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Old 25th June 2012, 07:19 PM   #1
percy is offline percy  United States
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Default Stock Behringer as DAC - DCX or DEQ ?

I am toying with the idea of using either the Behringer DCX2496 or DEQ2496 in its stock form as an external DAC. I do not intend to do all the mods that are popular here. Well maybe non-smd cap replacement or regulator replacement or something like that but nothing more involving(smd) than that. And I don’t care about any of their other features (active xover, EQ, etc.) that each provides. So questions –

In their stock form is one better suited for this purpose than the other ?
In terms of analog output, power supply, digital input and processing (receiver, dac, dsp) are they identical schematically (same chips, general circuit) or have differences ?

Its either one of these Behringers or a Music Fidelity V-DAC II (the new verison). Your thoughts welcome.

Last edited by percy; 25th June 2012 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 25th June 2012, 10:43 PM   #2
chaparK is offline chaparK  Luxembourg
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Based on the little context you're giving, I suppose you're looking for a stereo dac such as spdif->analogue left/right.

If this is correct, then I'd say that the Berhinger stuff is not suited for your application - without making any consideration on the sound quality.

These boxes are digital xovers with 6 outs; you intend to use only 2 of them and bypass the DSP, which means that you skip most of their functionality. On top of that, the output level might be too high for your amp - you should double check that. Also, the output is balanced: do you need that?

I'm sure that someone here can come with a better purchase suggestion (I don't know the Musical F so I can't comment).

I think you should develop your specs here: what kind of source signal do you have, and what signal is expected by the amp coming behind the dac. I guess your budget is about 300 bucks, which is the average price of a B box.

Cheers and good luck with your project!

Nick
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Old 25th June 2012, 11:01 PM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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I have both but no longer use the DCX as my crossovers are now passive. I do use the DEQ as my final DAC & EQ. I don't use the stock analog outputs, tho. I use transformers.

It works well and the EQ is quite handy!
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Old 26th June 2012, 01:36 AM   #4
percy is offline percy  United States
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curious if you have any comments on A/B comparisons between the two based on your experience.
and do they have the same chips (dac, opamps, spdif receivers) ?

edit: yes, spdif in. line level out.

Last edited by percy; 26th June 2012 at 01:42 AM.
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Old 26th June 2012, 01:38 AM   #5
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Same DAC and ADC, IIRC. Different receivers an maybe opamps. I'd have to double check.
Similar sound, tho, in stock form. A little muddy with an edge. The opamp output stage has a lot of high order harmonics when it gets past ~1KHz. Better caps near the DAC chip helps the dynamics and sense of weight, too.

I'm very happy with the EQ function, it makes for a very handy DAC. Of course you can use it in an all digital path, just pass the digital signal on to another DAC.
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Old 26th June 2012, 01:46 AM   #6
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If you really don't want the EQ or delay or x cross functions (!!!) and want a behringer gear, then there is the SRC 2496. Some people look happy with it, see the french site .

This solution must come at a budget price, features AK 4393 + 5393, supports the usual easy tweaks, provides many interfacing functions but lacks the EQ that makes the DEQ so addictive.
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Old 26th June 2012, 02:03 AM   #7
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Default +1 on the Behringer SRC2496

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radugazon View Post
If you really don't want the EQ or delay or x cross functions (!!!) and want a behringer gear, then there is the SRC 2496.
features AK 4393 + 5393, supports the usual easy tweaks, provides many interfacing functions but lacks the EQ that makes the DEQ so addictive.
For just DAC applications the SRC is very good. Can also be modded.

But for just a few bucks more you can have the DEQ2496 which offers some phenomenal signal processing/eq capabilities. I mod these pretty regularly to provide a direct-dac output through coupling caps and with just this simple mod, the improvement is stunning. With the right caps it goes from a dac that sounds like a $100 receiver to something that rivals units in the $1500 range. Very musical, with great rhythm and drive.

BTW, the SRC 2496 has an upsampling feature that seems to help nearly any dac that follows it sound a whole lot better. Very different from nearly any other upsampling I've heard - most of which I find annoying, not helpful. I don't know why the Behringer's upsampling is better sounding - but most of those who hear it tend to agree the downline DACS sound better with it.

Of course this also applies to the internal DAC on the SRC, so if you are sure you do not want to modify it, then my vote would be SRC over the DEQ or DCX
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Old 26th June 2012, 02:09 AM   #8
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Guys: with all due respect, there is not enough info posted for us to make a recommendation.

Does the OP intend to feed it a digital signal or analog? If it is analog, then what is the voltage. IOW, since a Behringer is set up for pro sound voltages, it may simply be a bad choice if it is used without mods.
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Old 26th June 2012, 03:11 AM   #9
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Default ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by WithTarragon View Post
Guys: with all due respect, there is not enough info posted for us to make a recommendation.

Does the OP intend to feed it a digital signal or analog? If it is analog, then what is the voltage. IOW, since a Behringer is set up for pro sound voltages, it may simply be a bad choice if it is used without mods.
Well, that depends...
I've used the stock DEQ for home use with analog and/or digital inputs, the input/output voltage issues were never a problem - just use an adaptor cable that takes it from balanced to unbalanced RCA and the line output voltage is halved from the pro level, and will work tolerably well with most home gear. Couple that with the +22dbu/ +12dbu switch on the rear panel and you have a fair amount of flexibility.

As for the input sensitivity with analog, the DEQ has a "gain offset" setting (in the utilities menu) that allows bringing it up or down.

So, with the DEQ at least, the level compatibility issue is mostly a non-issue.

That being said, I would agree with you it's still a "bad choice" without mods - but not because of the line levels, simply because the stock sound is not so great.
Behringer's analog output section (and the input one too) aren't horrendously horrible, they just aren't very good. Some may beg to differ, but I can only state that IMO these units really deserve to be heard when modded.

Also, when used with the optical digital input, and modded outputs these units perform extremely well. I use the DEQ2496 as the main processing platform and built-in DAC for my DSP based speaker systems and have gotten great results. Behringer's analog sections may be inferior, but their EQ algorithms are extremely transparent. Incredible value for the money, once you jail-break the sound!

And it sounds even better if you use the SRC to drive the DEQ. Optical into SRC and optical or AES/EBU from SRC into DEQ.
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Last edited by Jack Caldwell; 26th June 2012 at 03:17 AM.
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Old 26th June 2012, 03:29 AM   #10
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JacK: I own the DEQ, DCX and SRC. I have also heard that there may be some advantage in first feeding a digital input to the SRC and then delivering the digital signal as input to either the DEQ or DCX. However, I have never understood why this should be better than simply feeding the DCX or DEQ (digital in) directly. What is the reasoning? Does the SRC somehow do a better job on converting (upsampling etc) the SPDIF signal to AES/EBU
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