Thinking about buying a Prime 4 (advice from current owners)

Like the title says, I am thinking about buying a Prime 4. I already have a full featured setup (SC6Ks) that I LOVE, but breaking down that monstrosity each and every weekend is extremely tiresome (I’m getting old, lol). I read all these horror stories about the reliability of the Prime 4 in live situations, and I’m just a little reluctant to pull the trigger. That White Prime 4 is calling to me though, haha! That thing is beautiful! But, I wonder if it wouldn’t just be more practical to buy an XDJ-XZ. We do invite other regional DJs to play with us from time to time, and I wonder how easy/hard it would be for them to just hop onto the Prime 4 without any prior knowledge of the Denon workflow. I would appreciate some thoughts/advice from actual Prime 4 owners on their experience using it in a Lounge/Club (not bedroom) situation. Especially, if you’ve had others jump on with no prior experience with Denon gear. The people we’ve invited out to play on my SC6Ks were immediately comfortable on them, as their basic functionality is very much like a CDJ. But, is the Prime 4 different? I have no way of testing one out prior to buying it, so I would be going in blind.

This is what I have to break down and put back together each week, lol…such a pain in the backside. Simply bringing out a Prime 4 would simplify my life dramatically. But, is it reliable? Don’t wanna’ be embarrassed in front of my crowd, my DJ peers, or the lounge proprietor.

3 Likes

I’ll be honest and say it’s the best DJ item out there in it’s price range. I use mine in the club (cruise ship) and it’s only ever failed me when it was new. I had the dreaded “peripherals didn’t come online” message that some users get. It cleared itself up on its own and it never returned.

The reliability has been great with no major issues. The odd rotary pot gets more loose over time as with a lot of the Prime range but I’ve seen that common throughout.

It will instantly be recognisable to anyone whose played on other brands as well as the SC range. It is sturdy and has a lot of features built in. It ticks every one of my boxes. I wanted the SC5000/X1800 mixer previously but went for this just for the same reasons as you. Carrying them around would be a pain and add to that the connections etc, it made an all-in-one box of tricks more appealing. I love it so much I bought a Prime Go for my travels and that’s been equally as awesome. The VDJ integration is better than Serato’s which is also a shame as I’m an SDJ guy (I remember you from the Serato forums too).

I’m not a fan girl and there is the odd thing I’d change but for what it does, I can see past all that. My biggest issue is the FX. The echo has a ramp-up in volume when turned on and some FX aren’t locked to the beat. The ping pong is inconsistent if it’s pressed directly on the downbeat and if the auto gate is on when you select a new effect, the effect mixes the two. These are issues that will hopefully be cleared up but heads up, they exist.

Im a mixing club DJ so I’m unsure on how it fares up to scratching. Maybe someone can chip in with any turntablist opinions?

I’ve had mine for just over 12 months and use it several times per week for upto 5 hours at a time with zero issues. Everything is well placed with plenty of space between buttons and faders.

The Prime 4 is my go-to board for weekly events. Had it for 2 years and it has been super reliable. Also people are impressed by it’s looks and think that I paid a ton of $$$ for it.

I played several times on prime 4 and xz, the weak point for me in prime is the effects, they are quite inconvenient to use because of the location of the knobs above each deck, everything else worked stably and fairly standard. I didn’t feel any super feeling from playing on it, but it just worked and it’s good. Xz looks slightly nobler to my taste, has a standard pioneer effector, but there is streaming only with a laptop and a small screen. I also saw that pioneer DJs have problems in hid mode, but I can’t say for sure about it. I don’t like pioneer products myself, but the xz series has learned well.

also, if I remember correctly, in xz, the mixer is narrower than in mixers, so it feels slightly uncomfortable.

On the other hand, if you need to invite someone, maybe it will be a little easier for them to accept the pioneer for the game

I would rather recommend going somewhere where you can try it out, even if you spend the whole day, still $2000… In my case, opinions or reviews of equipment rarely coincide with my personal opinion or feeling

First off, thanks to all of you who have replied so far.

I just want to reiterate, have any of Y’all hosted an event where you brought out your Prime 4, and your guest DJ had trouble using it? I’m well aware of all of it’s functionality. What I am not aware of, however, is whether it is intuitive enough for someone completely inexperienced with any Denon DJ gear to jump on the Prime 4 and get along fine. I’m sure my partner and I would have zero issues using it. I have SC6Ks after all. Also, does the Prime 4 read Rekordbox created thumb-drives as quickly as the SC5Ks and SC6Ks do?

Also, one last question…jog wheels. I’ve read that they are super loose. Personally, I keep my SC6Ks on the tighter side. In many of the videos I’ve watched it looked like they were SUPER loose, and yet in two of the videos I’ve watched on the White Prime 4, in particular, the jogs looked tight. So, my assumption was that either Denon have (without saying) tightened up the tension on the newly manufactured Prime 4’s, or that they all come fairly tight in the beginning, and get more and more loose with time. Do any of Y’all have any input on the tension of the jog wheels?

Again, I appreciate any and all answers.

Yes. It’s very intuitive and feels similar to any controller from Pioneer, etc.

My Prime 4 analyzed a Rekordbox thumb-drive with 2,400 tracks in less than one minute.

They have a good weight and feel similar to Pioneer controller jog wheels. Be careful of what you read and believe. I see “issues” posted that the majority of Denon DJ owners don’t experience or can recreate.

1 Like

My jog wheels are super tight - won’t even backspin one rotation.

1 Like

As PK said, they aren’t loose and need a little force to get them to spin back a good few turns.

I’ve had people play and they’ve adapted straight away as it’s pretty much a similar experience to the SC range.

I can’t speak about RB conversion as I’ve never done it.

My jogs are loose, always have been. I would have preferred them a little tighter but still able to perform a spin back. Previous controller was the Traktor S4 mk3 and the jogs on that were awesome.

My understanding from posts here is that on early units they were loose, people complained, then later units were tighter (too tight on mine).

1 Like

Prime 4 is easily the best value in DJing today.

It’s not as nice of a mixer as some of the Pioneer DJ controllers, but that’s only because of the faders. hint hint Denon DJ…a Mag4 fader upgrade pack would be amazing

The FX are good, but you do NEED to know what you’re doing, as the echo can get out of hand real quick. The software is coming along, but isn’t as good at guessing the beat grid compared to Serato/Rekordbox.

If you main goal is to DJ comfortably yourself, get a Prime4. If your main goal is to make a guest comfortable, get the Pioneer DJ controller. They’re expensive compared to the Prime4, but that’s simply because the CDJ1000 is still a format that everyone “gets”.

If it was me, I’d get the Prime4 (mind you, we have 3 of them for my multi-op mobile business) because the guest DJ can still get their tracks analyzed on the fly, and the device is very intuitive. Just make sure to really play with it and get the nuances of FX so you can let the guest DJs know ahead of time what to look out for.

1 Like

Yeah, after going back and forth in my head and in discussions with my partner, it’s this point right here that ended up winning out. If this was simply about me, I would totally get the Prime 4. But it’s not. Like I said, we host a fair number of guests, and they all prefer Pioneer. At the end of the day, as much as I realize how feature-superior Denon is, others simply want to mix 2 tracks together and have a suite of EFX that are easy to use. The XZ nails that requirement. I went ahead and ordered an XZ2. Haha, probably won’t have it for a few months or more.

I appreciate everyone’s input. In fact, as soon as I pay off the XZ, I fully plan on getting myself a Prime 4 or whatever it’s equivalent is by then. That White Prime 4 is soooo freakin’ gorgeous though. Ughh, I really wish everyone else saw what we do with regard to Denon.

1 Like

Yeah, I figured that was the case.