The CP-6210 mixer (top) and companion CP-6220 expander EQ module feature large, comfortable knobs and switches for performing a broad array of DJ and remix functions.
Crest Audio has long been a respected name in power amplifiers, mixers, and loudspeakers. In developing the Crest Performance line, the company applied its expertise to products for smaller installations, DJs, and remixers. Crest Performance's new rackmount CP-6210 Classic Professional DJ Mixer and its companion, the CP-6220 expander, are aimed squarely at the karaoke, DJ, and remix markets. The overall design is based on the classic but long-unavailable Bozak and UREI rotary mixers from the 70s and 80s, but with modern circuitry and components.
Despite their deceptively simple appearance, the units are loaded with options. The CP-6210 mixer offers six discrete stereo channels, each with its own volume and balance knobs. Inputs for stereo channels 1 through 4 use pairs of RCA connectors and can be switched between moving-magnet (phono-cartridge) and -10 dBV line-level signals. Inputs 5 and 6 use XLR connectors and feature mic/line-level buttons, with line level calibrated to +4 dBu. Inputs 5 and 6 also feature trim knobs offering 50 dB gain and high- and low-frequency EQ knobs offering 15 dB of boost or cut. Finally, there are five auxiliary stereo inputs served by pairs of RCA jacks, calibrated to -10 dBV, and sporting trim knobs with a -20 to +15 dB range. Each of the six main channels of the CP-6210 mixer includes a rotary knob for selecting among that channel's phono/line input and any of the five auxiliary inputs.
The CP-6210 offers myriad output options, including a Cue output that can be a mix of any of the six channels with the main program output. The headphone output can carry the Cue output, the program output, or both. There are two sets of main program outputs: the House outputs offer mono and stereo XLR as well as RCA jacks, and the Booth outputs offer mono-balanced or stereo ¼-inch TRS as well as RCA jacks. The mixer also offers two sets of tape outputs — one pre- and one post-effects. All outputs except tape have their own volume knobs.
In the Loop
EQ and an effects loop, both of which apply to the entire mix, round out the CP-6210. The stereo effects loop features a bypass switch and ¼-inch balanced TRS jacks for the sends and returns. The EQ offers 6 dB of boost or cut for four bands centered at frequencies of 7 kHz, 4 kHz, 500 Hz, and 200 Hz. The EQ can't be defeated, which is unfortunate because the real EQ magic happens in the CP-6220 expander unit.
The CP-6220 looks a lot like the CP-6210 mixer, but that's where the similarity ends. The CP-6220 has three bands of EQ for each of the CP-6210's six channels. The EQ divides the frequency spectrum in the classic DJ configuration — 4 kHz and above, 300 Hz to 4 kHz, and 300 Hz and below — offering 6 dB of boost to infinite cut for each band. Each channel can also be assigned to the A, B, or Program bus.
On the Bus
The A and B buses offer DJs and remixers some real fun because the CP-6220 includes a voltage-controlled crossfader between them. A DJ could, for example, keep the bass and a microphone channel on the program bus, while crossfading between additional tracks assigned to the A and B bus. For added flexibility, there's an A/B bus-swap (hamster) switch and a Taper control for altering the shape of the crossfade. Only the CP-6220 offers metering, with a separate stereo meter for each of the Cue, A, B, and Program mixes. (It would be nice to have Cue, House, and Booth meters on the CP-6210 mixer itself.)
For its target market, this is a well thought-out duo. The large, easy-to-handle rotary knobs have a solid feel and lend the units an instantly familiar vibe. Their design is as straightforward as possible for a mixer of this flexibility. They are remarkably easy to connect — a single, included ribbon cable is all that is required. Finally, the sound and stereo separation are good and are in line with the pair's $1,780 retail price. Remixers, DJs, and anyone looking for a flexible smaller-installation mixer should definitely look here.