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Thread: Prime 2 or 4.....do I or don't I?

  1. #1
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Default Prime 2 or 4.....do I or don't I?

    It's been a while since I made any purchases for the business (quite rightly because there's no money coming in).

    I'd been promising myself before "you know what" put an end to life as we know it that I was going to invest in a Denon Prime 4 (I'm a big fan of Denon kit and currently have an MCX7000 as the main controller with an MC6000 Mk2 as back-up)
    But, I like the idea of being laptop free, especially since the Prime series now work with VDJ (my software of choice).

    I know it's not going to make me any more money by having one of these (which is always my business case), but it'll make life easier (both of my play-out MacBooks are well past due for replacement). Add to this, we'll be out and about again (fingers crossed) in the next 12 months, and it seems that it's the right time to commit, get the kit and get accustomed to it before it's used in earnest.

    So...is it simply a case of the Prime 4 has four decks and the 2 has two? (I only ever use two decks)
    Does anyone here have real world experience of these re reliability? i.e. what happens if the PSU goes down (is it possible to run on USB power from a laptop?)

    Any thoughts on this one would be well and truly appreciated. It's a BIG investment for something the customer won't necessarily notice (but I WILL in terms of setup and break down times and that's important).

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    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    As you know, I too considered a Prime , although I haven't owned any Denon kit since the last X-500 waved goodbye. I was looking at the GO, to go with my GOGOs. ( No children, I haven't gone back to having dancers at the front of the rig).
    Prime GO, with Maui 5 GO was the idea with the need for no mains supply being the driver. Wedding ceremonies would be the main use for the battery bit.

    Only advice I can give is that one of our number, who is set in his love for some kit not specifically designed for DJ use ( although it does the job very nicely, I have to say ) had a play with the Prime, and pronounced it very user friendly, and briefly considered dipping his hand in his pocket. Had he been five years younger, he might have bought one, but he didn't think he could turn a profit by the time he might retire.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    But, I like the idea of being laptop free, especially since the Prime series now work with VDJ (my software of choice).
    But, don't you still need the laptop to be connected to the Prime to make it interface with Virtual DJ? Just saves you looking at the laptop screen (and instead squinting at a 'smaller' screen?!)

    I think if you particularly wanted to give the look of a DJ who doesn't use a laptop, you can put the laptop under the booth for example and use it that way.

    But I personally don't get the attraction of the Prime series. My biggest fear is that you're at the mercy of how long they want to maintain the development of it for.

    If the laptop needs an upgrade, personally, I'd just upgrade the laptop. Because even with the Prime I think you're going to need to upgrade the laptop anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Had he been five years younger, he might have bought one, but he didn't think he could turn a profit by the time he might retire.
    From a purely business point of view, it's highly unlikely it was ever going to turn him any form of profit.

    Would it bring him more bookings? Was he going to put his price up? What he meant was, over the 5 year period he felt he could justify the cost of it - rather than it being an investment that actually brought him additional revenue.

    For me, every investment needs to bring in 10 x extra revenue to be worth doing.

  4. #4
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    For me, every investment needs to bring in 10 x extra revenue to be worth doing.
    Your Mum didn't by any chance go on a day trip to the Yorkshire Dales before you were born, did she? Nearly a year before?

    Here's a little story.
    A Frenchman is on holiday in England, and is involved in a horrific car crash. The only blood compatible with his comes from a Yorkshire farmer, and saves the Frenchman's life. The Frenchman seeks out the farmer, and gives him 5,000 as thanks for saving his life.

    Years later, he's revisiting the scene, and has an equally horrific accident! ( Yeah, he's really unlucky, I know). Once again, he is given blood from the same source, and when he recovers, he again seeks out the Farmer, to reward him with a five pound note!

    When asked why the large decrease in generosity, he replies:

    " Ah yes, but I now have Yorkshire blood in me".
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

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    Just my personal opinion, but think these 'all-in-one' units are still being developed and waiting a couple of years might result in you getting a trouble free system which will do what you need.

  6. #6
    Disco Dude! DeckstarDeluxe's Avatar
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    No.

    Makes no business sense.
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    They're good units and I've heard very good things from everyone who's bought one. If I were starting out and hand to put my hand in my pocket for a laptop, controller and VDJ license (specifically for DJ use, forgetting admin, etc) I could easily build a case for buying a prime instead.

    As someone with a number of workable laptops, existing investment in software licenses and a usable controller, I'm happy to let others spend their money on them as my existing platform does what I need and I'm in no rush to change.

    Julian
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    https://julianburr.co.uk - Wedding, Family, Portrait and Product Photography

  8. #8
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Thanks, as always for the learn'd opinions chaps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    As you know, I too considered a Prime
    And that surely has to be recommendation in itself

    I've always been a Denon user (apart from my mistaken adventure into the VMS4 which went badly wrong). It's solidly built, the sound quality is awesome and it just works. Their kit just never seems to miss a beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    But, don't you still need the laptop to be connected to the Prime to make it interface with Virtual DJ?
    Still looking into this point, but it appears that you do. That said, I've just watched a massive video demo on said units which sort of makes VDJ obsolete!

    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    I think if you particularly wanted to give the look of a DJ who doesn't use a laptop, you can put the laptop under the booth for example and use it that way.
    Waaay ahead of you there

    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    If the laptop needs an upgrade, personally, I'd just upgrade the laptop. Because even with the Prime I think you're going to need to upgrade the laptop anyway.
    And herein lies the big problem. I use Macs, and the later Macs are both very expensive (twice the price of the Prime 2), and non expandable. Apple have sort of shot themselves in both feet with the way they're working these days and as much as I like them for their reliability, the price tag is just too rich. And don't go there with Windows...I spent 20 years as a Windows based software engineer and haven't been anywhere near said OS since April 2019 (and have no intention of going near it again anytime soon in the future).

    Quote Originally Posted by rth_discos View Post
    For me, every investment needs to bring in 10 x extra revenue to be worth doing.
    This isn't so much about "investment", because let's face it....we're all starting from scratch again as far as our businesses are concerned (apart from buying the initial kit). It's more about making my own life simpler and easier - I don't believe in making the job harder than it needs to be.

    To my mind, rocking up and plugging an IEC into the back of a Prime unit as opposed to plugging and connecting two Macbooks is a ten minute time saving at each end of a gig. I want life to be as easy as possible these days!


    Quote Originally Posted by ppentertainments View Post
    Just my personal opinion, but think these 'all-in-one' units are still being developed and waiting a couple of years might result in you getting a trouble free system which will do what you need.
    They are, and they aren't. From what I can see they release regular updates to the software. In a couple of years I'll be ready to buy the next controller anyway

    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Jules View Post
    They're good units and I've heard very good things from everyone who's bought one. If I were starting out and hand to put my hand in my pocket for a laptop, controller and VDJ license (specifically for DJ use, forgetting admin, etc) I could easily build a case for buying a prime instead.

    As someone with a number of workable laptops, existing investment in software licenses and a usable controller, I'm happy to let others spend their money on them as my existing platform does what I need and I'm in no rush to change.

    Julian
    And THIS is the problem. The MC7000 is a brilliant bit of kit and has never let me down. I also have the lifetime pro version of VDJ, I have two working laptops (which are now 10 years old and will eventually fail). I'm thinking the laptops now need to be "retired" to the back-up solution and something newer take their place.

    There was never a "business case" as such in looking into one of these units. It's not going to turn a higher profit (I GET that and it was never the intention of getting one to make me more expensive), more to make my own life a lot easier and indeed give the impression that I'm interacting more with the dancefloor instead of staring at a couple of laptops (which actually, nobody noticed anyway!). A couple of minutes shaved off of set up and tear down time here and there is a win in my book. It's more of a convenience thing where I can shave another 10 minutes off of each end of a wedding.

    I'm still mulling things over at the moment and when we're allowed to visit such places, a trip to my local supplier is going to be in order to actually play with one of these before making any commitment.

  9. #9
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Imagine View Post
    Thanks, as always for the learn'd opinions chaps!


    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    As you know, I too considered a Prime
    And that surely has to be recommendation in itself

    I've always been a Denon user (apart from my mistaken adventure into the VMS4 which went badly wrong). It's solidly built, the sound quality is awesome and it just works. Their kit just never seems to miss a beat.
    And, because I like balance and dislike soundbites ( yes Wayne, I did consider a Prime, but there was a bit you left off that quote ) let's give another view.

    My experience with Denon kit ( other than the x-500 mixer ) has mainly displayed annoying and random unreliability. An esteemed colleague who had years of faultless service from Denon CD players decided the HD2500 was the way to go. I've been working with him, and had to rescue him with my VMS4, when the Denon threw a wobbler. Eventually, he got sick of it, and upgraded to an MC6000. The faults that one could display were incredible, even after trying many different super high grade laptops. The VMS4 just kept plodding along. Eventually, my colleague gave up the struggle, and went back many years to an HC4500, ( much like I wish I could do with my phone saga), while I'm still enjoying reliable service from the VMS4.

    I too had a wobble, and bought a smaller Denon controller, as backup to the VMS. It refused to stay connected to my laptop for more than five minutes, and was returned to the store. It was replaced with:

    a VMS2, which although a tad low on features, has never missed a beat.

    Wayne, I can see the logic you're using, and I don't think you've got an easy choice. Definitely get " hands on " with the Prime when you can, that may shed light on the subject.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk

  10. #10

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    Ironically I've had the opposite experience. I had a VMS 5 that worked well, but wore out within the space of 9 months (button, fader and jog wheel failures!!!) Plus the thing weighed 6kg because theyd decided to over engineer the case out of thick steel plate.

    I switched to an MC6000 mkII after that and it's been bulletproof. My MC is mounted into a flight case with all of the mic receivers, power supplies, USB hubs and DMX devices underneath it (including my laptop power supply) so powering up involves me connecting xlrs and 1 power lead to the rear of the case, placing my laptop on top and connecting laptop power and a single USB connector.

    As a side, some crazy things are about to happen with mac books since the release of m1 processors. Might be worth waiting to see how that plays out...

    Julian
    http://www.bristoldiscohire.co.uk - Quality Disco and Equipment hire for Bristol & Bath
    Weddings, Birthday Parties, Kids Parties, School Disco's and more
    https://julianburr.co.uk - Wedding, Family, Portrait and Product Photography

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