DENON dj mcx8000 vs PIONEER xdj-rx
February 23, 2016 at 11:34 am #2359661
Hello Phil and everyone !
I’m in the market for a new controller , specifically looking for a ALL IN ONE standalone that can be used w/o my Macbook . I found the Pioneer XDJ-RX and it seemed virtually perfect . (Although I read many reviews and saw it in person, there’s plastic instead of rubber buttons and the knobs are kinda old looking, Only 2 decks and not 4 .. Keep in my mind im coming off a Reloop Beatpad which although small and not a standalone, it was my 1st controller and felt very solid and tight)
But aside from that it’s exactly what I need. Why? Because I always see club DJ’s using Pioneers and I wonder, well If I don’t bring my laptop, how will my cues work , what are all these others buttons aaah!! (cue panic attacks) . So to get my confidence up, I think this would really be the logical piece of gear to buy. I use DJAY PRO now but am totally willing to immerse myself in Rekordbbox software . This way, even though I don’t plan on bringing this gear with me to clubs, once i get in there it’ll be not so scary.
On the other side though, I see the DENON DJ MCX8000 . This controller HAS 4 decks, it HAS rubber pads, and just looks more fancy and intense in general, which I like. Also it has 2 screens vs 1 on the pioneer. Also it’s a bit less money, but price isn’t a factor for me luckily. However, it uses it’s own DENON software called “Engine” which works with Serato (which I’ve never used) . So if I get Serato and map my cues and set everything up etc, when I go into a club which will have a Pioneer no doubt running Rekordbox software, all my mapping that I’ve done will be essentially useless when I plug in my USB into the Pioneer. So from THAT standpoint it’s a major Con. But it looks so gorgeous and the added Decks are a real Positive. Also, I can’t seem to find a solid release date on the DENON…
ANYWAY, can someone please give me a real answer as to which one is the right one for me!!?? Thanks a lot !February 23, 2016 at 4:28 pm #2359751
I have had a similar dilemma for the last few weeks, and have pretty much decided to jump onboard the MCX8000. I’ll explain why, and it may shed some light on your situation.
I have been DJing for over 15 years professionally in clubs/bars. I begun on 1210’s, then moved to CDJ’s (as the promo stuff switched to CD’s) and am now on Serato mainly. You say you want to be prepared for playing in a club, but not all clubs use Rekordbox CDJ’s (a lot I play in still have CDJ 1000 Mk3’s).
When I started, it was nice and simple, as you just turned up with your records/CD’s and you just used whatever was in front of you, however, things have become more tricky over the years due to the multiple systems out there, and with the variety in owners to upgrade their equipment.
I believe a true professional should be able to play on whatever equipment is there, even if what is there is total garbage, and this is why a lot of my friend DJ’s still use CD’s- it doesn’t matter what they have, they work. Personally I always carry an SL2 box and my Mac, which I can hook up to ANY mixer and turntable/CDJ, so maybe you could consider the Denon equivalent of an SL2 with the savings you make if you ever play in bars/clubs.
I have also begin carrying a small cheap Vestax Controller with a selection of connectors/adaptors as a total backup if their equipment is totally shot- preparation and backups are the key to not getting caught short and looking like a fool.
The DJ world doesn’t begin and end with pioneer 🙂February 24, 2016 at 4:38 am #2359891
I agree with Grant, if you really feel the Denon unit has the features you want, then that is the direction you should go. The MCX8000 looks frickin’ sweet too. It might just be the all-in-one that wins me back from my modular setup. But I digress… When you get a booking, one of two things is likely to happen:
– If the venue you want to play at has a modern setup, then you’d be able to connect your laptop to it and keep on using Serato (complete with any cue points you’ve set).
– If the venue you want to play at does not have a modern setup, then you bring in your own controller and just ignore their equipment.February 24, 2016 at 8:32 am #2360141
I, too, was thinking about both of these units recently. In the end I went for the XDJ-RX; just got it last week.
It really is just like playing on Pioneer CDJs and a DJM mixer. The build quality is excellent, and there’s a good array of Pioneer beat and color FX. The screen is decent too – and parallel waveforms are quite the added luxury!
I went for the XDJ-RX because I wanted to get more practice using Pioneer gear – I often DJ on CDJs, and I’m perfectly capable, but I really want to feel a lot more comfortable and confident using them, and also really get my head around the DJM beat FX for interesting transitions. I’m always a little wary to mess around too much when playing out because, well, I hate people who overuse FX 🙂
The places I tend to play all have USB Pioneer decks anyway, so I’m already used to running all my music through Rekordbox.
In terms of a simple “standalone 2 decks and mixer” it’s really great. It’s permanently set up in my living room and just being able to walk in to my apartment, stick my USB drive in and immediately play is really, really nice.
If you decide you want a bit more excitement (extra features on the MCX8000, a 4 channel mixer) and you’re not so fussed about becoming a master on Pioneer gear, then I’d say go for that. It really looks like a great unit at a great price.
I’d echo what Grant says though about backups – I also have a tiny but fun controller I can take with me anywhere (Novation Twitch), plus an Akai AMX (also tiny!) and control vinyl/CDs for Serato. In theory, that covers me for playing just about anywhere… the Twitch, AMX, cabling, laptop and headphones all fit in a small (and surprisingly light) backpack!
Let us know what you decide!February 24, 2016 at 9:49 am #2360181
I would go for the RX, I recently traded in my old 850’s for it and haven’t looked back… Best piece of kit brought out in recent years…February 24, 2016 at 11:49 am #2360201
The world doesn’t begin and end with pioneer haha thanks Grant that’s true ! But they definitely rule the middle between the beginning and the end it seems 😛
Hey Todd! Yea at the end of the day I could just bring my laptop wherever I want and keep using my current DJ PRO software. Or another that I choose. Also, I think maybe 5% of clubs would have room for me to plant my massive Denon All in one system on their table lol. Also, how do you get a picture for your profile here? Im under the profile settings and I see no way to add a photo… Thanks 😀
Thanks a lot for your input Mike. I’m glad you love the Pioneer unit. Seems like I can’t go wrong with either one ! But the only thing about the Denon is that there’s no official release date for it 🙁 And I can go get a XDJ-RX today if I want. They need to drop that unit already !!February 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm #2360331
There are many ways to go about these things. As both units have their own specific features and are, imho, aimed at slightly different groups of DJs, with the MCX8000 standing to take the place of the venerable MC6000 (mk1 and 2) as default workhorse for the mobile DJ. Hope they got the build quality right on it.
What would clench the deal for me, as mobile DJ, is always the multiple mic inputs on separate channels. Not having that on just about any other brand of DJ controller is a true deal breaker for me. Effectively the Denon’s are 6-channel controllers, not 4 with switchable inputs. Add the separate onboard reverb on the mic channels (handy if the best man wants to sing to the happy couple at a wedding) and you are good to go. Finally I like Denon’s persistence in offering additional split cue rather than just cue/master balance.
You say that Engine works with Serato. Now there is a tricky one. I may be completely off-base here, but I think what the advertising says is you can use Engine for standalone use (just you and your memory stick) AND it also supports Serato if you want to bring a laptop and play. In which case I am sure they have made it so the screens display some interesting things otherwise on your laptop Serato screen. It does NOT (again, as I understand) mean that you can import/export from and to Serato from Engine for example. So in that case it would be very dissimilar to RekordBox DJ which does allow you to easily export stuf to your RB memory stick.
I am an avid Mixvibes Cross user. It has full HID support, so when I go to a place that I need to use the CDJs, I bring two USB leads and a small powered hub and just use the players with my laptop as controllers. Mixing clearly takes place on the DJM(usually)900s. It’s sub-optimal but will work.
I will typically have one of those zipped CD-bags with me with some CDs as well, sort of like the ultimate backup. Or when you roll up to that one club that has a full Denon setup (or Gemini, Numark or something non-Pioneer).February 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm #2360361
Thanks for the input Mr. Vintage ! Well if what you say is true about the Serato thing, basically I can bring my laptop and use ANY Dj software at that point ( Like my existing DJAY PRO program ) and never even bother with Serato…February 25, 2016 at 6:34 am #2360711
Good question – I have no idea how I got a picture here. I’ve been hanging around this board for ages now. It’s an old version of my logo though, so it must be from when I originally signed up.February 25, 2016 at 9:20 am #2360861
The new Engine Software CAN directly import all Settings from the Serato library.
So if you set all your cuepoints, loops, crates, smartcrates and analyse the files in Serato it will seamlessly be available in the new Engine software, same goes for iTunes playlists. (At least this is what the Denon sales rep tells us…)
Which IMHO gives you the best of both worlds.
I can DJ with Serato nicely and if my laptop fails (which it never did) I can simply go on with the USB stick I have ready made with Engine.February 25, 2016 at 9:54 pm #2361291
Ok, I have been looking for a copy of the new engine in the wrong places then 🙂February 26, 2016 at 8:05 am #2361331
Well we never know what will materialize, what I am stating is sales rep talk… so the end product may vary from that heheFebruary 27, 2016 at 9:18 am #2361971
Yeah, I read the specs. They are, imho, up for interpretation. It seems like you have to open both Serato and Engine, drag and drop the stuff you want in Engine and then … and here it gets interesting … hit analyse if it doesn’t automatically analyse. What does it analyse then (since it’s a track already Serato-analysed) and does it indeed take all those painstaking beatgrid corrections you put in?
We will indeed see when the product is out there.July 29, 2016 at 7:47 pm #2424581
Now that the MCX 8000 is officially out and been out for awhile, what do people think? I’m torn between the two but love the native Serato support on the Denon. I’ve been using CDJs though for most of my life so that’s attractive too. I have been using Traktor with a mouse and keyboard or my twin American Audio Radius 3000s. I have so many CDs though and it seems like a waste to move completely to digital… I just don’t know!July 30, 2016 at 9:54 am #2424681
Having passed that station years and years ago, going back to CD’s and CDJs as my primary platform will never happen.
It does depend a little on what kind of DJ you are. I am a mobile DJ that plays just about any genre from any era. First just software (PCDJ RED among others) on a laptop with keyboard and mouse I “graduated” and moved to the (then high-tech) Numark D2 Director (see below picture). As you can tell effectively a double CD-deck reminiscent of the old Denon DN-S2600 and such, but with an option to hook up a hard disk and use digital tracks. Simple management software took care of indexing so you could find tracks quicker. Rudimentary in retrospect but it worked.
Then I bought my first real controller, the Denon MC6000. I’ll freely admit that I am a big and long-time Denon fan. It came with Traktor software. At the time Traktor were trying to get their software bundled with many controllers. Pretty soon I had strong love for the controller, but way less for Traktor as I found it very unsuitable for mobile DJ-ing, but especially for my workflow. Since Serato was very closed ecosystem then and could not be used with the MC6000 I moved to Mixvibes Cross. It has most in common with Serato and works fine and I use it to this day. I then sold my MC6000 in anticipation of buying the mk2. Unfortunately Mixvibes was behind the curve on creating a mapping for that one, so I waited. At some point I was able to swap some other gear for a “golden” DDJ-SX. This I have been using for the last couple of years and works just fine. As you’d expect from a higher-end pro-grade piece of equipment.
Since the announcement of the MC8000 I have been waiting to get one and it looks like I’ll be able to order one this week. I have never considered the XDJ-RX in general and after reading Phil’s review and hearing from co-moderator Terry_42 (a more than avid Reloop afficionado who willingly tossed his Terminal Mix 8 aside for the MCX8000) I don’t think the XDJ-RX and MCX8000 can be compared as equals.
So my vote goes to the 8000.
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