Denon SC5000M motor drift problem


I wanted to comment on what is happening to me to see if it has happened or is happening to someone else and if someone know a possible solution.

I’ve been noticing slight oscillations in the listening of my musical tracks a few months ago, especially in the vocal part.

My Engine OS firmware is 2.1.2

I have performed the following test on my Denon SC5000M units with purchased and trusted tracks:

With the 2 units with the engine stopped, the mix sticks and lasts over time.

When I stop the motor of the unit on the right leaving the one on the left on, however, the unit on the left (motor on), the mix is ​​out of phase and I have to advance the pitch approx 1% with respect to the other with a margin pitch ±8%.

If I do it in the other direction (left unit stopped and right motor on), the mix is ​​also out of phase, although with a smaller margin, I have to advance the pitch by approximately 0.20%, also with a margin of 8%

They also don’t seem to remain stable over time, so I have to correct them often. I think this could be the oscillations that I talked about at the beginning and that would be giving rise to the “gurgling” of the voice in the vocal songs, especially acapella.

The truth is that, although I could imagine that something was wrong, I have been tremendously disappointed, because I love DJing by ear (beatmixing) in the old way, but I can’t get the mixes syncronized, so the user experience, compared to some Technics (without calibration problems), is poor and frustrating.

Units are out of warranty.

Does anyone know any solution?

Can the motors of these units be calibrated in any way, either at the software level, or by means of an internal potentiometer or regulator?

In the following video a user reports the following: “The following bug has been detected in Denon SC5000M players. We believe that it is due to the temperature since at a temperature of 20º it does not happen to them but when they drop below 15º they have the following error and it does not disappear until after about 10 - 15 minutes.

Thanks in advance.

First, make sure you’re starting both tracks at the same time. The song could have its own timing fluctuations. Test both with keylock and without. The video posted does seem to show an overheating motor problem, and they have the Ms right up against a hot mixer and turntables right up against the outer sides of the Ms. Mine have never done that, but I’ve never had mine in a hot environment or with equipment crowded against them like that. They do have fans built in, though, but you would think overheating should not affect the ability of the motor’s timekeeping to work effectively. Perhaps setting them to low torque mode also makes overheating less likely? I usually keep mine on low torque. I would be curious if this is also only happening in places with higher voltages than the US, which would indicate a power supply issue on the Ms.

When keylock is on, are you hearing a triggering of the scratch algorithm and a sudden wowing of audible tone pitch? The Ms do not keep time based on constant record (the top plastic platter, not the bottom aluminum one) monitoring like DVS. Usually, the physical motion is being ignored until a threshold is reached, then you have a very narrow region where you can’t hear the wowing when keylock is on but it’s still barely possible to drag and nudge (even harder to do than drag gently), and soon after this (maybe too soon) you reach the threshold for the scratch algorithm which will disable the keylock. So I’m wondering if your motors may be having issues where it’s triggering just the bend threshold but not so much to turn off the keylock with the scratch algorithm.

You could try playing a timecode file on the Ms (keylock off, obviously) and using DVS software, even free Mixxx, and see if the stated speed % from zero is changing on the computer screen. When you’re not dragging or nudging the edge (of either platter) it should be just as stable, perfect actually, with the motor running as with the motor off or the non-Ms. If everything seems stable with DVS, then you know it’s not happening with keylock off. Of course, you can’t use this DVS method to check with keylock on. I think I have noticed a subtle, counterintuitive speed fluctuation that briefly occurs seemingly only when changing the speed on the Ms when keylock is on, but no one else has confirmed it, I can’t check it using DVS, and it is not the issue you state.

You could be having another issue with Elastique, too, or random file decoding/playback timing glitches as occurred early on with Prime and the Gemini MDJs. In the case of the latter, I suppose you would rule that out with other players or software and checking file types. So, it’s not necessarily an issue with your motors, though that’s also a possibility if yours are having motor speed issues so bad you get into those trigger thresholds. If indeed with the motor off you never see this issue, though, it’s leaning to a motor problem, but, again, if you don’t hear wowing then it’s not triggering that second threshold, so it’s very subtle. Then we’re back to whether it’s happening only with keylock on or not. An actual motor problem should be independent of keylock state.

@Reticuli Thank you very much for the extensive explanation and analysis that you dedicate to my issue.

I just did the verification that the YouTube user Kenzo Electronic Music relates in the previous video and indeed, I can attest that this fault exists in the motors of the Denon SC5000M units.

I have left the units in Loop. At the beginning, as I said, they are out of phase, but after 20-25 minutes, with the motor temperature higher, now they sync up perfectly.

It is enormously curious. I had never noticed. And now, when I realized it, I thought it was motor wear or a firmware problem, but no, apparently it had always existed, but, as a beatmixer by ear, I had not paid attention until this point.

I’m now convinced that is the explanation and solution.

Thanks again.

That confuses me. Are you saying the speed is more stable after they warm up or less? If they’re less stable after they warm up, then…

What happens if you just loop the same spot in the same track on both decks with them starting in-phase? Is the eventually overheating-induced motor drift and phase shift not big enough to easily hear after 20 minutes?

Have you tried giving more room to breath around the Ms and setting the torque to low? Try that later, not during your in-phase to out-of-phase test, by the way.


I think I misread their video description.

Sounds like a motor overheating issue (or some component related to its speed regulation) and the fan’s thermostat (or something else related to the motor heat and speed management) isn’t kicking in soon enough. So, for instance, something in there (like the motor) might be overheating while the thermostat doesn’t actually register a sufficiently high temperature because the ambient temperature isn’t yet high enough and the units haven’t been on for enough time to get the fans going. There have been prior fan triggering tweaks to the M’s firmware, so if that’s indeed what’s happening, then perhaps it can be further improved.

I also wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility that this is still related to the power supply in some way, either sending a different voltage to a thermostat when fed different power or the supply (or other components) building up heat at different rates at differing voltages.

It’s still sort of bizarre, though, that a cold unit that’s just been turned on would still supposedly exhibit the issue. Maybe it’s specific to the motor speed regulation itself, like a sensor needs to warm up enough. Are any people in 120V countries reporting this?

@Reticuli Sorry for the delay.

I have unchecked the “solution” box to continue the discussion if necessary.

Sorry if I have explained myself wrong.

It is also true that both my native language and that of the YouTube user Kenzo Electronic Music and the description of the video is Spanish, and is difficult for me to understand your technical words and language like you us (i imagine).

The origin of my problem and my concern about the malfunction of my 2 Denon SC5000M units comes from a couple of weeks ago when listening to a vocal track quietly at home, without mixing, I noticed how the voice oscillated, which worried me a lot, well I’m very picky about sound.

I don’t know how I didn’t notice it before. I also don’t mix often. And on some occasions I have not used the units in native mode but with VDJ. Maybe this software has some kind of drift correction.

What is a reality, as explained in the video, is that at first, both units, I repeat, it happens with the 2 different units, they do not synchronize at 0 pitch or at other same pitch position and equal BPM, with the motor running (one with a gap of approximately 1% and the other of 0.2 %). With the motor stopped there is no problem.

After approx. 15-20 min with the motor running (I imagine because the engine reaches a certain temperature), the units work with the same pitch and bpm. The test is did with the same track.

I understand that it sounds strange, it is also something paranormal for me, maximum not having knowledge of electronics.

I have no explanation. I would really like to have it and find a solution and not have to wait for the unit to warm up.

By the way, I don’t really understand what you mean by adjusting the torque. My unit only allows 2 positions, normal and high. The incident occurs in both. I don’t know if the torque can be adjusted more finely.

Hopefully it’s a firmware issue and it can be fixed. My (both units) Engine OS is last 2.1.2.

Now, with my entire collection in version 2.0 of Engine, I don’t have time to do tests with firmware downgrades, but maybe someone can check if this is solved with previous versions.

If it were an electronic problem (which should be a manufacturing problem, since it occurs in both units), I would also like the Denon team to find a solution and be able to take them to the nearest technical support in my country

Thank you very much again for your help.

I meant the lower of the two torque settings. If it’s happening on both, then leave it wherever.

Ok. Is or isn’t the fan working during the first 20 minutes, and what about after the first 20 minutes?

Have you come upon anyone from countries that use 110-130 volts who have this issue?

It’s a hardware issue, please read this post from the other topic.

The fan is stopped during the time it takes for the motor speed to stabilize, that is, the first 15-20 min. It continues to stop also afterwards, what I couldn’t say is until when. I do know that sometimes I have noticed it turned on, although it is difficult to perceive, in my case, with the volume of the music. I also cannot ignore the fact that I live in an area inside Spain, where, at this time, the temperatures are not very high, hovering around 15 degrees approx. on average.

In my country the voltage is 220v, and I don’t know other users who work at the 110-130v voltage that you indicate.

Of course, @Reticuli if I could help with anything else, just tell me. I’m wondering if it might help to record various analog audio files, for example with the audio track from Traktor or Serato timecode CDs, or with any other track or song, in the following states:

  1. With the motor stopped at 0% pitch.
  2. With the motor running at 0% during the first 15-20 min in which the motor speed oscillates.
  3. With the motor running, after 15-20 min, once the motor is warm and the speed has stabilized.

I think that in that thread they talk about 2 types of anomalies, one in which the motor speed stabilizes after a certain time (as is my case) and another that seems to last over time and is a permanent failure or imbalance in the motor of the units.

In any case, if @DJ_Manolo (which I understand from his answer that he has a professional technical service in the country where I live -Spain-), is so kind as to contact me, I would like to see the possibility of sending him the units so that he can study my particular case and, Of course, it would make me very happy to know that the units have a repair and if he could send me an estimate.

It would also be interesting if, once the solution is confirmed, @DJ_Manolo shared photos of the area of ​​the circuit board where the fault is located and that could be replaced or fixed to help other users. But I understand that it is his decision of @DJ_Manolo personal and that he has to feel free to do it or not. It is just a suggestion.

Your issue sounds exactly like the DC-to-DC converter issue described in the other thread SlayForMoney linked to that apparently has been finally explained. I suggest we continue this conversation over there.

Tested a couple of hours ago with serato dvs and timecode

Pitch fader set to 0

For a brief 2 to 3 mins one 5000m was fluctuating between -2% and 0 with the motor on.

Motor off no fluctuations

Then it reduced to 0 to 0.1% fluctuation for the rest of the test period.

I have anti drift off in serato


I wanted to share with you the solution to the problem that my Denon unit presented, described above.

Finally I have been lucky that the user @DJ_Manolo , an electronics expert, with a technical service in the country where I live, Spain, was kind enough to contact me to offer to repair the unit.

Once in the repair shop, the fault diagnosis was as follows: “This unit has no electronic problems. The problem is mechanical. We have disassembled the motor piece by piece and removed the oil it contains, which is very thick when cold, and the motor is difficult to move. We have replaced it with a specific one for turntables, more appropriate in our opinion and the unit has not failed again. The synchrony is now correct.

Once I got the unit back home, I was able to verify that it was and that my Denon SC5000M unit now worked perfectly, almost, I would say, better than factory, with no pitch lag or jitter.

I am very happy with the performance of my Denon SC5000M power unit after the repair.

I had previously contacted the official Denon technical service and for them it was an unfeasible repair, they avoided it. In the official technical service they only change modules, circuit boards, motors… In this case, they would have given me a new motor that, almost in all probability, would have come with the same factory defect. Imagine the cost (approx. €300) plus labor (unaffordable).

I am enormously grateful to Expo-Electronica Spain and, more specifically, to @DJ_Manolo , for the repair and tuning of this unit. The treatment, friendly attention, professionalism, quality, efficiency and speed unmatched. They have a very cheap pick-up and delivery service, so I didn’t even think about it. 100% recommended for other users in Spain, especially in DJ equipment and professional audio. In addition, the technician has experience as a DJ, which makes him, unlike other technicians, understand the demands of the profession. Many heartfelt thanks to Manolo for this “impossible” repair, in which he put all his dedication and genius to solve it, for an affordable cost.

I leave the photos of the disassembling of my Denon SC5000M for repairing.


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This seems like the same issue as was with the Rane twelves…

Would have saved myself some money.


Hmm, well it was Manolo that confirmed at least one unit with a bad DC to DC converter causing something like this, right? And now he has also confirmed that some units have overly-thick grease on the motor like the Rane Twelves originally had? It’s strange that in both cases the remedy is ‘warm up’ – charge up that converter or melt that grease. It’s a plausible but odd and seemingly unlikely coincidence.

That was the remedy back on the numark cdx’s as … well warm them up for five minutes. The only other option was to strip them down clean them up and use a fine oil or silicon grease not the bitumen that is in there