View Full Version : Deck decision help
04-03-2012, 02:22 PM
Looking for my first set up.
2 denon 3700s for 1450$?
2 Pioneer 850m for 1600$?
The denons are new and the pioneers are used, just looking to do some bedroom mixing at the moment and maybe some parties nothing huge. But I want to buy a quality set up.
04-05-2012, 05:35 AM
I'm getting some new CD decks in a few weeks and have spent the last 2 months researching similar options (yep I'm thorough! ;)) so I can give you a couple of pointers based on my experience!-
Are you sure that's the 2nd hand price for the 850's? Over here in the UK it's about £1,389 a pair for the Denons (New) and £1,499 a pair for the Pioneers (New). So (over here at least) I wouldn't see cost as being the deciding factor between those 2 decks.
Have you had a chance to have a go on them in a store? In the flesh (so to speak) the Denons really do look amazing, and feature-wise I would say they do have the edge over the 850s. But are these features (most specifically the spinning platter) things that are important to you? What kind of music will you predominantly be playing on them?
The flip side is that the 850s have that classic Pioneer CDJ feel & layout, which to some will be the decision maker on it's own.
On a personal note, I am also very much considering the CDJ-350s. There is a substantial difference in price between the 350 & 850, the majority of which seems to be accounted for in the extra size of the 850, with full-size jog wheel etc.
In terms of features, I was a bit disappointed to find the 850s don't have either the quantised looping of the 900 & 2000- despite having most of the other Rekordbox functionality, or the link feature. (Either would have been fine!) The hot-cues & waveform I could take or leave really, so for me the only thing the 850 has going for it over the 350 is the increased size & bigger platter. (I too would appreciate any input from people who have had a decent amount of experience with either/both of these units!). Yet the 850 is nearly £250 extra- PER DECK than the Pioneer CDJ350.
For me, the jump in features from the CDJ-850 to CDJ-900 is MUCH greater in terms of actual usefulness than that between the CDJ-350 and CDJ-850.
So I'd consider giving the 350 a look- also comes with Rekordbox software, and there are some good deals if you buy as a package with the DJM350. This also gives you some neat features such as direct mixer-to-usb recording in Wav format etc.
That brings me onto my last point- do you have a mixer already? Have you budgeted for this? I am the last person to spend extra money unnecessarily but from past experience I wouldn't blow all your budget on the decks and only end up with a poor quality mixer that either causes you problems or you end up upgrading in a couple of months anyway. As others have said, buy right, buy once.
Anyways, I hope some of that is of use and might get the ball rolling for others to contribute!
(As a side note, if anyone has any opinions on my personal choice of either a pair of CDJ-350 + DJM700 or pair of CDJ-850 + DJM700 then it will be greatly received! :tup:)
04-06-2012, 09:42 AM
never touched any denons but I do have a pair of 850's and they truly are an amazing deck, although that being said, if I had the money again, I would have waited for another month to get the extra cash for the 900s. Also if you find that you get on well with DJing and want to take it further to the point of playing out, you will be a lot more comfortable playing on 1000's etc if you have been practising on the 850's and from personal experience at least over in the UK Iv never seen a pair of dennons in the clubs here.
personally if it was me I would take the 850's over the 350s but only for the reason you have mentioned above of the full size platter, the loop cutter on the 850's isnt amazing and you have to be careful about hitting it at the right time due to the lack of quantize but its a minor detail. Are you buying it all new? if so id be tempted to revisit that idea for your mixer as you can get the djm 800's for a reasonable price now!
04-06-2012, 01:43 PM
I've had the 3700's (and the hs-5500, and 3000's), and now I sold all those and prefer my cdj-400's over every one of those.. I was enticed to Denon by all the gimmicks, and have to say the only Denon I would buy now is the 1200.. The spinning platter causes many issues. Now my buddy has the 850's, and they are fantastic. Def would recommend those.
04-06-2012, 03:24 PM
Yeah I'm definately swaying to the 850s- that bigger platter is oh so nice! I was just really gutted that they couldn't have at least stuck the quantise if nothing else on the 850- it's not like the 900 wouldn't have enough else to justify the product differentiation & extra money.
And yes I'll be buying the lot new- I have a local DJ equipment store who said they'lll cut me a deal if I get the 2 decks & mixer together, and I like the idea of having them just down the road if anything goes wrong etc. I did look at the DJM800 but considering I was originally looking at spending £800 on 2x NDX900s & a Reloop RMX40 Blackfire, my budget has increased enough already, and I really have to draw the line somewhere! :D The main mixer features I'm after is the bmp linked roll sampler, and 4 channels (I'm hoping this will make up for any deficiencies in the 850s looping, and I've seen some wicked stuff achieved with it) and the DJM700 seems to do all absolutely fine.
I'm actually selling one of my cars to fund this (a Honda Integra Type R) but it's also got to pay for this summers' Ibiza trip so the 850's & 700 really are the absolute max I can stretch to! If I could spare another £500 I'd love to get the 900s more than a human being probably should but I just don't think I can do it :(
the 850's are poop. I had em, felt like plastic toys. the platter feels like its grinding gears and the pitch slider feels grainy. the feature set is very limited too for the price you're paying.
I've used 2000's many times and they feel completely different... unfortunately I thought 850's would at least feel similar. sold my 850's after a month of use.
04-07-2012, 02:48 PM
Another option would be to save up another $400 and get yourself into the new Denon S3900. The S3700s are great decks no doubt, but Denon listened to all the feed back and fixed all the shortcomings of the 3700. It is an awesome deck (IMO takes on the CDJ-2000in features, but then so did the S3700) and for not much more than a pair of CDJ-850s.
The only reason to get 850s is if you want the Pioneer look, feel and work flow. I personally hate it...but that's just me.
04-10-2012, 06:07 AM
Not sure where the OP has gone, but personally I think I have narrowed it down to either the Pio 850k or the Denon 3700. I had originally discounted the Denons, but after reading peoples' comments I went and had another good butchers at a pair and I have to say they are growing on me greatly!...
I can't stretch to the 3900s, if I could I would definately find the few extra quid for the CDJ900s :spin:
If anybody here has had much experience with the 3700s (Highline?) how does the looping and hot-cues compare to the 850? Does the Denon music manager software have any effect on the accuracy of the looping with analysed tracks? I don't mind manual loop adjust, but Pio's 'Quantised' looping just seems such a simple thing to implement in this day and age it would be neat to have something similar.
As for the layout & feel I am more than happy with either the Denon or the Pioneer, so the way the looping/hotcues work (& possibly also the display) is likely to be the deciding factor for me.
04-10-2012, 05:10 PM
You can set quantized loops up in rekordbox and then export them to usb which you can then call up on the 850's but for me I don't use loops enogh and don't have the time or enough effort to go and pre make the loops
04-10-2012, 06:27 PM
I've played both... Personally I love anything that comes out of pioneers hands. They are like the Apple of the DJ scene. Everything they make is pricey for what you get, but it 'just works' and never does anything you dont expect it to. Honestly the denon buttons feel a little cheap. I didnt mess around on them long as i wasnt too thrilled by them. The spinning platter was the only part that i liked.
04-10-2012, 11:33 PM
Well here is where you will have to decide, and this could be the deciding factor for you. Which is more important quantized looping or hot cues. The CDJ-850 has quantized looping and I don't think the S3700 does, however the S3700 has 3 hot cues and the CDJ-850 doesn't have any.
04-11-2012, 05:05 AM
Regarding the Pioneer being like Apple comment- I hate Apple and everything they stand for!! I now have no Iphone/Ipod/Ipad/Itunes/Mac or anything... This similarity was part of the reason I was originally against handing over a chunk of money to Pioneer... (See post nineties Mercedez Benz as an example of perceived brand equity meaning they can charge twice the price of others, whilst gradually offering increasingly below-par products!) I'm certainly not tarring Pioneer with this brush, just making the cautionary point! But anyway-
The CDJ-850 has quantized looping and I don't think the S3700 does
I was under the impression the 850 didn't have quantized looping?- this was my main issue with it! Or are you refering to the Rekordbox prepared loops? I can't see this being something I would use- part of the reason I am going back to a CDJ setup is so I can remove the computer from my living room setup- preparing loops on a pc in another room and then exporting via usb means i'd just end up using the standard looping anyway...
The 3700 says it has 'bpm assisted' looping but I assume this just refers to automatically catching 4/8/16 etc bars.
Thanks for the comments/advise anyway, I've got until the end of the month to come to a decision. Might just pick one of them out of a hat!:spin:
04-23-2012, 12:33 AM
Between the two deals, the 850s. Get a NUO 2.0 or another good/inexpensive 2 channel mixer and you're golden. Just practice with those non-quantized loops so when you get on 900s/2000s you're golden.
04-23-2012, 05:44 AM
Cheers for the input guys, it's good to hear the experiences with the 3700s. I've since had a hands-on look at both the 850s and (rather annoyingly) the 900s and to me the difference was like night & day. I'm now going to see what deal they will cut me on a pair of 900s + mixer for my (now somewhat increased) budget- online I can get 2 x CDJ900 & a DJM700 with memory sticks etc for around £2,600.
I've still got a half-decent TT to hook up so I'm happy to have the traditional cdj feel rather than the spinning platter of the 3700s. But if I talked myself out of getting the 900s I would definately take the 3700s over the 850s. For me the 850s just sacrifice too much, and when compared to the features of the 3700 (and at less coin) its no contest.
Thanks again for the contributions, I've got a couple more weeks to wait but at least I know i'll have made an informed decision! :tup:
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