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I came across a pair of the Denon DNS 1000 CDJ's at a club booking I had towards the end of last year and despite the decks the night pulled off to be a success! But by no means should this type of deck have been found in a nightclub as they really aren't up to the average DJ's standard, and any professional figure in the scene with any common sense should & would just refuse to play the booking all together!
It may be something to do with my love for Pioneers and having grown up with Technics 1210s but I am used to accuracy and precise mixing, expect the complete opposite with the DNS 1000s!
The CDJ is not all bad and does feature some quality's which you could find on more reputable CD decks including hot cue and loop functions and there is the added extra that the device can be linked directly via a controller such as Serato or Tracktor which drastically improves the organisation of music with playlist's and splitting tracks in to specific genres etc.
There is something about the design of the DNS 1000 which really looks and feels quite cheap which isn't what I would like to expect when Im considering spending just over £400 per unit! The jog dial is either way to sensitive or not sensitive enough, and the pitch control is equally as bad! There is also a touch button pitch control which again is not advisable to be used as it can often knock a track miles away from the cue point that is actually required.
I do apologise if it seems that I don't have much positive feedback about this product, however I do feel that each aspect of the issues raised here are totally justified especially when Denon is up there in the higher class with some of their other products such as the DNS 3700 CDJ's or the DNX 1600 Mixer which again both reflect the quality and reliability that we should expect to receive when parting with such a high value of money!
Right then , i reviewed the mighty pioneer cdj1000 mk 3 earlier,and now moving on to Denon.I dont own this product but a dj friend does and hes kind enough to let me borrow it for a while to see what i think.Pleas dont compare this to the pioneer cdj1000,they are completlry different classes of cdj.and the price shows that.
9inch wide 9 inch long 2 inch thick
Power consumtion 15 watts
Mp3 looping capabilities
Mp3 search file system
3 way bpm counter
4 built in effects
3 platter effects
Next track function
So as far as looks go its quite a simple looking peice of kit,it does not look over loaded with buttons.Overall it has a nice feel to it , it feels solid as you would expect from a Denon product.Size wise this is a nice compact peice of kit,it wont take up much room, id say the platter is about the size of a cd, so that gives you a rough idea of how big the machine is.So the layout ,basic cdj layout pitch fader and bend buttons on the right.Play and cue buttons on the left.Platter in the middle ,3 buttons to the left of this control the various different platter modes.The pitch fader is nice and smooth,with a central click letting you no you are at zero% pitch.The scratch disc consists of a thin slipmat, silver insert and plastic cover disc which is all held in place by a mini-stabiliser.The screen displays all the information such as track number and timing,not as detailed as other models in this price range.
Hands on with the scratch platter
It does not feel to great in my opinion looks and feels a bit cheap.Not what i would expect from Denon.The platter is pressure sensitive,you have to put a lil bit of pressure on it to get a reaction, does not really make it feel hands on or like you are mixing vinyl in any way,so im not really sure what the point in the platter is,comes in handy for scratching but you have to press down quite abit.It definaltey is not the best point of the unit although it seems okay for cueing tracks up.Waht does help with the platter are the platter optinons,The scratch control will give you various parameters which you can adjust to suit your personal taste.You can change the stroke length to short or long, it kind of depends on how you like to scratch though.The effects the scraths leave are obviously from a cd player,it kind of feels like a toy though not that you are really scratching.It also has a bend function which means you can use the platter to alter the speed of the track,a bit like slowing a vinyl down with your finger.
The fader is nice and smooth,it also features a time stretch mode which will lock the pitch of the track but enable you to change the tempo of it,withough giving you pitch slurr.Which is basically hear the tune speed up or down for a breif second to stop it going out of time with the other tune.The bp counter is okay not great but it does the job.
Obviusly as mentioned before you have the platter features, the three buttons RVS , reverses the track you are playing (limited to only 10 seconds when playing mp3s) Drag-s which starts off the tune as if it were being played on a turntable ie starting slow and working its way up to speed.And brake which will give you the same effect as turning a turntable off mid tune.The sound effects are the basic echo, flange and filter combo , which is fast becoming a standard on every cdj.The echo basically loops part of the track and you can increase the intensity of the echo as you wish,the level of intensity is displayed on the screen.The flanger is used in the same way by pressing the button and adjusting the parameters knob to the intensity u require.The sound is pretty obviuos although not exactly smooth.The filter has a low,mid and high pass choice,so you can pick which frequencies you wish to filter in and out of your mix.It also has two hot start keys,which you can asign loops to ,to use freely throught your mix.
The final trick the next track function.This is pretty clever it enables you to mix tracks from one cd,you pick the track you want off the cd that is playing and cue it up,once your ready to roll hit play and by moving the cross fader from one end to the other and back again you are able to mix two tunes off of one cd,quiet a good little feature,but also kind of pointless to be honest.I can see the advantage of not having to change cds but it really is not the big of a deal to be honest.
It will play mp3s off of cdr/cdrw Nd will display the name of the tune artist and album, if all the relevant information was attached to the mop3 file.
So overall not a bad unit You can pick these up for about £300 quid brand new so not bad, it has alot of nice features and is decent enough in size not to overcrowd things.Given the choice though id go for the pioneer cdj200,not that there is much wrong with this but why get a ford focus when you can get a bentley for the same price kind of springs to mind.They will have to make a lot of improvements for me to start using these,that platter is awful it really does feel like a toy.The next track function is good and i have yet to see it on any other cdjs that aint Denon,overall not that great, think ill stick to my Pioneer.