Review & Video: Pioneer DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller

Review Summary:

As the heart of a hybrid digital / analogue set-up, the Pioneer DDJ-SX is an unsurpassed device. The standalone mixer is superb, and the quality of all controls is market leading. It has just about everything you might want on a DJ controller, and all of this makes it amazing fun to use. Pioneer has borrowed the best bits of every other controller and, in doing so, has come up with probably the most complete DJ controller on the market. A worthy first controller for Serato DJ software that marks a new chapter in Serato's story.

DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller
  • DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller
  • Rating: 5
  • From: Pioneer
  • Price: $999
  • Reviewed by:
  • On November 1, 2012
  • Last modified:November 20, 2014
The new Pioneer DDJ-SX for Pioneer DJ software

The new Pioneer DDJ-SX for Serato DJ software. Is this the most complete DJ controller yet?

Pioneer DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller Review

The Pioneer DDJ-SX is the first DJ controller designed for Serato DJ, the new DJ software from, yup, Serato. (Update: Also take a look at the Pioneer DDJ-SZ). Both this controller and the software are launched today, and so the controller is plainly a big deal for both companies. The good news is that it is pretty much an awesome success. It's as if Pioneer's designers sat down with Serato and said: "Let's take the best bits of every DJ controller out there, and incorporate them into one controller, without compromise." Better, they seem to have done for a price which, while high, is not extortionately so.

So you've got the build quality of the Numark NS6, the performance controls of the revolutionary Novation Twitch and later the Vestax VCI-380, the proper four-channel standalone mixer and hardware filters of the Vestax VCI-400, and a full-strength, highly capable "in the box" software solution fully tuned to make the most of the controller's features (as with the Traktor Kontrol S4).

Hardware vs software
It is to an extent impossible to review any DJ controller without talking about the software it runs / comes with. That's even more the case with this one, as it is currently the only controller that works with Serato DJ. This is because the other DJ controllers that will in time work with the software haven't yet been added to it. However, this review will nonetheless focus more on the Pioneer hardware than the Serato DJ software; we've got a full Serato DJ software review which you can read alongside this review.

First impressions and setting up

We had a review sample to prepare this piece, so it wasn't boxed in the finished packaging, and didn't have anything in the box except a mains adaptor (better quality build than most, and with Pioneer's name on it rather than a generic example), a USB cable and the unit itself. However, expect yours to have a CD-ROM, warranty / quickstart instructions and so on.

Numark NS6

Big, heavy and built in dark, brushed metal, the Numark NS6 was certainly an inspiration for the Pioneer controller.

The first impression of the unit on removing it from the packaging is that it is like a slightly larger Numark NS6, with the performance pads of the Novation Twitch tacked on underneath each jogwheel. It shares the same high quality of primarily metal construction, although unlike the Numark model it has a plastic casing on the underside. Being so big, it is definitely a "transportable" rather than a "portable" controller - car, not backpack.

The overall feel is of a pro-quality device, a feeling confirmed when you touch any of the knobs (a mixture of rubber and plastic, and bolted to an internal faceplate below the external black metal one), play with the jogwheels (smooth, silent and with an attractive internal LED feature) or slide the faders (weighted lines, looser crossfader, decent long-throw pitch faders).

DDJ-SX front & back

The DDJ-SX front and back. Note how phono/line is switched at the front not at the back next to the sockets as is usually the case.

Front and back
On the front of the unit are a pair of headphones sockets (1/8" and 1/4" TRS) complete with level control knob; the input source switches for each of the DDJ-SX's four channels (there are two phonos, four line and two microphone channels as well as the expected four PC channels), a crossfader curve knob, and two touch sensor level knobs for adjusting the sensitivity of the jogwheels. The headphones and crossfader curve knobs are the push-to-retract type.

Meanwhile, round the back are the usual power switch, USB and DC in sockets (the latter with a plastic cable hook), and a Kensington slot; in addition of course there is a whole raft of inputs and outputs. These are: Balanced XLR & unbalanced RCA master outs, balanced TRS booth outs, and inputs for the four phono/line sources plus the two microphones (one a dual TRS/XLR, one just TRS). I think it would have been nice to have at least one of those microphone sockets on the front or top for ease of access. Finally, there's a ground pin for earthing Technics record decks.

The two deck areas are identical rather than the more normal mirror image of each other (or some combination of the two). Straight off I can see one potential issue with this, which is that while the right-hand deck pitch fader is easy to access as it's the last control on the far right of the unit, the left-hand deck one is tucked between the EQ knobs for the far-left line, and the big, very sensitive jogwheel.

Even on a controller this size, it feels a bit cramped and you'll have to be careful not to accidentally hit the jogwheel when moving in to make pitch adjustments.

Pioneer DDJ-SX deck

The deck, that packs in most of the best features of other DJ controllers' decks and a couple of its own too.

From the top, each deck has a long needle search strip for quick movement though tracks; a big jogwheel (metal top, plastic edge, that works like similar jogs on other DJ controllers, particularly the Numark models); the aforementioned long-throw tempo fader; and a handful of control buttons for adjusting the beatgrid, switching the jog mode to/from vinyl emulation, slip mode, adjusting the tempo range / keylock, and something called "dual deck". We'll discuss most of these functions later.

Below this part of the deck is a section containing the performance pads (for hot cues, loop roll, slicer and sampler), the transport buttons / sync control (laid out in typical vertical Pioneer style), and the autoloop controls.

It's worth mentioning here that each pitch fader has two small "takeover" arrows. These are related to a feature called "soft takeover", which is used to allow two decks (as this is a four-channel mixer) to share one tempo fader.

For the uninitiated, soft takeover is a system whereby when you switch from one deck to another deck that you were previously using, the control in question won't function until it's moved back to where it was when you left the first deck. This is to stop sudden jumps in (in this case) speed.

All these little arrows do is show you which direction to move the fader in in order to "take over" control again. It saves looking at the screen to check - which in this case, is pretty much essential as Serato DJ doesn't have a pitch control display at all.

Taking up just under a third of the width of the unit, the four-channel mixer down the centre doesn't feel so different to Pioneer's standalone mixers in quality, which is a good thing. However, it is a little more cramped than, for instance, the Pioneer DJM-850 we have here in the workshop, mainly because it slots in an extra fader right in the middle, used for sample volume.

Each of the four channels has: gain; hi, mid and low EQs with a channel VU meter alongside; a one-knob filter; a cue button; a line fader; and a crossfader assign three-way switch. Down the middle of the unit are, as is customary, the master / booth output controls and a master stereo VU meter. This is also where you'll find the cue / master headphones mix knob. Finally, at the very bottom, is the removable, replaceable crossfader. It's as good as those on Pioneer's standalone mixers: Loose, but in all honesty not loose enough to have the most technical scratch DJs singing its praises.

There is a channel fader start function for each line fader, which unusually isn't on a switch; instead, you hold shift while opening the facer to use it.

Effects & library sections

Pioneer DDJ-FX effects section

One of the Pioneer DDJ-FX effects sections; I found the capability of the effects a little underwhelming, as we'll see.

At the very top of the decks are two identical FX sections, comprising four knobs and four buttons, the first three knobs being standard, the fourth being a stepped rotary encoder. Meanwhile, above each of the mixer lines are two small buttons to decide which effects each of the channels is routed through. We'll look in more detail at what these sections do later.

Right at the top middle, above the mixer, are the library controls. Here is the big(ger) stepped rotary encoder for scrolling through track lists, file/folder navigation buttons, and buttons for loading/instant doubling tracks to any of the for channels.

Other controls
Right underneath the dual deck controls on each deck there is a small shift button. This is used to access a whole host of additional functions, from effects select and behaviour to loop shift; channel fader start to library sorting; tempo range to tap BPM.

Interestingly, the manual alludes to forthcoming functions for several buttons that don't currently have any modifier actions programmed in this edition of Serato DJ.

Finally, at the very top left of the whole unit is a small button labelled "panel select": This allows you to cycle through the various panels available within Serato DJ such as FX and sampler; something you could only do using the mouse pointer with Serato's previous controller software, ITCH. Definite improvement there.

Setting up
Pioneer recommends simply downloading the latest version of the software from Serato's website, which makes perfect sense: With Serato, the software is always free for users of this controller, because you "buy" it when you buy the controller (which incidentally means free upgrades for life).

On a Windows machine, you need to install Pioneer / Serato's ASIO driver for outputting audio, before you install Serato DJ; with Macs, you simple install Serato DJ and you're done. Also only with Windows, there's a settings utility to allow you to adjust the latency (buffer size) of the ASIO driver; obviously there is no such thing for Mac users as it's not necessary for proper functioning due to the way audio works on OS X.

On plugging in, the DDJ-SX unit cycles rather pleasingly through all its myriad LEDs from top to bottom, before settling with a mixture of blue, red and white controls lit; the cue and play / pause buttons on each deck flashing; and a very Pioneer CDJ-esque centre section of circular LED bars lit inside each jogwheel.

Also on plugging in, the Serato DJ software switches from "offline" mode to "online" mode, and all four decks appear on-screen, with four vertical waveforms up the centre of the display and the library at the bottom. There are various views available to you including two and four deck options. Overall this is far more like Traktor than ITCH ever was.

You can add tracks to the library from your hard drive or other sources connected to your computer by drag and dropping them into the left-hand crate area of the library; as with all DJ software, Serato DJ analyses them for BPM and peak volume information etc, and they're then ready to use. This is best done ahead of performance time.

In use

Selecting and loading tracks
By holding shift and pressing the "back" button underneath the rotary library encoder, you can switch software views, and on a 1440x900 monitor or smaller you may want to do this to get a better view of your library, especially when in four-deck mode with maybe the effects panel also open. In this instance, there's little room to see your tunes list otherwise. The aforementioned keyboard shortcut cycles through various modes, one of which is a library view.

DDJ-SX library area

The DDJ-SX library area. Note the column sort functions under the load buttons, accessed using the shift modifier.

Once in a folder of tunes, you can press shift with one of the four load buttons at the top of the screen to sort by track, BPM, song or artist, to facilitate track selection. This is OK, but I'd prefer it to have it sort by the first four columns in the folder. That way, you could organise the folder with the columns that matter to you first (for instance, you may choose genre or key), and then sort by those. As it is, you have to use the mouse pointer to click on the column headers to achieve sorting by a column that isn't those mentioned above.

Turning the rotary encoders lets you choose your song, and pressing one of the four "load" buttons at the top of the line channels loads to that deck. Decks 1 & 2 are colour coded blue, 3 & 4 white (this also applies to the deck layer/dual deck function buttons).

Scrubbing and cueing
Once you've loaded a track, you preview it using the "cue" buttons; these are individual on/off so it is possible to have multiple cue buttons activated at once. It's at this point you first encounter the brilliance of these jogwheels. There has never been any such thing as a poor degree of jogwheel control with any Serato software - from DJ Intro to ITCH, jogwheel mappings have always been completely tight and one-to-one, and so it is here. It feels perfect.

Therefore cueing is intuitive and fun. More often than not, you'll either use the "cue" button to drop a temporary cue, or add cues using a hot cue function on the performance pads (whereby cues are remembered for later). You may also use the touchstrip to navigate the tune, either to preview a section somewhere in the middle of it to see if it suits the mix you're planning, or just to find a part to start playing from further into the tune.

The jogwheels
This is also when you'll first encounter the vinyl emulation circle of LED bars in the centre of each jogwheel. These show you a complete rotation of the "record" (you can even set 33 or 45 RPM in the software settings), and correspond with the bar in the deck circles on the software screen. It's tight and intuitive, but it does brings up one thing I didn't like about these jogs.

DDJ-SX jogwheel

The DDJ-SX jogwheel: Excellent, but not as accurate as some when it comes to vinyl "feel".

As someone used to using vinyl, I've always partly judged jogwheels by how realistic they feel when compared to manipulating a record on a turntable with a slipmat underneath it.

Let me explain: On a turntable, you can spin back a tune and it'll do a couple of rotations easily enough, giving a pleasing spinback effect. On some controllers (such as the Vestax VCI-380), because the wheels are properly weighted and / or have tension adjusters, you can set them to do exactly the same. It's great for spinbacks, but also deck to deck hip-hop mixing, and in this instance, those vinyl emulation lights would be a great aid and add to the fun.

Except, the second your hand leaves the jogwheel, it moves maybe a quarter of a turn then stops. This is similar to the behaviour of the Traktor Kontrol S4, and it just doesn't feel natural to me. It's not a big point, but it may irk hardcore vinyl scratch guys coming to this controller.

Gain staging
One huge difference between cheaper DJ controllers and pro controllers is the gain staging - or in other words, the control you have over the volume of your track as it moves through the system. Proper gain staging is not only important for best sound quality, but also is a creative tool (for instance, a decent gain structure can allow you to mix with loops from very quiet parts of tunes by manually boosting everything, returning the controls to normal when you're finished with that part of the mix).

To give you an example of the difference, the Mixtrack Pro (which will also get Serato DJ compatibility in good time) doesn't even have a gain control, and the Denon DJ MC2000 doesn't have any onboard metering at all. As you might expect, the DDJ-SX goes the other way - and then some, as it turns out!

DDJ-SX metering

Plenty of VU meters, both on the unit and in the software, mean no excuse for pushing it 'into the red'.

Serato DJ has autogain built in. That means that when it loads a track to a deck, its algorithm analyses where the volume peaks are, and adjusts the overall gain accordingly. This setting is usually going to be around 50% of the available boost / cut range, and is shown on a small rotary on the screen next to the track, alongside a VU meter on which you can confirm that Serato has it right and that your tune isn't peaking into the red. (This is switchable, by the way, so if you don't want it, you can turn it off.) But in this case there would be no reason to, because it turns out that this is a "pre-gain" gain! That is, next in line you have the gain control on your Pioneer DDJ-SX, where you can further trim, using the DDJ-SX's individual channel VUs as your guide. Turning this gain control has no effect on the VU meter or the gain control knob on the screen.

Next in line is the line volume itself and any EQ and effects settings which may boost or cut the overall volume, and of course the volume of any additional music playing through the system from further channels. Your readout for the master mix is a VU meter at the top of the Serato DJ screen, and unlike the individual track VUs on the screen, this one is affected by settings on the DDJ-SX. All settings, that is, except the master volume level control! This, it turns out, affects the overall output level after Serato has done its bit. That's where the five-bar master level VU pair is your guide, with its clear yellow and red bars.

Confused? I admit it was a bit confusing for me at first, but it doesn't take long to get used to it, and it makes a lot of sense when you factor in the way external inputs work. Basically, the mixer in the DDJ-SX is a full standalone mixer and needs its own full channel-by-channel and master EQing to do that job well. This way, it's got it.

And anyway, it's always better to have more VU and gain staging options than less. As a pro DJ, it's your job to ensure you know how to use them properly. Top marks to Pioneer and Serato for the way this has all been implemented.

Filter and FX
Let's cover the filter first. It's a proper hardware filter, like on the Vestax VCI-400. That means that you can use the filter on your external sources too, which is a great boon. Frankly, give me a mixer with just filters and no other FX and I'll be fine, and I am sure many other DJs feel the same - it's got to be one of the main reasons that filters are being broken out of the main FX areas so often nowadays. This particular filter sounds great: You have one on each channel, and it's exactly as you'd expect a one-knob filter to be: Left is low-pass, right is high-pass, and centre is through.

DDJ-SX filters

Four hardware filters are a juicy addition, as they can be used for software and external sources.

So onto the FX section. Much has been made of the new effects in Serato DJ, and we cover them further in our Serato DJ software review. Here I'm going to try and concentrate more on the hardware controls available to you. So to select an effect, you press shift and any of the "on" buttons. This brings up a menu, the repeated pressing lets you cycle through the available effects. There's delay, echo, reverb, phaser, flanger, low-pass filter, hi-pass filter, combined low/hi-pass filter, distortion, and ping-pong delay.

I don't really see the need for all of those filter options on this controller with its hardware filters, but understand the software has to cater for mere mortal controllers too! However, I would like to have seen at least a gater effect here.

But what do they sound like? Well as you might expect, the quality is there (they are iZotope-sourced and they do sound good, a definite improvement over the old ITCH effects), and a bonus is that they're post fader.

That means that for echo, delay and reverb, the effect continues even if you move the crossfader away from the channel, or turn its line fader down, or stop the track entirely. This is the preferred behaviour to have, because if you want the effect to stop dead, you can always make this happen by turning it off. This way, you have the choice.

Each effect has a number of parameters adjustable. You variously get control over mix level (ie wet/dry), intensity, cutoff frequency, LFO depth, loop size and many more parameters depending upon the chosen effect, while the "beats" knob allows you to control the cycle of the effect as a factor of the currently determined BPM, including dotted / triplet notes - great for that classic dub echo sound!

Finally, in order to assign an effect to a channel, you press either the "1" or "2" FX button above the channel line controls. To preview effects in your headphones, you press the "master cue" button in the middle of the mixer. The biggest surprise is that you can only control one effect per bank. You would expect that each of the effects sections would be able to give you the choice of chaining three effects, instead of comprehensive control over one effect, should you wish for this. This looks like it's coming, given away by the "single/multi" button (shift + tap) plus three separate effects select options per channel, but for now you're limited to one effect per side (plus a filter of course).

As I say we're not going into too much depth about the software in this review as it'll be exhaustively covered in the forthcoming Serato DJ review, but suffice to say here's some clear blue water between Traktor and Serato DJ v1.0; if one effect per deck plus per-channel filters sounds like plenty for you, you're in business, but if you fancy yourself as an FX-layering demon controllerist, Serato DJ and the Pioneer DDJ-SX - at least in their current incarnation - maybe aren't for you.

The standard looping section comprise five buttons at the bottom right of each deck. You have manual or auto loops. Autoloop loops a fraction or multiple of the currently detected beatgrid bars, meaning basically it delivers properly beatmatched loops at the push of a button. You have a number of loop slots that you can also have pre-defined loops prepared in.

In auto looping, one shortcoming is that while you can halve or double the length of the current loop, there's no way to see what value is currently set without turning the loop on. In other words, pressing half / double will do what it says, but you can't see it in the software; the 1/8 bar, 1/4 bar, 8 bars, 16 bars indicators etc. remain unlit.

Pioneer DDJ-SX pads and looping area

The Pioneer DDJ-SX pads and looping area: note the parameter buttons at the bottom right, that alter ranges for certain pad functions.

It is possible to shift the currently active autoloop by its own length left or right (ie backwards or forwards in the music) by holding "shift" and pressing the "1/2" and "2x" buttons respectively. Manual looping is controlled by in and out buttons; you press "in" where you want the loop to being, and "out" where you want it to end. By then holding the in or out button and turning the jogwheel, you can fine adjust the start and end points of the loop, and the waveform freezes to facilitate this.

Performance pads
First appearing on the Novation Twitch, performance pads have been shamelessly copied by several controllers since, and the Pioneer DDJ-SX is thus just the latest in this line. Here's a brief look at what they do in this particular controller:

  1. Hot cue. There are a generous eight hot cues per track - pre-determined places where you can trigger playback from. In certain display modes you can see them all on the screen, but in some you can only see four. (You get to choose whether to display eight hot cues or four hot cues and four loops.) Pressing shift then a hot cue deletes it; the blue light in the pad that lights to indicate it as set then turns off
  2. Loop roll. Press this and the performance pads become loop controllers. Using the parameter buttons you can choose whether the range is 1/32 of a beat up four beats, all the way up to 1/4 of a beat to 32 beats. You perform loops by pressing the buttons, and when you release them, the track carries on playing from where it would have been had you not done anything
  3. Slicer. The biggest lift from Novation's Twitch. This takes a loop (anything from one bar to eight bars, which you set using the parameter buttons and shift), and divides it into eight equal parts that are then assigned to the performance pads. Press the slicer button once, and this is rolling - ie the track plays as usual with the "loop" moving along as you go. But press it twice and it "sticks" on the current loop. Now, you can remix that section by hitting the performance pads in an order of your choice. When you're done, switch away from slicer and everything carries on as normal
  4. Sampler. Like the effects, the sampler controls are maybe over-simple. There are four banks of six sample slots, remembered between sessions. You drag samples from your library to each slot, and can choose one hit, complete play or loop for each one. Each slot has its own Sync button, keylock and mute. The disappointment here for me is that you have to revert to the mouse pointer to control all of this. This controller is huge - let's have some hardware control! Once samples are assigned, the performance pads trigger them. There's a nice touch here: If you hold the sampler button for over a second, you enter sampler velocity mode, where the volume of the sample is dependent on how hard you hit the pads

Slip mode
Borrowed from Pioneer's own CDJs and Denon's DJ CD players (where it used to be called "dump" mode), and also a recent addition to Traktor where it's called "flux", slip mode is similar to loop roll that we previously described, in that it takes note of where the track would have been had you continued simply playing it, ready to jump back when you disengage slip. But it takes it beyond looping.

That means you can scratch, loop, even stop the tune with a long brake time (brake, or the speed a tune slows down at, is something you can set in Serato DJ's options), and when you disengage slip, everything carries on as if you had done nothing. Therefore by using the autoloop and slip, you can do pretty much the same thing that "roll" allows you to do with the performance pads. It's activated and deactivated by pressing the "slip" buttons top right of each deck.

Dual deck mode
This is one of my favourite features, and it's nicely implemented too. Basically it allows you to join both decks up on each side of the controller.

Dual deck mode

The Dual deck mode buttons: Note the two-colour central button. It's undeniably cool...

As with all four-channel controllers that only have two jogwheels (ie every single one of them), there are layer buttons - we spoke about them when describing the tempo control's takeover lights.

Basically, you choose which deck you want active control over by pressing 1 or 3 (left side) or 2 or 4 (right side). But the DDJ-SX adds a unique feature here: it lets you "link" the two decks by pressing the "dual deck" button that appears between the layer buttons. This lights up in a cute two-tone colour to represent the blue and white colour coding of the deck layers, and then when you start, stop, scratch loop and so on, it happens on both decks at once.

So for instance you could get an acappella running over a bassline instrumental, and scratch the whole thing, or beatmix the whole thing with another track on the opposite side of the crossfader, really easily.

It's a great idea, and it's well implemented. Top marks.

Standalone mixer
With two mics, two phono channels and two line channels, there's plenty of scope for external sources with the Pioneer DDJ-SX. You select each source with the three-way switches on the front panel. If you turn a channel to an external source, the word "THRU" appears on the software deck, and control is handed over to the internal mixer of the Pioneer DDJ-SX.

In some systems, you get the choice to route through the software, so you can use the effects and so on on your external source, but not here: it is just what it says, a "thru". While that may be disappointing, at least it means that if the laptop goes down your external sources don't. I tried it; I just pulled the USB out, and no problems, my iPod in one of the external channels carried on unabated. However, while you can't use software FX, you can use the filter and all volume and EQ controls, so all is not lost! It's all we ever had in the 80s (ooh, it was great in '88 😉 ).

As mentioned earlier, metering is organised so you get full per-channel "pre-fade listen" gain control and master metering. In short, the standalone mixer is well implemented and works well.

Sound quality
Funnily enough I couldn't find any mention anywhere of the audio interface on the specs of this, but I'd assume it's going to be on a par with Pioneer's best installation pro DJ gear.

It certainly sounded great to me - we had it running through some new Reloop Wave 8 DJ/producer monitor speakers, and a pair of Ultrasone Signature DJ headphones, and the sound certainly appeared on a level with the DJM-850's audio interface, that being the other piece of Pioneer gear we had lying around to compare it to.

Firmware adjustments
Finally, let's look at the firmware. By holding shift plus play/pause while turning on, you enter the firmware set-up mode. Here you can do this stuff:

  • Set the velocity curve for the sample pads. It can be straight, concave or convex, but also it can be in three steps - I like the idea of the latter for more "mechanical" pad drumming...
  • Switch the unit into Midi mode. Want to use your Pioneer DDJ-SX with other DJ software? You can switch it away from Serato and to a universal Midi mode with one key stroke here
  • Turn sync on/off for channel fader start. By default, a song will start when you open the fader with sync off, but if you want it to sync, you can set that behaviour here
  • Attenuate the master output. Choose from 0dB (default), -3dB or -6dB
  • Disable slip mode flashing controls. When the slip mode is engages, the controls you can use flash. If you don't like that, you can turn it off
  • Disable the demo mode. Leave the unit 10 minutes, and everything starts flashing like a Christmas tree, just as if someone's spilled water into the thing. Don't like it? Turn it off. Done
  • Set aftertouch for the sampler. You can have an aftertouch behaviour where how hard you press a sample pad after it's triggered a sample gives you continuous control over that sample's volume. Here's where you turn that off and on
  • Set the LED pattern for the jogwheels. There are a few variations as to how the LEDs indicate motion in the centre of the jogs; here's where you choose your favourite


Let's get the bad out of the way first. Some of this is software related, to be fair.

They've missed a trick with the over-simplified effects, despite the fact that they sound great. While we're here, it would have been nice to see some effect innovation - maybe fader effects, or throwing them to the pads? The sampler needs far too much mouse pointer attention to be truly easy to use - I'd like to have seen much better hardware integration, especially on a controller of this size. But truly, apart from these small points, there's very little I can find fault with, excepting the damned thing's size! It may have borrowed lots of features from Novation's loveable little Twitch, but it certainly didn't borrow any sense of portability from it.

The Serato DJ software

The Serato DJ software: Whether you feel it's for you will play a part in your decision over this controller, but note that the controller can also be remapped to other software.

As such, it is going to find favour with those who drive to their gigs, as a semi-permanent installation device in smaller bars, lounges etc, or - and I suspect that this is its prime market - as the ultimate home DJ controller.

As the heart of a hybrid digital / analogue set-up, it is an unsurpassed device. The standalone mixer is superb, and the quality of all controls is market leading. It has just about everything you might want on a DJ controller, and all of this makes it amazing fun to use. As I mentioned at the start, Pioneer has borrowed the best bits of every other controller. In doing so, it has come up with probably the most complete DJ controller on the market. The fact that Serato DJ also lets you Midi-map external devices, means that someone may well come up with a sample player control box, or you could certainly map your own.

Unlike the Traktor Kontrol S4 and Traktor Scratch, you can't use this with Serato Scratch Live vinyl, which is a shame. However I'm going to guess that down the line you will be able to do just that with Serato DJ controllers, because to me it is pretty obvious that the next software move for Serato is to combine Serato Scratch Live and Serato DJ - "Serato Scratch DJ", anyone? At that point, who knows, maybe digital vinyl compatibility will arrive for the Pioneer DDJ-SX.

But overall, this is a worthy first controller for the software that marks a new chapter in Serato's story. I expect it to sell well, and I even think it might poach users of other software systems.

Product summary

Review Summary:

As the heart of a hybrid digital / analogue set-up, the Pioneer DDJ-SX is an unsurpassed device. The standalone mixer is superb, and the quality of all controls is market leading. It has just about everything you might want on a DJ controller, and all of this makes it amazing fun to use. Pioneer has borrowed the best bits of every other controller and, in doing so, has come up with probably the most complete DJ controller on the market. A worthy first controller for Serato DJ software that marks a new chapter in Serato's story.

DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller

  • DDJ-SX Serato DJ Controller
  • Rating: 5
  • From: Pioneer
  • Price: $999
  • Reviewed by:
  • On November 1, 2012
  • Last modified:November 20, 2014

Video Review

The ultimate DJ controller? Would you buy this even if not to use with Serato DJ? Or are there functions / features you think are missing? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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  1. Wish I could buy this now...but great review, been waiting on this!

  2. And I'll have to wait untill monday before has it and then one week to get it to my country :( I want it now thanks for the review

  3. No bloody split cue yet again!

  4. Peter Ochoa says:

    I want to know if I can use Traktor with the DDJ-SX and if I did what are some of the advantages and or disadvantages? It’s an awesome controller!

  5. So phil...

    This versus the DDJ T-1... what do you think?

    I must say I like the ability to plug in extra CDJ's etc... and the whole USB thing...

    But other than that, it doesn't appear to be as rounded? and another question.. does it have a separate monitor plugin at the back?

  6. Seeing this really makes me glad that I've decided to move away from "all-in-one" units and into a more modular setup; the level of control is only limited by a few things, and I get the benefit of being less costly.

    • I agree, also the bigger all-in-one controllers get, the more you can compare similar modular set-ups favourably to them, because the convenience and portability of all-in-ones is one of their great advantages.

  7. Have you done a serato vs traktor yet phill would be intrested in this as I am ddj-t1 owner but this controller is making me think of switching but then there is always the case that they will bring out on for traktor in the coming months oh what to do

    • We'll be reviewing Serato DJ in the next few days, we've reviewed traktor 2.6 previously. On a basic level, they all do the same thing - you need to decide what "extras" you want and what software delivers them best for you.

  8. Great in-depth review as usual, Phil - thanks!

    Seems like a really nice controller. Don't have a car though... 😀

  9. Looks like an awesome piece of kit, but I will not be purchasing until Serato DJ has integration with Ableton either via the Bridge or midi clock send.

  10. Sounds like I will still stay with my lovely Vestax VCI-380.

  11. My unit was sent today. Can't wait to try it in a few days 😀

  12. 1. Will we be able to use this software immediately with the ddj s1 (until the ddj sx is available)?
    2. Will there be full EQ kills mapped for the SX (just like the S1 worked with itch)?
    3. Will the braking stop/start time be controllable directly from your SX controller (again, like with the S1)?
    4. Did you ever fix that annoying playback setting "lock playing deck" which is very useful to avoid mistakenly loaded tracks on playing deck, BUT also blocks the needle search unless paused?...
    5. Where is the "sort cues chronologically" option?
    6. Why can't we label (edit the name) of the cue points??

  13. Feels like Pioneer is moving the price down. Its a huge step for them and i think many dj's can do with this setup.
    The thing is though if this setup will be a new "CDJ" that DJ's have to know how to operate. So, what do you think Phil, can this be the new workhorse in many places?

    • Not professionally, no - I can't see this being a venue installation choice and I don't think that's what Pioneer intends for it.

      • I feel this is the problem with all the hardware. You have to upgrade each time you get better. Feels like too many different standards, bedroom djs stay at this and to get up you have to practice on the hardware that is actually in use at the venues and to do this you have to know it...dont know, but to spend this much money on the pioneer and its no use in clubs feels like you might as well go next step. Otherwise better go with s4 or s2 which will get the job done if you play as a mobile dj...what is the point of this setup if its hard to take along?

      • there is the xdj aero for the same price the new gemini cdmp7000 still can't decide which of the three i want

  14. How are the pitch faders? Are they high resolution like the DDJ S1?

  15. Thoughts of jog wheels compared to those of the Vci 380?

  16. Was able to snatch one at one of the unveilings today... Can wait to star playing with it.... So far after playing with it at the store, I'm really impressed.... Thumbs up Pioneer and Serato....

  17. djdesignz says:

    Got mine on Wednesday and im pretty impressed. It's an amazing piece of Hardware and Software aswell.

    999€ is in my opinion a fair price but i really think this is more worth :)

    Thanks Pioneer & Serato!

  18. i have an allen & heath xone dx. is it worth switching?

  19. I dont get it, I went on the serato website and downloaded the software for free? I thought you had to pay, I wanna use it with my TM2 btw

  20. Do you know if DDJ-SX works with Pioneer RMX-1000? Does it have Send/Return?


  21. Hello Phil,

    Question over to you. Can you find out if the tension of the jog wheels can be adjusted on the hardware itself? I've heard from a lot of people that they feel the jog wheel is too loose for their taste, mostly complaints from scratch djs as when releasing the platter the song will slip due to not enough tension on the wheel.

    Some controllers have an internal screw (yes you have to do some teardown) to adjust the jog wheel tension and even CDJs.

  22. I would like to map this controller to Traktor Pro 2..

  23. I use scratchlive and vinyl but just ordered this baby but shiuld i still use my scratchlive ans serato box or just switch to serato dj

  24. I'm currently using a Numark Mixtrack pro , and am wanting to produce some mixtapes soon. How does the SX compare to the mixtrack pro? Should I consider this, or the s1? Or stick with mixtrack pro?

  25. Lesley ann says:

    I have just purchased the DDJ-SX for my partner.We want to be able to do radio shows online with this but we dont know how to hook up.He likes to use Sam broadcaster if possible can you help please

  26. What do you mean by "Unlike the Traktor Kontrol S4 and Traktor Scratch, you can’t use this with Serato Scratch Live vinyl, which is a shame."?

    • With Traktor Kontrol S4 and Traktor Scratch, the S4's audio interface acts as a Traktor Scratch interface. The DDJ-SX's doesn't act as a Serato Scratch Live interface, so you can't use the unit at the heart of a DVS system as you can the S4.

  27. Since the jogwheels are now capacitive touch (much like an iphone screen) how do they respond when your hands are cold or wet? Plenty of people might have a drink in hand while in the booth, and I'm worried that the jogwheels might not respond well in this sort of situation (since most capacitive touch screens have issues with wet/cold hands)

  28. I'm currently using M-Audio Torq/Xponent and they aren't making them anymore, would this be a good upgrade?

  29. Yes to both (gain, tone, top left).

    • Hi Phil,

      You seem to be the man in the know, I wonder if you can offer any advice.

      I am by some of the above peoples standards a novice DJ, I have been djing since the mid nineties using only vinyl and about 12 months ago finally decided to try going digital, I bought 2Denon dn21200's and use those with my DJM600 Mixer, I bought the Denons really to find out if I could adjust before spending CDJ money and finding out I can't... I have been very impressed with the Denons so far and rarely play any vinyl anymore, so I was thinking of upgrading to CDJ850'S However the Traktor S4 First took my eye and now the DDJ - SX too, I have never really used either Traktor or Serrato and I am very unsure as to what laptop I would require to run one of these controllers relliably, I currently use a Windows laptop running Vista, People have said if I switch to one of these controllers I really should be using a this the case? and would you reccomend one of these over the CDJ'S? I have pretty simple needs in as much as I don't really use many effects and I am quite happy using USB'S to store my songs, the in programme record function appeals to me as does Pioneer controller itself as I do record my mixes and I am now starting to get gigs where I need to be familiar with Pioneer CDJ'S which to be honest I am not really. I also love the feel of my Pioneer Mixer so the SX is very appealiing that way, and I am sure with practice I would start to use the effects and multi deck functions too. I have about £1000 budget maybe a little more but that would not buy me the controller and the mac... can you offer any advice?

      Kind Regards


      • The SX with Serato is a good combination and your laptop would run the software fine. But it's Pioneer in name only when compared to their CDJs - this is a DJ controller, and that makes it different from club installation gear. If you want to go the controller route, choose your software before your hardware - Traktor and Serato do the same thing but differently so that's really more important. And come and ask further on the Digital DJ Tips Forum (, as we can go deeper there if you wish.

    • James says:
      Hi Phil,

      Looking at purchasing a controller for Xmas, Think im going for the vci-380, wanted to find out if this is worth an extra £200 pounds? Am aware i need to wait for itch to serato upgrade, do you know much about vci-380 reliability issues as have read about problems on early release. Do you know if this has been sorted? Is it worth an extra couple of months of savings???


  30. Hey Phil,

    Your answers are awesome man! Very helpful!

    I am going to be mapping my DDJ-SX with traktor. Can you maybe help me out with this? Do you post any videos at all?

  31. Why pioneer shipped so few sx that's the reason I didn't got mine waiting on the next batch. Can't wait to get it

  32. Thanks Phil, for another great review!
    To that, is there any advantage to going with the NS6 over this one? Or based on price point, will this be the NS6 killer?

  33. I just saw my neighbor's DDJ-SX (He got on the first shipment) and it is the best looking controller that I have seen to date, definitely high-class! Everything is well lit, the pads are large and easy to use, the jog wheel has a very good feel as well as the controls. It has a nice selection of inputs and outputs, and is a very competitive unit in its class. I am hoping they come out with a "DDJ-TX" for Traktor. It's an impressive unit and worth upgrading to.

  34. I went to a Sam Ash over the weekend to give this controller a go. Basically just to see how serato dj works. Compleatly sold out:(

  35. Hi Phil,

    Looking at purchasing a controller for Xmas, Think im going for the vci-380, wanted to find out if this is worth an extra £200 pounds? Am aware i need to wait for itch to serato upgrade, do you know much about vci-380 reliability issues as have read about problems on early release. Do you know if this has been sorted? Is it worth an extra couple of months of savings???


  36. Just had the call mine is on its way .... Be hear in 24 hours then the change over from S2 and traktor 2.6 to DDJ sx it will be a steep learning curve ..... Or will it .....

  37. Kudos for the awesome review. Comprehensive, yet neat.

  38. In the standalone mixer section it is written that the external inputs can not be routed through the software. Is that "problem" only present in the serato dj software? Or is it present in all the other dj software?

    I would like to upgrade from a numark n4 to a more professional controller with a better sound quality and more features.

    I also mix using timecode and the n4 had the option to rout the signal into traktor. Can I do the same with the DDJ-SX controller? If not, what other controllers, similar with this one, have this feature?

    Thank you

    • Virtual DJ and Traktor let you route through the software, and you're right, Serato doesn't. You can use it with DVS but you'll need a Traktor (or Serato) audio interface.

      • To piggy back... In Traktor with this device the Mic is not available as an input. Serato DJ doesn't have input settings and it seems as a result, the device wasn't made to pass the signal through.

        It will let you DJ a little more than in a purist mannor.

  39. Bikram aditya says:

    expensive toy ,an I love it

  40. Great review Phil. One question, do you have any effects control with the mic?

  41. Great Review Phil!
    anyway do i still need a Kontrol F1 or Xone K2 with this?

  42. Does the DDJ-SX have pitch shift buttons like on the Vestax controllers? (+/-8?)

  43. Dj Echobreaker says:


    I just bought a NI F1 controller, and I am upgrading to the Numark 4trak for the standalone mixer, jogs, and extra controls. My question is, if I have both of these systems (4trak and F1), is there really any difference between this and the DDJ SX? I feel that if they are equal (other than software), that an F1 and 4Trak is a cheaper method of acquiring the same toys. I mean $700 < $1100. What are your thoughts?

    • The F1 provides something Serato doesn't provide - Serato has nothing like the Remix decks, it's sampler is more orthodox than that. You say "equal other than software", but remember all these things really are are software controllers - the software you choose to use is absolutely key. Choose your software first, then choose your controller accordingly is my advice. The DDJ-SX is a great Serato controller; as you're a "Traktor" person, it's not for you.

  44. You might want to plug it back in and give the mic a test drive at club sound levels...massive reports of distortion from BOTH mic ports. I have dealt with this in the two shows I used my controller at so far. Pioneer forums not admitting there is a problem, telling people they need lessons on how to use their mics. The controller is great on all other levels so far...but the slimey manner in which Pioneer is treating their customers about this issue is pretty low. But if you are cool with spending a grand then finding a workaround for a basic hardware failure it is a lot of fun the use.

  45. hi Phil,another great review,i currently have the mixtrack pro,which i use with traktor,i am thinking of buying either the s1,t1,ns6 or this.Which do you think is slightly ahead overall. Also In terms of scratching,spin backs,and general jog performance.

  46. I bit the bullet, this device )kit) kept calling me so, I ordered one. Got it yesterday and what a lovely piece of machine it is. Very well built, the size is big but it's meant to feel like a luxury SUV... And it does.

    The platters are the best on the market, they have the right weight to them (imagine pulling vinyl on slip mat and spinning turn table). The inner lit track marker should be a must on all controllers, it's great.

    Most of the drawbacks I see are software related and one hardware (not passing the Mic single thru for use with software). The software things; not being able to load and record samples from it, not being able to fast scroll the library... to name a few.

    I can't say I expected much out of it in terms of controlling Traktor.. I wish it did, but I also wished the Denon MC6000 worked the same in Serato Scratch as it does Traktor and it does not. Seeing as the devices are being branded it makes sense that they careless about it running well on the competitions software. I'd love to see it run in Traktor the way the MC6000 does and this thing would be the best ever...

  47. short-lived... i'm glad I don't get so attached to these devices that I can't let them go...

    Deal breaker, mic signal does not pass thru to the software. I liked the Pioneer and Serato DJ, but not enough to just give up "how" I DJ... I learned on Traktor so my expectations of "things I should be able to do in the software using the controller" is quite high.

    Truth be told i've wanted a VCI-400 since first seeing it, glad to have it.

  48. TRAKTOR and Serato DJs.Pioneer is a little late into the DJ controller market but this DDJSX sure is a combination of all the best feature on the previous dj controllers along with some of Pioneer trade mark features.I like the controller and got it for a great deal at . However for $1000 I dont see why Scratch Live couldn't include the video plugin for everyone who buys a DDJSX .

  49. The Pioneer DDJ-SX can only be used with pc or like the numark ns6 can play with and without the computer?

  50. Hello! I can get a refurbished NS6 for $550 or I could a new DDJ-SX for $1200; do any of you think the DDJ-SX is worth twice the money? Please let me know your reasoning if it's not too much of a hassle. Thanks for reading :)

  51. Hello Phil, great review ! The only question i have before i purchase the DDJ-SX is can this mixer be use as a standalone mixer while using serato scratch, like the Vestax VCI-380.

  52. one quiestion, if you said that everythings in there whats the piont of getting a cdj or an individual mixer, i mean whats the diference?

  53. Jason King says:

    Hi Phil,
    Great review and heads up 😉 ive pre-ordered a ddj sx and now see Numark have an N7 Mark II on the horizon with moving platers and more things abeit at a £1200 rrp (400 quid more), how do you think these will hold up against each other? (does the numark have slip?) can we see a ddj-sx vs N7MII comparison battle?, I think the ddj sx will win for me, love the pioneer brand, build and quality.

  54. Does anybody knows if Is it possible to use and midi mapping this controller with the Traktor Schratch Pro?

  55. Greg Crammond says:

    Please could somebody help me :(((
    Ive spent alot of money and still no closer to where i want to be !!
    I have a large nightclub ( 1200 people ) and dj in it myself , i really want to use mix emergency for video with searto dj, as more effects than VDJ.

    I currently have a DJM 850 mixer and 2 CDJ900s and use a Traktor sound card and am running VDJ.

    The sound is awsome !!

    I want to buy the DDJ-SX controller to replace the above setup so i can run serato dj and mix emergency but my question is will the sound quality / level be worse if i switch to the DDJ-SX inbuilt sound card ?

    Thanks in advance

  56. Hey there great review, would you recommend this controller to someone who doesn't scratch at all and only plays electric dance music? And also, do you feel that this is the best controller to get as of now since pioneer makes it. All of the pros use pioneer cdjs and a pioneer mixer so would this be the next best thing to buy without spending 6000$ for the nexus system? Or what is the best thing to buy that is not the 6000$ nexus system? Thanks

    • It's no better than any other controller just because it's Pioneer. you don't need to be able to scratch to enjoy a controller with joghweels, but this is quite a big controller and you may want to look at something smaller if jogs aren't massively important to you.

  57. another thing, have you heard of the rmx 1000, pioneers new remix station, can you make that thing part of this mixer?

  58. Hi Phil,

    Great reviews! I do need some advice though. I just sold my djm 700 and cdjs 1000 because I'm moving overseas and was going to get the same setup when I get there but now looking at how evolved the digital controllers are I'm considering the switch as it'll be cheaper and may take up less room? What do you recommend for me to get if software isn't an issue as I've never been into that. I'm looking at the S1, T1, and now SX. I don't really care for the extra bells and whistles. All I'm looking for is a comfortable and similar feel to my cdjs and djm. I don't use too many effects so that's not a deciding factor. Im mostly a club dj (would never take my own gear) but looking for something where i can easily start an online radio station or podcast at home and i guess occasionally at corporate gigs to take my gear to. So which one would be the most bang for my buck? Or stick with my old setup? Thanks a lot!

  59. Hey Phil,
    I was all for the ddj sx untill I tried the model they had out in the store. The pads would not respond as well as I wud have liked them to. I would find that when I hit the pad it would keep playing even after releasing the pad. Did you encounter this problem or was it just a faulty model? I am debating between this and a ns7ii. I am currently a huge fan/user of the ns7

  60. Francisco says:

    Hi Phil,
    can you record Phono-Input for digitizing your vinyls?


  61. I think it would be perfect for the use. I just bought one, pretty much for the same cause and it works very well. As for the S1 and T1 I think it would be better to go for the sx as the price difference isn't very much and you will be missing a lot. Moreover I think if you were using the 1000s and 700, the sx would make you feel at home.

  62. rasibou1 says:

    Excellent review.I already ordered mine.The review really did help me make up my mind since i decided to go digital.Blessings.

  63. rasibou1 says:

    Hello phil.this is Rasibou1 I got mine last saturday all because your good review.I really liked it IT is a jewel lots of things I can do with.the feel is wonderful and powerfull sound come out o it with the jbl prx 635.The only problem i encountered so far is is one of the fx2 pad is not lighting up after i press on it .the rest of them are fine it actually the fx botton number 3Precisely the 1 next to the tap.Thanks for considering.

  64. just wondering what is the best computer to use with the sx and serato duality? I am debating between a macbook pro (portability and overall diversity) or a mac mini with monitor (larger screen size and cheaper computer system)?

    appreciate anyone who responds with help.

    -dj tays

  65. DJ Naets says:

    Great review, how do I get place order for one of this baby.??

  66. elgatovacomomoto says:


    I'm trying to find out if this unit can be used as a midi controler and sound card in ableton live.

    can be fully midi mapped in Ableton?
    can be used as a sound card in ableton? if yes, how many channels can be routed?

    thanks in advance!

  67. So i've been patiently waiting for the rumors of an upgrade for the Pioneer DDJ SX. After blog mining and reading on people's wishes and anticipations I see that many feel the same. Mainly, 2 anticipations arise..drum roll...Will the next Pioneer controller have USB ports and LED screens??? I mean the Numark MixDeck has them (and CD capabilities). Wait wait wait, I am in any way comparing the 2 because the Pioneer DDJ SX clearly blows it out of the water. But imagining USB ports and LED screens on the Pioneer DDJ SX is something i can't help but dream about. I know I'm not alone. Someone please tell my dreams come true...

  68. First and foremost, thank you for making excellent products. Seriously. Now So i've been patiently waiting for the rumors of an upgrade for the Pioneer DDJ SX. It is an excellent unit. But, after blog mining and reading up on people's wishes and anticipations I see that many feel the same way that I do. Mainly, 2 anticipations arise. Drum roll, Will the next Pioneer controller have USB ports and LED screens like the ones found on the CDJ's I mean the Numark MixDeck has them (and CD capabilities). Wait wait wait, I am in no way comparing the 2 because the Pioneer DDJ SX clearly blows the Numark out of the water. But imagining USB ports and LED screens on the Pioneer DDJ SX is something i can't help but dream about. Ive had this conversation with many who own the DDJ SX and know I'm not alone. Someone please tell my dreams come true...

  69. Dj Dtech says:

    So I can't use the ddj-sx for weddings and parties?

  70. DJ Sonic says:


    if i buy and install this, when it comes to me going back to the separates in the club i work at, will the software also work as it did with the SL3?
    Or would i have to install 2 versions?


  71. Hi Phil, I once referred to the SX as the housewives choice in controllers, but I take it back, sorry.

  72. Does the DDJ-SX have built in audio interface, so i can plug my headphones right in so i can cue another song while one is playing on the speakers, without having to buy an external sound card?

  73. Hi Phil,

    I have owned a NUmark NS6 for about 2 years now and I have been using it a lot for DJ gigs.
    Although it's a heavy controller, I LOVE the build quality.

    Having said that, there are a few things that I am not too happy about such as the limited VU metering and the layout of the knobs (filter is a tiny knob that I need to activate)

    My question to you: Is it worth upgrading to the Pioneer DDJ SX?



  74. Mr. Phil, i have a question about the jogwheels (and pitch) of the sx, in comparison whit the t1 (for example), did it simulate very fine the feeling on a pioneer cdj?

    I explain my situation, I got no enough money to buy a 4 cdj (1000 - 2000) and a pioneer mixer just for practice, I basicly need it, because i'm tired to carried every nights to different clubs with computer, midi controllers, lines, etc, I just want to feel sure to do the "same" with 2 decks + the ddj Sx or t1, and don't break down in public with just cdj.


  75. Hello Mr. Phil, I'm thinking about switching from 1200's to the DJJ-SX soon. Do you know if the mic issue has been resolved for the latest models? I use a wireless mic for all the mobile gigs that I do. Any information you can provide will be appreciated. Thanks.

  76. Just wanna say to all (like me) who dont like serato. The SX works great with Traktor pro II

  77. Hi Phil, if I were to plug a turntable into the phono inputs on the sx. Could I use serato record function to digitise the vinyl ? I'm suspecting not?

  78. Aung Myin says:

    Hi Phill,
    How are you? I'm Aung Myin. I'm from Myanmar.
    Please let me to request some advice about Pioneer DDJ SX from you.
    Recently, I bought DDJ SX from Bangkok. It's been over 3 months and yesterday, the green light of play/pause button of the left deck is totally off. It still works fine but green LED didn't light up. So, please help how to do that..

    With much respects,
    Aung Myin

  79. says:

    Your reviews are really helpful and very precious for me.hanks for your reply. Do I need to use Voltage Stabilizers or UPS for my Pioneer DDJ SX controller? How do you also use with your Controllers? If you don't mind, please let me know.
    Have A Nice Day.

  80. I am using this controller for almost 2 years now as an allround dj (EDM but also pop, rock, disco etc) and I'm pretty sure this is still the best choice if you are looking for a good midi controller. Offcourse the DDJ-SZ is even better, but then you pay twice as much and you loose the portability. The DDJ-SX has had a price drop of 25% (!) recently because of the SZ being launched, and this makes it even more interesting. My reasons to choose for this controller:
    - high build quality and Pioneer CDJ/DJM look-a-like
    - mixer is usable stand-alone and filter effect is a hardware effect (usable without Serato)
    - you can connect 2 microphones
    - drum pad very easy-to-use
    - you can easily browse through your track with the strip
    - you can adjust the resistance of the jog wheels
    - ...

    The faders are good quality but not top-notch, but the faders used in the SZ do have a "smoother" experience, they are better.

  81. I am just about to purchase either this (DDJ-SX) Or the DDJ-SZ now my ultimate question is which one should I go for? I've been mixing edm for about a year and have mastered everything on numark mix track pro 2 and want to jump up to 4 channels and I'm stuck on which one to get. Cheers

  82. Paul Harding says:

    big question s4 mk2 or this? really looking at buying one of these that last for a long time and no need to further upgrade in the next 5 years!

  83. Randy Dick says:

    Hey Phil! This my first comment, just getting into the djing ting, I used the vestax vci300 for a while but planning to upgrade to the pioneer DDJ SX, any advice? are there much difference with the Sx and the sr?

  84. Darnell Jones says:

    Hey Phil I wanted to know as far as controllers go is the Pioneer DDJ-SX still in the best performance controller or is there a different controller?

  85. Carlo Cuaresma says:

    i know this is kinda old, but incase anyone was wondering...
    for anyone that wants to map the SX to use on Traktor Pro2 software

  86. I am looking for a a good, feature packed DJ controller. Should I go the Numark NV, the Pioneer SX or the Pioneer SR?

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