Ecler NUO 2 Review
Overview: The ECLER NU0 2 is a 2+1 compact channel stereo mixer featuring fader and crossfader shape adjustment, pre and post effects send/return and kill switches for treble, mid and bass frequencies.
Review by JGeffen
I ordered my Nu02 from ProSound and Stage Lighting (http://www.pssl.com ) with whom I've done business in the past, and it arrived promptly a day later (mostly because I live about 50 miles from their warehouse Anyway, if you order any mixer from these guys, they will put the manufacturer box inside another padded box to ensure superior protection of your product. The inner sanctum of the package was the Ecler box, inside of which was the mixer, which was wrapped with thick plastic. The mixer was secured by two waterproofed-wrapped polypropylene bricks. Initial inspection of the mixer revealed no scratches or defects.
Also enclosed in the box are two power cords, one of which is your standard US 3-pole plug, and the other is a 2-prong european type cable. Honestly, I have never seen a plug like it. You're also going to find the owner's manual, an ecler sticker, and various other accessories about which I will not discuss here.
This mixer is simply stunning, both aesthetically and sonically. It is a very, very simple mixer in layout, but possess all the functions you could want in a two-channel high-end mixer: Gain control on each channel, including the mic channel, 3-band EQs, kill switches (which they call "Isolators"), pre/post FX sends, and cut switches.
I really admire this mixer for the fact that Ecler kept it very basic and didn't throw anything on it that isn't absolutely necessary for mixing. The only "fluff" functions they included on the mixer are fully adjustable fader curves, the controls for which are located on the front of the mixer, kept well out of the way of the main control surface.
Working with the EQ on this unit is a blast. Each knob controlling individual EQ bands are gigantic, with a diameter of about a half-inch. Compare these to the EQ knobs of other mixers and you will find them to be about twice as large as Behringer knobs, and four times as large as those of standard Mackie mixers (both pro-audio and DJ styles). On the lower end of these knobs are full band-kills, and on the top end is a 10db boost. The knobs turn very easily and seem to respond in a linear fashion as you turn them from kill to boost (clockwise). I want to point out, however, that you do NOT need to turn the EQ to the kill point to engage the function; there are three EQ kill switches located on each channel below the EQ knobs which will engage it as well.
My personal favorite part of the mixer: the fader. These things move like a hot knife through butter. Not too much resistance, not too little. What I can say about their resistance is that, with the faders from my Behringer VMX1000, the faders were SO loose that they were hard to control - a slight tap would change the volume dramatically. These faders are tight enough that I don't have to worry about that. A tiny tap won't make much difference in volume, which brings me to my next observation. Upfader curves are adjustable from to be "hard", "soft", or any point between them. If they are set to "soft", most of the volume change will occur from the middle of the fader to the top, whereas the "hard" setting refers to most volume change occuring at the lower end of the upfader. The Crossfader curve is also adjustable just like any other mixer. The difference with this crossfader seems to be that Ecler clearly marked on the faceplate the points at which each channel is isolated from the other - that is, where a channel would be playing by itself if both upfaders were engaged.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how to scratch, so I can't speak to any questions about ease of use in scratching.
Ecler's claim to fame. The sound quality on this mixer is extremely rich, and sonically pleasing. High frequencies are crisp and distinct. The mid range encompasses pretty much the entire spectrum of vocal frequencies and sounds great. But I think the most noticable difference between this mixer and others is how the bass sounds. Whereas on other mixers with which I've worked the bass is muffled and one would have to use a crossover or processor to clean it up, this bass response is stellar - bass tones are crisp and rich, allowing the listener to clearly differentiate between instruments playing in that range. I think that pretty much covers it.
I don't think this mixer is loud enough from the main volume controls. If I compared my old Behringer VMX1000 to this Ecler at full blast, the VMX1000 would be louder. However, I fully expect that Ecler had a perfectly good reason for limiting its capability.
Furthermore, this thing is LIGHT. As a result, whenever I engage the xfader, the whole mixer has a tendency to slide a bit. I could just sandwich the mixer between my decks, but then that leaves me no space to play with the mixer because its so small. Thus, I'm looking for a way to solve this problem. EDIT: problem solved - Ecler included some little plastic feet you can stick to the bottom of the mixer to prevent it from sliding.
In conclusion, this mixer was, without-a-doubt, an excellent investment. It is clear that the Ecler team did their research and are masters at Mixer-construction. Definately worth the $350 I spent on it.
As an all-around mixer I'd give it an 8 for the fact that it's very basic and doesn't have any frills, also that it's not great for scratching. This is not to say that it's a bad mixer. I'd recommend this for beginner to intermediate DJs, for its excellent sound quality and solid construction. However, due to the fact that it lacks built-in effects, better scratch faders, I wouldn't recommend it to advanced DJs.
Features & Specs
Compact DJ Mixer. 2+1 channels, 6 inputs, isolator switches, adjustable VCA crossfader, balanced XLR output.
-3 channels, 8 inputs (2 PHONO, 2 L-LINE, 3 H-LINE, 1 MIC)
-2 independent outs (OUT 1, OUT 2, REC)
-VCA Crossfader (ECLER PRO Fader, 4,000,000 operations)
-3 band EQ (LO-MID-HI)
-Adjustable curve x-fader
-Adjustable curve upfaders
-PFL monitoring system
-VU meter monitoring
-Effects loop with PRE/POST fader functions
-Internal oversized switching power supply ±18V
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