Denon DJ X1800 Prime Club Mixer Review
Much like the Denon DJ SC5000 media player, the X1800 Prime DJ mixer is designed to take on the professional sector of the DJ market, i.e. Pioneer DJ, hence Denon’s worldwide #ChangeYourRider campaign.
READ: Tiësto changes to Denon DJ SC5000 and X1800 Prime
The X1800 Prime is aimed squarely at the Pioneer DJM900NXS as it is also a 4-channel DJ mixer, also has a substantial FX section, also has multiple connectivity options, also has a built in high definition sound card and also has dedicated FX per channel.
In short; if you can find your way around the DJM900NXS with ease, the X1800 Prime should feel right at home from the get-go.
Here is a breakdown of the key components to the X1800 Prime club mixer from Denon DJ:
Multiple Connection Options
It’s important to remember first and foremost that the club mixer is the focal point in the DJ booth. Whether you’re playing off the in-house gear or bringing your own laptop and controller to the gig, ultimately you will be using the club mixer in some way.
The X1800 Prime sports 4-channels for mixing but it’s the multiple connectivity options that make it highly flexible and ideal for a club setup. Each channel has 5 input options; digital, line, phono, USB and DVS.
There are two USB ports on the top right hand side of the unit so by simply plugging one’s laptop into one of these you should be able to use the onboard sound card. The fact that there are two also means that laptop DJs can seamlessly change over. DVS will soon be supported too, they say.
The rear of the unit reveals every conceivable connection options I think one would ever need. Aside from the stock standard XLR balanced outputs and unbalanced RCA outs, there’s digital input (4 all four channels) and output, a 4-port USB hub to connect the SC5000 media players to and an additional USB port to connect one’s laptop with the Engine Prime software if so desired.
There are also send/receive jacks for the FX section so one can easily hook up and FX unit – dare I say it – an RMX-500 would plug in seamlessly. J
A notable addition is the MIDI DIN plug connection. This they say can be used to connect a synth or a drum machine and feed BPM data to sync this.
To Effect or not to Effect
Much like the DJM900NXS, the X1800 Prime sports two FX sections.
To the left of the unit we find the channel FX comprising of 4 different effects; Dub Echo, Noise, Wash Out and Gate. Only one of these can be used at a time and they are controlled by a single Sweep FX knob found below the channel strips and filter on each channel.
To the right of the unit we find the BPM FX section (12 FX in total) and this can be assigned to any of the 4 channels, master channel, X-Faders A /B or the microphone. Two notable features on this section are the low and high frequency filter and the touchstrip which works with all time-based FX to quickly move between time signatures ranging from 1/16th of a note up to 8.
The EQs for each channel can also be set to two modes; classic EQ or isolation EQ. The filters sport high and low pass and the channel FX, controlled by one sweepable knob will give you different FX type results depending if you sweep left or right.
The X1800 Prime pretty much matches the CDJ900NXS2 pound for pound in the features department. It sports long throw Flex faders, two microphone channels with dual band EQ with Mic one input on top of the unit for convenience (as opposed to on the rear.)
Summary / Verdict
As a fan of the DJM900NXS series the first thing I want, like most DJs, is to be able to find my way around the club mixer with ease. The Denon DJ X1800 Prime unabashedly achieves this by simply adopting almost identical ergonomics to the aforementioned.
There really are a handful of things they could have done differently; i.e. place the global FX section on the left maybe, or something daft like that, but why try fix what ain’t broke?
So then the question is; why choose an X1800 Prime over a DJM900NXS2?
Well in my opinion they are both excellent units.
From a professional gear perspective and for a club, the X1800 Prime has every conceivable option for connecting devices necessary.
For DJs, the unit matches the 900 for performance and feature set.
There really is not much to choose between them but if I had to split hairs I’d say the X1800 Prime shades the DJM900NXS2 in one department and that is the sweepable channel FX. I’ve always found the DJM900’s to be a little too destructive whereas the X1800’s are highly conducive to using in the mix.
In the end it should really just come down to price as each will deliver on their promise as top-of-the-range club DJ mixers.
Denon DJ X1800 Prime Pros & Cons
· Familiar layout
· Flexible connectivity
· Excellent feature set
· Great FX
· Excellent channel strips
· Main FX section perhaps 5% less impressive than its competitor
· No accredited Third party DJ software yet
My first jam on the new Denon DJ prime gear