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I recently replaced the Behringer DEQ2496 EQ & DCX2496 crossover, driving my homebuilt hybrid electrostats & Ripole subs, with a DBX Driverack Venu 360 crossover/EQ.  I opted for the Venu 360 over the less expensive PA2, only because I needed the Venu's digital inputs to accept the digital out from my Logitech Transporter.

This will not be an in-depth, dispassionate, or measurement based review. I still have a lot to learn about the Venu 360, and the Behringers are all I know to compare it to. Below are my initial impressions:

Behringers have a less than stellar rep among audiophiles but they served me well for many years, and I found them to be dead quiet and crystal clear.  The DBX specs a little better but I rate them equally for inaudible noise floor.

The DBX’s wireless remote user interface is hands-down better than the Behringers’ front-panel intefaces. To be fair; the Behringer crossover does have a computer interface, but I couldn’t use it because its outdated serial port won’t connect to my laptop, or any laptop newer than 10 years old.

With the DBX, all functions are wirelessly controllable using a laptop/tablet app, and I use my Ipad for this.   The wizards make setup easy, and the control screens are intuitive and easy to use.

The Behringer’s auto-EQ is comparatively tedious, slow and cumbersome, with pink noise to endure-- downright primitive compared to the slick DBX auto-EQ.

The DBX auto-EQ is easy and fast. There’s no loud, obnoxious pink noise-- just a few rapid (2-second) frequency sweeps from (3) mic positions, and the unit instantly overlays about eight parametric EQ’s to smooth out the nasties. The resulting sound is balanced and wonderful right off the bat.

As we know; whenever you experiment and change crossover points or filter slopes, you must then re-EQ the system. With the DBX, I find it much easier to experiment and fine tune the crossover because the auto-EQ is so fast that I don’t mind re-doing it. This is a real time saver for fine tuning the system.

Whereas the Behringer DCX2496 can automatically time-align the speaker drivers, the Venu 360 has only manually adjustable time-delays, which I used to time-align the drivers the old-school way-- by playing a test tone at the crossover frequency and adjusting the delay until I found the constructive interference peak on the RTA (actually; I inverted the speaker phasing and adjusted the delay to find the negative/destructive interference dip -- either method works, but I prefer inverted phase).

After time-aligning the drivers, and having the DBX auto-EQ the system, I played an old Supremes song, and I could hear the studio reverb applied to the voices in the recording.   Just for fun, I turned off the time-delays and I could no longer discern the studio reverb and Diana Ross's voice became one-dimensional.   But when I turned the delays back on, Ross’s voice came back to life—the difference was amazing, and attests to the effect of even a small (0.33ms) phasing error.

And then I discovered the sub harmonic synthesizer and … WOW!   This feature should be used judiciously—probably not at all on modern recordings, but it miraculously enhances the bass on older recordings where the bass was anemic.

LOVE this DBX Venu 360!

360.jpg

Edited by jazzman53
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Interesting review thanks. 
I believe Roger Sanders has moved to the Venu for his speakers do you you are in good company 👍

 

One question I had was the DCX2496 can do some sort of dynamic eq - that is the EQ can be set to be volume dependant. Do you know if the Venu has a similar feature?

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Good to hear from another experienced DBX crossover user, and nice write-up. :thumb: I have a couple of DBX - DRPA units which allows me to create up to a 6 way active loudspeaker. I find the DBX unit intuitive, easy and flexible to use and once dialled in correctly - quite transparent sounding. Passive crossovers do sound better (more pure) using high quality parts Mundorf, Duelund caps etc, but can take years to perfect! Whereas active xos like the DBX can pretty much produce decent sound from a DIY speaker at the get go.

 

Steve

 

 

.

Edited by Steve M
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Btw, one tip I learned is that the DBX units like to be driven hard to get good sound. You set the amplifier gain interface to a level that gets those digital VU meters on the DBX dancing up to almost the red zone - then everything starts to sounds truer and more transparent.

 

Also, does the Venu model still have the annoying (and sometimes destructive) thump at shut down, that the older models have? 
 

 

 

.

Edited by Steve M
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Steve M said:

Btw, one tip I learned is that the DBX units like to be driven hard to get good sound. You set the amplifier gain interface to a level that gets those digital VU meters on the DBX dancing up to almost the red zone - then everything starts to sounds truer and more transparent.

 

Also, does the Venu model still have the annoying (and sometimes destructive) thump at shut down, that the older models have? 
 

 

 

.

I don't know whether the DBX would have a shutdown thump because I always shut the amps off first.   And at startup; I always turn on the Logitech streamer and Venu 360 first. 

Edited by jazzman53
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5 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Interesting review thanks. 
I believe Roger Sanders has moved to the Venu for his speakers do you you are in good company 👍

 

One question I had was the DCX2496 can do some sort of dynamic eq - that is the EQ can be set to be volume dependant. Do you know if the Venu has a similar feature?

I'm not yet sure if the DBX can do that, but it does have dynamic limiters. 

1 hour ago, Steve M said:

Good to hear from another experienced DBX crossover user, and nice write-up. :thumb: I have a couple of DBX - DRPA units which allows me to create up to a 6 way active loudspeaker. I find the DBX unit intuitive, easy and flexible to use and once dialled in correctly - quite transparent sounding. Passive crossovers do sound better (more pure) using high quality parts Mundorf, Duelund caps etc, but can take years to perfect! Whereas active xos like the DBX can pretty much produce decent sound from a DIY speaker at the get go.

 

Steve

 

 

.

 

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Guest gnnett
20 hours ago, jazzman53 said:

I opted for the Venu 360 over the less expensive PA2, only because I needed the Venu's digital inputs

So the PA2 has the same functionality as the Venu 360, apart from no digital input?

 

I will have a thorough read of specs, just the saving is significant for a first time venture into this area.

 

I am looking to use it as a means of "measuring" the effects of changes in passive tuning components (resistor values in an ESL segmentation network), from an established baseline using the DBX Auto EQ and then a Ripole sub support. I have a modest but pleasant sounding DAC and primary source will be analog.

 

Kind Regards

 

Grant 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, gnnett said:

So the PA2 has the same functionality as the Venu 360, apart from no digital input?

 

I will have a thorough read of specs, just the saving is significant for a first time venture into this area.

 

I am looking to use it as a means of "measuring" the effects of changes in passive tuning components (resistor values in an ESL segmentation network), from an established baseline using the DBX Auto EQ and then a Ripole sub support. I have a modest but pleasant sounding DAC and primary source will be analog.

 

Kind Regards

 

Grant 

HI Grant, 

 

Two friends who I built ESLs for are using the Driverack PA2.  I'm still learning all the features but I'm pretty sure that everything you would use in a home stereo application (crossovers, EQ's, limiters, time-delays, etc.. ) are identical in the PA2 and Venu 360.

 

Both have six output channels.  And aside from the extra/digital inputs on the Venu 360, the other differences apply to PA applications where you might need to daisy chain components.  For example; the Venu has three separate input processing chains (versus one in the PA2), as well as capability to make interconnections between the chains.  I'm not a PA guy so it's all Greek to me.  

 

Below are screen shots of the PA2 and Venu 360 remote control app home/function screens, which show the available functions:  

 

 

pa2 home screen.jpeg

360 home screen.jpeg

Edited by jazzman53
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Guest gnnett

Hi Guys

 

What microphones do you use? The dbx, or maybe the Behringer? 

 

Cheers 

 

Grant 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, gnnett said:

Hi Guys

 

What microphones do you use? The dbx, or maybe the Behringer? 

 

Cheers 

 

Grant 

 

I'm using the Behringer mic because I already had it when I purchased the DBX.   BTW; the DBX setup wizard has a prompt to select either the DBX mic or non-DBX mic.  

Edited by jazzman53
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