Switching from cdj 2000 nexus to prime 4

So have had my cdj 2000 nexus and Allen and heath dbx2 mixer for some time now. I do enjoy them but the mixer is lack lustre and seems like the cdjs are just so behind in technology. I do play clubs but started on controllers and switching to cdjs wasn’t hard for me to do before and am not worried about having different gear at home then the club. Does anyone have a opinion if I should switch or just keep my old gear

1 Like

I did a complete switch from cdj’s to Denon Prime setup. Never looked back again. It was very smooth and easy to change and still if I have to play on cdjs then it’s not a big deal. I just miss functions on cdjs compared to Prime. Innovation and advanced tech is worth the jump.

Here is writen why I did so:


Changing from CDJ + DB to Prime4, it’s not exactly apples to apples.

That’s an extensive review by a working dj who actually used the device at a party and not in a lab


I can’t believe they’re scare-mongering with that “is it safe to leave your laptop at home”

It’s more viable to say “it IS safer to leave your laptop at home”

1 Like

Frankly I think the guys in that video review touched on a valid fear by many DJs, being stuck out in the woods without a backup (us mobile DJs always bring back up anyway, but that’s a different story).

1 Like

That is called being prepared for any eventuality. What happens if the all in one Prime 4 craps out or meticulously prepared database becomes corrupt at a function. Are you going to hit the forums or ring Denon?

My goodness you do have a wonderful take on topics.

Each to their own.


Of course! ANYthing can go wrong, but I’d say there’s less settings, drivers, updates, parameters and so on to go wrong in a standalone than in a laptop.

1 Like

You also could have an ipad or iphone or another device… it sometimes happen. Now you could buy a prime Go.

But as you repeatedly say, you do video, so your laptop was there any how

The perfect backup is something that is identical to your main system, but few would consider carrying two MCX or two Prime4. Cost of the backup shouldn’t be a serious factor as funding backup kit should be in all our hire pricing. Doesn’t always work out that way though.

The only wrong backup plan, is no backup plan.

Ok I have my iPad or iPhone great, what if the Prime 4 is not working , not powering or something (you can say it’s an hypothetical situation).

Small back up is better than no back up.

An event like a wedding, it’s just another gig to the DJ but to the marrying couple it’s a very special day.

I’m already hauling fog machine, moving heads, speakers, subwoofers etc a back up controller and a laptop won’t kill me.

A professional DJ should have a dedicated laptop. Whilst this may not be feasible for everyone but with some common sense you should be fine.

  • Make a dedicated partition for DJing

  • No bloatware,

  • No Pornhubbing,

  • No torrenting.

  • No updating drivers hours before a gig,

  • no updating OS until everyone gives the all clear.

I know folks that are still on Mavericks OS and it’s for a reason. Some folks here are still on Windows 7/8.

That’s what separate amateurs from pros


Then the couple chose the wrong DJ. A proper wedding DJ should be considerably more involved with the event than just turning up, setting up, playing (up!), packing up.

But I take in your point about some DJs

:clap: :clap: applause!

I’m only giving you the applause as I can’t find the , get down on knees and pray toward the divine commentator emoji :pray:t2:

Ok, let me - most likely the oldest hand on this topic - throw in a little wrench. The only reason laptops ever made it into DJ-ing in the first place (disclaimer: if you are a video jock, different story), is because it was the first ever way to DJ without buying ridiculously expensive DJ gear (Pioneer CDJ’s anyone?) and without having to tote around a zillion CD’s.

Pretty soon after that the first controllers started to arrive, no longer the need to remember (or worse color-code your keyboard for) keyboard shortcuts. As a bonus it also mimicked “normal” DJ gear. So, whoopie!, suddenly all aspiring DJ’s with a laptop (dedicated or not) and a few hundred bucks for a controller could do their thing. Throw in the various way of acquiring cheap/free (legal or illegal) music in bulk and a new market was totally born.

Meanwhile those with either money, gigs or both, who also didn’t like carrying around CD’s, got served by the market leader who started accepting usb-sticks on their latest media players and came out with software to prepare those memory sticks. Pretty much like EP today, Rekordbox up until and including at least version 3 (or was it 4) was nothing more than preparation/collection management software.

So, two parallel developments were going on, people using usb-sticks/sd-cards on club standard gear on the one hand and a whole new breed of DJ’s using controllers and laptops with DJ software. While there was some cross-over between the two, like using CDJs as controllers using HID integration, people bringing in laptops with Serato, etx., on the whole they were seperate entities.

With people preferring to play out on the gear they practiced on and that gear overwhelmingly being controllers (form factor, price) more and more controllers showed up at gigs, to the point where more and more venues are giving the DJ the choice to use either their own gear or available venue gear.

Having lived on both ends of the spectrum I have come to love controllers for their compactness (have owned 2 player/1 mixer combo’s in DJ coffins, but it just wasn’t the same) and tremendous capabilities in combination with DJ software compared to traditional club gear (regardless of brand/model).

However, and this brings me to the core of my story, the laptop has always felt like a necessary evil. And the advent of the Prime4 is the first time (I owned the MCX8000 before that, but that was just too much shy of the finish line) that leaving a laptop at home feels ok and makes me happy to do so. No need to maintain a laptop (other than for track/collection management at home), carry it around, set it up, have it sit on your DJ booth.

Sure, I do weddings too, so backup (triple) is paramount. I agree with previous poster(s) that said there are no do-overs for weddings. That said, a backup does not need to involve a laptop (although is surely can if you like). iPad DJ software has most definitely gotten to the point where you can surely DJ a set with one in a pinch. Coupled with some very nice, not too expensive, portable controller, emergency situations need not be the end of the world. A quick changeover and off you go again.

So, in my very humble opinion, having a dedicated DJ laptop to carry with you to every gig, does not a professional DJ make anymore.

My 3 cents (and change this time) as usual

If a professional DJ is going to use a laptop to DJ then ideally it should be a dedicated one. At some point i had 3 macbook pros and 1 windows machine.

You don’t need the most expensive Alienware or Macbook pro to DJ with.

My 4 cents.

I don’t know how laptops made their way into the booth but i’m super happy they did. It pushed the art-form to the point where anything and everything is possible.

The lowering of the barrier (cost of cdjs, sl1200s, vinyl etc) actually made the OGs to sharpen up their skills if they wanted to keep getting booked, because this new kids are bringing so much heat.

The primes are purpose built computer and controller. I like them a lot, but i will get busy on any equipment any day any time.

Remember this unit


That was a cool device, another gear ahead of it’s time. I love what Native Instruments did with Traktor remix decks, I would love a standalone sampler that works like a Kontrol F1 works with Traktor. Workflow for instant remixes… aaaa love it :smiley: