Planned Obsolescence/End-Of-Life in DJ equipment...
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Quenepas's Avatar
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    Default Planned Obsolescence/End-Of-Life in DJ equipment...

    Hello. I've been reading a lot for law school about planned obsolescence or end-of-life stuff and one of the areas it's impact is most prominent is on the electronics and appliances. DJ equipment being electronics, also get to suffer from this market design to make corporations more money, thus, doing business as usual.

    The thing is that DJ equipment is something we expect to last as in the way it is abused at the club, by traveling, by use etc, but at the same time, it is also our musical instrument we get to learn to play and to master and becomes our instrument. So in that sense it's not like your drum set will fail or your guitar will become obsolete, but an S4 can (and will) fail and you bet your ass will become obsolete.

    The almighty unbreakable 1200's do continue to last and be the instrument of choice for Dj's worldwide but the more feeble, contemporary equipment like the S4 if it doesnt fail due to internal components crapping out, it's tight integration with traktor can make it obsolete whenever NI wants. I've heard about Dj's having their equipment for more than 10 years and still be rolling with that but on this controllerist generation, who will be using an S4 10 years from now? How long the thing can last before it craps out? I use the S4 as an example but we also include the Maschines, the Launchpads, the Synthsations etc.

    A Roland 808 can last for many years but a Twitch? Only time will tell but with this very aggresive way to diminishing its life to make some quick bucks will hurt us all in our pocket.

    Apple, the brain of most our DJ equipment, takes planned obsolescence to the core of it's business (anyone remembers the Ipod 18 month battery case?) going to lengths not seen before like the user not beign able to first change the battery, then the hard drive and now the RAM. All that shit is soldered on the MoBo if anything fails at all, you must take it back to the store and if out of warraty, pay whatever they ask or buy a new one. No wonder Apple just created the least repairable laptop ever.

    But a computer is something that is kinda expected to replace every 5 years or so since the new software will slow your shit down to a crawl (or in my case my black Macbook wont upgrade to Mountain Lion) but DJ equipment is something we expect to work for years to come as it's something expensive, delicate and something we get to learn and get familiar with. So what are your alternatives if any? Should there be an DIY approach? Anyway to save our craft from planned obsolescence?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quenepas View Post
    So what are your alternatives if any? Should there be an DIY approach? Anyway to save our craft from planned obsolescence?
    1200's. Sorted.
    2 x Technics 1200 mk5 | 2 x Pioneer CDJ-1000 mk3 | A&H Xone:62 | KRK RP5-G2 | 15" MBP | TSP | Audio8DJ | Kontrol X1 | Korg KP-3 | Korg NanoKontrol
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  3. #3
    Über Tech Guru Ed Paris's Avatar
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    there´s some controllers out there that will survive the 3rd world war. bcr-2000 and vci100 are coming to my mind
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  4. #4
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    good thread. It's a real problem. Solution? Stop giving NI money... Don't support their business plan of selling REALLY low-quality controllers that will break in two years, that they overcharge you for because they can give them special features.

    For fuck's sake they don't care enough to even make their own shitty controllers work right. The S4 has been a nightmare since it came out... I don't even know how they can be that incompetent ON PURPOSE.

  5. #5
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    It's really hard to say. That's one thing sad about the end of 1200s- there may be alternatives that perform fine but I laugh a little when people talk about Super OEMs, Vestax, Stanton or Numarks in the same sentence. I've had Technics from the early 70s going strong, I wouldn't really hold my breath for most of the current market TTs lasting much over a decade or so.

    That's nothing compared to what you are talking about with controllers though and I hear you. As software develops many controllers become obsolete in several years. There is no way people will be using S4s in a decade from now if they even last since compatibility just gets outdated and the software will evolve. They need to add more software features so they can build new controllers and sell new hardware. Even CDJs get outdated quick, you won't find anywhere using CDJ-1000 MK1s and it has been just over 10 years. I'm not sure how much this is all planned obsolescence or just technology naturally progressing, but it is a natural byproduct of these type of electronics.

    As for midi stuff not getting outdated- I have much more faith in stuff that uses actual midi ports. MIDI has been around for 30 years now and isn't going anywhere. Anything that has hardware midi ports and can use actual MIDI cables has a much better chance than USB midi only stuff since physical MIDI doesn't require any drivers- USB midi is dependent on a computer and periodically updated drivers.

    I doubt half of the products on the market now running USB will still get driver support for new OSes 10 years from now- and most DJ controllers are switching to USB only and don't bother to make 5 pin midi and option.
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 08-03-2012 at 09:14 AM.


  6. #6
    Tech Guru sobi's Avatar
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    I don't think technology changing/electronics EOL will have an effect on controllers as much as a lack of long term consumer satisfaction. The changing tech means that people constantly want to upgrade their stuff. It's people opening and closing their wallets that makes companies change constantly.

  7. #7
    Tech Guru lethal_pizzle's Avatar
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    And there was me thinking today that controllers and MP3s had made DJing much, much cheaper than a few years back.

    There's pluses and minuses of course, but you can pick up an S2 with a 3 year warranty at thomann here in Europe for half the price of a single CDJ-850. Maybe the built in obsolescence isn't so good if you want to use the same gear for the rest of your career, but if you want to keep up with the latest tech (which many seems to want to these days), then paying extra for stuff that lasts forever may not be that beneficial.
    Last edited by lethal_pizzle; 08-03-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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    1200's and vinyl. One great thing about Vinyl is that it doesn't degrade like CD's do. I've had my 1200's for going on 14 years now, and they still look and operate just like the day I took them out of the box. It's really pretty amazing. I'll never sell them, that's for sure.
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  9. #9

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    speaking as a complete gear slut, i think this is perfectly acceptable. im a hobbyist/amateur at best and i enjoy getting new controllers and random gear every 14-16 months.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru sobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandalus View Post
    1200's and vinyl. One great thing about Vinyl is that it doesn't degrade like CD's do. I've had my 1200's for going on 14 years now, and they still look and operate just like the day I took them out of the box. It's really pretty amazing. I'll never sell them, that's for sure.



    seriously? Vinyl degrades much faster. Even as advocate of vinyl, I can admit that. I'll give you that 1200's last probably ten fold over any other DJ tech out there, but records are extremely bad in the degradation department. Regular gigging proves that, hence the reason to buy doubles of records at times (aside from keeping gold out of the hands of other local DJ's or for battle DJ purposes).

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