Audio-Technica decided to imitate, and not innovate. Long Term Evaluation of the ATH-PRO700 DJ headphones reveals The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly...
>>> FULL REVIEW
This Ain't Your Daddy's Reverb! It won't appeal to a large part of the market due to its expense, but pro users will get a lot out of its more advanced features...
>>> FULL REVIEW
Sign up now for our Newsletter! We'll keep you updated on the lastest music news, releases, events and other important issues facing electronic music (plus we send you
free stuff if you include your mailing address!) >>> Futuremusic Direct
"I seem to go through CD cases like paper cups. So when we went through the arduous testing process, I was amazed to see how much punishment the
Black Wave could take before breaking. I don't care what that xEVA Duro-Shock material actually is, it works. I'm switching!"
"I'm blown away by the quality of these CD cases. Brilliant!"
"Who ever heard of Slappa? Not me. But these cases kick ass. They should make T-Shirts that read: Slappa, There is no substitute."
March 5, 2007
../ TestDrive: Slappa CD Cases
You'd think in today's world finding a quality CD case
that can stand up to the rigors of the road for a working DJ wouldn't be an impossible task. Unfortunately, that's not
the case. If you explore the market, you'll find many mediocre offerings that are extremely overpriced. Several
of our readers, feeling the pain, wrote to us asking if we run across a quality container in any of our adventures. A
quick poll of the office came to the same conclusion, none of us owned a CD case that we thought was the perfect balance
of quality and value. Thus, we went on a mission to find the best possible CD case for the money, and then share our
findings with you, our esteemed readers.
Slappa's Flagship CD case for DJs on the run, the 600 Pro
After evaluating dozens of CD cases, we discovered a
small company from North Carolina, USA called Slappa via an online discount store. Slappa?? None of us had heard about
them, so we dug a little deeper. What we discovered was a company that was manufacturing DJ-oriented CD cases that not
only met our criteria of quality and value, but exceeded it.
Slappa shipped us their flagship 600 Hardbody Pro CD
case and their 240 disc capacity Limited Edition, Platinum holder. We had already picked up a Black Wave 160 during our
evaluations, so now we had three products to put through the gauntlet.
All the components Slappa chooses in their manufacturing
process are first rate. From our scrutiny, we could not find one corner that Slappa cut to bring their cases to market at
their low retail price points. CD holders costing two or three times as much were so much more inferior, we wondered aloud
how Slappa managed to produce such a well-thought out and put together product. Then we looked at the tag: Made In China.
When they're good, they're very, very good.
The quality starts in what Slappa calls its "Hardbody" cases,
which are made from "xEVA Duro-Shock" materials - we don't know exactly what xEVA is, but we can tell you that these CD caddies
provide excellent protection to your CDs at about the same weight as comparably-sized, cloth-covered cardboard cases.
The Black Wave 160 case before "the gauntlet" & a close-up of their stitched CD sleeves.
So how do you test the durability of a CD case? We're glad
you asked. First, we filled up our Black Wave 160 case with CDs and gave it a One-Way Express ticket down two flights of
concrete steps. The result: no broken CDs. Next, we dropped it from an average height of 5 feet a dozen times trying as
many impact points as we could muster. The result: no breakage. Finally, we tried to reasonably puncture the exterior with
several types of "pointy" objects. The result? While the exterior took a visual beating, and the handle eventually cracked
from the abuse, the CDs inside remained undamaged. Impressive.
Zipper quality is a pet peeve of many DJs who are easily
frustrated by sticking, hard-to-operate zippers with small handles. You won't find those budget zippers on the Slappa products.
Slappa's industrial grade zippers are designed for long life and the pullers are made from molded rubber to ensure a good grip.
The CD pockets on the Black Wave are also worth mentioning.
Many of us have grown accustomed to torn sleeves from too much of the ol' in-and-out, but the Slappa's never seemed to blowout.
Give credit to Slappa's manufacturing process which stitches the clear plastic pockets in place instead of heat-sealing.
Their non-scratch pockets can hold two CDs or a CD in the back and the artwork in the front. Most DJ will never use the
front pouch for artwork, so each pocket will essentially perform double duty.
Other nice touches include a velvet lined interior, a cargo
pouch on the inside front cover for business cards, or other instantly accessible items, and an embedded CD cleaning cloth.
The aforementioned handle is also well made and Slappa claims it can withstand a load of 70 lbs. Ours took a powder during
the sudden fire drill down the concrete steps, but that's certainly not normal wear-and-tear.
The Hardbody Pro cases do have a couple of negatives. The
Limited Edition Platinum model we received, while gorgeous to look at in its pristine white state, easily picked up dirt,
scratches and unexplained stains during testing. So we can't recommend that model, and you may want to consider that
experience when choosing the camel color as well. In addition, each Hardbody case comes with a spine window on its handle
that's very difficult to insert the cardboard strip for cataloging. This needs to be address in the next generation models.
In fact, we'd like to see tabs incorporated on the inside sleeves (like on hanging file folders) that can be used for further
categorization of your music. For instance, it would be great to have a "House" case that had sub-genre or BPM tabs on the interior sleeves so that you
don't have to flip through several pages to find what you're looking for.
The 600 Hardbody Pro CD case has the same attributes of
the 160 Black Wave and 240 Platinum cases with the addition of a retractable carry handle and built-in inline skate wheels
for portability. In our tests, the wheels were first-rate and had no problems transporting the case off of curbs, onto
subway cars, over sticky dance floors, or any other terrain that they encountered. The rigid frame has enough tensile
strength to support a case full of 600 CDs without adding significant heft with the entire case weighing in at just under
For the money, the Slappa arsenal of CD cases are the best
value on the market today. Their versatile, useful design, robust construction and overall quality make them a standout in
a sea of mediocrity.