Multiple Issues with Brand New SC5000's

So I just went out and picked up a pair of the SC5000’s and I am having multiple issues with them straight out of the box, 4 days with zero response from Customer Service figured I would try here before I just package these up to take them back.

Sound quality - Tracks that sound completely fine playing on a Pioneer CDJ or Traktor are coming out of the SC5000 distorted and super crunchy, they are only in green on the mixer so its not an issue there. Any idea what is causing this? Using the RCA out not digital as my mixer does not take a digital signal

Platter tension - No matter the setting they seem to go from Firm to Loose at random, will push the platter it will be stiff nudge it again and its loose moving way to quick all the sudden

Smaller issues but annoying

Quantize is messed right up - tracks have been grided in either Traktor or Rekordbox and I have checked the grids to make sure they are on in the player itself. Hitting the hot cue even using a 4/4 beat on its own will make it glitch out never hits on beat cleanly

Rekord box art is either missing or blurry - not sure what’s up with this one

Any help would be appreciated, the quality of these straight out of the box has me concerned and the customer support is even more concerning hoping I just fell through the tracks and that’s not normal.

test with another usb stick. all kind of shiit happens when using a slower usb stick

if you use search you will find a topic about that, basically the way they did the tension adjustment (hardware wise) is not good and varies wildly from unit to unit. Either RMA the players or return them to the store to get your money back.

1.) Check the grid is properly set WHEN YOU LOAD the track on the player. Gridded in Traktor/Rekordbox means ■■■■ when it could have been messed up during import in Engine Prime

2.) Check your quantize setting on the player, it’s not set to 1/1 beat.

Imported database from Rekordbox that has low res 80x80 cover art, thank Pioneer for that. If you search the forum like you should have in the first place you will find a workaround to force Engine Prime to re-create cover art in hi-res from cover image in id3 tags of files instead of using shitty Rekordbox ones.

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Hey @kylecross,

Sorry to hear of the troubles!

In regards to the sound quality, what mixer are you using? Any chance you could provide a recording or video? Are both players experiencing the same distortion?

Just to be sure you’re not plugged into a phono input on your mixer are you?

The (subtly) crunchy, heavy, compressed (both seemingly dynamically and data-wise) quality to the sound of the SC5000 M and non-M appear to be the result of problems both with their main audio processing and further with the SPDIF outs. Right now there’s not much we can do about the main audio processing but wait for a firmware improvement.

I think there’s an issue with the sample rate and bit depth conversions from the aforementioned main processing on them to the SPDIFs that are fixed-point 24bit/96khz. If the main processing on the players is not that format, which it probably isn’t and could be 32bit float and/or heavily oversampled (very common methods), then it appears to be doing poor-quality real-time conversion from that to the digital outputs that can’t be any higher than 24/96 and have to be fixed-point math. There may also be a compressor/limiter function on the main processing and/or the SPDIF, too. For now you can mitigate some of this by using the analog outputs instead even to a digital mixer. Since you’re already using a mixer without digital inputs, for the time being again you’re stuck with this until it’s improved. You are using your players in the most optimal manner possible, at least. I don’t know if that’s going to feel like good or bad news for you.

FWIW, the X1800’s fidelity is not so great compared to the old x1700, the NXS2, and a lot of quality analog mixers, even. So you might want to keep that in mind if you’re thinking about getting one, as it’s basically more of the same you don’t like on the players’ sound heaped on top… other than roll off – the mixer is flat and doesn’t make that worse. You’ve got a nice mixer without digital inputs, apparently, so it might be worth not upgrading until the X1800’s firmware is improved… hopefully that is enough to boost its sound quality and it’s not a poor quality hardware clock or power supply to blame on the mixer design. The integration between the players and the mixer is really amazing, so it’s worth looking into at some point in the future. Admittedly, I’ve used mixers that sound worse than the X1800, so YMMV.

The particular dark, overly-warm sound quality on the players is the result of a surprisingly-low-corner-frequency low-pass filter with a steep order. It’s like the players are only 32khz instead of actually 96khz. This affects all the outputs, so using the analog ones doesn’t avoid this, either. Denon DJ has promised to try and improve the high frequency reproduction on a future firmware. Hopefully this is not the only thing they improve in the sound quality department on the Prime system.

The platter tension knob just doesn’t work as advertised. The jogs also have some variation in their feel & resistance. All I use the tension knob for is to bring jogs that are thankfully low in resistance and high in smoothness up to the “lowest common denominator” of the higher resistance, less smooth jogs that I can’t get smoother or more free-spinning. That way at least they feel pretty consistent from deck to deck. There are some other threads on this topic including a guy that cleaned his and lubed the friction thing in there with silicone grease.

I don’t use quantize or sync, so I can’t comment on those.

As for customer support, I don’t know how long you’re been trying to contact them, but they’re usually communicative. Today is a holiday in the USA and they’re also not open on weekends. Might have something to do with it.

Cheers thanks for taking the time to respond

Got a new usb on the way, pretty sure its a decent stick in there now but will test it out either way!

Grid looks completely fine on the deck as well as in the software, it will hit on beat a few times then hit off beat at random, I turned quantize off but its a feature I like. I play DnB with pretty quick mixes its sometimes next to jump ahead to a hot cue while keeping the track in time

am using a Pioneer djm 850, everything is plugged into line in on the mixer

The distortion seems to happen at random the decks were sounding fine then the track started to sound super crunchy in the high end. Came wrote this post and went back down playing on the same deck without reloading just walking back and pressing play it sounded fine. Makes me think its a software in the deck issue

I have a high speed usb stick coming this week so I will test to see if that was an issue as mentioned above but I am pretty sure its a decent speed stick in there right now. Ill try to get a video when it happens again

I bought a pair of SC5000s a year ago and one of them had that exact issue. Seemed to be worse when using both layers. In the end it was replaced by Denon via the shop where I bought it. Not had any trouble with the audio since.

Is it happening with both players? It’s very unlikely to be caused by the USB as the players load the entire track into memory, they don’t stream from the USB.

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Are the self-stick protective film circles off of the platters ?

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S_Anderson is correct. Intermittent, random, overt, EXTREME distortion could be problems with your platters, either the film is still on or you could have grounding issues. Is the ring flickering and it gets worse when your hand is above it?

Have you updated your firmware?

Does this only happen with quantize On?

Firmware is up to date from what I could download on the Denon site under registered products for both decks this was the first thing I did when pulling them out of the box.

Both films are removed, the tab broke off one deck on setup without taking off the film so I double checked both after getting that one removed. The ring does not flicker at all and decks are super responsive to being touched but nothing happens with my hand being close not touching them. The sound itself was playing cleanly not stuttering or anything like someone touched the platter the sound is just distorted like its being red lined though an analog mixer.

I am pretty sure it happened with quantizing off since quantize was not working correctly and annoying me I had turned it off each deck to get better timing on the hot cues.

I don’t think its a grounding issue I have had 4 pioneer cdj’s and mixer working fine in that exact same location for the last 4 years. Unless its a ground issue within the players themselves maybe?

The mechanical Pioneer jog is not susceptible to bad electrical grounds. If it doesn’t get worse when your hand is over the SC5000’s platter, though, it’s probably not that problem.

Well, if the film is off the jog and you don’t have problems with the ground, then it starts to look more like an internal hardware defect of some sort.

I don’t know about such distortion being caused by the drive reading speed, as the units buffer the entire track in memory. It should be either loading the track all the way or not. I have not experienced such an issue, but maybe others can chime in on it.

Hi everyone. I got 2 SC5000 and the X1800 mixer recently. I am using these guys usually at home for fun, but was performing a party a week ago using the 2 SC5000, not the mixer. I experienced the same sound issues like kylecross reported earlier, horrible distortion - randomly and out of the blue. The decks were connected analog with an older Denon mixer. This happened twice on both decks with own record recordings in 24 Bit 48khz wav files. After the second glitch I stopped my performance since this was really annoying. Are we really the only two guys with this experience? By the way I had six!! sticks with me and tried 3 of them, all of them were highly recommended by other DJ’s. These are:

  1. SanDisk Extreme Go 128GB USB-Flash USB 3.1 (very fastI
  2. Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth v2 128GB USB

To me it feels like the deck dac’s are having problems with these wav files. By the way, the firmware is the current one 1.2.2. I really hope that this can be fixed or should I just convert my wav’s to lousy compressed mp3’s? One of the reason to buy these decks was their ability to handle lossless files

There’s brand new firmware, so you are not current. If you’re still suffering with the new one, let us know. If it clears up, let us know, too.

Thanks for coming back that quickly. I did not know that SC5000 and SC5000M getting the same firmware since the new version is only listed under the SC5000M. However I downloaded the image file, it will be recognized as a new firmware on the deck, but it is not processed. Using the check update tells me (new version found 1.3.1 with two options A. remind me later and B. Ignore. This is quite weird since there is no process option. Having a stick with the firmware file inserted and pressed reboot, it reboots and then doesn’t do anything, only a new screen on the deck and no activity on the disk. I was waiting for about 30 minutes with zero response before I tried to do the process from my Mac via USB connection. Same thing, message stating „preparing update“ for about 30 minutes before I stopped. I probably made several 100 firmware updates in my life, on TV‘s, Cameras and Audio devices but I never experienced these kind of problems. Any idea where the problem might be, I am meanwhile kind of frustrated.

M and non-M are not the same firmware!

Non-M firmware has been put on hold because of Serato issue. It will be fixed soon.

So I have the current firmware, right?

For now yes if you have a non-M. You shouldn’t go to 1.3.1 yet and wait a little.

Is he using Serato?

No, problem occurs right from the stick, as already mentioned same as what kylecross experienced a while ago.

If this issue ever crops up again for people in the newest firmwares and so it can be figured out what might be causing this, you might also want to try toggling Elastique to see if it goes away after switching keylock off and then back on. I know with test waveforms (sine wave, square, etc) it’s possible to cause Elastique to malfunction sometimes, though I’m unsure if that’s only possible to induce on simple test waveforms that might confuse the algorithm when the key is locked much higher than the pitch is set at and the pitch fader is being moved a lot.