The only real surprise is that nobody has done it sooner. For everyone who owns or has considered buying turntables and adding Novation Dicers to create a versatile and powerful DVS set-up, here's the Reloop RP-8000 turntable, that gives you all the Midi controls you're likely to need, plus loads more high-tech built right in. A direct driver, 11kg beast, it remains to be seen how close in feel and quality the RP-8000 is to the Technics 1200/1210 (we'll certainly let you know ASAP), but this Midi/analogue hybrid unit looks faithful enough to the classic Technics design to instantly feel "right" - albeit with loads of buttons added down the left-hand side of the unit.
The buttons can be mapped to any DJ software, although a Serato Scratch Live mapping is available right from the off, the whole idea being you don't need a separate Midi controller any more when using a DVS system. So you'll find a library navigation knob, and several "performance modes" (hot cues, loops, samples etc) which can be combined; there's even a user-definable layer for your own controls. Two (or more) RP-8000s can be linked to each other via USB, meaning you only need to plug a single USB into your PC/Mac to enable all of them. Another clever addition is a "scratch-friendly" extra stop/start button on the top left for those who like to rotate their turntables 90 degrees.
While the unit has a line/phono switch meaning you can plug them in to mixers or controller with just line-ins (also negating the need for earthing), it would have been even better to see built-in audio interfaces as well. Imagine these being Traktor Scratch or Serato Scratch Live / Serato DJ certified, with sound cards built in so you don't need a DVS-compatible mixer or breakout box?
The Reloop RP-8000s are supplied with slipmats and headshells, but you'll need to budget for cartridges/needles. Price and availability yet to be confirmed.
Have you been waiting for someone to come out with a turntable like this? What are your first thoughts on seeing this unit? Please share your thoughts on the RP-8000 below.