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  5. NAMM 2016: Pioneer Presents the CDJ-2000NXS2 and the DJM-900NXS2

NAMM 2016: Pioneer Presents the CDJ-2000NXS2 and the DJM-900NXS2

It's time! That's right, the wait is over for DJs around the world. Everyone who was waiting with bated breath for Pioneer to release the successors of the CDJ-2000NXS and DJM-900NXS, can finally rest easy. The new and improved second generation - aptly named the CDJ-2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2 - is ready to dominate the top-segment market. Thanks to a number of subtle changes, both devices have retained their excellent workflow, but now offer the many benefits Pioneer had already introduced with other products.

Second generation NXS2 - CDJ2000NXS2 and DJM-900NXS2

Pioneer has made a conscious decision to launch a second generation for both of their flagship products, featuring a number of subtle changes. Apparently, the manufacturer wasn't ready yet to introduce completely new successors for the CDJ and DJM as we know them. After pleas from the DJ community for an elaborate XDJ machine, the arrival of a new CDJ wasn't exactly expected.

The DJM-900NXS2: changes

The DJM-900NXS has been seriously overhauled. Small wonder, as the mixer has been around for quite a while and was certainly due for an update. It's safe to say that Pioneer has given their mixer a modern makeover, ensuring it's more than up to par again. It now features a double audio interface, for instance, which can be connected to a computer or laptop by means of two USB ports, and even supports DVS. This allows for even easier B2B sets and switches between DJs without any uncomfortable silences or technical hassle. Controllers like the DDJ-SZ already boasted this feature, and now Pioneer's flagship mixer does too. To make this possible, the microphone input has been moved to the back of the device, but the volume controls, talkover and EQ can still be found on the front panel.

Remarkably, fader start assignment has been replaced by a double audio interface. In a way, that makes sense; when the DJM-900NXS was launched, CD players were still often used, but by now, many DJs have switched to multimedia players, which means the interaction between media player and laptop has taken priority.

The omission of fader start functionality has opened up some room for a second headphone output, this one in mini jack size. In other words, you can now simply plug in virtually any set of headphones without requiring an adapter.

The effects section of the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 has undergone some changes as well, now featuring a 64-bit engine and a new layout. One of the most noticeable changes is the extra LED that has been added to each channel, showing you at a glance which channels you're applying effects to. Furthermore, effects can now also be applied to a 3-band EQ, which means it's possible to add a flanger to the trebles, for instance, or a slip roll to the bass tones. A more compact, higher-resolution display frees up more space on the mixer, and the DJM-900NXS's X-Pad has been replaced by a small touch screen, which allows you to adjust your effects to the current beat length. That way, you can make a flanger sound extra long, for example, or fluctuate briefly. Improved send/return functionality guarantees that you don't have to choose between internal or external effects. Instead, it's possible to layer them, placing a wide range of new effects combos within your reach.

The DJM-900NXS2's more compact effects display leaves room for an extra USB port, which can be used to record DJ sets directly to a USB stick. The Sound Color FX we've seen on a number of mixers now have a separate parameter knob that controls the intensity of the effects before they are applied to the various channels.

Pioneer's new Magvel fader serves as a crossfader, with plenty of free space surrounding it to keep you from accidentally hitting other controls during hefty scratch sessions. The master section's mono/stereo control has had to make way for that, however.

On the back of the mixer, you'll find a range of inputs, including four phono inputs for turntables. This allows for an extensive vinyl setup; if you like, you can combine the DJM-900NXS2 with up to four PLX-1000 turntables. The built-in peak limiter reduces sound quality loss when your VU meter hits the red.

To make a long story short, with all of these new enhancements, the Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 is a powerful weapon for your DJ booth!

The CDJ-2000NXS2: changes

As a manufacturer, what could you possibly want to change about a club standard like the CDJ-2000NXS? Nevertheless, Pioneer has managed to introduce a number of interesting new features for their flagship media player. The CDJ-2000NXS2 has a touch screen, for instance, making it easier to browse tracks and activate functions.

The player's browse functionality was also subjected to some changes. The browse knob - still located on the right side of the display - is now surrounded by a number of buttons that facilitate the process of scrolling through your music library. Not only does this cluster of controls make life easier for you, it looks nice and sleek too.

With the CDJ-2000NXS2, you're able to use high-quality music files. Both the FLAC and ALAC formats are supported, as is 96kHz/24-bit audio processing.

The player's Needle Search function has been omitted, and is now replaced by a touch screen that allows you to roughly search for your mark within a track and set a cue point. Speaking of the latter, instead of 3 cue points, you now have 8 at your disposal. Eight hot cues can be stored under four neatly backlit buttons (with bank selector), but if that's not enough for you, it's even possible to connect a DDJ-SP1, allowing for even more hot cues. Colour combinations can be adjusted, giving you a direct indication of the folder you're browsing. Just like the XDJ-1000, the CDJ-2000NXS2 has a backlit USB port and SD slot, which makes it easy to insert or remove storage devices - a definite bonus if you're working in a dark club environment. Besides a few subtle changes (the position of the Quantize button, for example), the layout of the CDJ-2000NXS2 hasn't changed much, which makes the transition from a CDJ-2000 Nexus to a CDJ-2000 Nexus 2 a piece of cake.

Both the CDJ-2000NXS2 player and the DJM-900NXS2 mixer will be available in February. Would you like to secure your very own setup right now? Make sure to pre-order yours!

Towards the end of this month, we'll be posting a number of in-depth product videos. Keep an eye on our YouTube channel!

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