Traktor Scratch A6 Digital Vinyl System Review - DJBooth

Traktor Scratch A6 Digital Vinyl System Review

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Overview

The Traktor Scratch A6 Digital Vinyl System is a truly complete and professional timecode setup that comes bundled with a full-featured professional software and everything a DJ needs to get started at a great pricepoint. The 24-bit sound quality of the Traktor Audio 6 has been slightly improved over the Traktor Audio 4 that it replaces, and the addition of the MAIN input/output RCA connections open up the door to many more mixing possibilities. Check out my full HD-Video review inside.

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Review Video & Demo

Unboxing Video

Setup & First Impressions

The Traktor Scratch A6 is the new two-deck Digital Vinyl System that comes bundled with both the Traktor Scratch 2.5 software (with remix decks) and the Traktor Audio 6 DJ soundcard. The complete system comes bundled with everything the DJ needs in order to turn their analog vinyl or CD-Decks into timecode controlled decks that can playback audio files found on the computer. In the box, you get the two timecode vinyl, the two timecode CD’s, the Traktor A6, the software codes for Traktor Pro 2.5, a power supply, and four RCA cables for connectivity. This entire package comes in at an all-time low price of only $299 in the US which means the user is getting a full-featured Professional Traktor software with all the trimmings and a powerful and durable soundcard to connect it all. The Traktor Scratch Pro 2 and 2.5 have already been reviewed on our site at length, so the main points of this review will speak on the Traktor A6 hardware component. For more information and video reviews on the Traktor Scratch Pro 2 software, please see the links below the Traktor A6 hardware review section.

Features

Traktor Audio 6 Hardware:

The TRAKTOR AUDIO 6 (or A6) is the successor of AUDIO 4 DJ soundcard, and now comes with enhanced connectivity, slightly better sound quality, two decks of inputs/outputs and a MASTER input and output set for recording and other possibilities. The two decks of control can all be toggled to support any combination of vinyl Phono turntables or CD Line playback decks. The build quality of all Traktor Soundcards has always been top-notch and the A6 is no exception. They have a mostly metal construction and they hold up to all the punishment a Mobile DJ like myself can throw at it.

The Audio 6 claims to have a new processor for better performance and lower latency than the Audio 4, but I was unable to discern the difference between the two in terms of processing power or response speeds which is a good thing. Just as with the new Traktor Audio 10, I was very happy to see that the Native Instruments interfaces no longer need those proprietary multicore cables to connect everything together as you can now connect simple RCA connectors directly into the Audio 6 interface making the setup a lot easier.

The Audio 6 can now run in Direct-Thru mode when not connected to a computer, this way DJ’s can still play music through the A6 even when there is no software or timecode present. The USB cable power is sufficient to run the Audio 6 using timecode vinyl or CD’s, but if you want to use the Audio 6 in Direct Thru mode (for your analog records or music CD’s), then the power cable must be connected. The Audio 6 now has very clear LED readouts that allow users to know what each input and output is doing right at a glance. There are clear indicators for USB connectivity, DC power, input & output of both Decks, Thru setting, and current RCA level settings. The new Traktor Audio control panel for the Audio 6 is located within the Traktor Pro 2 software, making it easy to configure the inputs/outputs of the soundcard.

The Sound quality of the Audio 6 is as great as we all expect it to be. It boasts a high-quality 24-bit and 96kHz Cirrus Logic AD/DA converters for studio grade sound quality. I would say that the Sound Quality of the Audio 6 and Audio 10 is slightly better than last generations’ Audio 4 and Audio 8 interfaces, but it’s not as obvious when using them side-by-side. It was very hard for me to hear the difference between the two as I had to switch back and forth between the Audio 6 and Audio 4 in order to actually hear a very tiny difference. If you are using an Audio 8 or Audio 4 and you are looking to upgrade merely for sound quality, then you may find that the price of the Audio 6 isn’t worth the slight improvement in sound. The Audio 8 and Audio 4 interfaces already sound great and the Audio 6 and Audio 10 will only prove to have very minor upgrades to the sound quality and overall build quality.

Traktor Scratch 2.0/2.5 Software Reviews & Videos:

http://www.djbooth.net/index/dj-equipment/review/native-instruments-traktor-pro-2-dj-software/

http://www.djbooth.net/index/dj-equipment/review/traktor-kontrol-f1-traktor-pro-2.5/

Conclusion / Recommended For

The Traktor Scratch A6 Digital Vinyl System is a truly complete and professional timecode setup that comes bundled with a full-featured professional software and everything a DJ needs to get started at a great pricepoint. The 24-bit sound quality of the Traktor Audio 6 has been slightly improved over the Traktor Audio 4 that it replaces, and the addition of the MAIN input/output RCA connections open up the door to many more mixing possibilities.

The Main inputs/output can be used for the new loop recorder and playback, or simply as a Master Output. The Traktor A6 also has new simplified RCA cable connections instead of the proprietary dongle cables that were used with the older Traktor Audio 4. This makes the initial setup a bit easier than before. Each of the deck inputs can now be controlled through the software control panel to switch between vinyl or line level inputs depending on if you are using a CD deck or a vinyl turntable. The Audio 6 is built with a mostly metal construction and will last for years to come and under the most demanding Mobile DJ conditions.

The Audio 6 is also very versatile and can also be used with any other DJ software on the market today. The only MINOR gripe that I can find with the Traktor Scratch A6 package is that the only way to switch between timecode playback and live-deck playback (Direct Thru mode) is through the control panel found on the computer software. It would have been nice to be able to switch between input types on-the-fly by using a MIDI button or hardware button on the A6 but this does not really hurt the overall performance as most DJ's stick with one input type or the other throughout their set. The Traktor Scratch A6 DVS setup is recommended to any DJ who needs two Decks of external vinyl or CD timecode control and a premier and professional Traktor Pro 2.5 software to run it all. This is the best time to get into the Traktor DJ realm to take advantage of the new Remix decks and the new lower pricing structure of all Traktor based software products.

Pros

  • Complete & Professional Digital Vinyl System w/Excellent Pricepoint ($299
  • Two Decks of either Line/Phono Timecode or Thru-Connectivity
  • Top-Notch 24-Bit Sound quality
  • Traktor A6 has Solid Build Quality
  • Simplified RCA Cable connections (no more dongle cables needed)

Cons

  • Must Go Through Software to switch between Timecode/Thru input type

Related

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Traktor Scratch A6 Unboxing/First Impressions Video

I was cruising around the Native Instruments Traktor website recently and discovered that we reviewed each and every single piece of Traktor DJ gear ever created...except for one. The new Traktor Scratch A6 Digital Vinyl System will allow users to connect up to two timecode vinyl or CD decks to the Traktor Pro 2.5 software to give users the ability to playback and manipulate digital files on their computer. The setup includes the full Traktor Pro 2.5 software, the Traktor Audio 6 interface, RCA cables, 2-timecode vinyl and 2 timecode cd's to get you on your way. Check out the video inside and stay tuned for the HD-Video review coming soon.