SC6000 Sound Quality

Hi all,

I am new here & have just bought my first ever media player, Denon SC6000.

I have been previously using two Technics 1210MK7 turntables with an Allen & Heath Xone 96 mixer & just playing DVS vinyl through Traktor Pro software.

I wanted to be able to use something stand alone without a computer, that’s why I bought the Denon SC6000, on paper everything looked great, very nice navigation, well set out, decent build quality, the pitch control is great, the jog wheel is nothing special, but will get use to it I’m sure, but here comes the problem, the sound…

When I use my Xone 96 with DVS vinyl running Traktor, the sound is warm, the bass is full & punchy & it has dynamics, not only that, I have to have the gain knobs & master incredibly low, as the output is powerful, when I plug the SC6000 into the line inputs on the Xone 96 & run stand alone, it is a completely different story, gain knobs have to be turned up, master has to be turned up & the sound, well it lacks warmth, the highs are rolled off, the bass loses it’s punch, the dynamics & warmth is gone, seriously disappointing, I am thinking of returning it to the store if I can’t find a way around this, unfortunately I can’t try the digital inputs which I believe would bypass the SC6000 internal DAC as the Xone 96 doesn’t have digital inputs.

Is there a way around this, does Traktor recognise the SC6000, so I can bypass there DAC & internal processing, it kind of defeats the purpose of me buying stand alone units though.

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Vinyl will always have that mushy warmth that digital won’t. An audiophile might notice, dance floor full of people won’t


The digital outputs on the Denon prime gear are 1 to 1. You could hunt down a better external dac to use. That would be my recommendation for using alongside an analog mixer

Technically speaking that’s not vinyl though, it’s DVS, which is just controlling the digital files in Traktor, but it is using the Xone 96 mixers DAC, which absolutely buries the Denon SC6000 one.

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Im running a Traktor setup as well, and using the SC6000s with the digital outputs to an x1850. The digital outputs sound great through the x1850. An external DAC would be a great addition for you if you can swing it. For me the sound is comparable to my Tech 1200s. Cheap option…

none because the DAC is not the weakness. it’s the player’s firmware (engine os) which messes with the sound internally before it gets to any output. this has been discussed quite a lot since the sc5000 was released (sc5000 and 6000 use the same audio engine) but denon doesn’t seem to be able or willing to sort that properly.

using the search here should give you plenty of results. some of them:

you could of course use it as a midi controller for traktor or whatever software you prefer. but that would make it a terribly expensive midi controller and would sort of defeat the purpose of a standalone player.


“none because the DAC is not the weakness. it’s the player’s firmware (engine os) which messes with the sound internally before it gets to any output.”

That is my concern, seriously why does a players firmware even get involved in this, surely a player should be staying out of the way as much as possible, there is no excuse for a player at this price point to be doing that & have such poor sound quality, if this true, it just needs to be fixed via software updates, no?

Has anyone tried the other option of using an external DAC & did it make any difference?

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exactly what people have been asking for years. the roll-off got better with version 1.3.1 but as you noticed yourself it’s still not fixed.

not another DAC but i used the digital outs and there was hardly any difference. meaning that none of what you described changes by going digital or using a separate DAC.

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Hmmm, I may need to seriously consider returning this if that’s the case…

You can have all the features in the world, but at the end of the day it’s all about sound & if you can’t get that right, the game is over for me, incredibly disappointing…

Thank you for sharing everyone.

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exactly my point, too.

I’ll rexord the digital out and compare the eq curve to the original final and post screenshots when I get home. I use a djm900nxs. I was not happy with the sound of the x1800 at all.

Sounds good, I look forward to it. Thank you for your help, much appreciated!

So it appears that there is still a roll off on the digital output. The roll off starts just above 16kHz. I will say that this roll off is well improved over what it was previously. It still isn’t enough for any non-audiophile to notice.


Thank you for doing this, to me the sound definitely sounds rolled off compared to when my Xone 96 is connected directly to Traktor via USB & using the 96kHz/32-bit processing on the Xone 96 mixer, it’s just not the same & the difference is quite stark!


Yeah the analog outs on the sc5/6000 def have a very noticeable audio difference across the frequency band, especially if keylock is engaged. I didn’t test the analog outs as I have no way to do a true comparison without having the same dac on hand as what is used in the Denons.

I’m guessing you meant to say the digital outs as this is what you tested?

I can only use the analog outs & whilst I don’t know the technicalities or science behind it all, I do work in a hi end Hi-Fi store, with a lot of expensive equipment & I know the difference between what’s sounds good & what doesn’t, so I trust my ear above all else & the SC6000 sound has been very disappointing.

Thank so much for clarifying this through the science, it’s good to know.

If this is a trade-off between having sparkling high ends that only a few would notice anyway, but a poor 20 year old artifact warbling timestretch pitch key lock, I’m happier with the primes having it this way around. Eg: very good (but not excellent) audio out but great time stretch

Maybe denon could put a preference menu question for this though for:

Ultra highs but worse timestretch or


Better timestretch but average highs

Or simpler “Timestretch quality. High / Extra High

For me the way it is now, is great as I do quite a lot of mixes at high pitch differences as I play open-format

Others may only play genres where the BPm is same same same for every track

Thank for this ! Don’t understand why Denon don’t take this issue more seriously and fix this with no roll off above 20khz I’m pretty sure the CDJ 3000 have a lot better analog and digital outputs with no pitch quality problem

I’m going to measure the frequency response today and see what’s gonna happen if it’s the same as the SC5000


Trust me, everyone would notice the comparison I am currently doing, with Xone 96 mixer using turntables DVS control I have the gain at around 10 O’clock on an analog clock (very low) & master volume at 2 out of 10, (again incredibly low) & that is loud for a bedroom & the sound is tight, punchy & dynamic, when I run the SC6000 on another Chanel & do a side by side comparison, I have to put the gain up to around 2 O’clock which is quite high & it is still less volume than the Xone 96 internal processing & sound is rolled off, no punch & hi & mid detail lost, if I try & turn the gain up anymore than this it red lines, I don’t see what any of this has to do with time stretching tracks, I am doing comparisons at zero pitch, I am not being an audiophile, trust me I have met them (I actually enjoy music) this would be noticeable to anyone with half decent hearing…

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Hi Riod. I’ve made the same leap as yourself to Denon from Traktor coupled with a Xone 96. Now you’ve mentioned this I’ll give them a side by side comparison when I can as I’m slightly concerned. I haven’t used Traktor for a few month and only got the 6000’s a few week ago, I’ve not noticed anything major - but i’m no audiophile! I run my gains at 12 o’clock with the 6000’s which has been fine. I’ll keep you posted