A critical review of the Pioneer XDJ-1000 MK2
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor decon's Avatar
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    Default A critical review of the Pioneer XDJ-1000 MK2

    Introduction
    Bought two XDJ-1000 MK2 for 2550/2950 euro/usd to use in a underground club setting. I bought them to standadize our dj booth, thus not needing traktor with a controller that non-resident might not be familiar with. I have always used traktor, from Vestax VCI-300, Kontrol S4 and now my favorite X1MK2 and timecode, but now I wanted to go all in on a standalone player.

    The XDJ-1000MK2 are very expensive, as with any type of the Pioneer standalone players. I have always thought of the Pioneer players as being overpriced, and probably have gotten too much praise from djs, primarily because of the monopoly that Pioneer has managed to create. I tried to leave these assumptions behind, and got going with the XDJ-1000 MK2. Here is my short but critical review. I will not go through the features etc., as there are plenty of videos showing this out there.

    Build Quality:
    A bunch of plastic, disappointing considering the price. Pretty nice plastic for sure, but still plastic. No metal parts anywhere, and the weight make the players feel cheap. Considering the price, I found this to be very diserapoting. Generally, I feel like these players could break any minute. Compare this with the build of a S4, which is more than half the price. The buttons, oh the crappy buttons. I cannot believe why people like these cue/play buttons. They feel very plastic and hollow, and the push-button that it connects to is just a tiny, low quality component from China. Compare this to the soft buttons on a S4. I know that hard/soft buttons are personal opinions, but to me, these are just something out the 90s. Speaking of buttons, it makes no sense to me why you would have four buttons for scrolling through tracks. You have three options on the XDJ-1000 MK2; (1) use the dedicated fast-for/backwards and skip track back and forth, (2) search with jogwheel which can be combined with the fastforward button to be it faster and (3) using the screen. Now, the XDJ-1000 MK2 does not have physical cue buttons, and yet, Pioneer decided to include buttons that functions like an old CD player. I would be much happier if the four search buttons where hotcue rubber buttons. I find the search button to be a relic of a time when CDs was the standard format, and lack of physical hotcue buttons is disappointing. Furthermore, Pioneer thought that it would be a good idea to include a physical knob to control the start/stop time when pressing play/stop. This should be in the digital menu, as it way too easy to manipulate the knob by mistake, and the feature is extremely niche. Having had over 20 DJs from all over europe come play at my event, I have seen no one using this feature.

    Here are some bulletpoints of other issues with the XDJ-1000 MK2;
    * Does not load the whole track into memory, meaning that potential USB errors or whatever creates an ‘emergency loop’, which is like 2-4 bars if I remember correctly, which is useful if such a situation should occur.
    * Rekordbox is a wall-garden, is unstable and lacks basic features like multiple genre support. Not free/open source software. No proper Gnu/Linux support.
    * Not possible to save and maintain collection ex. hdd without having to have duplicated files of each track with rekordbox.
    * Players cannot analyse tracks on the fly, you always have to use rekordbox.
    * Low refresh frequency display makes for laggy interface/waveform.
    * Rekordbox takes forever to export tracks to a USB. Would take 1/4 the time just copying the files manually.
    * Just as unreliable as traktor. Having used them for 2 weeks, I have already experienced the error 'file collapsed' something something. It has happened multiple times at home (no biggie), and tracks that would play the day before, which suddenly get ‘collapsed’. But his has also happen at a gig. DJ put on his last track, Born Slippery by Underworld, and the crowd went wild as the intro of the track started playing. 1 min. later, the player goes into emergency mode. Then we had to replug the USB. This RUINED the last part of his epic set. Now can a player in 2018 have problems playing a track? A track that it did play for 1 min. without problems, and then crashes out of nowhere?
    * Lack of file system support. Does not support exFat nor NTFS.
    * Not possible to save and maintain collection ex. hdd without having to have duplicated files of each track.

    The good:
    * Pretty good jogwheel.
    * Besides the low refresh rate, the display are pretty good.
    * Easy firmware update proces.
    * Rekordbox analyses tracks pretty fast
    * USB link.
    * I like the size and the generel feel of using a standalone player.
    * Very nice interface on the display. Filtering works great!



    Conclusion:
    Overpriced, lack of build quality, disapointing hardware and software features. Rekordbox sucks, a wall-garden that fucks up your main library, and makes a weird arrangement of folders on the USB stick. Exporting takes forever, so you better have 1 hour to export files before you go. Weird decisions on the physical design of the unit, e.g. button features and placement.

  2. #2
    Tech Guru the_bastet's Avatar
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    Emergency Loop does work on the XDJ1000MK2 (It has saved my ass when someone removed my thumb drive by accident)
    They do analyze tracks on the fly (it just takes a while). If yours are not you may want to contact support.
    Rekordbox does not need to be paid for if you are using it just for export.
    You can maintain your collection on an external drive (I literally do this specifically since I have to run Rekordbuddy in a VM).
    All C/XDJ's are limited to FAT32. This if for the purpose of stability. Only needing to focus on one type of TOC simplifies the firmware workflow. If you need to format a large drive on windows to FAT32, us HP Disk Format Utility.
    The reason for so many track search options is to keep the unit friendly to anyone coming from any release on the c/xdj platform.
    The "Cannot Play Track" error was fixed in a recent firmware update.
    The unit is very light compared to CDJ's due to no need for sound absorption. There is no longer a disc drive in the player.

    As someone who uses these players regularly, I have not come across any of the aforementioned issues. I would advise ensuring your firmware is up to date and all tracks are analyzed properly in your library.
    - Equipment - 2X Technics 1200, 2X Audio Technica ATLP1240, 2X XDJ700, 2X XDJ1000 MK2, Denon DNX-1100, Mixars DUO, DJM750 MK2, NI Audio 10, NI Aduio 4, Serato SL3, 4X Shure M44-7, 2X Ortofon Pro S, 2X Numark Groove Tool, Maschine MK3, Samson Carbon 49, Roland SE-02, Novation Launchcontrol, TouchOSC, Nocation Peak, Arturia MiniBrute, Korg Volca Kick, MicroKorg (Classic), NI Komplete Audio 6

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by the_bastet View Post
    If you need to format a large drive on windows to FAT32, us HP Disk Format Utility.
    im so happy i could cry thank you!!!!

  4. #4
    Tech Mentor
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    You forgot the jog bend deadzone and the pretty useless pitch range(s) over 16% for mixing :-) Boy I hate those aspects on Pioneers.

    Considering your other complaints, I think you might want to check out the new Denons. As far as I know, the other drive formats compatibility is still a work in progress even though it's mentioned in the specs, but they're doing a lot of the other stuff you want. People who show up with a Rekordbox playlist and their hot cues will get physical buttons, too. The Denons still have some features and design choices to address, in my opinion, and currently have a top-end roll-off, but I suspect most of this is going to be fixed/improved. On the plus side, they sound really good at negative pitches with key lock on and they do match well with some MM phono cartridges.

    It is worth mentioning that all four of the SC5000's I've had had slightly different minimum resistance and their tension adjustments were also unpredictable and inconsistent. The latest unit on minimum feels like it's up a notch or two. There is some weird manufacturing variation going on with their jog resistance from minimum on up in tension from unit to unit, but I am pretty picky about that and open Pioneer CDJs to tweak them to my liking. I have no idea how to tweak the SC5000s or resolve this.

    Surprisingly with the latest firmware, the SC5000s do seem to read large drives with more stability than any CDJs, including the NXS2. One of my big drives for some reason keeps conking out on the Pioneers, including a brand new pair of NXS2s last week, but seems to have no problem for many more hours at a time on the new Denons. The emergency loop feature did come in handy on the Pioneers in that case.
    Last edited by Reticuli; 07-17-2018 at 06:43 PM.

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