DJ Equipment, Beginner CDJ-Mixer DJ Set-Up

A basic CDJ-Mixer DJ Set-Up consists of two tabletop CD players, a DJ mixer, headphones and powered speakers or an amplifier and speakers.

Pioneer CDJ-350 and DJM-350 DJ Set

Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer with two Pioneer CDJ-350 CD Players

When you mix between tracks you go from one CD player (CDJ) to the other, using the DJ mixer to blend the two tracks together. DJing on CD is the standard for DJing in clubs these days, some DJ’s are working hard to keep vinyl alive while others are using DJ software programs like Serato Scratch and Traktor Scratch that can be controlled by the CDJ’s for syncing and mixing.

Another increasingly popular option for all levels of DJ’s, from Beginner to Pro, is using a DJ Controller with your computer and DJ software.

Click to see: Pioneer DDJ-ERGO DJ Controller at My DJ Blog or here to see the ERGO at Amazon.com

If you’re looking for DJ Controllers then you will want to check out my article: Best DJ Controllers

Two Turntables and a Microphone

I really enjoyed playing on Traktor DJ for a long time but when I really got serious about DJing I knew that I needed to be proficient at mixing on cd as well. I’d also love to play on vinyl but honestly, CD, Serato, or Traktor DJ are all the way of today. Certainly many DJ’s still play on vinyl and if I had a lot of excess cash, I’d buy a pair of Technics turntables right now and start ordering vinyl after vinyl from Juno.

Technics-SL 1200MK2 Turntable

Technics-SL 1200MK2 Turntable

Click to see: Technics-SL 1200MK2 Turntable at Amazon.com

For CDJ’s and Mixers, I recommend going with Pioneer equipment.

Pioneer has strongly established itself as the industry standard and at least nine times out of ten, any club you’ll play in will have Pioneer CDJ’s and a Pioneer Mixer. There are other products that some people swear by and love, but like I wrote, Pioneer is the standard. Buying cheaper, inferior equipment or gimmicky DJ products will only end up being a waste of money once you’ve stored it away and it’s only taking up space and collecting dust.

Pioneer offers a good range of equipment and pricing. You can easily start out with the least expensive CDJ’s like the CDJ-200 and a DJ mixer, like the Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer. However, if you can afford it, but are still trying to keep your cost down, I’d recommend the Pioneer CDJ-350.

 

Pioneer CDJ-350 CD Player

Pioneer CDJ-350

The Pioneer CDJ-350 has several key features:

  • Multi format playback including USB port
  • Rekordbox music management software included
  • BEAT Display function visually illustrates the beat position of a song and the playback point
  • Auto Beat Loop function
  • Auto BPM LOCK easily matches the tempo of songs by simply adjusting the speed to the Master BPM on each player
  • Create PLAYLIST function
  • DJ Software compatible

Click to see: Pioneer CDJ-350 at Amazon.com

 

Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer

Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer

So, you’ll need two, a pair of Pioneer CDJ-350′s because you’ll mix from one to the other overlapping the tracks and a DJ mixer, the Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer.

  • Multi Format Playback
  • rekordbox music management software included
  • BEAT Display function visually illustrates the beat position of a song and the playback point
  • Auto Beat Loop function and Auto BPM LOCK easily matches the tempo of songs by simply adjusting the speed to the Master BPM on each player
  • DJ Software compatible

Click to see: Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer at Amazon.com

 

Free DJ Lessons

 

Pioneer DJM-250 DJ Mixer

*NEW* Updated December 9, 2011 ->>> Check out Pioneer’s newest and most economical DJ mixer, the Pioneer DJM-250-K DJ Mixer.

Pioneer DJM-250

The DJM-250 produces professional quality sound with excellent features like the individual color filters for each channel at an affordable price.

Click here to see: Pioneer DJM-250-K DJ Mixer at Amazon.com

 

Best New CDJ Mixer Set

Check out the new Pioneer DJM-250-S set with the cool new silver Pioneer CDJ-350′s. Personally, I’m totally digging it… I just want to spin some tunes with it and twist those large filter knobs. Awesome set-up for any DJ!

Pioneer-CDJ-350-S-Set

Click to see: Silver Pioneer CDJ-350-S at Amazon.com

Click to see: Pioneer DJM-250-W (White/Silver) DJ Mixer at Amazon.com

 

Pioneer CDJ-200 CD Player

Pioneer CDJ-200The Pioneer CDJ-200 is super-cool, compact and affordable CDJ Player. I’ve had one for about five years now and have never had any trouble with it. I love it because it’s lightweight, compact and sounds great. Perhaps because it’s Pioneer standard, the sound is as good as my CDJ-1000′s. I also like the ergonomics and how it looks with the jog wheel and display illuminated in blue. All of the controls are quick, responsive and intuitive. The CDJ-200 has most of the same features as the top of the line CDJ’s and plays MP3 CD’s – essential for a DJ like me that prefers to burn MP3 CD’s to cut down on burning time, CD usage and bag space.

Click to see: Pioneer CDJ-200 CD Player at Amazon.com

 

Denon also has some solid options for an inexpensive DJ setup:

The Denon DJ DN-S700 Compact Tabletop CD/MP3 Disc Player is an excellent value and even plays MP3 CDs while the Denon DJ DN-X120 Two Channel DJ Mixer does everything a basic Two Channel DJ Mixer should do with Three-Band EQ, Crossfader and Channel Faders.

Denon DN S700Denon DN X120

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click to see: Denon DJ DN-S700 Compact Tabletop CD/MP3 Disc Player at Amazon.com

Click to see: Denon DJ DN-X120 Two Channel DJ Mixer at Amazon.com

 

Learn to Digital DJ Fast

 

Club Standard

For club standard DJ equipment you want to check out Pioneer CDJ-900′s and for a mixer, the Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus is the latest high tech DJ mixing technology setting a new standard in the DJ scene.

Pioneer DJM-900 Set

Pioneer DJM-900 Nexus DJ Mixer with two Pioneer CDJ-900′s

For audio output there are many options. If you’d like to turn your living room into a small club like my brother and I did, check out the JBL JRX125′s paired with a Crown XLS802D Power Amplifier. We had this system when we’re were living in a farmhouse with no nearby neighbors and rocked it along with a pair of CDJ1000′s and a DJM-800 Pro DJ Mixer.

Check out this video of Sean Gallagher’s Pioneer CDJ-1000 DJ tricks:

You can see his DJing video course by clicking here: Pro DJ Mixing Quick & Easy

If you think you want to have a portable system for parties, then have a look at powered speakers like JBL EON’s. With powered speakers, you won’t need an Amp. If you’re just going to use your system at home and don’t need or want it to be very loud (you can also always listen through your headphones*) then you can use portable powered speakers. In fact, on my current home set-up, I’m using the DJM-800 Pro DJ Mixer, a pair of CDJ1000′s, Pioneer HDJ-1000 DJ Headphones and running the audio out to Bose Computer MusicMonitor speakers. It’s a great system if you don’t want to disturb your neighbors but want quality sound.

M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Powered Monitor Speakers

M-audio-av-40

 

The M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Powered Monitor Speakers are super popular for their great sound, compact size and affordable price.

Click to see: M-Audio Studiophile AV40 Powered Monitor Speakers at Amazon.com

 

Here’s an ideal, ‘cost effective’, beginner DJ set-up that can be used professionally for gigs and parties that would also be perfect for a small club or bar:

Two Pioneer CDJ-350′s – Tabletop DJ CD Players

Pioneer DJM-350 DJ Mixer -or- Pioneer DJM-250-K DJ Mixer – DJ Mixer

M-Audio Studiophile AV 40 Powered Speakers – Powered Monitor Speakers

Pioneer HDJ-1000 DJ Headphones* or Technics (Panasonic) RP-DJ1200A’s* – DJ Headphones

 

Conclusion

If you buy quality gear to begin with, it will serve you well in the long run. Not only will it be best for playing and practicing but it can also be used professionally and will last a long time. In fact, if you do parties where you bring your own equipment, you can charge an equipment fee in addition to your DJ fee.

These days, too many electronics products have become disposable but that’s not the case with Pioneer. In fact, even on a small island in Asia, I’ve been to a Pioneer repair shop where I’ve seen even the most used and abused mixers repaired to like new working condition. If you’ve ever stood in a club DJ booth you know exactly what I’m talking about, Pioneer DJ equipment working hard night after night.

Good luck and I hope you find the solution that works best for you!

 

You may also want to check out: Best DJ Mixers and Best DJ Controllers

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  1. Historically, a DJ setup has consisted of two turntables, a mixer and some speakers. But today, thanks to new technological innovations, DJs can choose from a selection of different means of playing their music. They can use turntables, CD turntables, computer software or any combination therein.

  2. Hi there,
    I have already booked my first gig after learning on the CDJ-400′s and I need to buy my equipment to practice on and I am looking to purchase the all white CDJ 350′s. Will it be an ok transition to the club scene with the CDJ 1000′s and 2000′s?
    Please advise.
    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica,

      Yes, absolutely, I really feel that the Pioneer CDJ-350-W is an excellent CDJ and perfect for home use, for parties or in a club. Actually, I was at a beach club tonight where they are using the CDJ-350′s with Traktor Scratch. I would personally take the CDJ-350 over CDJ-1000 for the ability to play from USB.

      The CDJ-900 and CDJ-2000 are very similar to play on. As long as you stick with Pioneer you’ll find going from one CDJ or mixer to another easy and intuitive.

    • Eddy Brian
    • June 14th, 2012

    Hae There

    I wish to start a DJ equipment please would you advise me for the best equipment to buy

    • David
    • September 15th, 2012

    Hey, I’ve been messing about on Traktor for the past 3 years and I’ve decided to move to CDJ’s. I can afford a pair of CDJ 850′s and was wondering if they would be the best bet to start with. My mates have told me I’m pretty good considering I’m only 17 and one of them suggested the 850′s. Would the 850′s be a good investment or maybe something smaller??
    Thanks

    • I’ve used the older version, the Pioneer CDJ-800 extensively, and really loved it — the CDJ-800 is full-sized and very responsive. Of course the Pioneer CDJ-850 is much improved with multi-format and USB connectivity.

      I was about to suggest the Pioneer CDJ-900 for just $200 more, but that’s $400 more for a pair making the CDJ-850 appear to be a great deal.

      Let me also suggest the Pioneer XDJ-Aero. This is a wicked cool new DJ controller but it’s really more than that because it works like two standalone CDJ’s and a mixer. You can access your music via wifi or usb without connecting a computer. However, it can also be used with computer and DJ software like Traktor too.

      The Pioneer XDJ-Aero is the DJ gear that I’m currently lusting after — this is the future of DJing!

    • Adam
    • March 27th, 2014

    I know this is an old post, but there are so many mixers that give you better value for your money than the DJM-350. You could, for example, get a Xone:23 mixer, which is not only cheaper but has a much nicer sounding filter AND an extra two channels.

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