It would seem that this is my year for buying broken items. A bit about the Behringer DEQ2496 and the two failed units I wound up with.

So the processor itself is a fantastic design on paper. This is a multi effects processor for doing signal processing of audio. Among many features it has, the unit has fantastic EQ options with a graphic style display or a parametric style display. The main reason I wanted the unit was for its ability to store EQ profiles in memory. This way I could have many different style EQ profiles and just recall them for use at a touch of a button. The unit also has downward expanders and compressors built in as well, both of which work very nicely too.

I purchased the units from who were absolutely fantastic about handling the customer service issues I had. I’d buy from them again for sure. Fast and easy response, pre-paid shipping labels sent through email, they just couldn’t have handled it any better.

The first unit I got off the ground, patched in and programmed in about 20 minutes or so. As soon as I hit save on the first pre-set, the unit bricked. The firmware was faulty or the CPU I suspect as the unit was boot looping over and over. Multiple power disconnects and a few technical taps, the unit wouldn’t come back. So I exchanged it.

After waiting out a backorder on the unit, I finally got unit number 2. Got this one dialed in with multiple profiles, got all the features sorted out and it was smooth sailing. Then two days later, the display died on this one. The unit was functioning fully, but had no display. With the completely menu driven interface it has, this means it’s pretty much DOA.

As I said, the features are simply perfect for my use in ham radio. I had audio profiles configured so they were nearly indistinguishable from radio to radio. This is quite a feat considering the vast variations in audio front-ends from radio to radio. This is a very irritating issue to solve for those of us with multiple radios with a shared microphone between them. The downward expander is very effective and has great ranges of adjustments available. The compressor even works well and generally digital compressors are very finicky to deal with.

Unfortunately the quality control from Behringer seems to be nonexistent at this point. I did live sound and toured using Behringer equipment for a number of years. This gear took loads of abuse getting tossed around in road racks etc and never gave me a bit of trouble. It would appear in the last 10yrs or so, that Behringer has drastically dropped off in their overall quality.

The truly annoying part of this is that the DEQ2496 is the only product on the market that will store EQ profiles the way it does. The only other product I have found is in the $4k price range which is just ludicrous for my use.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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26 March 2011