Do We Really Need Designer Controllers Like The Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000-OW?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
ddj-1000-ow designer DJ controllers Pioneer DJ
Last updated 16 August, 2021

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Pioneer DJ just launched a version of its DDJ-1000 DJ controller called the DDJ-1000-OW that is hard to get, limited edition, expensive, designer – and functionally exactly the same as the current version.

It’s had a facelift from Virgil Abloh, from Off-White, a brand linked to Louis Vuitton, and will only be available from a high-class store, Selfridges – and even then only after entering a lottery to get one. And of course, you pay for the privilege. Oh, and did I mention it is functionally exactly the same as the DDJ-1000?

Picture of DDJ-1000-OW and regular DDJ-1000 side by side
A lottery?! Only one of these promotes exclusivity, yet they are functionally identical. If you’d like to jazz up your current gear, more accessible services like 12inch Skinz and StyleFlip have your back.

Is this really a good idea? I am not so sure.

To me it goes against why I got into DJing in the first place. To me DJing is about INclusivity, not EXclusivity, and uniting people on the dancefloor. It’s about showing everyone they belong, that there is more that unites us than divides us, that we are more than what we own.

Do projects like this really help us towards that goal? Does buying a hard-to-get designed DJ controller make you a better DJ? Of course not. I’m not against collectibles as such (although they’re not something I’ve ever gone in for), I think it’s just seeing them infiltrating the world of DJ gear that I don’t like.

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Of course, this is only one opinion…

Now I must add at this point that I am pretty sure I am definitely not who this is aimed at (me and fashion have always happily existed in our own separate worlds!) and I know DJs who I respect who would probably totally “get” this… so I’d like to know what you think.

Watch the video


Check out this video where I share my honest thoughts on designer gear.

In this world of unique NFTs and “authentic” one-off items at high prices, is this the way things are going? Or to get deep for a second, are we in the last throes of capitalism, and will we look back and laugh at how we are today, at some point not so far in the future?

More practically, would you buy this? Do you even understand this? And ultimately, do you agree with it?

For me, when it comes to equipment I’m looking for DJ gear that achieves an aim, rather than that gives a signal to the world about who I am. For me, DJ gear really should not be  a fashion/consumer thing, and more than an artist really shouldn’t care about painting with designer brushes… but of course, and again, that’s just my opinion.

So as I say, do let us know your thoughts in the comments. I’m interested in all sides of our community’s take on this.

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