Before you buy a Pioneer DDJ SB or Gemini G2v - READ THIS Review!
The Pioneer DDJ SB is one of the most popular digital DJ controllers for beginners. It's a very good product, well made, easy to use and easy to understand which is why so many people have it.
BUT! I wanted anyone that is considering buying this great controller to be aware of a competitor - the Gemini G2V. At the time of writing this page, I had just bought myself a G2V. The decision I had to make between the Pioneer DDJ SB and the Gemini G2V was a difficult one, especially as there were little detailed reviews or videos (in English) of the G2V. So, I thought I would take you through the reviewing process I made before I bought one to make it easier for anyone else trying to make this decision.
First is the FULL comparison:
Pioneer DDJ SB
|Price:||~ £187.58 €248 (Best Price)||~ £170.18 €225 (Best Price)|
|Weight:||2.1 kg (4.6 pounds) [Lighter]||4.6 kg (10.2 pounds) [Heavier]|
|Size:||48.2 x 27.2 x 5.8 cm (19.2 x 10.7 x 2.3 inches) [Smaller]||46.1 x 32 x 4.5 cm (18.2 x 12.6 x 1.8 inches) [Bigger]|
|Shipped Software:||Serato DJ Intro||Virtual DJ LE|
|Other Software:||Serato DJ, Mixvibes Cross 3, Virtual DJ Pro||Virtual DJ Pro, Traktor Pro 2 (Download Mapping)|
|Manufacturer Guarantee:||1 Year||1 Year|
|Jog Wheels:||Touch Sensitive - Large||Mechanical - Larger|
(3.5mm & 1/4'(6.35mm))
|Balanced RCA Output:|
|Balanced XLR Output:|
|USB MIDI & Power:|
|Individual Channel Gain Knob:|
|Active LED Level Monitors:|
|3 Channel EQ:|
OK, Lets digest the table highlighting important points.
Price: Both these controllers are in the same price range, therefore I will leave the price until the end once you have decided what controller you prefer.
Size & Weight: The question you want to be asking is do you want portability in your controller? The pioneer being smaller and lighter is therefore more portable. However there is not a huge amount of difference, just convenience. I may also point out that the Gemini (in my opinion) has a better build quality, which is why it is slightly heavier.
Jog Wheels: Basically the jog wheels do exactly the same thing on both controllers. The only difference is that the pioneer has touch sensitive ones and the Gemini has mechanical button-operated ones. Preference to one comes down to personal choice and many people opt for touch sensitive I guess because it is easier and 'newer'. I will just say that you shouldn't choose one over the other just because of the jog wheels, as they are similar and do the same job.
Headphone & Mic: Here, the pioneer has the edge over the Gemini by having two headphone sockets - one large jack (1/4 inch or 6.35 mm) and one small jack (3.5 mm). However this is not essential, just a plus point for you to consider. The mic inputs are the same on both the DDJ SB and the G2V.
Outputs & Inputs: The G2V is a clear winner for me here. Not only does it have a balanced RCA output, the same as the DDJ SB and most other budget beginner controllers, it also has balanced XLR and a booth output. As well as these extra outputs it also has an AUX input, perfect if you computer crashes. The AUX doesn't go through the mixer though.
Main features: I will just go over what one has over the other.
Pioneer DDJ SB
- Has a neat filter fade button that allows hi pass filters to be applied to cross-fader fades.
- Has channel gain allowing you to tweak the max volumes for individual channels, handy if some songs are quieter than others.
- Has a longer pitch fader for more controlled tempo changing.
- Has active visual level meters for individual channels giving a representation of dB levels.
- Has both USB and mains power support.
The rest of the features are the same for both controllers e.g. hi, mid and low EQ, performance pads and FX knobs.
The most important point
The Pioneer DDJ SB comes with Serato DJ Intro and the Gemini G2V comes with Virtual DJ LE. These are both light versions of the software packages and are both well capable of giving you a great mix. However, upgrading is always a beneficial option and comes at a cost. This cost is around $129 for Serato DJ and $299 for Virtual DJ, a much, much bigger price tag for Virtual DJ. The money saved from buying Serato DJ could be spent on upgrading to a better controller all together.
As well as the price tags from both software packages being different, Serato is generally considered to be better, with higher quality effects and is a lot less limiting when mixing. You really need to think about this when buying controllers.
I will remind you that there is an option to download Traktor DJ mapping for the Gemini G2V, but this mapping has a few bugs and the software will cost you £89.