For years, Pioneer has been a leading innovator in the realm of digital equipment for DJs. The introduction of the CD turntable in the mid 1990s revolutionised the way performers approached sets. In 2001, Pioneer unveiled the CDJ-1000 (also known as the MK1), which would become the club standard for DJs. Its precise emulation through pitch and platter control of a vinyl turntable earned it its position as the most reputable CD controller on the market.
Unlike CD turntables that came before it, the CDJ-1000 features a platter that conforms to the response of a vinyl turntable. With two modes for selection, Vinyl and CDJ, using the platter for tasks such as rewind, cue and pitch adjustment is more precisely mirrors that of a vinyl turntable. The centre of the enlarged platter also features an LED screen that tells users what mode the CD player is currently running.
One of the most impressive features of the CDJ-1000, setting it apart from vinyl turntables, is the looping feature. The loop in/loop out feature allows users to set specific cue points during tracks and recall these points during performance.
The Pioneer CDJ-1000 features an adjustment to the pitch control not seen before in digital turntables. With three settings, +/- 6%, +/-10% and wide, this feature offers users a broader range of pitch than what is found in vinyl turntables. With standard turntables, pitch control usually ranges from -8 to +8 beats per minute below or above the original tempo of the track. Below the pitch control is the pitch bend feature, with a +/- button to warp the pitch to conform to instant tempo changes.
An LED display lines the Pioneer unit above the platter to give users real-time information about the track that is playing. With vinyl turntables, users can see cue points, breakdowns and the end of the track by looking at the groove pattern. Since this feature is not possible with a digital turntable, the CDJ-1000 provides wave form layout so users can see individual track peaks. The display is adjustable, and users can also view track information, such as artist or track name.
Since the Pioneer CDJ-1000 is a digital turntable, it is able to play music on a CD or through the multimedia slot adjacent to the CD load slot. Compatible CD formats include CD, CD-R and CD-RW. Because it can play recordable and rewritable CD's, the unit lets users test new tracks they might not have finished. With vinyl turntables, the only way to achieve this is to press an acetate, or dubplate, of a track before it is released.