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Posted by Gizmo on February 20, 2012 :

denon, dj, sc3900, media player, Engine software

After merciless teasing, Denon have finally unveiled their flagship media player the Denon DJ SC3900. Yes, it's like Groundhog Day from a media point of view, but now you get all the detail - the Engine software, the link workflow, and the iPad link too.

Yes, I have one for 24 hours more, the details of which you'll read here tomorrow. But let's deal with the official words and pictures first.

denon, dj, sc3900, media player, Engine software
denon, dj, sc3900, media player, Engine software
denon, dj, sc3900, media player, Engine software

  • 9-inch Active Platter with High Torque Direct Drive Motor
  • Media Server for "Engine" Software
  • Player Link Network — File Share between Networked SC3900
  • Playback Direct from USB / PC / CD
  • Fully Mappable MIDI Controller
  • USB Direct Playback

DJing has progressed to a new era with the evolution of digital media.  In a world that was once first dominated by vinyl, then CDs, and now the emerging USB and streaming devices, it’s time to revolutionize the DJ booth, because right now as a DJ you make a choice between DJing with a turntable, a turntable and software, or a CDJ/Controller. No one device has ever managed to give you the flexibility to choose depending on your performance, style or your audience.

That is, until now.

Denon DJ is proud to introduce the SC3900: Digital Turntable and Media Controller with 9-inch Active Platter.  Utilizing a completely redesigned High-Torque Direct Drive Motor that exactly mirrors the feel of vinyl, the SC3900 brings home that familiar feel but with the choice of CD, USB, Software, or even a networked Media server as your source of tracks.

“The 9-inch platter makes scratch moves more nimble by being that little bit smaller, but maintains the perfect amount of space to grip it, scratching & mixing tracks feels no different than using vinyl” --DJ Switch, SC3900 endorsee and 3x World DMC Champion.

Years of development with top international DJs has allowed Denon DJ to perfect the platter of the SC3900 for use with digital media without losing that feel of vinyl (the surface of the platter is actually a 9” vinyl disc!) – all allowing Scratch DJ champions like DJ Switch to push their performances even further than possible with a vinyl ‘record’.

“Doing DMC-style hard-core scratch sets are made so much easier without worrying about needles & skipping records” --DJ Switch

Playback and scratch tracks from a myriad of sources including USB ‘sticks’ or USB Hard Disk Drives via the top mounted USB port.  This allows the move from venue to venue with just a single USB device and not a laptop or CD collection, although the SC3900 can also playback CDs via the front loading CD slot, giving you true flexibility of your media choices.

The SC3900 also comes complete with the brand new ‘Engine’ music management software that has been designed with players such as the SC3900 in mind, allowing the ultimate in DJ set preparation, playback and control.

Prepare the perfect set in the studio or on a computer at home, then export it to a USB stick or Hard Disk Drive and have everything needed for your DJ performance in a device small enough to fit in your pocket. Then, when it’s time to perform simply plug in and play, and even share the USB drive’s files with up to three other compatible players over a network.

Once your networked players are sharing the music from one USB device, it’s easy to manage, cue, and play to any player via an iPad with the new Engine iPad app (requires downloading from the App Store).  Engine for iPad seamlessly controls your set wirelessly through a network – all via its large full-colour touchscreen.  And there is no need to worry about computer or connection problems; should the iPad become disconnected, your music is still securely connected to the player via USB, leaving playback, and your audience’s attention, uninterrupted.

Additionally, playback of files on your PC or MAC is possible with the included ‘Engine’ music management software which doesn’t even require a high specification computer to work quickly and efficiently.  With file searching speeds that leaves most other software standing still, Engine’s power is achieved by leaving the intensive audio processing at the player so the software is free to run before, or during your performance, utilizing the full capabilities of your computer.

Prepare music on a USB device, playback music through Engine PC or Mac software, and control via networked players or even through a network connected iPad.

Hybrid MIDI mode has been a flexible feature and a great benefit to previous Denon DJ devices and it’s no different with the SC3900. Complete with the ability to be MIDI mapped to work with a wide variety of applications, the SC3900 can control DJ software utilizing DVS, without using time code CDs, making the SC3900 the most complete and flexible player Denon DJ has ever produced.

For performers who can’t or don’t want to choose between software, vinyl, CD, and digital media as well as those who want the ability to use one controller that doesn’t rely on a high-spec computer to perform, the Denon DJ SC3900 is the player that you have been waiting for.


To round off this particular information laden post, the price is $999/€1099/£949 and is expected to be on shelves mid/end of March.

Now, it's fair to say that I've had the inside line on this one. And tomorrow morning, I'll post my first look piece. Not a full review you understand, but a quick look with pictures and maybe video if I have time. Come back tomorrow for more.

In the meantime, check out this thread on the Denon forum for constantly updated information.

NOTE: No further comments are being accepted.
22 comments to this story

On February 21, 2012, Djxtrodinaire said this:
Hmm another toy to think about

On February 21, 2012, executive steve said this:
Looks awesome, iPad based library control is a great idea, can't see this nudging Pioneer out of the industry standard spot though.

This sort of thing is definitely the future, but I'm still sticking to my vinyl until I'm the last one left standing.

On February 21, 2012, MJ said this:
Ladies and Gents, here you are the DNS 3700s!!!

On February 21, 2012, The Beat Worx said this:
Why doesn't any company make this without the cd player? A MIDI controller with a high torque motorized platter that is software agnostic would be awesome....

On February 21, 2012, Wyley said this:
Manufacturers still make cd decks because there are still a lot of gigs that require you to play the original CDDA and at these gigs you actually get audited to see if all your cds have barcodes.

On February 21, 2012, Bkag said this:
@The Beat Worx wait for the SC2900 to be announced...

On February 21, 2012, J.J. said this:
I hear the SC2900 will not be motorized. I hope not.

On February 21, 2012, HardtraX said this:
Fortunately the leaked YouTube-videos have already shown that this device has got a CD-drive built in too. I would never buy a deck without an option to let me use MP3s on CD-ROMs as well as playing CDDA-discs (which is much more important to me).

At first glance I find the projected price of €1099 per piece quite appealing considering its features, but for a final decision I would yet have to see a side-by-side comparison against the CDJ 900 which comes with a similar price-tag.

Concerning the simulation of an authentic vinyl-feeling on CD-decks we all certainly remember Matsushita/Panasonic's horrible failure with the SL-DZ 1200 CD-player (I have twice been forced to use them on gigs, as promoters have not been able to get hold of the Pioneer CDJs as requested in my contract, with the result that the SL-DZs actually locked up twice during my sets showing nothing more but a blank display).

The SL-DZ 1200 tried hard to simulate the feeling of a Technics vinyl-deck but failed for obvious reasons like the terrible-sounding DSP for instance. For me it is interesting to note that back then I found the DN-S 3500 & 3700 players more precise in vinyl-mode compared to Technics (and I loved it - even though I am a big fan of Pioneer's static jog-wheels).

Reading the specs and taking into consideration how well the previous Denon-players performed, it seems to me like the new SC3900 may actually do all the things that the Technics SL-DZ should have gotten right in the first place.

And on top of that it appears like this new player has finally got the next-generation features that were missing on the DN-S 3700 (and some simple stuff like the sharing of USB-devices too, which was a major turn-off on the DN-S 3700).

I love Pioneer's CDJs, but if the SC3900 delivers it might convince me.

On February 21, 2012, dj cross+fade said this:
nice love.gif i would love this

On February 21, 2012, ryoga2k said this:
@HardtraX have you played cds on the CDJ 900? for me it feels like shit and the reading speed is much worse than even the CDJ 800 I hate them because of that, if you are going to compare both decks please do a CDDA and MP3cd test and give us the results, because I would be interested if this actually hands CDDA better than the Pioneer unit.. that as I said really let me down in that respect.

On February 21, 2012, GroovinDJ said this:
Ah, if only they'd built that Engine interface into the player itself, and had a connection for a screen....

On February 21, 2012, Gizmo said this:
But doing that would push the price up and mean that you have to take a screen with you. And it's one more thing to complicate the player and thus crash it.

It's way easier and more cost effective to just use a laptop.

On February 21, 2012, 3XL said this:
Why would Denon put the track select buttons right below the hot cues? wacko.gif Looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

It would also make sense to work out all of the bugs before releasing a video. Interesting observation @ 14:43 in the official vid, it takes 3 times hitting the play button before it finally works.

On February 21, 2012, Gizmo said this:
3 attempts at hitting the play button - worked every time for me for the last few days. Perhaps Mike has a pre-production unit? He talks of a green triangle - the one on mine is white. Just a thought.

On February 21, 2012, GroovinDJ said this:
A connection for an external screen is a popular feature request for media players, and has been for some time.

Taking a screen with you is certainly more manageable than taking a wireless router (plus PSU), a bunch of network cables and an iPad or computer.

Lots of people don't have iPads but screens are commonplace and inexpensive.

A better onboard screen would have been a start though.

Even Gemini can manage to fit a colour screen on their CDJs, so why not Denon - esp at this end of the market.

I don't see the point of the laptop connectivity when you've just paid out £2000 for chunky standalone hardware CD players. If you want to DJ from a laptop, why not just use DJ software and controller(s)?


On February 21, 2012, Kev said this:
Pioneer once put an external video output on a player, the MEP-7000 (sepc1 also), look how well THAT gem did. . . .

On February 21, 2012, sly guy said this:
It is a beautiful unit, I mean look at it, it is stunning I would take one over any pioneer rubbish anyday.

But it just doesn't do everything I want it to and having spent alot of money over the years am in no rush until someone gets it right for me.

On February 21, 2012, Ragman said this:
Denon can only say what the retail price will be. M.A.P. is typically lower.

On February 23, 2012, ReRun said this:
Made in China. Not good.

On February 23, 2012, Doubledutchdj said this:
"Made in China. Not good."

Hmmmmm, you do realise if this was made any where else on the planet it would cost literarily twice as much, or would you be happy to pay nearly 4g for a pair?! If the truth be told out of all the Vestax mixers I own, the only two that don't work are the one's with "made in Japan" on the back.

On February 28, 2012, DENON said this:
"Why would Denon put the track select buttons right below the hot cues? Looks like a disaster waiting to happen"

Tracks/files can be changed 2-ways, by the usual << >> keys on the left or with the Parameter Knob on the right side.

On July 21, 2012, Lina said this:
I'm ready for the 2011 editionSince you coemletpd the case study on us we have used Streets for each our 3 month trips every year.I am currently trying to lay to our 2011trip to Southern Colorado (the trains and Mesa Verde). We then head into AZ for the Grand Canyon and up through the National Parks in Southern Utah, back into CO for Estes Park and finally to Cheyenne for the Rodeo before heading home

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