The Wonder Add-on. The Behringer DEQ2496

QUAD S-2 Bookshelf Speaker

flanker.r

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I came across the DEQ 2496 about a year back in one of the studios in Chennai while I was working on a project. Was working from 8 in the morning and it was about 1:30 PM. I reviewed the mix again and was not too happy. Thought I'll break for lunch and resume. While I got up and took a look at the equipment they had I saw the DEQ2494. The next thing I wanted was the unit removed from my audio signal (the studio has daisy chained the equipment instead of running it through the Aux/Return that is standard)

The tech guy re-ran the cables as I wanted and I thought Ill listen again to the mix before going for lunch (just to ensure the guy had connected the cables right). What I heard next made me re-think about what it we audiophiles actually seek!

The DEQ2496 is a Digital Audio Processor. It features a 1/3rd octave graphic equalizer, 10 band Parametric EQ, 10 Band Dynamic EQ, Feedback Suppressor, Spatial enhancer, Limiter (Expander and Compressor). All processing is done in the digital domain so it also features a ADC and a DAC

Without the DEQ, my mix sounded even worse. This was against my logic. I re-connected the DEQ and what I heard was definitely better. I was intrigued by this unit so much that I started reading about it. What I found is that lots of people were observing and reporting the same what I had observed. The DEQ improved the audio. I had to know more about this unit. I called up the studio owner and asked him if I could borrow the DEQ for sometime. I wanted to test the unit at home. He agreed.

Once at home I had to make cables as the DEQ accepts only balanced XLR inputs. I connected it in the tape loop of my pre-amp, did a primitive room correction and calibration for flat response (the DEQ has this facility built in) and proceeded to do an A/B comparison. 10 minutes was enough to decide that I had to have this unit

Truly the DEQ has the capability to turn an average system into a good one, a good one into better and the best system into a stunner. Forget all that you have heard about equalizers, audio processors, etc. This unit has to be an audiophiles ultimate tool. It definitely is a swiss knife. There is very high chance that you are not realizing the true potential of you system if this unit is not part of your setup.

I am sure there must of lots of others who have realized the wonder this little thing can do and would like to hear from them if they have attempted any modifications (I have done a couple of them on my unit) and tried improving upon them. Also any settings that you guys seem to like can be shared in this thread
 

NAVARAJAN

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I came across the DEQ 2496 about a year back in one of the studios in Chennai while I was working on a project. Was working from 8 in the morning and it was about 1:30 PM. I reviewed the mix again and was not too happy. Thought I'll break for lunch and resume. While I got up and took a look at the equipment they had I saw the DEQ2494. The next thing I wanted was the unit removed from my audio signal (the studio has daisy chained the equipment instead of running it through the Aux/Return that is standard)

The tech guy re-ran the cables as I wanted and I thought Ill listen again to the mix before going for lunch (just to ensure the guy had connected the cables right). What I heard next made me re-think about what it we audiophiles actually seek!

The DEQ2496 is a Digital Audio Processor. It features a 1/3rd octave graphic equalizer, 10 band Parametric EQ, 10 Band Dynamic EQ, Feedback Suppressor, Spatial enhancer, Limiter (Expander and Compressor). All processing is done in the digital domain so it also features a ADC and a DAC

Without the DEQ, my mix sounded even worse. This was against my logic. I re-connected the DEQ and what I heard was definitely better. I was intrigued by this unit so much that I started reading about it. What I found is that lots of people were observing and reporting the same what I had observed. The DEQ improved the audio. I had to know more about this unit. I called up the studio owner and asked him if I could borrow the DEQ for sometime. I wanted to test the unit at home. He agreed.

Once at home I had to make cables as the DEQ accepts only balanced XLR inputs. I connected it in the tape loop of my pre-amp, did a primitive room correction and calibration for flat response (the DEQ has this facility built in) and proceeded to do an A/B comparison. 10 minutes was enough to decide that I had to have this unit

Truly the DEQ has the capability to turn an average system into a good one, a good one into better and the best system into a stunner. Forget all that you have heard about equalizers, audio processors, etc. This unit has to be an audiophiles ultimate tool. It definitely is a swiss knife. There is very high chance that you are not realizing the true potential of you system if this unit is not part of your setup.

I am sure there must of lots of others who have realized the wonder this little thing can do and would like to hear from them if they have attempted any modifications (I have done a couple of them on my unit) and tried improving upon them. Also any settings that you guys seem to like can be shared in this thread
good morning sir, we are in the same frequency i think bec i also borrowed the same company equaliser with manual 31 plus 31 equaliser with crossover selection and so many alteration sorry i am not such a professional to explain it. after fiddling this and adjusting balancing my pre amp luxman tone and sent through the hafler power amp i found amazing quality. one thing i done was i preferred source direct in luxman pre. a slight fiddling up and down the centre db of the equaliser did the miracle. i feel it helped me to over the mismatch between the speaker with interconnect and the speaker wire. my system marantz 63se cdp cambridge audio atlantic int and luxman pre i have to verify the number and hafler xl 280 power audio quest hyper linz biwire cable and jamo 508 speaker i now have owned the equaliser thanks
 

flanker.r

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Thats good equipment you have. Is the Hafler - the one you got was procured as a kit and assembled or came pre-assembled? I remember those kits my cousins used to get from US

Nice you know you have experimented with the DEQ2496. Have you also tried their electronic crossovers? I am yet to try them. For now I am using a CX2310 2 way crossover
 

thevortex

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I guess I dont need a separate thread after all :).

Flanker you might be happy knowing that there is one more soul in Chennai who is convinced that the Behringer is a wonder add-on, although I am a long way yet from understanding the essential underlying audio theory to appreciate this item's utility and value.

Update - The DEQ2496 is a pro-instrument. So there are two things to be taken care of in the first place. There are no analog RCA outs. So plan on getting some XLR to RCA cables ready. Neutrik connectors are said to be of decent quality. These are all made to order so do expect soldering faults.

The next thing is about input sensitivity. This is also related to this being a pro-instrument. The gain on this is humongous. Thankfully there are graphical meters showing up the input as well as output stages which show up in the red if there is any clipping of the signal. Am I glad now that I have a PC and not a CD player! I have my overall master volume at 21 (out of a max of 100) so as to prevent input clipping in the Behringer. The output can be rightly attenuated. Thing is the Behringer has in it the facilities to function as a make-shift preamp. There are two distinct places where you can go and attenuate gain offset from -15db to +15 db.

Sound quality - Initially I had wanted to try it out with an analog output from the PC (needed a 3.5 mm jack with RCA female split ends to which I connected XLR cables) so that I would be using the Behringer for A/D as well as D/A conversion. This was considerably poor on first listen. Maybe I had undesirable equalization settings on, I will need to recheck. But the initial impression is that I would be better off using this as a pure D/A device. Now, I am using the SPDIF out from the PC and connecting to the AES/SBU in of the Behringer. This takes in whatever sample rate that the source uses. I have just left it at 44.1 khz for now.

What this means is that the DEQ2496 is not upsampling the sound to 96 khz with this setup. Which is fine, I guess.

Next step - I am going to give the unit a week or so to demonstrate to everybody in the home its sonic quality - so to speak. Will keep giving updates off and on.
 

thevortex

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A word about the much-maligned setup interface of the Behringer. If you read the manual, then I wont blame you if you think they want you to do a doctorate in electronics or physics or both :). But when you actually look at the interface and play with it, things start making sense. Allow a few hours for that.

Now, going back to the manual will make more sense. At least that is the way it worked for me.

I just wish I had more grasp of audio theory, frequencies, psycho-acoustic curves and all.
 

Rajiv

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thevortex

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Well, folks, time for an update!

Sometimes in life, you tend to think twice. Take a step back and think about whether what you are feeling is fit to be expressed out aloud. Lets just say that I was in one of those situations for the past couple of days with the Behringer DEQ2496 in my chain.

I thought it had taken my system to the next (higher) level easily. But I was not quite ready to ratify or believe it myself. Today Rajiv visited my home and spent a couple of hours with my system. Given that he was there along with Vinay, Captain and Titus the last time I had the Lyrita Harmony Ones, I was happy to note that he agreed with me about the improvement.

I will let him put it in his own words before chipping in with my thoughts on the subject.

And folks you are reading the words of a happy camper right now. :)

In closing let me say something. In audio I have often come across reviews which specifically find points in a product to praise. Sometimes these reviews search hard. Many times, they come to settle on a product's cheap price if nothing else is verily apparent. So, yes, the Behringer DEQ2496 is a steal for its price most definitely. But I will venture to say that even if it was priced above what it is right now, it would still be a very worthy buy. Long story short - I am saying that not only do I like it that it is value for money but also that I have fallen in love with what it is able to do with the variety of music I listen to.

Over to Rajiv...
 

Rajiv

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Hi,

I managed to get away for a few hours this afternoon to listen to Bala's new toy.

The addition of the Berhinger into Bala's system has certainly improved the overall sound quality.

The thing that first struck me was the tightness of the bass.The last time I heard the system the bass was not tight and there was an overhang.There was also a slightly tubby quality to the bass.This time around the bass was crisp,tight and extended without any overhang or tubbyness.

The improvement in the bass cleared up the mids and highs also. The overall clarity of the system was also much improved,and sounded more detailed.

The inclusion of the Berhinger is a step in the right direction and Bala has every right to feel pleased as Punch with his new acquisition .

Regards
Rajiv
 

gobble

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Instead of the added cost of a new device, an amp costing whatever was paid for it + .5 times the cost of the new device could have lent some of the same improvements, can it not? Tight bass is not impossible to acheive without a Behringer. Of course there may be other features to it. I am only making a point in favor of simplicity ...

Has the soundstage improved as well?

Regards
 

rallynut

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@thevortex,good to know that ur smiling more than ever with the tonality the beh2496 induces into ur system :eek:hyeah:.AFAIK,clearcut has the same 2496,and besides the incovenience of having to mod the cables to be able to convert to xlr,he seems to be enjoying it thoroughly.of course,being a pro instrument am sure trying to get around the myriad possibilities in tailoring to ones usage must be nervewracking :lol:.enjoy,cheers
 

Rajiv

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Has the soundstage improved as well?

Yes.There was more depth and a wider soundstage The sweet spot has increased also.The last time I heard the system the sweet spot was quite small.

I was comparing the bass quality of the system to what I had experienced earlier.
an amp costing whatever was paid for it + .5 times the cost of the new device could have lent some of the same improvements, can it not?

One would have to spend substantially more to improve on Bala's amp.

A couple of friends have very high end mega buck systems,that have expensive signal correction devices from DEQX and Tact. I am convinced that digtal/analog equilasation done right improves any system.

The Berhinger for the price it is sold at is amazing value and is quite transparent when inserted into the audio chain.It does not degrade the signal in any way at least to my ears.

Flanker is absolutely right when he says that, "Truly the DEQ has the capability to turn an average system into a good one, a good one into better and the best system into a stunner. Forget all that you have heard about equalizers, audio processors, etc. This unit has to be an audiophiles ultimate tool. It definitely is a swiss knife. There is very high chance that you are not realizing the true potential of you system if this unit is not part of your setup."

I wish I could afford the DEQX or Tact,but given that is not possible,I would seriously consider the Berhinger .

Regards
Rajiv
 

thevortex

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Instead of the added cost of a new device, an amp costing whatever was paid for it + .5 times the cost of the new device could have lent some of the same improvements, can it not? Tight bass is not impossible to acheive without a Behringer. Of course there may be other features to it. I am only making a point in favor of simplicity ...

Has the soundstage improved as well?

Regards

Gobble - why fix things when they are not broken? :)

The amp is the prized possession (still) in my audio chain. No doubt about it. See, with the earlier audition I was using the DDDac modified by Viren to have a tube output stage. In retrospect I think it was adding to the audio chain the same things that the amp itself brought to the mix - lushness and a luscious midrange and an unexplainable but clearly felt sense of warmth. Perhaps an overdose of the same kind of things resulted in the lack of definition in the bass...

The Behringer is everything the tube DAC is not. And therefore is complementary.

I have to add here that there are things that the DDDac can do that the Behringer cannot. Adding indescribable warmth and a luscious overtone to the mids and vocals is what the modded DDDac did so well. With the Behringer there are no such overtones. It is very transparent. Sometimes shockingly so, I feel. I also strongly feel that without the Tube amp I may not like what the Behringer brings in. But given this combination, I am falling in love all over again with my music collection.

Psychotropic - what it does to the music? You will have to come and listen. :)
 

thevortex

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@thevortex,good to know that ur smiling more than ever with the tonality the beh2496 induces into ur system :eek:hyeah:.AFAIK,clearcut has the same 2496,and besides the incovenience of having to mod the cables to be able to convert to xlr,he seems to be enjoying it thoroughly.of course,being a pro instrument am sure trying to get around the myriad possibilities in tailoring to ones usage must be nervewracking :lol:.enjoy,cheers

Thanks rallynut!

Yes - a myriad possibilities can be nerve-wracking. But I am lucky to have found a few links which prescribe settings which sound simply lovely. That is the next plan - to share resources I found regarding the settings.

But you are right - with the wrong settings, this unit can damage the music, easily. Why, it can even damage the amplifier - literally. However much I read and try to understand I feel I will always be at a disadvantage to somebody in the pro-audio circles who understands audio theory. Ah well....
 

psychotropic

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no no, i am not talking about the effect. but what does it do? EQ? don't you need an understanding of what frequencies to tweak? or does one just plug in the thing and enjoy the improvement?
 

thevortex

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Yes you do. And like I said I spent perhaps a month or two reading up almost all resources available on the internet about the Behringer Ultracurve. Like I said I did locate a few studies on psychoacoustics and a few suggested settings - a slight variation of which is in use at my system right now.

Thorsten and Hans Blauert are my gurus now for the most part when it comes to frequencies :). But there is a long way to go yet.

Plus I have not even commenced RTA as yet. I am waiting for my microphone to come.
 

gobble

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Gobble - why fix things when they are not broken? :)

The amp is the prized possession (still) in my audio chain. No doubt about it. See, with the earlier audition I was using the DDDac modified by Viren to have a tube output stage. In retrospect I think it was adding to the audio chain the same things that the amp itself brought to the mix - lushness and a luscious midrange and an unexplainable but clearly felt sense of warmth. Perhaps an overdose of the same kind of things resulted in the lack of definition in the bass...

The Behringer is everything the tube DAC is not. And therefore is complementary.

I have to add here that there are things that the DDDac can do that the Behringer cannot. Adding indescribable warmth and a luscious overtone to the mids and vocals is what the modded DDDac did so well. With the Behringer there are no such overtones. It is very transparent. Sometimes shockingly so, I feel. I also strongly feel that without the Tube amp I may not like what the Behringer brings in. But given this combination, I am falling in love all over again with my music collection.

Psychotropic - what it does to the music? You will have to come and listen. :)

I always wondered why you needed a tube DAC with a tube amp. I considered a tube DAC once then went for a preamp instead. Same thing no?

I do not doubt what the Behringer is doing, in fact it has been in the back of my mind since a long time as as alternative to spending on room acoustics in a rented place i will not stay in for long....

But one more component in the chain means twice the number of cables. I already spent 15K on ICs and 3K on powerchords .. what next? :rolleyes:

So I thought it is wiser to keep the setup simple like I posted.

BTW How much $$$ is this thing? :D

Regards
 

thevortex

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I always wondered why you needed a tube DAC with a tube amp. I considered a tube DAC once then went for a preamp instead. Same thing no?

I do not doubt what the Behringer is doing, in fact it has been in the back of my mind since a long time as as alternative to spending on room acoustics in a rented place i will not stay in for long....

But one more component in the chain means twice the number of cables. I already spent 15K on ICs and 3K on powerchords .. what next? :rolleyes:

So I thought it is wiser to keep the setup simple like I posted.

BTW How much $$$ is this thing? :D

Regards

Well, I had to try it before I made up my mind, Gobble :). But I guess we are in agreement.

15K on IC's and 3K on power cords? You are in a different league, man. My XLR to RCA cables are Rs. 600 a pair. And thats it.

For the price, see my previous post. It costs $300 in the US. And I got it through ICC World. That too in a matter of 8 days!
 
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