Why Stanton's STX Is the Perfect Portable Turntable for Scratching and Grooving

Just add vinyl

  • Portable turntables are great for practice and for scratching away from the studio. 
  • Stanton’s STX comes with a mini Innofader Nano crossfader.
  • Like other portable turntables, it’s designed for 7-inch records.
Closeup on the Staton logo on the Stanton STX turntable.


If you want to get into turntablism, then Stanton's new STX is almost ridiculously appropriate. 

We tend to think of vinyl records as a way for hipsters to listen to their grailz or bearded musos to enjoy a superior musical experience. But records are just another music-storage format, and like any other, they can be used for many things. You can play a record at home, DJ at a club or party, and use vinyl as the raw material for scratching, turning it into a musical instrument. This is what the new super-portable, standalone, battery-powered STX from Stanton is for. 

"My [Reloop Spin portable turntable] is still going strong and I greatly prefer the layout over this, so I don't see any need for it but it will be great competition for Numark/Reloop and I'm stoked to see the Stanton brand be revived as a whole," said scratch DJ Kanganade in a forum thread participated in by Lifewire.


The STX puts all the parts of a scratch DJ setup into one box. You get the turntable, the crossfader, plus a wired input and a Bluetooth output. You can record your performance to USB by hitting the big red record button, swap in spare batteries (it comes with two), or power it from a USB-C source, like a tablet, computer, or power bank. There’s even a speaker and knobs to adjust the crossfader calibration. 

An overhead view of the Stanton STX turntable.


And best of all, it’s $249.

This is probably not the turntable you want if you’re going to just listen to LPs and sip a scotch (although it could do that). It’s more a budget way to get into turntablism, or using the turntable as an instrument. It’s totally self-contained and cheap enough that you could grab this, plus a few records from the thirst store, and get started with scratching. 


Perhaps the coolest feature of the STX, or at least the most understatedly useful, is the range of battery options. It might seem pointless to put battery power into something like this, but it means that you can just pick up and play anywhere. And by anywhere, I mean you can take it to the kitchen table, or out on the back porch, or over to a friend's house, where you can hook this up and grab samples from their record collection, capturing them into your phone via USB, all without plugging in. You might have some trouble with 12-inch records, though, as this is designed for seven inches. 

This is the kind of freedom that musicians dig. Too often, we're tied to a desk, or a fixed studio setup, which can quickly kill any inspiration or enthusiasm. That's why devices like Teenage Engineering's amazing OP-1 Field can be so appealing to musicians, despite (or perhaps because of) their harsh limitations. You can just pick them up and play. And in this case, you might like to record your scratch DJ performance into the OP-1's tape or sample that vinyl directly into its samplers. 

When you dig into it, you'll see that portable turntables like this are almost as popular as other kinds of musical groove boxes. You can buy drum machines, samplers, sequencers, little battery-powered synth-n-sampling workstations, and everything in between. Portable turntables are just another way to create wherever you are.


The STX is not the only portable turntable. There's the OMNI from Headache Sound, but that costs around $100 more ($357), plus shipping from Hong Kong. And there's the Numark PT01 Scratch, which is quite a bit cheaper at around $170. But the STX seems to be a great balance of features and price.

"It has most upgrades that people put on the PT01—start/stop button, real crossfader + nice tempo slider and some more extras like Bluetooth and it can record to USB, so that can ease up the setup when you want to record what you play, it seems very neat," portable turntable fan Pure-Professional748 said in a Reddit thread on the STX.

To be honest, the last thing I want to do with my records is to slap them onto this thing, get my fingers all over the grooves and start scratching them, but even I'm tempted to give it a go. With somebody else's vinyl, though.

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