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DJ CD Decks – CD Player Equipment Reviews

by Matt · 0 comments

in DJ Equipment

When it comes to DJ equipment, CD decks are great pieces of gear and the kind that are now adapted to suit the needs of the digital DJ too, fortunately for leading CD player manufacturers such as Pioneer.

DJ CD players

They still remain important in the world of the DJ and it is worth getting to know them.

After all, they are now part of DJ culture, having been introduced after vinyl DJing and before digital DJing.

You may get gigs in clubs with CD players and need to know the basics.

I’ve come across numerous models of DJ CD players in my time, from low end, to fully integrated kits, to high end club decks.

Changing Technology

Not so long ago, many DJs disliked the whole idea of playing with CDs and didn’t consider it to be “real DJing”.

Now, any club DJ has to know how to use them, regardless of their opinion on the matter.

Most top clubs have replaced their turntables with CD decks, which doesn’t necessarily suit DJs who play with vinyl, but that’s the way it is and we have to adapt.

Why use CD Decks for DJing?

Good question. There are a few advantages to using CD players as reported by many cool DJs, namely:

1. It feels like you are handling a real object. The concept of spinning and manipulating a solid object that corresponds with your hand movements is important for some people.

2. The BPM of the track is indicated on the display, which can be helpful when you’re tired or drunk (same as digital DJing).

3. CD decks have functions that let you perform more advanced mixing techniques such as seamless looping, applying sound effects, emulating vinyl scratching, reverse play

4. They can read CDs with MP3, wave, flac and wma files on them, meaning you can store more music and navigate through tracks fast

5. The higher end model decks look pretty cool and have a platter that can turn at the same speed as 45 and 33rpm records: ideal if you want to keep the vinyl feel

6. You can still use coded CDs and connect the decks to your PC to trigger the MP3 files on external mode 

How does time coded CD and vinyl mixing work?

Why not use CD Decks?

Another good question. You are sharp today.

Here are some drawbacks to using CD Decks when considering them against a DJ MIDI interface controller:

1. They cost a lot more than a DJ console USB controller

2. They are not so easy to transport, although they are to be found in many clubs

3. You have to spend cash on CDs and carry them around with you, plus this is a waste of plastic as well as money

4. CDs get scratched, dusty and damp sometimes

5. You still have to flip through loads of CDs as opposed to using a word search as you do with MP3 or wave files 

Which DJ CD players do I get?

We have to choose between the main brands, Pioneer, Denon and Vestax.

To help you make your choice of CD deck, here are some equipment reviews.

Beginner’s kit – low budget Denon DN-S700

The Denon DN-S700 is a great little machine at a low, affordable price.

As well as playing CDs, the Denon DN-S700 has advanced MP3 functions. It even has 3 On-board Effects (Echo/Flanger/Filter)hot start and seamless looping.

You can read digital files as it Supports CD TEXT / ID3 Tags.

Auto/Manual BPM means you can set the speed of the tune yourself or set it autumatically.

The board FX, four pitch ranges, one hot start and seamless loop controls, fader start and pitch bend are the basic functions that most advanced CD players have. The difference here is that the price is very low at under $200 per deck.

I’d say value is the key here. If your budget is low and you need to know the basics, then go no further than the Denon DN-S700 – Compact CD/MP3 Player

Mid range – Denon DNS1200 USB DJ CD Player

The Denon DNS1200 USB DJ CD Player is pretty cool and remains affordable right now.

You can use it as both a CD player and play digital files using the USB connect with it.

So that means you only have to bring 2 USB keys with your music on them, or your PC. That’s it. Search for the music using the functions then play it once you find it.

It’s great because it helps you learn to mix on a really CD player whilst letting you make the most of the advantages digital DJing offers you. 

Hot Starts and Seamless Looping can be made on-the-fly and easily turned into seamless loops.

There are built in effects for remixing live: Flanger, Filter (high-mid-low), Echo and Echo/Loop.

3 Platter Effects: Brake (adjustable in real-time), Dump (reverse sound without losing forward time, like a radio edit), Reverse (plays your music backwards)

Next Track Function with Cross Fade With thousands of songs stored on an external USB device, play other files from the same source back to back with Next Track function.

There are all the normal functions high end decks have such asMemo Function Cue Point, BPM, Pitch Setting and Range, Pitch On/Off, Key Adj On/Off.

As far as mid range DJ CD players go, this one hits the spot. Denon DNS1200 USB DJ CD Player 

High End – CDJ100 MK3

This is the deck we see in many clubs today. The latest version of it is the Pioneer CDJ-1000MK3 Professional CD/MP3 Turntable.

Now, you can plug your MP3 files directly into it using the CD card slot.

The CDJ-1000MK3 can play all your MP3s; CBR or VBR at any bitrate from CD-R or CD-RW.

There is improved jog dial, hot Cue (sampler), reverse play, real time seamless loop, wave Display, track Display, jog Mode scratch play, Cue.

Also, there’s vinyl speed adjust touch/brake and release/start and tempo control

What makes it stand out is the Legato Link Conversion For High Quality Sound function. This is essential for improving sound experience and creating a better atmosphere in the club.

Being more robust than most models, it has shock-proof memory and anti-vibration construction.

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