Which mixer for best sound quality?

Add production quality and mastering to that mix too… I find once your sound system is up to a certain standard, production matters so much. Still amazes me when I play some pop music that SHOULD sound good and it’s slammed to the point of distortion. I generally won’t hear it on budget systems but I’ll sure as hell hear it with my good system. Then I’ll play something well produced and mastered and it will sound absolutely fantastic.

Realistically, if the device’s SNR is above 110db and distortion <0.01%…. Can you hear the difference? Is it then more about frequency response and how it interacts with your other equipment, room acoustics etc. ?

And then we’ve got our own psychological biases to try and combat. I’ve convinced myself something sounds better plenty of times before swapping back and forth around 10 times until I finally realise there really is no real perceptible difference.

I’m probably biased towards the analogue distortion introduced by analogue mixers simply because I’ve used them for so many years. For digital, the db4 I had for a while sounded pretty bloody good, so did the Rane MP2015 (very clean), I haven’t used any of the new Pioneer mixers. I mean really, the x1850 didn’t sound too bad, I was being incredibly fussy when I decided to change mixers.

Back to the original topic, also consider what sort of mixer you want. Most high end expensive mixers should sound good enough really. It’s also worth considering the layout of the mixer, metering, how you want to mix, fader curves, if it’s analogue do the filters pop?And on and on…

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Unfortunately, that often doesn’t include the ultrasonic range, nonlinear distortion, or a bunch of esoteric stuff that people clearly are able to hear (sometimes more than the usual specs) but for which you need a real expert and some high-end gear to detect. NWAVGUY, who designed the O2 headphone amp and ODAC, and did many gear tests before disappearing from the audiophile headphone scene, demonstrated this quite a bit.

I was surprised Rightmark even detected the IMD, let alone grouped it into at least some of its total harmonic distortion figures. I first assumed it was in error, but was able to confirm it with other methods like the spectrum analyzer in SoundForge when not using any conversions. Then other people verified it with their own tests. You do certain simple harmonic distortion tests and the players’ numeric results come out as clean as the InMusic specs, though clearly their original frequency specs were in error.

So, it’s certainly possible a mixer can do weird things and True RTA & Rightmark wouldn’t show anything significant, as they’re not even professional grade tools and have flaws. Most of the people I’ve seen using any real pro testing gear on DJ equipment barely even scratch the surface on the tests they could be running. And that’s not getting into the people using consumer tools who don’t know what they’re doing or don’t bother to double and triple check with other methods.


I’m using my 6000s with either a Rane 2015 or a DJM V10 (connected via s/pdif). Both are great matches. The 2015 sounds slightly flatter and very crisp, while the V10 has a bit more of a punchy sound.

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Yes, a Xone:db6 6 channel beast would be awesome with updated components and pro faders like the Xone:96.

Still looking for a db4, but no chance to get one at a fair acceptable pricing…

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They are going fast. Even models with some minor faults like not working buttons, bad faders or faulty leds. In the Netherlands such units go for 800€ to 1100€


Here in Germany are to many fake offers on eBay Kleinanzeigen and eBay.

Often they use gear pics from the web or other older auctions.

Really hard to get one

I know one dealer who has a brand new unit in stock, but they want 2k for it.

I now got the 1850. I was hesitant with this as I was a bit uncertain about (sound) quality of the mixer. But to be honest, I am quite happy with it, it sounds pretty okay to me actually. Could definitely be better but nothing too bad.

I guess I will upgrade to a V10 once it is available again. The Xone96 was tempting but I also need to use Serato from time to time and that is just too much hassle with the 96.

i’d go for a Allen & Heath xone 96, if you love deeper warmer sound, I’d also recommend a Rane MP2015 (my previous mixer, pioneer have always sounded a little too cold to my ears,

Denon’s next mixer needs to have much better faders and make it much easier to replace them, ie a removable panel ! also on the prime 4’s replacement too !

Yeah, the Xone96 definitely is nice sound wise. But I also want to be able to use Serato with it from time to time. I also don’t like that it doesn’t have onboard effects. This makes me wait until the V10 is available again.