Denon DJ SC 5000 Prime – Hands on

DJs with an interest in gear couldn’t have missed the “recent” emerge of Denon DJ SC5000 Prime table top media player. If you did, check out my earlier posts here and here. Despite the fact the player’s been out for 2 years, I have not been able to put my hands on one until very recently. What is the reason for this you ask, well I currently reside in Sweden, which is terrible when it comes to diversity of commercial products in general, that includes DJ-gear.

So, how was the player? Is it as good as people say? Is it better than the Pioneer DJ players?

I’m going to give you my point of view, and it might differ a little bit to what other reviewers say. Also, like everybody else, I will compare this tool with two players from Pioneer DJ, namely XDJ-1000MK2 and CDJ-2000NXS2. Let’s not waste time and get into it…

How was the player?

Around the time of time the shift of millennium, Pioneer DJ (then Pioneer) started to dominate on the CD-player market for DJs, and with time Pioneer DJ became the club standard. Denon DJ (then Denon) never really disappeared, but they did develop differently to the pioneer players. Since then I always felt Denon DJ offered “the silly player” and Pioneer DJ “the professional player”. It was all about the feel of the buttons, how functionality was implemented and stuff like this. I have the same feelings about Denon DJ and Pioneer DJ to this day.

About the SC5000

  • I would say some parts of the construction is very high quality, but then some buttons and knobs are just terrible quality.
  • Functionality is definitely there, but Denon DJ has a different mindset when it comes to how some things should work, sometimes to the better and sometimes to the worse.
  • Personally I don’t like touch screens on players like this, I prefer a well thought through GUI and more of it assigned to buttons.
  • I always thought the way you can customize lights in all the buttons, knobs, etc, was very EDM.
  • The hidden USB-stick connector has some benefits, I admit, but I should not have to lift the player to connect to my music.
  • Obviously it has no CD-drive, so from that point of view it cannot really compete with the Pioneer DJ CDJs, but rather the XDJs.
  • A very good thing is that it can read the Rekorbox dB. (Maybe it is time for the different venders to come together and standardise the dB they want use. That way we will not get problems playing our music regardless pleyer brand.)
  • Tune analysis in player works very good.

Is it as good as people say?

Is it better than PIoneer DJ players?

It is a very very good player all together. In a lot of ways it is closer to using computer based DJ-setup, with the pads and all. Paired with the Prime DJ mixer on offer, one would have a really cool setup for basically anything, as long as one comes prepared. But I don’t think it is better than Pioneer DJs players. But I also don’t think Pioneer DJ XDJ-1000 or CDJ-2000NXS2 are better options than Denon DJ SC5000 Prime. These players, paired with the right mixers, are all very comparable with regard to what can be achieved, but things are done differently.

In conclusion:

I know which brand I prefer, but I won’t recommend one over the other. If you are thinking of buying yourself a nice media player I will recommend, however, that you slip down to your local DJ-store and get your hands on the different players and choose a couple that suits your needs and preferences. But I will say that the Denon DJ SC5000 Prime is a very compelling player to a good price, and I would not be disappointed should I get the chanse to play with a couple in the club.