Serato controller road test
If you’re in the market for a four-channel DJ controller from the Serato world, these days you are spoilt for choice. With all the major brands offering at least one type of controller at a multitude of price points, they suit all wallet sizes. You have multiple offerings from Numark, Denon, Native Instruments and Pioneer DJ to name a few. There are multiple software choices available from four major players. The major players in the software market are Pioneer’s Rekordbox, Native Instruments Traktor Pro, Serato DJ and Virtual DJ. Each capitalises on their own talents for every type of DJ. We are pitting two Serato four-channel DJ controllers head to head to find out which comes out on top in testing. For this we handed them over to our own Serato expert David to put them through their paces. It is a straight shootout between Denon’s MC7000 & Pioneer DJ’s DDJ-1000SRT.

Denon MC7000 vs Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT - A Serato Head To Head

David has chosen to judge the controllers on the following categories;
  1. Looks
  2. Design
  3. Usability
  4. Serato Integration
  5. Price
Each getting a mark out of ten to decree the winner in his opinion


When comparing the two different controllers, they both look similar to each other. The DDJ-1000SRT’s NXS jog wheels take your full attention with that silky smooth black finish. The MC7000 gets a slightly matted colour scheme. The only negative being the looks of the DDJ-1000SRT, as it starts to look murky very early on with fingerprints showing up almost instantly on the unit. The MC7000 has a matte finish meaning it will take longer to get to this stage. On this round, the winner is Denon by a good margin. Result – Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 5/10 Denon DJ MC7000: 8/10


Design is key to making any DJ controller comfortable in the hands of the right person. Any professional DJ will feel right at home on the 1000SRT, thanks to design elements from the world-famous CDJ-2000NXS2 & DJM-900NXS2. This gives Pioneer the edge over its Denon counterpart. The MC7000 looks superb with a layout similar to the Pioneer controller. There are subtle differences such as LEDs around the jog wheels which pulse during playback. The Pioneer unit has one single light (again the same as its CDJ counterpart). In this round it's too close to call so would be a draw to make it fair as cannot split them. Result – Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 9/10 Denon DJ MC7000: 9/10


This is probably the main part of the test. The units are tested in a live environment for a similar amount of time. The following was found... The Pioneer unit acquitted itself very well for the four and a half-hour set that it was put through, with no audio dropouts or any issues with connectivity from the MacBook Pro, several things that are missing that take getting used to are the lack of Serato software FX (which is made up by the unit having hardware post fader FX) The lack of needle search (which coming from a DDJ-SR2 is a big feature in the workflow when you don’t have cue points on certain tracks) but this can be overcome after a period of time of living with the 1000SRT. The only negative on this apart from the missing bits was the crossfader curve wasn’t to the style that was expected but for one use it is a case of what can be edited inside Serato itself after the fact to a setup that suits. The Denon unit similarly was put through a similar amount of time set with exactly the same cabling, no audio dropouts or connectivity issues from the MacBook Pro. The MC7000 has two key features that do put it ahead of the 1000SRT on usability with needle search and software FX being on the unit. There like the DDJ-1000SRT are two things that can mark it down, the play/cue buttons on the left deck being to the right of the unit instead of the left (which is standard across the board of controllers as most use the NXS design as the base) and the faders felt a bit stiff on the unit used, which meant didn’t feel that the play was there like the DDJ-1000SRT and DDJ-SR2 but apart from that the functionality was hard to split but there are always going to be pros and cons. Result – Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 9/10 Denon DJ MC7000: 8.5/10

Serato Integration

On both units you get a full Serato DJ Pro license with the extra Pitch N Time pack, allowing for pitch play which means you can remix and cut songs on the fly. If you got one of the very first DDJ-1000SRT units you got the full Serato DJ Suite, which has every FX pack going. With both giving you full Serato licences, only way to split is the lack of software FX on the DDJ-1000SRT. Result – Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 8/10 Denon DJ MC7000: 9/10


The main thing that splits these apart is the price point, with the Pioneer unit coming in at £1339 and the Denon unit arriving at a lower price of £725. That for a full four-channel controller is not to be sniffed at. Meaning that if the price is imperative you would be hard-pressed to find anything better than the Denon for less than £1000. Result – Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 8/10 Denon DJ MC7000: 9.5/10


To bring matters to a head, the Denon MC7000 would win on price and Serato integration but the Pioneer would win on usability and looks. Because of this, if you are willing to sacrifice the software FX as well as the needle search, then the SRT is your weapon of choice. However, if you are price conscious and want a little bit more functionality but are willing to sacrifice the slightly heavier faders then the MC7000 is your bet. As a result, for David, he personally loves the feel of the 1000SRT as it's familiar coming from the SR2. The slight functionality edge on the MC7000 would swing it if the faders didn’t feel as heavy (but that could come looser over time).

Final Score

Pioneer DDJ-1000SRT: 39/60 Denon DJ MC700: 44/60 Both of these fantastic controllers are available online and in-store today. Click here to view the MC7000 & the DDJ-1000SRT