Review: Can Denon DJ SC5000 Players Take On CDJs?

Many DJ booths have had a “standard” media player in them for a decade or longer. With the new SC5000 Prime players, Denon DJ takes an almost surgical aim at the biggest feature gaps and performance weaknesses of CDJs. In today’s review, learn how the SC5000s work, and if it’s worth it to consider switching from your current setup.

  • Product: SC5000 Prime media player
  • Manufacturer: Denon DJ
  • Availability: Now! In the DJTT store now
  • Price: $1,899 
  • Best Features: Each player has two layers (decks) with independent sound cards for each. This means a two-unit setup allows DJs to easily mix on four decks. Each unit has onboard analysis of songs for key, tempo, beat grid.
  • Still Needs Work: There’s no way to immediately convert existing Rekordbox USB keys/collections into Engine-ready libraries. Engine Prime’s iTunes integration and collection syncing isn’t as “robust” as Rekordbox yet.
  • The Bottom Line: Denon DJ has paid careful attention to DJs complaints and feature requests on the CDJ lineup – and as a result have built one of the most versatile pieces of standalone gear on the market. While many DJs (rightfully) are nervous about investing time and energy into learning a new system, the experience is fairly intuitive, and the company seems to be investing a lot of their resources to build a stable and reliable tool.

Why Buy Standalone Gear vs A Controller Setup?

If you’re going to pay $2,000 for digital DJ media player, it should have almost all the advanced features that a laptop-based setup should have, right? That’s the approach that Denon took with the SC5000, delivering a complete, modern DJ software-style experience right inside of the unit. This makes it unlike other standalone setups, which mostly aim to improve on CDJ-style experiences.

Not every DJ wants to bring out their laptop and controller to every gig just to get advanced transport controls

Having standalone units makes sense because not every DJ wants to bring out their laptop and controller to every gig just to get advanced transport controls, four decks of audio, etc.

But for a lot of controller DJs who want to make the move to the “club standard” gear, they’re often left wondering why there are so many missing features versus their software solution. Even DJs moving from Pioneer’s own Rekordbox DJ software to standalone CDJs or XDJs are rightfully confused when they discover there’s a feature gap.

In today’s review, we answer a few key questions about the new 5000s – and if your questions aren’t answered, let us know in the comments! 

SC5000’s Unique Feature Set

What makes these SC5000s unique? Effectively, their onboard computer with a multi-core processor makes each unit equal to a two deck DJ software, with functionality similar to Traktor or Serato DJ – except with no laptop necessary.

Onboard Track Analysis

all other standalone units require you to use a companion software to analyze tracks

The SC5000s can analyze tracks straight from a USB. This takes longer than on a computer, but is still fairly fast. As demonstrated in the above clip, we found that it takes about 20-30 seconds to analyze a 4.5 minute length song. By comparison, other standalone units require you to use a companion software to analyze tracks (beat grid, key detection, tempo).

One point for improvement here – with about 30% of the tracks that I loaded in and analyzed on the units and in the Engine Prime software, the tracks analyzed fine, but the beat grid was off by exactly half of a beat. This is easy to fix, just use the jogwheels to slide the beat grid over by half a beat – but it still was a slight annoyance. To their credit, Denon has asked me to send over some tracks that fell into this category to help them improve their algorithms. Additionally, many DJ softwares have this issue, usually when they confuse the first significant transient (a sudden audio peak – like kicks or snares – that analysis software uses to set grids) with the first beat of the song.

Two Layers (Decks) = Four Deck Mixing Is Easy To Try


The 5000s have two layers (decks) per unit, with discreet 24-bit/96kHz sound cards for each. There’s separate outputs on the back (RCA and digital out). Both layers can play at the same time. The layer interface feels very similar to what you get on a Kontrol S8 – one layer “minimizes” but still has a full-length waveform, while the selected layer gets a zoomable waveform and is affected by all the controls.

I immediately found myself experimenting playing with three to four layers active at once

I immediately found myself experimenting playing with three to four layers active at once. Not having to add two more devices to have four deck control is convenient, plus you don’t have to move “down the booth” to see what’s happening on the outer decks.

The performance while using two layers on each 5000 has been stable so far. The only time I’ve seen the multi-core processor start to get taxed is while playing a track on one layer and analyzing a track on the other – the waveform starts to drop in frame rate slightly. Most of the time you won’t be analyzing tracks, and the audio was completely unaffected.

Advanced Transport Controls (Loop Move/Beat Jump)

The main area where the SC5000 feels very similar to Serato or Traktor comes in the ways it is capable of moving around a playing track. Here’s what you can do:

  • Choose a loop length with the loop encoder and set it (or set manual in/out points)
  • Move a loop forward or backward (moves the same length as the loop itself)
  • Beat Jump around the track (also moves whatever the loop encoder is set to)

It would be great to see Denon add functionality that separates how far the loop move/beatjump from the current loop length – in other words, adopting exactly how Traktor manages loop move.

Performance Pads

You also have performance pads at the bottom of the SC5000s which allow you to:

  • Set/jump to/delete 8 cue points per track. They’re auto-colored, and show a name on the LCD screen (name can be edited in Engine Prime software)
  • Set/activate/delete 8 loops per track. They have the same auto-color and naming potential as cue points.
  • Loop Roll a track – activates slip mode and rolls the current beat while the button is pressed)
  • Slice up a track – this works just how slicer/freeze mode works in other units, except I wasn’t able to adjust the granularity, it only seems to be 1 slice per beat right now.

The pads feel like they will last to heavy abuse, but only time and rigorous use will really tell how they fair in the long run.

HD Touchscreen


Using the onscreen browsing interface on the 7″ touchscreen is intuitive, although this is an area where I think Denon DJ can stand to continue to fine-tune the consistency of the experience. A small example: on most pages you can filter tracks by BPM, key, etc – but you can’t on the “Prepare” temporary playlist. The user interface is easy to understand (i.e. swiping to load tracks) – but you can almost always use the browse encoder instead, making it a natural switch for CDJ users.

A lot of the filtering and track finding functionality is very useful when playing sets. In track search mode, you can quickly pull up tracks in a compatible key or similar BPM (adjustable in the preferences).

Solid Keylock Algorithm

There’s a very powerful keylock / time-stretching algorithm built into the unit. It’s far more impressive than most DJ software, and gives Serato’s Pitch ‘n Time DJ a run for its money. Meaning that I was able to mix between genres with locked keys. I enjoyed mixing from lower-tempo house (120) to drum and bass (~70/140) without melodies falling out of tune.

SC5000 versus CDJ-2000NXS2

The reigning champion versus a new challenger: who do you think will win?
? for Pioneer’s CDJs, ?? for the new Denon SC5000s; learn more about them here: http://djtech.tools/5000sUnboxed

Posted by DJ TechTools on Thursday, May 25, 2017

A lot of DJTT fans have asked me very particularly about comparing the SC5000 to the Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2. Below I’ve embedded a straight factual comparison. It’s important to note that one of these units was released in mid-2017 – while the other (CDJ) was released in early 2016.

Because Pioneer DJ’s product cycle for top-of-line CDJs tends to be 3-5 years, I suspect we won’t see a competitive unit in terms of feature set in the coming year – but they could surprise us with a new XDJ. I particularly found myself thinking that an updated XDJ-RX2 all-in-one would be able to win over the many bedroom setups that might otherwise be gunning for these new Denon units.

SC5000’s Build Quality + Reliability

The 5000s feels smooth and sleek – largely thanks to the soft touch case with very few seams. As a result, we suspect that this must be an expensive unit to build and tool up in factories.

The units are hefty. As expected, they’re not as heavy as CDJs (there’s no CD drive) – but they still feel like a solid piece of gear. It’s unlikely that many will pick it up and think it’s an unsubstantial weight, particularly since the newer XDJs without CD drives have started to lighten the Pioneer lineup.

What About The Play/Cue Buttons?

Many long-time Denon DJ fans will remember the squishy rubber pause/play and cue buttons on the older units. Those are long gone – replaced with normal tactile switch buttons as you would expect. Anyone used to tapping the cue button on a CDJ won’t be able to detect much of difference.

Jogwheel Platters

The jogwheel is probably one of the most impressive physical elements of the player. It’s an 8-inch metal jogwheel with a center LED display for showing the playhead, cue point, slip position, and album artwork (finally, a use for artwork). I expected the artwork display to be cheesy, but it turns out that it’s nice to associate unique artwork with different tracks, helping me to create a visual association with each track I played.

There’s a four position tension adjust – and impressively, the entire jog floats nicely. There’s very little mechanical noise when spinning the platter, which is a massive contrast from Pioneer DJ units which make a lot of physical noise. Additionally, the LED ring around the jog is adjustable for each layer. It’s an easy way to distinguish between active layers very easily.

One other nice design element that I really like is the underglow on the front of the 5000 where the USB and SD slot is. This is useful when inserting/removing drives, but it also just looks clean:

A post shared by Dan White (@djspacecamp) on

Engine Prime Software

For a lot of people excited about the launch of these new players, the big unknown has been the analysis and library organization software that comes with them. It’s a brand new release of their Engine software, called Engine Prime. The software does everything you need it to do – it can

  • analyze songs (faster than the onboard analysis, but seemingly identical results)
  • adjust beat grids, saved (and named) cue points and loops
  • sort tracks into Collections and Playlists, both copy-able to USB/SD drives
  • set player preferences that can be loaded onto SC5000s when plugging in

There is still no tool to allow DJs to quickly convert their Rekordbox [libraries] into Engine-analyzed collections

In terms of external software compatibility, you can quickly and easily import crates/playlists (as well as cues/loops) from Serato DJ. It’s also possible to import playlists from iTunes, although at launch it doesn’t seem to recognize folder structures in iTunes.

My biggest criticism of this new Denon DJ Prime setup is that there is still no tool to allow DJs to quickly convert their Rekordbox USB drives or SD cards into Engine-analyzed collections. For now, you’ll have to re-analyze all of your tracks and re-add playlists / songs to your drives.

Denon DJ notes that they’re going to announce an “elegant solution, coming soon” for Rekordbox library conversion – but at time of press, we have no details on what it is or how well it works. This will critical for adoption in DJ booths. If a Pioneer-only DJ walks up to a booth full of SC5000s, they won’t want to browse their “Contents” folder manually (by artist only) and analyze tracks during their set.

Should DJs Consider The Switch From Traktor / Serato DJ / Pioneer CDJs?

if you’re used to features you’d get on a DDJ or Kontrol unit, the SC5000s are the best standalone option

Investing in a new DJ platform is a huge financial cost; but if you’ve been looking to make the switch from a DJ software, or if you’ve wanted more out of your CDJ-style rig, it’s worth considering. If you’re used to the advanced features controls that you would get with a controller setup like with a DDJ or Kontrol unit, the SC5000s are the best standalone option to upgrade to.

We’re in the “early adopter” phase of the Denon Prime ecosystem. But there are touring sponsored DJs like Laidback Luke and Tiësto already using these units regularly, so the company has a lot of work on the experience since we first saw these at NAMM. We suspect with these big-name artists onboard, they’ll be forced to continue to refine the units’ workflow – which is great for the rest of the early adopters as well.

What about the competitors? Who else could deliver this feature set in a media player? Traktor and Serato don’t have a vested interest in making standalone gear – the money for them is in controllers and hardware that use their own computer software.

Pioneer is trying to grow their Rekordbox DJ software and has invested so heavily in the controller end of their market (because it’s a money-maker). Considering the normal product cycles of CDJs, it may take them a while to make a new device that matches this feature set.

Going Back To Other Setups

The team at Denon DJ have really outdone themselves here – using these players is really fun and creatively inspiring. After a few hours of testing these, I tried going back to my CDJ setup after using these – and it felt slightly boring in comparison. That’s a big reason why so many Traktor and Serato users have resisted moving to standalone gear like CDJs.

Want your own SC5000 pair (or any gear)? Chat with our crew of expert DJS

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  • DJ Gear Trends + Predictions For 2018

    […] real killer feature of Denon DJ’s big release this year was the fact that each SC5000 had the ability to play two decks simultaneously from one unit. With this, they proved what most DJs have suspected: you can easily put a more powerful computer […]

  • Jason Gray

    Having a lot of Problems myself 5 times has the prime software corrupted my database, really frustrating to have to keep moving music of and then back onto my external hard drive and yet again starting the arduous task of setting loops and hot cues and adjusting the timing on quite a lot of the older tracks, soul funk and similar especially, but on the whole it does take me quite a lot of time to go over all my genre /database yet again, I am all but destroyed, I have been waiting on such a solution for all my 35years approx. of musical life, I have envisaged such a solution in my mind decades ago , I am really sad so far too see yow long its taking for them to improve the software and the SC5000 players, Personally I do not want to be tied to the software its a silly concept especially when the software designers and the hardware/computing people I feel are not tallying up what is really important or in reality I must say this updating etc is vital!!! and so far the promise of the best are not getting what is fundamental, and no excuses because of the on board computing so much can be done yet the time is ticking in that sense of me feeling the whole concept is just that, a concept of greatness yet a lack of understanding in what is lacking. I have djs since the 80’s and I am bang up to date in knowing most of the DJ hardware and software their is and was .

    The most important aspects for me exclude the software as I can no longer trust it.

    1) we need to be able to better add stretch type markers for these problem tracks that need the human touch when it comes to adjusting the timing in relation to the Beat grid, all via the players please!

    2) we must have a way to get sets together via the players and save them, the history I have found to be hit and miss, it just confuses the whole process. their is no fun in these players being tied to the software or the prepare option, surely we need to have the experience as with other dj software and as we once did on the Decks, so really here the SC5000 are very poor and its a surprise these most fundamental methods are missing.

    Their are other things but these two missing aspects are as shocking as it is deeply disappointing I don’t intend on badmouthing its just this surprise and annoyance in my life when I should be creating pleasure.
    I must go and post this on the forums, last time I looked not a mention I thought everybody would be bang onto these fundamentals that are missing from the SC5000. these have so much potential but as off yet I have not come to realise the power of the on-board processing my players are constantly each session lagging and freezing / glitching, .

    I hold out hope, but time is ticking, and you come to think the missing fundamentals are not on their way as one would logically expect, sad and frustrated.

    • ATGR Production Team

      hi Jason,

      I’m the author of the Denon Conversion Utility. Sorry to hear about your troubles, but all are easily explained.

      For corrupted databases: make a copy of the “Engine Library” at the root of your “Denon Drive” every now & then. When problems occur, delete the “Engine Library” from the drive and duplicate/rename your latest backup back, this will restore your libary for your entire drive.

      about analyzation on the player:
      CDJ usb’s that are converted using the SC5000 still need to be analyzed. And this introduces some serious limitations:

      When freshly converted the bpm column on the player displays the correct bpm value as set by Rekordbox, but this is strictly cosmetic. The moment a track is loaded the SC5000 will analyze the track and replace the Rekordbox BPM value with the analyzed value (same story for the key).

      Analyzed BPM values on the player can not be edited (or ‘tapped’), you can only shift the beatgrid left or right but not narrow or make it wider. So if you are looking for a song in a particular BPM range and that track’s BPM was wrongfully analyzed by the player you can not correct or restore the BPM value and you will never find that song in the original BPM range. Try to auto analyze a random acapella, Drum ‘n Bass or anything non DAW produced on the player and you know exactly what I’m talking about.

      During analyzation on the player the cues and pitch are not active until analyzation has been finished. You can start a track but only at time index 0:0 and with pitch at 0%. I find on the fly analyzation in the player only a viable option of last resort and can’t think of fast mixing DJ’s using this during a real set. Real world analyzation times: Sandisk extreme GO 3.1 64Gb track length: 4:43 long 320Kbs mp3 takes about 30 seconds on the player to get analyzed Vs 3 seconds on a computer (same stick, same track ok not too bad Imac i7).

      There are a lot of things different to how the Prime Ecco system works as opposed to how Rekordbox, Traktor etc. work. I’ve created a series of NON commercial video tutorials explaining all these differences.

      Basically all things Denon needed to explain but never did.

      and finally. for a track to make it to the history lists it needs to have played for 30 consecutive seconds. Pause it at 22 seconds and it should play untill 52 seconds to make it to the history. This is far from ideal, I would rather have a check if the fader of the x1800 is open and then get it to the playlist, but this is how it works and might feel like a gamble.

      I’m here to answer any questions you may have.

      • Jason Gray

        Yeh thanks, I have recently started backing up, and I have had to use the backup twice again since, but its made life that much more simpler now. again thanks for your info.

  • Cj Peeton

    Now…. I see that the person who did this post didn’t watch or read the vlogs and logs of Laidback Luke . You can transport Your rekordbox stuffs with a software that is free . I doesn’t take long to do it . Also itunes …… I never had any problem with that . I own 2 sc5000 and I have to say it’s way better than Pioneer , and rekordbox . Too much problem with Pioneer . Many times I had problem with keylock on pioneer . Here no problem . The jogwheel is much better . The screen is bigger and the layout is better too . All information is available by just looking and the screen . Organisation is also better . No need to push any extra button , just push the key button , then You see the tracks at the same key . Searching is also better . The touchscreen helps a lot to find what You need . Pioneer is way over priced because it’s the standart. Denon made a huge impact with that , and I didn’t even say anything about the layer function .

  • Dthe1

    No way can they compete. Crosstalk/noise generated from the screen leaks into the audio outputs.

    https://youtu.be/1Oca0JOGfBA

    • Reticuli

      The company is also not particularly amenable to feature requests and is routinely deleting comments on their forum. Pioneer is a pain in the ass and Pulse is an arrogant twit, but they’ve never deleted posts.

      • sfmzg

        I’ve heard they are deleting & editing posts, locking users that are sayin awkward stuff (their posts suddenly need to me moderated before posted and they shut down their PM…)

        • Reticuli

          Yes, and editing. I replied to three posts from three people and they combined them into one, deleted who they were to, and screwed up some of the meaning by deleting some of the content when they turned it into one. It almost seemed like they were retyping it or something. Weird.

    • Mark

      This ONE user has been posting this video everywhere – kind of weird that nobody else has ever experienced this. Even more weird when you see Tiesto, Laidback Luke, Oliver Heldens and Oakenfold using this gear in massive stadiums on huge soundsystems every night and there’s been no issue…

      • Dthe1

        What’s the matter? Do you work for Denon? Can’t handle the truth?

        I have documentation of a Denon technician acknowledging the problem. Sweetwater as well; which by the way, I thank them for overnighting me another unit and it also had the same issue.

        A Denon DJ technician called me and after spending some time on the phone wih me admitted that he replicated the problem.

        If you work for Denon; keep pressing me; I’ve already gone to three different local shops and every unit I tested had the same problem.

        I’m ready to put that video up too.
        Stay on your toes!

        • Mark

          I work with Denon, and many other brands – not for them.

          It’s just weird, I keep seeing your video, you’ve posted a lot of it. But I haven’t heard of anybody else having this problem.

          • Dthe1

            Thought so;

            One reason might be because no one is buying them over the cdj 2000 nexus 2.

            Your change the rider campaign is dead in the water. No way is Denon close to the build and quality of a cdj.

            That video is there to stay and more videos have gone up with numerous other issues, bad screens; bugs in the software.

            Keep coming at me; I’m just going to embarrass your asses even more.

          • Mark

            I’m not embarrassed at all. We’re doing really well with the Prime products. All the feedback we’ve had (and the vast majority of what I’ve read, including this very article) have been very positive.

            You seem to have an axe to grind. Nothing I’m going to say will change that.

          • Dthe1

            I seem to have an axe to grind?

            You can’t handle a video pointing out a problem that your own technicians admit to.

            I communicated the problem to Denon, was going to leave it alone until someone like you opened their mouth before I even posted the video.

            All,
            Please take note of this InMusic (Akai, DENON, Numark, etc.) employee.

            This is a known issue replicated by Denon at Denon, yet this employee singles out this post and then tries to turn this into someone having an axe to grind.

            Lol
            Wait for the full review and side by side comparison to the cdj which I’ll happily point out again “does not suffer from the same issue” as well as video of this happening with the sc 5000 at three different store locations.

            SMH

            There’s obviously nothing I can say; hell even talking with your techs, better yet putting up a video that clearly demonstrates the issue won’t change your mind.

            All good, I’ll make sure that view count goes up until the full review and side by side video go up.

          • Mark

            Again, I don’t work for inMusic/Denon

          • Dthe1

            So you don’t work for Denon but in your previous reply you said:

            “I’m not embarrassed at all. We’re doing really well with the Prime products. All the feedback we’ve had (and the vast majority of what I’ve read, including this very article) have been very positive”

            So who exactly is the “We”?

          • Dthe1

            You just finished saying:
            “We’re doing really well with the Prime products. All the feedback we’ve had (and the vast majority of what I’ve read, including this very article) have been very positive”

            So who do we work for?

  • Regular Citizen

    Please tell me Denon is dropping a DJM S9 competitor…

  • Reticuli

    Denon dj needs to stop editing and deleting posts on their forum, though. Pioneer might lock threads but i’ve never seen that from them.

    • blackavenger

      Hmm, I hope someone else who has an SC5000 will do a similar test to confirm that it’s not just your unit. I was just about to pull the trigger. Think I’m gonna wait and see now. Ughh, sooo disappointing if this turns out to be systemic!

      • Mark

        This is the only known video of this fault in existence, as far as I know. If it were an inherent fault there is no way the Prime gear could be used in massive festival environments by the likes of Tiesto, Heldens, LL and Oakenfold

        • Reticuli

          Pioneer DJ public ally discloses the exact hardware DAC specs and chips uses on their gear. What DACs are in the SC5000 and what are the results of real audio analyzer results on your analog output stages on the new players?

          • Mark

            According to someone on the Denon DJ Prime Series Facebook group:

            “SC5000 digital interface is (2x) AK4103AVF DAT (digital audio transmitter) which supports data rate up to 192kHz sample rate operation, 24-Bit 2ch.

            X1800 output have DAC AK4490EQ (verita series) sampling rate max 768kHz / Resolution 32-bit, 2ch Premium digital-analog converter.

            Denon X1800 Booth output AKM AK4458VN 768kHz 32bit 8ch D/A Converter.”

          • Reticuli

            Thank you. Compared to Pioneer and Rane, it’s curious it’s a third-party service tech that had to provide this info. Also wondering about the DSP section.

          • sfmzg

            Pioneer likes to push tehnical info (24bit, 32bit,..) in a attempt to make their gear seem to have better audio quality. But, truth is that is just one small part of what makes hardware sound good. A friend had a Denon MC3000 who loved showing Pioneer owners (T1, SX, SR,…) how their controllers sounded inferior when plugged into the same club mixer.

          • Reticuli

            Yes, AD conversion, sample rate conversion, DSPs, DA conversion, and analog output stages are all important, which is stuff old Denon, Rane, and Pioneer will talk about but Numark is usually mute on the topic.

    • Reticuli

      Both? Numark does have a long history of issues like this. I wonder if this is just yours or a design flaw. You could always go digital while they figure out on their end. Have you called?

  • Reticuli

    Denon DJ needs to put their forum mods on notice. They are editing posts, removing context & quotes, and even outright deleting legit posts that are responses to other people’s questions. Pulse might be an ass over at Pioneer’s forums, but the most I’ve ever seen them do is just act like clueless fools or lock a thread. Denon are literally altering (badly, at that) and deleting posts routinely on theirs.

  • Reticuli

    Apparently there is no jog bend dead zone and the pitch resolution on Wide is as good as 0.02% increments. I hope Engine Prime can add the track offload function over Ethernet soon.

  • Convert Rekordbox USB/SD Drives To Denon’s Engine

    […] move your Rekordbox library into Denon’s Engine Prime, there’s no direct way to do it now. For our review of the SC5000s, Denon did note that an “elegant solution” was “coming soon” for this process, but we’re […]

  • Weslochan

    Saw the new Denon gear in action at EDC Vegas 2017(Red Bull tv). Oliver Heldens and Laidback Luke were the sets I saw. Sounded good and performed like any other Pioneer Dj setup. Oliver at first wasn’t getting his mic volume to turn up, not sure if it was wireless mic issue or the Denon mixer…..

  • Jimmy Speakman Beck

    The only fuss i have is i wish the engine software would have been more of a dj software program instead of a library software so it could offer dvs support for turntables

    • Reticuli

      No one wants to see your laptop in the club, dude.

  • ATGR Production Team

    Good news, just send the first public beta of the Denon Conversion Utility out to the press. Plug a Rekordbox prepared USB thumbdrive in your Macbook, run the utility and use your cues/loops set in RBDJ in Engine Prime as well. Not sure if this will become an released product, still waiting for DenonDJ to answer some questions.

  • killmedj

    After dealing with Pioneer online asking a simple question about Rekordbox, and getting a smarmy response from one of their snotty nosed keyboard warriors they hired for “customer service” I for one hope that Denon take these fuckers down. The whole demeanor of Pioneer is one of arrogance and it definitely permeates through to their staff. I really hope Denon can give Pioneer something to think about.

      • killmedj

        Yup, ?

      • Mark Smith

        So has this person been terminated yet??? They really need to pay extremely close attention to these kinds of occurrences. This person should not be employed by Pioneer DJ any longer.

      • sfmzg

        If Denon forum users are to be believed, it not much different there.
        When you ask where is Serato/Traktor support, you don’t get a professional answer but a lenghty post/personal opinion from the admin/moderator about how your gear doesn’t really need support for linking to any kind of external software. Including Engine Prime.

        • Nevson

          Your definitely right about that. I made a post on the old Denon forum about Engine not having a half/multiplier editing function for BPM to quickly correct those BPM that was doubled or half. My post was quickly deleted. I know I wasn’t disrespectful in my post. Why that moderator didn’t see the need for my request stay posted? I will never know. All I know is I have a pair of SC3900 that I will never get the intended use of (stand alone mode).

          How retarded, imagine Traktor, Virtual DJ, Serato with no multiplier or divider edit function. And to edit those doubled or half BPM it takes about three steps. It’s not like your analyzing a few files. We are talking about hundreds and thousands of files.

          • Mark

            The old Denon forum is nothing to do with the new Denon forum. Different management in place behind Denon these days.

          • sfmzg

            New Denon forum – posts are getting deleted and edited, users that are posting are getting blacklisted (their PM disabled, all new posts need moderation, etc…).
            Unknown users are getting invited by inMusic staff to the forum and they make fun of users that have complaints or their suggestions,….all info I got from a friend that’s still there so 100% true.

    • My Trip Through The Universe

      Lol I totally know which “customer support” agent you speak of, such a douchebag, I can’t believe Pioneer let him represent their company.
      He must be fired by now, or gotten a lesson in how to serve paying customers?

  • Reticuli

    Can the BPM counter be hidden on the main playback display while still running in the background for loops?
    Can grid lines be hidden and the waveform zoomed way out?
    Can key be locked in a spot other than zero and reset after doing so?
    What is the pitch resolution off a flash drive at its widest range?
    Is there a jog bend dead zone like on the Pioneer CDJs where slow rotations don’t bend?
    Is the jog rotation sensitivity adjustable for bend and/or scratch?
    Is the capacitive touch sensitivity adjustable?
    Did you test the network track offload capability from Engine Prime, and will the track continue to play if the computer crashes?

    • Chris Roman

      On the mixer, is there a limiter on the main outputs (analog and digital) and can this be turned off?

      There is a limiter to ensure full dynamic range is output and you don’t flat line. There have been dozen of the best sound engineers in the world now testing the 1800 in clubs like Ministry of sound and they are all raving about the incredible sounds quality over the competition largely due to this. The mixer is 100% digital inside.

      On the players, can the BPM counter be hidden on the main playback display while still running in the background for loops?
      Most beatmixing DJs prefer to actually see the current BPM. If you are asking if quantize or sync not be used in playback but still with loops, the answer is yes.

      Can grid lines be hidden and the waveform zoomed way out? Waveform is pinch/zoom and a full time “track view” is shown with no grid already.

      Can key be locked in a spot other than zero and reset after doing so?
      Not yet.

      What is the pitch resolution off a flash drive at its widest range?
      100% of course!

      Is there a jog bend dead zone like on the Pioneer CDJs where slow rotations don’t bend?
      The wheel can be set so it can’t spin accidentally. Slow rotation bend is not overly sensitive, so it works but gentle, no need to compensate.

      Is the jog rotation sensitivity adjustable for bend and/or scratch?
      Platter weight is adjustable.

      Is the capacitive touch sensitivity adjustable?
      The capacitive touch is highly advanced and is smartly adjusting constantly to changes in environment. Imagine a situation where a 100lb DJ and a 300lb DJ are working together. The units are smart about adjusting to these 2 body types. Unlike some competition, this is not a “fixed” setting.

      Did you test the network track offload capability from Engine Prime, and will the track continue to play if the computer crashes?
      Not sure what that means. These units network to each other and the mixer, and other backstage control networks. NO computer required however. If the network cable is removed, they will not crash and the song is 100% buffered, so not like CD technology where you might have a requirement for an auto loop feature.

      Please join the Denon DJ Forum at: http://www.denondjforum.com/login In order to have questions responded to more accurately and frequently.

      • Reticuli

        Hi Chris,
        Thanks so much for your responses.

        Your comment: “There is a limiter to ensure full dynamic range is output and you don’t flat line” is unfortunately incorrect but understandably so. I know you’re more a rep and product support guy, not one of the engineers. Dynamic range compresses whether you hard clip into 0dBFS or push into a more pleasing-sounding compressor-limiter.

        I personally prefer the ability to disable a limiter on a DJ mixer’s master analog & digital out. I like a DJ to be able to clip into digital full scale in its unpleasing way to dissuade dynamics compression if they push the mixer too hard. Limiters in the hands of a DJ, in my experience, tend to get abused and eventually contribute to cooked woofers. If the full dynamics are not going to be preserved such as through some auto-gain-reduction feature (which I’m not necessarily encouraging), then the dynamic range compression potential of the DJ mixer ought not sound pleasing. The Pioneer DJM-900, Denon DN-X1700, and Numark PPD-9000 all have a defeatable main & digital out limiter in their settings and I recommend adding this disabling as an option to the X1800.

        On hiding BPM display readout and still having BPM and quantize utilized for smart looping — these units seem to me to be really attempting to compete with not only Pioneer CDJs but also feature-rich controllers & laptop combinations in the SC5000 standalone mode. It is possible to hide BPM counters in Virtual DJ and Traktor while still getting quantized smart looping. I personally find BPM counters distracting, love being able to disable them both on the Hanpin players in standalone mode and in the DJ software mentioned, and believe their use is contributing to DJs getting “soft” and the destroying of classic DJ culture.

        It sounds like grid lines cannot be hidden on the moving waveform. I just thought I’d ask. Not a biggy.

        I look forward to advances on the use of the key correction & key changing feature.

        Sounds like you do not have a jog bend dead zone. I prefer your method or a jog bend dead zone being optional in the settings rather than a dead zone that cannot be turned off on the jog bend. It sounds like if very small, slow outer jog rotations do a tiny bit of jog bending, you may have nailed it!

        Interesting solution to capacative touch over-sensitivity.

        Rekordbox and the original Engine have the capability of using the laptop as a library and offloading tracks directly onto the units — four decks and the laptop communicating over a network. If you unplug the laptop mid-playback, however, the track stops playing on Rekordbox, which is obviously not the ultimate in robustness & redundancy. So on your Engine Prime, I guess if it has the track-offload function with a laptop over the ethernet, then it would be 100% buffered. So the question is, does Engine Prime have the laptop track off-load thing yet from the original Engine?

        Thanks for the invite and thanks for being generous with your time.

        Diversity and competition is strength. Homogeneity is weakness. Qapla’!

        • Dudes & Guys

          @reticuli:disqus
          How about playing some tunes and making people dance? Pretty simple, eh?

  • Too Many Names

    You can even pull out the power plug for 10 secs without loosing music…

    • Lifted Veil

      It will play the whole song not just 10 secs.

      • Reticuli

        He’s talking power, not pulling out drive.

        • Chris Roman

          and the answer still is yes, if you restore power within 10 seconds

          • Reticuli

            Too Many Names and I already know this. Thank you.

  • Be

    For how much these kinds of devices cost, it’s about time someone made one that can do what laptops and controllers have been able to do for years. If some company makes something comparable to these players with a motorized platter like a modern Numark CDX, I think it’d be a huge success even if it would be more expensive.

    • Oscar C

      Hopefully Numark is paying attention. Without a doubt, I totally agree. Hopefully if they do it, maybe the units can run Engine Prime as well since its the same parent company.

      • ThaBaldAvenger

        Denon and Numark have the same owners so I doubt they will be in a rush to update.

    • KidCorporate

      Agreed, it’s the first time in long while I’ve been tempted to drop the cash for a “club” setup.

  • sfmzg

    I intended to use the new Engine Prime with my existing Denon players and then in about a year get 1x SC5000 but since inMusic decided to kill old Engine (and the ipad app and before that the Denon Music Manager software) I decided to switch to Pioneer, probably the succesor of XDJ-RX. Denon can keep killing their software each time they switch owners, I’m done with them.

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      Let’s be real: Denon DJ isn’t the same company that it used to be. It’s completely changed, and that’s clear with this MCX8000 / SC5000 era – this is the direction they want to go. They have the old products on their website and do make some legacy support improvements, but supporting products that this new, InMusic-lead team didn’t design or create, doesn’t seem to be their core focus.

      Hopefully they will read your comments and resurrect support for older players in upcoming releases of Engine Prime 🙂

      • sfmzg

        Let be completely real: it’s not about the “direction” but about the $$$. Old Engine 1.5 was written by a outside vendor while this Engine Prime is built by a inMusic company (“built from ground up” = we didn’t want to pay a outside company for support).

        They did some math and decided that profit from new users will be enough to cover the lost sales from existing Denon users like me who now won’t buy any new Denon gear. Simple.

        For years Pioneer users have complained and complained about the business strategy of Pioneer (overpriced and lack of new features) yet kept on buying their products. Now we have a choice: don’t make the same mistake by rewarding a business strategy that doesn’t benefit us customers.

        • Chris Roman

          It’s hard to understand the statement when you say a strategy that doesn’t benefit customers. Denon will release a version of Engine Prime shortly that will replace engine 1.5 with a far faster, and more efficient option. It is correct to assume that perhaps developing on an old platform in general isn’t smart for the company or the customer, but when the company actually is committed to supporting the existing customer base with it’s new releases, your statement is terribly out of line. And Engine 1.5 is alive and available right now, not killed as you suggest.

          • Chris Roman

            Thank you. When restarting from scratch you must start with a core and current feature set then build upon it. However, since it’s important to the developers and ownership to support existing users or older gear (even if they started before inMusic brought in the technology infusion needed) there is already activity under way to support them. This has been proactively stated often and not that long ago. Alternative thoughts it seems taking place here.

          • Peter Lindqvist

            The comparison is to how the Pioneer Software works, yet not said. RB supports all hardware released since 2009, and even RB DJ was compatible within a few months with most of their gear. The ”older” gear Denon refers to is from 2012-2015. It doesn’t really feels like legacy products, especially not the MCX-8000. On the Pio side, legacy products is for the most referred to gear manufactured before 2009. Even if replaced by newer models, they are still within the same software and continue to get supported. The Pioneer has got a bit of the same kind of critics, but it’s more on the different feature sets on similar hardware, that some so called pros think should be there even that there’s 4 years between the releases… Development in hardware tend to create this, but none the less the critics are there. One BIG difference here is that Denon only has a handfull of gear compared to Pioneer DJ that has a list of gear long as my arm. Yet, the owners of the CDJ-400 probably felt the same way about the lack of support for RB back in 2009. What’s not mentioned either is that Pioneer DJ has made the same transformation as Denon when it come to new leader/ownership with the InMusic Group. In 2015, Pioneer sold its DJ equipment business division to KKR, and they continue to support everything, business as usual, just more money behind the development. Seems they gonna need it now 🙂 .

          • sfmzg

            It’s not hard to understand. Engine 1.5 will not be updated. It’s killed off. As a result, SC2900/3900 user will never get a good stabile software, even after 5 years. Same as S3700 owners didn’t with Denon Music Manager (that only works on windows). Do you see the pattern Chris?

          • Chris Roman

            sfmzg, you are more than welcome to continue to use Engine 1.5, it will receive updates as often as Windows XP, Netscape, or WinAmp does and if you don’t update your operating system it’s behavior will not change, so it didn’t magically stop working or die. Futhermore, Denon has stated it will invest in it’s users and release a major backwards compatible update for the Engine Prime version with good and stable feature enhanced software that can be actually be updated, unlike the older 1.5 codebase you already stated quite correctly is out of the control of the current owner. Obviously MCX8000 users come first, then the process will potentially work it’s way backwards. There is no promise 10 year old hardware will be officially supported, but then again there is also nothing purposefully that could be done to prevent this. Seems you may be actually getting more that you asked for.

          • sfmzg

            Chris, you are more than welcome to continue trying to spin this anyway your masters can think of and if you keep on giving such, oh so wonderful replies, much more Denon users will see where your Prime path is leading them in the long run 😉

            No Denon user ever got what he asked for. Not when concerning DMM, Engine ios app or Engine 1.5. Only a fool would think this is any different just because a bigger, money hungry corporation is now at the wheel. Good luck with Engine Prime. You’re gonna need it.

          • sfmzg

            Denon older gear = SC2900, SC3900, S3700, MCX8000,…
            inMusic’s version of what older gear is = MCX8000.
            :DDDD

          • zendoo

            That’s a inciteful statement on legacy support. We’re at the point where gear, particularly controllers, that’s 10+ years old is still perfectly usable and “current”, although there’s no incentive for manufacturers to keep supporting them.

        • zendoo

          I have not ever heard anyone in Sales be remotely concerned with legacy device support. They’re purposely incentivized to sell new product. Support is a whole other area of the company, and they rarely influence each other. The percentage of people who get pissed and swear off your brand over these sorts of choices are so minuscule as to be unimportant.

          • sfmzg

            You’re preaching to the choir, I’ve worked in sales and support.
            inMusic people that interact here online don’t seem to understand how much damage they are doing to the brand in the long run by trying to reply to every negative fact about current state Denon software/hardware with their non-answer posts.

            If you cannot give a positive answer to the user your post will not only undermine the user opinion of the product but also of the support/sales staff. Not to mention that the user feels like the brand doesn’t really understands the needs of DJs.

            Case in point: user complains that the new Prime software doesn’t have the option to link players with the laptop unlike the previous Engine version (and competition). That post doesn’t need a statement from some random inMusic employee that the previous Engine, although it did had that feature, it was buggy and had no sierra os x support and then question the user why does he need it when the player has a search feature and a touchscreen, pretending like it’s some new and rare thing. It just kills your brand, you as a support/sales staff and the product itself.

            What’s funny to me is, you have here, on the top, a post of a guy complaing about Pioneer support acting that same way yet the same thing awaits him with Denon (and I’ve heard that the Denon forum is even worse). I don’t know, I feel like the bigger the company the worse the support is.

    • Mark

      They’ve switched owners once, and that was like 3-years ago, right?

  • Kitba5h

    For a compact bedroom setup, would it be reasonable to use 1of these decks with a mixer and just use two layers on the one deck?

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      It’s totally reasonable to consider that, and I suspect we’ll see a lot of people getting one unit to start with to try out the entire system… it’s a smart play.

  • unusual suspect

    Are the jogs touch capacitive like controllers or pressure sensitive like CDJ’s?

  • Kevin Stucki

    Wait and see for a year. I wound’t jump on this bandwagon too soon. The players seem cool in their own right, but that mixer…no way I’d take that over the 900nxs2. Easily would spend the extra money.

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      Many DJs mix and match brands – I personally love the effects workflow on DJMs quite a bit, so it would take a lot to get me to switch to that. But Denon has nailed the DJing workflow on these players – enough that will likely not be satisfied using CDJs again until they’re comparable.

      • Weaver2

        Counterwise I’m so used to how my X1600 works it always takes me some time to get used to how DJMs are laid out lol

    • sfmzg

      Actually I think the mixer a pretty good match to nxs2. Denon has had a upper hand over Pioneer regarding sound quality for years, even in controllers let alone full size mixers. Build quality has been pretty much the same. They have different method of FX frequency isolation (knob vs buttons) that both have it’s advantages. Pioneer has more FX’s while Denon has that filter+sweep fx combo going. X1800 + CDJ is a better match than DJM + SC5000 thanks to it’s LAN hub and superior manual bpm input (more so if you use Traktor with CDJ’s considering it can use bpm midi info from Traktor to sync the onboard FX’s). Pioneer has the magvel pro fader (non contact unlike the denon’s flex fader). It’s the little things.

    • Jason Gray

      The mixer is quite good the effects gel well together and for me feel more usable where as with the pioneer gear its like 50/50 jamming out some effects on the fly and it working unless you have practiced some, but i found on the x1800 it seems more usefull just experimenting on the fly, just my thought. Although i sent my mixer back as i feel it needs some improvments and with my style of mixing i was let down, this may seem strange too some but for me the gain control is useless the signal is way too hot becuase on average i was not getting much past the 7 too 8 oclock mark maybe a bit more for lower cut tracks. But i consitantly use my gsin basically like its another fader and being used to a majority of gear centering on average around 11 too 1 oclock mark leaving head room up and down. My gain control is fundamental to my mixing for balencing out my mix at many stages i cant express this enough or explain in brief but some of uou will understand that my gain control is normally consistantly on the move allowing a perfect blend and now with 4 decks its even more vital for the blend which i use in conjuction with eq and filter and faders etc being able to bring certain equalised part back out in the mix is only one aspect, but the signal is way too hot 9 too 10 oclock and the led bang up and the led for me needs its sensitivity sorting out as the led dont gel well in my personal oppinion need some better calibration. Okay its all usable but its not got the finnesse to warrent spending so much money on. Then their is also a delay on the gain and other pots as i mix it out and do some fast movement from say 7 too 6 oclock it had some bleeding of sound okay maybe this wont be noticed in a mix but maybe if mixing some quiet parts it could be a concern and not what you expect in high end gear and i could not fix any if this in the options. I do think the mixer has great possability but needs more attension to said detail although nothing that cant be sorted and i guess the mixer is future proof with its ability to update the firmware in quite advanced way. All said will end up getting again but for now i decided to get the second deck which i advise for those watching their money instead of a player and the mixer. Just my thoughts but on the whole and as with the players all is open to improvement and additions and by rights no need on updated gear in the future as all is what i like to think is going to be future proof unlike the hell i had with the XDJ1000 mk1 being a stepping stone that shocked me too the core and costed me lost time and money i felt i got ripped of in more wsyd than one. All i can do is hope that Denon really know the power they have if they do things the right way to put cutomers at ease, this prime equipment has been what i have invisaged since the 80’s lol in mind i could see a future with possability now at last its arrived.

    • Mark

      I’d take the X1800 over the 900NXS2 any day, particularly if partnered up with the SC5000. The integration between the players and the mixer is insane

  • DjUninen

    Can you arm a loop with these players like you can with Traktor? (That is, make next upcoming loop to turn on automatically when the track gets there.)

    This is a feature I miss most from Traktor when playing with CDJs. (Yes, you can prepare one ‘auto loop’ with RekordBox but only one and only _in rekordbox_ beforehand.)

    • mikefunk

      I posted similar question regarding setting up cue points on the fly while track playing. Somebody form FB Denon page said that since you have two layers, you can play track on one layer and edit same track real time on second layer. So I guess answer to your question (and mine) is – Yes 🙂

      • Chris Roman

        Saved loops are saved upon exit, so this is not correct

    • Faibo Xellent

      if you have loops saved either in Prime software or directly on the SC5000, you have an option in the menu that makes the saved loops buttons jump to the desired loop or activate the next loop.

      • Chris Roman

        This is existing feature in the current release. When you load a song, press play, jump to the existing loop or set a new loop, then press cue. Start and mix the song as normal, when you arrive at the loop it will auto play.

        • DjUninen

          This is exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you! 🙂

        • Mark

          great for a mid-set toilet break 😉

  • ithinkmynameismoose

    The inability to transfer my Rekordbox files is pretty big for me. Mean’s at the very least I’ll be waiting for Pioneer’s response to these.

  • Jacob Stadtfeld

    The iTunes playlist folder structure is definitely an area that gives me pause for switching, but otherwise the software seems solid enough.

    • Spacecamp / Dan

      I suspect they’ll fix it VERY quickly – not that hard to add.

      • ATGR Production Team

        Dan, I hope you are so right, because this is a major omission. However I dove deep into the program already and I dont think it is that straight forward to add. Their own internal playlist structure does not support nesting/folders either. Only crates can be nested. Some kind of external import mechanism alike the Rekordbox.xml structure in RBDJ would be great as well, but there is NO other playlist structure (not even m3u or xml straight up) you can import in the current version of Engine Prime.

  • Christopher Allen

    this thing is amazing! got to test it in Miami. i would get it if I didn’t recently get the XDJ-RX. Definitely an upgrade on the SC2900s by adding an HQ screen and FINALLY adding some pads. The engine software update is a whole lot better too.