Last week, two Very Important DJ’s jumped ship and moved from Pioneer DJ to Denon DJ gear: Laidback Luke and Paul Oakenfold.

Both are extremely respected DJ’s in their own genre and have helped shape the sound of electronic music over the last decades. I did a feature on Laidback Luke a while ago as I really admire his music, mixing skills and all round nice guy personality. Laidback Luke has been a Pioneer DJ ambassador for years and years. Him moving over to Denon DJ, not only as an ambassador for the brand but also as a product consultant for future Denon DJ products, is a hard blow to Pioneer DJ. Not only they lose one of the most skilled and respected Dj’s out there today, the knowledge that Luke takes to Denon DJ when it comes on how DJ gear should “feel” is invaluable. In my opinion, they couldn’t have asked for a better product consultant. You can see Luke introducing himself into the role (and having fun with the performance pads on the SC5000) below:

Laidback Luke has been a Pioneer DJ enthusiastic user for years and years. Him moving over to Denon DJ, not only as an ambassador for the brand but also as a product consultant for future Denon DJ products, is a hard blow to Pioneer DJ. Not only they lose one of the most skilled and respected Dj’s out there today, the knowledge that Luke takes to Denon DJ when it comes on how DJ gear should “feel” is invaluable. In my opinion, they couldn’t have wished for a better product consultant. You can see Luke introducing himself into the role (and having fun with the performance pads on the SC5000) below:

Then there is Paul Oakenfold. He is without question DJ royalty. Denon DJ will sponsor his upcoming “Generations” Tour that will span multiple countries and Paul will play only on Prime Series DJ gear. This is amazing exposure not only because it will put the Prime Series center stage in front of an absolute legend, it will also be a serious test for the gear’s “road-readiness”. Roadies, sound engineers, and techies that are used to blindingly work with Pioneer DJ gear will have to adapt to these new decks and get used to handling them in a live set situation.

I have stated before that Denon DJ will not be able to challenge Pioneer DJ with amazing gear only. They will need to get superstar DJ’s on board, and now Denon DJ is doing exactly that. Pioneer DJ, meanwhile, has been remarkably silent. They might, just might have underestimated Denon DJ’s determination and hoped for a re-run of the usual “new gear but no support” scenario that Denon Dj has had to go through before. If that was the case, Denon Dj’s determination and ambition should be clear now, as well the quality and robustness of the Prime Series ecosystem.

Don’t think for a second that Paul Oakenfold or Laidback Luke would have even considered switching if they didn’t believe the Prime Series couldn’t meet their demands. Denon DJ didn’t manage to win them over with money only, they convinced these guys based on the quality and potential of the gear, I’m absolutely sure of that.

So is all lost for Pioneer DJ and will superstar DJ’s, one by one, fall in love with the Prime Series? Probably not. For starters, now more than ever, Pioneer DJ will react somehow. A new, top of the line XDJ player is eminent, and maybe an overhaul of Rekordbox as well. Even if no new gear comes out from the Pioneer DJ laboratories in the next few months, they still control 99 percent of the professional market, so the recent announcements are no more than a few crack in an otherwise rock solid wall.

But Denon DJ is defiant. Check out the video they posted from inside UK’s most famous nightclub, the Ministry of Sound:

If you missed it, here is the image that says it all:

Pioneer DJ pushed aside
Pioneer DJ pushed aside

To be continued…

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