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Pioneer DJM S9 VS RANE 62 – Which one do you prefer?

Gear Reviews, News, Technology | Sep 02, 2015   

Pioneer DJM S9 VS RANE 62 – Which one do you prefer?

Pioneer’s latest aims for the top

Primarily aimed at scratch mixers, the new Pioneer DJM- S9 aims to be the best in its class and a real game changer for DJ’s everywhere. The DJM-S9 is a two channel mixer that is designed to enhance DJ performances at every level, featuring a wealth of details and high end specification that makes it something every DJ should sit up and take notice of.

Of course, every manufacturer says that about every product, but when DJ Jazzy Jeff says that the DJM-S9 is “probably the best mixer I’ve ever seen”, this may be one with some substance behind it. The two channel mixer has been designed for practicality and performance, with dual soundcards, large performance pads and what Pioneer describe as a ‘fast and accurate’ crossfader. At launch, there is even the option of a limited edition Gold Colored model for those who like to stand out, with matching PLX-1000 turntables too to complete the set, although the standard black looks nice enough to our eyes. Whichever version you get your hands on, it’s made to professional standards, feels incredibly solid and robust, and will easily cope with the physical demands of a rigorous scratch performance.

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What’s in the box?

Whilst the gold variant may be attracting attention, and not all good it has to be said, the real story with the DJM-S9 is what is inside it. Although mainly aimed at scratch DJs there is a lot here for anyone, starting with the dual, extremely high quality, USB soundcards. This makes the Pioneer DJM-S9 undoubtedly the ultimate plug and play Serato DJ mixer. Two cards makes switching between two DJs without any awkward transition, or use it for back-to-back with two machines just as easily and four deck support out of the box. Top deck switches make transitions between mediums a simple process too, That is, of course, not the only tech to really help in a performance, the whole unit is designed to enhance the DJ’s style during a set, from the components themselves to the clear, customizable layout.

The propriety contactless crossfader is magnetic for longer life, and features customizable Fader Bumps, feeling adjustment, a fader curve and cut lag. There is also a reverse switch to cut lag from the bottom to the top if that is preferred. This level of adaptability means that every DJ can fine tune every aspect of the crossfade to suit, and when performance time arrives, that really does make a difference. Three Fader Bumps in different materials are supplied with the unit, giving a wide choice of resistance in operation.

The sixteen color coded performance pads are precision engineered for accuracy and rapid response, as well as fully programmable. They can give instant access to loops, cues, rolls and samples, or set them up to trigger any Serato DJ function that is required. The EL display screen always shows which mode is in use, and Serato DJ hot cues can be allocated to pad colors for visual assistance during a performance if needed.
The Pioneer DJM S-9 also includes a comprehensive range of high quality FX, building upon the legacy of the DJM-909 battle mixer that came before it. Each mixer channel has six customizable banks plus an additional two in the middle means that every Pioneer DJ and Serato DJ FX you want can be accessed instantly. The large RMX-1000 style lever allows you to trigger FX momentarily, alternatively they can be locked on, or arrangements exited quickly. The DJM S-9 includes 15 onboard Beat FX and 55 Serato DJ FX, and a high/low pass filter on each channel to manipulate any chosen FX, switchable to other FX, Noise, Pitch, Echo or Dub.

 

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Whilst the mixing features are incredibly impressive, other aspects of the unit have not been overlooked, with the MIC input comprising of yet more high quality audio circuitry to remove unwanted distortion, and comes complete with Echo FX should it be needed. Additionally, a peak limiter eliminates distortion on the master output, and a switchable 3-band isolator with a +6dB to – ∞dB built in as well. There is a clearly visible clip display that shows when input levels are too high, and along with other displays is fully adjustable for brightness.
The unit is fully MIDI compatible, and as mentioned incredibly robust and well-constructed from quality materials, but remains a lightweight and portable mixer suitable for a life of hard work.

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Ready for Battle, DJM S-9 or Rane 62?

The question everyone is thinking is of course that this all sounds great, but how does it compare to the competition? Whilst this hybrid style Serato mixer is new for Pioneer, it most closely resembles the mixers that Rane have been putting out for a while, in particular the Rane 62. So, how do they match up?
As can be expected, they each have strengths and weaknesses as we can see below the outline of the main points of each.

Pioneer DJM S-9

  • Twin 24-bit 48 kHz soundcards
  • Easily switchable between two Computers
  • 15 Internal Effects plus full Serato Support
  • Entire control selection mapable to any Serato DJ control or built in effect
  • Magnetic CrossFader
  • Full Serato DJ support
  • Twin Deck Support plus 4 Serato DJ decks

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Rane 62

  • Twin 24-bit 48 kHz soundcards
  • Easily switchable between two Computers
  • 6 effects plus Serato Support
  • 40 Controls for Serato DJ
  • Magnetic Crossfader
  • Full Serato DJ support
  • Support for 4 Serato DJ decks

As we can see the two are closely matched, and ultimately it will be hands-on experience of both that truly separates them. Until then, it is clear that a market that has been dominated by Rane now has serious competition, and Pioneer may have found a real winner with the DJM S-9.

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10 thoughts on “Pioneer DJM S9 VS RANE 62 – Which one do you prefer?

  1. You failed to mention a couple extremely important factors. I have neither of these mixers currently, so this isn’t a “my mixer is better” comment, just a couple facts you shouldn’t omit:

    -The Rane Sixty Two uses non-contact magnetic faders for all 3 faders, the crossfader and the line faders. The djm-s9 uses only a non-contact crossfader, but contact based line faders. Using contact based faders at all in a scratch dj targeted, $1600 price point mixer in 2016 is in my opinion inexcusable.

    -Rane mixers are made in the US (admittedly, using parts from elsewhere.) The DJM-S9 is made in Malaysia. I suppose whether this matters to you is a matter of opinion, but personally I find the fact that Rane assembles their product in the states in-house reassuring.

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