dedicated to track browsing/loading as well as being able to display waveforms from both decks stacked above each other — making perfect beat-mixing even easier, thanks to the visual feedback provided.
This combination of individual screens and display modes is incredibly well thought-out as well as intuitive to use, and really does take the NS7 series to the next level. Existing NS7 II users who will now no doubt be green with envy can rejoice, as these new screens will be made available as a separate module to upgrade this previous generation of controllers.
The level of build quality plus the absolute plethora of features that made the previous generations of NS7 controllers so popular are still present and correct here. The NS7 III keeps the tradition of an all-metal construction, it has lovely long throw pitch-faders on each of the deck sections, and of course, most importantly, there are the gorgeous seven-inch motorised platters that feel exactly like turntables are present on the NS7 III.
The four-channel mixer at the centre of the NS7 III is fantastic with features like touch-sensitive knobs, VU meters on each channel and filter knobs, plus the standard three-band EQ and gain controls which make this controller stand out from the competition. The MPC-style trigger pads which were great on the NS7 II — thanks to the velocity sensitivity, colour backlighting and awesome modes available — are even better now thanks to the new displays that make them more powerful and even easier to use.
The NS7 III has enough features and fine points to fill a book, and carries on a very strong tradition with absolute aplomb. This controller is an absolute joy to use and emulates vinyl like no other controller on the market, making it the perfect upgrade to digital DJing for vinyl purists and those who love long mixes which are beat-matched by ear. For home and studio use it is hard to beat the NS7 III in terms of features and price, and for mobile DJs and touring bands the size and weight of this controller shouldn't present too much of an issue.
However, for club DJs the sheer size and weight of this controller could make it impractical to take to gigs on a regular basis, especially when trying to squeeze it into a DJ booth. DJs who are looking for a way to plan sets and produce mixes at home or in their studio will have no problems with the weight and size of the NS7 III.
Potential owners who would be looking to take this into the crowed DJ booth may have to think long and hard about portability and potential use of their new controller at gigs, as well as the difficulties there may be with getting it on an airplane regularly. Other than that, the NS7 III carries on the high degree of excellence the NS7 range has delivered in its various incarnations.