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Thread: Behringer DCX2496 digital x-over any good

  1. #61
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Ken,

    So why do you think so many pro digital stuff and now blended to Vari Tube sound controls?

    You have to decide if being hung up on the convenience of DIGITAL is more important (powerful) than the ultimate refinement of ANALOGUE.

    I agree digital has improved but there is still good and bad digital as far as recording and equipment go but the pro stuff and the people that drive the gear are getting better at it.

    I have some really good Dyaudio monitors on loan (sorry..yes its true I dlisten to other things. These are for near field evaluations) and it quite revealing of variations in production standards and the sound they wanted to impart using a referencr like Lavry DA convertor. The good stuff is wonderful, the bad is terrible.

    But using a good universal DVD player or your lazy susan you really are non the wiser......That can be a good thing but this the a problem I have with chopping up the whole spectrum digitally like a Pizza.

    We'll throw a bit of this on here and bit of that on there and there you go have some of that for good measure. Then you have devils own job and getting it all to working and balanced. The success rate of the average Dude sorting all this ain't real flash. Its just easlier and safer to buy some WAF friendly stuff.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Ken,
    That can be a good thing but this the a problem I have with chopping up the whole spectrum digitally like a Pizza.
    This reminds me of Gary Kasparov when he was discussing IBMs Big Blue.
    Paraphrasing: "At some point there is a quality in quantity".

    24 bit resolution in a digital converter is somewhere down where the noise floor of a resistor lies. Given a high enough sample rate, enough resolution,
    rock stable word clock(jitter), proper dithering, etc....it's my belief that most of the die hard analog fans, like the studio heads USED to be, will eventually be won over. But, finding a dirt cheap way to transfer audio will never be accepted by the "it has to cost XXX amount of money" enterprisers.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Ken,

    So why do you think so many pro digital stuff and now blended to Vari Tube sound controls?
    ...because they like the coloration or effect added by thermionic components.

    You have to decide if being hung up on the convenience of DIGITAL is more important (powerful) than the ultimate refinement of ANALOGUE.
    So, the argument is no longer this. And before I get flamed, no one is saying that there is not refinement in analog. I'm just saying there is plenty of refinement in pro digital gear.

  4. #64
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    I think it depends who you are and who you are talking about.

    The valve based hi end studio gear is definately out there.

    Digital can sound cold as opposed to the old multitrack.

  5. #65
    Senior Member jerv's Avatar
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    I didn't see this thread until now - whan a casual search revealed it.
    (Sorry about the long post that now follows).

    I have been using the Beringer DCX2496 in my gear. Bearing in mind that this is a $250 cheapo unit, it does offer some remarkable abilities. It does, however, have its limitations, but IMO it's weak points can (mostly) be avoided.

    IMO, electronic crossovers - when done right - are almost always audibly superior to passive networks. Unfortunately, this always means carefully optimized filter transfer characteristics, matched to the actual frequency response, rolloff and phase characteristics etc of the actual driver units in your actual box. Measuring equipment and some means of crossover optimization is a must. The ability to build your own electronics is another must.

    (Standard generic commercially available electronic dividing networks (which usually have LR24 slopes) will in my experience seldom give correct transfer functions with (most) actual speaker units. A commmon occurance for folks auditioning (the same) speaker systems with active or traditional passive crossovers is to blame the audible differences on the electronics themselves rather than the changes that were introduced into the system by the different transfer functions.)

    The Behringer DCX presents an attractive way for obtaining an electronic crossover optimized to your actual speakers without having to construct and build your own electronics. However, this convinience comes at a price. IMO the sound of properly built analog electronic crossovers are superior to the Behringer - even if the transfer characteristics are quite identical.

    But I will not write off the Behringer. The unit is cheap and flexible. I use it for fast prototyping. When a design of mine becomes a keeper, I make a decent analog filter for it - passive or (mostly) electronic.

    If you wish to use the Behringer as a more permanent fixture in your setup, keep this in mind:

    1. The Behringer is noisy. There is no master volume control. With power amps of normal sensitivity/gain and efficient speakers, the hiss level will IMO be objectionable if you not introduce a volume control between the Behringer and your power amps. Keep in mind that for a 3-way stereo system, this has to be a 6-channel close tracking volume control - not easy to implement. There exists some 6-channel electronic volume controls as DIY kits, but they easily cost alomst the same as the Behringer unit.

    2. The Behringer can correct for large differences in sensitivity between units - for example 90 dB/W for a bass unit compared to a 112 db/W horn driver. But it uses a lot of DSP processing power to do that, and the sound quality suffers. Sensitivity corrections can just as easily be accomplished with passive resistors (L-pads) directly on the speakers - with audibly better results.

    3. The Behringer is very flexible, and has a multitude of adjustments. With it, you can accomplish just about any transfer function. But for good results, it is totally necessary to measure the speaker individually - both without and with filtering. Measuring equipment is a must. I also doubt that it is really possible to get consistent, good results without a crossover optimization package. I use lspCAD.

    The Behringer is a complex tool in a cheap package. The low price can fool us into believing that it is a unit that is simple to implement and use. It is not. But used correctly, I would have no reservation to recommend it.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Well that is telling it like it is.

  7. #67
    Senior Señor boputnam's Avatar
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    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    The Behringer is noisy.
    Correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    There is no master volume control.
    Uh, you are looking at it wrong - it does. You do this two ways:

    1. With the Inputs gains. You can adjust each individually - if you match them by say -6dB, it is as if you "turned down all the outputs" by -6dB. According to the text, "The setting range is from -15 to +15 dB." I have attached the Block Diagram, p4 of the Manual - see RED arrow.

    I routinely do this on my KT DN9848 (a real nice DSP...) - moving between different mains with differing sensitivities requires maintaining the right gain structure to the amps. I have presets modelled for each "stack" of choice.

    2. You can also do it with each Outputs gains, too - see GREEN arrow.

    That said, -15 dB on the Inputs gains ain't enough - I bypass the unit all-together.
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    bo

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  8. #68
    Senior Señor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    The Behringer can correct for large differences in sensitivity between units - for example 90 dB/W for a bass unit compared to a 112 db/W horn driver. But it uses a lot of DSP processing power to do that, and the sound quality suffers. Sensitivity corrections can just as easily be accomplished with passive resistors (L-pads) directly on the speakers - with audibly better results.
    I don't understand this comment about using a lot of "DSP processing power"...? Why?

    All you need to do, when your making your response measurements, is adjust the input gain to each of the Outputs (again, GREEN arrow, above) as needed to match sensitivities - this IS a simple pad, and is in the signal path before any of the DSP.

    Maybe I'm confused?
    bo

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  9. #69
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    It looks like the gain/level adjustments on both the inputs and outputs take place in the digital signal path after the input converters and before the output converters. That being the case any adjustments may indeed use up DSP power. The noise mentioned most likely is coming from the analog sections of the unit.
    Never played with the Ultradrive so I'm just kinda of make general assumptions!


    Mike Caldwell

  10. #70
    Senior Member jerv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boputnam View Post
    Correct.

    Uh, you are looking at it wrong - it does. You do this two ways:
    Master Volume Control: Maybe I wasn't clear enough or didn't use the right description. There are +/- 15dB gain adjustements on all channels - but that was not what I meant. The Behringer is a pro unit, and by itself has no means for adjusting listening volume.

    To minimize noise, you will want to keep the signal levels on the Behringer's inputs/outputs as close to clipping as possible. That means a volume control after the Behringer - between the Behringer and your power amps - is a must. And that volume control has to be a 6-channel unit for a stereo 3-way system.

    The ideal config would be a digital signal into the DCX with the DCX feeding its outputs into a 6 channel volume control before each amp.

    The less ideal config would be use a high-gain preamp feeding the DCX' analog inputs. (You need a fairly large signal the analog inputs in order to maximize signal-to-noise-ratio. Most likely, your consumer preamp is a –10 dB device with RCA outputs. The Behringer is a pro +4 dB device That meants your signal is about 12 dB low. You need to amplify the signal 12 dB - if not your signal to noise ratio will be worse by 12 db, and you also loose those 12 dbs of digital resolution).

    You then feed the DCX signal through a 6-channel attenuation network before the amps.

  11. #71
    Senior Señor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Caldwell View Post
    It looks like the gain/level adjustments on both the inputs and outputs take place in the digital signal path after the input converters and before the output converters. That being the case any adjustments may indeed use up DSP power.
    Hi, Mike...

    Yea - they are right after the A/D converters on the Inputs, but not on the Outputs (er, the Outputs' inputs, that is... ). But, they are before any of the real processing, and certainly do not "use a lot of DSP processing power".

    Even though I am no Behringer advocate, I couldn't stand by and see their device trashed that way. There is no way gain adjustments will bring this unit to it's knees. That's nutters. I'd be nice to know what "jerv" has experienced to prompt his comment, and how he presently goes about matching sensitivities? Dunno... :dont-know

    -----



    Behringer are copy cats. This unit has most every feature my KT unit has at less than half the cost. Behringer loads-up on reverse-engineered / copied features and then finds the least costly way to get there. Good for them, however the result is less-than-pleasing sonic quality. The better units (KT, xta...) design-in the features they want and then find the best quality electronics to get it done - these are damned pricy. The sonic quality of these units and Behringer could not be further apart. That said, Behringer can most certainly provide good control on gain structure.
    bo

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  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    To minimize noise, you will want to keep the signal levels on the Behringer's inputs/outputs as close to clipping as possible. That means a volume control after the Behringer - between the Behringer and your power amps - is a must. And that volume control has to be a 6-channel unit for a stereo 3-way system.
    Wouldn't this be the same as using the volume controls on the power amps themselves, (assuming they have them)? Of course, they'd have to be individually adjusted. This would also guarantee the best S/N ratio out of the amps.

    John

  13. #73
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    I'm with Bo on the whole Behringer way of doing business and will not let any Behringer every creep into my racks!

    As far as gain structure goes I personally don't agree with thinking of needing to drive your whole signal path at +20 to keep the signal to noise at a respectable level, ie not hearing hiss from your speakers short of putting your ear into the horn! Running the whole signal path that hot gives you a good S/N but sacrifices head room of the line level components. Having good headroom in the entire path equals good, clean, open sound. It just requires good components that individually all have good S/N properties were you don't need to compensate for a poor S/N piece by attenuating you power amps by 20db or so and then make it up some where else.

    Mike Caldwell

  14. #74
    Senior Señor boputnam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    To minimize noise, you will want to keep the signal levels on the Behringer's inputs/outputs as close to clipping as possible.
    I remain confused, and concur with Mike on this, for sure:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Caldwell View Post
    Running the whole signal path that hot gives you a good S/N but sacrifices head room of the line level components. Having good headroom in the entire path equals good, clean, open sound.
    I have my gain structure configured so that Unity at the desk is unity in the DSP is Unity on the amps. Anything else and you have no idea how close your amps are to their clip threshold. I never run anything as high as you describe. Need headroom, man...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerv View Post
    Most likely, your consumer preamp is a –10 dB device with RCA outputs.
    Uh, no consumer gear here, pard'...

    Anyway, jerv, it would still be nice to know what you you experienced that made you say "it uses a lot of DSP processing power". Did Scotty call-up from engineering and say "Captian jerv", she can't take much more of this...!!

    Or, are you using your filters in some fashion to "get this done"? I still don't see how even that approach would use much "processing", nor how you would measure that, other than simply running out of filters...
    bo

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  15. #75
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    The problem is that the gains are programmed.

    You can't adjust them all conveniently or simultaneously, like a "Volume" knob.

    I do it at the source, and accept that I'm giving up some resolution; it's a balancing act.

    Yeah, my amps aren't running at zero attenuation, either, meaning they're too big, too....

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