So at the start of lockdown 2, I decided the old 1210s where coming out of retirement after 20+yrs in storage.. so I dusted down the vinyl and set up on my dining room table...(yes, the missus was cool about this!) The Decks fired up ok, but the 30yr old Vestax mixer and ancient Technics amplifier where completely dead. So I bought a pair of active speakers, which I had no idea even existed... and purchased a spanking new Pioneer DJ250 mixer from the guys at djkit.com, just to see if I could rekindle the old magic! well they say mixing is like riding a bike and my old vinyl sounded so good through the studio monitors, but the Pioneer mixer, although very decent, was just not cutting the mustard for me. So I did some research, spoke to my old DJing mates, watched a million YouTube videos and everything was pointing me to the Allen & Heath Xone 96. Big money for a guy that�s just getting back in the saddle and judging by the missus reaction when I said an upgrade on the Pioneer was around �600, she would probably divorce me if she knew I was looking at �1300 to �1600 haha! But I feel a divorce would give me more time on the decks, so I contacted a lovely guy called Greg at djkit.com and he helped get the ball rolling on a return and upgrade. Thankfully I kept all packaging and I�d only really used the Pioneer for around 4/5hrs, so it was good as new. Fast forward a few days I get a Call from Greg at djkit.com and he confirms all is good on the return and the next day Artur our very nice DPD delivery man was standing at my door with a big box.
On opening the box, there�s no getting away from just how big and beautiful the Xone96 is! It truly is a thing of beauty and quite an upgrade on my missus, but unlike my good lady, this mixer is really not plug and play! I have found my way around all kinds of mixers in clubs, house parties and my mates set ups back in my heyday, but that was a long time ago and this Xone96 is somewhat intimidating to an old DJ like myself.. yes, I had to read the instructions booklet for the first time in my 48yrs.. but glad I did, as it has very easy set up pictures and within 5/10mins I had a needle on the record and a sound that I can only describe as heaven came out my speakers! It�s actually true, the Xone96 delivers a sound like a philharmonic orchestra, as my 30+yr old slab of Chicago trax vinyl was flowing out these little speakers. After a few hours with this beast, it started to feel super familiar, somehow Allen & Heath have managed to put everything in exactly the right place and I found myself navigating around things with easy familiarity.
tip- get yourself the right cables for your active speakers, XLR female to 1/4 TLR (balance) cables. This will bring the 96s built in soundcards to life! Honestly didn�t think this mixer could sound any better, but correct cables, testing/correcting settings on mixer/speakers and I had ordered myself some new Electro vinyl and this Xone96 is firing on all cylinders! Even the missus is blown away and thinks it�s well worth the �600... in moment of weakness, i almost told her the real price. But I know in my own mind that this bit kit will be with me for decades to come and you can�t put a price on that! Well you can... it�s around �1400 and a divorce, but me and my dog are happy.