This morning Denon DJ have introduced two new pieces of hardware – the Prime 2 and Prime Go. While the Prime 2 is a pretty easy-to-understand piece of gear (think a two channel Prime 4), the Prime Go is a more advanced piece of hardware that deserves a much closer look. Keep reading for all the details.
Prime Go: truly portable but fully-capable
- Gear: Prime Go
- Manufacturer: Denon DJ
- Release Date: Late Q1, 2020
- Price: $999 (Preorder from DJTT)
This is the most portable all-in-one standalone DJ setup that we’ve ever seen, and amazingly, it doesn’t lose any software features versus the more advanced Prime kit. This “no compromise” approach is a direct result of Denon DJ’s decision to put a full-featured operating system (they’re calling it Engine OS) inside all of their Prime gear. The result is that each piece of hardware they release has a familiar, nearly identical experience.
And the feature set is impressive. The entire thing runs off a lithium-ion battery rated for 4 hours of use. You don’t need a computer, it effectively is a computer. You can load tracks from TIDAL (and soon, Beatport/Beatportal/Soundcloud) over the built-in Wi-Fi. It can analyze BPM and key of tracks onboard, and can read and process Rekordbox collections (playlists, cues, etc). Here’s the complete list of features:
- 7-inch HD touchscreen with gesture control
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to 4 hours of use
- Built-in Wi-Fi and wired internet connections (allows for music streaming)
- Dual bank performance pads for hot cues, loops, roll
- RCA aux input
- (2) dedicated XLR (¼” combo) mic inputs with EQ/Level/talkover
- Capacitive-touch jog wheels
- Internal music analysis
- Standalone Track Preview (listen to tracks without loading them to a deck)
- Assignable FX module, 3-Band EQ and Filter/Sweep FX
- USB and SD media source input
There are some unusual design decisions on the unit that some DJs will like, and others will question – for instance, the horizontal EQs are incredibly non-traditional. Similar are the performance pads, which are above the jog wheels (the last time we saw this arrangement was probably the Vestax VCI-380). But these layout quirks are incredibly secondary to what the unit is: a completely wireless standalone DJ solution that requires no power.
I’ve had a quick mix on the Prime Go, and the use cases immediately spring to mind: taking your DJ sets to the beach, a day hike, or any place without reliable power sources. Pair this unit up with a battery powered PA system and you’ve got an off-the-grid, renegade-ready setup – no generators or deep-cycle batteries required.
There’s also the thinking of using the Go as a way to prep DJ sets and trying things out. If you’re already in the Denon DJ ecosystem, a Go could be a great thing to take on the train, plane, or bus on your way to the gig to just get your set prepped.
Watch Some Hands-On First Takes On The Go
Prime 2: the expected addition
- Gear: Prime 2
- Manufacturer: Denon DJ
- Release Date: also late Q1 2020
- Price: $1,399 (Preorder from DJTT)
The Prime 2 is a natural evolution of the Prime 4 all-in-one controller that Denon DJ released last year. It’s the standalone device that everyone has been expecting Denon DJ for a while. There’s really not too much to say about the unit because of how iterative it really is – retaining almost all the features of the four-channel unit.
The Prime 2’s price is $300 less than the Prime 4, so it does offer some savings in both wallet and physical size. Two channel devices also are often all some DJs need to get started – but we suspect many beginners who consider a Prime unit might be more tempted by the Go.
A Tale Of Two 2-Channel Consoles
If anything, the Prime Go dramatically overshadows the Prime 2. Sure, some DJs will want the predictable layout that the larger device, but it’s nowhere near as portable and unique as the Prime Go. Denon DJ deserves major props for trying something completely unique and putting all of the features on their smallest device yet.
Have questions about the Prime Go or Prime 2? Let us know in the comments and we’ll get the details from Denon DJ if we don’t know the answer.
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