DDJ-REV5: a scratch-style controller, sans motorized jogwheels – for $1099

While last week’s turntable/DVS controller announcement was a huge surprise to many, today Pioneer DJ is launching something more expected: a budget-friendly scratch controller, the DDJ-REV5. It slides in naturally at a slightly lower price point than its bigger-brother DDJ-REV7, which runs at $1,999 new and has motorized jogwheels.

Introducing the DDJ-REV5 scratch-style controller

The DDJ-REV5 has a lot of the same features as the REV7 – big platters with vinyl texture, and control layout that keeps in mind the preferences of open-format / turntable DJs. It also features long tempo sliders placed above the deck sections, and Performance Pads and Lever FX in the mixer section. Yes, there’s a Magvel crossfader for precision cutting.

Notice those sharp cut corners on the edge of the unit? It feels as if – even though this is a new product in an existing family – this is a unique new design that harkens back to the DJ controller design of 10-12 years ago. I remember seeing a few Denon controllers that had that exact same styling.

DDJ-REV5: 2-Channel Scratch-Style Professional DJ Controller - Overview

With the REV5 – as is somewhat expected in 2023 – comes dedicated Stems control, which allows DJs to isolate and control different parts of any track such as drums or vocals. The EQ knobs can even be used to control different stem parts’ volume levels – something that we’ve been waiting to see more of in hardware design as usage of stem separation has become more common in the DJ world.

There’s also a new performance mode – one of which is good for tone play enthusiasts. Here, Pioneer DJ is calling it Piano Play, allowing DJs to trigger cue points in different semitones, treating the pads like a piano – “the changes in pitch are arranged so the pads form a keyboard with the “white” keys on the bottom row and the “black” ones at the top”.

If you’re a genre-jumper that enjoys bouncing around tempo-wise, you’ll get a kick out of the new Auto BPM Transition feature: choose a number of bars for your transition, hit the button, and watch the currently-playing track gradually alter its own tempo to match the track you’re bringing in. (but does this take the fun out of it, perhaps?)

The DDJ-REV5 has two USB-C ports on the back of it (making DJ handoffs possible, especially if you’ve got our USB-C Chroma Cables) as well as a host of other I/O – most noticeably XLR Master outs, which have classically been harder to find on non-top-of-line controllers.

The DDJ-REV5 will run at $1,099 USD (grab yours at the DJTT Shop) and is expected to hit store shelves in late September 2023. Thoughts? Reactions? Let us know what you think in the comments below.