Phono level is a signal produced at a very low level by a magnetic phono cartridge which must be amplified and equalized. Phonograph recordings are made with high frequencies boosted. This reduces background noise, including clicks or pops, and also conserves the amount of physical space needed for each groove, by reducing the size of the larger low-frequency undulations. During playback the high frequencies are rescaled to their original level. This is accomplished in the amplifier with a "PHONO" input that incorporates standardized RIAA equalization circuitry.
Line level is a term used to denote the strength of an audio signal used to transmit analog sound information between audio components such as CD and DVD players, TVs, audio amplifiers, and mixing consoles.
The strength of the various signals does not necessarily correlate with the output voltage of a device; it also depends on the source's output impedance, or the amount of current available to drive different loads.
Recommended: Rane, Allen & Heath, Xone
Headphones let the DJ listen to any channel in the headphones independently of what is playing on the speakers, allowing the DJ to beatmatch the records by ear; this became the defining feature of DJ mixers.
Recommended: Sennheiser HD-25's, Technics RPDJ1000’s, Sony MDR-V700
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CARTRIDGE, HEADSHELL, NEEDLE, TONEARM
A cartridge is a transducer used for the playback of records on a turntable or phonograph. It converts mechanical vibrational energy from a stylus (needle) riding in a spiral record groove into an electrical signal that is subsequently amplified and then converted back to sound by a speaker system.
The stylus fits into the cartridge, which is bolted to the Headshell. The headshell holds the cartridge, and includes the proper weight, height, and wiring to transfer the signal of the media source.
This all leads to the tonearm. The tonearm holds the pickup cartridge over the groove, the stylus tracking the groove with the desired force to give the optimal compromise between good tracking and minimizing wear of the stylus and record groove. At its simplest, a tone arm is a pivoted lever, free to move in two axes (vertical and horizontal) with a counterbalance to maintain tracking pressure.
Normally turntables come with a headshell to fit into the tonearm.
Recommendations (cartridge): Shure M447 (scratching), Ortofon Nightclubs (mixing)
SPEAKERS (Passive & Active) -
A passive speaker (or unpowered speaker) is a speaker which does not have its own power source and has to draw power from somewhere else, opposed to an active speaker which has a built-in amplifier.
Active speakers have a short run of cable between the amplifier and the speaker, which prevents signal and power loss. The amplifier can also be matched to the speaker more exactly.
Passive speakers are lighter and cheaper however, but require longer lengths of cable to run to a separate amplifier. This can be desirable if you have amplifiers that can run multiple speakers. Passive are easier to come by, and unless you’re gigging a club or need a really nice sound system for events, most people use passive speakers.
Recommendations: KRK’s, JBL’s, B-52
A slipmat is a circular piece of slippery cloth or synthetic materials used by disk jockeys instead of the traditional rubber mat.
Unlike the rubber mat which is made to keep hold the record firmly in sync with the rotating platter, slipmats are designed to slip on the platter, allowing the DJ to manipulate a record on a turntable while the platter continues to rotate underneath. This is useful for holding a record still for slip-cueing, making minute adjustments during beatmatching and mixing and pulling the record back and forth for scratching.
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