Review: Numark NS7 II

The Numark NS7II is a 4-Channel motorized DJ controller and mixer with real 7″ vinyl and slipmats. It also comes with touch-sensitive knobs and filters, and velocity-sensitive (multi-color) performance pads for super responsive hands on control of the performance features within Serato DJ. We finally received one to review for BEATFLAKES.

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I got a phone call: “Dude, they just delivered this package for you, it’s fricking huge, heavy and unmanageable”. When picking it up I realized nothing that had been said earlier was lied. It’s 15kgs and around 80x50cm. It did get me excited though as I’ve been reading great stuff about this controller!

01. UNBOXING
02. CONTROLLER
03. TOUCH LOCK
04. THE PADS
05. CONCLUSION



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Unboxing / Setting it up

Back to the part where I enter the door with this huge box in my hands. Outer shipping box. Check. Plain black and white box. Check. Finally there’s all the material keeping the NS7 II in place, together with some smaller boxes holding the platters & vinyl.

It will probably only take you around 30 minutes setting up both the hard- and software. As soon as you get the NS7 II out of it’s box, it’s much easier to carry around. But yes, it’s still heavy.

You will first have to assemble the platters as they consist of 3 parts, but this can be done in one minute. Next you can plug in all cables (obviously cables to connect the NS7 II to your monitors are not included), download Serato DJ off the website and you’re good to go!

If you want to read about ALL specs first, click here or here. As Numark obviously did a great job covering all this. Now on to our opinion!

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Controller

The channel and crossfaders have that slick and loose feel, making it easy to do quick adjustments. The pitch faders are a lot stiffer so you can do some very precise adjustments. Each button or fader is positioned very well to make sure there’s enough space for you to do your thing. Not cramped at all!

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The turntables feel like the real deal. There’s two genuine seven-inch motorized platters, and both are supported by ultra-high-resolution MIDI—3600 ticks per rotation. You also have your choice of high- or low-torque platter settings. When it comes to feel, response, and high-performance mixing, it doesn’t get any better. NS7II gives you the unmatched precision and feel of true analog platters combined with all of the conveniences of your digital music library.

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Oh and guess what, no need to use your laptop to scroll through tracks. Above the mixer are some controls to view and load the tracks on your screen. Works nice!




Touch Lock

There’s so many features on the Numark NS7 II that we could go on for days. Some of them you might find on most controllers, but some others are quite special, such as the touch-sensitive knobs. You can activiate this by hitting the “TOUCH / TOUCH LOCK” button. Untill you take your finger off, touching any part of the knob will activate a specific effect or parameter. Then there’s the Shift-Touch mode, with which you’ll add touch senitivity to the EQ-knob.

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The Pads

I love these. I have been using Akai’s stuff for years. Still using my Akai MPD24 on the regular so of course I can appreciate these pads a lot! There’s 8 multi-mode and multi-colored MPC pads (coming straigt from Akai, which is, as Numark, also owned by inMusic Brands). You can use them for Cues, Auto/Roll, Loops and as a Sampler or Slicer.

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There’s different functions for the pads which can be accessed by the amount of times you hit them:

Cue:
1x Hot Cue Mode (8 saved cues)
2x Hot Cue Auto Loop Mode

Auto/Roll:
1x Auto Loop Mode
2x Loop Roll Mode

Loop:
1x Manual Loop Roll (Saved Loops 1-4)
2x Manual Loop Roll (Saved loops 5-8)

Sampler:
1x Sample Player Mode
2x Sample Velocity Trigger

Slicer:
1x Slicer (Track gets chopped up into 8 segments)
2x Slicer Loop

I’m very sure a lot of you can appreciate these pads. It’s just great to screw around with a beat and remixing it on the spot, next to that it gives you great opportunities to fade out your tune in a creative way.


Conclusion

What can I say. The NS7 II is amazing! The Numark NS7 II is well-built, has tons of features and feels like a really professional setup.

I’m a huge fan of the vinyl-feel, the Akai pads and wicked features such as the Touch lock. Too bad I was only able to play with this bad boy for two weeks as I feel like I needed more time with this machine to give you guys more details. Next to that, it sucks having to return something you fell in love with.

Quality-wise I don’t think there’s a controller out there that’s better. So their payoff “The best DJ Controller ever built.” does make sense. It’s just a matter of what your expectations are and how you want to use it.

For example, if you don’t care about the vinyl-feel, don’t want to spend more than €1000,- and want to practice with a DJ Controller simply to be able to easily swtich to a club-setup (Pioneers CDJ’s) this probably isn’t for you. In that case you might want to look in to Pioneer’s DDJ-SX (€950) or the DDJ-SR if you don’t need 4 decks (€575). These are probably better picks for you and are, due to their weight, better portable than the Numark NS7 II. Some cheaper alternatives by Numark are the Mixdeck Express DJ (€580) or Mixtrack Quad (€250).

On the other hand, if you can appreciate good quality, want a great DJ Controller for your homestudio and love the feel of vinyl (oldskool DJ’s?) in combination with the AKAI’s MPC pads, this is definitely THE controller for you.

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To sum it up:

PROS:
• Looks and feels solid, as well as professional
• Vinyl!
• Great AKAI pads with awesome features
• Booth outputs with dedicated volume control

CONS:
• The weight (monstrous to transport)
• The price (with a price of €1200 some of you might want to look for a cheaper alternative).

Side note:
On the NAMM 2014 Pioneer’s DDJ-SZ was announced, which looks like it coming close to the Numark NS7 II, but being even more expensive (€2000,-) it’s up to you wether to wait for this or just go with the Numark NS7 II, a true beast.