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  • Digital driverack processors -- alternatives?

    Are there any alternatives to the dbx DriveRack PA and the Behringer DCX2496 all-in-one eq/crossover/RTA/etc units for about the same price (new or used)?

    I am really leaning towards the Behringer since it has lots more useful features, a better display, can be modded with better op-amps if I see fit, has computer link etc... But I've also heard they can be unreliable sometimes.

    I'm willing to wait around for a while to see if something comes up on the used market, but it really can't be more than $300 or $350... I know the dbx 260 would be nice but I haven't put enough money into the rest of the PA (nor do I make any money by using it) to afford a $600+ processor right now.

    I have a $60 analog crossover that works well right now, so I will be replacing that, and using the all-in-one unit to do room EQ, feedback elim, and hopefully time-alignment (using computer software for measurement).
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  • #2
    You may want to look into the Peavey VSX.

    That being said, this caught my eye:

    "using the all-in-one unit to do room EQ"

    I just wanted to caution you against doing auto room eq since in my experience the results are often worse than the problem.

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    • #3
      I won't be doing AUTO room eq, I will be using RTA software and manually adjusting the EQ (in theory also using the computer since I want a driverack unit that hooks up via serial etc). What I meant was, right now I only have a crossover, no graphic EQ. I want to buy an all-in-one digital crossover+eq to do the driverack processing, so that I don't have to buy more analog units and take up more space.

      Peavey VSX-26 looks good, I will keep my eyes open for one used ($450 new is too high for me)
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      • #4
        With a budget this low, time-alignment would be really low on the priority list. With a higher budget, time-alignment would remain just as low a priority.

        What are the "lots more useful features" you feel you need that the DRPA or Peavey lack?
        "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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        • #5
          Additionally, for as simple a set of features as this level of driveracks have, PC control is really superfluous and unnecessary....just set your program and play the gig. It's not as if you're going to be making a lot of changes that you can't easily handle with the on-board interface. And FWIW, the displays on the DCX and DRPA are VERY similar.
          "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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          • #6
            I don't see anything lacking in the Peavey, I didn't know about it until Gregidon posted

            The DRPA doesn't have a computer interface, which is a pain in the ass for me since I already have a computer setup and RTA software. The way the rack is mounted means it's a lot easier to use the PC software to setup the unit than to be stooped down running through menus (of course, I could do that in an emergency but you know...)

            I've heard that the DRPA likes to emit pops whenever the power fluctuates... as I don't have a UPS on my rack, I'd like to avoid that "feature"... On the other hand, the reliability problems I have heard about the DCX seem to be either things I can fix with my soldering iron (ribbon cable probs, grounding probs, cold solder joints on output) or DOA things (or complete failure) that Behringer will replace for free.

            Basically, the consensus I'm seeing on other forum threads is that the DCX is more of the functional equivalent of the DBX 260, but with occasional problems, some of which can be fixed easily if you have electronics knowledge (I do). So, they MIGHT be more of a hassle to deal with, but considering their only competitor is the DRPA, they have a better featureset

            Additionally, for as simple a set of features as this level of driveracks have, PC control is really superfluous and unnecessary


            Maybe unnecessary, but that kinda assumes that it would be extra trouble to do PC control. I already HAVE a pc setup to do RTA right next to the FOH mixer, so it really wouldn't be any trouble at all, and it would be EASIER to use the pc to control any rack unit, than to manually control that rack unit, since the PC is right in front of me and the rack gear is below me because of space restrictions.
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            • #7
              BTW: This is where I'm getting a lot of info:

              http://srforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/22322/0/0/0/
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              • #8
                Maybe unnecessary, but that kinda assumes that it would be extra trouble to do PC control. I already HAVE a pc setup to do RTA right next to the FOH mixer, so it really wouldn't be any trouble at all, and it would be EASIER to use the pc to control any rack unit, than to manually control that rack unit, since the PC is right in front of me and the rack gear is below me because of space restrictions.


                If you can advance all your shows and are permitted to 'pink' the room at performance levels, and are using SMAART or another RTA that has time-domain capabilities, then using the PC makes sense. Otherwise, my earlier opinion still stands. K.I.S.S. always applies.
                "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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                • #9
                  Your points are all pretty valid, but still, why should I buy the DRPA when all of my research points to it being a worse piece of hardware than the Behringer? I have heard of both units failing during the show, but neither very often. My shows are not mission critical, and I can keep the analog x-over for backup. 1 minute of downtime to switch the xlr's around is no big deal for me. However, a lot of people are saying that if your DCX arrives working, it will most likely keep on working, which is good enough for me. The only problem I am seeing commonly (kinda?) reported is the "frying eggs" sound, which I understand and am capable of fixing. It is a "one-time" fix.

                  And yes, my computer(s) have RS-232. The answer is, I'm not making use of RTA at all, just looking at the picture and wishing I could change it

                  But, enough silliness. From other research, it looks like people are reporting that the Peavey unit has noise issues that the Behringer does not (and that this is a known flaw by Peavey). Any other options out there?
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                  • #10
                    I didn't realize that helping you was sillines. Good luck with the Behringer. I'm sure it's perfect for you.
                    "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else" - Yogi Berra, 1925-2015

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                    • #11
                      Peavey and the DBX are the two major processors in that price range, the behringer is unreliable to the point no one wants to risk loosing a gig over it. Some people want more than stereo biamp which is where a DRPA (vs PX) comes in handy, also to the point where shifting to a stereo 3way xover would be a real PITA. You're in boston, go try some units out! Rent one for a week, see what it does.
                      www.rock-bot.com
                      Live-Band-Karaoke

                      bassist and sound reinforcement

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                      • #12
                        Your points are all pretty valid, but still, why should I buy the DRPA when all of my research points to it being a worse piece of hardware than the Behringer?

                        And yes, my computer(s) have RS-232. The answer is, I'm not making use of RTA at all, just looking at the picture and wishing I could change it

                        But, enough silliness.



                        Ahhh...Dude, If yo're thinking that any Behringer piece is better than the DRPA, you're getting your info from people who simply just do NOT know what they are talking about. While Behringer might look nice, seem like a great value, there's a reason you don't find them in touring racks of professionals. DRPA's you do.

                        ANd I'll just say this about RTA's. The best room tuner I know, a Dolby engineer, Uses a RTA to only check if something is way out of kilter, to create a good basic sound. Then, he tweaks by what sounds good, and by what his mixers are asking him for.

                        Bottom line is that if you're in the price range you're looking at, then I would spend on the best quality, not the most features.

                        Todd A.
                        My Rig:

                        EAW LA325's (2)
                        EAW LA400's (4)
                        QSC PLX 3402 (2)
                        QSC PL1.8
                        QSC RMX 2450
                        Ashly ProTea 3.24c
                        Ashly ProTea 4.24G
                        EAW LA212 Monitors
                        JBL PRX-512M Monitors
                        Whole Lotta Cables

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                        • #13
                          If you can advance all your shows and are permitted to 'pink' the room at performance levels, and are using SMAART or another RTA that has time-domain capabilities, then using the PC makes sense. Otherwise, my earlier opinion still stands. K.I.S.S. always applies.



                          This is a GREAT point. Most people/ Venue don't want Pink Noise blasting at them at 110dB+ levels for very long. And you don't just RTA and tweak a room in 5 minutes.

                          T
                          My Rig:

                          EAW LA325's (2)
                          EAW LA400's (4)
                          QSC PLX 3402 (2)
                          QSC PL1.8
                          QSC RMX 2450
                          Ashly ProTea 3.24c
                          Ashly ProTea 4.24G
                          EAW LA212 Monitors
                          JBL PRX-512M Monitors
                          Whole Lotta Cables

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                          • #14
                            ..... And you don't just RTA and tweak a room in 5 minutes.


                            I'm not so sure I'd agree with that statement. To be perfectly honest, that's exactly what I do with my DRPA. Do I think I'm getting a true pro quality EQ setup in this fashion? Absolutely NOT! However, if my choices are trying to EQ a room using program material and a 31 band graphic EQ - or tossing on RTA mic on a stand in the middle of the dance floor and running the DRPA EQ Wizard - I'll take the "wizard" approach every time. My ears ain't all that discerning to begin with - so I can spend ALOT of time tweaking and questioning if I've got it right. I've used the DRPA Wizard scores of times - and have almost always been happy with the outcome. There have been maybe 5 or 6 times where I felt it necessary to manually tweak the DRPA's EQ settings.

                            The only issue with using the DRPA RTA wizard (or any RTA tools) is the obtrusiveness of blasting the "pink noise' itself. However, I've found that with a good explanation to the right manager - usually smooths that out enough to be a non-issue. If it doesn't - I pull up a saved program of whatever stored room setup I think is closest and simply let it rip. Face it ... loud program material or loud pink noise is still "loud".
                            The SpaceNorman

                            www.facebook.com/SuperstarsOfRock
                            www.souldoutrocks.com

                            Keyboards and Tone Generators: Yamaha CP300, Kronos 88, Roland AX Synth, Motif ES Rack
                            Keyboard Rack: Samson SM10 Line Mixer, Motu MIDIExpressXT MIDI Interface, Shure PSM200 IEM system, M-Audio Wireless MIDI, Live Wires IEM ear buds, iPad wOnSong.
                            Stage Amplification: Stereo via 2 Yamaha DSR112s

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                            • #15
                              I'm not so sure I'd agree with that statement. To be perfectly honest, that's exactly what I do with my DRPA. Do I think I'm getting a true pro quality EQ setup in this fashion? Absolutely NOT! However, if my choices are trying to EQ a room using program material and a 31 band graphic EQ - or tossing on RTA mic on a stand in the middle of the dance floor and running the DRPA EQ Wizard - I'll take the "wizard" approach every time. My ears ain't all that discerning to begin with - so I can spend ALOT of time tweaking and questioning if I've got it right. I've used the DRPA Wizard scores of times - and have almost always been happy with the outcome. There have been maybe 5 or 6 times where I felt it necessary to manually tweak the DRPA's EQ settings.

                              The only issue with using the DRPA RTA wizard (or any RTA tools) is the obtrusiveness of blasting the "pink noise' itself. However, I've found that with a good explanation to the right manager - usually smooths that out enough to be a non-issue. If it doesn't - I pull up a saved program of whatever stored room setup I think is closest and simply let it rip. Face it ... loud program material or loud pink noise is still "loud".


                              Well, Were kind of in total agreement... The reason I was posting is that the OP as stating that he wanted a computer RS232 or equiv as a feature, and my opinion was addressing that. I have no issue with the Room EQ on the DRPA, using it in the fashion you are describing, if it sounds good, great. But that's A much faster setup than doing it by hand, using RTA software, experimenting with crossover points and filters etc et al.

                              Todd
                              My Rig:

                              EAW LA325's (2)
                              EAW LA400's (4)
                              QSC PLX 3402 (2)
                              QSC PL1.8
                              QSC RMX 2450
                              Ashly ProTea 3.24c
                              Ashly ProTea 4.24G
                              EAW LA212 Monitors
                              JBL PRX-512M Monitors
                              Whole Lotta Cables

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