• paolosimo

    I use my S4 with my two MK 3 1210′s. I find I only really use my S4 these days. My fear and question I have is, I want to start playing out at local clubs bars (I feel I’m ready) but I have gone from using vinyl to DVS straight to the S4. I have never used a CDJ. I am aware it may not be that necessary now, but I want to buy at least one to get me used to it and not look a plum or sound a plum……..bit scared and help/advice would be appreciated.

  • Adam Marsden

    With Pioneer gear, you can’t neglect 2nd hand stuff. The gear is bullet-proof and bargains can be had! Here’s my comparison of the main Pioneer gear…

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/30091626/misc/pioneer.jpg

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  • Kataroshkin

    This is my opinion, with cdjs and a mixer I tend to have more fun nowadays. I have been trough it all from controllers to dvs to ableton live. etc. The thing is with computers that I tend to concentrate more on the way of doing things, while with cdjs I tend to concentrate more about the music. Now that rekordbox 3.0 has come out, It has become one of the best ways to prepare sets. Im 100% aware that you can do it all with your controller setup, and much more. Its hard to explain but i feel that the more “unplugged” it gets, (love playing vinyl also) the more i enjoy it. But thats just my opinion. Would LOVE to see a cdm without the cd mechanism though. I am waiting for a aero xdj-2 with larger screens or cdjs without cd drive.

  • Paul van Groove

    If you want to play from USB or SD, you should be aware that non of the CDJs supports FLAC as a file format (open-standard, compressable, but non-destructive format as offered by cdbaby, bandcamp, junodownloads, HDTracks and others).
    I assume if you spin Traktor and use the CDJs just as controllers that should work.

    Paul

  • dj jsn

    you gotta have at least $4000 to spin these days lol

  • shuji

    after 2000models are too decorative.

  • efrazable

    PLEASE do a Pioneer CDJ alternatives comparison (denon, gemini, numark, etc)

  • DJ Kleb

    I’d just say get the DDJ SZ… you can add CDJ’s/iPods and its almost as full fledged as the 2000nxs but with beat pads. I think its just the better choice out of everything.

    • Oddie O’Phyle

      i’ll stick with my cdj’s and my Z2… if i run into problems with my laptop, i can just run the cdj’s through the analog part of my mixer. it makes it easy to share a show with friends. recordbox prepped usb key, traktor or serato (without routing through the through channel in software).

    • Darken

      At the cost of sound quality. Sorry, but the controllers just don’t offer sq compared to a component setup with a dedicated mixer, dedicated cdj.

  • Joseph Wilk

    I’d be really interested in a massive chart-based feature comparison that also includes the original 900 and 2000.

  • The Great DJ Swindle

    “The 2000 Nexus comes close, but with 2 of them running the price of a decent used car, they really ought to”

    This summarizes my thoughts: the only Pioneer CDJ worth buying is the 2000 but still is obscenely overpriced for what it is and for it’s built quality.

  • tony corless

    >>(Carl Cox uses four 2000 Nexus players linked to Traktor at all his gigs now)

    you sure about that!!! I thought he gave up using traktor a couple of years ago.anyway if I’m wrong please could you post the evidence.

    • Mojaxx
      • tony corless

        I stand corrected,spotted the x1s in both videos thanks

    • b

      he did…but he’s back at it for quite some time now..check all of his 2014 videos on youtube for example.

      by the way : i love my 900nxs players…bought them to move away from traktor, best choice ever, to me, it brought the fun back in djing.

      • Gavin Varitech

        So long as everywhere you play has 900nxs’ or better that is a great plan. If you are not Carl Cox you may not be able to demand such a thing though. Traktor makes it so you can plan on pretty much any decks with timecode and don’t have to worry about what they’ll have at a gig.

        • b

          it does not matter so much..when there is a gig that does that have nxs players i can still use traktor.
          but as far as i know, the 850 / 900/2000 and both nxs players all support rekordbox and play from usb, so i should be allright unless there are cdj 1000′s or others.
          anyway i bought those nxs players for my own pleasure, as somebody said above:
          with traktor / controllers i am constantly focussing on what i am doing, wich button to press, wich effects to use? scrolling thru playlists etc..as with the cdjs i just go and mix and have a bit of that old vinyl feeling..simply put : for me its just more fun..i get more satisfaction out of it.

  • QAMRONparq

    I’m still wondering why they haven’t added dual deck output and control – like on controllers with four faders and only two platters. For $2000 I want two stereo outs and an A/B button/switch. Make the pitch a touch strip with LED feedback and you’re golden. Seriously… Two. Thousand. Dollars. For ONE track. I’ll stick with my DVS.

  • Aaron Davidson

    Love my CDJ 850s. I picked them up pretty cheap – I think they were open box at Guitar Center for something like $450 or 500 each. Great features, very flexible, works great with Rekordbox. Just DJed a few gigs on CDJ 900s and 2000′s and was very well prepared for them. If you want to prep for club gis, they’re great equipment.

  • Thilo Be Cker

    Important for the CDJ850:
    The autoloop function is completely useless! It only runs at 1/75 frames per second, and you can therefore not get accurate loops! I had a pair myself and sold them because of that!
    Talked to the pioneer tech support, and they said it was a known error that can’t be fixed.
    It has a decimal point in the BPM counter with the latest firmware and rekordbox though!

  • Oddie O’Phyle

    *edit*- The BPM display to one decimal point makes a return, after being missing from the 850 and the original 900.

    tracks prepared through recordbox show BPM on the orginal 900′s 3 line screen. BPM box is on lower right of the screen framed in red. the orginal 900′s also have twice the frame rate compared to the 850 model. tempo adjustment on the 900 is 0.05% with the tempo adjust on the 850 being at 0.1%.

    • Mojaxx

      Actually both the 900 and the 850 share the same pitch resolutions:

      0.02% at +/-6%, 0.05% at +/- 10% & 16%, 0.5% at WIDE

      • Oddie O’Phyle

        i was under the impression that cdj 850 adjusts at 1/75 frames per second, where as the 900 works with .5 frames . figured that the pitch fade would also have tighter rez too. i personally haven’t used the 850′s as i found a pair of 900′s for $800cdn a side a year ago.

  • deejae snafu

    Hey ean, I know I can easily dig up prices on these but having the price points broken down within the article would be a nice feature when comparing the units.

    • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

      Good point! We can update the article

    • Dan White

      Updated with prices and links for your convenience :)

  • James ‘Pioneer’ Burkill

    with the recent introduction of the numark NV, think that pioneer should put the functions of the nexus-900 & combine this DDJ-SZ that should be the new standard, no more ridiculouslly overpriced, (Crap platinum) setups. just 1 controll interface all can use in 1 unit.

  • KoenraadVDS

    The CDJ 900 NEXUS is not HID compatible with Traktor, Serato,.. as far as I know.

    • Mojaxx

      It is with Serato DJ now, still not with Traktor though.

  • RareItchProject

    The one you can afford.

  • SoyOllin

    The CDJ900 works perfectly with traktor with advanced HID enabled. All you do is plug em into your computer and you are good to go!

    • Mojaxx

      The original 900, does indeed work great with Traktor over HID. Unfortunately, the 900 Nexus doesn’t at this time.

    • Oddie O’Phyle

      it’s nice when you can plug them into the usb hub of a Z2 and only have 1 usb cable running to your lappy too. ;)

      • Will

        That’s my setup!

        • Oddie O’Phyle

          mine too, with a pair of F1′s

      • Mark Smith

        That’s my setup however I’m using CDJ-400′s running HID. They were the first decks to be able to do this and I picked up a pair used for a little less than the cost of one CDJ-350. They work great!

  • chris

    with nice connector, sophisticated knobs, and a carrier for a can play for 7 days?

    • sam

  • on HID mode. I recommend all the opener DJ’s who come through the club I work for that use Traktor to try it out. If you are showing up to a club with CDJ2000′s & a 900nexus, all you need to bring is your laptop & 2 USB cables. If you want to control effects separately in Traktor as well then bring a Kontrol X1, otherwise just use the FX on the 900nexus. I try to explain that even tho they don’t have that setup at home to practice on, it does “look” more professional playing on a full setup than a S4 or S2 or whatever controller. I’m not knocking controllers, there are DJ’s who can do amazing things with them, but if you’re just using it for simple mixing, nothing too advanced, and you show up to a professional club with the industry standard equipment installed, try and make yourself look as versatile & professional as possible. don’t be afraid to try out the HID mode if you’ve never used it. it’s not much different from mixing on your S4, might even like it more!

    • Mojaxx

      Good shout.

      Personally when I’ve used that kind of setup with Traktor, I’ve used the soundcard in the mixer, giving me four channels with 2 CDJs and 2 X1s, using the second X1 for decks C&D.

      Lots of options!

    • http://www.eangolden.com Ean Golden

      this is a really good idea for anyone that is using the standard mappings for X1 or S4. for me my mapping is so customized (the play button has 12 functions alone) that the CDJ’s would be a step back. If people are not using mappings to their full potential – there is really no reason to be on controllers in general…

      • SJ

        Disagree with your final statement. Surely cost is a good enough reason for someone to choose a controller over other options?

      • Gavin Varitech

        No reason to be on controllers in general if you;re not using them to their full potential (I assume that means having the play button having 12 functions)?

        That is nonsense. How about if they enjoy using them and they fit well into their workflow.

        I personally use timecode or HID in Traktor and for the most part still play/mix everything by hand/ear like I did before I went digital. But I have an X1 MK2 that I use with the default mapping for transport, looping, and effects. I have no interest in custom mapping of any kind, they serve no purpose for me. And trust me when I tell you I don’t just play tunes and blend them every few minutes. I put in work.

      • GRiNSERGRiNSER

        “If people are not using mappings to their full potential – there is really no reason to be on controllers in general”

        Wut? I guess that’s a matter of preference and habits.
        For me It’s amazing to plug in 2 usb cables into the CDJ 2000 nexus of a venue, add the X1 Mk2 (standard mapping) and rock a set with Traktor.

        Traktor gives me way better access to my collection than the screens on the CDJs or a connected Rekordbox*. The X1 naturally extends Traktor for browsing, looping and effects while the CDJs are the perfect control surface for pitching, pitch bending and a little scratch here and there. Tho I must say I’m on the more boring side of playing one record after another ;-)

        With an added Rekordbox USB key (synced via Rekord Buddy) I always have a backup plan if for whatever reason my laptop goes awry – a rare occurence but it can happen…

        *= Usually I never find network switch available at a venue to connect a laptop to the CDJs. Additionally the new Rekordbox is far better, but still not suitable compared to Traktor for me.

  • seb nz

    Good article. But reading it gives me this feeling that each model is artificially separated. Or put another way it doesn’t seem like there are any good reasons why the 350 couldn’t have some of the features of the 2000 like multiple cue points, and which Traktor/Serato uses take for granted. So basically Pioneer have purposefully retarded the hardware to force users to upgrade.

    • Steve Francesco

      $599 vs $2000, any company in their right mind would make sure there was a logical reason to choose the higher priced one.

      No company in their right mind is going to cannibalize sales by throwing bells and whistles seen as “essential” by many users into the cheaper package. If there is a chance they can make a larger profit by forcing the upgrade. Thats just good business.

      • seb nz

        I think good business is about being honest with your customers about what your products can and can’t do.

        • Steve Francesco

          Does the manual for the 350 mention cue points ? .. nope.

          Could Cuepoints have been included ? Perhaps with an increase in components, design and software costs which would result in a higher retail price.

          If you are jumping between cue points you would need to Buffer each cue point in memory so it makes sense that additional memory, buttons, software and potentially more processing power in order to perform jumps in short succession would be needed

          Would it have made a big difference to their thousands of sales of 350′s ? It would Probably increase sales marginally on the 350, with other low end users already opting for similar priced units e.g. denon/numark,

          Would it have made an impact on their higher end gear ? Most certainly as most people will only spend what they need to.

          Ultimately Its up to them what they decide will be in their best interest. Its up to the buyer to decide what are their requirements and which model fits their needs best based on the specifications supplied on each unit.

          I understand that without decisions like that being made by the upper management bigwigs, Pioneer as DJ brand would probably not be nearly as big as it is right now and probably would not have the financial backup that enables it to bring new products to the market at the scale it does.

          Bottom line though, they never mis-represented their products. All it takes is comparing the documentation between their various models and you can see clearly what is, or is not a feature prior to purchase. So why bitch and moan about something that was never promised in the first place though? Artificially crippled or not. its their decision to not include certain features to certain models and your decision to make if it will impact you buying from them or go elsewhere.

          [/rant]

          • seb nz

            Steve it sounds like you have a real axe to grind when it comes to other user’s views of Pioneer.

            My last reply to you was a point about business ethics. I posted that reply because I’m tired of hearing that businesses can do whatever they want to do in the name of profit. I think that point applies especially when one player has market dominance (like Pioneer does in DJing equipment).

            I think your reply about whether the 350 can do cue points is simply speculative. The bottom line is – you don’t know.

            You obviously have a different view from me on this so let’s just leave it at that :-)

          • Steve Francesco

            Not just Pioneer, but thats besides the point – one of those night where I needed a good ‘ol opinionated rant hehe. ;)

    • Mojaxx

      Part of the reason for me writing this article, was that I have spent many weeks researching this topic, as I was looking to buy a pair of CDJs myself.

      The reason given by Pioneer on their forums for why the low end models can’t do certain things is ‘processing power’. How accurate that is, I don’t know. It makes sense for things like quantizing, but seems a little unrealistic for things like accessing cue points.

      However, I guess we have to remember that Pioneer are a business; it’s their job to make people want to buy the more expensive models… ;)

      • seb nz

        I understand Pioneer is a business, but I’m against the idea that this gives them a right to misrepresent their products (again assuming that’s the case).

  • penguinsdoom

    This articular is very informative about CDJs and i will be bookmarking this for the next time a club forces me to use them. Other the that, is it just me or are CDJs outdated.

    • drhiggens

      its just you

    • Andrew Peek

      not to be rude but it is you, and many like you. There is a sense of professionalism when you’re playing a 10K 4 deck rig as opposed to even a great DDJ-SZ controller. These things test the sands of time, they are on every headliners rider, they don’t require a laptop, yet some prefer it. they look great they, they work great and they can be tweaked to each players preference when you stick in that USB. I am curious to see what is next, I think we deserve Beat slice FX like on the 900 NXS, and HOT CUES on the same player but then you’ll change the shape and overall size. but oh well.

      • lokey

        still though. not exactly pushing the envelope.

        • Gavin Varitech

          And thank god for that! They do everything working deejays want them to do. Pushing the envelope for the sake of pushing the envelope is lame.

          Besides, since when has “not pushing the envelope” equaled “outdated”?

          • lokey

            well, if your goal is to be ‘a working dj’, then this will do you fine. personally, there are so many more interesting approaches to live electronic performances, ‘djing’ is pretty low down the list of exciting activities. ‘outdated’ in the sense of ‘why arent you trying to do more with your performance’. but hey! if you’re happy with the orthodox approach, then pioneer and inmusic will be more than happy to sell you a device thats tailored to that skillset. not something im prepared to keep pursuing though, there’s a broader realm of electronic performance beyond djing.

          • Gavin Varitech

            Why are you trying to do more with your performance? What is the goal? I used to be all about that. I used to be as cutting edge and pushing the envelope as one can be when it came to this stuff. Then I got over myself and the “look at me” part of the game.

            Its all about the experience of the people that paid money to come out that night. Except for a few nerdy chinscratchers holding up the wall and trainspotting pushing the envelope rarely enhances any of the paying customers experience. More often than not in fact it takes away from it.

            Don’t take any of that to mean that just “pushing play” is OK just because someone at the party enjoys themselves. It isn’t.

          • lokey

            well, im obviously not going to change your mind here, but are you really equating live musical performance with a ‘look at me’ ego worship? i think thats hopelessly dismissive.

          • Gavin Varitech

            You didn’t answer my question. What is your goal of pushing the envelope gear-wise?

          • lokey

            well, its to move us past the ‘play one song/play another song’ approach of the dj which has prevailed. To allow more originality and spontaneity to live performance of electronic music, and give artists more direct control in a smaller and more playable package. If thats not your cup of tea, well and good, but i think there’s a real desire to see more than mixing when it comes to live performance.

          • Gavin Varitech

            So when you say your answer is about watching and seeing what the “DJ” is doing you are saying exactly what I said about the “look at me” thing when it comes to playing. You didn’t mention ANYTHING that would enhance a paying customer’s night out.

            Besides all that, we’ve been able to do way more than just “play one song/play another song” for decades. If that is all someone is doing with a $6,000 Pioneer set up that is their fault, not the gear’s.

          • lokey

            are you replying to someone else dude? Nowhere do i speak about ‘watching what the dj is doing’. I gave you some concrete and practical improvements i personally want to see in a turntable that would make it practical for the kind of music i perform. This isnt about ‘enhancing a paying customers night out’, this is about -making music- and the tools which would enhance that process.

          • Gavin Varitech

            “i think there’s a real desire to see more than mixing when it comes to live performance”

          • lokey

            thats a colloquial expression, it doesnt have to refer to actual vision. Dont be so pedantic.

          • Andrew Peek

            why come here and complain that a cdj isn’t a live pa piece of gear??? they aren’t trying to sell it as anything but. you wanna add a maschine and/or F1 into your live rig go ahead!!! your comment isn’t valid to be honest. It’s like saying my BMW M5 can’t fly, but in case you’re JUST trying to drive on the road then by all means a dealership will sell you one.

          • Oddie O’Phyle

            just my opinion, but my F1′s look pretty sweet beside my 900′s. the fact that i can create a few stems in maschine and collect them into a remix set just means that when i get bored with a track (as it always happens when they get played out), i can do a live dub giving people a fresh taste on an old flavor.

          • lokey

            well and good. But its not going to get my monies. If you want a simple cdj, there you go, throw your money at it and do something good with it. But it doesnt offer much to me, and i think that opinion worth sharing around. Not everyone is content to play dj.

          • teknik1200

            that’s the fault of a lazy dj, not the gear they use.

            I can rock two turntables and a mixer with a house set with as many cuts and fades as a scratch dj.