Is Denon-DJ back??

Denon (now DenonDJ) used to be the go-to brand for DJ CD-players, but sometime around the year of 2000 a.c. they lost it to Pioneer (now PioneerDJ). PioneerDJ and their table top players has been in most clubs worth the name ever since, and for a good reason. They have for sure been the most innovative brand with a clear path. Yes, DenonDJ have had their cut of the market with e.g. the SC3900 and the SC 2900, popular with scratch DJs. I somewhat liked these players, but I always felt they were lacking something. The functions of the buttons where just “a little bit off”. Now with the all new “copy” of the Pioneer flagship players, the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime, it seems DenonDJ has shaped up.

With the SC5000 Prime, DenonDJ has implemented all the functionality a Pioneer CDJ2000 NXS (or NXS2), but also added functionality like on-bord file analysis with the Engine software (corresponding to the Rekordbox software on PioneerDJ), two  layer playback (although an old DenonDJ feature), touch screen, High Resolution Audio playback (FLAC, ALAC, etc), highly customisable color and screen settings, 8 multifunctional trigger pads for DJ-software-like features.

I consider some of these updates an improvement, and some just silly.

I like:

  • the trigger pads and the functionality they bring. They are great.
  • I quite like the circular display in the middle of the jog-wheel. It can be customised to show track artwork or DJ-logo or so.
  • For once DenonDJ has been able to keep a clean layout, not cluttered at all.
  • The master tempo seems to work great.
  • Superb file type support (FLAC, ALAC, OGG, AIFF, WAV, MP3 etc)
  • The theoretical sound quality figures look great – (FR: 22–22,000 Hz, THD+N< 0.0015%, DR 116 dB).

I do not fancy:

  • The placement of the USB- and the SD-card connectors. They are placed where normally is the CD-slot, but the are apparently quite fiddly to reach. What if I want to pack the players into a table. No, I prefer the on top-connectors.
  • No CD-player. A very expensive player, but it cannot play CDs, I still want the option.
  • Too many lighted buttons and it looks like the choice of materials are of the typical DenonDJ-types. In my opinion choose of materials on DenonDJs side has not always been top notch.
  • I am not so keen on being able to do everything on the touchscreen. I quite prefer a limited functionality on the touchscreen and the rest on traditional HW-buttons.
  • Double layer playback might be a rescuer if something happens during a gig, but by no means something I would otherwise use.

Anyway, this is a really good option to the PioneerDJ players, and I can easily say they are equally good. Yes, DenonDJ is back. Whether you prefer the PioneerDJ players, the DenonDJ player or some other player, that is really a decision you have to make yourself. Whichever choice you make you will not be disappointed.


For details on the DenonDJ SC5000 Prime player, visit the DenonDJ site.

See the video…

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