Pio DDJ-SB, where is pioneer going with this?
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    Default Pio DDJ-SB, where is pioneer going with this?

    So as we probably all know by now, pio's released the last missing link in the DDJ-S* lineup, that is the low-end DDJ-SB. Priced at $299, this really couldn't be more competitive, especially towards traktor and the s2mk2.

    But there is one thing i honestly do not understand. Pioneer always released either very professional and expensive gear (cdj, djm), or overpriced and (to me) underperforming stuff like the wego and the ergo. And then suddenly came the SX, the aero, the r1, the sr.

    Now of course they are trying to fill the market gap created by controllers, and they are doing it quite nicely, but my question is (and yes, i realize it may sound like a very dumb question, sorry for that), do you think that by losing this brand elitism, by creating products that appeal to wider masses, pioneer will succumb to the consumer market and reduce their brand to something like, say, hercules? By losing focus on pro equipment?

    Let me know what you think about this, i'm just wondering in what exact direction pioneer's trying to go.
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    Pioneer aren't going to give up their "club standard" position willingly. They've had cheaper gear for quite a while now - the DJM 250 is an example of low cost equipment that doesn't compromise on quality.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru Polygon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makar1 View Post
    Pioneer aren't going to give up their "club standard" position willingly. They've had cheaper gear for quite a while now - the DJM 250 is an example of low cost equipment that doesn't compromise on quality.
    I wasn't saying they were willing to give their position up. I was contesting their choice to pursue the low-end market this much.
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    Tech Guru synthet1c's Avatar
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    Pioneer will never lose their brand superiority, they have a solid foundation spanning more than ten years. they could have lost everything with the T1, S1, ergo, wego.. this move into cheap well made and most importantly brand aware styling only cements their reign. For a while I though numark would have taken over the controller market but they never bridged the gap between consumer gear like the mixtrack and semi-pro gear like the ns6. Poineer have now very successfully done this so you can start on their gear and still upgrade staying within their ecosystem and always aspire to something better without feeling like your missing out or being cheated. To do it with Serato strengthens this even more as you will never need to change the software and they can have a voice in how the software is developed in future as they seem to be the primary supplier for the software.

    Native don't stand a chance for the future if they don't start opening up their software to other manufactures, but it seems that with them devaluing their software to the point where it may as well be free, as everyone who uses it has three or four registrations from the controllers they have bought that they can sell or give to their friends, There doesn't seem to be a way to charge what they would need to keep making money in the future without selling their controllers, At least serato has a separate charge that can bring revenue to continue development into the future. Natives only chance is that people won't jump ship and are happy paying for controllers that aren't really the quality they should be for the price based on the market at the current time.

    In closing I think the controller boom of cheap plastic controllers has ended and the market will bring back quality into the forefront of most dj's minds.
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    They are just covering every segment available. There are loads of people who would prefer pioneer equipment but just don't have the resources, thus providing sales for their competitors. By providing an affordable solution they are moving all the pieces to profit from every niche on the market. I'm myself not that taken by pioneer but I can asssure you their products made me take a look and consider buying them, especially the R1, and that's what it's all about. Reaching those costumers wich you didn't before.

  6. #6

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    Pioneer never really had any kind of "brand elitism." What they had, and still have, is a professional brand, and a ladder of products. It doesn't seem like they're really focusing on the "consumer" market any more than they have in the past. There have always been a supply of lower-cost products in Pioneer's lineup, their flagship CDJ is only refreshed every ~3 years, and they've only truly "upgraded" that line after 9 years. They've been filling the gaps pretty consistently.

    It just so happens that the ideal products this time around are low cost controllers. Using parts they already have on hand to cut costs (like on lower-end DJMs), they can get quality parts in a relatively cheap package. Stuff in between isn't really going to detract from their flagship platform, especially when the stuff in between is based on technology and parts the flagship platforms use. It's just a technological coincidence that the lower end products this time around happen to be cheap as chips.

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    Tech Guru synthet1c's Avatar
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    Pioneer definitely position themselves as the "elite" brand, why else would the cost a fortune relative to their production cost? marketing that's why, they sponsor more professional touring dj's than any other company, have their own sponsored events, produce professional quality media and have set designers for their trade shows. And to be honest their stuff isn't as good as they tell you it is, it's all image and it works for them. In terms of gear I would prefer a denon SC-3900 and an allen & heath mixer than their "elite" range.

    In response to you saying they were using parts on hand, I'm more inclined to believe that it was through necessity from losing market share rather than already having the parts there, otherwise they would have never messed around with the previous generation of controllers as all of those parts were manufactured for that purpose accept for the jogs.

    And for one of Pioneer's most vocal fan boy's to say that pioneer isn't the "elite" brand is pretty rich...
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    In regards to sale price vs production cost, the DB4 is outsourced to Chinese OEMs and its build quality has suffered, while costing significantly more than Pioneer's "elite".
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    I would prefer a 92
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by synthet1c View Post
    Pioneer definitely position themselves as the "elite" brand, why else would the cost a fortune relative to their production cost? marketing that's why, they sponsor more professional touring dj's than any other company, have their own sponsored events, produce professional quality media and have set designers for their trade shows. And to be honest their stuff isn't as good as they tell you it is, it's all image and it works for them. In terms of gear I would prefer a denon SC-3900 and an allen & heath mixer than their "elite" range.
    I would be inclined to agree with this. I love a lot of the Pioneer gear- I owned CDJ900s for a year, currently use a pair of HDJ1500 headphones, have played numerous times on the Ergo controller, and keep toying with the idea of trading my dn-x1600 in for a DJM850. But I definately wouldn't say their pricing is justified 'purely' on the grounds of purchasing a professional product. I was distinctly underwhelmed when my CDJ900s turned up (light-weight & plastic). Great players to use, but there is no way you could reconcile their list price of 1,049 each to the actual product on the basis of 'professional quality'. One of mine had to go to back to Pioneer 3 times in the year I had it, and had otherwise never left my house!

    It seems to me that the success of the (fantastically well-built) CDJ1000 allowed them to keep the premium price-tag for future CDJs whilst dropping the production costs of subsequent models. My SC2900s do absolutely everything my 900s did (and a fair bit more that the 900s don't), in a better built, heavier package- and are less than 2/3 of the price at 649. This I deem 'professional' pricing for quality equipment, effectively making it an extra 400 per deck for the Pioneer name.

    I certainly have nothing against Pioneer and continue to use their stuff where it offers the best solution for my needs, but in my opinion they definately have pricing based on elitism.

    Back closer to the original topic, I think it's good that they are offering these cheaper products- as mentioned they often make use of parts found on the more expensive equipment. I have used a friends' Pioneer Ergo controller for a number of gigs and absolutely loved it- in fact it almost single handedly changed my opinion on controllers.

    The one thing I hope Pioneer are moving away from is there policy of having unique features on each model that you don't necessarily get if you purchase the next model up in their range. I know this is done for the purposes of product differentiation but it grates that you can buy one of their products that doesn't have some of the features that one of their cheaper models (in the same segment) have.
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