Updated: See the full details of the new SC5000 Prime, X1800 Prime mixer, V12 Prime turntable and new Engine Prime software!

After weeks of anticipation and speculation, the Denon DJ SC5000 media player has made its way to the internet.

The player is impressive, with a large (touch enabled?) full color screen, a jogwheel that displays artwork in the center ring (brilliant!) and… 8 performance pads to control cues, loops, rolls and slicer!

Performance pads

Denon DJ SC5000 performance pads
Denon DJ SC5000 performance pads

First of all, there is the evident eye-catcher: the 8 performance pads on each deck, a first on a professional media player! The pads are there for hot cues, loops, rolls and slicer, and probably other functions as well. In combination with Engine, this pads will open up completely new possibility for Djs performance wise and frankly will blow anything on current Pioneer DJ decks out of the water…

Jogwheel with artwork display

Denon DJ SC5000 jogwheel
Denon DJ SC5000 jog wheel

Again, a first on a media player and a really good idea! The artwork is often a key element by which DJs keep track on what is loaded in which deck. I imagine (and hope) that the content of the LCD panel in the middle of the jog wheel can be adapted, so you can choose to display song data instead of the artwork.

The screen

Denon DJ SC5000 screen
Denon DJ SC5000 screen

The screen is big and shows all you need to keep track of when Djing. No word yet if this is a touchscreen, but with the number of knobs, buttons and pads on the player I would guess this is not the case. And to me, this is not a bad thing. I feel touchscreens are not yet responsive enough to perform with. For now, nothing beats physical buttons!

Other Features

  • Slip mode
  • Loop encoder with loop move feature
  • Censor button
  • Sync & master buttons
  • Beat jump
  • Support for USB and SD cards, no CD slot!

A game changer?

So the marketing campaign around the SC5000 is to seduce DJs to change their riders and ask for these babies instead of the usual CDJs, and if the initial first impressions are confirmed in a more thorough inspection… that could just happen. Performance pads are so great for creative DJing, and they beat touchscreen based pads any day, easily.

Many questions remain open yet: will the Engine software be improved to support the SC5000 better and make a fist against Rekordbox? What is the price point of this player, will it be in the CDJ-2000nx2’s 2K range or far below (my feeling is considerably cheaper).

There are also rumors floating around the net that Denon DJ will release a new club mixer to match up with the SC5000. This would make a lot of sense since it’s a bit underwhelming to bring out a brand new media player without an equally brand new mixer that matches up with the player perfectly.

Lastly, there are talks about a fully re-engineered version of Engine to power the new hardware. This will be the critical part and what will ultimately win many DJs over, or not. All the fancy features of a modern media player only work when the tracks have been properly analyzed by software, and Pioneer DJ’s Rekordbox does this brilliantly. If Denon DJ wants a piece of the cake, they need to bring Engine up to the level of Rekordbox, and that is not an easy task.

These are exciting, exciting times, and 2017 will be the scene of the battle of the media players. Bring it on!

I literally can’t wait to discover this unit at Namm 2017!

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