Decks to die for: Denon DN-S3500
Despite the bad rap DJs get in modern times, there's plenty of mind-blowing technology emerging from the scene. Denon's spectacular new virtual decks took us by surprise
They're famously off their faces in Fabric; incompetently shuffling vinyl; meaningfully holding one headphone cup to an ear attached to their vacant skull. These are all criticisms levelled at the modern groove-donkey, otherwise known as the vinyl-juggling day-release idiot, or DJ for short. No other human profession so completely embodies what the 'shuffle' button on your MP3 player can do ten times better.
Some might argue that a DJ actually has the power to transform a room's mood from one of melancholy to one of happiness and energy. He or she is, in effect, a small god for the length of a set. Do you think that?
After spending an hour on the new Denon DN-S3500 decks, our opinion may be about to change. These units revolutionise the art of DJing. The most impressive thing about these decks is that, unlike thewe looked at a few weeks ago, the Denon lets you use a real vinyl record. It looks like you're kicking it old-school despite the fact your movements actually influence the playback of the CD inside. This gives the tactile impression that you're really scratching analogue-style. Blindfolded, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.
CDs load into the front of the unit and you can mix and scratch exactly as you would with a conventional record deck. There's a proper direct drive mechanism and slip-mat. These suckers pump decibels. The DN-S3500's retail for around £600. Despite our anti-DJ tirade, these will blow your mind. Expect a full review soon. -CS
Update: a full review of theis now live.