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Thread: My pioneer xdj xz review

  1. #1
    Member drop1's Avatar
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    Feb 2012

    My pioneer xdj xz review

    I will update this as I go and learn.

    Initial impressions out the box, it looks and feels a bit cheap to me.

    All that went away the second I powered it up. The lights are great.
    I haven't analized my tracks yet but just putting on a usb with some music on it got me going. This is where knowing how to beat match is a plus!

    I just browsed some sq type music, jazz, blues audiophile stuff
    It sounds really REALLY good. Its bright and diesnt have the warmth of analogue mixers but the clarity is there.
    I had a ddj sx 2 before and that thing sounded like hot garbage to me playing anything but dance music. Even then it wa just tolerable.

    That's it for now I'll be back when my library is analyzed and I can get it set up to my taste and get some play time.

    Part 2. After playing on the unit for most of a day I find it incredibly fun and easy to use.
    I'm not really into sync but it works as it should.
    Also the quantized features are nice. Effects can be timed perfectly with quantized turned on. There is also a deck quantize. So if you set a cue point or hot cue, when you trigger them, the cue point jumps perfectly in time whith the nearest beat. It makes it impossible to trigger a cue point out of time. Handy for juggling and on the fly remixing or editing of tracks. I like this.
    Faders feel great. A little stiff, but in a good way. Smooth.
    The crossfader leaves a little to be desired for scratching. Its adequate but I wish they'd have put in the fancy fader found in other controllers. It's not quite as smooth as I like but is perfectly usable.

    The thing I am liking the most is I'm the menus section.
    Looking for tracks in large libraries is great. With a few touches of the screen , my playlist can be sorted to show tracks of similar bpm and key of the current playing track. The search parameters are highly adjustable so you can change the bpm range and such before searching. This makes finding suitable tracks to play next a breeze without having to dig through 100s of tracks.. If you arent mixing harmonically these days shame on you. We did it with vinyl which was a long and tedious process but now there is just no excuse for clashing tracks. There are exceptions but we wont get into that here.

    Over all the machine is HUGE. Lots of room even though its crammed with lnobs and fades with tons of effects.
    The unit is larger than a standard nexus set up. Quite a bit larger. This was part of the reason I bought it. Its looks and more importantly feels like a full size system. It doesnt look like a dinky controller and most non dj people would be hard pressed to even know it's a controller. It looks like stand alone players snuggled up to a full size mixer.

    The fact that I dont need a computer is what I love the most about it.
    I can load 1000 songs into the unit in under a second.
    Rekordbox is new to me and I'm still digging into the software side learning its ins and outs.
    I'm taking my time here as I'd like to organize my playlist as efficiently as possible.
    Going in track by track setting up cues and loops takes time but is made much easier by the unit its self.
    You cam store any loops or cues directly to the usb so when you go back to rekord box, your cues amd loops come with you. They dont just vanish after a set.

    I also like the rating system..its a simple 5 star system that gives you another way to sort music. Personally I prefer to use the star system to tell me how much energy a track has. This makes finding opening tracks or midnight bangers a breeze!

    I think my favorite novel feature though is the onboard record.
    Being able to record my set right back to the usb stick is a phenomenal feature.
    I can spin up a set and the second I'm done throw thsy mix into my car for listening though I do tend to use other software to master sets. I haven't tested the recorded fidelity yet. I'm sure like any other equipment the volume will need to be brought up in the mastering process.

    That's it for now. It really does feel like I'm playing on a full nexus kit with the addition of performance pads.
    I believe a nexus setup is around $5500 right now. This unit cost me $2176 delivered.
    For a heavy use club system I'm sure the nxs900 would likely be a better choice being built from metal. That's an assumption though. Time will tell.
    For home or mobile dj use I think it's a no brainier if you're considering nexus gear. Hell if you are considering pioneer at all. I see a lot of people claiming the denon units shit on the xdj. Just no. I've spent 5time on many high end denon units and while the hardware is usually ok, the software often leaves things to be desired. It is often buggy and a bit clunky. The pioneer workflow is just smooth and well though out. The idea of putting a full blown computer into a dj unit just doesnt sit well with me. That's just more things to go wrong.
    For lower use, weekend only clubs it may be perfect but that really depends on the resident djs. We tend to be hard on gear though I dont know why djs feel the need to beat the shit out of $10k worth of gear.

    A side note. I've seem thousands of post claiming denon's flagship controller is better because you can play on all 4 mixer channels.
    I had that option with my ddj sx and I DESPISE toggling decks. To me, a deck should have 1 track. I will gladly purchase another player to keep as far away from stacked decks as possible. Maybe you don't mind stacked decks but to me they are about the dumbest thing a controller has ever done.

    I do have a dislike. The players jog wheels do not light up red like the nexus players when a track is playing. They stay white though they do flash as the track is ending, progressively getting faster the closer you are to the ned of the track.

  2. #2
    Member drop1's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    I've had it for over a week now.
    I'm really enjoying the sound quality. It's easily better than any pioneer dj equipment short of an actual current nexus setup.
    The record quality really stands out to me. My mixes used to need post production to get the volume uo but they sound good just playing directly back off the usb they were recorded to.

    There are 2 things I don't like about the xz. Both are just the nature of rekordbox and controllers.

    The first is I'd really like to be able to search multiple parameters.
    For instance, key AND bpm, not one or the other. Why pioneer cant do multi column searching is beyond me. I'd accept even being able to do one at a time like search for key then search that list for bpm, then search for rating.

    This would make choosing tracks a breeze in large libraries.

    The second would be kind of ridiculous and I'd be all about it.

    I'd LOVE to have 2 more full sized players BUILT IN. Yeah the controller is already really large, what's another 20"s!!!
    Have 4 full players and a screen capable of handling 4 would be my ideal situation.
    Unfortunately I know that the current design allows for more options. Samplers , turntables, cdj or xdj players but man to me this would make this controller THE controller.
    Itll never happen though because it could single handedly kill the pro dj line but a man can dream right!

    Other than that its been perfect and I've put a good 40 hours into it.

    One other option I'd like to have is a post effects cue button.
    When setting up 3 and 4 deck mixes (basically creating music on the fly) this would be wonderful.
    The have a master cue button now. It used to be that the master was always tied to the headphones master side of the knob. Now we have an actual cue. They should really think about giving us a post fx/pre master cue button.
    Just stack them above the channel cue buttons or use shift/channel cue to access the post fx cue.

    Other than that, this controller is what I've been waiting for. No computer to tie me down!

  3. #3
    Technoez Rek_Aviles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Miami, FL
    This looks like a beast but I can't justify the price for non-pro DJs. Been really considering getting the 1000SRT or the RX2. I've watched reviews a few reviews on this XZ and the other 2. What puts me off is being forced to use Rekordbox or Serato (or no software at all). I've grown to like Traktor and changing now will change my mixing style, plus the slight learning curve.

    I tried Rekordbox and found it annoying to use. I read its an easy move from Serato to that but not so much from Traktor.
    Last edited by Rek_Aviles; 09-17-2020 at 12:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Member drop1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    I only used Traktor for a very short time years ago.
    Shame it didn't go as mainstream as the other options.
    I got my xz for $1800. Thats less than a single cdj these days.
    I did use serato for a while. It was very easy to use.

    For now though I prefer full stand alone mode. Kinda back to the basics if you will. Its refreshing.

  5. #5
    Deez Beats! KLH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    In your head
    The two jogs can only support one independent track each, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by drop1 View Post
    I'd LOVE to have 2 more full sized players BUILT IN. Yeah the controller is already really large, what's another 20"s!!!
    Have 4 full players and a screen capable of handling 4 would be my ideal situation.

    I'm so about this. At least give us the option with optional deck add-ons, right???
    Visit DJF's Beginner's MEGA thread and drop by my Facebook Fan Page.

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