Yesterday the Prime Series from Denon DJ became available worldwide, and to celebrate this, they also announced that Tiësto, famous superstar DJ you at least heard about, changed his rider and will now be playing on the SC5000 Prime media player and the X1800 mixer during his shows worldwide.

The fact Tiësto switched was a not so well kept secret in the industry, but now it’s official, and it’s a huge endorsement for Denon DJ. The list of Dj’s that are now playing (supposedly exclusively) on Denon DJ Prime series gear is getting longer: Paul Oakenfold, Laidback Luke, Olivier Heldens and now Tiësto, and I’m only mentioning the big names here. This is surely a testament to the quality of the Prime setup, as someone like Tiësto would surely not put his key source of income at risk by performing on mediocre equipment.

The list of Dj’s that are now playing (supposedly exclusively) on Denon DJ Prime series gear is getting longer: Paul Oakenfold, Laidback Luke, Olivier Heldens and now Tiësto, and I’m only mentioning the big names here. This is surely a testament to the quality of the Prime setup, as someone like Tiësto would surely not put his key source of income at risk by performing on mediocre equipment.

This is surely a testament to the quality of the Prime setup, as someone like Tiësto would surely not put his key source of income at risk by performing on mediocre equipment.

And Pioneer DJ?

While I’m sure Pioneer DJ respects the effort by Denon DJ to conquer the professional DJ booth, they don’t seem to be overly impressed. Not because the SC5000 and the X1800 aren’t amazing pieces of kit, I think everyone, even Pioneer DJ engineers,

Not because the SC5000 and the X1800 aren’t amazing pieces of kit, I think everyone, even Pioneer DJ engineers, agree that the SC5000 is the most advanced media player on the market today.

But conquering the DJ booths takes more than an excellent product. It takes years of hard work to convince decision makers when it comes to buying new pro kit, push DJ’s to adopt the software/hardware ecosystem, and stay on top of bugs and issues that inevitably arise with this kind of gear.

Pioneer DJ has carefully crafted Rekordbox to be the beating heart of their professional DJ gear offering, and while it’s far from perfect, it’s used by thousand’s DJ’s worldwide to prepare their sets.

Getting Dj’s to move away from that comfort zone will take a lot of patience and above all, a pristine product. Engine Prime looks pretty good, but until it has been put through its paces by power users it has still everything to prove.

Pioneer DJ CDJ-2000NXS2 and the DJM-900NXS2

Summing it up, don’t expect Pioneer DJ to start redrawing their product roadmaps because of Prime. The Pioneer CDJ-2000NXS2 and the DJM-900NXS2 were only launched in January 2016. I can’t imagine a new CDJ top of the line model until well into 2018, possibly later.

We could see a top of the line XDJ player sooner than that, but even then, don’t expect it to “copy” the SC5000 feature for feature.

For example, I really doubt Pioneer DJ will go for pads on their media players, as they already have a product, the DDJ-SP1, that can be used for that purpose.

So how good is the SC5000?

So far a few DJ technology blogs have received review units, and I’m confident that I will be able to review the Prime Series for DjTechZone as well at some point in time.

For now, check out the glowing review by Phil Morse from Digitaldjtips.com (including a 22-minute video review!) and Dan White from Djtechtools.com also reviewed the SC5000 in depth.

Final Thoughts

For me as a DJ, in the end, I don’t really care how many superstar DJ’s play on the Prime series.

What I care about is that finally, a company has to balls to go after Pioneer DJ. To me, Pioneer DJ produces absolutely spectacular DJ gear, but their media player range is starting to fall behind feature wise compared to what their professional DJ controllers can do.

That’s a sign Pioneer DJ is being way too careful introducing new features. Risk avoidance is good when you can afford it, but now that Denon DJ has stepped up their game Pioneer DJ will have to take a bit more risk over the next years in order to keep their number 1 industry standard position intact, or at least to remain the clear leader in the market.

So yeah, exciting times ahead.

The Denon DJ SC5000 Prime and the X1800 Prime mixer are now available at approx. USD 1800.

What are your thoughts? Are you a Pioneer DJ user and would you consider to switch to Denon DJ? Let us know in the comments!

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