It has been over half a year since Denon DJ launched their new Prime series, and by now we expected Pioneer DJ to come back in furious anger and drop the mother of all media players to silence the competition, and its critics, once and for all.

But nothing has happened.

Now September is upon us, and there are plenty of rumors around concerning new Pioneer DJ gear shiny. We already discussed the as good as confirmed release of the XDJ-RX MK2 a few days ago, and today I want to make a strong case for the upcoming XDJ-2000.

Wait, is that a fact?

Nope, not at all. I’m just making this up really but based on a series of points that, when put all together, makes the release of this player almost a certainty.

Let’s elaborate.

Pioneer DJ needs to provide an answer to the SC5000 Prime from Denon DJ

It’s inevitable that Pioneer needs to, at some point, come up with an answer. But I don’t think they will position their future top CDJ player against the SC5000. After all, the SC5000 doesn’t have a CD player and Pioneer DJ is a traditional Japanese company that doesn’t want to shock and awe with radical changes.

So the next top model, costing around 2.5K will be a fully loaded CDJ with a better screen, better processor, better sound than the current CDJ-2000NXS2, and Pioneer DJ will market it above the SC5000 from Denon DJ. It’s a clever way to remain superior, or at least keep the illusion of superiority through pricing…

But there is room in the 2K price range for another sub top model. Here is where the XDJ-2000 comes in, as a direct answer to the SC5000.

It obviously ditches the CD slot, as all XDJ models do. Don’t expect multi-core processing power and onboard track analysis like the SC5000. Pioneer DJ is going to add some premium features to the current XDJ-1000MK2 model, but nothing too radical. Expect to see:

  • Performance pads. As this is basically a midi controller with USB and SD card support, performance pads make perfect sense.
  • A jog wheel much like the one on the CDJ-2000NXS2, or maybe even the touch capacitive jog wheel from the DDJ-RZ/SZ2.
  • Beat jump physical buttons
  • More under the hood improvements

It could, eventually, look a bit like this.

Pioneer XDJ-2000, or at least my version of it!
Pioneer XDJ-2000, or at least my version of it!

It might even have additional buttons around the screen, like the CDJ-2000NXS2, for easy access to the main screen functions, like this:

Pioneer XDJ-2000, with enhanced screen access buttons
Pioneer XDJ-2000, with enhanced screen access buttons

The last version might be pushing it a bit because that would probably bring it too close to the CDJ top model, and it would make it more expensive. But hey, we can dream!

The DJM-750MK2 needs a player to pair up with

Think about it.

  • The DJM-250MK2 and the XDJ-700 are the perfect beginner’s setup
  • The DJM-450 and the XDJ-1000MK2 are the intermediate solution, perfect for DJ’s that want to take it a step further and replicate a club installation at home for a reasonable price.
  • The DJM-900NXS2 and the CDJ-2000NXS2 sit comfortably on the top of the food chain.
  • The DJM-750MK2 and the XDJ-2000 form the perfect solution for the professional DJ that has no need for the absolute best, or to play CDs.
Pioneer DJ XDJ-2000 with DJM-750MK2, the perfect match!
Pioneer DJ XDJ-2000 with DJM-750MK2, the perfect match!


Imagine if Pioneer DJ can price the XDJ-2000 slightly below the SC5000 (to make up for the missing features such as multi-core support and the dual layer feature), say at USD 1.600. That would put the total cost of two XDJ-2000 and 1 DJM-750MK2 at around 4.5K, which is a very sharp price indeed. And don’t they look perfect together?

The CDJ-2000NXS2 workflow is sacred

The reason Pioneer DJ is not going to abandon the overall design of the CDJ-2000NXS2 and, for example, replace the hot cue buttons with performance pads on the bottom of the player is that the workflow is used, supported and expected by thousands of professional DJ’s worldwide.

Not everybody is willing to try new things like Laidback Luke, or Tiësto. Most DJ’s want their CDJ’s to change as little as possible over time so they don’t have to adapt too much. So Pioneer DJ is not going to risk alienating their bread and butter.

Count on them to market every small change on the next CDJ as the next big thing, much like Apple hypes up new iPhone color like if it’s the second coming of Christ.

So, considering this, all the innovation will have to be done on a top of the line XDJ player, that will, slowly but surely, take over the duties of top player, but over a period of several years.

Or nothing is going to happen. We will have to wait and see!

So what do you think, do I have it completely wrong or does my reasoning make sense? Would you buy an XDJ-2000 if Pioneer actually made one? Comment below!


  1. First of all great articles (I’m including the article back in January when I say this). I’m surprised how few comments there are here to be honest, surely the Denon has shaken things up quite a bit with the SC5000. For the first time since Pioneer stole Technics crown as the provider of industry standard DJ players there’s a real competitor on the market. I was planning to get a pair of CDJ2000 NXS2 until I saw the SC5000 reviews and now I’m really torn as I see little point in spending the extra £1,000 for kit that lacks dual layer support or on-board beatgrid analysis (oh and the album-art screens on the jog wheels are a lovely touch, as are the performance pads, slicker touchscreen UI and so on). In fact one of the few key advantages of the CDJ is the CD player itself but this is totally obsolete in 2018, no self respecting DJ should be taking folders full of CD’s to a club unless maybe it’s a really poorly set up club which still has ancient (2003-2006) CDJ 1000MK2 players (which were the last of the flagship models to not support USB/MP3) but even then there’s no excuse for the DJ to not slip a USB drive into their pocket (in the hope the club will have finally upgraded!). I think the CDJ line up has to stop with the current model 2000nxs2 and the future has to see the flagship switch to the XDJ lineup. This means the XDJ needs to deliver all the features of the current 2000nxs2 minus the CD drive PLUS the addition of the killer features from the Denon SC5000 (at the very least dual layer, on-board track analysis and a slicker touchscreen UI, the pads are subjective IMO and might upset too many purists, I for one could live without those). Oh and please lets have the proper track reverse lever from the 2000 series not a cost saving reverse button!
    Based on the previous release time frame of the 2000 series the next CDJ wouldn’t be due until 2019 at the earliest and the XDJ 1000MK2 probably wouldn’t be due an upgrade for at least another 6 months. However, surely the SC5000 forces an earlier move than this if Pioneer are going to stop Denon making a dent in the club scene. Up until now each new MK in the CDJ1000/2000 series has come with a hefty lift in price until we’ve reached the frankly crazy price of the NXS2 we have today. Surely though with the SC5000 being so much cheaper the new XDJ will have to stick at around the same price or maybe even less (depending on how much functionality it offers compared to the SC5000).

  2. If it still has the jog bend dead zone, either no 32% pitch range with 0.1 increments or they don’t give those increments on Wide, and I can’t disable the BPM counters and moving waveforms, I wouldn’t be interested.

  3. I think you’re absolutely right here. Compete Denon with the XDJ-series and rule with the CDJ. I just think they should power it with a multi core CPU and dual layer already with the XDJ-series. And yes, put the pads on this unit and keep them away from the CDJ’s. The CDJ’s should keep their layout as much as possible, but have all the functionality in the software/on screen.

    If you’re a pad hitter, just plug in the DDJ-SP1 or the new XP1 and hit away, but on it’s own usb-port. Dual layer and on board analysis on the fly is a must on both next gen top of the line XDJ’s/CDJ’s. More. Added usb ports is needed and why not a multi gesture 8 or 9” touch screen.

    After all, it takes most DJ’s a few years to get to a level where they can expect top of the line gear in every booth they get to, and for those who get there, there’s no quitting after 5 years. It’s now the fun begins 🙂 .

    The design where the pads are in the bottom of the player may be what controller DJ’s are used to, but I’ve been in booths enough to know that it’s on the lower part of the player that liquids end up for the most, and as irritating a sticky play button are, it’s easy fixed on a Pioneer now. How about a whole row of sticky pads? Where you also have all your performance controls? No thank you! Most clubs don’t have audio people looking after the gear. It’s the next DJ who discover what happened last night, who will have to live with or fix the problem. Controllers are personal, club gear is not.

    • Interesting your observation that the lower part of a deck is the most vulnerable to liquid spills. If you pay more than 2K for 1 deck, you want it as idiot proof as possible, and those performance pads indeed add a lot of risk. Never thought of that! Since I wrote this piece I have come back from the notion that Pioneer DJ should follow Denon DJ performance pad wise. As you say, if you are a pad hitter, add a DDJ-SP1 or DDJ-XP1, directly connected to the unit. Thanks for your input!

  4. If pioneer does it like you think they are a failure. The 2000 have to change! There is no way that they can bring the 90 s layout to the next century. Buttons in the wrong place no multicore and other missing things are NOT expected by djs. Its not that pioneer has to maintain the workflow djs had 20 years ago. Most djs dont do the job longer than 5 years and the new breed wants a modern layout.


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