Pioneer DDJ-T1 VS. S4
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default Pioneer DDJ-T1 VS. S4

    So I've been back and forth a while trying to decide which on these beautiful controllers to purchase and I was hoping that the folks here on the DJTT Forum could help me make an educated decision.

    Here are some things that I appreciate about the DDJ-T1:

    1. The Size. It's large and in charge, and I like the under-the-controller laptop aspect. This would provide me a great comfort zone... nothing is cramped.
    2. The 'CDJ look' (and supposed feel, haven't tested the feel myself though)
    3. Dedicated FX section
    4. Analog inspired knobs

    Some things I like about the S4:

    1. Traktor 2 complete feature integration (specifically, dedicated control for loop record/sample triggers) <- obviously this is a huge plus
    2. Dedicated FX Section

    That being said, I do have some qualms about each as well. The DDJ-T1, for example has been marketed as a 'bedroom DJ device.' This I don't understand... what makes it non-professional or un-club-worthy? Also, as far as I understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong), the DDJ-T1 comes with a Traktor Pro DDJ-T1 specific software version, rather than Traktor Pro 2. Is there an upgrade offer to Traktor Pro 2? This is a big frustration to me because I would 100% much rather use Traktor Pro 2 and I really was hoping it would come bundled with the hardware.

    On the other hand, I have heard that with the S4, many people have had some serious internal sound card issues. This is a huge concern for me.

    I was wondering if anyone with experience with both (or just either) of these controllers could share their upsides and downfalls with me so I could make an educated decision.

    Another controller that has caught my eye and ear has been the Numark NS6... how would you rank this controller between the other two? (utilizing Traktor software, I don't care about Serato).

    Much thanks all!

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Garygary1's Avatar
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    S4 = cheaper + more control + timecode support = Win

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor ST.PE`'s Avatar
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    ^x2 plus the ddjt1 has a lot of mishaps matching up with traktor.(had some videos on youtube)
    they got the kinks out of the s4.
    Beatslicing for the bitches

  4. #4
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    i'd prefer getting a pair of cdj 400's and a rotary midi controller rather than the ddj-t1. but the S4 wins over either any of the pioneer options sub 1200
    2 x Technics 1210's (mk3's), Xone 62, Denon 3500, TSP2, Traktor Kontrol S4, Midifighter, Macbook pro

  5. #5
    Tech Convert
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    I haven't played with the S4 but I personally hate having a lot of buttons in front of the jog wheels. I always end up hitting them by accident because I like to lay my palm somewhere below the jog wheel to nudge it for pitch bending. For the rest it really looks sweet and the fact that it can run decks with timecoded discs or records is a huge plus.

    I've personally played with the Pioneer a few times, club tested twice. It really left me speachless. The feel of this controller is amazing. My previous experience with controllers is limited to some Denon units & some Hercules, which I all hated and preferred using my CD players & timecodes in Traktor. I've been running Traktor with timecodes for the past 3 years at least. When the store offered to lend me their demo for some testing, I tried to import the tsi mappings and it never worked on my PC. I had to reinstall the Traktor Pioneer edition CD on top of my existing TSP version. It worked instantly, and I still had my TSP skin and timecode functionalities with my Audio8 afterwards.

    Only minor issues were the soft takeover for the pitch & filters when switching from decks 1 to 3 & 2 to 4. If there was a way for the pitch faders & filter knobs to have a relative mode instead of absolute mode, it would be a perfect controller IMO. The pitch I can live with by hitting the sync button but I usually never sync with decks 1 & 2. I also would have liked channel level meters next to each fader like all Pioneer mixers have. That way I wouldn't have to look at the computer to monitor my levels all the time. I'm not a fan of the auto gain feature.

    So when I took it back to the store, I got back home and started remapping my Xone:1D because I really preffered the Pioneer's layout!

  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Thanks for the responses all!

    Visiting family in MA right now and there is a nearby Guitar Center that stocks both the S4 and the DDJ-T1 so I'm gonna go have a look at both... I don't usually get the opportunity to look before buying as I live in VT out in the middle of nowhere.

    The information you guys have provided is great for consideration, though, as I may be able to mess with the controllers for a few minutes, but you're input comes from more extensive use, not just first impressions.

    Will give my impressions of both when I return

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor nuke5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garygary1 View Post
    S4 = cheaper + more control + timecode support = Win
    +2 on that! go with the s4...i will be picking mine up before july5th to get the 100$ off!
    Production: HP G62 2.6 dual core, 8gb ram | Live 8 | APC40 | MPD32 | MPK Mini | NI A2 | KRK Rokit 6 G2s | 6pack of Rolling Rock
    DJ: Kontrol X1 | TP2

  8. #8
    Tech Guru keeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuze View Post
    I've personally played with the Pioneer a few times, club tested twice. It really left me speachless. The feel of this controller is amazing.
    Now I haven't gigged with it, but based on touching one at Guitar Center, I completely disagree. All of the buttons on the unit are plastic akin to the VCI-100. The S4 on the other hand has much more playable rubberized buttons. Also, the jogs on the DDJ-T1 are absolute crap in comparison to the S4 jogs - plastic, lightweight, and feel very flimsy. I would not take a DDJ-T1 if you paid me, TBH.

  9. #9
    Tech Wizard B Linus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keeb View Post
    Now I haven't gigged with it, but based on touching one at Guitar Center, I completely disagree. All of the buttons on the unit are plastic akin to the VCI-100. The S4 on the other hand has much more playable rubberized buttons. Also, the jogs on the DDJ-T1 are absolute crap in comparison to the S4 jogs - plastic, lightweight, and feel very flimsy. I would not take a DDJ-T1 if you paid me, TBH.
    +1

    The general "feel" of both NI and Numark controllers are far better than any Pioneer CDJ/DDJ unit I've played with.
    MacBook Pro
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  10. #10
    Tech Convert
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    Quote Originally Posted by B Linus View Post
    +1

    The general "feel" of both NI and Numark controllers are far better than any Pioneer CDJ/DDJ unit I've played with.
    Ok I may have used the wrong word, replace feel with LAYOUT.
    Again I haven't played much with controllers, I use timecode. I've seen and touched the S4 but haven't fiddled with it as it was just on the store's shelf and non-functional when I was there.
    Some controllers probably offer a better FEEL if we're just talking about the knobs & faders and the plastic. The way everything is disposed on this controller just suits me better. It looks very much like the Traktor interface on the screen so everything feels natural. I'd carry this controller as a backup any day over most because of how all the buttons are disposed.

    I would love to try a Vestax TR1 as it has a similar layout, but it lacks the 4 channel mixer section & jog wheels.
    Last edited by Fuze; 07-02-2011 at 12:40 PM.

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