When Denon released their SC5000 media players, it started a DJ revolution by providing the best digital DJ mixers to a massive customer base. The dust has since settled, and Denon doesn’t appear to be taking their foot off the pedal. The SC6000 is an updated version of the incredible SC5000.
But can Denon keep pushing ahead of the competition, in particular Pioneer, with their latest media controller?
So, let’s take a closer look in our Denon DJ SC6000 Prime Review and see if Denon can maintain their current advantage…
First Impressions and Design
Laying eyes upon the Denon SC6000 for the first time immediately brings back memories of when the SC5000 was first revealed to us. This time, the screen and platter that take up a majority of real estate drew us in.
We can’t help shake the feeling that the buttons and controls might be a bit cramped. It isn’t until our eyes focus on each individual section it becomes apparent that Denon has once again designed this unit incredibly well. Is it the best Dj console you cab buy? Let’s find out…
After some time to soak everything in, you can’t help but appreciate the attention to detail given to positioning. Each feature is strategically placed right next to each of the main settings they link to.
The unit itself measures 18.2 x 12.6 x 6 inches (46 x 32 x 15 centimeters) which isn’t as big as what is expected. Weighing in at 20.8 pounds (9.43 kilos) makes it no lightweight, though, and it is not the most portable option around.
Served up on a platter…
Taking up a large area on the deck is the platter with a diameter of 8.5 inches (21.6 centimeters). The face has a great vinyl-like texture to it, with a round LCD screen in the center and surrounded by an LED ring.
After placing our fingers against the platter and giving it a quick jog back and forth, we got a sense of quality. Premium materials have been used throughout the deck, even including the latest touch-capacity circuitry within the platter.
The other prominent feature that can’t be missed on Denon’s latest media player is the 10.1-inch screen. There are no real advancements here apart from the increase in size from the 7-inch model we remember from the SC5000.
That’s not a bad thing at all. The screen is bright, vivid, and highly responsive to the touch. Multi-finger gestures are supported, and it is coated with a solid piece of glass that does a great job of repelling fingerprints and smudges.
Besides the functionality of the media player itself, nothing else matters without being able to add tracks. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to add music to the device. There is support for both WiFi and wired connections, making it one of the best DJ controllers for streaming.
You can also add media by inserting an SD Card into the slot or a USB stick or drive into the USB port. There is even an internal 2.5 inch SATA HDD bay, so you can add your entire collection permanently to the unit.
Once those tracks are loaded, you can take advantage of the Dual Layer function. There are dedicated outputs in both digital and analog for each layer. This essentially gives the ability to use two decks in one without needing a computer.
Controlling two tracks on one deck can be tricky. But Denon has made it as simple as possible thanks to the use of different colored LEDs to avoid confusion. Areas like the Cue button and the platter will be assigned a separate color for each track.
Putting on a performance…
Located along the bottom of the deck are eight ultra-responsive, rubber performance pads with a great tactile feel. These give users the ability to make cuts, remix, and reinterpret tracks on the fly with ease.
Pad features include Hot Cue, Loop, Roll, and Slicer controls, providing endless possibilities for creativity. Each of the pads is specially designed with sophisticated illumination making visibility even in the darkest clubs possible.
Denon has ensured that the SC6000 has the ultimate compatibility. StagelinQ connection controls offer easy synchronization with professional lighting and video controls. Additionally, it can link with SoundSwitch lighting, Resolume Video, and TimeCode software.
Playing back uncompressed audio isn’t an issue either, with support for a wide range of file formats. FLAC, ALAC, and WAV files can all be played back, along with compressed files such as MP3, AAC, and WMA. As a result, this is one of the most versatile DJ consoles on the market.
Denon’s Prime series relies on the operating system they call Engine. This is the heart of the system that organizes everything from library management to track analysis, to waveform creations, to digital FX.
The latest version, Engine OS 1.6, is already installed on the SC6000 and is packed with useful features. Improvements over the last version include Dropbox integration, stacked waveforms, along with flexible beat grids.
In perfect harmony…
Performing beautifully harmonized DJ sets is a breeze thanks to the onboard musical key shift and instant match feature. With just the touch of a finger, it is possible to create sonic textures that not long ago were completely impossible.
Also, the Timestretch function allows for open-format cross BPM DJing. Furthermore, you can pitch lock tracks, even during extreme tempo changes, with the powerful Engine OS software. This allows you to create perfect audio reproductions.
This media player is absolutely jam-packed full of features and is one of the best professional DJ consoles out there. Those just starting out will more than likely be overwhelmed with navigating their way around all the dials, controls, menus, and functions.
Overall, performance is great, though, even when using the most basic of settings. Having the ability to mix two tracks using one device opens up an entirely new world of experimental possibilities for both amateurs and professionals.
Feeling of quality…
As mentioned earlier, the strategic layout of this device is superb. Once you’ve gone through the learning curve, every action performed becomes intuitive and almost second nature. And having easy access isn’t the only benefit.
Every button, knob, dial, surface, and texture has a premium feel to it. As with all of Denon’s Prime series of equipment, only the best of materials has been used. Metals feel sturdy and solid, plastics feel hard and durable, and rubbers are responsive and strong.
Denon DJ SC6000 Prime Review – Pros and Cons
- Well laid out design with the use of quality materials.
- Huge 10.1 inch HD screen with multi-gesture touch control.
- Play two tracks simultaneously on one deck with the Layer feature.
- Well-refined Engine OS with great Firmware updates.
- Multiple media options including USB, SD Card, HDD, WiFi, and wired networks.
- Timestreach, Keyshift, and Instant Match expand creative possibilities.
- Performance pads add an extra layer of customization to tracks on the fly.
- Quite a learning curve to make full use of all features.
- This deck is heavy, especially for its size, making it difficult to transport.
- Engine Prime software still needs some improvements to match Rekordbox.
- Media ports are all located at the rear, with no quick access available.
- Strong WiFi signal required for streaming tracks.
Looking for Something Else?
We have the DJ gear you want. So, check out our in-depth Denon DJ Prime 4 Review, our Denon DJ SC5000 Prime Review, our Audio-Technica AT-LP60XUSB-BK Review, our Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable Review, and our Tascam DR-40X Review for superb products you can buy in 2021.
You might also like our comprehensive reviews of the Best Audio Mixers, the Best DJ Mixers, the Best Digital Audio Players, the Best Turntables Under $100, and the Best Turntables Under $300 currently on the market.
Denon DJ SC6000 Prime Review – Final Thoughts
The main physical improvements to the SC6000 are the screen and the jog wheel. Most of the other advancements have been made through the Engine OS. This is great news for earlier Prime adopters, as most improvements are across the full Prime range.
It might not be worth upgrading from the SC5000 into this model. But if you haven’t already joined the revolution, what are you waiting for? By listening to users and making improvements where requested, it looks like Denon is staying in front. We look forward to seeing what the DJ future has in store.
Until next time, go on and groove.