Denon DJ Prime in Clubs vs Pioneer

I do appreciate what Denon DJ is doing with the Prime Series.

Obviously pound for pound most agree that it’s more feature packed than any other product out there.

The price point as well is very great.

I was having a chat with a dealer yesterday and I feel they are having a hard time moving Denon Prime units. She says folks still come to buy the NXS2 that cost nearly twice as it despite her best attempt at promoting the features of the Primes.

There is really no objective way of quantifying customers reason and purchase decisions

Which got me thinking

  • Denons marketing budget should be used to just give free prime set ups to nightclubs & venues

  • They should consider going on the road as well, hosting parties at major city preferably on a day when a good number of working DJs are free…say a Thursday night. I have never been to a trade event and have no plans to attend any.

  • Look at making budget & mid range Prime systems e.g. a 2 channel mixer, 2 simple media player,

  • I dont think pricing is an issue as even at launch they were cheaper

  • Engine Prime needs to be prioritised for further improvements as the hardware is already more than capable

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Hey @mufasa so as we speak Denon DJ are at ADE in Amsterdam, so we do attend events. We work very closely with artists and assist to their needs as and when they need our equipment at club venues.
We are constantly approaching nightclubs in the UK and the rest of the world to have prime series installed, so we do aim for resident DJs not just big names. Lastly, we have a dedicated team constantly working on Engine Prime software to add improvements and new features.

If you have any suggestions for clubs or events please let us know, and if we haven’t already approached them then we will. :slight_smile:

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Yes I appreciate Denons Presence at ADE, BPM and the likes.

But I think “pop up events” will be nice.

Nothing too fancy.

Something like

Event: Prime Time Featuring: DJ Local A & DJ Local B Powered by Denon DJ x Local Pub Open decks: 8pm to 10pm Prices to be won

I’ve djed at venues with very massive booths…a venue like that will happily accommodate the Prime set up beside what they already have.

By the way I’m not criticizing Denon but I just want to see the players everywhere. Lol.

I do host events myself, rider upon rider…nothing has changed, they still requesting CDJs.

I did force one DJ to use a Denon set up once lol. He didn’t send his technical rider in on time.

He was like :exploding_head: but I reassured him that he will be fine…3 tracks later he was flying.

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The struggle is real when it comes to converting DJs out of their comfort zone from Pioneer to Denon. We’ll keep persisting though :slight_smile:


A friend of mine came over to play tracks on my Prime set. For some reason it also took ages to make an appointment…

He didn’t know his RB stick would be that usable. He even thought he would have trouble mixing on the set, but after a few tracks he only kept smiling and shaking his head: “What a joy and what an amazing piece of gear is this! Wow!!”

And too bad most of the so-called A-listers are reluctant and not revolutionary anymore.


Yes same thing in europe particulary for underground Techno & House place in Paris (Rex Club Concrete Djoon Machine du Moulin Rouge…) friends and DJ still asking for CDJ but it’s take time to change the mentality ! DJ are generally lazy and why change if everything work ? They are not really interrested by news features offers by Prime it’s sad ! 80% of my close friends still play vinyl only and have a usb key for some tracks who cost more than 50 euros in vinyle

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COMFORT, EASE-OF-USE, FAMILIARITY, RELIABILITY. These, are key to me in making a decision on equipment.

I was a long-time Turntable DJ but was re-energized when the CDJ was released because of the way it mimicked the Technics 1200 with some neat enhancements added. For me, it was a comfortable transition from vinyl to digital and their product also proved to be very reliable.

Serato music management was very straight forward, with a layout very similar to iTunes, and the software is very stable. Also their team constantly sends out updates for bug/fixes found.

With both Pioneer and Serato, there have many tutorial videos showing DJs how to use their products in the real world.

The summer of 2017, I purchased the MCX8000 because I liked the approach that Denon DJ was taking. I chose the MCX8000 over Pioneer’s XDJ-RX mostly because of build quality, features, and Pioneer’s over-inflated price for a less-than professional piece of equipment (also Rekordbox, in my opinion, is not very user friendly, and Pioneer is pushing it on DJs because of their position in the industry). It appears that Denon DJ got it right with the HARDWARE (build quality and features nearly make it a DJ’s Dream controller) but the shortcomings are from the supporting firmware and Engine Prime Software. Shortcomings like these cause distrust to invest further in the brand. Also, I’m sure many DJs will do their investigations (forums, feedback from other DJs) before making the investment.

BOTTOM LINE: Denon’s hardware if fantastic but the software/firmware side needs improving to increase user confidence. Way too much time elapses between identified bugs/fixes being addressed. Also, more tutorial videos would help market the brand.


Here then another of pioneer owner !



People buy Pioneer because they have a hive mind. They see the big names using pioneer, the clubs have it and that’s it. It has nothing to do with quality or better product because Pioneer isn’t better, on the contrary, they are outdated. The thing Denon has to do is:

  • improve Engine Prime: make it open source: that is the best and fastest way to make it win the race.
  • Solve bugs faster. Why not open-sourcing Prime OS?
  • Convince Top names like Guetta, Van Buuren, Shulz, Cox etc to start using the Prime’s. Only big names have the power to make clubs and festival owners make the move.
  • Once a few of them do it, the rest will follow because the Prime is so much more awesome.
  • The time to do this was 2 years ago: Pioneer will for sure be working on a Denon SC6000 clone and when it’s there, Denon lose the margin ahead on Pioneer they made.
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If pioneer dj were able to respond to Prime, they’d have done it by now. They’ve had three years to do it and, nothing.

I bet Sasha even still uses Pioneer gear? Would be good to hear of/see the “Son of God” migrate over to the Denon camp! :innocent:

Their platform does not allow it. They use dedicated circuits whereas Denon supposedly uses more PC based modular platform, allowing them to extend the players by software. Pioneer use cheap CPU’s which lack power; If Pioneer needs to overcome the Denons, they need to rebuild the hardware platform. That takes time because that also means rewriting the software…

Denon had a small time period to throw Pioneer off the throne but the Marketing hasn’t been all that. Moree top DJ’s should have changed the rider by now. Such is only possible it the transition from Rekordbox to Engine Prime happens with a click of the mouse without hassle…

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. Denon needs to act now or all their efforts are in vain. You can bet your ass of Pioneer are in the development of something brand new which will be on par with the SC5000 and being the DJ market owners, they’ll have an easier job to transition their customers to the new gear… Denon: act now please.

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And there I was, thinking that I was the son of God :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

The “Son of God” that cannot produce his own tracks.

“A fine DJ” is a better description. :sunglasses:

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X-pander…Artificial heart… Airdrawn dagger…QAT collection etc all produced by Sasha but yeah he’s got top notch remix/editing skills…and he’s got too much money! All the digital Promo stuff etc he gets sent to him he waxes the lot literally as in addition to his already huge personal vinyl collection. And he’s done the exact same too in reverse.Got 2 houses and a kid now. Like I said he’s minted!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but same “construction” as Tiësto, David Guetta, Paul Oakenfold uses. But if you believe it, that’s okay. They’re great tracks nonetheless!

For instance Tiësto: “his” best tracks were all done by Dennis Waakop Reijers.

Charlie May is the “right-hand” for Sasha.

In essence the big stadium and festival DJs just stand there, wave, press play on someone else’s track, make some hand hearts, do some Jesus on a cross poses and get free gear and “sponsor us” cheques. Very few of them do anything clever in a studio.

Marketing has not been the problem, and I’m not even talking about the “change your rider” thing I think’s the wrong approach. As a result of their “industry standard” status, Pioneer would only need to tweak a few things on their player firmware to really much dissuade people from switching to Prime even after Prime drastically improves. That’s for another discussion, though, but basically Pioneer doesn’t need new player hardware to compete. And if you want pads and sampling, you just add a DJS-1000 to the NXS2 system. When Prime does reach functional parity (or beyond), that’s the point at which InMusic has to ratchet up the free gear to major clubs and start throwing money at big name DJs to get them to use it. I don’t see Oakenfold and Tiesto using Prime of their own volition now that their contracts ended, and I think it’s because that promo stuff was premature.

It’s not just Engine Prime that’s lagging behind Rekordbox…

  1. Pro Link works better. It’s fast. It remembers where you were. You can jump from USB direct to Link and back & forth totally carefree.
  2. Pioneers have more reliable firmware, and also fewer hardware design & random hardware production defects.
  3. Pioneer DJ’s audio processing is better.

Prime’s Link… I don’t know what to say other than to reference the many inadequacies of it I’ve pointed out elsewhere. That said, the ethernet & wifi track offloading thing should be easy to do. I tend to think the layers thing is really the way that we’re mitigating Link’s other deficiencies… heck, for mitigating general stability problems. You need that other layer when search is slow, when you can’t link big/long tracks, or when one deck suddenly crashes.

EP improvements are going to be a long road ahead. There’s no easy fix. InMusic will just have to keep trucking. Rekordbox has the head start, and for people that do pre-analysis, playlists, and preset loops & cues… that’s still going to be a tough sell for some time.

The firmware reliability is another aspect that’s going to take time and effort, with no magic bullet that will dramatically and suddenly transform its status.

The hardware design issues and random production defects are another matter and InMusic’s had over 20 years of these sorts of odd habits they apparently still haven’t managed to shake. Hopefully this is changing, but only time will prove that out. I can definitely vouch that their customer service experience has improved.

The audio thing I think is potentially the easiest to make major improvements… the -6dB sample halving pad and a Utility preference/option to disable SRC & >96khz files. Not saying more won’t be necessary on the players or the mixer, but those should be relatively quick to get and with real results.

Sorry, but if I was a rich and famous DJ who wanted carefree & fast Link, reliability, and the best sound, I currently would not chose Prime unless I was being paid, even if I had already figured out ways of either dealing with EP or not using it at all. Heck, if I was rich & famous even with my weird, rarified reasons for choosing to buy Prime I would still probably have difficulty justifying using Prime in its current state over Pioneer at big events. I don’t even use EP much and I HATE that jog bend deadzone Pioneers have. So I guess the question I should ask myself is if I was rich & famous how much would peace of mind and sound quality be worth to me… (Dr Evil moment with pinky on corner of mouth).

That said, as a non-rich, non-famous DJ who already bought Prime stuff, combined with how receptive InMusic has been compared to Pioneer DJ, I would think the future is bright for Prime. So even with its many remaining quirks, it’s certainly not worth jumping ship. However, I also can’t just call rich & famous DJs and big clubs around the world a bunch of sheep, or something.


No doubt about it. This conversation couldn’t and wouldn’t exist on the ghost-town Pioneer forums. They’d shut it down so fast or respond with some super sarcastic tone and that’d be it. I have to 100% give major props to everyone at Denon who spend time here talking WITH us and not AT us (well when we don’t deserve to be talked AT of course :stuck_out_tongue: )

The community here is heads and shoulders above everyone else and that’s thanks to the Denon peeps.

And @Reticuli has some very real and very valid points about Pioneer, but if they don’t show some life (and I also mean toward its customers) the well WILL run dry. And Denon DJ is building its catalog of products (exploding I’d say with its recent releases) and improving its weaknesses. The holes that exist now will eventually be filled.

I’m interested to see how QC is on the latest players from Denon. I hope they’ve figured out how to tighten things down in that area a bit.

This is a long conversation we get to have with Denon because they are here to listen to us and that’s pretty huge. I love that they do that and I hope they know how much we all appreciate it, even when we’re frustrated sometimes.

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I’ve noticed Denon is focusing on the next generation of DJs. Like Olivier Heldens, DJ Creeps. Seen photos of Denon DJ and Pioneer setups next to each other on festivals. So things are happening but very slowly.

For clubs they make that one time investment until it breaks. So one tactic could be to focus on the promoters of popular events. Give a workshop on the product to their DJ line-up/friends. Sponsor one of their parties so all the DJs performing are using it.

But the most important thing is Engine Prime. That needs to be brought up to at least Rekordbox 4 level in terms of library management.