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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Time and technology march on. And so does the continuous onslaught of low priced yet improved products from the Chinese. Problem is, up until now, the manufactures have generally pocketed the cost savings resulting from moving to manufacturing facilities located in China. But now the tables are turning, and its time for the consumer to finally benefit too.


Enter the Behringer A500 Ultra Linear Reference studio amplifier, a top quality yet inexpensive new type of crossover product designed from the professional market perspective. As you will discover, the design has been tailored to reach the largest segment of the high performance home theater market.


Get Right To The Point

---------------------------

Studio quality amp, no fan and both superior balanced and unbalanced inputs. Available for $180 bucks shipped. Have your cake and it eat it too:
http://www.behringer.com/A500/index.cfm?lang=ENG


Be certain to look at the Rear View of the amp. The owners manual is there too.


The biggest problem with this unit may be simply acquiring one. Mine is on order and the first shipment is just arriving here in the states.


I will review it capabilities after I become familiar with it. Enjoy!
 

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That's an impressive name for a cheap amp. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
That's an impressive name for a cheap amp. ;)
You can always spend twice as much to make yourself feel better::)

Here is the Alesis RA500 being advertised. Notice the price is double the similar/identical Behringer A500.
http://www.bananas.com/productdetail...ower-Amplifier


I might add that this cloning situation is very funny for consumers but a disaster for manufactures. This is why you will see posts knocking the Behringer!
 

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The posts I see knocking Behringer are from the pro audio guys that use their gear, not from other manufactuers. The rap is poor reliability and noisy circuits.


I'd be interested to see some test results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Permit me to write of the significance of the new wave of products coming from China and why it can invigorate existing and also create a new generation of audiophiles.


Over the last couple of years, many AVS forum members have been defecting from the standard consumer products lines (as performance has taken a back seat to manufacturer cost cutting) to professional lines of resonable priced gear.


A500 Sound Quality

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The A500 is advertised as "true audiophile-grade performance". This is the most exciting aspect of this amplifier which has purposely not been discussed. (No hype policy). This is also why I bought the studio Crown K1 amplifiers to as they are claimed to have the best sound quality from the entire line of Crown amplifiers.


Behringer Analysis Gear

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The fact is the Behringer engineers and marketing have earned my trust by their many outstanding and wide ranging products. I own several, such as their UltraCurve DEQ2496 which includes a RTA/Fast Fourier Transform spectrum analyzer used for adjusting or checking out my gear. For the advanced audiophile, this $300 unit is a dream comes true. Up to 150 db of dynamic range.:)


Compare this measurement/analysis gear to the crude auto-room correction capability built into receivers. I just laugh, as even most audio salesmen will tell you they don't work to well and require “fine tuningâ€.


Quality or Best Buy

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What is the point here? Select Behringer if you want quality for the best price.

When they state "true audiophile-grade performance" (with the backing of the Chinese audiophiles) believe it. (Of course I will confirm it). This atmosphere is completely different than the severe cost cutting most local available consumer gear has undergone year-after-year. As proof just go into circuit City or Best Buy and look at the result: isle-after-isle of the substandard ju**.


The Ghost of High End

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There is quality super-expensive audiophile gear available from exclusive high-end stores. However prices have sky rocketed over the years and they can hardly even be considered seriously. For a good example, just read or look at the cleavage ads the irrelevant Stereophile magazine. This illustrates that left to follow their own paths, most people get greedy.


Over at The Absolute Sound, the phony high priest Harry Pearson had a revelation recently that Cd sound quality ain’t all that bad. This illustrates that left to follow their own paths, most people get lost.


The time is ripe for both new industry leaders/reviewers and new high performance gear that the average Joe can afford. These are rational reasons as to why to consire crossover products such as the Behringer A500. They bring affordability and fun back into the music equation. Enjoy it without having to make the monthly car sized payments!


Crown Legacy Gear

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I’ve stated in the “New amp is making me grin from ear to ear†thread, that while the Crown XLS amplifiers sound pleasant, their main limitation is the use of the TL072 operational amplifier, certainly a substandard device for audio use. This weakest link limits the amplifiers resolution and transparency. Consumers who want something better performing than a compromised/crammed receiver and willing to consider upgrading to separates, should stay tuned to this thread.


Road Pro Still Goes

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Straight professional road amplifiers are still the preferred choice in home theater for loads less than 4 ohms, very inefficient speakers or certain hi-power passive subwoofers. I love my Crown K1’s (no fan here) are now available for less than $1K!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF
The posts I see knocking Behringer are from the pro audio guys that use their gear, not from other manufactuers. The rap is poor reliability and noisy circuits. I'd be interested to see some test results.
Pro audio 'guys' are also subject to audio voodoo and myth just like the high

end audiophile 'guys'.


Behringer is considered 'rock bottom' in the pro audio world proabably due to

many reasons, the first being price. Rane is considered a step up and so is

other manufacturers.


To illistrate some comedy;


In regards to the Behringer DCX2496 product which I own, one person told me;

Thy...in the world of pro audio, behringer is entry level, budget gear...you won't find many behringer products used by any high end touring company's (except maybe for backups) they are decent products yes, and I own some of their stuff...but it's nowhere near the quality of rane, dbx, ashley, etc The thing is, a $250 behringer unit vs a $500 DBX unit when these guys are playing with thousands of dollars of speakers and amps, I can't see why they wouldnt spend the extra few bucks for the better gear. If it were in a budget system, then yes I'm all for it.


Being a thrill-seeker, I did some homework. The Behringer uses 4580 opamps

for the analog sections.


I looked at the Rane AC24 crossover schematic {which anyone can download},

and found that it too uses the 4580 opamps.


I looked at another Rane product, AP13. I found three types of opamps.

TL072 {1960's? design}

4574 {probably similar family to 4580}

OPA2604 {modern design, I see a few, maybe it's the mic input?


The Rane uses what peopel consider "cheap" and "good" opamps. You have

to ask the question "is the build quality better?" We can take apart the chassis

and look at it to see if the mechanical build quality is better. We can look at the

components used to determine if they are being generous by using expensive

opamp which doesn't guarantee better sonic performance, but public perception

thinks it does.


Considering that they mix old opamps with new, tells me a few things. They can

use old opamps to make a good sounding circuit therefore anyone who is skilled

in electronics can do the same. Rane mixes opamp types probably to optimize

performance for certain sections of the design while keeping cost down. If circuit

design goals can't meet goals by using the cheaper opamp, then they upgraded

to the 'better' opamp. Where a 'better' opamp might be overkill in a particular design, they saved money by using the cheaper one.


This is just an example of proper engineering. If you don't need the OPA2604

everywhere in the circuit where a TL can do the job, then save the money. It's

business.


On the other hand, an esoteric design, whether it be home audio, car audio,

pro audio, the designer may choose to use the same opamp everywhere to

justify the higher price of the product and/or to eliminate public perception that

they 'cut corners'.


People who do DIY electronics will use the 'better' opamp because it cost

about a dollar or two dollars. The cheaper opamp cost 50 cents.


People in the audio world who analyze parts used in equipment are quick to

judge a product that they didn't engineer and they assume the design engineer

made bad judgement and doesn't know what they are doing.


http://www.caraudioforum.com/vbb3/sh...d.php?t=219105
 

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The A500 is advertised as "true audiophile-grade performance".


I own Behringer gear.


I also read their literature and owners manuals. They are no different at

spreading 'audio voodoo' than anything other company does. They too make

funny statements that makes me giggle.

This is the most exciting aspect of this amplifier which has purposely not been discussed. (No hype policy). This is also why I bought the studio Crown K1 amplifiers to as they are claimed to have the best sound quality from the entire line of Crown amplifiers.


Crown is a big propagator of audio voodoo and myth. They make funny statements too that makes me giggle.

Crown Legacy Gear

---------------------

I’ve stated in the “New amp is making me grin from ear to ear†thread, that while the Crown XLS amplifiers sound pleasant, their main limitation is the use of the TL072 operational amplifier, certainly a substandard device for audio use. This weakest link limits the amplifiers resolution and transparency. Consumers who want something better performing than a compromised/crammed receiver and willing to consider upgrading to separates, should stay tuned to this thread.



If you perform a real blind test on the XLS vs. any other amp and find

conclusive evidence that the TL opamp is degrading the sound, then I will change

my views on audio and start to believe the voodoo that spreads like wild fire.

.. and I'll send you a cookie.
 

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I've used may Beringer products in the past, I will say yes they are designed in Germany and are assembled with typical the same quality parts you'd find in other gear but I will also say that I will never ever use a single Mixer made by them again.


The processing gear isn't shabby, but there mixers (which I've used many ranging from a base model DJ mixer up to one of there "high end" 32 channel boards) felt very cheap, the faders tended to wear and brake very quickly and all in all just did not have a solid feel that say a Mackie or Yamaha or Allen & Heath would have.


I've done pro audio for over 10 years as well as been a professional disc jockey for many many years. I'm not one to believe hype and the "voodoo" in products. So I will be the last to bash Beringer products. But I have to say that in my honest use of there products I've been pleased with some and very very disappointed with others.
 

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$180 shipped.....Sounds like a piece of $hit....the reviews should be interesting.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
$180 shipped.....Sounds like a piece of $hit....the reviews should be interesting.
People with $2000 budgets for esoteric 100w/ch amps can rest easy

by gambling 10% of that budget on an experiment, which if fails they can recoup

some of the money back by reselling the amp and/or returning it.


Most people gamble $180 on the horse race and don't blink when they lose it all.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thylantyr
People with $2000 budgets for esoteric 100w/ch amps can rest easy

by gambling 10% of that budget on an experiment, which if fails they can recoup

some of the money back by reselling the amp and/or returning it.


Most people gamble $180 on the horse race and don't blink when they lose it all.
Lotto tickets are $1. I don't consider those a gamble. It is simply an exciting way to throw away your money.........So is this amp.


$180 shipped. This means a $160 MSRP amp. Dealer cost probably $100. Distributor's Cost probably $60 and that makes about $15 worth of parts plus assembly labor....(at most).


It would be the cheapest amp ever....and consequently a piece.
 
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So, has anyone purchased one of these pieces of '[email protected]' to find out what it does? Could it be used for whole home audio where you are driving a pair of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers that don't need a high end amp?


Curious in Kokomo ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by RikiTikiTakura
So, has anyone purchased one of these pieces of '[email protected]' to find out what it does? Could it be used for whole home audio where you are driving a pair of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers that don't need a high end amp?


Curious in Kokomo ;)
Behringer said on August 16 that the first shipment has arrived in the states and is being shipped to dealers. I'm waiting for mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland
Lotto tickets are $1. I don't consider those a gamble. It is simply an exciting way to throw away your money.........So is this amp.


$180 shipped. This means a $160 MSRP amp. Dealer cost probably $100. Distributor's Cost probably $60 and that makes about $15 worth of parts plus assembly labor....(at most).


It would be the cheapest amp ever....and consequently a piece.
You might want to consider that the target audience is for a different segment of the marketplace. Specifically, we experienced audiophiles need to introduce inexpensive hi-performance products to the next generation. Otherwise the audio industry will continue to die-on-the vine. Ok? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by thylantyr
The A500 is advertised as "true audiophile-grade performance".


I own Behringer gear.


I also read their literature and owners manuals. They are no different at

spreading 'audio voodoo' than anything other company does. They too make

funny statements that makes me giggle.

This is the most exciting aspect of this amplifier which has purposely not been discussed. (No hype policy). This is also why I bought the studio Crown K1 amplifiers to as they are claimed to have the best sound quality from the entire line of Crown amplifiers.


Crown is a big propagator of audio voodoo and myth. They make funny statements too that makes me giggle.

Crown Legacy Gear

---------------------

I’ve stated in the “New amp is making me grin from ear to ear†thread, that while the Crown XLS amplifiers sound pleasant, their main limitation is the use of the TL072 operational amplifier, certainly a substandard device for audio use. This weakest link limits the amplifiers resolution and transparency. Consumers who want something better performing than a compromised/crammed receiver and willing to consider upgrading to separates, should stay tuned to this thread.



If you perform a real blind test on the XLS vs. any other amp and find

conclusive evidence that the TL opamp is degrading the sound, then I will change

my views on audio and start to believe the voodoo that spreads like wild fire.

.. and I'll send you a cookie.
Your skeptical point of view is well understood. I've trained myself over many years by conducting my own experiments and buying way to much gear and taking it apart. It has been a long and tough journey. However i do know what does now work and what does not.

The fact is nothing I can say will convince you. Only you can make any change. However since you own a balanced input amplifier, I will offer you a suggestion: Try these $15 cables in the above post. Even a rock can hear the improvement a pair of these make.
 
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