The big story of NAMM 2017 is, of course, the launch of the Prime Series: the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime media player, the X1800 Prime mixer and the V12 Prime turntable.

Today I got some time with Paul Dakeyne from Denon DJ and he was so kind as of giving me a full tour of both the SC5000 Prime as the X1800 Prime.

Seeing the Prime Series for real really helps to understand why everyone at Denon DJ is so excited and confident about it. It’s clear that these are great, great products, crafted with lot’s of care and above all, designed for the future.

If Pioneer DJ would have come out with the SC5000, they would have made leaps and leaps of progress with their CDJ technology. But it’s Denon DJ that did it, and while they have a clear disadvantage when it comes to active user base, their passion to push the Prime Series forward is contagious.

Denon DJ SC5000 Prime and X1800 Prime overview video

What I liked the most

  • SC5000 screen: 7 inches of pure screen perfection. It feels like (the latest) iPad. Super easy to use, simply swiping will load a track (left) or send it to the preparation list (right). If swiping is not your thing, the rotary encoder is still there to browse.
  • SC5000 jog wheel: Feels & looks great, and the central LED with artwork and loop size display is a clever idea. Smart visual feedback for DJ’s. The tension adjust is there and works as expected.
  • SC5000 dual-layer function: I would never play with 1 player only, but having 2 layers on  1 deck is great to launch acapella’s or loops, without the need of an extra player. I can think of a few top DJ’s that will go crazy when they get to play around with this…
  • SC5000 performance pads: Once you have them, I’m sure you would wonder how you could ever live without them. Loops, rolls, slicer… so many great performance options are unlocked.
  • X1800 dedicated FX knob per channel: having a separated FX knob and a filter knob per channel really allows for creative tricks, love it!
  • X1800 FX touch strip: I really like this inclusion as to me a touch surface to control effects works really well. And I prefer a physical interface rather than a touchscreen.

I could go on and on. So yes I’m a fan, and I wish Denon DJ all the best in their mission to change DJ’s riders. Does this mean that I believe the days of Pioneer DJ are over? Not by a long shot. If anything, they are certainly paying attention and as I suggested earlier their answer must be in the works as you read this. And let’s not forget they control 99% of the pro dj market, not a small detail 🙂