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Behringer Cheats with Tubes
Old 24th September 2007
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Behringer Cheats with Tubes

3 years ago i bought the t1951... 2 ch 4 band parametric eq with a tube section. recently i have been wanting to replace the tubes... so i did research on behringer and replacing tubes. i came across a rant about behringer under powering their tube units and placing LED's behind the tubes to make them 'glow'

so i opened the unit up...

not leds... but little light bulbs. people kept telling me behringer is junk, i shoulda listened.

what should be done with my new found pile of parts? anyone got a schematic for a simple tube preamp?
Old 24th September 2007
  #2
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boojum's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
You know that there is a bulb behind the tube for your amusement. Have you measured the plate voltage to be sure it is underpowered??
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I had that thing for a while. The tubes are BS. The EQ itself however was ok. Except for the ungodly-difficult-to-see-in-the-dark knobs they used. I ditched it for an Ashly parametric which was only slightly more expensive used than the Behringer is new, and you get a much much much better EQ.
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
i came across a rant about behringer under powering their tube units and placing LED's behind the tubes to make them 'glow'
Oh my God! I wouldn't touch any Behringer kit anyway but that does surprise me.

Reminds me of a time when someone brought an unbranded dynamic mic into the studio for me to fix. I unscrewed it to find a big lead weight in it to make it feel like a heavy duty mic!
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #5
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
All of the compaNIES offering tube pres at 100- 200 bucks are cheating, not just Behringer. They are all starved plate designs, which explains the super cheap chinese 12ax7 tube.... it does nothing but create unusable fizz when pushed.

The only ones I know of that are real 200-300 voltages at an affordable price are the Electroharmonics, The Brick, and the Art Gold Channel, which has a selectable voltage setting.

I still have a VTB-1 in the closet. It has a nice blue neon behind the tube. It sounds good as a cheap preamp, but its not a "tube" preamp by any means.
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
I am assuming that all of you know under-volting a tube to enrich harmonics is a trick that has been used for many many, years by many, many manufacturers. Behringer did't invent this either (;

BTW, I have been blown away by the sound quality, if not the build of a great many of the new Behringer products, and I have some Yamaha mixers that look to be off the same assembly line, only the paint seems to differ. I know it's not PC to mention this here, but it is reality.
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
This is generally brought up once every 6 months. Behringer is NOT the only company that does this. Even my first little presonus had a little led behind the toob.
Old 24th September 2007
  #8
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🎧 15 years
groupdiy.com


Quote:
Originally Posted by junkhole ➑️

what should be done with my new found pile of parts? anyone got a schematic for a simple tube preamp?
Old 24th September 2007 | Show parent
  #9
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud ➑️
The only ones I know of that are real 200-300 voltages at an affordable price are the Electroharmonics, The Brick, and the Art Gold Channel, which has a selectable voltage setting.

Oh, and Bellari also. Noise may be an issue with these pres also, so I have heard.
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #10
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
i am totally aware now that this is a gimmick used by many other companies.

groupdiy.com... i will check it out.
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysteryman ➑️
BTW, I have been blown away by the sound quality, if not the build of a great many of the new Behringer products, and I have some Yamaha mixers that look to be off the same assembly line, only the paint seems to differ. I know it's not PC to mention this here, but it is reality.
can you cite some examples?

thanks.
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud ➑️
Oh, and Bellari also. Noise may be an issue with these pres also, so I have heard.
If you do the tube and opamp mods on them then they can sound pretty good. The pots will be noisy unles you replace them too, but they are quiet once you set them. I had a modded rp503 and sold it, but miissed it enough that I bought it back. I mostly use it for bass, either with a dynamic on a cabinet of behind a DI.

On the weighted gear tip, any of the danelectro pedals are like that: take the bottom off and the metal weight comes with it. I used to have micronauts that were more solidly put together. Some of them sound pretty cool but the reliability is crap and the last one I had that died had rosiny fingerprints all over the pcb.
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spish ➑️
can you cite some examples?

thanks.

Can't find some of the photos now, but it's the Yamaha MG series and some of the pre "Xenyx" Behringer mixers, the ones they made right before they bought/built that city in China. Also some of th Phonic stuff looked ans sounded like it came from the same hole. FWIW they all sound more than good, not really knocking any of them. Ya wan't crappy mixers? the stuff they made in Meridian a few years ago will do ya. Now that was some kind os Ummm "Sonic Signature"
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
i know some people rip them but the dbx386 pre is not starved plate and has nice conversion built in for @600 list..(who pays list??) i even use mine as the frontend for my live keyboard rig...
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud ➑️
All of the compaNIES offering tube pres at 100- 200 bucks are cheating, not just Behringer. They are all starved plate designs, which explains the super cheap chinese 12ax7 tube.... it does nothing but create unusable fizz when pushed.

The only ones I know of that are real 200-300 voltages at an affordable price are the Electroharmonics, The Brick, and the Art Gold Channel, which has a selectable voltage setting.

I still have a VTB-1 in the closet. It has a nice blue neon behind the tube. It sounds good as a cheap preamp, but its not a "tube" preamp by any means.
I wouldn't say starved plate designs are "cheating" necessarily -- although the fact Behringer puts lights in back of them to make them "glow" is hilarious -- or that such designs are unusable.

Starved plate hybrid designs can produce a somewhat different flavor from either all solidstate or full vacuum tube designs. Whether or not it's what you're looking for in a given circumstance is up to you...
Old 25th September 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
I wouldn't say starved plate designs are "cheating" necessarily -- although the fact Behringer puts lights in back of them to make them "glow" is hilarious -- or that such designs are unusable.

Starved plate hybrid designs can produce a somewhat different flavor from either all solidstate or full vacuum tube designs. Whether or not it's what you're looking for in a given circumstance is up to you...
Im not sure thats right. Granted, some starved plate tube pres can sound good as a "mic preamp", but the tube has nothing to do with the sound, unless you push the puny 15 volt output, and want a fizzy experimental NIN sound. If you dig that crappy type sound, then MPTY!!

From what I have just read about the DBX 386, it seems its in the same boat. There is nothing in the specs that address voltages. All the specs I have read on real tube pres, cheap or expensive, usually boast their 250-300 volt power to the single 12ax7-t7, or whatever. It just seems to me that when they dont mention it, it aint that.
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #17
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joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
But whatever happened to giving the manufacturer the benefit of the doubt?
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acoustic Cloud ➑️
Im not sure thats right. Granted, some starved plate tube pres can sound good as a "mic preamp", but the tube has nothing to do with the sound, unless you push the puny 15 volt output, and want a fizzy experimental NIN sound. If you dig that crappy type sound, then MPTY!!

From what I have just read about the DBX 386, it seems its in the same boat. There is nothing in the specs that address voltages. All the specs I have read on real tube pres, cheap or expensive, usually boast their 250-300 volt power to the single 12ax7-t7, or whatever. It just seems to me that when they dont mention it, it aint that.
As far as the DBX 386 goes, read the sidebar here;

dbx 386 Dual Tube Mic Preamp Analog-to-Digital Converter

Could this reviewer have made a mistake on the tube voltage?
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #19
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
dbx 376 Vacuum Tube Channel Strip, by Andrew Roberts

I could'nt get your link to work to the review, but try this one. The site seems to be reworking things.

I did not see any quote on plate voltages as you said, but heres a quote at the end of the review:
Whether or not the vacuum tube enters into it, this unit's preamp has a warm, "tubey" sound. Add to that a competent EQ, a great compressor, an ingenious conversion process with digital outputs, and you have a unit that is ideal for today's computer-based DAWs.

Like I said, this is probably a good sounding pre, I have never heard it. But calling apples oranges seems to be common nowadays, and this may be the same thing.

BUT,

YMMV
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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lowfreq33's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, they're not just copying or imitating, they're ripping off the whole design.
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #21
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santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I already knew this as I read it a long time ago but I'm not surprised and in fact, its our own fault.

Most musicians don't know much about tubes. If they didn't put a bulb behind the tube, then most people would think it was broken as they expect a tube (which looks like a lightbulb itself) to glow.

Now tubes do glow but very faint and I t hink this even depends on the type of tube you are using. So all Behringer does is meet up peoples perception and expectations of tubes.
Not only behringer does this, more "low end" brands do this because the low end people who use it don't have a clue.

of course you can state in your manuals that tubes dont glow much but no-one reads them anyways.

Its all about who your customers are. Real engineers and so fort ar not the real customergroup for Behringer. Its more for those hip hoppin guys (who really don't have a clue), musicians that craft an instrument and want to make some recordings of it at home etc. The kind of people who thinks wow cool tubes ! Now I get that (fill in the dots...) sound.

Really, I can't blame Behringer for doing this. Its pure logic for me to do so (though, Im a marketeer)
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #22
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainy-taxi ➑️
I already knew this as I read it a long time ago but I'm not surprised and in fact, its our own fault.

Most musicians don't know much about tubes. If they didn't put a bulb behind the tube, then most people would think it was broken as they expect a tube (which looks like a lightbulb itself) to glow.

Now tubes do glow but very faint and I t hink this even depends on the type of tube you are using. So all Behringer does is meet up peoples perception and expectations of tubes.
Not only behringer does this, more "low end" brands do this because the low end people who use it don't have a clue.

of course you can state in your manuals that tubes dont glow much but no-one reads them anyways.

Its all about who your customers are. Real engineers and so fort ar not the real customergroup for Behringer. Its more for those hip hoppin guys (who really don't have a clue), musicians that craft an instrument and want to make some recordings of it at home etc. The kind of people who thinks wow cool tubes ! Now I get that (fill in the dots...) sound.

Really, I can't blame Behringer for doing this. Its pure logic for me to do so (though, Im a marketeer)

welp... i did start out in hip-hop production. so you nailed that on the head. but i do believe i bought the eq cause i needed alot of eq for cheap (i shoulda never sold my 2nd meq230) recently its been all forms of electronica (mostly drum'n'bass) and a little jazz (aspiring chapman stick player)

anyway. now i need to get a quality drum sound... someone almost sold me on the behringer tube pres a few weeks ago.... but i am not doing that now. i am doing my homework now on tubes and other goodies... like what the heck is an opamp... so yay for killing the ignorance.
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #23
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santibanks's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkhole ➑️
welp... i did start out in hip-hop production. so you nailed that on the head.
I was more referring to a certain stereotype rapper. The point I made is that behringer uses leds and bulbs to create glow because their customers "expect" a valvetube to glow.
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #24
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Empty Planet's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical ➑️
....I'm probably in the minority on this one, but personally, I stand by Behringer products....

Always refreshing to see someone standing up for an unpopular opinion on this board.





Cheers.

Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet ➑️
Always refreshing to see someone standing up for an unpopular opinion on this board.





Cheers.

Yep the truth always trumps.

Even if the business practicies suck, saying they make crappy products is just distorting reality for the sake of politics, They make good products. Sometimes not as tough as others but almost alway sound great
There is still some crap out there, but Behringer ain't making much of it..
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Are the new Behringer and Phonic powered p.a. mixers any good? The Phonic power pod 740 for example or a comparably priced Behringer?
Old 26th September 2007
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Talking

It doesn't matter whether or not the tubes glow or not, what matters is what the device sounds like / how it affects the audio signal. If the device does do something good to the sound, then heck, put christmas lights in the thing and go to town!
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
the 386 (mine at least?) has a plate voltage of 200V...
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Mill ➑️
Are the new Behringer and Phonic powered p.a. mixers any good? The Phonic power pod 740 for example or a comparably priced Behringer?

I'll give you 2 answers, you pick which one you think is true.

1. No. All of that stuff is **** and you get what you pay for.

2. Those mixes sound remarkably good and in a blind test you probably could not differentiate them from Yamaha or Mackies offerings.

3. Not an answer but I'm sorry if I rufflle feathers here. There is some real fine gear available now for peanuts. I'm sure we will pay for this later. I'm brushing up on my Mandirin.
Old 26th September 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
jordanh's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just because there is a light behind the tubes doesn't mean that they are underpowered. My brother has a Crate Blue Voodoo amp and I noticed that it has lights behind its tubes also...but I can barely turn that amp volume past 1.5 without reaching the threshold of pain (well, a little exaggeration) and that amp has a LOT of gain.

Some people might get upset with the lights...but whatever, it looks cool. For now I'll skip jumping aboard the anti-behringer bandwagon
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