The DJ world has been dominated by just a handful of industry standards, and those standards are largely defined by the booth. Essentially if it’s good enough for the pros, then it’s good enough for the rest of us.
The most recent and enduring standard has been the Pioneer CDJ. Starting with the CDJ-1000, we’ve seen various iterations, up to the current CDJ-2000NX2. But it’s fair to say that other than the venerable Technics 1200, they dominate the DJ market without equal.
So for a company to pick a fight on another’s home turf, one that traditionally has a long-standing record of coming a distant second in many previous spats, is either insane, monumentally stubborn, or displaying genuine confidence that their all new competitive offering has more that a cat in hell’s chance of turning a few heads.
To dream the impossible dream
18 months ago, I saw renders of the first iterations of the Denon DJ Prime range. It wasn’t called Prime back then, but from memory was just about the same as it is now. The information was scant, but the confidence was high. “You know you’re still playing for second place right?” I said. My scoff was met with a silent but familiar wry grin. It’s one I’d seen many times before, but this one was different. With hindsight, clearly I hadn’t been given the complete picture.
I came away from that meeting excited by what I had seen, but still doubting Denon DJ’s confidence. After all, they’ve had over a decade of arguably better units, and still always been the bridesmaid. But there is one huge difference this time around, and that’s being part of inMusic and everything that being a component of a well oiled and supremely experienced DJ machine has to offer.
Welcome to the brave new world
And now it’s all here, and we’ve been playing with it all for far longer than we should. The reviews should have been out quite some time ago, but births, burglaries, and general life bamboozlement got in the way. And being typically English, I apologise for these things despite being beyond my control.
Fear not however, for what we will deliver over the coming pages is the definitive set of reviews for these most important of pieces. You’ll experience every one of our emotions — from curiosity to anger to delight, and a few stops in-between. We pull no punches, neither in our abject frustrations nor in our absolute joy either. It’s quite the roller coaster ride, but it’s structured in a way that you get the stomach churning 360s over and done with first, and finish with the hands in the air gleeful screams.
We’re pushing this out over a full week. Boo I hear you cry, and yes it’s a shameless bid to maximise traffic of course (you can’t blame us). But there’s a huge amount to take in with each piece, and we’d rather that you focus on each article and review in turn. Here’s the schedule (the links will get updated when we release the articles):
Welcome to Denon DJ Prime Week (this piece)
Engine Prime Preview
Again, we’re sorry it’s taken so long. But in our opinion it’s better to be late and definitive. It’s too important a release to get wrong. The first piece will be up in a bit.