Improve Audio Processing Quality

  • What is the feature or ability you would like to have?

Improve Audio Processing Quality

-For the most part, the problems do not appear to be caused by Elastique V3.

-It goes beyond just the high-frequency roll-off that has been somewhat improved.

-There are core audio processing issues, possibly partly but probably not exclusively related to sample rate conversions.

-The SPDIF output may have additional fidelity issues over the core/base audio processing.

  • How will this feature help you and others?

Unless you’re comparing keylock ON with extreme negative pitch on both, Prime is currently lagging behind the industry standard on sound quality. Prime lags behind older models in that regard, too. The Prime players have 100X the intermodulation distortion, nonlinear distortion harmonics (the multiplication order of the harmonics appear to increase with frequency of the fundamental), and generally maladies that resemble aliasing echo and/or quantization distortion, among other things. Overall sound is strangely smeared and almost resembles tape generational loss or MP3 conversion, even with additional high frequencies now compared to earlier firmwares. There is also the potential that the less roll-off (increased high frequencies) without other processing improvements is partly an increase in “grunge”.

  • Is this feature available in an existing product? If so, what product?

Both older Denon DJ gear and Pioneer DJ gear do more-transparent core processing either with keylock OFF or with keylock ON & positive pitch.

With Traktor now using the same Elastique V3 key correction, the advantage of this on the Prime players is not so unique as to make up for issues with its base audio processing that is the foundation for what Elastique has to work with. Deckadance 1 & 2 also use Elastique, and even VDJ and Serato’s key correction are quite competent.

  • Does a workaround currently exist?

Using the analog outputs on the Prime players into an analog mixer seems to either cover up or bypass some, but not all, of the sonic issues.

Using the players as controllers with something like Serato bypasses at least the players’ own processing inadequacies.

  • How often would you use this feature?


  • Is there any additional information you’d like to add?

Other features requests possibly related to this:

Prior discussions on this topic for reference purposes:


I love my Prime 4 but I have stumbled across this too while looking for a solution as to why the analogue unbalanced RCA audio outs sounded much better than the XLR outs into the main club system. I hot-swapped the XLRs from a DJM 850 mk2 and noticed the Prime 4 sounded much different. To describe it is exactly like above.

I use it plugged into the DJM 850 now and it is much better. I think there is something slightly misbehaving on the main balanced outputs causing the sound described.

Poor XLR + & - matching would actually be a separate issue from the digital audio processing quality. Unbalanced RCA should always sound better than balanced outs if you’re comparing short runs of cable, but how much better depends on the closeness of that matching on the balanced ones. A balanced XLR input is, after all, only amplifying and transmitting the difference signal between the two conductors with inverted “mirror” signals and any deviation from them matching exactly from the output is actually going to get sent into the gear downstream… which is a degradation.

I’ll see if I can sort it. The RCA outs are fine for the most part but I kinda expected the quality to be on par with the DJM850. I’ll check it all out later.

As soon as I’m done importing my aiffs into engine prime I’ll be fine wining with you about sound quality.

As long as people are using mp3s and orher down coverted formats nobody will care about knit picking at sound quality. If you know what I’m saying.

For me, it’s only noticable as it sounds worse than the £150 Numark Mixtrack Pro 3 that is in the DJ box and supplying the background music before I arrive yet through the RCAs the P4 is sounding spot on.

I’ll just keep it that way as it works for me and sounds nice.

Distortion is cumulative. Right now Prime’s sound quality with lossless files resembles the industry standard with lossy files. Using lossy files on Prime sounds even worse. It doesn’t matter how low bitrate your lossy files are. Prime adds at least 100 times the intermodulation distortion compared to the industry standard and even visible nonlinear distortion harmonics in sweeps

Maybe Denon should have a connoisseur mode for people who just wanna hear good sound. This would require no pitch, keylock, ect…

Sound artifacts have been around since the vinyl days. There still here today. Maybe the prime series might not be up to par now but hopefully with some time it will get there. So +1

This is actually all without even changing the pitch from zero or utilizing key change. Should be easy for it.

I hope as well.

Is that what you’re looking for? Just listening to music as is?

For me, I make music so I would like to hear it playback bit transparent. Also, after a few beers and a j, I like to turn up my sound system and just listen to some tunes as is also.

I do notice a difference in the bass shockwaves between lossless and down coverted files.

No, but that’s the baseline you start with to verify quality of audio processing. How does your DSP path sound/measure when you’re not even doing anything… Passthrough quality.

Haven’t really given a thought about dsp measuring. I just use analog processing which is closing my eyes and listening and feeling. Lol

Yeah, that’s actually the impetus for measuring it with RMAA and doing the sweeps in the first place. I’m like, this is not sounding pretty or delicate or open when it should and I’m not being moved by it as much. Why is my way cheaper or older DJ stuff doing that more easily? Hence all the tests. I was trying to explain why Prime might sound dark, murky, and smeared… almost like it was generational loss recording it onto a VHS tape and then back or something. Saying “it doesn’t move me emotionally or excite me or wow me” isn’t specific enough to be very useful beyond motivating some measurements.

I agree that the older gear sounds good. Denon had always good sound. I actually rely on what you say to keep me in the loop about my prime gear.

The last time I did any real testing was back when only cds were being used. Imangine how confused those young dowloaders were when after I played from my original discs and they had to follow me. They all needed to hit the red and kept wondering why.

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Some time has passed. Still no updates. Denon, we want good sound quality!