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We’ve been covering DJ gear longer than most, but even we weren’t around for the birth of the ubiquitous Pioneer CDJ. I remember being sent a link by my brother-in-law to a video showing the first CDJ-1000 being scratched and having my mind blown. And in this video created by Pioneer to celebrate their 20 years in the DJ game, you can hear such legends as Roger Sanchez and Carl Cox expand on how the CDJ line impacted their DJ lives.

Two things interest me about this clip:

  • Jazzy Jeff is interviewed, but I can’t find a single picture or video of him with a CD, let alone a Pioneer CDJ-1000.
  • No mention of the near mythical CDJ-300. Allegedly coming out in 1992, it is mentioned here and there online, but seems to be official disavowed by Pioneer. I found a service manual on eBay, but if anyone would care to provide more info, I’d be most grateful.

Totally unrelated sidenote — in my research, I can across a CDJ300, which is a dovetail jig and precisely what I’ve been looking for to make a bookcase. Anyway…

pioneer cdj history timeline

Pioneer CDJ – the real game changer

The term game changer is routinely thrown about by over enthusiastic PR people to describe even the most infinitesimal of differences. But the CDJ truly was a true game changer. Nothing has been the same since the CDJ-1000 came out as the first true DJ capable unit. And even subsequent iterations have failed to have quite the same impact as the original. Given the very nature of being a game changer, that was always going to be a hard act to follow.

Pioneer CDJ Prototype

If this is part one then more are coming. DJM for definite… possibly DVJ even though video still isn’t really taking off. HDJ-1000 is worthy by virtue of just how many DJs used them and how many were faked too. I definitely enjoyed this one though. Who do I call about getting a CDJ blueprint framed for the Worxlab wall?

Finally, for an added hysterical dimension, you have to watch the video with Youtube auto captions on.


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