A message to Karaoke Box Fans and Owners
Folks, I have published a few reviews on Karaoke box now. A disturbing trend I'm seeing is a tendency for box owners to spend more and effort on rooms but be cheap on equipment. While XO still has a few issues with furniture, I still consider it #1 for a true karaoke enthusiast in spite of the grade I was forced to give it for aging mikes, furniture and air conditioners. Why? Because they initially invested in the equipment. It was the #1 Karaoke spot for many years because of this. Equipment means Mikes, Speakers and Key Change (pitch modulator) mixers.
In the 3 reviews I've done of Karaoke boxes so far I'm seeing a disturbing trend of people getting stuff from Korea primarily because its cheaper. I'm also seeing box owners getting cheap on their customers by not getting key change mixers. This later trend is very disturbing because they are assuming that karaoke participants don't understand or have forgotten what karaoke is supposed to have (and do in Japan, China and probably Korea). I thought that these boxes were rather expensive but on a hunch I did an Internet search. I found key transposition mixers (pro boxes) as low as $209 USD. Karaoke Box owners, that is NOT a large investment in a business per room. For, say 13 rooms that is a around a $3000 to get these boxes for all the rooms at, say the new place, BAR + Karaoke Lounge. I have a small business and I have spent more than that in computers and equipment for it. That's a legitimate business expense folks. You can probably get some tax credit for it as well. More importantly, it shows respect for Karaoke lovers everywhere and WILL bring in more customers. I get a number of e-mails asking for the best Karaoke places so my recommendations are starting to carry a little weight. I will happily and actively endorse the first Karaoke Box that shows this kind of respect for its clients for the simple reason: It will be the best. I've encountered two places that have just about everything they need except key pitch control for their larger selection of songs. One pitch modulation box is all that is required. $209 USD per room, probably less with bulk discount (I know from experience in computer wholesale it is possible to negotiate these things).
The system I came across the most was the DA-2200 PRO. The two sites I found them sold are as follows:
On November 5th: Some more research reveals the popular term for these devices is "Key Changer". Google that for more results:
(Their VocoPro KC-300 Pro Sonic Enhancer Key Change system look really nice although its $300 USD its perfect for any karaoke setup. They have a basic one: VocoPro DKC-100 Digital Key Changer for $189 USD. Vocopro seems popular in canada but low to mid end from what I've seen)
So now that this is out, I no longer accept the excuse that the boxes are too expensive. I'm talking off significant marks on equipment if you don't care enough to get key change mixers when you can get them at these prices. As I said, I will actively endorse the first Karaoke box with good facilities and make an investment in this equipment. I loved XO in its golden days. People who own karaoke boxes have the opportunity to blow them away. Its up to you. Karaoke Fans, if you want this basic feature to not be neglected, ask people at Karaoke Boxes if they can transpose ALL their songs. If not, tell them you'll be back when they do. We must never forget the basics because some parts of technology appear to make things easier or cheap. Key Change is a basic feature in Karaoke. Box owners are currently testing us to see if we will notice a little nickel & dime pinching(relatively). Make it clear we don't want our karaoke experience cheapened. As my sister always tels me: Vote with your minds, vote with your hearts and vote with your dollars.
Oh for those of you who want Karaoke in your home, there are options there too. This is not a bad and inexpensive way to start: DVG-888 Karaoke DVD player home theatre.