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Thread: All pioneer Digital DJM Mixers (DJM 850 +) have a terrible analog sound

  1. #1
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    All pioneer Digital DJM Mixers (DJM 850 +) have a terrible analog sound

    This might comes as a shock to most including (FANBOYS) but every pioneer digital mixer out there has a serious SOUND QUALITY issues when it comes from an analog source such as Vinyl. Don't be fool by the youtube video for promotion etc, most are paid.

    Obviously, I'm not throwing this just like that without strong evidence.* This is the result after months and months of research in the pioneer mixers league and I've tried pretty much all of them. DJM-850, DJM-250MK2 DJM-S9 DJM-900NX2, if it's digital... you name it.

    While I know most would be clueless when it comes to sound quality, but the vinyl collectors would surely notice this degrade on the spot.

    To explain what I think the issue with these mixers is... the input for Phono are analog source, they then get the signal processed via a digital converter which will convert it again to analog output after messing the sound. It seems the Mid-Range of the signal will go nut.

    The evidence below will demonstrate clearly that this issue has been reported to Pioneer DJ and they agreed regarding this fact (excluding this board moderator that act like a dictator and will always try to intimidate you and block you and your posts if you say the truth about the sound quality of their mixers).



    This is the response I received from PIONEER DJ when I reported this issue on the EXPENSIVE PIONEER DJM-S9...*

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hello XXXXXXXX,

    Sorry for the very late reply because the Japan office was closed for consecutive national holidays.

    Actually, DJM-S9 engineers already listened to the recording you kindly attached and they answered below.*

    The audio outputted from DJM-S9 is as expected. It is not caused by faulty hardware. However, each product has different audio features.*
    DJM-S9 was originally developed for scratch DJs using dvs instead of real vinyl.
    This may be why the audio from phono is not as sharp as from the digital output. **

    Sorry that the vinyl audio quality does not meet your expectations and thank you very much for your kind understanding.*

    Best regards,
    CRM, Pioneer DJ

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------



    Shocking... a £1600 + mixer with phono input but somehow not designed for Phono playback... beyond shocking.

    So now when experienced reviewers like MOJAXX tell you the sound is perfect... you can simply respond... you're paid to say so.

    Please check some of the countless evidence blow and if you have time to read the exchange with the forum moderators you'll have a lot of fun!!!!



    Enjoy!!!!!





    Evidence:

    https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-u...Horrible-Sound

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZFUk5AwlxE

    https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-u...-Phono-Preamps

    https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-u...y-really-poor-

    https://forums.pioneerdj.com/hc/en-u...y-really-poor-

    https://www.reddit.com/r/DJs/comment...rity_decrease/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XZccfOleuM

  2. #2
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
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    Welcome to DJF, FUNKist.

    Listening to the video with headphones, the sound quality hit is obvious. It looks like Pioneer DJ skimped on the phono preamps. Luckily for DJs, they can use an outboard preamp to overcome this. Yes, that's a surprise but there is a workaround.

    This reminds me when controller manufacturers skimped on the embedded DAC. DJs complained back then too. The workaround was to use a higher quality DAC external to the controller.

    While I agree that it's disappointing, the workaround will address all that really care. In the meantime, most will be ignorant and just carry on.

    EDIT: The second video in the listing above is what I was referring to. I linked to it in this post for clarification.
    Last edited by KLH; 05-13-2019 at 07:54 AM. Reason: Added video link
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  3. #3
    Supermod pea Manu's Avatar
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    Nothing new, people already mentioned that with the DJM 800/600 back in the day... Duff analogue, harsh digital sounding like they slapped a limiter on top to make the mixer sound louder.

    Something a little more shocking, if you have any problem with any pioneer gear and try to contact them:

    They will tell you to send your unit to a certified pioneer engineer of their choice. At your expense. They had a metric ton of problems regarding some CDJs and laser lens assemblies that would fail. A lot of customers were simply brushed away from the pioneer forums, some were even banned for repeatedly complaining about faulty products.

    Reddit thread:

    Shortly after the creation of that thread, a lengthy discussion occurred with the thread being removed by Pioneer as the end result.
    I rest my case.

    Even the pioneer guy who had an account here back in the day, whenever there was someone pointing at an issue, his one and only advice was to send the unit to them. No other advice given, ever.

    In the video, it does sound like they've put a limiter somewhere in the phono sound chain.


    Pioneer these days just loves to throw DAC conversion figures. Pretty numbers so people buy without actually listening what it sounds like. At the end of the day, if you're going to play analogue records, don't buy a pioneer. Being advertised as a premium product, but certainly does not provide premium sound quality. Much better mixers from other brands out there. Rane, Rodec, A&H, Formula Sound etc.
    Last edited by Manu; 05-11-2019 at 10:56 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLH View Post
    Listening to the video with headphones, the sound quality hit is obvious.
    From what I was hearing, the guy was comparing playing an old record through a budget DJ setup and the same song on MP3.

    He was surprised that it sounded a bit more muffled on vinyl.

    IMHO, only in very certain circumstances will vinyl sound clearer than digital.
    The kind of circumstances that involve 5 figures of hifi equipment.
    Saying cheap Pio gear that probably uses bargain basement parts is not getting the most out of vinyl, is hardly news.
    But for 99.999% of listeners out there who are not listening on very high level hifi, it is an issue hardly limited to Pioneer.

    I haven't even started to talk about how the quality or age of the record comes in to play in all of this.

    I have 1000s of records and have worked in the industry, and even I am quite happy to say that vinyl is not great for listening to music clearly.
    bored, curious, deaf or just bad taste in music?
    finally a mix by me
    and what's this, another shoddy mix...another dull mix

  5. #5
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    +1 PETE

    After being a vinyl DJ for many years and a sound engineer for raves that stuck to vinyl way after it's shelf life... I'm not a fan of vinyl at all. What people prefer about it are it's imperfections not it's perfections. But, that's another subject.

    The first video is completely void, hes comparing an mp3 to his turntable, he needs to run the exact vinyl and stylus combo through a different phono pre to his monitors. The last video shows us less. When PIONEER advertise "BETTER SOUND" you don't need experimentation, that's a clear show that other models have poor sound. A mixer should be NEUTRAL, there is no better.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a Pioneer fan

  6. #6
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    Yup. Sucks that they became the industry standard. Allen Heath is way more deserving IMO. Pioneer became the standard based out of convenience, not quality. They had their fingers in all the pies, so it was much easier for clubs and venues to package purchase CDJs and a DJM. More and more clubs had them and then more and more DJs requested them in riders and here we are.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchiemasha View Post
    +1 PETE

    After being a vinyl DJ for many years and a sound engineer for raves that stuck to vinyl way after it's shelf life... I'm not a fan of vinyl at all. What people prefer about it are it's imperfections not it's perfections. But, that's another subject.
    If you are a sound engineer then you should know that many pieces of analog gear, including mixers are used solely on how they color sound. Which also explains why people prefer vinyl, because it's the only true commercial analog music source and it's warmer to the ears than digital. When discussing an analog signal versus a digital one, the digital will have more imperfections, based on conversion alone. That can be made up in the flexibility to edit digital signals, but the analog signal is a truer representation to the source material.

    It's true that raves are far from the best place to hear the difference as the venues, ambient noise, vibrations and sound systems are not conducive to that, but in a controlled or more conducive environment there is no comparing quality analog sources to digital.

    And sure, an unclean or worn piece of vinyl is going to sound like crap. Just like a corrupted digital file or low res MP3 will.
    Last edited by Dubflakes; 05-15-2019 at 09:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Warmer is a word vinyl enthusiasts use to describe it's imperfections and it's inability to be anywhere near accurate. No 2 vinyls are the same. No 2 vinyl listens are ever the same. Didn't really what to have the DvA debate, I don't need to. But watch these videos.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFxiLeQmb5k
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghv3NIjmbj8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIQ9IXSUzuM


    Quote Originally Posted by Dubflakes View Post
    many pieces of analog gear, including mixers are used solely on how they color sound.
    Yes, 100% totally. Unfortunately though, nearly all modern recordings are pushed way beyond any reasonable limits to allow the extra saturation from driving such equipment. Which vinyl isn't, why they are still essential for those. A true modern digital mixer should aim to be as neutral as possible.

  9. #9
    I'm not gonna champion Pioneer mixers for their sound quality, particularly their phono preamp. I'd def shop around if my primary purpose was to play analog.

    But on the other hand, people have complained about them bitterly for years, and I think it's become a bit of a thing that people like to complain about much much more than being an actual problem.

    I have a DJM-800.. this is an old model, they now have models like the 900nxs2 which are reportedly a lot better sounding. So, do I love the sound of it? No. Does the mixer hold the sound of my system back? No, not really.. it's far from the weakest link. My speakers are the weakest link, I'd have to spend a lot more on my processing amps and speakers before changing the mixer would make very much difference.

    I hear people playing on top end systems through Pioneer mixers and it sounds just great, so I know the mixer isn't really what's holding me back.
    I have an Allen & Heath mixer, also an Ecler which I prefer the sound of compared to the DJM but I stopped trying to convince DJs to play on them when I bring my system out, I only bring out the Pioneer, because people are used to the Pioneer and like it, it's a losing battle. And I've come to the conclusion that the sound differences everyone makes such huge complaints about are in reality very small unless you are playing strictly through studio monitors or through a high-end, well tuned system in an acoustically treated room. On my system, which is not a bad system at all, the Pioneer is ok. And it's not a bad system, I get many compliments on my sound quality and have a reputation as provider of good sound. So, you have to put it all in perspective.
    Last edited by light-o-matic; 05-16-2019 at 10:01 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchiemasha View Post
    Warmer is a word vinyl enthusiasts use to describe it's imperfections and it's inability to be anywhere near accurate. No 2 vinyls are the same. No 2 vinyl listens are ever the same. Didn't really what to have the DvA debate, I don't need to. But watch these videos.
    No, it isn't. Warmer is a term used by just about every sound engineer (Yourself excluded) on earth to describe analog sound and the harmonic distortion that goes with it in comparison to the harshness of digital recordings.

    https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/analogue-warmth

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchiemasha View Post
    Yes, 100% totally. Unfortunately though, nearly all modern recordings are pushed way beyond any reasonable limits to allow the extra saturation from driving such equipment. Which vinyl isn't, why they are still essential for those. A true modern digital mixer should aim to be as neutral as possible.
    That's a decision made by the producer and engineer. Whether the majority of recordings have fallen victim to the "Loudness Wars" it's not the be all, end all of recording. Digital mixes can still be warm, and do not have to have the dynamic range mashed out of it. I mix a lot of deeper styles and I can assure you, very few of the tracks I play are overly compressed or brick walled. Hyper-compressed music is like nails across a chalkboard to me, so I avoid it whenever possible. I Consider dynamics as much as anything else when I'm digging for tracks. As for producers, there are plenty of studios that can sum digital mixes down to analog to achieve harmonic distortion prior to pressing.
    Last edited by Dubflakes; 05-16-2019 at 04:00 PM.

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