Behringer DEQ2496 Digital EQ

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by gixxerwimp, May 11, 2020.

?

EQ is:

  1. The spawn of the devil and I wouldn't let it anywhere near my music.

    2 vote(s)
    6.9%
  2. Useful for tweaking the sound to how I like it.

    21 vote(s)
    72.4%
  3. Something my wife/GF/partner tells me I'm lacking.

    6 vote(s)
    20.7%
  1. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    *Edit: So I bought one of these and wrote up some notes below in post #19.

    I saw this in the RAAL SR1A thread and started thinking about adding a standalone digital EQ box into my chain.
    I searched and couldn't find anything dedicated, so figured I'd start this thread. Here's what I've found regarding the DEQ2496:

    I downloaded the user's manual which says:
    DEQ2496.jpg

    DEQ2496 2.jpg

    I have a PI2AES source and I want to feed the EQ'd digital signal to my Bifrost 2 (coax only). According to @bengo, can I just stick one a "BNC female - XLR female" adapter into the DEQ2496's AES XLR output and use a BNC-to-RCA cable to feed the BF2?

    How transparent is the DEQ2496?
    How does the DCX2496 compare for just digital EQ purposes (I think it's like $100 cheaper)?
    Are there any other options worth considering (particularly smaller form factor - WAF on a 19" rackmount device is gonna be tough)?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  2. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    I thought it was pretty transparent as an EQ when used in DDC mode (TOSLINK in, AES out). I haven't tried it with a BNC conversion, but should work.

    The DCX has only analogue outputs, you're stuck with the onboard AKM DACs.
     
  3. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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  4. mokobigbro

    mokobigbro Acquaintance

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    If you can find a used Z-Sys Z-qualizer, this is an awesome eq.

    If you can insert a VST EQ in your chain,
    I do recommend Crave EQ https://cravedsp.com/crave-eq . Play around with the phase mode. I think this has the best price/performance ratio.
     
  5. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    The least expensive miniDSP digital programable equalizer is miniDSP Studio, half a rack size but it is still $899, and on back order everywhere. And I do not know if it makes sense for EQ of a single pair of headphones.
    Anyway I am very interested where this discussion is going.
     
  6. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/JR6SPB--jamracks-6spb-6-space-rack-bronze
    This is an expensive example but I'm just using it for the picture. A nice rack is really not that obtrusive. Or just take the mounting/rack ears off. (I don't remember if all the models let you do that).
     
  7. bengo

    bengo Friend

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    You can unscrew the ears on DEQ2496 but this exposes some internals IIRC, the cleaner approach would be hacksaw and file to round off the corners afterwards.
     
  8. Dr J

    Dr J Friend

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    MiniDSP NanoDigi: https://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/nanodigi-2x8-b

    Not too expensive, presumably the EQ is of pretty high quality.

    In contrast to DEQ2496 you need a laptop and MiniDSP SW to set the EQ settngs. I have not had this one, but the AD/DA version was easy to set and worked well in a low-fi set.

    Edit: It seems that MiniDPS these days has several boxes that do pure digital EQ, ranging from the NanoDigi to the Dirac boxes.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  9. Dr J

    Dr J Friend

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    I have the DEQ249. You can do a lot with it, but the usability (for adjusting the sound) is not too good in my opinion. Not really intuitive. Maybe because you can do so many things with it. But it is not impossibly hard to use.

    The integrated measurement with a mic and automatic correction, while not very advanced in terms of the correction features, might be a bonus for someone who does not want to use a laptop and REW or something similar for measurements.

    I have read that the analogue inputs and outputs leave something to be desired, but have personally used only for digital correction using optical.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2020
  10. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    If you've seen the tiny corner I'm allocated for my rig, you'll realize that a 19" rack will not pass approval. The MCTH LPS is gone now, so I could maybe slide the DEQ2496 under the Bifrost. I found a side view that shows the ears are removable with 2 screws each. How much of the internals would be exposed?

    *Edit: see pic below

    Thanks for this, I looked through their site and couldn't easily figured out which products would work as a purely digital EQ. Using a laptop as an interface wouldn't be too bad, but it would be nice to have presets that would be easy to switch between for different headphones without having to run the MiniDSP SW. I'll read up more on this. Form factor is definitely a plus.

    @purr1n said, "There were a two functions that I had to read the manual on, but the rest was super intuitive". Maybe we just need him to write another Dummies Guide.

    I'm currently using the 10-band graphic EQ that comes with piCorePlayer. I can switch between presets with my phone by tunnelling in to my laptop to access the pCP GUI.

    HD800 EQ.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2020
  11. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    I just want to add an out-of-left-field option - you could apply the DSP you want to a track and write out the track in it's modified form so the DSP is 'baked in'.

    Audacity can be automated via scripting, for example, and you can apply effects and export via such automation. So technically not too difficult to rip over a collection, apply a DSP chain and write out a copy of the files somewhere if you have some basic dev chops. I'm sure there are several other ways to do something like this too. Of course depending on size of collection this could take quite a bit of time, and if you want to fiddle you're SOL, but it is an option.
     
  12. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I'd prefer to leave the tracks "as is". Also, this would provide zero flexibility for adjusting EQ after the fact and a different track with the appropriate EQ would have to be made for each headphone. Would be a bit of a nightmare organizing the library with multiple versions for different headphones.
     
  13. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Yep, for sure. This would work best for a standard setup such as 2 channel for the living room which is relatively 'static'. Or if you had a degree of DSP that exceeds the player's ability to process real-time.
     
  14. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

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    Hardware wise i love my minidsp studio but if software is an option then equilibrium is very good and a lot cheaper than the studio.
     
  15. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Image of screws securing the ears got lost above.

    Screenshot_20200513-191330_Chrome.jpg
     
  16. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Speakers/rooms change; headphones change; above all, over time, ears change. Don't bake it in.
     
  17. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

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    Certainly not! This would be a copy...non-destructive.
     
  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Oh, yes... Of course! I didn't think you would be suggesting to change the master copies.

    I guess I'm too lazy and my hearing is too unstable.
     
  19. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I wasn't sure if there was enough interest in this to make it worth creating a new thread, so I'll post it here and ask the mods about changing the thread title.

    I bought a Behringer DEQ2496 from Thomann. Price shipped to the US is $275.75 (before duties), and an extra $20 can be saved if you luck into a B-stock. It actually costs Europeans a bit more with free shipping and VAT.
    https://www.thomannmusic.com/behringer_deq2496_ultracurve_pro.htm

    The DEQ has both analog and digital I/O, but I'm only using it in the digital domain.To me it sounds completely transparent when all DSP is turned off. Using the graphic or parametric EQ, I can only hear differences in frequency response and can't detect anything else happening. YVMV

    Graphic EQ
    GEQ1.jpg
    Parametric EQ (Tyll's HD800 settings)
    PEQ0.jpg PEQ1.jpg
    Real Time Analyzer (10 fps gif, Get Lucky)
    RTA.gif


    @purr1n mentioned possibly doing a write up on this, and he can undoubtedly add much more detailed info, but I'll provide some pointers that will hopefully be useful for some, particularly if you have a DAC with SE coax input only. The manual is reasonably complete, and as Marv said the UI is fairly intuitive (probably more so for him as he's used to using pro gear). But there were a few things that weren't very obvious which I managed to figure out eventually.

    *** Disclamer ***
    The information provided is based on my personal experience with my gear and I make no guarantees about its accuracy or applicability to your setup. Make any out-of-spec connections at your own risk. Refer to @atomicbob's excellent post: Audio balanced output to unbalanced input - a brief visual guide.


    DEQ2496 Dummies FAQ

    Q: Can I connect a S/PDIF source to the DEQ2496's AES XLR input?
    A:
    I can't confirm as I'm using the AES out from PI2AES, but I'm pretty sure you can with just an RCA>XLR adapter. I would recommend using one that has pin 1 (chassis ground) of the XLR floating to reduce the chances of "magic smoke", but the DEQ2496 specifications say that both the AES input and output are "transformer-balanced". You could insert a 75Ω to 110Ω impedance matching circuit*, but I don't think it'll make any audible difference for short runs of a few feet.
    *Refer to AES3id or S/PDIF to AES3 here in RaneNote 149 (or in the attached PDF which has clearer schematics).
    https://www.ranecommercial.com/kb_article.php?article=2125


    Q: Can I connect the DEQ2496's AES XLR output to the S/PDIF input of a DAC?
    A:
    I was able to do this successfully with my Bifrost 2. I did this initially with a simple XLR to RCA cable: pin 1 (chassis ground) floating, pin 2 to RCA tip, pin 3 to RCA sleeve. Everything worked completely normally and I couldn't hear any difference between S/PDIF straight from the PI2AES and going through the DEQ. The DEQ has an AES-S/PDIF setting, but couldn't hear any difference in my setup. I was concerned about the voltage difference between AES (5Vpp) and S/PDIF (0.2Vpp), so asked Schiit tech support if this would "wear out" the S/PDIF receiver on the BF2. The initial response was, "It shouldn't cause any damage." But when I asked for a more detailed answer, the reply was:
    So I found the note mentioned above, originally written by Dennis Bohn of Rane Corporation, and inserted an impedance matching passive attentuation device (PAD) into XLR to RCA cable I made. The circuit is as below (resistance values in parenthesis for the 8:1, 18dB PAD), except I left pin 1 on the XLR floating.
    [​IMG]
    This put my nervosa about burning out the S/PDIF receiver on the BF2 to rest. I couldn't hear any difference between before and after adding the PAD.


    Most of the functionality on the DEQ is pretty intuitive using the many buttons and display, or are described in the manual. One thing I found different from parametric EQ interfaces I'd seen in the past is there is no "Q" setting. Instead ...
    To EQ my HD800s, I wanted to start with Tyll's settings, so I used this octave-Q converter.
    http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-bandwidth.htm


    There were a couple of things using the DEQ that weren't immediately obvious to me:

    Q: How do I set a shelf in parametric EQ (PEQ) mode?
    A:
    If you keep turning the knob that controls the bandwidth (BW) setting clockwise, you will eventually get to the shelving filters: L6dB, L12dB, H6dB, H12dB. You can see in the photos above that I have a low shelf set at 20Hz with a slope of 12dB (L12dB) and a gain of 4.5dB.

    Q: How do I use the Compare function?
    A:
    This is not described well in the UM. Here's what you do:
    1. Store an EQ setting to one of the memory locations.
    2. Recall that EQ setting from Memory.
    3. Make some changes to the EQ settings.
    4. Press the Compare button. The settings will now revert to those of the previously recalled memory setting. The red LED on the Compare button will turn on and you won't be able to change any settings.
    5. Press the Compare button again to return to the setting changes you made in step 3. The red LED on the Compare button will turn off and the device returns to normal operation.
    A couple of useful settings in the Utility menu:
    • Contrast: My unit is positioned low in my stack and looking downwards on the display it tends to wash out. Adjusting this made it much clearer.
    • Gain Offset: Adjust the overall gain so that you don't boost the signal into clipping.
    Speaking of clipping, the level LEDs on the left would sometimes indicate clipping while the peak levels in the LCD display did not. I found the LEDs annoying so I covered them with black masking tape.

    As I mentioned in the Post your headphone setup thread:
    Note: CD player works, but is only being used to raise the DEQ to a better viewing angle and operating height

    Overall, I'm very happy with this addition to my rig. Excellent bang for buck. The PEQ is a great tweaking tool to get the modded HD800s sounding just right, as well as for making minor adjustments with HD650M and Clears. The memory presets are very convenient for switching between headphone settings, and the compare function is handy for quick comparisons with changes as you're tweaking.

    @Psalmanazar mentioned Drawmer in the Spring Cleaning thread, and I found their analog vintage-style fully stereo 1974 four band Parametric Equaliser. This might be something to look into if/when I have a balanced analog section in my chain.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  20. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I used to have a DCX2496, and during that time I fed it from an spdif source to the AES input with a simple cable adapter. I never had any issues.
     

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