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Old 10th April 2003, 03:32 AM   #1
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Default Behringer UB*02: mic preamp + EQ?

I'm about to acquire a basic microphone & mike preamplifier for speaker testing & building.

For the mike I'll probably use the current version of the Panasonic capsule referred to on SL's site - a bargain.
(The ready made value buy at present appears to be the Behringer ECM 8000, about $US 60).

For a preamp, some recommend a Behringer UB802 (newish model) mixing console, about $US 99, which contains a mic preamp, and when not being used for testing -
can provide a *very basic* 3 band EQ.
The 502 is about $25 cheaper, without a EQ on midrange.

Comments on this approach, or experience with Behringer mixing consoles?
Anyone used a Behringer console - were you happy with it/ ever use it for EQ??

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Old 10th April 2003, 05:10 AM   #2
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I am running everything through a Behringer console right now and I must say, they're fantastic. They feel as good as (or better than) Mackies, IMO, and cost maybe 1/4 as much. :-)

The preamps are also superb and noise-free. I have to do a lot of work to get them to have an audible noisefloor. :-)
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Old 10th April 2003, 06:07 AM   #3
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Default other functionality?

Have you used the EQ, or any of the other functionality?
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Old 10th April 2003, 06:23 AM   #4
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If you donít have any need for the EQ, and donít expect to use it for anything else, save your money. When doing testing, the less in the ckt the better. Not a huge issue if the mixer has an EQ bypass on it. You would definitely want to run the mic flat. Of course the EQ could be useful if you wanted to create low pass or high pass filtering.

For testing loundsperskers gobs of gain are likely not an issue. Some of the pre VLZ Mackie mixers didnít have a lot of gain. Must have been that they expected everyone to be doing scrEAming rock and roll.

I am curious about the noise floor on the Behrringer. Nappylady, are you running on battery or using an AC adapter? Do you know how much gain the preamp has? Ive also heard good things about it, Im just curious why its so quiet. Could be that they are just using good op amps.
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Old 10th April 2003, 07:17 AM   #5
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Default for filtering?

The idea of using the EQ is (of course) when you've finished using it for testing.

To be able to use it for low pass or high pass filtering would be great.
Could they (the UB802 consoles) be used that way? ?
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Old 10th April 2003, 03:36 PM   #6
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I have the Eurorack MX 2632a. It's big.

The preamp has 60 dB gain. The channel has 10 dB gain on my model, but other models might have 15 dB on the channel. The EQ on mine is very, very nice, with the sweepable mid and all, and 4-band on stereo channels.

You're going to want flat if you're using a measurement mic, and most measurement mics I've seen have flat frequency response... (I guess it's easier to get a flat microphone than a flat speaker) so I don't know how much good the EQ will really do.

On the littler consoles, the EQ is basically the 2-band bass/treble like on stereo recievers... it's very nice for DJ work, but probably nearly useless for what you're doing.

The noisefloor listed on the console is 107 dB, and I've found that to be a conservative measurement.
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Old 11th April 2003, 12:57 PM   #7
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The EQs can be used as a kind of quasi hi or lo pass.

For example, if you wanted to try out a two way dipole as I did, you split the signal from your preamp, and run one into one channel of the mixer and one into another. In my case it was the Beh 602.

For the tweeter, you turn the bass EQ all the way off, and for the woofer the treble EQ all the way off. Then for both fiddle a bit with the mid EQ. You'll get at least some kind of high and low pass, although of indeterminate slope and frequency. Then you can boost for dipole in the bass in the woofer channel.

It's by no means a permanent solution, but is listenable.

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Old 11th April 2003, 01:59 PM   #8
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"Indeterminate slope and frequency"

Not quite right--all the Behringer's I've seen (as well as Mackies and several other brands) have the -3dB point and max slope listed next to the EQ knob itself, and on mine, there's a set of markings that are 3dB each, so if I want a 3, 6, 9, 12, or 15 dB /octave filter, I can get it.

Also, for your (non?) crossover suggestion, I'd recommend a mixer with a 4-band EQ so you can split the mids; otherwise the crossover isn't shaped nearly right. (Not that it's shaped right to begin with, but I find 4-band to give better results.)

One time I built a stack of cardboard boxes with speakers in them--1x15", 2x10", 2x6.5", and 2 soft dome tweeters--and ran them all off a single signal from my mixer (and amp of course) and managed to get a very loud, and at the same time very listenable, and VERY coherent sound out of them. If I had it to do again I'd use MDF--uglier and better-sounding--but since most of those drivers have now been assimilated into other projects, "The Stack" will probably never exist again.

(hijack) Anyone else done something like this? (/hijack)
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Old 17th April 2003, 05:20 AM   #9
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Here's a good reliable source for the ECM 8000
for $40. I bought one from here not too long
ago. This mic has a better capsule than the
Panasonic units, and will give you a lower
noise floor. These are some of the best
omni directional mics I have ever heard, and
you will have to spend several hundred dollars
more to surpass them.

I use a Behringer MX 2004A mixer in my home
studio, mainly as a keyboard submixer, and
headphone monitor mixer. The reason why
Behringer mixers seem to sound and work very
much like Mackie mixers, is because they are
reverse engineered Mackie mixers. Behringer was
actually sued by Mackie, and the case was settled
out of court. The terms of the settlement were
never made public. I haven't tried the newer
UB series mixers, but have heard positive
feedback about them from other home recordists.
The preamps in my Behringer mixer are quite
neutral sounding and should work fine for home
audio measurements and recording. Of course for
$700, an Earthworks Lab1 precision preamp would
be my preference.

My Behringer mixer has served me well, although
for mic preamplification, I rely mainly on my
Sytek MPX-4Aii, which is considerably more
expensive. The EQ is pretty decent for a cheap
mixer, but like the Mackies, there is some
noticable phase shifting in the midrange, if you
use more than a few dB of cut or boost. The noise
floor of my mixer is generally not noticable,
unless I need more then 40dB of gain on the mic
preamp. For most of my audio needs, 40dB is
plenty. I didn't need to upgrade my preamps until
I started recording some very demanding classical
musicains. The rest of the circuitry is pretty
clean, and I've never experienced any problems
with headroom or distortion, which is unusual for
home audio mixers.

If you don't mind spending a little more, you
could buy one of the better Behringer mixers
with channel inserts, which would allow you to
tap the output of the mic pre, and bypass the
additional circuitry. Another Alternative would
be getting a midiman Audiobuddy preamp for
around $80, which is just a simple clean and
neutral sounding no frills stereo mic preamp.
My personal advice would be to buy the UB802
mixer, and a pair of ECM8000s, which will
allow you to do all of your measuring, and
also give you the ability to make very
professional stereo recordings.
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