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NEW: Pioneer DJM-850 mixer
NEW: Pioneer DJM-850 mixer
Posted by Gizmo on February 23, 2012 :

Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer

In a rapidly evolving market, the notion of standards is rapidly disappearing. But there are a few left, one of which is the Pioneer DJM-800 (notably missing from the website menu now) mixer. But steadily that is being supplanted by their technology laden 900Nexus mixer. But Pioneer haven't forgotten the venerable (in modern terms) 800 workhorse and have brought forth the DJM-850 for your consideration.

First, the important words from Pioneer:

Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer, DJM-850, djm, 850, midi, mixer
Pioneer’s perfect mix – the DJM-850 combines future-proof technology with the DJ’s favourite features

With two colour choices, four channels, one hundred effect combinations and endless creative possibilities, the new DJM-850 is set to become home and mobile DJs’ most sought-after mixer.

The DJM-850 is primed and ready for plug and play, with preconfigured, studio-quality effects accessible at the touch of a button. The mixer rivals software’s creative possibilities liberating DJs from their laptops and allowing for a more natural DJing experience.
The DJM-850 is the perfect choice at this price point because it retains its predecessor’s most popular features, inherits the high-end build of Pioneer’s club-standard DJM-900nexus, and adds a few innovative effects of its own.
The DJM-850’s Beat Colour Effect, an industry first, uses sidechaining to add another layer of control to Pioneer’s brilliantly simple Colour Effects. The Beat Effect ‘listens’ to the audio input of each channel and connects the changes in volume to other parameters, so DJs can flawlessly blend new sounds and effects into their mixes.
And the DJM-850’s integrated four-stereo-channel sound card makes setup incredibly simple, with connection to PCs and laptops requiring just one cable.
The glossy black DJM-850-K and sleek silver DJM-850-S will be available from late March 2012 at a SRP of 1,499 EUR/1,299 GBP each, including VAT. 

1.) Built-in four-stereo-channel sound card

- The DJM-850 boasts an integrated high-performance sound card, enabling simultaneous input and output with 24-bit/96 kHz processing, so there is no deterioration of sound quality as it passes through the mixer.

- With three sampling rates (96 kHz/48 kHz/44.1 kHz), the DJM-850 can be used for music recording and production as well as expert DJing.

- Connection to PCs or laptops requires just one USB cable, so DJs can start mixing their stored music immediately. And software devotees can make the most of scratch control thanks to the mixer’s compatibility with the timecode feature on Digital Vinyl Systems, such as Traktor.

- Pioneer’s handy utility tool launches as soon as the DJM-850 is connected to a computer, allowing DJs to configure the mixer, sound card and audio routing according to their personal preferences. 

2.) Beat Colour Effect – INDUSTRY FIRST

- The DJM-850 harnesses the power of the highly popular studio technique of sidechaining to add a new element to Pioneer’s wonderfully simple Colour Effects without making them any more complicated to use.

- By engaging the Beat button, another dimension of control is automatically added when you apply the Colour Effects. The Beat Colour Effect ‘listens’ to the audio input of each channel and directly connects the rhythmical changes in volume to another parameter: resonance for Filter and Crush, beat repeat for Cutter and ducking volume for the Noise Effect.

- This extra layer of control has become a staple of dance music production because of the way it blends new sounds and effects perfectly into the mix.

3.) Improved Beat Effects with new ‘FX Boost’

- The mixer offers DJs 13 enhanced Beat Effects. Along with old favourites, the DJM-850 inherits the incredibly high-quality Reverb and tripped out sound of the tape echo-inspired Spiral Effect from the DJM-900nexus. And, exclusive to the DJM-850, Pioneer introduces Up Echo, which produces a more reserved and controllable mix.

- Replicating the sound effects achieved by the DJM-900nexus’s touch-sensitive X-Pad, the ‘FX Boost’ function allows the Level/Depth knob to work more proactively than a standard Wet/Dry Control. Turn the dial to the 12 o’clock mark for a fully wet effect and turn it further to add Pitch Up to Up Echo and a High-Pass Filter to the Reverb.

4.) EQ isolator on each channel

- Each channel is home to a three-band equalizer (+6 dB to -26 dB) or three-band isolator (+6 dB to -∞dB).

- Emulating the isolator on Pioneer’s installation-grade DJM-1000, the DJM-850’s equalizer straddles the range from -26 kill to complete kill.

5.) High-quality sound and familiar, industry-standard layout

- Pristine sound reproduction with reduced noise interference is guaranteed thanks to the DJM-850’s top-of-the-range components: a 32-bit output D/A convertor; a 32-bit digital signal processor; the separation of analogue and digital circuitry; and the shortest possible transmission path.

- The DJM-850’s interface mirrors the user-friendly layout of Pioneer’s club-standard mixers for ultimate familiarity, wherever DJs perform.

6.) Durable build for DJs who love to play

- The internal parts of the DJM-850’s high-performance faders are nestled well out of harm’s way, so drink spillages aren’t the disaster they are with other mixers.

- Pioneer’s P-Lock Fader Caps prevent the faders from slipping off accidentally during rough use.

7.) Other features

- Fully MIDI assignable, the DJM-850 also serves as a MIDI controller.

- The USB port is conveniently located on top of the mixer so DJs can easily switch between connectable devices.

- The mixer automatically reverts to standby mode if it is not used for a set period of time 


Number of channelsAudio 4-channel, MIC 2-channel
InputsCD/Line x 4 (RCA), Line x 2 (RCA), Phono x 2 (RCA)

MIC x 2 (XLR and 1/4-inch Jack combined use x 1, 1/4-inch Jack x 1)
OutputsMaster Out x 2 (RCA x 1, XLR x 1)

Booth Out x 1 (1/4-inch Jack)

Headphone Monitor Out x 1 (top side 1/4-inch Jack)

REC Out x 1 (RCA)

Digital Out x 1 (Coaxial)
Other portsSend x 1 (1/4-inch Jack), Return x 1 (1/4-inch Jack)

MIDI Out x 1 (5P DIN), USB x 1 (top side B port), Control x 4 (Φ 3.5 mm mini-jack)
Sampling rate96 kHz
D/A converter32 bit
A/D converter24 bit
Frequency response20 Hz - 20 kHz
Total harmonic distortionMax. 0.004%
S/N ratioMin. 106 dB (Line)
Headroom19 dB
Power useAC 220 - 240 V (50 Hz/60 Hz)
Electricity consumption30 W
Maximum external dimensions

(W x H x D)
320 × 108 x 381 mm
Mass7.7 kg

So the 800 dun gone digital.
Looks like Pioneer are drawing a new line in the sand with this. Apparently the 850 is for "home and mobile", leaving the 900Nexus to be the standard club install. The main difference as I see it is the Pro DJ Link, which from a mixer perspective means that beat effects are synchronised in a better way and not much else. The 900Nexus also offers more in the way of inputs too.

One big thing here is the addition of USB. The DJM-800 was a MIDI mixer, but it lacked a USB port to make connection to your computer simple, and instead depended on 5 Pin DIN connector, which has been retained for those who have already invested in adaptors. Unlike other mixers, the USB port is on the faceplate. Makes sense to me as many installed mixers don't always offer easy access to the rear cabling. And it means that you don't run the risk of unplugging channels or power accidentally mid-set. But it's not as neat.

To me, the 850 is a logical upgrade to the 800. It adds USB connectivity, something that is essential these days, and with it comes Traktor certification, as does internal operation with all DVS systems except Scratch Live. Effects also get some love too, although I suspect that most people couldn't do justice to the 800's, let alone giving them even more to play with.

The upgrade was needed, but now make the decision between an 850 and a 900 harder, especially as this upgrade adds £200 to the price, and only leaves £300 between the 850 and 900Nexus. Are the Pro DJ Link and some digital ins and beat colour effects so important for the mixer that it's the deal breaker? If I were stood in front of the 850 and 900, I wouldn't know which one to get. Undoubtedly amazing mixers, but I cannot help but think that there needs to be a clearer line between them.

So, can any experienced Pioneer people or users define the boundaries for me as to why I would pick an 850 over a 900Nexus or vice versa? Or indeed given Denon's recent foray into workflows, why would I pick a Pioneer mixer over a Denon mixer. Perhaps a head to head review is in order.

Anyway, both the Silver and Black variants are available at the end of March, with pricing of €1499/£1299/$1999. I expect we'll fondle them in due course.

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
27 comments to this story

On February 23, 2012, Strategy said this:
Looks damn nice, but I would have loved to see a designated midi-section like on the Denon DN-X1600!
And if they really wanted to put a cherry on top Pioneer should have installed the same crossfader as used in the DJM-T1! Now that woould have been one sweet mixer!love.gif

On February 23, 2012, Gizmo said this:
I know there's a huge amount of white space before the table. But seeing as the site is getting upgraded shortly, I'd rather put effort into that than bug fixing an 8 year old script.

So... DJM-800 MK2 or DJM-900LE?

On February 23, 2012, Scott Frost said this:
Certainly not woth $1999. $1200 maybe. Should have been 800mk2. Denon X1600 has better options for cheaper. you can even get an X1700 for cheaper which is 2 years old and blows this away.

On February 23, 2012, fullenglishpint said this:
Definitely DJM-800mk2. I'd go so far as to say I'd prefer to buy a second hand 800 for a lot less and use it with a Traktor Scratch Pro package. Then I'm not relying on a traktor certified mixer at the club, and I'd probably save some money.

The 900 is a no-brainer if it's a choice between the 2.

On February 23, 2012, bflat said this:
Hmm..I was about to cop the Denon DN-X1600, and now I see this! Not sure what to do, but it looks like the 850 is 2x as much for a very similar product..

Any opinions? Wait for this or just go for the 850?

On February 23, 2012, Gavin Varitech said this:
Definitely the DJM800 MK2. I thought they were going to come out with a 750, more of a 700 MK2 that would have a soundcard and be Traktor Certified since the 900 is already the 800 MK2 IMO. But this also makes sense. Like the 700 compared to the 800 (I own a DJM700) I think I like this compared to the 900. The only thing missing from the 900 I would want is the X-pad but aside from that this has everything I want on the 900, plus some features the 900 doesn't have (as the 700 did over the 800 when it came out).

If it is at least $300 USD less than the DJM900 I'm replacing my 700 with this very soon.

On February 23, 2012, Pulse said this:
I'm almost inclined to call this a DJM750 simply for the fact it's taken away my beloved digital inputs of the 800 (even with the audio interface inclusion).

I too scratch my head at the lineup, lots of mixers within a close price range. And hey, that DJM-T1 is at a great price now too for guys looking at a 2ch mixer, only confusing things further!

On February 23, 2012, jeshi said this:
definitely the 900nexus for the extra money. The 850 is not a cheap mixer and it drops the digital-input, Pro DJLink, touch strip and two color effects (space & dub echo). The touch strip with echo/delay/trans are great effects and so is the space color effect. I would really miss these on the DJM850. I own a DN-X1600 and only the 900nexus would be a logical "upgrade".

On February 24, 2012, said this:
Will sell cause it has a Pioneer badge on it. What I truly don't get is why they don't update the 909. And the 1600 and 1700 are some of the most underrated mixers out there today. I really feel sorry for Denon, guys can't catch a break.

On February 24, 2012, alexiobeez said this:
With two colour choices....damn pioneer,that is the most important features.To overpriced.

On February 24, 2012, Scott Frost said this:
1600/1700 overated? how ?

On February 24, 2012, buddha said this:
Its a bit odd that it has a audio interface in it. I cant really see the studio applications of this and unless it works with serato/traktor (which is prob wont) its seems a bit unnecessary. I get you can rock it with midi controllers and get to leave your AI at home but most controllers these days have an eq section built in.

Am i just trippin?

also WHY(!!!???) have pioneer STILL not got fully adjustable fader curves on all their mixers!

On February 24, 2012, Gizmo said this:
@Scott Frost - he said underrated.

@buddha - you must have missed the bit where I said it's Traktor certified, making this an interface free option for Traktor Scratch Pro.

As for fader curves - it's bloody annoying that mixers of this price don't have a full compliment of fader options. It's really not that difficult. And if manufacturers cannot be arsed to put in the small amount of time, then they should make sure that the mixer is 3rd party fader compatible out of the box. Curve switches? It's this millennium Pioneer. If it's likely to be installed, do your faders properly.

On February 24, 2012, Jam Burglar said this:
Only 4 channels? I need 8 channels to run m setup plus make my own music to listen to in the headphones while I'm playing the bullshit other people like over the mains.

On February 25, 2012, Gavin Varitech said this:
The VAST MAJORITY of the target market for this mixer has zero interest in fully adjustable fader curve, that's why it isn't there. Why would Pioneer spend the money on this if it's not needed, or even wanted, by their target buyer? I can see questioning that on the DJM-T1, but on this? Not so much....

The great news for people that want that sort of thing is there are plenty of options out there for you.

On February 25, 2012, Gizmo said this:
@Gavin - seeing as this mixer is Traktor Scratch certified, the target market is widened beyond the club DJ. So doesn't it rather dictate that the curves should be done properly rather than in a less that ideal way?

If you're going to do something, do it right.

On February 26, 2012, Gavin Varitech said this:
^ It already is ideal for me, and most deejays playing at the clubs these things will be installed in. Just because it's Traktor Scratch certified doesn't mean it's target market is tablists, I play on Traktor Scratch and I am not one (anymore anyways).

Jamming in some dials on the front panel where most curve rotaries are would only piss me off due to installation issues, cluttering the face of the mixer for that would be even worse to me. Either one of those would be less than ideal to their target market.

On February 26, 2012, dj soundcard said this:
@Cavin y so upset about a couple of knobs???? gee haha even a baby wouldnt cry about it...the fader curve switches are there so this mixer could also be used by club the us most dj's scratch in the clubs..even the clubby pop dj's...the purists need much better faders though

On February 26, 2012, Buddha said this:
I'm not a scratch dj but I do want fully adjustable curves. For the price of this thing its a bit ridiculous that it doesn't have that option. Also this is an industry standard installation mixer. All sorts of djs need to be able to use this comfortably but when I show up to gigs I always groan a Lil bit when the house mixer is a pioneer.

On February 27, 2012, Ragman said this:
"^ It already is ideal for me, and most deejays playing at the clubs these things will be installed in. Just because it's Traktor Scratch certified doesn't mean it's target market is tablists, I play on Traktor Scratch and I am not one (anymore anyways)."

But it's not about you, it's about Pioneer doing right by all DJs by at least covering the basic for such an expensive mixer.

On February 27, 2012, Gavin Varitech said this:
"But it's not about you, it's about Pioneer doing right by all DJs by at least covering the basic for such an expensive mixer."

LOL! No, it's about Pioneer doing what's right for their business, they are making this for a certain target market and they hit the nail on the head for this. The idea that this is somehow doing wrong by all deejays is laughable at best.

And if you do scratch a lot and can't get down on this you just aren't that good. I've seen plenty of top of the line tablists DESTROY on a DJM600/800.

On February 27, 2012, Ragman said this:
"[...] it's about Pioneer doing what's right for their business"

Still think you're missing the point, which is if you're going to do something, do it right and not half-ass. Especially if you're charging premium dollars on your "de facto" product. Nothing more, nothing less.

On February 27, 2012, sly guy said this:
Boycott anyone?

Like anything that's been in power for too long, they lose touch. Other brands are making some very tasty and solid stuff and I think pioneer would get there act together again pretty quickly if they were knocked off there perch and given a little scare.

I also think this 'industry standard' tag has to end, it is no where near as relevant as it was 10 years ago and only translates into us guys paying alot of money for what is not necessarily the best.

On February 27, 2012, Gavin Varitech said this:
@ sly guy

The industry standard tag is more relevant now than ever. 10 years ago most booths had Technics 1200's and a Rane/other mixer, there were occasional CDJs and Pioneer mixers were just starting to find their way into the industry. But it is the industry standard now and that isn't going to change any time soon.

On February 27, 2012, sly guy said this:
@ Gavin Varitech

I am gutted you feel that way my friend.... But please do continue paying $2000 for $1200 mixers, living in your little make beleave land of exclusivity..... From what I am reading on alot of forums nowadays, most of us are starting to get f-ing real.

On March 10, 2012, Justin said this:
@ Sly guy

You can boycott pioneer if you want. You are complaining that they are ripping off the little man and "industry standard" doesnt mean anything, and you are right. They are ripping everyone off and industry standard doesnt mean anything.

The thing is, noone is forcing you buy their shit. There is absolutely no need to complain that they are somehow forcing you to pay high prices. Just dont buy it. Its literally that easy.

Theres plenty of over mixers that are much more reasonably priced. I personally own a djm700 because i got it pretty cheap used, and i think its a magnificent mixer. Possibly worth the asking price because its a nice piece of equipment, but i never personally would give pioneer that much money so i kinda agree with you on that point.

So there ya go, you dont have to buy anything from them, its not like its food or water or something, so just chill out, and dont buy it.

On March 24, 2012, P. Wellington said this:
I think that if you look at Pioneer's history of product launches, and then look at this latest release, you'll find that key features are deliberately left out in order to justify a difference between the 900nexus and this 850...The new model numbers are simply a manufacturing and inventory catologue. This is the new djm700. The new djm800 is the 900nexus. There are now essentially 3 tiers of 'pro DJ' Pioneer.

DJM 700 DJM 850
DJM 800 DJM 900nexus
N/A DJM 2000

The DJM 2000 mixer is still the intended product for use in conjunction with the CDJ 2000. The 900 nexus is mated with the CDJ 900 just as this djm 850 is mated with the cdj 850. Yes there are lower models too, starting at very reasonable prices, but those products are not intended for use in a professional club environment.

Its all about offering choice in different price ranges. If this mixer ends up retailing for around 1200-1400$ CDN, then it's right on par with the prior DJM 700. The 900 nexus is around 1800-1900$ CDN, which again, is on par with the prior DJM 800. The DJM 2000 is around 2500$ CDN which is actually pretty good considering it basically has an EFX 1000 built into it (which retails for around 1000$)

However, lol there is a new effects rack (RMX 1000) which is replacing the EFX 1000 for guess what....around 1000$ !! LOL. Industry standard is used because it is how it is. Denon, no matter how well built, is not the mixer demanded by professionals. As long aas Pioneer continues to provide the best built best sounding workhorses in the industry, the longer they will be the industry standard equipment.

This of course, is all just my

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