by Matt Auckland Monday 28 September 2009 23:54
Update: The officially confirmed US and UK release date for the CDJ 2000 is Friday December 11th 2009. Currently the CDJ 2000 is advertised at £1,489 each or £2,975 a pair (source: Westend DJ).
Westend DJ will be hosting a special demo on Saturday December 5th at their main store located off Tottenham Court Road, London. If you're a Twitter user follow @PioneerDjKarl of Pioneer for the very latest. Now back to the article...
As DJ's have moved from format to format so has Pioneer, leading the way in ground breaking fashion with much loved robust and versatile technology. Packed with all the features of the previous 1000 series, the CDJ-2000 is no exception.
As well as supporting the traditional CD media and MP3 data CDs/DVDs, the CDJ-2000 also supports digital formats stored on SD memory cards and USB storage devices, such as USB memory sticks and External Hard Drives. If that wasn't enough you can also read music stored on other CDJ-2000s connected via LAN cable, which allows you to link up to 4 devices. There is full support for the major digital formats which are MP3, AAC, WAV and AIFF up to 24bit resolution, plus you can access music stored on Tonium's Pacemaker 1 player connected via USB.
The most noticeable feature of the CDJ-2000 is the elevated 6.1 inch full colour LCD display. The display is easy to read and the rotary selector makes it simple to navigate the menus and spin through a large music collection. Device selection buttons are located on the left of screen, allowing the user to select from Link, USB, SD and Disc. The USB and SD slots are positioned at the top of the player next to the screen instead of the back, making it easier to plug in a USB device or SD card during a set.
Below the screen is a Needle Drop touch sensitive bar which allows you to navigate through the displayed wav form. During playback the source, be it USB, CD, SD card or a linked device is displayed, along with the album art of the track, a feature I personally love as it makes it even easier to recognise tracks when you are scrolling through.
Another great feature is the Tag function, you can tag tracks for later playback making it simple to setup a playlist of tunes for your set on the go, a feature Paul Woolford loves on the new player. The list of your tagged tracks is selectable from the 4 buttons located above the display.
The CDJ-2000 comes bundle with Rekordbox, Pioneers music management software which introduces the new Prepare and Perform concept. Not only can you manage a large collection of music, you can also analyse, arrange, edit, and setup cue points and loops all before you head to the club.
As James Zabiela demonstrates in the video below you can also hook-up the CDJ-2000 to your computer (MacBook in video) and use it as a USB midi controller and 24 bit/48 kHz external audio device via Ableton. This expands the CDJ-2000 beyond just a play out device, it now becomes a valuable tool in a live set or even a studio.
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As with the 1000 series the CDJ-2000 has a little brother too in the form of the CDJ-900. The 900 shares a lot of the features of its big brother, but lacks the Needle Drop bar, Hi-res user interface and SD card slot among others. Its display is raised like the CDJ-2000, but lends itself more to the 1000 series look as it lacks the full colour LCD. That being said it still supports all the same digital music formats and external USB devices, plus the Link feature allowing it to be linked up to three other devices including the CDJ-2000. This alone puts it ahead of the competition in the same price bracket.
So what will these amazing players set you back? Well the CDJ-2000 is aimed more at the professional DJ and super-clubs with a price tag to match at £1499. Whereas the CDJ-900 comes in at a more reasonable £1099, the same price you can pick up a CDJ-1000 Mk3.
Even though they are not official out till November some venues are already equipped. James Zabiela put them through their paces at Sankey's, and James Talk took them for a spin at THAT London on 26th September. James Zabiela commented on Twitter that 'the new CDJs withstood the sweatbox rave, a good sign'.
Pioneer has once again shown why they are the best when it comes to DJ equipment. I have no doubt that the CDJ-2000 will be appearing on a lot of DJs rider lists in the months ahead, and will become the industry stand as the CDJ-1000 did before.
On a personal note I'm sure you will agree that all other CD players now suck in comparison to the mighty CDJ-2000.
The CDJ-2000 and 900 are due out in November 2009, so you know what to stick on your Christmas list. For more information and videos please visit pioneerdj.com