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Thread: Denon Prime 4 - Sound Quality issue

  1. #1

    Denon Prime 4 - Sound Quality issue

    Generally loving my Prime 4 but have an issue with my sound - let me explain...
    Myself and another DJ both DJ in a large party room in a late night bar. We use the same cables, same MODEL of speaker (although a different set) and same subs. Before I go on, yes the issue COULD be the actual speakers, but as far as I can tell, nothing is wrong with them.
    We both use Virtual DJ (use videos so please don't judge) - he uses a basic Windows laptop with generic USB cable, I use a 3 year old Macbook Pro with what i would consider to be a premium USB cable.

    I will sometimes pop into the room towards the end of the night and I'm blown away with how smooth his sound is. The bass is easily picked out by the subs and it just sounds 'smooth'. Mine on the other hand sounds more muddy and harsh. He has his EQs set at 12 o clock and never touches them.

    The main difference? He is using a Pioneer XDJ-RX2 and I use a Prime 4. I used to have a Pioneer and can't remember ever having an issue either.

    I know many might say test his speakers and mine with my equipment - I will if I get chance - but could it be an issue with the Prime 4? The internal sound card maybe? The issue is just really highlighted when I hear his sound quality.

  2. #2
    BanHammerô Manu's Avatar
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    Plug your equipment in his speakers and find out?

    Thread moved to Digital DJing tools.

  3. #3
    The quality of the usb cable doesn't matter unless it's so bad that it's nearly broken.

    The type of files you use matters a lot. For example if he's using all lossless (WAV/FLAC/AIFF) files and you're using lossy (mp3/aac/ogg).
    Or if he's using legit files and you're using youtube rips which are much lower quality.

    Then, you want to check the wiring and the settings on his sound system vs yours. You could have the same gear but if you don't have it set up right you won't sound as good. For example if it sounds muddy that could indicate that you don't have a high pass on your tops, or that the high/low pass frequency settings (if you have that.. some speakers do) are not correct. He could also have his phase switch on the sub set differently than you. There's almost always one setting that sounds better. Last but not least speaker/sub positioning matters a lot.

    And yea.. it could also be the controller. But all the things I named are greater suspects and you should check them all first.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by light-o-matic View Post
    The quality of the usb cable doesn't matter unless it's so bad that it's nearly broken.

    The type of files you use matters a lot. For example if he's using all lossless (WAV/FLAC/AIFF) files and you're using lossy (mp3/aac/ogg).
    Or if he's using legit files and you're using youtube rips which are much lower quality.

    Then, you want to check the wiring and the settings on his sound system vs yours. You could have the same gear but if you don't have it set up right you won't sound as good. For example if it sounds muddy that could indicate that you don't have a high pass on your tops, or that the high/low pass frequency settings (if you have that.. some speakers do) are not correct. He could also have his phase switch on the sub set differently than you. There's almost always one setting that sounds better. Last but not least speaker/sub positioning matters a lot.

    And yea.. it could also be the controller. But all the things I named are greater suspects and you should check them all first.
    If anything, his files are infererior to mine - he has a lot of youtube rips and 128k files, mine are all flac or 320 ripped from CD or downloaded legally! Speakers are all set up the same, I'm on a Friday, switch off, he switches on on a Saturday and puts his speakers up, same sub, settings left unchanged. Going to do a bit of troubleshooting tonight!

  5. #5
    Ok so did a bit of testing tonight. Probably had it at about 70% or normal volume so was enough to test. Tested both sets of speakers and there was no difference between them so speakers are Ok.
    Tested the RX2 with Balanced XLR vs the same in the Prime 4. The RX2 did sound smoother across the board. The Prime 4 was more (slightly) bright and harsh in the mids and tops, as if the sound was too 'hot'.

    I then tested the Prime 4 XLR balanced vs RCA. The RCA to my ears and the other DJs ears sounded less harsh and smoother, more akin to the RX2 sound.

    So to our ears, the XLR output on the Prime 4 is not as good as either the XLR on the RX2 or the RCA on the Prime 4 itself. I can continue with RCA output to keep my ears happy, although you do introduce buzz and interference at low levels, but if this is the case, it's not good for a flagship product from Denon to have this potential issue.

  6. #6
    Hmm well maybe it sounds hot because it *is* hot. Have you tried turning the output of your Prime down some??
    Granted I have never liked Denon dj gear, and have a more favorable opinion of Pioneer gear.. but I don't think there should be that much difference in sound quality between them at this stage of the game.

  7. #7
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    What`s the role of those laptops and VirtualDJs ? Are they connected to Prime and Pioneer during the play?

    If so, there could be grounding issues and parasitic currents flowing in signal paths affecting the quality.

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