NAMM 2017: Denon DJ drops new decks, software and a mixer

NAMM 2017: Denon DJ has announced four new products in the form of the SC5000 Prime media player, VL12 turntable, X1800 mixer and Engine Prime software.

For a good while now, Pioneer DJ products have been ubiquitous in clubs and DJ booths throughout the land. The brand's dominance has never been really challenged, something that Denon DJ is now looking to change.

A trio of new hardware products and an overhaul of the Engine software have been fired from the Denon cannon, which appears to have Pioneer directly in its crosshairs. Whether the new products will be able to take the crown remains to be seen, but let's look at how the specs stack up...

Optimised for Prime

The headlining act of today's announcement is the new SC5000 Prime DJ media player. The unit features a high definition, multitouch display and an eight-inch jog wheel with a central display that shows the current playing track or even custom artwork.

Each deck features dual-layer audio playback and Denon DJ is keen to stress that this is the first media player to fully analyse both beatgrid and musical key on the unit. It utilises the new Engine Prime software, which we'll look at more closely in a just a moment.

SC5000 key features

  • 7-inch HD display with multi-touch gestures
  • 24-bit/96kHz digital audio outputs
  • Dual-layer playback with individual audio outputs
  • Plays uncompressed audio formats (FLAC, ALAC, WAV)
  • 8 multifunction trigger pads for Cues, Loops, Slices and Rolls
  • 8-inch rugged metal jog wheel with HD central display
  • Customisable RGB color around the jog wheel
  • 3 USB and 1 SD input for music playback
  • LAN output to link to up to four players

SC5000 Prime will retail at £1,499.99 and should be available in the first quarter of 2017.

The Engine Prime software takes care of your music library and features an analysis system that lets you drag and drop songs into your sets, or via direct integration with existing iTunes or Serato DJ collections.

Engine Prime has been rewritten from the ground up, which Denon DJ hopes "completely solves the issue of identifying, locating and accessing your desired music files quickly."

Engine Prime key features

  • Integrate, import and reorganise existing Serato and iTunes databases
  • Advanced and accurate Beatgrid and Musical Key analysis
  • Create Playlists and Crates for the ultimate music library
  • Add custom names to Hot-Cues and Loops for enhanced live workflow
  • Sync ongoing DJ performance data easily back to Engine Prime application • Fast and effective on-board Beatgrid and tempo editor
  • Logical and easy to use GUI layout for optimized workflow
  • Manually edit track info and create track ratings
  • Supports Lossless music file formats such as FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and WAV
  • Tri-colored track waveform production for frequency based visual feedback

Mixing things up

Next up is the new 4-channel X1800 mixer. It features Sweep and BPM based FX controls and 24-bit/96kHz audio output and, of course, is designed to integrate with the SC5000 via the Engine Connect protocol. This shares the beatgrid and time information with the mixer, from the player, to align the FX LFOs.

Like the SC5000 Prime, the X1800 will retail at £1,499.99 and presumably will also be available in the first quarter of 2017.

X1800 key features

  • 4-Channel Digital Mixer with 4 phono/line switchable channels
  • BPM FX section with frequency controlled 'Band-Isolation'
  • Dual USB audio connections for software and audio devices.
  • Dedicated Sweep and BPM FX Knobs - high-quality effects for each channel with a single knob turn
  • Expressive EQ - choose Classic or Isolation modes an and an adjustable filter resonance control
  • 'Engine Connect' protocol for beatgrid locked FX
  • Expressive Denon DJ 'Flex-Fader', Crossfader
  • Connect MIDI based effects and instruments
  • 24-bit/96kHz digital output for uncompromised audio quality
  • Crisp OLED screen for precise menu based adjustments
  • 4 Digital inputs for high-resolution audio mixing
  • LAN Hub for up to four players or accessories
  • Rugged metal construction

Wax worx

Not wanting the digital DJs have all the fun, Denon DJ has also added the VL12 direct-drive turntable to the Prime family. It promises to provide superb isolation and audio performance, and has an all-metal construction.

The deck is tricked out with switchable low and high torque settings and the platter is ringed with RGB lighting, with custom control of brightness and colour.

VL12 key features

  • Isolation feet eliminate unwanted vibration and feedback
  • Highest-in-industry 5kgf/cm torque on "High" setting
  • Innovative 'easy grip/brake' chamfered platter redefines tactile DJ touch
  • Isolated motor design, for optimal signal-to-noise ratio
  • S-shaped tone arm for accurate tracking
  • Reinterpreted tone arm support with dual-function 'lock or rest' feature
  • Rugged all-metal tone arm base and high-quality brushed metal controls
  • 2-speed operation 33 1/3rd and 45 RPM (45 RPM adapter included)
  • Adjustable pitch range: 8%, 16%, 50%
  • Built-in RGB lighting illuminates platter's edge
  • Color selection and brightness controls

The VL12 Prime will also be available from the first quarter of 2017 at a price of £649.99. For more information on this and all the other new products, head over to the Denon DJ website.

Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.