Truly great service is a rare commodity these days, so when you receive it you should shout about it! Reviews have revolutionised the way we consumers go about our shopping rituals. Recently I have had some great purchasing experiences with some of the smaller companies who went way above and beyond the call of duty for me, such as Paul at Bozak for example. It hasn’t been exclusively limited to the smaller niche companies however. The likes of DV247 have really bucked their ideas up recently and Juno have always done me proud.
Today however, I want to turn my focus to Mastersounds and more specifically Ryan from Mastersounds. But first, a little back story on Ryan. He’s a vastly experienced DJ of 25 years and long standing lover of domestic and commercial audio. Judging by the products I have received from Mastersounds so far and what I have learned through social media channels, quality seems to run through the heart of everything he does and that work that seems to resonate through a vast majority of comments associated to his products and services.
OK let’s talk products! A major one for Ryan and his company seems to be the beautiful looking Radius mixers, the Radius 2 and 4. I say beautiful looking as I haven’t had the pleasure of playing on one yet, but was very close to a purchase before settling on a full Bozak rack mount setup! From what I have heard and the reports online, these mixers are top notch! What the website says:
The Radius 4 has been designed by MasterSounds and Union Audio and developed by Union Audio at their Cornwall based workshops. Andy Rigby-Jones, former head of design for the world-renowned Allen & Heath Xone DJ mixer range, has personally designed, built and tested the analogue electronics, whilst MasterSounds founder Ryan Shaw not only worked on the mixers feature set, but his family owned metalworking factory manufacture the mixers outer casing. Each mixer is lovingly hand-built, tested and shipped direct from Union Audio, ensuring the ultimate in quality, reliability and performance. Andy says; “Just like the Radius 2, the Radius 4’s signal path features pure high-end analogue topology for minimal distortion, low noise floor and high headroom, aided by only using components of the highest quality”.
Ryan also seems very resourceful in locating beautifully conditioned used Technics 1200/1210s. He then offers a modification service with his own fair hands. He also offers some which are serviced and released into the wild as standard 1200/1210s. I urge you to check out these options and see the quality and love that has gone into these masterpieces!
Now for the products that initially caught my eye, the weights. Here are the website words, followed by my personal take on them:
The number 1 turntable weight used by Dj’s in the world! My turntable weights are carefully designed to reduce a turntable’s noise floor and thus improve the musical soundstage. Users enjoy improved bass response, tighter mids and controlled highs as the turntable weight reduces unwanted resonance when placed via the spindle on top of a record. My turntable weights weigh just over 400 grams (+/- 14oz), light enough to not cause damage to a turntable’s bearing system, but heavy enough to give sonic improvement. I have tested my weights on a large variety of non-suspended belt drive and direct drive turntables with great success. Pressing plants try to achieve quality control on every record made, however there are intrinsic issues such as dished and warped records. My turntable weights help to combat this too. DJs love this; as it aids cueing a problematic a record prior to mixing and eliminates needle skip.
I’m not sure whether it is just me or the countless hours of torture my ears have endured over the years on large sound systems but I can’t seem to hear a huge difference in the sound. More likely though is the fact that my current setup is fairly limited system doesn’t handle the frequencies most effected by the resonance caused by the undulations in the vinyl. I am sure that scientific tests have been done and there is an improvement though. I keep meaning to carry out some A/B testing to try and hear the difference, I will soon and report back here with an update.
With this said though, I think most people have missed an amazing function of these wonderfully crafted record weights! As they grip the record so well, without grabbing hold of the spindle on the deck, they are perfect to slow and speed up the record in an ultra precise way! No more stroking the dots or doing the old 33/45 nudging technique (mastered by our very own DJ Joy Deep). It really has brought a fantastic level of control to the mix. I simply nudge the record forward a little using the serated lip on the top of the weight or gentle stroke the beautifully smooth body of the weight. Strangely enough, I haven’t heard anyone else mention this, am I a trailblazer??
“Are you confused about the differences between record clamps and weights? Check out our article Record Weights vs Record Clamps“.
Always liking to be a bit different, I couldn’t pass up the the perfect little 45 adapters machined in exactly the same way as the weights, but a third of the size! They’re amazingly detailed and look great with the weights. See for yourself:
Oh, and Ryan very kindly included a nice double sided ‘flipmat’ (no, not a typo) along with a Technics 1200 he sourced for me! Nice touch and a great product.
All in all there is nothing more to say other than it was a thoroughly pleasurable experience dealing with Ryan and receiving the quite superb products and service. First class in every respect and we need to support these wonderful companies which fight to keep our passions alive! Have you got some MasterSounds products yourself? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.