VCI-400 SE or Konrol S4, really need advice
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  1. #1
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    Default VCI-400 SE or Konrol S4, really need advice

    Would like some advice from people that have used either the Kontrol S4 or VCI-400 SE or both. I had the pioneer 350 setup that I used with Traktor but sold it as I was not happy with simply just mixing and feel myself leaning more towards the controllerist side of things. I sold it with the intention of getting the Kontrol S4 but after recently watching DJ Tech Tools video on the VCI-400 SE I thought it was the perfect piece of kit I was looking for. The only problem is that it will cost me an extra 200 on taxes and duties to import it to Ireland. I know it's on offer for $850 at the moment which is about 700 including delivery but it will cost me 900 to get it into the country. Basically what I want to know is is it worth the extra 200 in taxes. I can get a second hand Kontrol S4 for about 550 maybe less if I'm lucky so straight away I'm saving 350 over the VCI-400 SE and I'll still prob have to get a Kontrol F1 at an additional cost of 240 with both of them if I really want to make use of Traktor's Remix decks. I really want the VCI-400 SE but it's a lot of extra cash that I could save if I go with the Kontrol S4. I know the VCI-400 SE is much better build quality but I basically want to know is it a better piece of kit for a controllerist over the Kontrol S4 with the DJ Tech Tools firmware and mapping and if so is it good enough to be worth shelling out an extra 350-400.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Emery's Avatar
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    its up to you man. It sucks you can't go and try them out. the S4 imo is more reliable being that it works hand and hand with traktor. The vci looks nice but Ive never used one. I don't thinks its worth more than maybe an extra $100. Keep in mind you if you already have traktor you can sell the s4 copy and make a little extra money back

    but try searching here on the forums. Ive seen and been a part of this debate a few times already
    13" Mbp i7 | TMA-1 | Tech 1200's | RANE TTM-57 | NI Audio 4 | Kontrol S4 | F1 | KrK Rokit 5s


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    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    VCI by a long shot. I have the VCI-100SE and I still prefer it to an S4.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emery View Post
    its up to you man. It sucks you can't go and try them out. the S4 imo is more reliable being that it works hand and hand with traktor. The vci looks nice but Ive never used one. I don't thinks its worth more than maybe an extra $100. Keep in mind you if you already have traktor you can sell the s4 copy and make a little extra money back

    but try searching here on the forums. Ive seen and been a part of this debate a few times already
    Ya it would be nice to try them out but unfortunately I just gotta take a gamble and hope I pick the right one. I searched the forums already and found one or two threads about this but they all turned into an argument over build quality and the Traktor integration. I know the VCI-400 is much better build quality and I really think that's a plus. The fact that the Kontrol S4 was built to work hand in hand with Traktor doesn't really bother me as all controllers are made so they can be mapped to whatever software you want to use and DJ Tech Tools are fairly experienced and reliable when it comes to mappings so I trust that the VCI-400 will work very well with Traktor. I personally think the VCI-400 SE is better and if I was living in the states, I'd be after buying it by now. What I'm hoping for is to hear from someone that has used both and can tell their opinion on both and whether the VCI is worth the extra cash. I know the VCI will cost me and extra 350 but it will be new whereas the S4 will be second hand. If I was to buy the S4 new I'd only save 120 over the VCI. When I look at it that way maybe the extra 120 ain't that much. Would prefer if I was paying for an extra 120 worth of features rather than it going on tax.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by djproben View Post
    VCI by a long shot. I have the VCI-100SE and I still prefer it to an S4.
    As much as I love DJing, I was never fully satisfied with it and feel I can be doing so much more. I really think controllerism is the way for me to go and I think that the VCI-400 SE looks to be the perfect piece of kit for a controllerist. If I buy an S4 I'll prob end up buying a midi fighter. The VCI will take away the need for a midi fighter and will prob work out cheaper too. I think I'm talking myself into a decision haha. Would still like to hear from someone that has experience with both

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor Emery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by booters View Post
    The VCI will take away the need for a midi fighter
    due to lack of funds?

    Quote Originally Posted by booters View Post
    I know the VCI-400 is much better build quality
    you do, but you never used either of them?


    Quote Originally Posted by booters View Post
    The fact that the Kontrol S4 was built to work hand in hand with Traktor doesn't really bother me as all controllers are made so they can be mapped to whatever software you want to use and DJ Tech Tools are fairly experienced and reliable when it comes to mappings so I trust that the VCI-400 will work very well with Traktor.
    I gig'd with a mapped controller for about a year before I got my S4. Playing live in front of a crowd you want everything to work flawlessly. sure a mapped controller will work, but from experience if something goes wrong it normally happens at a gig. I never had a problem with the S4's integration

    Again its completely up to you, I'm just playing devils advocate. But with that €350 ($430) difference I wouldn't even question it. if you sell the software you could easily have an extra $500 which is 2 MF 3D's added to your setup.
    13" Mbp i7 | TMA-1 | Tech 1200's | RANE TTM-57 | NI Audio 4 | Kontrol S4 | F1 | KrK Rokit 5s


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    Quote Originally Posted by Emery View Post
    due to lack of funds?
    No not due to lack of funds, but judging from the intro video Ean did about the VCI SE, those 8 pads above the jog wheels have four different fuctions such as cue, gratify etc. so I think that takes away for the need of a midi fighter. Don't see a point in shelling out an extra 250 for one when I could do a lot of the same things on the performance section of the VCI as I could with a midi fighter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emery View Post
    you do, but you never used either of them?
    I know it's better build quality cause it has a metal chassis whereas the S4 is made of plastic. All the reviews I looked up on the standard VCI-400 comment on how well it is built and a lot of them also compare it's build quality to the S4 as they are both high end controllers with the VCI winnign out in all of the reviews I checked out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emery View Post
    I gig'd with a mapped controller for about a year before I got my S4. Playing live in front of a crowd you want everything to work flawlessly. sure a mapped controller will work, but from experience if something goes wrong it normally happens at a gig. I never had a problem with the S4's integration

    Again its completely up to you, I'm just playing devils advocate. But with that 350 ($430) difference I wouldn't even question it. if you sell the software you could easily have an extra $500 which is 2 MF 3D's added to your setup.
    Ya gigging usually is the time that everything that can go wrong does go wrong. I know your just giving me your own opinion and that's exactly what I'm looking for, the opinions of people that have used these controllers. As cool as the MF3D looks I don't think I can see myself performing in front of a crowd with one shaking it about and flipping it upside down and all that. I'd have no problem doing that at home but tend to be a bit more reserved in front of a crowd and not o all crazy. I think the MF Pro would prob be better for me if I do go with the S4. Don't think I have a need for two though

  8. #8
    Tech Guru squidot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emery View Post
    I gig'd with a mapped controller for about a year before I got my S4. Playing live in front of a crowd you want everything to work flawlessly. sure a mapped controller will work, but from experience if something goes wrong it normally happens at a gig. I never had a problem with the S4's integration

    Again its completely up to you, I'm just playing devils advocate. But with that €350 ($430) difference I wouldn't even question it. if you sell the software you could easily have an extra $500 which is 2 MF 3D's added to your setup.
    i was on the fence between the s4, vci-400 ege, and the denon x1600 and the ege won out. the vci-400 ege is meant to run flawlessly with traktor due to it's custom midi firmware...and it does just that, right out of the box. i have one and it runs perfectly with traktor, never had even a tiny issue with it and i've been using it for almost a couple of months now.

    the build quality is better on the vci, but when you consider the pricing of both i think it balances out in that regard (and no, i don't think the build quality is bad on the s4). it's just a matter of preference and what you want to do with it, while considering how much you want to spend. the vci has more ways to customize and more options on the controller with better build at a higher price. the jog wheels don't seem quite as responsive on the vci however. the s4 will allow for timecode integration (though i would rather use a real mixer with turntables to be honest) while the vci has a firmware update to allow it to be a standalone mixer.

    are you sure about being able to sell the traktor software that comes with it? i'm pretty sure that with the x1 (and f1 i believe) that you have to register the software with the serial of your hardware. so, in order to sell it you would have to provide that to the buyer, which may cause you issues if you need to send it for repairs. is it any different with the s4?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by squidot View Post
    i was on the fence between the s4, vci-400 ege, and the denon x1600 and the ege won out. the vci-400 ege is meant to run flawlessly with traktor due to it's custom midi firmware...and it does just that, right out of the box. i have one and it runs perfectly with traktor, never had even a tiny issue with it and i've been using it for almost a couple of months now.

    the build quality is better on the vci, but when you consider the pricing of both i think it balances out in that regard (and no, i don't think the build quality is bad on the s4). it's just a matter of preference and what you want to do with it, while considering how much you want to spend. the vci has more ways to customize and more options on the controller with better build at a higher price. the jog wheels don't seem quite as responsive on the vci however. the s4 will allow for timecode integration (though i would rather use a real mixer with turntables to be honest) while the vci has a firmware update to allow it to be a standalone mixer.

    are you sure about being able to sell the traktor software that comes with it? i'm pretty sure that with the x1 (and f1 i believe) that you have to register the software with the serial of your hardware. so, in order to sell it you would have to provide that to the buyer, which may cause you issues if you need to send it for repairs. is it any different with the s4?
    I don't mind that the VCI SE is more expensive than the S4. It's the fact that it will cost me an extra €200 on taxes to import it while I can get the S4 here in Ireland. Do you thing it's worth an extra €200 on top of the price already. With regards the timecode, I was think of getting a soundcard anyway as they are always handy to have if you can't use your controller and have to use cdjs. I came across a guy selling an NI Audio 8 online here in Ireland for €200 but he agreed to let it go for €130 but the deal fell through. Would have no bother picking one up if I could get it for that price

  10. #10
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    Sounds like you really want the VCI. You might consider whether you can get the regular VCI in Europe and try to sit tight until DJTT makes a firmware upgrade available with access to all the new mappings (I assume you can acquire the regular VCI without paying the customs fees?) They claimed it would be $99 when available and it should just be a download so you wouldn't have to worry about the shipping. Alternatively, find a buddy going to the US to bring one back....
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

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