Pioneer XDJ-RR - Hardware Review
Before I delve into depth on my personal opinion and review of this console , it is best to understand my reasoning for purchasing this console so that those of you can get a better understanding of my feelings and reasonings for purchasing this console .
Up until last week I had a DJ setup in my bedroom that I would use for two main purposes , 1) to record my weekly radio show and 2) on the off chance I was booked for a gig whereby the club/bar would not have the setup I liked (or not have any form of a setup) I would take my CDJ’s or entire set up for the specific gig. The DJ set up I had was 2 x Pioneer CDJ 350 , 1 x Pioneer DJM 350 all nicely boxed into an official Pioneer flight case . I also had a Voxol turntable that was connected to the mixer. I played only on USB , never used a laptop or CDs.
Lately I’ve been getting more bookings at venues who don’t have the desired set up for me to play on and also I was getting tired of having to copy 2 USBs at a time for new music (there is no ‘link’ option with this set up so I would have to copy new music onto 2 USBs everytime) I decided that it was time for an upgrade.
What I needed was something that , 1) to make moving and connecting my setup easier 2) adding new music to USBs easier and more time efficient, and 3) that was more of an upgrade when it comes to DJing (ie. effects, loops etc ). It was at this point in time that I had decided to purchase the Pioneer CDJ-RR .
Upon first glance you’ll be mighty impressed by just how much was crammed into this 39cm x 68cm ‘small’ console. At the top there’s a beautifully lit 7 inch screen which has all the display info you would expect (replicates the CDJ 2000 display) except when you have two tracks loaded in their channels retrospectively , it then goes into split screen mode where you can see both tracks’ information , time, individual waveforms etc..
The console is a 2 channel ‘DJ solution’ (quoted from the official Pioneer website) and they’re just about right. You have everything you could expect here. Its a 2 channel mixer with a 3 band EQ (-20:+8) with 7 built in effects . Effects include, echo, reverb, planger , filter , noise, pitch and more. The knobs are nice and solid, they felt a little heavier than previous versions of their mixes, which I prefer now and I think is a great upgrade. The faders and pitch control are also sold and tight , but the pitch control is slightly shorter than what you would expect to a regular CDJ.
When it comes to connectivity you have a few options on how you want to play , there are 2 USB slots in the top right corner which you can either 1) use a single USB and play off both channels from that USB , 2) connect 2 USBs and connect each respectively into their desired channels , or 3) Connect your laptop to be used in sync with Rekordbox . The one USB slot can be used to record your sets .
Each channel has 4 individual touch pads . You can load upto 4 hot cue points, 4 different beat and slip loops as well as 4 beat jumps. I found the feel of the touch pads really great , nice and solid and not to sensitive when it came to tapping on each either, I liked this as you can be a little rough with it which I personally prefer. The loops were really awesome and easy to use. I did find that when making a loop point that it was not perfectly quantized , which did bother me a little as compared to the CDJ 900/1000/2000 ‘s . If you don’t hit the loop at the exact split second, it will loop out of sync .
The jog wheels ( or as I like to call them platters) themselves are good and solidly built with a nice , sort of , chrome finish to them with the Pioneer logo in the middle of the platter. Just above the platter you get your manual loop in and loop out buttons, again they’re lacking in the quantize department. The vinyl mode is upto Pioneer’s usual quality but there is lacking an option to change the weight and feel of the platter , which I think would have been a nice addition as I feel the platters are a little slippery to the touch and a little too sensitive . I personally would have preferred them to have been a little more stiffer.
Everything is nicely compacted together. At a weight of just over 5 kgs , with a carry case ( I purchased the EVA hard case from UDG HERE which fits perfectly ) can moved and connected easily from gig to gig. The channel faders , buttons etc .. are fitted nicely and ‘snug’ together. It might not be that heavy but it does have that excellent build quality you would expect from Pioneer , and then sum. It can easily fit nicely on a standard sized table with space to boot.
On the reverse side you’ll find your standard RCA out as well as a ,nicely added addition, an XLR out. You also have the option of an single auxiliary input which is great for connecting any LINE in component , such as a touchpad or a turntable or even a cellphone.
This console, by design, was manufactured with people like me in mind, for those looking for an ‘all-in-one’ console setup that can easily be carried around, with a few effects and features for flexibility and fun , this console is the perfect option. I can mix easily with just a single USB. I can also have the creative freedom to loop and splice tracks , create hot cues and have a lot of fun . Its small and compact which means I dont need alot of space to connect this console. There are a few features that I would have liked, for example : for the jog wheels to have been heavier and not as sensitive, and also for the loop function to be more quantized and not so hard to ‘perfectly’ loop tracks.
Besides these few gripes , I personally think this is an amazing all in one console. For such a low price , you’re getting so much . Pioneer never lets their customers down, their build quality is of the best and the same can be said about the XDJ-RR. I do look forward to them growing on this XDJ range, possibly building a 3 channel mixer or even a 4 deck version.
For more information and where you can purchase this click HERE