Behringer B2031P - Impressed but Disappointed - diyAudio
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Old 27th February 2011, 07:35 PM   #1
Filius is offline Filius  United States
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Default Behringer B2031P - Impressed but Disappointed

After reading rave reviews in various places, with objective data to back it up, I ordered a pair of B2031Ps. After listening to them for about a week, I'm both very impressed and slightly disappointed.

As advertised, they are incredibly detailed. You hear every little tiny sound in a good recording, especially classical and jazz recordings. It's hard to even imagine a speaker being more detailed than these. Since detail was my holy grail before buying these, I thought I had achieved nirvana.

But then I started noticing that, while they are nearly perfect (to my ears) with classical and jazz, they come across as flat with some rock-and-roll songs.

For example the song "Sugar We're Going Down" by Fall Out Boy starts out with some high-energy kick drums and heavy guitars. My DIY speakers, which are Overnight Sensation MTMs ("OSMTMs"), reproduce those sounds with punch and energy. You can almost feel it viscerally. I'm not talking about deep, powerful bass that rumbles the floor. Just what I would call punchiness, as if the speakers are punching holes in the air. For rock songs like this, it's just what you would want.

When the 2031s play this song you hear every sound, even more so, and that's a beautiful thing. But you don't feel the energy you feel with the OSMTMs.

I tried to compensate for this by EQing, adjusting my sub various ways, and trying two subs. But I'm starting to think it's not a matter of frequency response, I suspect it's the vented design of the OSMTMs that's enables them to do this. I just can't replicate it with the 2031s no matter what I try.

My questions are:

1. Is there anything I can do to the 2031 to make it punchier? For example, I have read that the vents on the 2031 are not there to improve the bass response. Therefore you can plug them with cotton, which actually improves them since it eliminates some diffraction effects.
In that case, I wondered if you could just seal the vents with duct tape, making it a sealed design, and then stuff the boxes with polyfil or something to improve the bass response? Does that make any sense?

Then again, maybe the two things are mutually exclusive: Maybe when you have perfect detail you lack punch, and when you have punch you sacrifice detail?

2. Does anyone know of an off-the-shelf or DIY design that I could get for the same money (about $200), that would have the detail of the 2031 but the punchiness of the OSMTM? I suspect not, or else the 2031 would not be getting amount of the attention it's been getting. I might be able to go $300 or so if I saved for a few months, but that's about all I can personally justify spending on speakers in my situation.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 27th February 2011, 08:28 PM   #2
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Hello,
I have had a pair of the same Behringers for a couple of months.
My impression is somewhere between detailed and too bright.
I now have them running through the Behringer 2496 equalizer with a gradual tapering off of the FR to about 12 db down at the high end. I like this better, personal taste! I am using a Alesis 500 watt amplifier.
A sub helps too!
DT
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Old 27th February 2011, 08:51 PM   #3
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I thought people have already learned to distrust rave reviews.
Rock music is often overly compressed. For instance, in Judas Priest albums kick drums totally killed by compression. Mid-bass boost must be used to fully enjoy the songs.
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Old 27th February 2011, 09:35 PM   #4
dewardh is offline dewardh  United States
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They're just little reflex boxes, and you didn't even bother to get the active version. Think maybe you're asking a bit too much? The actives are much easier to properly match to a subwoofer because they offer (switch selected) correction of the LF rolloff curve.

But they're still not "the best speaker ever made" . . . they're just very good for the price, and for what they are.
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Old 27th February 2011, 11:28 PM   #5
Filius is offline Filius  United States
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Deward: I'm not dissing them at all. I think they're fabulous speakers, so much so that I'm hesitant to return them, because after having heard them, I don't know if I can be satisfied with another model that doesn't have the clarity and detail that these have. I do listen to classical and jazz primarily, so these are perfect for my favorite types of music.

I was just hoping someone who had done a lot of testing or modding of these speakers (thinking specifically of DanTheMan or Wmax) might have a suggestion for improving the lack of punch.
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Old 28th February 2011, 02:23 AM   #6
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Unfortunately, stuffing the ports with cotton may well reduce some punch...... Even though it barely reduces the bass output. For some reason the only speakers I've heard with massive punch have big pro woofers in them and some sort of big horn/WG. Don't ask me why that is, but it seems so to me. Try different positions maybe. I'll say they certainly don't have the punch of my Eminence 12" speakers. Punch to me was just a thing only large, efficient, powerful motors with a high heat capacity could really do. The cotton only improves the treble--it injures the bass. I even think adding more internal damping may reduce "punch", but don't really know. Just my very subjective impression. There are certainly no perfect speakers, esp in any price range.

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Last edited by dantheman; 28th February 2011 at 02:39 AM.
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Old 28th February 2011, 02:59 AM   #7
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Would you be able to try this?:

Put your subwoofers under the 2031Ps (one under each), turn the subs so that the woofers face you, then how does it sound?

Can you measure the FR of both types of speaker and post that?
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Old 28th February 2011, 03:09 AM   #8
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Critofur, can you somehow see my room with clairvoyance?

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Old 28th February 2011, 03:59 AM   #9
Filius is offline Filius  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by critofur View Post
Would you be able to try this?:

Put your subwoofers under the 2031Ps (one under each), turn the subs so that the woofers face you, then how does it sound?

Can you measure the FR of both types of speaker and post that?
It sounds better! Frankly it's not the same "type" of punchiness as the OSMTMs. The OSs are punchy not only in the kick drums but also in the guitars, which really sound "in your face" on this song on those speakers. Whereas on the 2031s the guitars sound quite a bit more laid back -- accurate as heck but not in your face.

But you know, I may be able to live with it the way they're set up now. If I have to give up one thing (a particular type of punchiness) to excel in another thing (detail and clarity), well that's how life usually is, isn't it?

I don't have equipment to measure FR. The best I can do is provide links to measurements that other people have done:

FR for the OSMTMs is here. For the B2031Ps, here is a link to measurements done by DanTheMan.

Hey, I appreciate the suggestion!
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Old 28th February 2011, 04:04 AM   #10
Filius is offline Filius  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
Punch to me was just a thing only large, efficient, powerful motors with a high heat capacity could really do.
Well, you may be thinking of something more dramatic than me when you think of "punch". To me the OSMTMs are punchy, but my exposure to good gear is very limited.

Anyway, I appreciate you taking the time to give me some feedback.
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