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Old 7th February 2003, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Behringer Ultracurve review

Hi,

I saw that in the february issue of the magazine audioXpress is a review or article on the Behringer Ultracurve DSP8024.

http://www.audioxpress.com/

I'm very interrested in that story. Can sombody tell me something about it (what are their findings, are there any tweaks or recommendations?). I have an Ultracurve myself.

I'm thinking of getting an subscription on that magazine, but living in Holland, it is always a bit of a problem. Does anybody know the mag and what do yo think of it???
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Old 8th February 2003, 01:13 AM   #2
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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The story was mostly posative. The biggest difficulty is that the unit does so many things that it can take some time learn to operate it correctly. (Since I have one, I can confirm that.) For home use the primary featute is Auto-Q which performs automatic room equalization. It claims thoi noise level is lower than an analog unit performing similar functions.

One of the difficult parts is that the lowest THD+N performance occurs when inpuyt levels are increased to just below the level at which clipping occurs. There is a red light light that comes on when digital clipping starts. If you use the slider control to reduce the output level then you will compensate by setting the volume level on you preamp higher, thus increasing the level of the input signal. So far I have stayed well below the clipping point so I'm not getting the lowest THD+N, but I cannot hear it so I'm not motivated to push it to the limit.

Anyway the price is very low for the performance and features.
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Old 8th February 2003, 03:38 AM   #3
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The 8024 is fairly good, it is best used in the digital domain.

Even with a great external dac, it is not 100% transparent.
With a couple of external resistors it can be made to work with spdif i believe (using aes/ebu here)


The price is very low these days. It needs a fireware upgrade to be able to do the auto eq. (v1.3 or greater i believe)


Even when used in the digital domain power supply mods can be easily heard. **** off the standard diodes for schottky's or hyper fasts. Bypass things with ceramics in the ps as well.

The digital eq market is really starting to hot up. It would be handy if Behringer released a eq box that could handle a dollby digital ac-3 stream.


don't even consider an old second hand Ultra curve 8000, its a pile of crap.

Mark Hathaway
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Old 8th February 2003, 08:39 AM   #4
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Okay, thanks for the replies.

I'm planning to use it connected to the s/pdif (of a Sony SACD player). I have bought an s/dif - AES/EBU converter for that (M-Audio CO3).
Of course I will only be able to process normal CDs. SACDs will go straight to the pre.

Still have to upgrade the software to v1.3. I understood that the automatic roomcorrectionmode is not using all the features (it is supposed to only use the equalizer, not the parametric equalizer). Sombody I know from the web does the corrections manually using some measurement software on his PC.

(eg http://www.siasoft.com/index.shtml or http://www.speakerworkshop.com/ )

From some comments on an Dutch hifi forum I understood it is possible to upgrade the soundquality of the behringer (to the level of the Tact)
The supossed mods are:
- replacing the trafo by a torodial Amplimo or such
- seperate "buffering" for analog and digital sections
- different outputstage (eg. opamp opc275)
- replacing elcos with eg Elna of other
- removing the sevo balanced stage (??) section and replacing it with a Jensen "scheidngs" (sepration??) trafo

(Dont know how to translate some words )

Any comments on this??
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Old 8th February 2003, 11:19 AM   #5
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Hi,

Quote:

From some comments on an Dutch hifi forum I understood it is possible to upgrade the soundquality of the behringer (to the level of the Tact)
The supossed mods are:
- replacing the trafo by a torodial Amplimo or such
- seperate "buffering" for analog and digital sections
- different outputstage (eg. opamp opc275)
- replacing elcos with eg Elna of other
- removing the sevo balanced stage (??) section and replacing it with a Jensen "scheidngs" (sepration??) trafo
This very much echos my modifications documented in my review:

Behringer Ultracurve Review

After the Mods described in the review I added Stevens & Billington Line Output Transformers (these are second source versions of the Jensen Line Outs) as shown and described here:

Audio Asylum - Behringer blood & guts pictures

You may also find my writings on how to use and digitally interface the UC helpfull:

The Dossier - pointing and shooting the Behringer

I suppose replacing the mains transformer will help, but I suspect my PSU upgrades with schottky diodes and better regulators may give a larger sonic upgrade.

As I never had a TACT in my system I could not say if a Behringer Ultracurve 8024 modified as I suggest will equal the sonics of the TACT. Nor has the UC quite the same correction ability as the TACT has. On occasions where I heard the TACT in other systems I did however that if the UC is used correctly and with sense the results in correcting room/speaker deficiencies where not that different and both TACT and Behringer tend to bring huge improvements.

My OWN modified Behringer EQ appears in my system subjectively as transparent as any box of tricks can get, it is no worse than a really good solid state preamp or buffer, assuming the levels are set suitably (high). I repeatedly had the chance to demonstrate this to (audiophile) guests as well, so it is NOT just my imagination.

Sayonara
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Old 8th February 2003, 12:13 PM   #6
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What about changing the 11.289 MHz clock crystal for a low jitter clock module ? Sampling with low jitter must make a difference.

This was my plan only Behringer doesn't give or sell manuals because of Intellectual Property. Wanted to do it the right way and I prefer to do it with a manual at hand.
Since I don't have a schematic I think I have to do it the hard way.

Regards,

jean-paul
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Old 8th February 2003, 12:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Behringer Ultracurve review

Quote:
Originally posted by Duck-Twacy
Hi,

I saw that in the february issue of the magazine audioXpress is a review or article on the Behringer Ultracurve DSP8024.

http://www.audioxpress.com/

I'm very interrested in that story. Can sombody tell me something about it (what are their findings, are there any tweaks or recommendations?). I have an Ultracurve myself.

I'm thinking of getting an subscription on that magazine, but living in Holland, it is always a bit of a problem. Does anybody know the mag and what do yo think of it???
Hey Duckey,

I have a subscription from, oh, 1979 I think, never missed an issue, no problems. Recommended.

Jan Didden
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Old 8th February 2003, 12:55 PM   #8
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
What about changing the 11.289 MHz clock crystal for a low jitter clock module ? Sampling with low jitter must make a difference.
Tried it - did not note anything major, different? A little? Better? Hardly. I find that in most cases fitting "replacement" clocks actually makes the jutter worse, not better, due to groundloop issues etc.

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Old 8th February 2003, 01:45 PM   #9
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Wauw, lots of information here, thanks again everybody. Good reading stuff.

One thing I dont understand. Mr Wang are you the same person as mr Thorsten??

Anyway nice pictures of your set. Also interresting speakers (Tannoy I believe). Did you make those yourself?

Guess I have to get that subscription to audioXpress.
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Old 8th February 2003, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
I find that in most cases fitting "replacement" clocks actually makes the jutter worse, not better, due to groundloop issues etc.
Quite contary to my own experiences with clock modules ( and I use them a lot ). Groundloop issues are a risk but if you know what you're doing the results in cd players can be very big. Feeding the clock with a separate power supply and grounding it only at the point in the player where the crystal's ground was gives the best results.
Plus RF decoupling with ferrite beads and a metal case for the module are some of the ingredients to success. Especially the 45.1584 MHz modules are hard to tame. Unshielded you'll find this frequency at almost every spot in the device !

Feeding it with the power supply in the device itself is almost always a guarantee for ground "problems".

Despite that I never had a player that became worse or stayed the same. What module did you use ? How did you find jitter became worse ?

Jean-Paul
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