Pros: Light-weight, feature-rich, robust recessed hardware, stackable lid & case, fits Numark TTXUSB, affordable.
Cons: Unknown long-term durability, some shifting of case on lid, spring handle too strong.
Odyssey definitely outshines in quality Dj equipment with this Universal budget turntable case.
I shopped around a lot of different options and brands until I finally picked the Odyssey FR1200E. I was first going to get a large coffin for my 2 phono turntables and mixer set-up, but the coffin empty weighed between 50-60lbs. After doing some math with the weight, I calculated a dj coffin, when loaded with the equipment, would weigh about 100lbs total. That was too much, to lift onto a table, so I went with the individual case like this Odyssey.
I first checked out the brand Odyssey. The brand was familiar, and I was familiar with the quality of their products. However, their prices definitely reflect the quality of their equipment. Luckily, I found this model, the FR1200E, in which the "E" stands for "Economy". Its the same design as their colorful FR1200BK, just more affordable version, at about $10-$30 cheaper than than the FR1200BK.
I payed $69 each on eBay for 2 brand-new cases. I have been in love with them ever since they arrived. I have only had them for a couple days, but so far I am impressed by appearance, hardware features, and durability.
The case has the look of a professional, rugged, beautifully-designed piece of protective travel equipment. This case is a serious piece of hardware and the outer appearance shows that. The color scheme is a mix of black panelling with chrome and brushed silver metal accents. Its got that classic 1200 Hip-Hop look with the metal and black color scheme, which I think is great. Others might think its too plain or common, but to me its nice familiar, awesome look.
The inside appearance is nicely-laid out too. Its a simple ash-black carpeting with foam on opposite ends. Its simple and plain, which it should be, since its going to be covered up by the turntables anyway.
Lastly, the overall weight of the case is great. Really light, which is important when carrying around heavy turntables.
There are 7 features on the case which gives it great functionality.
Handle: The carrying handle is spring-loaded, which has its benefits and drawbacks. The purpose of it is to automatically returns the handle back to compact "storage" mode, which is useful for where a storage space is a premium. The spring-loaded handle works great, but its a little too strong. I have accidentally whacked my hand when I let go of the handle. Its got the power of a rat trap! A simple hydraulic mechanism of some sort, to slow down the force of the spring, would have been great.
The feel of the handle itself is good but could be a little softer. Its borderline on comfort, not great but not bad.
Locking Butterfly Locks: A clever way to tighten the case pieces together and keep them tight. it works by a key-shaped "tab" that you turn clockwise to pull-in a metal hook and counter-clockwise to let-out the hook. This is a much better design to the typical locking mechanism on tool boxes, for example, which can become "unlocked" at random times. This butterfly locking method is nearly impossible for the hook to become loose. This feature is very important, may be one of the most important hardware on the case. And it works perfectly. And for security, the butterfly lock has holes in it, so you can put a small pad lock between the handle and the loop hole on the case body.
Semi-Open Hinge (for removable lid): The semi-open hinge is required for turntable cases, as it is nessary to take off the lid to make the turntable usable. Also, the easiest and best place to store the lid is under the case. It help provides some extra height as well. The semi-open hinge works great, however when opening up the case to remove the lid, sometimes the lid falls off inside of carefully coming off. Its hard to determine when the lid is going to disengage from the case body. This is a slight problem, but with careful hands and experience, this problem can be avoided.
Stackable Lid/case body: The lid and case has the ability to be stacked on top of each other, lid on bottom, case body on top. This is great for storing the lid and increasing the height of the turntable to the Dj. They stack on top of round ball-corners and cup-chaped corners (so they fit together). Its a great design, but there is a problem with the body sliding around the lid. I am not sure if the cup/ball isn't a perfect fit or if its just the metal on metal, but the case sometimes shifts around. Not a huge problem, but is definitely nerve-racking when your table accidently slides around when you are using it. It needs a better fit or rubber to prevent sliding.
Removable inside padding: On the inside of the case, there are 4 square Velcro rubber padding's. This is a nice feature as it allows for quick and easy adjusting for your specific Turntable. The size of the case is meant to be Universal,and these padding's keep any turntable tight against the inside of the case.
"Tightness" on the Turntable: One very important feature of any case is "Does it hold the equipment firmly in place?". For this case, its a definite yes. I packed my odd-shpaed Numark TTXUSB turntable inside the case, locked the lid, then picked it up by the handle and shook the case side-to-side in the air. I did not feel any movement of the turntable inside. It was a tight fit, the way it should be.
Also, when the lid is off, the turntable sits high above the top edge of the case. This makes all buttons on the turntable easily accessible.
Cable routing hole: A very clever design: the Odyssey logo covers the cable routing hole on the front. It is easily removable by loosing 2 Philips screws on the front of the case. The hole is just big enough to fit cable ends. Whats cool is the logo panel can just dangle by one screw while the cables are thru the hole. Makes it easier for putting the case back into its travel state.
At this point, durability is questionable. The durability is questionable because I have yet to bring these cases to a gig or on the road to truly test them in the real-world. When I get real-world experience, I will update my review to reflect my experiences.
But going with appearance and how it feel, it has the look and feel of very study, solid and robust piece of equipment. All the hardware all have a serious "hardness" to them. Every part is riveted to the case. The whole case I trimmed with metal. It definitely looks durable, and if I would bet on the real-world durability, I would bet it could handle many years of abuse.
Bottom-line: A well-desgined, beautiful-conceptualized budget universal turntable case with every feature
needed for a travel case. Has some minor issues with some of the hardware, but doesn't take too much from the functionality. Real-world durability is yet to be determined, but has the look and feel of a durable travel case. Well worth the price. 9/10