Let me fan the flames--Driverack and F5


Pondering this one in my mind, for several weeks.

Granted, the F5 design is sheer elegance, simplicity, and a "best application" of the less-is-more approach to audiophilodom. (I think that is a new word.)

On the other hand, the Driverack series of digital audio processing is everything but simple and uncomplicated. (From my perspective.)

So, everyone--your thoughts about using a complex digital processor (like the Driverack 260) in a home system with F5 amps? Does the use of the Driverack violate the basic tenets of a "purist system", or does the Driverack provide such ability to tune a home system (two-channel, tri-amp'ed) that it would be an advantage?

Let the debate begin, I guess. Seriously looking for some good thoughts on this one.....


Nelson Pass

The one and only
Paid Member
2001-03-29 12:38 am
I have not used the Driverack, so I don't have a basis for an
opinion. I tend to lean toward analog solutions for many
functions, but if there is any lesson I have learned in 40 years
it's that you would be foolish not to give it a listen and see
what you get.



Paid Member
2010-10-22 6:43 pm
Denver, Colorado
Many moons ago there was an article in Sound Practices where some guy was using a pro-audio Xover/EQ to get a high-efficency horn system to work with low- and flea- powered single ended tube amps.

He said it did everything he needed and sounded awesome!!

As Papa says, give it a try. I bet it will work well. :)


Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
There's dbx, which is pricey but much better in almost every way than the Behringers and the Driverack (cheaper than a commercial F5, though).

Where I last worked we ran the top half of an Emerald Physics CS2.7 with a Symphonic Line RG-10 Reference, a pretty accomplished amplifier. The chain also had a (modded) Behringer DCX2496 and it was pretty much the best system I heard all year. The bottom was driven by a cheap little Odyssey Khartago. The drivers are ~96dB efficient so a few watts is all it needed.


Paid Member
2000-10-10 7:27 pm
[it] violate the basic tenets of a "purist system", or does the Driverack provide such ability to tune a home system (two-channel, tri-amp'ed)

Good question. I was thinking the same thing. Have two F5s, a BOZ-J and working on open-baffles. Kind of simple, right? Was looking to throwing in a miniDSP, but does that ball-up the works? It's right in the middle of 2 perfectly good analog amps.

CD used to be marked AAD and DDD. DDD for all digital. At some point there had to have been a analog stage in there. I felt that DDD CD sounded a bit better.

I'm almost finished the MOX and I might still get a miniDSP. Will let you know what I find.

My experience with the lower-end Driveracks is that they are not the quietest dsp out there. They are also built for the weekend warrior type pa owner and are not very flexible past the factory presets. Once you hit the 480 everything gets better. You also pay a lot more. I don't think there is much advantage over the behringer other than the brand name.
I would look at Xilica or a used XTA or BSS omnidrive.
Another aspect of the pro dsp's you may not be aware of is gain structure. Many meter at dBFs instead of the analog dBu type meter. 0dBFs is equal to something like +18 or +24 dBu in these units. This means you might have to adjust the gain structure of your system if you intend to "use all the bits". Personally, I believe it was important to do so in a 16bit world, but less so in the 24bit world we are in now.
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2010-01-17 5:03 pm
Does the use of the Driverack violate the basic tenets of a "purist system"...


I know nothing about the Driverack, however when it comes to the design philosophy... why would you want to defeat yourself for the sake of owning a "purist system"?

Surely a wise person will set out with a goal and then do whatever is necessary to reach that goal? If a system works better by being more complex, then accept its complication.

It makes me smile when folks simplify to the point of poor performance just so they can mentally identify with a given philosophical position!

I am not personally in favour of 'more complex' or 'more simple'; but instead I think it best to focus on performance not design philosophy... and have as many parts as required to do the right job right.