Are CDJ's overrated and overpriced
February 24, 2016 at 11:46 pm #2360551
Is it me or are the flagship models a tad overrated and priced, I used to own both the CDJ 800s and 850’s and my new XDJ RX blows them both out of the water. From what I’ve seen of the CDJ 2000 NXS, there’s nothing they can do that the RX or the XDJ 1000 can’t… One CDJ 2000 Nexus costs more than the RX and about the same as a pair XDJ 1000’s… As much as they are nice, for the price of a full Nexus set up, you can get the RX maybe even another as a spare along with high quality active speakers such as the RCF ART Series, and a decent lighting rig…February 25, 2016 at 6:27 am #2360701Todd OddityParticipant
Overpriced – absolutely. I refuse to play along with the Pioneer tax game, and have no problem smacking down anyone who blindly goes on about “the quality”.
Overrated – that’s more of a debate. Others will pipe in here quickly calling CDJs outdated and whatnot. I view them a little differently – I think they are lovely control units to play on. Nice big weight adjustable jogs, clear displays, good selection of buttons that I can map out as I need them with my software, and on the newest incarnation we’re even getting closer to them having “pads”. I like playing on them. They feel nice. So in that regard I can’t really say they are overrated.
However I would never even consider buying a pair* because of the price of the stupid things. WAAAAY too much money to spend on what I use as a controller. Can’t really recommend them to anyone else either. For significantly less money you can get similar features elsewhere.
That’s my input. Now bring on the haters. lol
* Okay I considered it once, but came to my senses.February 25, 2016 at 7:36 am #2360801DJ VintageModerator
I’ll stay away from the quality issue … but talk to a techie from a rental company if you ever have the chance.
The DDJ-something Z controllers have exactly the same jogs as the 2000s where the something X ones have the jogs of the 900s. So no reason to go CDJ there. And a single DDJ-(R/S)Z still costs less than a single 2000.
If you use 2000s only as HID controller for your DJ software, imho you are tossing away the best of both. You don’t get all the features from your software (not enough buttons, faders, knobs) and you don’t get all the features from the 2000 as it is basically a very flat controller (nice, but useless display for example – just duplicating info you already have on your screen).
They made their name when they were CD-driven, switched to RekordBox (in the beginning worse than Denon’s Engine software) to allow people to show up with USB-sticks, answered to the call for more info on the screen if people came with relatively large collections on sticks (a CD is one folder with about 20 tracks max, not much needed there but a track number) and added some stuff stolen from controller DJ’s like sync (really, on a CDJ? Yes!) and made it so two players could talk to each other and share the same single stick. When more and more DJs walked in with DJ software it was possible to control it with HID integration or mappings. But at the end of the day, the CDJ, short of some minor additions has not changed a single bit since the first one.
Where an all-in-one shines is the mixer bit (not better but full USB support for every knob and fader), performance pads, FX (rmx500/1000 anyone?) and total integration with your DJ software. This leads to being able to do – at least – the same with an all-in-one controller that you can do with a DJM/CDJ setup. Cheaper, smaller, more portable and easier because no extra cables to hook all the modules up together.
In light of all that I’d have to agree with the statement that they are overpriced and overrated.
I don’t hate Pioneer. I love my DDJ-SX (although a new Denon is on the horizon LOL). I enjoy the occasional spin on CDJs, for sentimental reasons, just like I enjoy a spin on vinyl every two years or so for about an hour. It’s fun, it reminds me of days (long) past and then it’s back to all the creative freedom my controller and DJ software offer me and the knowledge that this IS the future.February 25, 2016 at 9:13 am #2360851
The simple answer: Yes.February 25, 2016 at 9:36 am #2360891Todd OddityParticipant
“just duplicating info you already have on your screen”
You just described the way every new controller with screens works too. lol
As a technical correction, the jogs on Pioneer controllers are not the same as the jogs on the CDJ lines. The mechanical vs. touch difference is quite noticeable (not a pro or a con towards either one – just that they aren’t the same).
I certainly don’t want to come off as defending Pioneer. Unlike Vintage, I openly admit I do hate them. I would never spend that kind of money. I’d never suggest anyone else spend that kind of money. But… BUT… If some club does go blow their cash on a set, I’m happy to show up with my laptop and a pair of Neons and blow the roof off the dump (and still have access to everything I could want to use). For transport & jog functions, they feel nice and they work*. Then again, like Vintage said, that goes for playing on wax too. I’d probably feel quite different if I was being forced to use either on a regular basis. As an old fart, there is definitely a little nostalgia at play. **
* Someone there must agree too as last I looked you still give them a 5 star rating in your annual controller guide.
** What’s with all the footnotes in my posts today?! Add some citations and I’ll be having university flashbacks…February 25, 2016 at 9:37 am #2360901
Indeed Todd, screens in controllers are also overrated…February 25, 2016 at 9:33 pm #2361241
For the money they charge for a full nexus set up which to me doesn’t go far enough in terms of features, they could add something along the lines of scaled down version of rekordbox DJ on each of their players, slightly larger screens, and their own operating system where you can install music apps, or even create their own spotify where DJ’s who dont like to use either cd’s or usb can DJ on the fly for a small fee a month…February 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm #2361251DJ VintageModerator
Actually the jogs on the CDJ2000 transfer the motion through a serious of cogs and sprockets. It’s technically speaking not the best possible option. The Denon SC2900 for example has direct axle control, i.e. the platter is physically connected to the bit that translates the movement. I have seen both systems open and must say the Denon looked sturdier.
Having worked with both I have to admit I preferred the SC2900 jogs.
As we can’t stress enough, at the end of the day it is all about what works for you.
One point I’d like to make is that you stated “and a pair of neons”, confirming what I meant earlier, that a CDJ/DJM set on it’s own is not gonna cut it.February 25, 2016 at 9:48 pm #2361261
That is why Pioneer need to up their game, the Iphone 6 has a similar screen size to the Pioneer CDJ 2000 NXS, so there’s nothing really stopping pioneer creating their own operating system for these players and taking them to the next level or do it when they release the XDJ 2000…February 26, 2016 at 8:03 am #2361321
That will never happen. Pioneer is well aware that CDJs are a dying breed.
They do only as much as the must do, to milk the cow until it is dead.
Their main focus is on making new controllers and Rekordbox DJ better to keep up with the industry or again surpass it in this area, to be fit for the future of DJ booths.February 26, 2016 at 10:54 am #2361421Phil MorseKeymaster
Nice question, will republish this with my thoughts on the main site to get some more feedback…February 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm #2361881
As much as i like my RX which is a great step up from the grim reaper CDJ 850’s lol, i still think they could of added the ability to install rekordbox on to it, along with a touchscreen keyboard and the ability to install apps such as spotify etc:
I do think it’s a great idea the whole rekordbox thing, but it can be time consuming burning to USB, but with rekordbox installed on the unit, it would save valuable time.
The thing I would like the most is a scaled down version of rekordbox DJ installed on to it with a pioneer’s equivalent of DJay & Spotify integration and the ability to download tracks directly on to the unit like you would do a phone or a computer…
I really do believe that in this day and age all the professional DJ gear need to do this sort of thing…
CDJ’s are 2001 technology, there like they Windows XP of the DJ world… lolFebruary 27, 2016 at 1:04 am #2361931Ronnie EmJayParticipant
If I were Pioneer I would give RekordBox free with all high end (expensive) CDJ and DJM hardware.
As for the cost, yeah they are expensive.. I bought a CDJ2000 before moving to digital DJing … to take CDJ and DJM gear around to parties (and I’ve done that) is not a fun experience.. it’s so big! Compared to just a laptop and Allen & Heath K2… especially when flying to a gig.. it just doesn’t compare.
A friend swears by Nexus gear and hates sync – always telling me to get rid of Traktor and use CDJs (yeah right, I can’t afford that!) but can’t say too much as I started out with original vinyl and Technics 1210s and he started with CDJs…
Though I do like using them as control surfaces when connecting up in a club, but I haven’t paid for them, the club has!
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