Allen & Heath Xone:PX5

Look­ing for a su­per-flex­i­ble, high-end, club-ready mixer? A&H’s lat­est aims to please. Roy Spencer is check­ing it out

Future Music - - CONTENTS -

Pi­o­neer’s DJM range of mix­ers are ev­ery­where, and al­ways have been. Per­haps they just ap­peared in spots around the globe, years ago, and peo­ple felt com­pelled to build DJ booths around them. Their ubiq­uity clearly riles the suits at Allen & Heath, who think it’s come time to de­throne king-of-the-club mix­ers like the 850 and 900 Nexus. Their dog in the fight? En­ter the Xone:PX5.

It’s a se­ri­ous-look­ing ma­chine. The grills on the side and front look ready to snort hot air like a bull, while the matt black fin­ish and bold white let­ter­ing give the unit a util­i­tar­ian, no-non­sense façade.

It may be mean on the out­side, but in­side beats a warmer heart, like meet­ing a club door­man who keeps bud­gies on the side. Once you’re pump­ing mu­sic through this beast, the sound com­ing out is rich and warm, with fil­ter­ing and FX that’ll give you goose­bumps.

The con­trols have a nice spac­ing to them, too. No mean feat as there’s 39 but­tons and switches, five faders, and seven ro­tary con­trols to con­tend with. The face­plate real es­tate is taken up with four line faders, a cross­fader, three-band EQs, FX mod­ule, and a fifth chan­nel with a mic/aux in­put and EQs. While the much-loved, never bet­tered, Xone VCO fil­ter is present and cor­rect, but two might have been nice, right?

The cross­fader? It’s not built for scratch­ing, as the cut-in is per­for­mance-sap­pingly wide. How­ever, it’s In­no­fader com­pat­i­ble, so a quick add-on and you’re up and cut­ting with the best of ’em.

In the mix the chan­nel faders don’t dis­ap­point, though, and have ter­rific flu­id­ity and re­sis­tance, en­abling metic­u­lous blends. Like all the but­tery smooth knobs, the ro­tary pots on the EQs have a sat­is­fy­ing 12 o’clock dim­ple, so judg­ing mer­ci­less fre­quency kills is nice and in­tu­itive.

For FX, the Xone:Xcite suite is ic­ing on the cake. The dig­i­tal panel over on the top right of­fers up the clas­sic work­horse set­tings that everyone likes to overindulge in, and a nice con­strained bank of other use­ful de­lays, res­onators, and re­verbs.

Round the back you have the full com­ple­ment of sends and re­turns, too, and enough ins and outs to light up the face of even the sourest sound­man. Add to that the X:Link in­put, Line/Hi-Z in­put switch, a single USB port for full Trak­tor in­te­gra­tion, a MIDI sync/out port to link ex­ter­nal units to the ma­chine’s su­per-tight MIDI clock en­gine, and you have a shock­ingly flex­i­ble mixer right here. An ex­tra USB in would have been cool, though, for easy DJ changeovers...

With few mi­nor quib­bles and many plus points, the PX5 achieves what it set out to do – take a shot at the title, and launch it­self as a se­ri­ous con­tender for the next in­dus­try-stan­dard 4+1 chan­nel high per­for­mance club mixer. Stun­ning work.

With few mi­nor quib­bles and many plus points, the PX5 achieves what it set out to do

CON­TACT WHO: Allen & Heath Lim­ited TEL: +44 (0)1326 372070 WEB: KEY FEA­TURES Trak­tor-ready, 4+1 stereo chan­nel club mixer, with 10-in/10-out USB au­dio in­ter­face, built-in dig­i­tal ef­fects unit, send/re­turn, Xone fil­ter, and Xcite FX suite

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