first i went to guitar center, and was a bit taken aback at how awful their selection was. i mean, just terrible. they had a bunch of turntables and cd decks, but at most four 19" dj mixers. four poorly displayed mixers. one, which was too expensive & out of my price range, was on display near the floor; the others were stuffed in boxes on shelves, and were all crappy cheaper mixers. the only one i would be willing to accept was the $699 one, so i left.
on to sam ash, which probably had double the selection. but the mixers they had on display were not necessarily the ones they had in boxes on the shelves, and you can't always tell what features a mixer has by looking at its controls. of course, in both places, there was really no help to speak of. so i wrote down a few model numbers and left.
i drove back to guitar center, just in case they had some of the same models for cheaper, but i was only reminded of just how bad their selection was, and left.
so i drove all the way over to ipa pro audio, where they have exactly two 19" dj mixers, but of course i got help immediately. still, they had no good mixers, so i moved on, wandering around the lafayette square area thinking there had to be somewhere else in the neighborhood that sells such things. but i couldn't find one, and eventually came home empty handed.
so i guess i'll be going back to sam ash to buy something (no time to order online), probably tomorrow at lunch. here are the mixers i was looking at there:
- numark 1295: $299. this has a kickass built-in mixer, with up to 110sec total nonvolatile memory (that means the samples stay there if you turn it off and back on). and the sampler is polyphonic, too. it has send but no return (useless to me), and it does not have 3-band eq on each channel... but i rarely use that anyway, except to crank up my midrange when i'm struggling to hear myself over my fellow animals.
- denon dx-400: $399. this has send/return and 3-band eq on each channel, but it seems like the send/return only has two settings: mic and main (as opposed to a mixing board, which would have an fx control for each channel). that seems somewhat standard for send/return on the dj mixers i've seen, and is kind of lame, because it really doesn't increase the flexibility of my kaoss pad very much.
- denon dx-800: $499. this is fancier than the dx-400 and includes built-in fx, send/return, and sample triggers. but it doesn't actually have a sampler, it just interacts with denon cd players (which i don't have), so fuck it.
out of those, i have to go for the numark 1295 because that built-in sampler looks pretty cool, and the denons don't really add much that would help me. so unless i come up with a better plan, i'll probably be going out to sam ash tomorrow to pick that up.