Sound quality improve


Played out in a club setting with the SC5000 recently a few times and couldn’t help but notice a tad bit compressed/muddy sound. This was tested with Digital & Analog inputs. Analog actually sounded a tad bit clearer (crisper highs). I did have another player connected with the same song loaded (NXS2) and it sounded noticeably better. I’ve never really had to EQ any items past flat on any DJ hardware before unless I just was having a fuss about a particular badly mastered song. I only own 1 SC5000 at home & it’s connected to a controller that does not contain digital out. So I can’t do proper testing/comparison at this very moment. Possibly could try heading to guitar center to test. Is there anything I should look for within settings etc?


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Yes. I agree with you that there’s some sense of dynamics compression and/or data compression apparent in the current firmware. Now, reduced sampling frequency (probably causing the measured roll off) is a form of data reduction in digital audio, but it sounds like even more going on in data reduction.

I agree that the digital out may actually sound worse on the Denon Primes than the analog outs (ignoring downstream gear). This might be the result of (common & normal) massive oversampling as part of the default audio processing with (unfortunately common) low-overhead sample rate down-conversion method rather than the better varieties of resampling for the SPDIF. This sound quality reduction on digital out is also slightly noticeable to a lesser extent than the Primes on the Gemini MDJ-1000 and Denon DN-HS5500s (ignoring downstream gear) ), but probably because of simple linear down-sampling to 16/44.1 SPDIFs on oversampled 24bit-processing. The SC Primes have 24/96 digital outs.

IMO we need to move towards bit-perfect at zero pitch, as the Pioneers achieve. If you put the Pioneer CDJs at zero pitch, the data to SPDIF (and I presume to their internal DACs) is the exact data of the lossless file, and of course their lossy decoding like for MP3 and AAC is no worse than any other player or your computer. This “kid gloves” or “cotton gloves” gentle approach should be the benchmarking for Denon SC Primes to get to first, at least with key lock off. In a perfect world, we’d also have optional declipping and expander processing (the opposite sort of effect of limiting I seem to hear), but that’s getting way way ahead of ourselves when we’re talking about possible dynamics compression issues, right :stuck_out_tongue: ?

I know InMusic at least has the expertise in their portfolio to pull off great-quality sample rate conversion, because the Rane MP2015 and Denon DN-X1700 capabilities in that regard are top notch. A -6dB pad across the board in the SC Prime to give the processing breathing room, remove any limiter from the firmware, get rid of the roll-off and do full bandwidth processing, and then we will see what data reduction is left still going on that keeps us short of at least “essentially” bit perfect at zero pitch (at least during keylock off) with all the oversampling and then downsampling going on. It is a little funny the focus on these with 48hz displays and all these crazy features we love, but the sound with keylock off currently can’t even match an old CDJ-1000mk3. I have hope. This is digital audio, after all.