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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 22nd September 2008 , 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarch View Post
At the end of the day e-vinyl you did very well to be harsh, if it meant being honest. If you did not really click with the product (even if it does look nice) then you have to tell it like it is. Being frank, even if you are being quite critical is much better than trying to cover things up, just to avoid being negative. Constructive criticism can be a very valuable source of info. Just as much as positive feedback. Well done
i guess you are right
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Old 23rd September 2008 , 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by e-vinyl View Post
i guess you are right
me personally when i look at a review i will go straight to the negative feedback, once you evaluate that the rest is a bonus
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 23rd September 2008 , 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
me personally when i look at a review i will go straight to the negative feedback, once you evaluate that the rest is a bonus
exactly, plus I find user reviews show up the minor but annoying faults that no magazine or other pro review will ever mention
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Old 23rd September 2008 , 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by conor_j View Post
exactly, plus I find user reviews show up the minor but annoying faults that no magazine or other pro review will ever mention
If im to be brutally honest i don't rate mag reviews very false in my opinion
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 25th September 2008 , 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
me personally when i look at a review i will go straight to the negative feedback, once you evaluate that the rest is a bonus
But sometimes there is not much negative feedback to go straight to. Yes a few lines here and there but many mag reviews IMO are too positive.
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Old 25th September 2008 , 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sureno View Post
If im to be brutally honest i don't rate mag reviews very false in my opinion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarch View Post
But sometimes there is not much negative feedback to go straight to. Yes a few lines here and there but many mag reviews IMO are too positive.
hence the above quote
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Old 30th October 2008 , 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conor_j View Post
exactly, plus I find user reviews show up the minor but annoying faults that no magazine or other pro review will ever mention
Theres a chap I know who writes alot of reviews for SOS and sometimes he doesnt mention something we all think he should have (several months later when we have had the device in question for a while) becuase he didnt come across it in the time he had (usually a few weeks at best). I can think of a couple of reviews where that has been the case and he got somewhat maligned for it in various forums.

The problem you get with review from users such as us is the review has to be taken in the context of our experience with that class of gear. For eg, get a new bit of be******* kit and its the best you have ever used, and you only had it for a couple of days (ie it hasnt died yet), then it going to get a glowing review for it knobs and blinky lights and that it does roughly what it says on the tin

Same person tens year latter with (hopefully) far broader experience when probably say it was a near useless heap of junk if he repated the same review

Hopefully with quality magazines and review being carried out by an experienced users and writer with a broad and deep experience of similar gear should be more useful than an unqualified user review - we already know how much opinions can differ even between many of us here in this forum - and sometimes just because an item in question is used slighly differently

BTW - talking of reviews - what happend to the morpho one?
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Old 30th October 2008 , 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khazul View Post
Edit:
BTW - talking of reviews - what happend to the morpho one?
We're on it K. Pre-order purchases of the little yellow beauties got the first shipment to DV swallowed up, so, just waiting on e.t.a. for next batch, of which one will be pulled aside for the aforementioned review - we aint forgotten, it will be done..
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 30th October 2008 , 10:45 AM
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I agree with some of your points Khazul, however I would also say that SOS Mag is excellent for detail but like most if not all Music Mags I have read, Music Tech, CMM, Future Music e.t.c they are for me too positive in their views most of the time.

One of the few frank reviews I can remember was an earlier Cubase Review by CMM, they were not impressed by the stability issues they had with Cubase and marked it down accordingly. Good to see.

SOS mag go into lovely detail (that is why I susbcribe) but skim over bugs and reliability issues far too often. Konnekt hardware had huge issues that were not even touched on in any detail considering the massive problems they caused. Very misleading.

Good for a reference but that is about it for me. I am much more interested in a paid customers point of view as they can be as frank as need be without being afraid to heavily criticise a product if it clearly has fallen short in a particular area...even if it is just their opinon

e-vinyl's write up here is quite frank about the problems he had and thankfully he was brave enough to say so.

Another good example of a mag review was CMM's review of MOTU electric keys....they really liked it but marked it down because of the hassle they had installing it. I think sureno did very well in his User Review of the same product to highlight this as well. He was actually first to do so as his review came out before theirs >tee hee<

But in most cases mag reviews are just so positive they can be misleading. At the end of the day...demo, demo demo where possible of course
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Old 30th October 2008 , 10:52 AM
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Background/context
How you perceive a new bit of gear is often down to you own experience and what you allready use, so just a litle background to give some context to my comments below. I dont actually DJ for a living these days however I do do the occasinal gig as a favour for friends etc. That may change in the future

I am used to using a pair of Technics SL1200 M5G decks and my way to beat match is exclusively using the pitch sliders and I dont dab the platter (many DJs like to dab the platter for sync nudging), instead I flick the slider - this is much smoother sounding IMHO.
Also my SL1200 have quite tight sliders and I'm used to it and like it. Being used to vinyl, then the way I launch a track in sync (as an FYI for non-DJs) is basically gently scratch it back and forth with a finger into sync (Turntables have slip mat to make this easy) and let it go when Im happy.

I have also used NI Traktor 3 quite alot which is kind of the opposite end of the spectrum to vinyl.

Music taste for DJing is across the board 4 to floor dance music (House/Trance/Electro/Tech House from about 125-140 or so bpm), so no DnB/Breaks and I utterly loathe Hip-Hop/R&B etc. Style of DJing tends to favour making the most of long smooth transitions (hence I like very precise sync ability) while subtle working the fx, not much messing with tracks in the middle unless they really need it. Occasional on the fly mash up, but Im not praticed enough for beat juggling type mashing/chopping etc. I know wmy way around scratch and full-on turntablism, but I uttterlyy lack the skills for it - never done more than the odd skip back loop (aka forward scratch I think) and way way too out of practice these days to be accurate even for that. I do actively harmonic mix sometimes, but mostly by ear on the fly rather than pre-analysing.


1. Name of the product and current version:
Pioneer CDJ-1000 Mk3



2. When you bought the product:
October 2008

3. Why you bought it:
Needed to get familar with DJ-ing of CDJs rather than software or vinyl - these are about the most common club decks and thats what I need to get familar with.

4. How much did it cost:
Part of a package (Pair of CDJ-1000s + DJM-800 mixer for about 2.5K)

5. Installation / Setup:
Very simple, connect RCA audio lead and 3.5mm faser control to the mixer, connects to mains, switch on, stick in a CD.

6. What do you like about it?:
Build quality feel goods.
Excellent clear displays.
All primary functions are very obvious and easy to get at
Clear visual indication of its state
Mostly very good tactile feedback for precise cueing.
Very precise feeling cue/play buttons.
You can tune to vinyl mode stop time (the time it takes to wind down a stop) and the pick up tie for starting and releasing the scratch platter. Additionally you can touch how heavy the scratch platter feels, or at least its resistance. This means you can to some extend tune the feel to match whatever turntable you are used to.
In vinyl mode, you can place a finger on the scratch platter, hit play then when you release the platter, it will play, this means you can cue and release a track using the platter exactly as you would with vinyl (I personally find this more precise than using buttons).
I like that you can launch with the cue button, then while holding cue, press play - great if picking up against a track your not 100% familar with - this is where CDs/digital etc come into their own against vinyl unless your a scratch artist/turntablist - which Im not!
You can effectively nudge just the pitch slider in the way I do with a turntable.
Track profile display and CD text support
No center bump in pitch slider - nice!
Plays MP3 off a data CD too.

7. What don’t you like about it?.
I find the CDJ pitch slider doesnt have enough resistance, so I find myselt looking at the pitch shift amount display as a reference more than going by feel.
Tempo lock mode (sometimes called key-lock in software - where the pitch is locked) can cause odd artifacts, in the worst case punchy transiest can sound slighly doubled. As a DJ this can make you think a track isnt perfectly in sync.
I find nudging by winding the rim a bit hit and miss - I think I just need time to get used to it, though I am used to the concept with controllers and software.
Rim doesnt affect the pitch diplay.
While setting up a loop is easy - aligning it perfectly can involved quite a bit of messing about if you are also trying to keep sync - easier to use an external loop sampler.
I think cueing is only accurate to a CD frame - I dont know how long a frame it, but I feel I can cue vinyl and software more accurately, and so have lees need to immediately nudge sync after launching.
Pitch setting resolution - while very good - it still isnt as precise as the analog slider on a turntable, so I tend to find myself fine tuning it during a mix more.
There doesnt appear to be a way of merging the dat on the SD card with that from another deck which limits its usefullness, but perhaps I have missed something.

8. Any improvements:
Much more resistance with the pitch slider - its certainly solid feeling, I just prefer more tactile resistance.
Better key lock algorhythm (Ive been spoilt as I also use NI Tracktor 3 which has a really excellent and allmost artifact free key lock).
Rim nudge should also affect the pitch shift display
Automate loop points more - perhaps more like the way Tracktor works.
Sample accurate cueing? (if my interpretation of cueing accuracy is right)
Finer resolution pitch adjustment.

9. Comparison to similar products:
I've breifly used these before along with other CD decks. Now that I have spent lots of time recently with these, then I think they are the best of their class for this type. Demon offer another approach to vinyl emulation that may suit some people better, however I don't recall seeing them used in any clubs. If you are aiming to be a club DJ - then you probably want to be familar with the gear typically used.

10.Would you buy it again:
Definately. The negative points are relatively minor, and you quickly learn to work around them.

14. Pros and cons summary:
Good contruction, very precise feeling controls (except the pitch slider)
Vinyl skills translate to it very well with a few minor adjustments - actually you may even find it easier to use coming from vinyl.
Wish it had a better key lock audio algorythm.

15. Rating:
4/5 (key lock artifact and pitch slider are what let it down a little though the latter may be a matter of personal taste).
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Old 30th October 2008 , 11:15 AM
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e-vinyl's write up here is quite frank about the problems he had and thankfully he was brave enough to say so.
I have one of those I bought when they fist came out. Part of me wonders of behinger got badly caught out from being among the first out with such a controller, and then finding everyone else decides to do things slighly differently. You see their jog wheel midi implementation behaves differently to just about everyone elses - I assume this was why the replaced it with the BCD-3000. Historicallyy that have had terrible problem getting drivers right, particularly for audio, and to a lesser extent midi. I never tried their included DJ software, thought it did work as a controller OK with Virtual-DJ, but that was it - useless for Traktor.

My summary would be something on the lines of 'Great as a door wedge, but not much use for anything else'.

When it comes to software reviews, I do take you points - reviewers should be brutal about software faults - the software industry needs that kind of kick TBH and it needs to learn that it is absolutely no longer acceptable to release noticeably buggy software in the same way as it has nit been acceoptable for hardware to be 'buggy' to the point of needing a recall.
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Old 30th October 2008 , 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the background /context and that is a superb review!

Quote:
I have one of those I bought when they fist came out. Part of me wonders of behinger got badly caught out from being among the first out with such a controller, and then finding everyone else decides to do things slighly differently. You see their jog wheel midi implementation behaves differently to just about everyone elses - I assume this was why the replaced it with the BCD-3000. Historicallyy that have had terrible problem getting drivers right, particularly for audio, and to a lesser extent midi. I never tried their included DJ software, thought it did work as a controller OK with Virtual-DJ, but that was it - useless for Traktor.
I have heard more than a few complaints about Behringer...your theory about them coming out first with that product type without an initial reference point might be correct.

Quote:
My summary would be something on the lines of 'Great as a door wedge, but not much use for anything else'.
A somewhat pricey door wedge

Quote:
When it comes to software reviews, I do take you points - reviewers should be brutal about software faults - the software industry needs that kind of kick TBH and it needs to learn that it is absolutely no longer acceptable to release noticeably buggy software in the same way as it has nit been acceoptable for hardware to be 'buggy' to the point of needing a recall.
Exactly yes. I love to read opinions from those who know their stuff, far more than I may ever know....but more frank reviews when called for would be much more helpful.
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Old 30th October 2008 , 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarch View Post
Thanks for the background /context and that is a superb review!

Edit
I second that Monarch.. Top drawer stuff K
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Old 5th November 2008 , 03:40 PM
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Background/Context
When reading a review I think its important to understand the context and experience of the reviewer to gage relevance, so a little bit of my current DJing background can be found in the companion CDJ-1000 Mk3 review here.

1. Name of the product and current version:
Pioneer DJM-800 DJ Mixer


2. When you bought the product:
October 2008

3. Why you bought it:
Needed a new mixer to with my CDJs to get back into regular DJing again.

4. How much did it cost:
Part of a package with a pair of CDJ-1000 Mk3s for about 2.5K

5. Installation, Setup and Overview:
I am using it with 2 x CDJ-1000 Mk3 CD decks on channels 1 and 2, 2 Technics SL1210 M5G decks each fitted with Ortofon Elektro concorde catridges on channels 3 and 4, additionally I have a SPDIF feed into channel 3's input from my main studio console and another SPDIF feed into channel 4's digital input from the computer. My out connectivity is XLR main outs back into my console, booth outs into the main room sound system and the SPDIF main out (at 96K) into my central station which is my monitoring router for the studio monitors. These connections are enough to also let me use the mixer as an effects processor from my computer or studio gear as well as quickly check how my music mixes with commercial CDs etc.
6. What do you like about it?:
Build quality – as with previous Pioneer mixers, this feels solid.
Lots of connectivity options
Displays are very clear, so you can see at a glance what everything is set to, especially in the fx section and good clear metering.
I like the layout – while not that much has changed from the DJM-600, there are a few good changes I like:
- Moving the master level up near the trims and the balance up as well out of the way.
- Addition of fader starts for CDJs – I never thought I would use these, but actually they are really useful .
- That some sound shaping is now separate from the main fx section – ie separate filter so you can do echo + filter type sweeps.
- Addition of a pitch shifter – with a reservation (below)
Nice tight feeling controls
Sound – I happen to like (or have got used to?) the sound character of Pioneer DJ effects. Very low noise too, and my decks sound good through it (though those cartridges allways sound good).
7. What don’t you like about it?.
The only thing that’s bugged me is the artefacts in the pitch shifter. Like the CDJs with tempo lock on, the pitch shifter can sometimes double transients making you initially think something isn’t quite in sync, so I use it very sparingly and never leave a song running with it active, instead just use it over mixes when needed.
Sometimes the timbre effects are not available with some of the main effects - down to DSP I expect.
8. Any improvements:
As with the CDJs – pitch shifter/key lock algorithm.
Personally I don’t really get on with split mono into headphones – I do wish there was a cross feed split mono – i.e. a bit of the left fed to the right and visa-versa in split mode.
Cross fader could do with being a little bit looser as it stand it is a little too tight to be able to dab it from one side to the other for chopping – you actually have to push it – a solid flick only sends it about half way – not a big deal.
Its a shame the pitch shiter isnt completely independent of the other effects
The new style slide switches are good for keeping them out of the way, but annoying on the cross fader selector if you find yourself needing to switch a deck over to the other side.
9. Comparison to similar products:
My reference has been the old DJM-600 and in every way it is a huge improvement. I had thought about various Allen and Heath mixers (because I like their filters), but in the end – I needed something that was ‘standard’ as well. Linking with the CDJs is a huge plus once you find a use for it.
10.Would you buy it again:
Absolutely!
14. Pros and cons summary:
Good build, clean sound, nice sounding fx if you like standard pioneer fx for abusing house/trance etc, plenty of connectivity. Saying the Pitcher is a con isnt really fair - its better to have it than not and use it carefully!
Some may be put off by the lack of complete kill on the EQs - dont be - in pratice -26dB is plenty of cut to acheive as good as 'kill' duty.
15. Rating:
4/5 – mainly let down by the pitch shift algorithm as with CDJs.
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Last edited by Khazul; 5th November 2008 at 03:47 PM. . <
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 5th November 2008 , 03:49 PM
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another top review there Khazul, would love for you to elaborate on the transient part not quite understanding that
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