|A more accessible version of Q Bert’s revolutionary turntable and mixer concept.
When Vestax first released the QFO it took the turntablist world by storm, with its intuitive turntable/mixer combo a natural progression of the scratch DJ’s desire to minimise the distance between deck and mixer.
It wasn’t a simple matter of slapping some faders around the platter though, for one of the key features in the design of the QFO was a new style of pitch control whose smooth slider wraps itself around 180 degrees of the turntable’s platter.
This central feature is carried over to the QFO LE and though it takes a short while to work out its little nuances when coming from a traditional two deck and mixer set-up, its potential is immediately obvious.
In theory, and with a bit of practice, you can manipulate the record, adjust the pitch slider and hit the quartz lock button, all with one hand and in one fluid movement, not something that you could do on a normal deck (unless your hands are the size of the Hulk’s), making musically creative scratch moves that much easier, as well as enabling more complex techniques.
As such, this isn’t kit for the start-up scratch DJ, but those with a reasonable level of skill could quickly be making the QFO LE sing.
Obviously, there are a number of differences between this ‘lite’ version and the original QFO – enough to make around a £250 difference to the price – and these start with the tonearm. This is no cause for alarm though, for the LE simply sports a regular ASTS tonearm instead of the Active Balance option, which, coupled with the motor from the PDX-2000 series, provides sturdy, accurate scratch play.
The other changes occur in the stripping back of the fader and EQ departments; which, in the case of the latter, has resulted in this feature being lifted completely.
Reverse and curve control have been removed from the input faders, though the crossfader still benefits from a reverse switch (positioned underneath the protruding crossfader section) and two-step curve control, this with a good sharp cut-in.
You can understand why all of these features have been revised, as they are the most obvious candidates for being dropped for a lite version, though if there’s one that I would have dearly loved them to have kept, it would be a bass EQ pot – even just a low-profile bass cut switch, as this is an infinitely useful tool for the scratch DJ.
As it is, though, the QFO LE is still a fantastic product, coming with many of the other excellent features from the original, such as rehearsal monitor mode. Just like the full version it has enormous appeal to professional scratch artists as well as touring and band DJs, though its more affordable price tag also allows a much wider audience to indulge in the concept.
The QFO LE will only take a short while for a competent scratch DJ to use well, but has the tools to stretch the imagination and keep you coming back for more and more and more.
|Direct drive motor (from the PDX2000)
ASTS straight tonearm
Line and phono inputs
60 per cent pitch control on 180 degree axis
|Replaceable PCV faders
Crossfader reverse and curve control
Three-way monitor system, with rehearsal mode
Model: QFO LE
Price: £599 RRP inc VAT
Tel: 01420 83000
This review is courtesy of i-dj.co.uk