Top 5 Websites to Buy DJ Gear
The advances in technology over the past decade have all but completely digitized the role of the DJ. What once required a massive collection of records or CD's, now requires compact media devices and high powered laptops. Whether you are an aspiring club DJ, a mobile party DJ or a karaoke DJ, you have to keep up with the times and constantly upgrade your equipment. No matter how you look at it, to truly be successful as a DJ of any sort, you have to have high quality DJ gear.
No one would know this better than a DJ and former nightclub owner. I built and designed my own nightclub, served as a very hands on owner, and spent hundreds of nights "behind the decks." In order to attract the finest mixmasters and hang on to the finest residents I had to maintain a superior arsenal of top notch DJ gear. As the years passed, this became a very expensive task. It seemed like as soon as I purchased a mixer, a new model would be released. It's a never ending process that everyone in this industry faces at one time or another.
After years and years of upgrading, buying, selling and trading DJ gear online, I was able to narrow down the best retailers for DJ gear to just a handful. These sites all bring something different to the table for the DJ shopper, from lighting, trussing, travel cases and effects to mixers, headphones, turntables and complete mobile speaker systems. These are the Top 5 Websites to Buy DJ Gear.
Guitar Center comes in at the top of our list of Top Websites to Buy DJ Gear. Guitar Center has grown by leaps and bounds since its early days in the 1960's. The music equipment juggernaut has retail locations in 42 states, and a website that receives more than 2,000,000 visits per month (average) and in recent years acquired the massive catalog company, Musician's Friend. Due to Guitar Center's ownership of Musician's Friend, our number one and number two rankings are basically one in the same.
Guitar Center offers a superior selection of DJ gear on both of their websites, featuring products from such industry leading manufacturers as Pioneer, Numark, Gemini, Rane, Technics, Elation and American DJ. Guitar Center also has a quite impressive selection of high quality used DJ gear at deeply discounted prices. The pricing of new premium DJ gear is pretty much standard across the board, but at Guitar Center you can find some excellent deals on used DJ gear.
But maybe the most significant feature of Guitar Center, and the main reason they rank at the top of this list, is the Guitar Center retail stores. There are not many stores that specialize in premium DJ gear, especially not in the south. The retail store allows the artist to physically take the gear for a test drive, where as shopping online doesn't provide that option, and when spending thousands of dollars on one piece of equipment, the test drive is nice. Another benefit of the retail store is that it allows you to trade in your old DJ gear towards the purchase of new DJ gear.
There is one more benefit about their retail stores that not many people know about, and that is the price cushion on large package purchases. When purchasing multiple high priced items at the same time, the manager in each store is authorized a certain amount of negotiation room on the package price.
For example, you walk into the store, you tell them you want to buy a new mixer, 2 new turntables, 6 intelligent lights, 2 amps, 4 speakers and a subwoofer. They will prepare an invoice for said items at the advertised price, but don't let them stop there. They have a 10%-15% cushion on that invoice. I know this for certain because I have done it twice, saving around 15% both times. The more you spend, the more you can save, but you have to push for it.
The runner-up spot typically goes to the second best company, but in this case, the same company takes first and second place. Musicians Friend is the catalog company of Guitar Center, offering an overall larger selection of items than the parent company, with similar items being offered at similar prices. These two companies share the number one spot at the top of our list.
Just about every premium piece of DJ gear as well as thousands of instrument related items can be found at Musicians Friend, with some great deals available on used gear also. The used gear system at Musician's Friend is one of the best on the internet. All the used gear available on their site is rated on a scale of 1 to 5.
1 = Like New
2 = Very Good
3 = Good
4 = Needs Repair
5 = Salvage
How the Used Gear Process Works
Every day the warehouse team at Musicians Friend processes customer returns and rates each piece of gear on a scale of 1-5. Conditions 1-3 include a 45-Day Satisfaction Guarantee, while Condition 4 & 5 items do not. Condition 4 items will require repair and/or parts, while Condition 5 items are best-suited for practicing repairs or for salvaging parts. Used gear that is classified in the 1 to 3 range qualifies for additional Gold Warranty that can be purchased which protects the gear for an extra year.
Used Gear Gold Coverage Options:
- One-Year Plan for used gear in Conditions 1-3 (cost varies based on the price of the product)
- Service Plans for products priced up to $14,999
- Coverage begins at the end of the 45-Day Musician's Friend Satisfaction Guarantee period
- Damage due to normal wear and tear
- Environmental damage including dust, internal heat, humidity, lightning/power surges
- No-Lemon Policy on merchandise over $200 — if it fails for the same reason four times, Musicians Friend will replace it.
American Musical Supply
With Guitar Center and Musicians Friend practically being one in the same, American Musical Supply technically comes in at a close second place among the Top 5 Websites to Buy DJ Gear.
American Musical Supply offers a collection of DJ Systems for several multi-format, all-in-one solutions. If you're looking to create your own system, they have DJ CD Players and DJ Turntables that can be paired with any of their DJ Mixers for an exceptional package price. American Musical Supply also offers the top names in DJ software, interfaces and control surfaces for full interaction with your laptop. American Musical Supply also offers an excellent selection intelligent lighting products from names such as American DJ, Chauvet and Odyssey.
Unlike the others on this list, American Musical Supply features an Easy Payment option to help you get the DJ gear you need when you need it.
Easy 3-5 Payment Plan
Use your current Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express to place an online order over $249.99 and select the easy payment option on the checkout page.
3 Easy Payments
- If your order is between $249.99 and $995.94, your credit card will be billed in 3 equal payments, every 31 days, starting on the day your order is shipped.
5 Easy Payments
- If your order is between $995.95 and $3000, your credit card will be billed in 5 equal payments, every 31 days, starting on the day your order is shipped. 5 Payment plan requires credit approval.
All Pro Sound
All Pro Sound ranks fourth on the list of the Top 5 Websites to Buy DJ Gear. All Pro Sound is one of the largest companies in the professional audio, video, and lighting industry. All Pro Sound is known for its friendly, courteous staff of professionals, which are among the most experienced and knowledgeable in the United States. All Pro Sound has several branches of operation including a professional production and installation department, so they can answer just about any question you may have.
Their large climate-controlled Distribution Center is fully stocked with all of the items available on the site, making for fast shipping services. Their selection of DJ gear is average as compared to the larger companies mostly due to the absence of Pioneer Pro DJ products, the elite product line of the DJ industry. All Pro Sound does offer several other high quality DJ gear brands such as Rane, Behringer and Numark.
All Pro Sound may fall short in the media department, but they more than make up for it with their vast selection of lighting products. You can find all of the premium lighting brands at All Pro Sound including Elation, Leviton, American DJ and Chauvet. There are also some excellent lighting packages for the mobile DJ available at All Pro Sound.
Number five in our ranking of the Top 5 Websites to Buy DJ Gear goes to Music 123. This site caters more to the instrument side of the music industry, but does offer a nice selection of DJ gear. The main draw to this site is its ease of use, detailed product descriptions and simplified ordering process.
Music123 automatically gives you the choice to browse in any one of their categories or subcategories with pictures as you search. Each product page has customer reviews, related products and full product specs. This gives you a chance to see as much information as possible on each item before you buy.
The related accessories page for each instrument gives a listing of possible accessories that go with the item, which is helpful because this is the kind of thing that can easily be missed by inexperienced DJ's and could save you from having to make an additional order later on. There is also an option to ask Music123 to beat the price of another vendor, which requires a little time, but the entire process is handled online and could save you some money.
Music123 carries several high quality DJ gear brands such as Numark, Gemini, Stanton and a few select Pioneer items. The site also offers a decent selection of lighting and effects for the DJ on the go.