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Thread: Some thoughts on Deqx and their products

  1. #1
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Some thoughts on Deqx and their products

    Hi all

    I have been using both single and dual Deqx systems for several years now. I recently upgraded to the HD3 series including the transformer balanced output boards.
    I have learned several things along the way and wanted to share them with you. The following opinion(s) are mine and may not be that of others. If I am wrong in anything I state as fact...please feel free to correct me. I was wrong once before

    First and foremost...never buy a modified Deqx without talking to their USA Distributor about the mod’s that were done! There are serious timing issues with different through-hole components being used on a surface mount PCB. Stacked op amps combined with exposed wire to connect them act like radio antennae introducing all kinds of hash into each channel. Let’s move on.

    Although a believer in the Deqx technology, I find the company itself to be somewhat arrogant and self- serving. They seem to have a marginal sense of responsibility for after-sale service, the current manual is a joke. In no discernible way does it describe how to properly setup or use this valuable tool. It is the embodiment of a poorly written instruction manual. The arrogance is in the fact that they are aware of it's shortcomings but choose not to do anything about it.
    Why is that? Read on...

    The DIY Market....Not?

    The Deqx was never intended to be a DIY product? I have been told they dislike that it is. It was designed by the same people who designed the Dolby Lake Contour. The two products are similar. The Dolby was for the Pro Sound Market and the Deqx for the OEM Speaker Manufacturing Market. It was designed by engineers for engineers. That being said, it would not surprise me if the DIY market has kept them solvent while they continue to court the OEM's. The company will sell to the DIY market, as evidenced by looking at their website, but appear to have minimal interest in supporting it. Hence, the self- serving comment. Common guys, commission someone to create a usable instruction manual. You owe it to us.

    A company that will not fully support all customer(s), regardless of type will inevitably drop the ball with everyone. Perhaps that's the reason the couple of collaborations we have seen with Deqx and OEM's seem to have fizzled? Perhaps a corporate attitude is to blame? I am sure it’s not the product.

    The product itself…

    I and others on this forum have invested countless hours into tweaking a Deqx setup. I would bet most Deqx owners have never heard their system with the Deqx properly tuned? It's only in the last year that I met someone who has an intimate working knowledge of the Deqx Architecture and Software well enough to set it up properly. We setup an internet client so he could take over my pc remotely. I simply setup the microphone where I was told. In a few hours he had it sounding better than it ever had. I wish you could all be here to hear the difference.

    I was so impressed with what he had done I arranged an audition of the HD3 system at Westlake Audio. Both of us met in LA and spent 2 days at Westlake Audio. To say the techs at Westlake were impressed is an understatement. For the demo a miss-matched pair of LC8.1’s combined with a Westlake custom subwoofer system were placed in the sound room. A series of measurements were taken and custom correction filters were created with the Deqx software. The correction filters had illiminated the miss-match problem. We then created a set of three room correction filters, each using slightly different crossover points. These were merged with the correction filters and stored in three different profiles. During the listening tests we could switch between the profiles by selecting each one with one click of the remote. The Westlake techs were astonished, stating the system was sounding as good as or better than anyone heard before. This is no small feat. Tuning a Westlake system normally takes several weeks with constant hardware tweaks being done to the passive internal networks. Dozens of man hours go into this process.

    The fellow who did the setup understands the nuances of the Deqx software and interprets the resulting data “differently” than anyone else I have seen. The subsequent filters he builds are truly amazing and certainly show what this tool is capable of when used properly.
    For those of you that have owned and already have disposed of a Deqx (I know there are many) it’s unfortunate.

    For those that have not tried one....go for it....but only if you’re prepared to spend a few hundred bucks setting it up right. I promise you will not regret it.

    I would be happy to share the gentleman's contact info on a person to person basis. I don't think I should be posting his name here.

    In closing let me say, in spite of disappoint with the company’s seeming arrogance and apparent lack of support for an important segment of their customer base, I do have a great respect for what this little box does. The looks on the faces of the senior tech people at Westlake Audio spoke volumes. I believe Deqx will get yet another chance to work with a world class manufacturer. Will they be up to the task? I certainly hope so. What a collaboration that could be!

    I hope this has been helpful to someone.

    Ken

  2. #2
    Senior Member louped garouv's Avatar
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    I trust it will come in handy for some folks Ken,
    thanks for sharing....


    on a related note,
    do you have any experience with the Clair Bros. I/O frame?
    I believe it is a OEM, possibly the 'first' dolby lakes made....

    a fair amount of units on the 'bay right now...

  3. #3
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louped garouv View Post
    I trust it will come in handy for some folks Ken,
    thanks for sharing....


    on a related note,
    do you have any experience with the Clair Bros. I/O frame?
    I believe it is a OEM, possibly the 'first' dolby lakes made....

    a fair amount of units on the 'bay right now...
    I have seen them on there for almost 2 years. Support for these versions would be impossible to find. I would definately shy away based on that fact alone. I have never used a Lake....but have been tempted due to the fact they support up to a six-way stereo system. Everything I have heard has been positive....although they are like the Deqx, a bear to setup. You have to use Smaart to set them up properly.

    Ken

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    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Hi Ken,

    Sounds like its been a long long journey.

    Any crossover network beyond being used for the most humble PA system requires an knowledge of audio engineer and more specifically loudspeaker engineering to make it work properly.

    Any tool is only as good as the user as abserved from your recent experience.

    I guess you now know why NASA is not marketing diy rocket trips to Mars

    Good to see you are back on the scene.

    Hey, how about trooping over to Selenium and seeing if you can export from JBL drivers for us ?

  5. #5
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Mackenzie View Post
    Hi Ken,

    Sounds like its been a long long journey.

    Any crossover network beyond being used for the most humble PA system requires an knowledge of audio engineer and more specifically loudspeaker engineering to make it work properly.

    Good to see you are back on the scene.
    To tell you the truth Ian I thought I had the Deqx(S) sounding pretty good till Larry did his magic. He took a great deal of time studying graphs before making changes. In many cases the changes were ever so little but with excellent results. I am pleased to say my Eq settings are minimum with no cut or boost exceeding a 2-3 db. When I run a room measurement the results are pretty impressive. I will post a current one in this thread if anyone is interested.

    I should also mention the HD3 series is a significant improvement in terms of overall sound quality. I am not suggesting that the 2.6P is bad...far from it but the HD version is a nice upgrade.

    Not sure I will be around much...but thanks for the hello. Nice to see you as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ian Mackenzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky View Post
    To tell you the truth Ian I thought I had the Deqx(S) sounding pretty good till Larry did his magic. He took a great deal of time studying graphs before making changes. In many cases the changes were ever so little but with excellent results.
    I guess that is the point of your initial post.

    The mistake many people make is just trying to eq the reponse flat particularly in the crossover region without an understanding of what the bumps and notch's mean and how they go there in the first place.

    Often the apparent eq does more harm than good.

    Just reverse the phase of the horn to determine if the reponse was in fact summing at the crossover point or not. If the reverse phase shows a symetrical notch of 25-30 db then the crossover is working properly regardless of the in phase on axis reponse.

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Hi Ken, GLAD to hear your doing well, and HEARING the BEST thus far from your WESTIES! What you say about DEQX NOT liking the DIY market does not surprise me, hey look at JBL, and HOW MUCH of a business in DIY and legacy products forums like these created! And yet, JBL wants to offer NO SUPPORT for people and places like us.

    It seems to me, that the established names in audio, would rather sell complete systems, not individual items, and why I don't really know. But it seems this way. I can tell you that I have been looking into the Dolby Lake Pro, this year, I am seriously considering going ALL DSP processing, and ALL balanced connection throughout my system, and was surprised after enquiring about the Dolby Lake Pro that Dolby stopped making the Lake Pro last year, sold the rights to Lab Gruppen, and IF I want the DLP, you have to buy the Lab Gruppen LM-26 now. However, the people I contacted answered me quickly, and were helpful with no attitude that I could detect, and the online brochures, manuals, and descriptions of the products were comprehensive and very in depth. And I emailed service support at Lab gruppen, they responded to me quickly and have a freindly and helpful sounding tone in their respsonses.

    I sometimes wonder when I hear things like this if people or the companies in their entirety become fed up with the DIY market because of the fact that their gear offers so much user defineability to the point that it becomes incredibly easy to get it wrong and so hard to actually get it right, and after a while the company just gets fed up with hearing complaints, and being asked millions of questions by people who just don't have the skill to get it right? The DLP, and now the Lab LM-26, offer so much more than just selecting the filters, and slopes, EQ and whatever else we or a designer, or manufacturer desires. These pieces offer us the ability to create our own, never before done filters, and corrective measurres. To me, the ultimate in user defineability but also the ultimate in user fuckupability!

    Even you state, you had gotten good results from your DEQX units, but at the hands of a skilled pro, what you got is now incredible. I could see where a company, not to defend them, could be aware of HOW GOOD their gear is, used properly, but how fed up they are over people using it not understanding enough about what they are doing to get what the DEQX is capable of. And, gear like DEQX can get a bad name from things like this because people using it do not really know how to achieve what this unit is capable of doing. again, not to defend the company, but, always remember that you are dealing with humans, just as you or I are human. And human nature, flaws, faults, positive attrributes and negative, is what it is, human nature.

    However, on searching the DEQX manuals, I find that it is the complete opposite when it comes to dolby lake pro, and now, the LAB GRUPPEN LM-26, the online brochures and manuals and HOW TO is INCREDIBLY THOROUGH and COMPREHENSIVE!

    Ken, put yourself in DEQX shoes for a minute, and let's say you have 10,000 units sold and out there operating, but, of these 10,000 units, only 20 users are able to achieve the results YOU KNOW the unit is more than capable of. and the other 9,980 users are always calling, emailing, badgering, and cheppering you for answers. And some even bad mouth your extremely well designed product, not because it doesn't work, but because they don't know HOW to get it to work! How would you feel after while of dealing with this?

    There is always more than one side to every story.
    scottyj

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by louped garouv View Post
    I trust it will come in handy for some folks Ken,
    thanks for sharing....


    on a related note,
    do you have any experience with the Clair Bros. I/O frame?
    I believe it is a OEM, possibly the 'first' dolby lakes made....

    a fair amount of units on the 'bay right now...
    To add to what has been said, always keep in mind that besides these units having been there for a while now, they were in fact custom units for and by Clair bros. Clair has a great engineering dep't, and these units, IMO, are/were designed to be used with their speaker systems. And,this means you, with different amps and speakers than Clair had designed them to be used with and for, might not be able to achieve anything like or near what they are capable of!

    I think the current asking price per unit is $1490 at this time, very cheap for Lake, but also very expensive if in fact these units will not work properly with any thing other than what they are designed to have been paired with.
    scottyj

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    The fact that they are using more than 3 letters in their name makes them truly groundbreaking and interesting. Not many other manufacturer's have come up with a product worthy of a fourth letter....

  10. #10
    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Valid points for sure

    Quote Originally Posted by scott fitlin View Post
    Ken, put yourself in DEQX shoes for a minute, and let's say you have 10,000 units sold and out there operating, but, of these 10,000 units, only 20 users are able to achieve the results YOU KNOW the unit is more than capable of. and the other 9,980 users are always calling, emailing, badgering, and cheppering you for answers. And some even bad mouth your extremely well designed product, not because it doesn't work, but because they don't know HOW to get it to work! How would you feel after while of dealing with this?

    There is always more than one side to every story.
    No question Scott. I believe this is valid point and have thought about it. A proper instruction manual would solve many of those issues. They obviously want the DIY market with yesterday's introduction of the Deqx Express at 1950.00 AUS. However, their description of it compared to the HD3 is somewhat vague.

    I to have been tempted to go Lake. I had an opportunity to buy a new LP4D12 for 4k plus shipping. Thats a rediculous price. It will support up to a stereo 6-way system all in one chassis. The Deqx is limited to stereo 3-way unless you add a second unit. Cost prohibitive for most.

    I wish the Lake had a Pre-Amp version.....but understand why it does not.

    Real good to see you Scott. Thanks for your input and all the valid points.

    Ken

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    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Now thats funny

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Rinkerman View Post
    The fact that they are using more than 3 letters in their name makes them truly groundbreaking and interesting. Not many other manufacturer's have come up with a product worthy of a fourth letter....
    Kudo's

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    RIP 2010 scott fitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Pachkowsky View Post
    No question Scott. I believe this is valid point and have thought about it. A proper instruction manual would solve many of those issues. They obviously want the DIY market with yesterday's introduction of the Deqx Express at 1950.00 AUS. However, their description of it compared to the HD3 is somewhat vague.

    I to have been tempted to go Lake. I had an opportunity to buy a new LP4D12 for 4k plus shipping. Thats a rediculous price. It will support up to a stereo 6-way system all in one chassis. The Deqx is limited to stereo 3-way unless you add a second unit. Cost prohibitive for most.

    I wish the Lake had a Pre-Amp version.....but understand why it does not.

    Real good to see you Scott. Thanks for your input and all the valid points.

    Ken
    Always good to see you too, Ken, and read about your doings. Especially when it's going GOOD!

    IMO, the digital gear, and recording technologies have arrived. One thing I like about the stuff available now, is in fact the ability to make such fine and precise adjustments. Of course, careful set up and proper gear at all stages of ones system still rules the day. The dsp processors, they have good things available today, and I'll tell you this, what I read about you getting something our of your set up being OMG phenomenal, just reinforces my own feelings about my getting back into dsp processing.

    Unfortunately, I, like you, or anyone with ears that really cares about what we hear, are forced to buy the BEST, and the best don't come cheap! At all.
    scottyj

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    DEQX Support

    Very interresting quotes about DEQX capability , provided you are lucky enough to be able to get in touch with them and have them help you ( you pay for that ) and get the best out of your machine . I purchased a DEQX HDP Express and only had the chance of beiing answered politely but not effectively .
    Regards

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    Senior Member richluvsound's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you had that experience . I purchased a deqx unit and found them to be very helpful.

    Did you buy direct or from a dealer ?

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    RIP 2014 Ken Pachkowsky's Avatar
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    Deqxpert

    Quote Originally Posted by jphaggar View Post
    Very interresting quotes about DEQX capability , provided you are lucky enough to be able to get in touch with them and have them help you ( you pay for that ) and get the best out of your machine . I purchased a DEQX HDP Express and only had the chance of beiing answered politely but not effectively .
    Regards
    They do offer Deqxpert service now......Not cheap....but nothing Deqx is. If your system is going to stay in one place....its a few hundred bucks well spent. If you are a gypsy like me...it can get expensive every time you move.

    Rich...nice to see you.

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