With the DDJ-REV5, Pioneer DJ has filled a perhaps slightly surprising gap in its range, for a $1000-ish pro Serato controller. Above it, sits the more pricey DDJ-REV7, though, and so potential buyers of either unit will want to give at least cursory thought to which one of these is the best for their needs. In this article and accompanying video, I’ll outline the main differences for you.
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On the surface, these two controllers look quite similar, but their differences add up. Not sure which Serato controller is best for you? In our quick comparison video, I talk you through the main things to consider before making a decision.
REV5 vs REV7: Main Differences
- The REV5 has CDJ-style jogwheels, the REV7 has motorised, turntable-like platters – By far the biggest difference. It has to be said, the platters on the REV5 do seem a little odd, especially with the pitch slider still horizontal at the top of the unit
- The REV5 is lighter, lower profile and a little cheaper feeling – It is a little less substantial than the REV7, and feels a bit more plasticky. That said, it is actually practically the same size, and the build is still pro enough, but side-by-side you do notice this
- The REV5 doesn’t have external mixer inputs or non-software FX – So, no plugging in a pair of turntables or CDJs, like you can on the REV7, which seems a bit stingy for a four-figure DJ controller. That of course means it ditches all the hardware FX of the REV7, too
- The REV5 lets you control four software decks, the REV7, only two – That’s because the REV5 has “layers” whereas the REV7 is a strictly two-deck unit
- The REV5 is a Rekordbox controller as well as Serato, the REV7 is just Serato – Worth knowing if you are not sure which software is right for you or if you use both, although it is still primarily a Serato controller
- The REV5 has a completely new feature, Auto BPM Transition – Pioneer DJ loves to add a new feature on any new unit that you can’t get on any other, and this time, it is “Auto BPM Transition”, a tool for beatmixing between different BPMs automatically (there’s also a new “Piano Play” Serato pad feature)
- The REV5 replaces the Instant Scratch buttons with Stems control – The REV7 has some extra buttons for scratch DJs to load and manipulate scratch samples, and while the physical buttons are still there on the REV5, they’ve been replaced with easier ways to control stems
- The REV5 has a slightly different control set, because of its fixed platters – So, no “silent cue” button, and the return of the temporary cue button too, when compared to the REV7, plus “brake time” on the REV7 is now “jog feel adjust” on the REV5
- The REV5 has smaller FX paddles and pads – the mixer section is slightly more squashed than on the REV7, meaning these controls are a little shrunken in comparison
- The REV5 loses some of the fader adjust physical controls – While these are no longer present like on the REV7 physically, you can still adjust these things in your software
- The REV5 is USB-C for both the dual computer inputs and the power – The REV7 has the old-style power brick/plug and USB-B computer sockets
So which Serato controller is best – The REV5 or the REV7?
The REV7 is a slightly more professional unit as far as features go, mainly because it has the external mixer capability that’s been dropped from the REV5. However, it is also more specialised – not everyone wants or will take to motorised platters.
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The divide is probably going to be between open format DJs and scratch DJs. Scratch DJs will probably prefer the REV7 for the more purist vinyl feel, open format DJs may well be happier with the four-deck capabilities and CDJ-style jogs of the REV5. Both have myriad performance features for highly technical DJ sets.