What Behringer seems to do very well is DSP, processing signals in the digital domain. The DSP side of things is very good, well thought out, quite useful, and offers a wide range of features..
The 'weak point' of Behringer gear is generally known to be the input and output stages in the analog domain, power supply(s), and their conversion from A to D, and D to A (The actual ADC and DAC chips they use are very good, but are let down by surrounding circuits).
With some effort you can convert the DCX into a sonically true high performer perfectly suited for HiFi use. Most mods to the DCX (and the DEQ for that matter) target the points mentioned in the 3rd paragraph. There are many places that offer mods in kit form for DIY, or they will perform the mods if you send in the device, or you can buy a new one 'pre-mod'ed'.. .
I sourced my mods in kit form from "Pilgham Audio" in The Netherlands. I chose the full compliment of DCX mods, which are as follows:
-Replacement Active i/o board that incorporates 6 channel remote volume control
-Linear power supply to replace switchmode and removes the 'mains' completely from inside device
-Master clock and SRC (sample rate converter) replacement
-Replacement voltage regulator circuit for the ADC's, and one for the DAC's
-Upgraded DAC chips (which I haven't actually installed. The chips are too small for me to solder. Plus the stock chips are very good anyway)..
Construction was mostly straight forward.. I found some parts a bit tricky, like removing the old SRC chip and mounting the adapter for the new clock/SRC module. Also making 3 ribbon cables was at times confusing, the instructions and pictures weren't the easiest to follow!! I found myself running down to Altronics for a meter of 26-core ribbon cable and a handful of IDC connectors.... Yes, I had completely stuffed up 2 of those cables.. Second time around,, no problems :-)
The first image is the 'stock' DCX..
The second image is the modified version with all but the DAC chips installed
So, How does it sound ?? Well, I had used a Stock DCX for a long time, so it wasn't hard for me to notice massive improvements,, but I am aware this is relative to the listener, so I wont go on too long about it.
I am using Analog inputs (I have not performed significant listening test with Digital input yet). The first thing I noticed was the silence!! The noise floor had dropped by a huge amount,, I was hearing "nothing-ness" in between sounds that I had not noticed before in my system. I was impressed how 'quiet' my system had become.. Next was the huge improvement in the soundstage depth,, vocals seemed to step out in front of the music, and at cetain times in the song a particular instrument would 'come forward' and then sublty blend back in. Next was stereo imaging, this was much more noticable and easier to achieve. The combination of imaging and sounstage depth, gives this "3D" effect that I had not experineced before!! Last but not least was the improvement to overall clarity & quality of the sound,, crisp and defined mids/highs, but not too overly bright or 'harsh', lows well defined and appeared much more present in the music.. Soon to come (Hopefully!!) is my SGR built 18" sub,, so integration with my modified DCX will be fun & intersting..
So there it is.. Hope it's worth the read for someone