Vestax VCI-300MKII DJ Controller Review - DJBooth

Vestax VCI-300MKII DJ Controller Review

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Overview

The Vestax VCI-300MKII has been out on the market for a little over a year now, but this full HD Video review is definitely better late than never! We decided to revisit the Vestax VCI-300MKII since the VCI-400 Digital DJ controller was recently announced as the end-all-be-all of DJ MIDI controllers. The Vestax VCI-300MKII is a 2-channel DJ controller that is made up of mostly metal components and has a nice compact size for easy storage and transport. This is one of my favorite controllers to date! Check out the full video review to see why after the jump.

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Staff Review

Review Video & Demo

Setup & First Impressions

The Vestax VCI-300MKII is a two-channel Digital DJ controller that has a compact and lightweight design which also gives DJ’s the option of playing music through an optional line input in time of need. The VCI-300 may just be the most durable controller out on the market today with its full-metal body construction and heavyweight feel.

Features

Even the high-resolution jog wheels have a ribbed metal surface and they too feel super-sturdy. Though the crossfader and linefaders have a “plastic-like” feel to them, I was able to pull off all my scratches and juggles without any issues. They are all user replaceable and upgradeable (to the Innobender fader or Vestax Pro faders) if the need ever arises. The size is also nice and compact for easy transport.

On the downside, the Vestax VCI-300MKII is really a USB DJ controller and not a true MIDI controller, meaning that DJ’s won’t be able to map each and every function on the unit to the DJ software of your choice. You are pretty much stuck with the software and settings that you get out of the box. I was also surprised to see that the VCI-300MKII does not come with the additional power cable (sold separately) because it actually gives the headphones an additional amp and it also allows the unit to be used in Line-Thru mode without the need of using the power from the computer. My final gripe with the unit is the lack of on-board effects. Most DJ controllers today have effects and the only way to get them with the VCI-300MKII is to purchase the Vestax FX-1 unit to go with it.

Conclusion / Recommended For

At the end of the day, the Vestax VCI-300MKII is a barebones 2-channel DJ system that does everything very well. The unit is built to last and everything is very easy to use and understand. I have reviewed many DJ controllers to date and this is one of my favorites even though it’s missing some features found on other popular controllers. The feel of the unit and controls is just right. We recommend the VCI-300MKII to beginner DJ’s who don’t want a bunch of confusing features, or for professional DJ’s who want an additional travel setup. The price may be a bit steep at $700 but this really feels like it’s worth every penny.

Pros

  • Very Strong Completely Metal Design
  • Compact for easy transport
  • Nice-Sturdy Metal jog wheels with High resolution and vinyl feel
  • Alpha Style Crossfader with low cut-in Distance and External Curve adjustment
  • User-replaceable/upgradeable Crossfader & Linefaders

Cons

  • Does not come with additional Power Cord
  • Cannot edit or create MIDI mappings
  • No on-board effects or Sample sections

Related

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Vestax VCI-380 DJ Controller Announced (Video)

Vestax, one of my personal favorite DJ companies, has recently announced that they will be bringing out a brand new version of the very popular VCI-300 Digital DJ controller. Introducing the new Vestax VCI-380 Digital DJ controller which is basically a VCI-300 with eight Vestax PAD-ONE pads integrated atop each deck that allows DJ's to trigger cue points, samples, loops, slice up beats, and shoot off Pad FX together. This new Serato Itch controller can also work as a standalone mixer. Check out the video and press release for more details.

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Vestax VCI-400 DJ Controller Announced

Vestax has now officially announced their own version of the new 4-deck MIDI DJ controller craze called the VCI-400. The Vestax VCI-400 will be fully compatible with all the major software suites right out of the box with Vestax themselves providing mapping files for Traktor Pro, Serato, and Virtual DJ from day one! The VCI-400 will come bundled with the new Serato Intro Software and Virtual DJ LE in case you don't have one already. More information and Video inside.

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[Video] Serato DJ with Vestax VCI-380

The Vestax VCI-380 has been out on the market for a little over a year now, but its still one of my favorite controllers to use with Serato. During our HD-Video review, we loved the build quality, tight jog wheels, and excellent fader feel along with the a set of input and output options that are available to the users. The VCI-380 now gets a free software upgrade from Serato Itch to the new and improved Serato DJ and Martin from the Serato team gives us a quick demo video of the new look and features. Check out the performance video and my Vestax VCI-380 review after the jump.

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[Video] Custom Styleflip.com Vestax VCI-400

The Vestax VCI-400 Digital DJ controller is extremely versatile as it can work with both the full Serato DJ software and Traktor Pro 2 with great results. I've decided to keep the VCI-400 for my personal controller of choice and since then we've upgraded the crossfader (on our DIY Video) and now we're ready to customize the looks. With the help of our friends over at Styleflip.com we were able to perfectly match the black/white pinstripe design on my DVS setup and replicate it on the VCI-400.

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Vestax CF-X2 Crossfader Installed in VCI-400/VCI-380

Ever since DJ controllers first started appearing on the market, the more advanced scratch DJ's were always looking for a way to make the crossfader on these units as good or close to the quality of the crossfader found on their beloved Battle Scratch Mixers. Vestax has heard their cries and has come up with an excellent solution to this dilemma. They decided to make the crossfaders on the VCI line of controllers user-friendly-upgradable to the same exact same crossfader found on their flagship scratch mixer, the PMC-05ProIV. Check out my installation video inside to see how it's done.