I'm not a turntablist but the technic sl1200's seem to be the standard. For scratching you need the mixer for the crossfader for some (many) moves. Try to find a guide online and or watch the movie scratch.
When looking for a turntable for scratching you want to try and get the highest torque possible. Yes the technics are ok but only if you get a mk5. If you are only looking to mix and not so much scratch then a set of mk2 technic 1200s is ideal. primarily because most clubs (those that still have turntables) tend to have mk2s. But for scratching, you want more torque than that. I highly suggest the stanton str8-150s. Besides the fact they have straight tone arms, quality components, weigh a ton (eliminating chances of feedback), have pitch correction, multiple speeds, reverse, no fiddly ground cables, and are generally bad ass looking they also have a torque comparable with the technics mk5s. BUT they will cost a fraction of the price! On another note the year the mk5s came out stanton also launched the 150 and dj mag and various other awards got given to them. Still though technics are technics and i have a pair now but i miss the stantons.
On the mixer end, all the money goes in the fader for scratching. Vestax PMC-05s are staples of the industry but the components just arent up to scratch anymore. Rane mixers awesome! Rodec awesome!, Vestax PMC-08 pro awesome! But bear in mind that you can spend a lot less on a mixer. maybe buy an old pmc 08 or a allen and heath xone-02 or something and you can buy an innofader (the best crossfader money can buy) and have an incredible battle mixer! The innofader i believe only costs around a hundred bucks! Look for a second hand battle mixer buy an innofader and get some stantons! Sorted!
I highly suggest the stanton str8-150s. Besides the fact they have straight tone arms
I would not get anything with a straight tonearm, and especially if it's not interchangeable! (I can swap between straight and S-shape on my TTX's, which I've had for 6 years, after having 1210's for like 4 years, but I'm going to switch back to regular 1210's once I get the chance)
Altho' it *might* be easier to scratch with a straight tonearm, it's not good for your grooves and sound, and especially DONT use elliptic needles with a straight tonearm. The needle will lay in a wrong angle and shave the grooves. This is not with tables with the right kind of straight tonearm which has and angled mounting that's correctly mathematically applied to lay straight in the groove. This is about DJ tables with just a straight arm and you just pop in a regular cartridge. And by the way, the tonearms on those DJ-turntables are often not very good at all. Very heavy loose "caveman designed" tonearms.
With a correct S-shaped tonearm and a correctly mounted cartridge the needle lay almost right in the groove on most of the record. On a straight tonearm the needle lays right in the groove 1 time somewhere on the record, and terrible on the rest of the record.
What's important is that the setup is good. If you have a rock solid table to have your decks on (I mean really sturdy), and make sure the spindle holes in the record is not loose, and have the needles set up correct, then an S-shaped arm should be NO problem for heavy scratching. Unless you have terrible technique, but then you should practice your hand movements!
I'm listening to a lot of records on my decks, and scratch a lot too, so I'm gonna go back to 1210's any time soon.
mixer wise... go for pioneer, allen and heath rane or vestax, all great brands.
+1 Got an Vestax PMC05PRO2 8 years ago or so, and now my friend have it, and that fader is still like new. Just used it on a gig actually.
Crossfaders have improved, and if you can afford it, I would get a Rane TTM56s or something similar that use a MAGNETIC fader. Those can't wear out like the other types. I have an Ecler HAK360, which has an "eternal" magnetic fader. Had that mixer for 6 years, and crossfader is still like new. It's an affordable option compared to Rane. (If my 360 dies I will replace it with a Rane TTM56s)
It's better to buy quality, and if you don't like to scratch it's easy to sell it. Cheap decks and mixers are just not fun. I started with poor Gemini plastic decks and mixers, and they can't stand scratching, and get worn out very quikcly. Plus it sounds like total shi!t. Lose a lot of money that way too..
The best turntable for scratching would be a QFO or QFO LE.
They are the scratch weapons- scratch anywhere!
For just scratching it must be great! Drooled over it when I was more of a scratching nerd! Really built for scratching. That tonearm assembly has some special features too, that clamps the needle to the groove. No need of an extra mixer either! And I have always liked Vestax's build quality and tonearms better than most brands.
But personally I would also have the option for more "Hi Fi" listening to whatever records, and then a 1210 would be a better choice as you can swap out the cart for as good of a "Hi Fi" needle you want. Often the cart's best suited for scratching (I have used M44-7s for 10 years) are not the best listening carts. And I would not put a elliptical needle on a QFO, it too has a straight tonearm.