Your Questions: Pioneer CDJ-850 Or XDJ-1000?

Phil Morse | Founder & Tutor
Read time: 2 mins
Last updated 5 April, 2018

Pioneer CDJ-850 or XDJ-1000? That’s the purchase dilemma our reader is facing today. We help him out with a short video talkthrough of the differences.

Digital DJ Tips member Mark writes: “I have been saving up to buy a pair of Pioneer CDJ-850s, as I want to learn on club-style gear rather than a DJ controller. But now the XDJ-1000 has come out and I’m not sure which way to go. It’s only a bit more than the CDJ-850, but it has a huge touchscreen and while I want to learn on gear that resembnles that in your average club, I am also very interested in software DJing too. What would you advise?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Good question! So good, in fact, that I made a little video with my thoughts – see the end of this piece. But in brief, they’re both good for learning the feel of club gear, as they resemble the more expensive club players. Of course the XDJ-1000, while having that nice touchscreen and DJ software compatibility, drops the CD slot, so if you have any interest at all in CD DJing (or think you may be playing in venues with really simple CDJs) the CDJ-850 might still be best for you, Mark. Also, a lot of the function of the XDJ-1000 are on the touchscreen. If you’re not happy with using a touchscreen for cues, loops etc, you may want to think twice.

OK, that’s the bad out of the way. The good is that I’d go for the XDJ-1000 every time! It is a massive leap from the CDJ-850, and indeed, feels very similar to “software” DJing. you can use it with Rekordbox (Pioneer’s track prep DJ software) with USB or laptop, and the players network together so no need to worry about more than one connection to either. With Serato and (very soon) Traktor, there’s full HID. That means plug and play, with full screen feedback, library, cue, quantise, looping etc. etc. It turns a pair of these into basically a very big, very club-ready software DJ controller.

The only thing I would say, especially if it’s Pioneer’s Rekordbox and the associated workflow that you want to get used to, is that the new Pioneer XDJ-RX looks very nice indeed. It’s a DJ controller, it’s an all-in-one, but it is Rekordbox through-and-through, and a far cheaper purchase than a pair of XDJ-1000s (of course, you’ll need to budget for a mixer to go with them, too, which ups the price even more).

Anyway, here’s a video below with a bit of a closer comparison. Good luck, Mark!

Video talkthrough

Are you considering such a purchase? Do you already have one or the other? Have you faced this or a similar dilemma? Please feel free to share and add to my advice below.

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