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Behringer DCX2496 EQ Review

Rate this DSP DAC/ADC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 9 5.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 63 37.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 81 47.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 16 9.5%

  • Total voters
    169

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Behringer Ultra-Drive Pro DCX2496 digital EQ and speaker crossover. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs US $359.
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Speaker EQ crossover Digital Review.jpg


The main purpose of the unit is for professional sound reinforcement allowing crossovers for up to 3-way speakers in stereo. You can see this from the back connectors:

Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Speaker EQ crossover Digital DCX2496 Review.jpg


You configure the three input channels and their routing to output with many configuration parameters. Inputs are normally analog but Input A can be configured as digital AES/EBU (balanced) digital input. The coarse/old fashioned LCD is kind of hard to read (but better than image above) but gets the job done. Documentation is bare minimum with little explanation of some of the terms. Took me a good two hours to figure out how to set it up for my testing. But for someone using it everyday for their job, it should not be hard.

I wish there was Ethernet support with an app to remotely configure the box but there isn't. The RJ-45s are used for serial communication/linking of multiple boxes.

Behringer DCX2496 DAC Measurements
I configured the input to be AES/EBU and drove the unit digitally. At 0 dBFS input, the output shoots up above 9 volts so for fairness, I lowered the input by 7 dB to get nominal 4 volts out:

Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Measurements.png


Distortion dominates SINAD placing it slightly lower than 16 bits of distortion-free range. Dynamic range thankfully is better:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Dynamic Range Measurements.png


Here is the SINAD vs output level:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC THD vs Level Measurements.png

So stay below 8 volts or so.

I could not find a way to defeat the crossovers so I set them to lowest/highest possible to get this response:

Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Frequency Response Measurements.png


That is fair bit of droop at low end but unless someone knows otherwise, it is the best I could get it.

There is pronounced data dependent jitter but thankfully levels are not high enough to be an audible concern:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Jitter Measurements.png


Linearity is good enough for this type of box:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Linearity Measurements.png


Here is our filter response:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC Filter Measurements.png


The nice attenuation gives a decent response in our wide band THD+N vs frequency:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro DAC THD vs Frequency Measurements.png


The peaking in low frequency is partially due to lowering output although one would think distortion proportionally reduces as well.

Behringer DCX2496 Analog In/Out Measurements
I set the input to analog treating the unit as a smart pre-amp. Here is the frequency response:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC frequency response Measurements.png


Never mind the comment on the graph. I thought the sample rate was causing the sharp cut off at 20 kHz but it is caused by the crossover filter.

Here is our dashboard:

Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC Measurements.png


Performance actually improves a bit over our digital dashboard due to internal ADC driving the unit at lower level. I was hoping the gain would be 0 dB but it is slightly negative. There is gain compensation in the unit so not a practical issue.

Sweeping the input we get:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC THD vs Measured Level Measurements.png

The lower noise performance helps the DCX2496 here.


Noise performance is good enough for the application:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC SNR Measurements.png


We once again have a low frequency rise in distortion:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC THD vs frequency Measurements.png


That may be the reason for highly elevated IMD distortion test as the low frequency tone there is 60 Hz:
Behringer Ultradrive HD Pro ADC DAC IMD Measurements.png


Conclusions
In absolute terms, the DCX2496 fails to deliver across the board as we have cheap dongle DACs that produce far lower distortion. But taking into account that you are getting DAC+ADC+DSP at this price point, performance is decent. Would love to see a networked unit with much better display/remote UI and better performance for say, $500.

Grading on a curve, I am going to put the Behringer UltraDrive Pro DCX2496 on my recommended list.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

PeteL

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Jun 1, 2020
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What kind of EQ are we looking at? flexible enough for room correction?
 

fpitas

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fpitas

Major Contributor
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BTW, if anybody buys one. Check the ribbon connectors and put a small dot of RTV on the ends to fasten male and female together, if it's not already there. That solves a common problem.
 

JimWeir

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
30
Likes
46
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Behringer Ultra-Drive Pro DCX2496 digital EQ and speaker crossover. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs US $359.
View attachment 241458

The main purpose of the unit is for professional sound reinforcement allowing crossovers for up to 3-way speakers in stereo. You can see this from the back connectors:

View attachment 241459

You configure the three input channels and their routing to output with many configuration parameters. Inputs are normally analog but Input A can be configured as digital AES/EBU (balanced) digital input. The coarse/old fashioned LCD is kind of hard to read (but better than image above) but gets the job done. Documentation is bare minimum with little explanation of some of the terms. Took me a good two hours to figure out how to set it up for my testing. But for someone using it everyday for their job, it should not be hard.

I wish there was Ethernet support with an app to remotely configure the box but there isn't. The RJ-45s are used for serial communication/linking of multiple boxes.

Behringer DCX2496 DAC Measurements
I configured the input to be AES/EBU and drove the unit digitally. At 0 dBFS input, the output shoots up above 9 volts so for fairness, I lowered the input by 7 dB to get nominal 4 volts out:

View attachment 241462

Distortion dominates SINAD placing it slightly lower than 16 bits of distortion-free range. Dynamic range thankfully is better:
View attachment 241463

Here is the SINAD vs output level:
View attachment 241466
So stay below 8 volts or so.

I could not find a way to defeat the crossovers so I set them to lowest/highest possible to get this response:

View attachment 241464

That is fair bit of droop at low end but unless someone knows otherwise, it is the best I could get it.

There is pronounced data dependent jitter but thankfully levels are not high enough to be an audible concern:
View attachment 241467

Linearity is good enough for this type of box:
View attachment 241468

Here is our filter response:
View attachment 241469

The nice attenuation gives a decent response in our wide band THD+N vs frequency:
View attachment 241470

The peaking in low frequency is partially due to lowering output although one would think distortion proportionally reduces as well.

Behringer DCX2496 Analog In/Out Measurements
I set the input to analog treating the unit as a smart pre-amp. Here is the frequency response:
View attachment 241471

Never mind the comment on the graph. I thought the sample rate was causing the sharp cut off at 20 kHz but it is caused by the crossover filter.

Here is our dashboard:

View attachment 241472

Performance actually improves a bit over our digital dashboard due to internal ADC driving the unit at lower level. I was hoping the gain would be 0 dB but it is slightly negative. There is gain compensation in the unit so not a practical issue.

Sweeping the input we get:
View attachment 241474
The lower noise performance helps the DCX2496 here.


Noise performance is good enough for the application:
View attachment 241473

We once again have a low frequency rise in distortion:
View attachment 241475

That may be the reason for highly elevated IMD distortion test as the low frequency tone there is 60 Hz:
View attachment 241476

Conclusions
In absolute terms, the DCX2496 fails to deliver across the board as we have cheap dongle DACs that produce far lower distortion. But taking into account that you are getting DAC+ADC+DSP at this price point, performance is decent. Would love to see a networked unit with much better display/remote UI and better performance for say, $500.

Grading on a curve, I am going to put the Behringer UltraDrive Pro DCX2496 on my recommended list.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
I’ve been using this unit for years to sort out DYI crossovers on custom built loudspeakers. It has performance as good as or usually much better than the passive crossovers that I build to mimic optimized transfer characteristics.
 

ssashton

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Sep 22, 2022
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Please share multi-tone :)

I've always believed it was possible to defeat the filters by setting 'type' to 'off'. This is of course not a hardware bypass.
 

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fpitas

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These units have been around for a long time. I bought one circa 2008 or 2009.
Yeah, I used one 11 years from 2010. It still works, too.
 

DHT 845

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Feb 28, 2021
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So you say this thing distortion is not audible?
I know the unit, heard it many times, alway sounded grey and kind of grainy to me, it was so obvious that I bet I would guess it 10/10 times in comparison to for ex. topping d70s.
 

fpitas

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So you say this thing distortion is not audible?
I know the unit, heard it many times, alway sounded grey and kind of grainy to me, it was so obvious that I bet I would guess it 10/10 times in comparison to for ex. topping d70s.
It's important to receive its outputs as balanced, instead of single-ended and grounding the negative outputs like Behringer seems to suggest. Maybe that's what you heard, dunno.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Staff Member
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Please share multi-tone :)

I've always believed it was possible to defeat the filters by setting 'type' to 'off'. This is of course not a hardware bypass.
Oh, didn't know there was an off setting in there. :) Thanks.
 

Morpheus

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Behringer Ultra-Drive Pro DCX2496 digital EQ and speaker crossover. It was kindly sent to me by a member and costs US $359.
View attachment 241458

The main purpose of the unit is for professional sound reinforcement allowing crossovers for up to 3-way speakers in stereo. You can see this from the back connectors:

View attachment 241459

You configure the three input channels and their routing to output with many configuration parameters. Inputs are normally analog but Input A can be configured as digital AES/EBU (balanced) digital input. The coarse/old fashioned LCD is kind of hard to read (but better than image above) but gets the job done. Documentation is bare minimum with little explanation of some of the terms. Took me a good two hours to figure out how to set it up for my testing. But for someone using it everyday for their job, it should not be hard.

I wish there was Ethernet support with an app to remotely configure the box but there isn't. The RJ-45s are used for serial communication/linking of multiple boxes.

Behringer DCX2496 DAC Measurements
I configured the input to be AES/EBU and drove the unit digitally. At 0 dBFS input, the output shoots up above 9 volts so for fairness, I lowered the input by 7 dB to get nominal 4 volts out:

View attachment 241462

Distortion dominates SINAD placing it slightly lower than 16 bits of distortion-free range. Dynamic range thankfully is better:
View attachment 241463

Here is the SINAD vs output level:
View attachment 241466
So stay below 8 volts or so.

I could not find a way to defeat the crossovers so I set them to lowest/highest possible to get this response:

View attachment 241464

That is fair bit of droop at low end but unless someone knows otherwise, it is the best I could get it.

There is pronounced data dependent jitter but thankfully levels are not high enough to be an audible concern:
View attachment 241467

Linearity is good enough for this type of box:
View attachment 241468

Here is our filter response:
View attachment 241469

The nice attenuation gives a decent response in our wide band THD+N vs frequency:
View attachment 241470

The peaking in low frequency is partially due to lowering output although one would think distortion proportionally reduces as well.

Behringer DCX2496 Analog In/Out Measurements
I set the input to analog treating the unit as a smart pre-amp. Here is the frequency response:
View attachment 241471

Never mind the comment on the graph. I thought the sample rate was causing the sharp cut off at 20 kHz but it is caused by the crossover filter.

Here is our dashboard:

View attachment 241472

Performance actually improves a bit over our digital dashboard due to internal ADC driving the unit at lower level. I was hoping the gain would be 0 dB but it is slightly negative. There is gain compensation in the unit so not a practical issue.

Sweeping the input we get:
View attachment 241474
The lower noise performance helps the DCX2496 here.


Noise performance is good enough for the application:
View attachment 241473

We once again have a low frequency rise in distortion:
View attachment 241475

That may be the reason for highly elevated IMD distortion test as the low frequency tone there is 60 Hz:
View attachment 241476

Conclusions
In absolute terms, the DCX2496 fails to deliver across the board as we have cheap dongle DACs that produce far lower distortion. But taking into account that you are getting DAC+ADC+DSP at this price point, performance is decent. Would love to see a networked unit with much better display/remote UI and better performance for say, $500.

Grading on a curve, I am going to put the Behringer UltraDrive Pro DCX2496 on my recommended list.

----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Hi, I have one of these, still in parts mostly, because of a Jan Didden analog/remote control upgrade that I never finished. If someone is interested, make me an offer I can't refuse ;) , I am in Southern Europe. This unit was a Godsend at the time it launched for the price and funcions it offered : DAC/ADC, 3 way crossover and pré amp, with enough PEQ to be usefull in DRC too. The sound was good, but not quite top high-end good in stock form , but it actually measures quite decently... Again, even today, if you want this functions in hardware and don't want to pay very deerly, its still a great choice, 4 and with a huge user base/ advice. Thanks for the review Amir, nice one.
 
Last edited:

JPA

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BTW, if anybody buys one. Check the ribbon connectors and put a small dot of RTV on the ends to fasten male and female together, if it's not already there. That solves a common problem.
What is RTV?

I have a unit that exhibits the rice krispies effect in one channel. I only use one of its channels, so I swapped the cables to the other channel. I've been too lazy to open it up and correct the problem, but I will soon.
 
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