If there’s one genre of music that has seen a boom in both spectrum and popularity, it’s electronic music.
Development of digital technologies really left an impact, allowing modern DJs to have more control over their mix, and simply be more creative. However, newer is not always better. At least when it comes to turntables.
Today’s standard when it comes to sound sources is more or less centered around CDJs. These devices were designed to play CDs, which was an upgrade from old school turntables. However, not everyone is happy with using CDJs. There are purists and those who refuse to switch to this new tech for one reason or another.
This resilient user base has allowed various brands to keep producing standard turntables with a decent margine of profit. Stanton STR8-30 is turntable model which belongs to this category. It is also the subject of our review today. What we really wanted to know is whether or not turntables are still practical. After all, their only real advantage is the ability to play vinyls, right? Let’s find out.
Stanton STR8-30 Review
Turntables were used in electronic music pretty much since ever. The ability to load all kinds of vinyls and use samples from various songs is in the core of being a DJ. This alternative use of what was in essence the grandfather of the MP3 player, completely changed the market for these devices.
Manufacturers were now producing models meant specifically for DJs. These turntables are different from the regular ones in several ways which make them worse for listening music, but great for mixing. The most notable difference has got to be the short arm. If you want to listen to Hi-Fi elloptical stylus, a short arm is useless. In DJ world, it’s everything.
Stanton STR8-30 is a solid piece of gear that comes in a quality made metal housing. The whole thing is done in a brushed aluminum aesthetic, which makes it incredibly attractive to look at. Simple but practical seems to be the idea behind this model.
Inside, you will find a very reliable motor which drives the platter. This thing is built pretty rugged, so you know it can take some abuse. Speaking of platters, Stanton STR8-30 comes with an aluminum one. It’s pretty light weight, and rather smooth.
The arm is an aluminum straight tone design that is packed with Stanton’s 500B cartridge mounted on a headshell. The whole setup is pretty decent in terms of quality and functionality.
The control layout is spartan. To the far right you will find a pitch fader that goes from -10 to +10%. Bottom left is where your power button is, along with several buttons which you can use to change the speed of the platter. There is a strobe indicator that makes this Stanton great for use in low light conditions.
Like we said before, you probably don’t want to use this turntable to listen to music. Everything about it screams DJ. The motor they packed in this turntable is reliable and consistent.
You would expect that to be case with every other turntable considering how electric motors have been around for a better part of the century, but that is not always the case. However, with this Stanton, there is nothing to worry about. You can scratch or run this thing hard and the motor will keep up.
The arm is a short one, which makes it perfect for DJ use. Stanton’s 500B cartridge is up there compared to other models on the market. The quality of sound it is able to extract from the vinyls is great to say the least.
Whether or not it’s professional grade component is up for discussion, but it’s one thing that you don’t have to worry about on Stanton STR8-30. On a grand scale of things, this is an entry level turntable. With that said, it can be used in more stressful scenarios with no problems. If you want something for professional use, you might want to look elsewhere.
What we like
Stanton delivered a very functional and reliable turntable when they announced the Stanton STR8-30. It was reasonably priced, even back in the day, which allowed budget users to get a decent piece of equipment. From our point of view, this turntable is great. If you consider the segment of the market it was designed for, you can’t really complain much about anything.
What we don’t like
It appears that Stanton’s quality control can mess up sometimes. Some users reported small issues with this turntable, but that doesn’t happen very often. For the most part, Stanton STR8-30 can bee seen as a pain free entry level turntable.
There are numerous DJs who will tell you that nothing beats an old school turntable, not even the most advanced CDJs. It’s not always about the quality of sound or ease of use. Sometimes a DJ simply needs to have that organic feedback only a decent turntable can deliver.
Considering that these devices are still in demand, it’s no wonder that there is a pretty saturated market dedicated to turntables alone. Stanton STR8-30 and Stanton in general, have a lot to offer. In this specific case, it is a very capable entry level model that get’s the job done at an affordable price.
While the performance of the STR8 30 is good, it’s probably going to get outperformed by some more expensive models. However, if you look at the bang for the buck ration, Stanton STR8-30 is going to be in the top 10 on almost any list.
Whtether or not this turntable is something that could boost your setup, depends on what kind of performance you require, and what your style is. For the most part, Stanton STR8-30 is great for scratching. This means it has a great value in hip hop music as well. This specific model has been discontinued for a while now, but there are still places where you can get a brand new one.