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Behringer Mixer, DI boxes, and Snakes

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by geezer, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. geezer

    geezer Member

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    I just recently purchased a refurbished Behringer Eurodesk SL2442FX-PRO to run sound for a local band. It was about all I could afford. I have not received it yet so I was wondering if anyone has used it or other Behringer mixers, and had any feed back on them.

    Also, people have told me that I should have DI boxes for every instrument. Because I am on kind of a tight budget, I was wondering how necessary are they?

    I also need to buy a snake. I need 16 inputs with 4 quarter inch returns. I was wondering if any suggestions, or knew any that I should definitely stay away from. I'm trying to avoid going much over $300, but if i really need to I suppose I can. I was looking at Rapco, but i don't have my heart set on it.

    Thank you so much for your Help.
     
  2. Bucky

    Bucky Member

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    well if your bringing the instrument right into the board then yes you do need a DI box
     
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  3. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Don't trust the mute buttons on that mixer. If you have to kill something, take the fader all the way down and mute it. Just using the mute on the Behringer SL series boards has been known to pass a signal.

    Rapco should do you for an entry-level snake, but also look at Pro Co.
     
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  4. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    You can get Whirlwind IMP2 DI boxes for about $30/ea. on ebay. Check out this auction and similar ones. Nice little unit for your budget level.
     
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  5. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'd suggest Tapco DI boxes as they are quite inexpensive yet well made.

    Whirlwind offers a 16/4 imported snake right around your budget.
     
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  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2007
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  7. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    DI boxes. These are needed for any instrument that gives you a high impedance or unbalanced signal (usually via a 1/4" plug) and allows you to run it to the board via a low impedance xlr cable. Typically, this is just bass guitar rigs and keyboards. Most bass rigs have these built in, or just stick a mic in front of the cabinet on stage.

    Guitars, horns, etc... are almost always mic'd (you put a microphone in front of the instrument or amp on the stage).

    Typically, you would never need more than 3 DI's (unless there are 5 keyboards or something really messed up).

    The Behringer boards are really not that bad. The biggest problem with them is that they are prone to breaking and weird things happening. I had a small 8 channel that I used to use for little events when I first started and had a problem with bleedover, where the signal from one channel would bleed into the channel next to it. I could not put a loud signal next to a quiet signal on the board, or it would bleed over. If you get a good board, you should be pretty happy with it.

    As far as snakes, I have found that mine get damaged and need to be replaced no matter how expensive it is at about the same time. Each lasts me about 1 to 1 1/2 years at the most, even if I buy a $1000 snake. Things happen like it gets cut, some union jerk runs over it with a fork lift, etc.. I now buy mine from http://www.siglermusic.com . They are really pretty good for the price, and I have three of them right now and would compare them in quality to Horizon (which is far better than Rapco). (They even sell knock-offs of countryman lav mic's and are GREAT!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2007
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  8. geezer

    geezer Member

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  9. geezer

    geezer Member

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    I have another question for you guys. Why should I use a DI box instead of running a guitar into the line jack on the mixer? Would this have problems? Doing all of this is kind of a learning experience for me so I'm sorry if this is a really stupid question.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  10. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    The output of the guitar is not line level. It is, in fact, way, way off from line level. So, you either have to run it through a DI box, or run it through the amplifier and then run the aux out of the amp to the DI box.
     
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  11. stantonsound

    stantonsound Active Member

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    I second soundlight's comment. But in all reality, for a small set up, you need a DI for the keys and that is about it.

    I've had the snakes for a little over a year now. The larger one has been used five or six times outdoors (40 channel) but the 16 channel has been used several dozen times. They hold up pretty well. I take very good care of my equipment, but mic cables and snakes are two things that are damaged by others. I had someone run over the snake cable with a fork lift with a full load, and that destroyed it. Others get cut with people walking on it, or broken glass getting into the yellowjacket and people walking on it, or a musician dumping a beer in the stage box as they carelessly play. Singers on stage take the mic cable and walk all over it, wrap it around their hand, swing the mic on it, etc... It doesn't matter if you pay $15 or $50 per mic cable, they still break with misuse. (Just like the guy that dropped MY shure wireless 58 and it landed perfectly in a pint glass of beer on the floor, didn't even knock the glass over)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2007
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  12. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Does it still work?
    I have had wireless bodypacks get soaked, I just take them apart and let them dry out overnight.
    I would think you could just replace the element.
     
  13. geezer

    geezer Member

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    So has anyone else used a behringer mixer before? I always hear about people bashing them for being cheap, but i'm more interested in experience with them, than opinions about the company. I appreciate your advice.


    Thank you.
     
  14. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Here's specifics from use:

    The MX-2442 and MX-3282 are good, solid mixers, well designed, copies of good Mackie boards that are possibly better than their Mackie counterparts. But after the MX series, Behringer took a stiff downhill turn. The SL series mixers' mute button doesn't mute the channel all the way, and their UB series mixers sometimes have the same problem, and I've also had problems with the signal level output on the main outs of a UB-2442FX-PRO. They didn't match the proper line level that the active JBL Eons needed. Besides all of this, open one up. Look carefully at the wire gauges, solder connections, etc. versus those on a Mackie or a even a Peavey mixer. Behringer cuts costs whenever possible. Their entry-level vocal mic 3-pack (XM1800S) is the worst abomination of the vocal microphone ever. They've beaten Nady for worst feedback from a microphone, which I didn't think was possible.

    On the other hand, as I said, their old MX series of mixers are rock solid, before they started cutting more corners. But now, their one good product category is their Power Amps. I've seen countless behringer power amps at festivals and events that I've been to, and there's usually no other gear in the signal chain, from source to speaker. It's just the amplifiers. People seem to like them, and from my experience with them (although somewhat limited), they do hold up very well. Their speakers, on the other hand, are only good as enclosures. The actual speakers are lousy. I know a sound guy who bought them just for the enclosures, sold the woofers, and popped some Pyle speakers in there, which sounded much better (don't rag on Pyle for speakers, they've got some nice stuff over there in terms of actual speakers, but their DJ stuff and amps are crap).
     
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  15. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Oh, and they've been getting worse with their name comparisons to mackie. Take a look. Mackie comes out with the "ONYX" series, so Behringer comes out with the "XENYX" series. Coincidence? Heck no! Far from it! They loooove copying Mackie's new stuff with a much, much lower quality standard now. They've really gone downhill since the MX days in terms of their mixers.

    Their processing gear is crap too, these days. My TD got one of their model DSP8024 equalizers, and after a little while, it developed a very loud line hum. He was so pissed that he unscrewed it from the rack (almost ripping it out in the process), and the literally threw it around the stage a bit. He then went and ordered a Klark Teknik Square One analog EQ to replace it.

    Oh, and just to keep on rolling back to the positives here, their B5 condensers are great. I've worked with a guy who uses them for drum overheads in a festival situation alongside Audix, AKG, and Shure gear, and they sound spectacular. And the interchangeable capsule is a plus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
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  16. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    To take up more space and sum up my thoughts: Behringer's good stuff: B5 condenser mics, MX series mixers, and their EP2500 power amp. Behringer's bad stuff: anything that I didn't mention above.

    That said, their equalizers with the LED-on-fader-based feedback detection would be a great teaching tool, even though I would never put them in the signal chain for an important event.

    I'd much rather go with the next level of companies in the audio world: ART, Peavey, Mackie, Tapco, Alesis, Phonic, and sometimes Samson (for mixers, not microphones!). Some people may debate me on the Phonic reccomendation, but I've seen some of their gear take some serious abuse and still come out on top. I won't say that it sounds like a Midas, or even a Soundcraft, or even a Yammie in some cases, but it'll easily do for a low-budget person who would otherwise purchase a Behringer.

    AAAND, Phonic has re-introduced their Impact series of mixers, with a newly designed chassis, but the same features as the Classic impact series often found on eBay. But their really good ultimate mixer, the MR4283D, has been discontinued.

    As a side note, the Phonic website has to be the SLOWEST website ever created.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
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  17. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Since you have already made you decision on the mixer. there is little point in trying to convince you to make another decision. I would just siggest that you be careful, be prepared for an unexpected failure so I guess I'd setup early at a venue and if you have any problems, have an alternative that you can get quickly.
    Re di's typically you use the, for the bass, keyboards and on occasion a guitar, probably augmenting the guitar with a mic. One of the Top of the line DI's are the Countryman 85 they are pretty bullet proof. Make sure you get one that can work of phantom power, since the Battery powered only ones seem to always run out of battery at the worst possible time

    Re the snake, I would look at getting a larger snake than you need so that you have spare channels. Most of the cheaper ones use the non solder connections which is problematic, one thing to consider is honing your soldering skills and at least soldering the wires to the connector.

    Make sure your setup for the returns is balanced, I have seen people starting out attempt to run non balanced inputs on amps with all the hum problems associated, so make sure they are TRS (stereo jacks) and that you are feeding a balanced connection all the way through.

    Sharyn
     
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  18. geezer

    geezer Member

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    I still have the option to return it. I got a great deal on a refurb off musicians friend so i decided to jump on it. I get a 45 day satisfaction garantee and the full warranty so i figured i might as well try it. If you or anyone else has another suggestion for a board in the $300-ish price range (possibly more if it is really worth it) I would love to hear about it.
    Thank you in advance!
     
  19. SHARYNF

    SHARYNF Well-Known Member

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    Tough Decision, the reason why Musicians Friend has it for sale as a refurb is that someone returned it due to a failure, So the question is, is it now fixed to the point that it is better than new, IE the tech's have really gone thru it? Behringer to try to get around a poor quality reputation, started to just offer swaps on failure. I tend to think that in a lot of cases markets do determine the true value of the product, and in the 300is level you sort of get what you pay for. Know where you are coming from, and cost is cost. Personally down in that price range I would probably look on ebay for a good condition used Mackie sr24.4.

    The earlier comments from folks re Behringer and mixers is quite true, when they first started out in a big way in mixers they completely copied the mackie design, got in a legal battle, but over time moved to german engineering, with Chinese Manufacturing, which in and of its self is not really an issue but they tended to have poor quality, failures, and what I guess I would call overall engineering issues, where it was not just the circut design but more of the physical design, or the quality of the components etc. There is a classic case where in their DriveRack knock off they failed to properly isolate the circut board from the case, and people had all sorts of problems until users believe it or not put insulating paper between the circuit board bottom and the case.

    I also tend to look at cost as acquisition, less what you can sell it for when you upgrade since most of us tend to keep upgrading. In that case I do think that the Mackie will probably hold its value better over time. Up from there but with less inputs would be a Allen an Heath mix wizard. If you were to move to digital the original Yamaha 01v would be an option, but again will less inputs but a lot more functionality.

    Sharyn
     
  20. silvrwolf

    silvrwolf Member

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    In the future I would stay away from refurbished gear unless you have the chance to fully test it to its max before purchase. Even though you can return stuff with problems you may sometimes find yourself with the seller saying that you caused the problems with the equipment and that they wont refund your money. When purchasing used be very careful!!!
     

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