We’ve snagged a world-first talkthrough of the Pioneer DDJ-SZ here at NAMM 2014, and got a first hands-on “feel” of the unit. Immediate impressions are that it is huge! It’s also solid but not as deep or anywhere near as heavy as the Numark NS7II, as a comparison. We also got a chance to chat to Pioneer about the audience it expects will want this unit.
Because it has a dual sound card, it means a few things that might not be immediately apparent. For instance, you can use CDJs or Serato timecode vinyl to control say decks 3 and 4, while using your laptop for decks 1 and 2, all with the same instance of the software running. This will be great for scratch guys, for instance.
Basically, the mixer section has the equivalent of a Rane SL4 sound card built into it, with the added flexibility of two USBs for two DJs to plug in if required. It is roughly equivalent to a DJM-900SRT – which is pretty smart. the dual inputs also mean two laptops can use it with TWO instances of Serato DJ running – which is indeed how Pioneer showed this off on their other display unit.
We also liked the oscillator effects which are of course hardware, so will work on any inputs, not just with Serato. Overall, the unit is clearly aimed at the DDJ-SX crowd – top end consumers; clubs will always prefer to have modularity so stuff can be kept serviced and switched out (nobody can guess when a DJ is going to spill champagne in a mixer…). But for smaller bars, private venues, and top-end home users, as well as Serato Scratch Live DJs looking to upgrade their gear while they make the switch to Serato DJ, I can see this having great appeal. It certainly takes the mantle of most exciting item at NAMM (that we know of) so far.
What do you think of this having learned a bit more about it and seen the video? Is this the DJ controller you’ve been waiting for? We’ve heard non-digital DJs saying this could be the unit that persuades them to finally make the switch. Do you feel that way? share your thoughts in the comments.