With Pioneer dominating the CD Deck market why would you want to even look at another CD Deck? The main reason is price, Pioneer CDJs cost a lot of money, even if they are worth it but for newer DJs who don’t know if they’ll even DJ for long its always worth checking out other options. So here is Stantons C.324 CD Deck and we think its something worth checking out.
We’re not huge fans of the look Stanton have gone for with some of their products. Newer equipment like the SCS range look gorgeous but the C.234 for us just isn’t that amazing. Its functional and is just our personal opinion but we are glad to say that build quality wise its well made. The casing feels solid and like it can take a bit of a bettering whilst the blue lights give it a nice feel. The buttons are solid rubber with a metallic finish and whilst they have an audible click they are a bit loose and spongy in parts. Certainly not terrible but something to be aware of.
The platter is the key part of any CD Deck and it has to feel just right otherwise everything else on the deck is waste. Stanton have gone for a slightly looser jog wheel which may sound like a bad idea but does mean scratching is a bit easier and more vinyl like. The platter has a rubberised edge and works like any other touch sensitive jog wheel. The whole wheel works as a pitch shift control when in vinyl mode whilst the top is a touch sensitive scratch wheel. Whilst this is a slightly looser jog wheel there is still a lot of resistance, you won’t get this doing countless rotations from one spin.
The C.324 comes with a few bells and whistles such as touch rewind. This enables you to jump to the last cue point by touching the platter, great for juggling and beat matching. Theres a reverse button too but is rather on off in nature unlike a vinyl turntable.
At the top of the unit is a very bright LCD display and whilst its small in size it packs a lot in. A few sacrifices have been made due to size but for newer DJs that won’t matter. Track number, BPM and time as well as the name of the track are all displayed. Sadly there are no waveforms and more experienced DJs will be frustrated at the lack of information they come to expect.
The C.324 offers amazing MP3 playback and sounds great, even whilst speeding up or slowing down tracks sounded just as you’d expect them. Folders are supported which is a nice feature to have especially as you can fill CDs with hundreds of MP3s. Because this is a more basic system ID3 tags are not read and empty folders are skipped, so get to know that CD well before using it.
Pitch control is smooth with a zero click and LED to let you know and the C.324 offers a switch-able pitch range of +/-8, 16, 25 and 100%. Comparing it to a CDJ you’ll have no issues at all and we’re glad Stanton haven’t given us a bad pitch control like so many other CD Decks.
The other bells and whistles are a handful of effects. You get auto and manual filter, echo, pan, phase, flanger and transform with you being able to use almost and 3 at one time. Each effect has an adjustable parameter so you can mess around on the deck without having to get the mixer or an extra unit involved.
With a sleek front loading CD drive and fast load times you won’t have to wait for your music or be careful of other people around you.
As it may sound from this review the C.324 packs in everything a basic CDJ does but maybe doesn’t pull it off quite as well. But its not terrible for a newer DJ starting out or someone looking to replace an old CD Deck you could do far worse than picking up a Stanton C.324. With a range of effects, loops and MP3 browsing you get enough extras to have a play with whilst also having a CD Deck that can keep up with some of the best. The C.324 provides a viable alternative to the competition for budget minded DJs.