Home Forums Digital DJ Gear CDJ 850 vs 900

This topic contains 13 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Terry_42 5 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #2025443

    Mitch Hambling
    Participant

    So I am switching from using the s2 to some CDJ’s. Ive already bought a DJM 400, and now I am trying to decide between the CDJ 850’s and 900’s. While the 850’s are cheaper, I plan on keeping/using these for awhile so I was thinking I mine as well just go with the 900’s since they are a little nicer. I’ve done quite a bit of research, but if I could get some insight on what people think that would be awesome.

    #2025452

    Lamid45G
    Participant

    CD 850:

    – No quantize
    – No LINK, it means you need you need 2 FD USB since these units dont have the LINK feature,
    – NO HID Traktor support,
    – Waveform display uglier,

    If you think you can live without those features, go for it imo, since it is cheaper than the 900’s

    #2025499

    DJ Vintage
    Moderator

    You are already letting go of a lot of functionality the S2 offers, not sure you want to let go of even more by getting 850s instead of 900s.

    What is your plan? To use your CDJs as controllers for your software? In that case I would very seriously suggest the 900s. HID makes life a whole lot easier.

    Greetinx.

    #2025504

    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Yeah the 900s are a serious downgrade to the S2 and the 850s are a HUGE serious downgrade…. so … you need to chose.

    #2025635

    Lamid45G
    Participant

    He prolly going to spend more dolla on those CDJ’s compared to his S2

    #2025662

    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    More cash spend does not equal better features, nor better quality.

    #2025871

    Mitch Hambling
    Participant

    Imo, I like mixing with CDJ’s more than controllers. While controllers may allow more creativity/freedom, I just prefer mixing on CDJ’s over an s2 or s4.

    #2025874

    DJ Vintage
    Moderator

    With what you spend on 2 used (and probably battered – these were never bedroom units because of their price, so most likely ridden hard in clubs) 850s or 900s and a used DJM400, I am guessing you can buy a DDJ-SZ. You will have Pioneer gear and the look and feel (bar the display and the USB/CD option) of CDJ2000 Nexus and a DJM900 mixer.

    So, in your case a bit of best of both worlds, imho.

    Just a thought.

    You have to do what feels right to you of course. I guess our message here is (and being the DIGITAL DJ Tips forum we are naturally prejudiced) that going the CDJ/analogue mixer route now is a big step back in creative control at a rather large expense. It’s a bit like learning to work with a computer and then deciding you like calculators better. Not quite setting yourself up for the future. Yes, clubs and venues still have CDJs, but more and more very respectable venues are starting to welcome controller DJs. And I am guessing that in the not the faraway future many club owners will opt to not replace their very expensive Pioneer gear only to have people come in and stick their controllers on top. Easier to provide a stable workplace, power, hook-up to the house PA and a booth monitor.

    Good luck with your decision.

    Greetinx.

    #2025914

    Mitch Hambling
    Participant

    Thanks for your view on that, I actually was looking into the DDJ-SZ and still am.

    #2025945

    DJ Vintage
    Moderator

    Sure, we like for you to have the best advice WE can give you. Then it’s up to you. And it’s still a lot of money to spend on gear, so it pays (no pun intended) to have thought it through thoroughly.

    Greetinx.

    #2025990

    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Well I still know someone who prefers this:

    http://retrothing.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/curta.jpg
    Curta
    over a calculator and this is really expensive… so whatever floats your boat of course.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  Terry_42.
    #2026278

    DJ Vintage
    Moderator

    Obviously the innards of a DDJ-SZ are vastly different to a Nexus setup. There need not be a disc mechanism, since it does not need to play discs. It doesn’t have to have all kinds of intelligence built-in to power a display, read USB, remember hot loop info or anything. In the SZ this is all delegated to the computer obviously. There need not be a soundcard for all three devices, since one suffices (even if they built-in two). The effects enginge in the mixer can be different, since everything that is in a DJM-900 can be had from DJ software. So they created something that gives you some extra creative power over standard “fixed” effects by giving you oscillator effects.

    The mechanics are exactly the same, buttons, knobs, platter (not only size, but inner workings too), all come from the 2000nxs. The mixer layout is close to identical. If you have an SZ, you will, without any kind of problem, be able to crossover to the nexus setup.

    Granted that they have had some serious issues. But knowing how good a company Pioneer is, I think the Pioneer fans will have no doubt it will be fixed. Probably new units will already be fixed.

    And yes, if you are thinking you are getting a nexus setup when buying an SZ, you ARE mistaken. But if you want to get as close to a nexus workflow and physical use experience (without being able to play disc or usb and having to do everything with a limited display and one-knob control over your collection), the SZ does exactly that.

    By the same token, if you get the SZ and use it with DJ software you get some bonusses that the nexus series won’t give you, namely all the stuff the DJ software offers you, way easier control over collection, playlists and such. And a nice big screen, keyboard for easier searches. Downloadable FX pack(s) with serato for example. Recording facilities. Sample players. And the list goes on.

    A fair trade-in for not being able to play CDs (who does anymore) and USB (great for clubs, but nothing else but a slighlty more intelligent holdall for music than a CD).

    All just my opinion of course, but I am sure you will agree with me that getting two old, battered and abused CDJ-850s with a DJM400 mixer are a long way from experiencing a 2000/900 nexus setup too.

    Taking into account the money issues, where a used 850/400 setup will cost about the same as a SZ, whereas a full nexus setup will set you back 2,5 times that (a single 2000 nexus will cost almost the same as the SZ and you’ll need two and still buy the mixer), it becomes a different comparison.

    So, can you fully compare DDJ-SZ to a Nexus setup more than 2 1/2 times the price? Of course not. Can you get VERY close to experiencing the feeling of having a Nexus workflow on a DDJ-SZ? I think so. Add the benefits of it being a controller so all the features of your DJ software are available and I’d still say it beats getting an 850/400 setup.

    Just my few pennies, as always: what matters most is that it works for YOU.

    Greetinx.

    #2026333

    DJ Vintage
    Moderator

    Well, if you have ever seen the innards of a CDJ2000 Nexus, you will see that it’s jogwheel is not all that spectacular. From a cost perspective it would probably have been more expensive to design a new jogwheel than it is to just take stuff you already have in production. Cheaper on the sparepart side of things too. What could be (and probably is) different is the way the jogwheel connects to whatever electronics that tranfer the movement to midi signals.

    #2026469

    Terry_42
    Keymaster

    Some posts have been removed for bad language and ranting, plus hear say.

    I have had my hands on the DDJ-SZ and I have played countless gigs on a full Nexus setup.
    They are the same quality wise. As Vintage said open up the DJM 900 or the 2k CDJs and the build quality is not that shiny either. Nexus CDJs took 5 firmware patches just to get them to operate OKish. The SZ with the newest patch actually does quite fine if you do not backspin like a maniac and set the jogs to zero break.

    Topic is closed.

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