View Full Version : CD player upgrade advice...

03-06-2012, 11:13 AM
Firstly hello!

Bit of background info- I've been DJing on and off for about 10years. When I started out at school my budget was pretty much zero, so I learnt to mix on a used pair of Synergy CDJ2000's (anyone remember these?!) which have little more than a pitch control and a play/pause- and a second-hand 4 channel studio-type mixer with line EQs, the learning curve was steep but has been beneficial in the long term. I subsequently added a Gemini SA600 Mk2 DD turntable for spinning vinyls and thats pretty much how the setup stayed.

Due to several house moves and other circumstances I went a couple of years without being able to play much, but about a year ago I picked up a Behringer BCD3000 controller to have a play with and it's all come flooding back...

I love the Behringer controller (even if its a bit out of date now) but I'm now longing to get back to a CDJ, Turntable & mixer setup- and now have the space to do so.

Obviously, my Synergy CDJ2000s (never has a name association been so inappropriate!) were out of date when I brought them 10 years ago, and despite still just about working they have long since earned their retirement. Regarding CD decks I have had a play on a few of the current offerings but sadly as a result I'm now quite picky on my requirements:

-I LOVE the bigger 'full-size' units with a big jogwheel. Period. It may sound odd but I'm just not a fan of the smaller units.

-Has to be CD & USB compatible. (Midi not quite so important but I've seen it on some in my price range)

-I want one that feels 'solid' to use. Im not an aggressive DJ but 'feel' is important, hence the desire to return to a full deck setup rather than controller.

As for price, I know my insistance on the bigger units means I'm looking toward the higher end of the price range, but equally these will only be getting used for probably 2 or so good sessions a week (we always host a bit of a weekend gathering round ours) and won't be leaving the house so I don't want to spend a fortune. (Plus I don't have a fortune)

I have been extremely impressed with the Numark NDX800's /900's. In fact the 800 is what I am leaning toward. I've also tried a Pioneer CDJ1000Mk3 and an 850 (can't remember which one). These were excellent, but I didn't get the feeling there was enough 'extra excellence' (as it were) to reflect the vast increase in price over a pair of NDX800s...

So given my circumstances, what would people suggest? I don't want to go for the Pioneers JUST to have Pioneers- like I said the NDX800s felt brilliant to use, but am I missing anything?

As an aside, ill be getting a half-decent 3/4 channel mixer at some point too, with a view to getting some second-hand 1200s/1210s in the future (wanted a pair since I was a kid) so the CDjs won't be my sole equipment. (I play mostly hardhouse / hard trance / hardcore / house / techno if that is relevant)

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and appologies for the long post. (Pics of the stone-age Synergy CDJ2000s will be coming soon to make up for it!)

Thanks :)

03-06-2012, 11:24 AM
You're right, the price increase for Pioneers does not warrant paying extra for their features... but they are the industry standard for a reason. What you're paying for is reliability, you can count on Pioneers to not cut out on you during a set and always be able to read your CDs (...unless you're extremely unlucky!)

Name any other brand of CDJ-style CD player and you can pretty much guarantee there was a horror story about them not delivering in the middle of a set on the old DJForums :P

Having said that, I have a pair of budget KAM CD players for until I get a job and can afford some pioneers. They're actually excellent for the price, I much prefer the pitch fader on them to the pitch fader on CDJ 1000s and 2000s... but I'd never gig with them. Sometimes they'll just decide not to work for no reason :(

03-06-2012, 05:14 PM
I think that's the problem- money no object I'd definately take a Pio CDJ900 or 2000 but there is no way I could justify it otherwise. The 850 or the 1000 I'm not sure I see as offering me enough (piece of mind aside) over the NDX800/900 to warrant the vast increase in price, and the smaller Pioneers I'm just not really a fan of as with most other smaller decks. I definately get the reliability thing, but then my cheap old Synergy CDJs I brought used 10 years ago and they still work- and they have an exposed top laser! Decisions decisions...