Is S4 mk3 worth it or not?

Dj Mayo
Dj Mayo Member Posts: 16 Member
edited September 2022 in Traktor Software & Hardware

Hello everyone, I am a former happy user since the time of Traktor 1 (matched with a fantastic Vestax VCI-100). I am now a disgruntled user of Traktor Pro3 (matched with an S2 mk2). I am very tempted to switch to Pioneer/Serato but first I wanted to figure out whether to give NI another chance. Now the question is this, since the news about it is very confusing: you say you buy a new S4 mk3 or wait for a new one, who knows when, controller model? Thank you for those who wanted to answer me even with simple considerations.



  • djadidai
    djadidai Member Posts: 393 Pro

    I still run traktor scratch pro 2 with an sS4 mk2 controller. TBH that vestax you had was dope and it’s still one of the best. You can use it with traktor 2. You won’t miss anything 3 has to offer imho.

  • man-tk
    man-tk Member Posts: 7 Member

    if you can buy an s4 mk3 DO IT . It's simply amazing .

  • lord-carlos
    lord-carlos Member Posts: 2,332 Expert

    I would try to find a used S4 mk3.

    Recently saw one for 625 EUR. For that price there is no better 4 channel controller.

    A used DDJ-1000 cost around 1200 or more EUR.

  • Sûlherokhh
    Sûlherokhh Member, Traktor Mapping Mod Posts: 1,735 mod

    I usually check out what they offer at REVERB once a month. €548 is the latest discount offer for a B-stock S4MK3.

  • djadidai
    djadidai Member Posts: 393 Pro

    It’s easy to drool over new equipment but take a step back and consider, why do you want this new shiny toy? Does it really offer something you don’t already have? I don’t know man, traktor 3 and subscriptions n sheit is really not attracting me. I bought my S4 mk2 for 120€-ish second hand. It’s dope. I kept T2 at its peak with its best controller. Love it to death.

  • DJDL
    DJDL Member Posts: 63 Helper

    The S4 MK3 really is a joy to use in terms of quality and features. The workflow is pretty spot on, smart and practical, and the layout is elegant and simply beautiful. Pretty sure you'd also find it amazing.

  • djadidai
    djadidai Member Posts: 393 Pro

    This is true for the mk2 also, there’s nothing in terms of djing ability that distinguishes the mk3 from the mk2, a bit different layout for some changed functions to match T3, and the channel lights are prettier, but in terms of smartness, practicality and functionality the mk2 is not inferior. Don’t get me wrong I do think the mk3 is a beauty, but it won’t make me a better DJ. I still prefer CD’s, if the venue I’m playing has players that can play cd I bring those instead still. However I do prefer traktor 2/3 to rekordboxed usb sticks.

  • djadidai
    djadidai Member Posts: 393 Pro

    If you have a homie that owns an mk2, go try it out, s2 or s4, don’t matter, I usually keep it to 2 channels anyway, at least at the start, I got mine cheap, already owned a license so i made someone happy by buying it off their hands. The vestax was great when it came, however hardware tailor made for software is awesome.

  • DJDL
    DJDL Member Posts: 63 Helper

    Will the S3Mk3 make you a better dj than the MK2? Probably not in the way you are thinking, but you will def have a better time djing due to a much improved layout and many subtle enhancements in almost every department.

    Lets state a few (at least the few that I care about the most for my workflow):

    More optimized and elegant layout overall

    Bigger, better jogs

    Better Loop / move section with screens (mods available to further customize/improve them). Much easier to create and move loops and move back and forth within a track. This has saved me countless times from having a track ending on me before I mix out of it, so the more accesible it is, the better.

    Mixer Effects (this subtle HPF/LPF filter actually changed the way I dj because I use it more now to mix in new tracks) - this might be software based instead of HW based, not sure, but it def is smoother

    Non MIROR IMAGE transport section makes it easier for muscle memory, less confusing

    Cleaner Pad section with 8 dedicated pads per deck

    Much improved MAIN / BOOTH outputs with dedicated volume controls in a more convenient layout

    Dedicated browser section for each channel with preparation lists, browser zoom and track preview section.

    More robust/durable faders

    Better sound card / audio interface

    This is by no means a perfect unit, neither is this a full list of improvements, but after having used older versions of Traktor hardware, it definitely feels like a step up from the previous generation.

    As for going back to using CD's, everyone has their preferences, but for me this could not be farther from ideal. It might seem easier to just show up with a case of plastic cds and not having to worry much about nothing else, ok, but I surely do not miss going through a book of cds trying to remember what track was where, and then only finding out that the next track I want to play is in the same CD thats already spinning. I cannot praise enough the many, many ways in which playlists, smartlists, histories, tagging and searching make your work easier and more efficient, specially with many years of song collecting. Or the benefits of a more advanced transport section with cues and loops. This does make me a better dj as I am able to play more consistently by managing styles, genres, keys and bpms in fast and powerful ways, as well as more precise mixing into and out of specific track segments.

    But that is just me and my 2 cents, and I hope this helps the OP give Traktor a second chance knowing that things are a bit different now. Not perfect and full of challenges for this day and age considering the direction the industry is going, but at least the S4 Hardware holds its own and IS and FEELS much better than ever.

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