Best new DJ mixer 2023: Pioneer DJM-A9 | Juno Daily

As 2022 draws to a close and we look ahead to 2023, weʼre bringing you our picks of the best new gear this year, from drum machines to turntables.

Best new DJ mixer 2023: Pioneer DJM-A9

Most new Pioneer DJ releases are a big deal, but arguably none more so than the replacement to a de facto industry standard. The Pioneer DJ DJM-A9 is the successor to the DJM-900NXS2, a mixer which has been a staple of DJ booths around the world since its release in 2016. While the A9 doesnʼt completely tear up the blueprint from the 900, it does represent a major overhaul of the design. Itʼs considerably bigger, for a start, on a par with the six-channel DJM-V10; that translates to more space around key controls, but also reflects the fact that the feature set has been expanded. There are new effects on the mic channel, updated Beat FX, and a new Centre Lock option for the Sound Color FX, which effectively locks off one half of the knobʼs travel, for instance if you want to use a low-pass filter without accidentally travelling past the 12-o-clock point into the high-pass filter effect. Meanwhile, many of the key controls are upgraded physically, with the introduction of third-generation Magvel faders giving added precision and better feel.

Above all else though, the most important update for the A9 is completely invisible. Itʼs the sound itself. Pioneer have drawn from the processing used in the flagship DJM-V10 when designing the hidden circuitry of the A9, not least with the introduction of 32-bit float A/D converters on the input channels and similar D/A conversion on the outputs, which translates to better sound quality all round. There are nice touches in terms of inputs and outputs, with plenty of USB connections and a new dual cue system for back-to-back sets. But itʼs the raw sound quality which matters most with any mixer, and the V10 represents a clear upgrade in that respect.

Ultimately, the DJM-A9 improves on the 900NXS2 in almost every area of its performance, functionality and sound. Itʼs not only a worth successor to the 900, but one which we have no doubt will go on to become the new industry standard for Pioneer. At £2,469 itʼs no small investment, but then club- standard Pioneer DJ equipment rarely is. But when you factor in the expected life cycle of a Pioneer product and the many thousands of hoursʼ use the typical installation will see, perhaps that softens the blow. If you can justify one for a home DJ setup, more power to you. The DJM-A9 is our clear favourite of this year’s new mixer releases.

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