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Pioneer DDJ-800 vs DDJ-1000: Which One Is Better and Why?

By Ferdi Vol
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It's safe to say that Pioneer is one of the market leaders when it comes to DJ controllers. And one of the reasons why this is the case is because they have been able to provide great products for every DJ out there. They have introduced controllers and players for both starter and veteran DJs, but now, have you ever wondered what is the difference between the DDJ-800 and the DDJ-1000? have you ever wondered which one is the better choice?

So which one is the better choice? the answer depends on what you are looking for. Do you need 4 channels? strongly prefer a mechanical jog wheel? if so, the DDJ-1000 is your best bet. Are you on a budget? want something more compact? if so, the DDJ-800 is the best choice. Both are great options for any journeyman DJ looking for a serious machine to mix with.

In this article, I decided to talk a little bit more about these two awesome controllers. Both of these obviously work as a controller with a built-in mixer, I couldn't find any resource that talks a little bit more in-depth about their main differences.

That's why I decided to write this post. Below, you will find the main similarities and differences that these two Pioneer models have. I have done extensive research about these players and so the information will be really useful if you are looking to purchase one of these controllers but aren't sure which one to choose. So I hope you find this article useful!

DDJ-1000 vs DDJ-800: Main Similarities and Differences

So while both controllers do the same thing: mix song passages to create new music, they obviously have several key differences that distinguish one from the other. Below, you will find a list of most of the main differences and similarities between these two.

The DDJ-1000 has four channels, DDJ-800 only has two

One of the main differences between the DDJ-1000 and the DDJ-800 is the fact that the former has four channels, unlike the DDJ-800 that only has two. This means that the DDJ-1000 is perfect if you are working on more complex mixes that require more than two channels to play. Not only that, but the mixer found on the DDJ-1000 contains four-line faders and EQ knobs which makes using the additional two channels a piece of cake.

These features alone make the DDJ-1000 the clear superior over the DDJ-800, or at least for some people. If you are looking for four channels in your DJing equipment, then you kind of don't have another choice than choosing this over the 800, and even if you aren't using four channels right now, there's always the chance that you will in the future, making the DDJ-1000 the better choice over the DDJ-800, especially if you are willing to pay a few hundred more for it.

The DDJ-1000 has two USB slots, the DDJ-800 only has one

Another difference that might be significant for some considering these two controllers is the fact that the DDJ-1000 has 2 USB slots, while the DDJ-800 only has one. While some will overlook this factor, having just 1 USB in a player is a big disadvantage because there's no way to switch laptops without stopping the music playing, which is a big con if you are playing on clubs or any other locations where this might happen.

This is much less of a dealbreaker if you aren't going to be playing on public places with other DJs though. Also, in theory, the 1 USB limitation might be overcome with a multi-port adapter that provides more USB slots, but I haven't tried this or have heard of anybody doing this though, so it might not be possible.

The DDJ-800 is significantly more affordable

The DDJ-800 is positioned below the DDJ-1000 in the Pioneer's DDJ model line, so it makes sense that it's more affordable. This is one of the reasons why DDJ-800 is more popular than DDJ-1000. The price difference tends to be between 200-300 dollars depending on where you buy the controller, and whether the money saved is worth it depends on what you are willing to compromise on.

Pioneer made the DDJ-800 more affordable by not adding things like a mechanical jog wheel and less sturdy/generic line faders. Other things that Pioneer did to lower the price of it are adding fewer USB slots (just one), using more inexpensive plastics, and in general providing less quality control for this model.

The DDJ-1000 has a mechanical jog wheel

One of the main selling points of the DDJ-1000 is the fact that it has a mechanical jog wheel, which mimics the feel of a turntable very well. This is in contrast to the DDJ-800, a controller that uses a capacitive jog wheel instead. If you didn't know, a capacitive jog wheel feels much lighter and more artificial when using it, and many do not like them because it's really easy to touch them by mistake. DJs tend to prefer mechanical ones because of this.

Mechanical jog wheels do have some disadvantages though. The first one is the fact that these jog wheels are much more mechanically complex than capacitive ones, which in turn makes the controller much heavier and bulkier. The second con is the fact that they are more fragile and more likely to malfunction or break over time, especially when not taken care of.

The DDJ-1000 has superior faders

A big pro of the DDJ-1000 is the fact that it features better faders when compared to it's smaller brother the DDJ-800. The DDJ-1000 features Magvel faders, which are a fader brand made with a superior design and magnetic parts. The components found on these faders means that they last longer and are more accurate than more traditional faders.

Not only that, but magnetic faders are also what you want if you are going to be using the crossfader often. If you tend to use the crossfader to scratch, then magnetic faders like Magvel ones will be a godsend. They will last much longer than the generic ones and they also feel much heavier and substantial.

Both come with a Rekordbox DJ license from the box

I have talked a lot about the main differences between these 2 controllers, but how about the similarities? One of the main ones is that they come with a free Rekordbox DJ license when bought new. This is something that Pioneer has been doing with most, if not all, of their DJ equipment for a while now, and while the software isn't very expensive, to begin with, it's still a really appreciated gesture from Pioneer.

If you do not like Rekordbox and would like to use another kind of DJing software, let me tell you that these 2 units do not support all DJing software out there. You can't use Serato with any of these two (unless you buy the versions that support Serato), and other options like Traktor tend to be a little bit buggier and obviously don't have the same level of support as Rekordbox

You do not need a license to play Rekordbox DJ with DDJ-800

So while both controllers come with a free Rekordbox license, they aren't completely the same when it comes to DJing software. The truth is that the DDJ-800 will work with Recordbox DJ copies found in any other computer, no matter if it isn't the original license that came with the controller. This means that you can use this very useful software on your friend's or employer's laptop without any license required.

This is not the case with the DDJ-1000 though, which requires a valid license in order for the software to be used in the first place. Thankfully, Rekordbox isn't very expensive these days, but still, the fact that you need a license does make the DDJ-1000 a little bit less convenient, especially for DJs that are regularly using music from other people's computers.

The DDJ-800 is smaller and lighter

One thing that I love about the DDJ-800 is the fact that it's significantly more compact than the DDJ-1000. I'm personally somebody that is on the move often, so unplugging my controller and storing it away on my bag is a very common occurrence. The fact that I often need to use my equipment on clubs means that for storage and handling purposes, the best equipment is often the most compact, and that's where the DDJ-800 shines.

The DDJ-800 weighs 10 pounds, 25% less than the DDJ-1000, which weighs 13. This weight difference comes from several different materials being used on the DDJ-1000, for example, the mechanical jog wheel and several magnets being used on the line faders as I mentioned above, among other things.

The DDJ-1000 jog wheels are bigger

Aside from it being mechanical, the DDJ-1000 jog wheel distinguishes itself by being bigger and more substantial than the jog wheel found in its less expensive cousin. This jog wheel feels much heavier when using it too, and many DJs out there find it significantly easier and more intuitive to use. I do know some DJs that think otherwise though, so this is a matter of personal taste really.

So if you want to go with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-1000 you can click on this link.

If you rather want to go with the Pioneer DJ DDJ-800 you can click on this link to get it.

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About DJ Pro Tips
DJ Pro Tips is a website that has the goal to make you a better DJ by providing useful and accurate information.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol is a DJ for several years and is here to share his passion with you.
About Ferdi Vol
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