NI Kontrol Z2 – unboxing and first impressions


Native Instruments Traktor Kontrol Z2 Mixer (9)

Unboxing photo shoots are a modern phenomenon that have blessed/plagued the tech websites for a few years now. Loathed and hated in equal measure, they aim to show people who don’t have one what they look like, beyond the ultra glossy studio shots and CGI renders. So it’s only fair that those who love them get a slice of that action, while those that hate them don’t have to look.

So the latest star of our unboxing endeavours is the new (but seems old now) Native Instruments Kontrol Z2 mixer/controller. It’s a stunning lump of technology out of the box – heavier than you might expect and a marked step up in quality from their controllers.  The weight has me so intrigued that I’m sorely tempted to open this puppy up to see if it’s artificially heavy. I doubt it is but it’s worth a look inside anyway, if only to check the space for full-sized Innofaders.

Hooking it up to Traktor Pro 2.6 yielded the expect results – everything works as it should, the post-fader effects operate perfectly, and I now know what flux mode does exactly – and it’s a lot of fun. More than that I cannot say as I haven’t played with the Kontrol Z2 long enough to form solid opinions. I’ll be reporting back in a couple of weeks when I’m very intimate with the finer points of the Z2. But I think I’m going to have some fun with this.

Here’s some pictures, shot, cleaned up and uploaded in 90 minutes. So don’t expect excellence, but good enough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rock.well.10 Rock Well

    Good pics. I’m very jealous – I’ve paid/pre-ordered and am now checking my email constantly for news like some twitchy junkie waiting for his dealer.

    Regardless of all the pros, cons and speculation, I too feel that this mixer is going to be a lot fun…

  • http://spencerthayer.tumblr.com Spencer “Thunderball” Thayer

    I still don’t get why they didn’t release a four track mixer as well.

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      Because it makes more sense to release a 2 channel version and then see if there’s demand for a 4 channel one. And then they also learn from any mistakes they make on the 2 channel one as well.

  • Nater

    Looking forward to hear what you have to say in your review. This mixer looks really promising and makes me want to convert over to Traktor. Still can’t believe they have this at less than half the price of a Rane 62. I don’t believe i’ll be the only convert!

  • http://twitter.com/TheRealDJRichy DJ Richy

    Nice photos! Can’t wait to receive mine in the mail. Christmas is coming early!!

  • eazy evan

    can….can i touch it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/serjoka Sergio Pantaleo

    It looks like a toy, which is ok for a controller, but not for a mixer. How’s the built quality?

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      How does this look like a toy? Do you prefer a rather more industrial old school Xone styling?

      The build is excellent – everything is solid and feels like it’ll last a very long time.

      • zach

        agree, why people still judge things by how they look…

        • http://www.facebook.com/serjoka Sergio Pantaleo

          Zach, I’m a NI followers from begins, I love NI products. Mine was just a simple “feeling”. Don’t get me wrong.

      • http://www.facebook.com/serjoka Sergio Pantaleo

        That’s why I asked for built quality. And I said “it looks like”, not “It’s”. Of course, long period usage will reveal us the truth, expecially for what has been designed for: scratcing.

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  • Dj Honest

    Everything looks great and I’m really considering picking one of these up. I will be eagering waiting an in-depth review.

  • whodini

    how is the build quality better than the controllers? i have an s4 and this looks similar..

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      It’s heavy, and all metal. The controls feel that little bit better as do the faders.

  • lazyellow

    Can’t wait for the review, just waiting for them to release a decksaver or a udg cover for it. It was your photos that won me over to be honest the original press shots were a bit too touched up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rhoades.kevin Kevin Rhoades

    Is it innofaders inside as speculated???

    • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

      It wasn’t speculated Kevin. From the first post, I said it was mini Innofaders inside.

      • http://www.facebook.com/rhoades.kevin Kevin Rhoades

        let us know if we can fit the full size version…

        • http://djworx.com/ Mark Settle

          NI said it could be done. DJTT confirmed it, and I’ll be taking a screwdriver to this Z2 to show it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/rock.well.10 Rock Well

            While you’re in there, can you please have a look and see if there is any way of losing the tension on the upfaders? Or would they have to be replaced to achieve this? It’s the only thing I can moan about with mine so far.

  • bumbumbap

    wts-up mark! i was specting this to be battle mixer i didnt even know that mini innofaders also exist.. i wish you to public your opinion about how they do the job those mini innofaders over scratch performance.. thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/aron.banfalvi Aron Banfalvi
  • http://www.facebook.com/aron.banfalvi Aron Banfalvi

    Excess is already using it!

  • blackavenger

    So it’s been nearly 3 weeks…..are you still going to review this?

  • TyDoZ TDZ

    I am a Traktor convert, Nater. I dig Serato, but Traktor has offered a ton of additional features that make the difference. Vestax seriously slept on this issue. They should have created a mixer with Traktor embedded. Now it’s too late!
    Loved the Z2, thought still have to get used to having so many buttons on both sides of the crossfader.