Vinyl is back. There is no argument against that fact – users can now buy Vinyl from their local supermarket once again. There are also a large number of turntables being released by AV giants, which includes the newly announced Pioneer PLX-500.
Turntables are not typically the most advanced technology on the face of the planet – after all record players have been around since 1877. The Pioneer PLX-500 is however a technical marvel, allowing users to digitise their entire vinyl collection so that they can enjoy the pure sound of vinyl on-the-go.
Pioneer DJ is not the first company to offer users the opportunity to digitise their vinyl collection. Sony’s PS-HX500 turntable, which was announced at CES 2016, offers much of the same functionality. The major difference between the two however is the fact that Pioneer’s offering is significantly more affordable. Sony’s turntable costs around $600, while Pioneer’s will retail for around $350.
Digitising a user’s vinyl catalogue is designed to be as easy as possible, with Pioneer providing USB connectivity so that users can connect the turntable directly to their computer. Once connected the Rekordbox App, which can be installed on both Windows and MacOS, will convert the user’s catalogue into a library of WAV files. This will all be done automatically – with the software even recognising the silence between songs and creating separate files for each song as a result. The software is not capable of inputting metadata however, with users forced to do that manually.
While the PLX-500 can be used as a record player, or a device for digitising a user’s vinyl collection, Pioneer DJ is also aiming it at its target demographic – professional DJs. In this respect, DJs familiar with the PLX-1000 pro model will feel right at home, with the turntable offering the ability to mix and scratch both records and digital files.
The Pioneer PLX-500 is expected to ship in September, with both a black and white version set to be offered. There are a few things to bear in mind before purchasing it however. Pioneer has employed direct-drive technology, which for many can be a deal breaker as many people prefer belt driven turntables. Despite that, the technology does mean that there’s no need to have an amplifier to make it work. Instead it has a line out so users simply need to plug-in their speakers to get going.