These past three days our team member Marc van den Hurk was in Madrid for the official launch of the new Denon SC2900 Multi Media player. He accepted the invitation by Denon and went to see what this new player was all about. Read his report below.
Denon SC2900 Multi Media Player
Of course the SC2900 looks a lot like the recently introduced SC3900, and in several ways they are (almost) alike. But with the SC3900, Denon has looked closely into the 'oldskool' feeling a dj would get when working with a traditional turntable like the Technics SL1200. The SC3900 replicates that feeling with the 'turntable-like' platter. This is probably the main difference with SC2900.
For the SC2900 Denon has looked, at first, at the CDJ1000 and 2000. Something they don't really deny. Anything they could measure, they measured and they have tried to replicate the usability and feeling the CDJs give. For example they researched the respons of buttons and jogwheels till the time it took to insert a CD. So it's a copy then? "No, absolutely not", according to the Denon product manager, "we just want to aim the SC2900 at the same market."
Like I mentioned before, there are some differences with the SC3900 of course. Not just the platter (jogwheel), which has a cool blue LED ring. The SC2900 is also completely MIDI, and not hybrid like the 3900. This means that any function/feature on the 2900 can be MIDI controlled, so you can map it to any (MIDI compatible) DJ software. For Traktor 2 there's a standard mapping available already with the version 2.5 update of Traktor.
The LED ring gave a little bit of concern and for some maybe even slight irritation. I think that after working with it during a long set (couple of hours), you will still see that blue ring on the inside of your eyes. However, fortunately, you can adjust the settings for it. The SC2900 lets you change the color, contrast/brightness of the ring and all the other illuminated buttons and LEDs. Or, ... you can even switch it off. The ring LED gives your position in red and your cue position in purple.
Another focus was put on the network software Engine, which can be described as Denon's Rekordbox software. This software will get more functions and features soon. There will be updates for better importing of music, displaying waveforms and maybe the integration of streaming audio functionality. I even had the chance to brainstorm with the product developer about this subject. What if, to integrate Spotify into the software? We'll have to wait and see what the future will bring.
Of course I had the opportunity to work with the SC2900 myself. And in my honest opinion: it just felt right! Yes, there were some minor details I didn't like that much. For example, the respons of the Cue button wasn't good when you pressed it at the top right corner. But again, ... minor details. To be fair, this is one serious multimedia player. The SC2900 will undoubtedly earn it's place alongside the targeted competition and definitely not beneath it.
I can't wait till the review units will arrive so I can grab them and start playing with them a lot more!
Marc van den Hurk
(Denon SC2900 Launch Afterparty)