As promised, here’s part 2 of our review of some of the hottest gear we got to play with at NAMM 2020. These words cover some of the hottest new DJ equipment from the likes of Denon DJ, Rane and of course, Pioneer DJ.
Denon DJ Prime Series: Blimey. Hot on the heels of the pre-show launch of the Denon DJ SC6000 players and the X1850 mixer (more of these below), we were excited to get our hands on yet more Prime-goodness in the shape of the Prime Go and Prime 2 controllers. Both of these new DJ controllers bring exciting new features to the Denon platform and allow for standalone music streaming through built-in Wi-Fi and wired internet connectivity, enabling DJs to play music from selective music streaming sites including Tidal, Beatport, Beatsource and SoundCloud. They also carry innovative 7-inch colour HD touch screens to help the DJ handle library navigation and track loading/control. Both run with the ever-improving Prime Engine OS and have all manner of creative controls and inputs/outputs.
Denon DJ Prime Go: This backpack-friendly unit is compact but loaded with all the powerful features required for a travelling DJ. As well as all the usual knobs, pads, buttons, inputs and outputs, the Go also has a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery allowing for unplugged performances, plus it could also be used to help prep a set whilst on the move or before a gig. The new Denon DJ Prime 2 controller borrows heavily from the superb Prime 4 but is still a truly powerful unit. Able to access and playback digital files from multiple media sources, including a built-in internal HDD bay, the unit is a bit more compact and portable than the 4.Pricing for the Prime 2 will be around $1399/£1200 and for the Go it will be less at around $999/£900 with availability at some point before the end of March.
Denon DJ SC6000 and SC6000M DJ players: As mentioned, before we set off on our trip to California, we got news of the new Denon DJ media players (SC6000/6000M) and club mixer (X1850). We were naturally excited to hear the news and couldn’t wait to get to try them out in the flesh. These new units were REALLY impressive. Sturdy and solidly built, the new 10.1-inch touch screen was a joy to use, assisting us to ‘feel’ the music on these 2-in-1 players. All the usual controls were there and of course, you can access files on USB, SD card or add an internal HDD. The 8.5-inch jog wheels on the SC6000 felt taught and weighty (we didn’t work out how to change the colours though!). The M version was pretty much as its brother, but comes with a tunable, motorized platter to allow turntablists to feel a more mechanical, sensitive spin at their fingertips. The new X1850 mixer partners the players perfectly. Maybe it’s not revolutionary, but does have an updated quantize and MIDI out DIN port to help with Prime synching. And of course, it looks the part, matching the new 6000 players in look-and-feel. The whole range of Denon DJ units were impressive and there will be more innovation to follow in 2020. Are Pioneer DJ worried at all?
Pioneer DJ DJM-V10 Mixer: This unit is a BEAST! We were all taken aback when we got news of this all-digital powerhouse-of-a-unit from Pioneer and we couldn’t wait to give it a try whilst we were in Anaheim. Featuring a new naming convention for the brand, (the start of things to come?) this mixer comprises 6 channels, multiple send-and-return functionality, new FX and filters, a compressor on every channel and a new 3-band master isolator EQ. Following the lead of the likes of Allen & Heath XONE mixers, the designers have also opted for 4-band channel EQs, doubling up on the mid-section with mid-lo and mid-hi band filters. There is also a reported big step-up in sound quality too. There’s loads of new stuff on here including a dual headphones option, with dedicated cue, mix and level options, a new reverb/delay effect called Shimmer and a compressor control on each channel designed to boost unmastered (or old) tracks, or give an instrument of choice some extra power to match levels with more up-to-date sounds and tracks. The unit retails at around $3,199/£2,799 and so will probably find itself in some of the World’s best clubs. With the V10, it’s clear that Pioneer DJ are not resting on the laurels.
Rane Seventy mixer: From the same InMusic stable as Denon DJ, this is the latest addition to the Rane battle DJ mixer family. Built-in a similar style to the Seventy Two, but without the touchscreen and paddles, the unit has super-smooth Mag Four contactless faders and 32 MIDI-assignable pads for loops, doubles and effects and the like. The mixer has the usual Rane tank-like build quality and plays friendly with Serato straight out the box. It should be a big seller when it comes out in Q2 this year at a retail price of around $1499/£1300.
Numark DJ2Go2: This unit probably won’t take too many sales from the Prime Go, but there’s a lot to admire about the slim and convenient DJ tool: Numark’s DJ2GO2. Size isn’t everything though and this controller really belies its diminutive stature with 2 touch-capacitive jog wheels, 4 performance pads on each deck and a built-in interface with both main and headphone outputs. With Serato Lite thrown in and a price which is likely to be under £80/$100, this is going to be a big seller as a back-up unit, a starter’s piece of gear or just for a bit of portable fun (I can see it being used at BBQs in the summer!).
Well that concludes our review of the newest gear we saw at NAMM. It was a great event and well worth the trip. We are all looking forward to the 2021 show already. But first we need to crack on with the dozen or so requests we got for new covers. Make sure you sign up to our mailing list for all the latest news from Decksaver and for special promotions at decksaver.com.