First Impressions / Setting up
We got to play with Denon DJ’s new SC6000 Prime and SC6000M Prime media players, and X1850 mixer, at an inMusic press event today. In this hands-on review, I’ll share our first impressions of the units, give you a comparison between these and the previous SC5000 Prime, SC5000M Prime and X1850 Prime models, and share some early thoughts about them, to help you decide if they’d be a good fit for your needs.
The products are officially launching around March 2020, and of course we’ll give you a full review of them later on – but for now, we’ve got a pretty good impression of all of them, which should certainly be enough info for you to know if it’s worth saving your pennies for these.
(As these units are iterations of the originals, for a fuller overview of what they’re all about, heads to our SC5000 Prime, SC5000M Prime, and X1800 Prime reviews, as linked above.)
The biggest changes to the mixer are cosmetic, but it does have a few nice functionality tweaks too. Looks-wise, it pulls into line with the players by being more muted, and the EQs get a bit more differentiation by the addition of white rings around their bases.
The effects can now be quantised to the beatgrids from the Prime players, for tighter-sounding results, which is a welcome improvement. There are two new effects too: The first is called “Echohold”, and is like a cross between a loop roll and an echo. The second, “Pumper”, adds a sidechain-like sound to its input. They’re fun.
As before, there are small bits of nice integration between the mixer and the Prime players; the Cue buttons correspond in colour to the chosen colours of the deck layers, but one thing we really liked was that when you’re previewing a track on a Prime player (see above), if you accidentally open the fader, the preview stops immediately, so there’s no change of inadvertently playing it to your audience.
The most exciting thing about these new units is that they happened. It shows Denon DJ’s commitment to this new ecosystem that it started. While the more niche SC5000M is fully replaced by the SC6000M, the SC5000 will continue to sell as the smaller, cheaper alternative to the SC6000 – and all Prime players will continue to receive firmware upgrades.
While we’re looking at evolution rather than revolution here, that’s arguably as it should be for a brand trying to build a coherent alternative to the status quo; slightly better processors, small tweaks to appearance, bigger screens, better jogs, sprinklings of new functionality.
Pricing will remain competitive at US$1499 for the SC6000 Prime, US$1699 for the SC6000M Prime and US$1099 for the X1850 Prime, and your choice between the old and new models will really hinge upon whether you will pay the extra for the improved jogs and screens, or whether the previous flagships are good enough for you. Either way, you’d be getting a solid combination of units in the most powerful DJ ecosystem out there right now.
Full reviews of both units will follow in due course.