Which mixer for best sound quality?

Hi there,

I am about to buy a set of Denon 6000s. I was wondering what peoples’ experiences with mixers are - in terms of sound quality. Which mixers do you think sound the best when paired with the 6000s? And which ones do not sound so nice.

Edit: sorry, I should have mentioned this before - I am in need of a (at least) 4 channel mixer.

Thanks for your input!

if you are looking for a 2 channel mixer, so I can say yes to DJM S11. DJM S9 is not so good in sound quality, so thats why I changed to the DJM S11. I’m very happy with the soundquality of pioneer. I know this is a Denon forum and I also own the SC6000m, but im not familiar with the 1850. So I can only talk about Pio, Rane and A&H.

The ones that also sound the best with any other media players.

From my experiences with mixers prior to COVID disrupting my ability to recreationally listen to music and taking my memory with a grain of salt…

MP2015 for precision and transparency, equaled apparently only by the analog Iso420 in tests. It’s a strange level of clarity, with only a tiny bit of boost in contrast and detail over what you pipe in. Amazing considering it’s got almost as much group delay phase distortion on its iso channel tone controls as the X1700 and DB4’s ‘iso’ mode.

X1700 for euphonic loveliness almost too good to even bother DJing with instead of listening.

Then I’d probably clump the d.4, DJM-900NXS2, and DB4 all about in the same league, though I’m probably partial to the DACs in the master/record sections of the DB4 compared to the DJM. I’m weird, though, because I don’t even think the DJM-800 sounds that bad if you bypass the ADCs on it. These other mixers may sound more realistic at times than the DJM-900NXS2 that can sound too sweet & synthetic.

I’m not a big fan of the newer analog Xones’ sound. I mean, they’re fun to play on, but not actually that hi-fi, though I liked the old 62 with the EQs bypassed and using the top aux system to mix on rotary-style. I keep buying those, then sell them when I compare another to one of the digital mixers yet again. Any analog mixer might be a good match to muss up the SC6000’s intermodulation distortion harmonics, though.

I also have not been unimpressed by the new V10’s sound, but I think it’s got some weird design choices unrelated to sound. It’s also basically a gain structure for the ADC section that departs from older Pioneers and is now like everyone else. They finally figured out a good way to do the metering feedback on the NXS2 and the Tour with their old variable gain structure, and then they abandoned it to instead just do fixed analog gain inputs.

I did think the X18xx series mixer have improved a little on their sound processing compared to their release, but my ears are so weird now it’s hard for my to say with much certainty beyond that. I recall them being more like an analog mixer’s mush than something like the MP2015 in-the-blend, though, and I certainly never considered the new Denons edgy. Maybe a little grainy, restrained, constrained, and occasionally like the sound was being squeezed through a tiny hole originally, but that last attribute especially seemed reduced in updates some. The X1800 always tested fine, though.

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When it comes to building quality that last and superb sound quality Allen & Heath is the brand to consider. Xone:96 is build like a tank with pro grade Faders and Potts and the awesome warm sound, it’s well known for. The Xone:96 is absolutely not comparable to Denon DJ mixers, it’s in a league of it’s own. If ever necessary, Faders are easy replaceable just with a few handles.

We use the setup on pro stages and we were forced to switch to A&H because of the miserable experience with Denon X18xx mixers and especially the extreme poor support. Denon DJ Support left us out in the cold. Since we switched to Xone:96’s, we experienced none relating Mixer problems anymore. With Denon x18xx we had issues every night / gig.

This is unfortunate, because I like the Denon design and feature set, but it just doesn’t matter when hardware problems occur all the time.

Now we’re happy and satisfied with Xone:96 in combination with 2 SC6000M.

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Get you a bozak. :-p

Honestly tho, this is a tough question to answer. What do YOU need in a mixer outside of sound quality?

Thanks a lot for the great answers, everyone! I should have mentioned this before, I am in search for an (at least) 4 channel mixer.

I used the Xone96 before (and actually still have one at home for my turntables). But I was afraid that the analog 96 does not sound good when paired with the SC6000. Not sure where I got this from, but when I recall correctly, I think that some people were writing that it is better to hook the Denon’s up to digital mixers in terms of sound quality.

That said, I never had problems in terms of sound when using CDJs with the analog mixers, so maybe this is just a myth. Although I guess the Denons work quite differently with respect to their internal sound processing as say the CDJ3000 does.

I think the V10 is interesting, the connectivity is just tempting. @Reticuli, what design features you do not like? I find it a bit sad that one cannot combine HP and LP filters. But well, I guess one will survive this. Anybody here using the V10 together with the Denons? What are your feelings regarding sound (when used with SC6000) - much difference to the other mixers mentioned in this thread?

From my short experience with V10 I can tell You couple of things.

  1. EQs have a resonance like bump when used in counter clockwise position, giving a bit of a more gain to the crossover frequencies than they should. Resulting in muddy mids when used in the mid range.
  2. Both sends share the same send knob - very limiting in the options of sending signal to external gear.
  3. No option for manual filter full range frequency sweep. Only in beat fx.

Except these small quirks - mixer is fine.

But I still stay with my Xone 96.

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Ok just to throw an old adage in here.

Put ■■■■ in … get ■■■■ out… no matter what quality of mixer. A decent track through a cheapo mixer will sound better than a crap copy through a top end mixer and speakers

I use a ARS 9100 with my 6000m’s.great sounding mixer

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If you have the money : ARS 9100

Lowest noise floor THD Distorsion and frequency response : DJM V10

I really wish A&H make a new DB4 2022 with newest high end DAC and better build quality

The X1850 is a cool mixer but the fader build quality is horrible and too loose

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The Rane MP2015 sounds nice with the Denon players. Especially through the digital connection. Signal is very hot though so be easy on the gains.

I just picked up a mint Pio DJM 1000 with the rotary conversion kit. It sounds great with the Denons thru digital.

The A&H Zone 92 sounds nice with the players in the Analog realm. The DACs used in the 6000’s are thorough. This was confirmed by a very well known sound engineer in the NYC area.

All said though, the x1850 is a beast of a mixer and sounds great with the players.

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I do not like the way the filtering is set up on the V10, as you’re unable to combine them, unable to choose different filters per channel, and it has a dry-wet control like it’s a multi-purpose knob used for a bunch of other effects, which it’s not.

Nothing wrong with the DACs or multicore processing chips. The Prime players’ processing, it’s software, seems to be using a quicker, more computationally efficient manner with the speed change and sample rate conversions. The very expensive CDJ-3000s have less sample rate compatibility to begin with, but also what they do allow seems to be done with more care. Still, if you’re not using keylock, the old Pioneers and old Denon players will beat the pants off of any of the SC Prime or CDJ-3000 playback.

Yes, InMusic needs to give us the option of padding the various inputs on the MP2015 in-software the way they allow with the phono preamps. My request for this on InMusic’s Rane forum has gone without feedback from them.

I love the sound of the DB4’s record & master DACs, but I would like an updated version that I would do a few things different. I’ve talked to A&H about this, and they seemed to have no interest in my ideas for anything DJ-related that’s digital in the future.

That’s certainly a consideration, but if all you’ve got is a very worn vinyl or 128kbps MP3 of a certain track, the better mixer will still make that poor-sounding track sound better than it would otherwise. Sometimes, you can’t control the quality of the source material, and it’s also true that just the ability to faithfully recreate pink noise is something of a minor miracle for any audio gear.

Well after having the x1850 and not being super happy with the sound I ended up going for a Mastersounds Radius 4. I did a bit of testing running straight out of the sc6000m compared to my DAC and it really was no difference. I could tell a difference with the x1850 though, seemed to have a slightly harsher high end. The Radius 4 sounds pretty bloody awesome to my ears. Has that analogue sound that softens the high end a bit. Just as much adding a little distortion I guess… :slight_smile:

It was probably just as much about going rotary though to be honest. The high pass filter is also lovely to mix with, slightly different style to mix. I can’t see how the linear power adapter would make THAT much of a difference to the sound quality of it to be honest. The tech specs already look good, and the price of the linear power adapter seems absolutely bonkers.

So you’re saying that the Denon 5000 are better in terms of sound quality than the 6000, if key lock is turned off? Can you elaborate on that?

So many more variables than just the mixer.

Venue size and construction. A church will echo more than nightclub

Crowd size. Bigger crowds deaden soubd

Indoor or outdoor. Outdoors will lose vass quicker

And the biggest variable is the speaker’s and if passive amp. An underpowered amp will show up as will underrated speakers

Then its speaker placement. Sound balancing . Face speakers together and its a phasing nightmare too close together you wont get true sound etc etc etc.

Its what is best for YOUR particular needs not what is the best as i said above no one mixer stands out if pushed into a crap amp or crap speakers.

No, he means old Denon devices (pre InMusic owned)

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Slathering linear harmonic distortion over nonlinear harmonic distortion will distract you from the more objectionable type even if it does other imperfect stuff, and not having the extreme high frequency extension of a 96khz digital mixer will reduce the ultrasonic noise of the Prime players’ current firmware audio processing compared to the X18xx mixers. You can switch the X18xx mixers to a lower rate to roll off the ultrasonics, but besides the downsampling doing some beneficial things, there’s other adverse stuff – like increasing the impulse response rippling. Still, nothing downstream will perform as well as it could with that added ultrasonic noise… not preamps, amps, tweeters, or your ears.

In the Prime combo, I still can’t conclude that all the sonic faults were just the players, though, because the mixers did seem to have a certain weird, dry, raw quality, even if they measured better than the players. Probably the closest sound to the X1800 I can think of is a Biamp SC7500/7600 using its phono preamps with ATP-2 cartridges… but that might be generous, since the Biamps are sonically pretty amazing, even if they have a bunch of design defects and weird-sounding phono preamps. If some audio tech with an analyzer found with a test record what makes the Biamp sound the way it does with the ATP, though, I wouldn’t be suprised if they could also find those curious characteristics on the X18xx mixers. Mostly not outright bad, IMO, just a character.

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