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What's up with Behringer?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Slice, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Slice

    Slice Guest

    I've recently started looking into recording gear (about 3 months now), and I've read dozens and dozens of forums and reviews saying that Behringer isn't good... my question is why do most of the people think that? and what's your guess of the best mixer brand in the same very low price range?
  2. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    I dono, for 45 bucks I like my Behringer Xenyx 502. But for that money there might be something even better. Needless to say, after seeing how expensive 'good' gear is, I really think it is a great tool for learning! No idea about their other products though, but that's what I hear a lot too.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Slice -

    Great question. First - if you do a short search on the forums here, you'll find a LOT of reasons why people hate Beh***ger.

    Here's my reasons -

    1 - For that price, it's plainly obvious that they are using literally the cheapest possible parts for their gear. I couldn't build a mixer that cheap with a DigiKey catalog and a year's worth of time. Much less pay some poor Chinese woman $.05 an hour to sit in my sweat shop and put the stuff together. In other words, the parts are of poor quality.

    Let me explain even further. Let's take a resistor for example. A resistor is labeled with different colored bands around its body to indicate its value. In addition to that, it's got one last little band that shows its tolerance. A 1% resistor will have a gold band, a 5% resistor will have a silver band and it goes down from there. (Some of you EE's on the board, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - it's been a LONG time since that class and I may be a little off on my values).

    In any case, let's assume that a resistor has a value of 75 ohms. With a 1% tolerance, it could be as high as 75.8 ohms or as low as 74.2 ohms, but in general, it's pretty darned close and will not cause any major issues if it's that little bit off.

    Take a 5% tolerance resistor at 75ohms. It could be as high as 79 ohms or as low as 71 ohms. This is a gigantic swing!

    Now imagine a 10% or even worse!!!20% tolerance!!! If you're not sure how this would affect your sound, here's a simple test - put a simple 110 ohm resistor on your word clock termination(AES - or 75 ohm for SPDIF) and change it from 1 to 5 to 10 percent tolerance. Now listen to the sound get brittle and choppy (and maybe even pops and clicks)

    A 1% (or better) resistor can set you back from $.50 a piece to as much as $5 a piece! A 10% tolerance can be bought in bags of 100 for only a couple dollars.

    2 - Behr***er is famous for ripping off others' designs. For example, they ripped off Mackie on both their "Truth Monitors" and some of their mixers. So, Mackie patents or trademarks (or both) their circuit design and then B comes along and steals the desing but makes it with lower tolerance/cheaper parts and sells it. This is a very bad business practice. Despite the fact that Mackie sued B, it didn't matter since the laws aren't the same in every country and are very tough to enforce across borders and oceans.

    3 - This is going to come off all wrong and I don't mean it to.

    Audio Engineering is an art and a science and it's being destroyed. Why I say this is because everyone who plays a guitar or drums nowadays thinks that they can go to guitar center, drop $50 on a mixer and $50 on a cheap ass mic and become an audio engineer. Then, the market gets flooded with music (not altogether a bad thing, but too much *poorly recorded music* is a bad thing.)

    I honestly believe that there needs to be a higher price of admission into the audio world than $100.

    Sorry - I know it doesn't sound very nice, but I hold it to be true.

    Cheers -

  4. Slice

    Slice Guest

    Thanks for the answer!

    Any advice on good brands that still come in at a low price, but not cheap?

    (I'm actually looking for a mixer with 5 to 12 ins and 2 or 4 bus, any ideas?)
  5. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Minor quibble here, Digikey is actually really pricy, you pay for the excellent service.

    Actually 5% is gold, and silver is 10%, however through hole resistors are harder to find in modern gear. (No… please no one start the whole SMT is bad thing again.)


    Personally I agree with all mentioned, the bad tolerances make for noisy problematic units. Being an electronics designer and professional engineer, I have to admit circuit copies upset me. It’s simply not professional, for that reason alone I would have a hard time supporting Behringer.

    However the market has shown once again, that integrity is not important to most consumers. Pro audio is a very interesting market, historical Audio Engineers were quite versed in at least the basic physics of their profession. As the price of gear drops the perceived value of audio gear drops.

    Ask yourself if someone gave you a $50 mixing desk would you spend the time to learn its inner workings? What if someone gave you $50,000 dollar desk? Which would treat with more respect? Which would you feel more compelled to study?

    Bottom line, and I apologize for the rant, Behringer is not providing the world with gear to enable the masses, its actually reducing the value of music production.
  6. bpatram

    bpatram Guest

  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Jeremy did such a good job that I'll just riff off of his answers.

    1. Quality. Not only does Behringer put price ahead of all other attributes, you can't even get a fix on anything that they do consistently well. In contrast, a company like Peavey makes a lot of inexpensive stuff, but it is clear that they at least try to make it durable. I'm a reformed Behringer owner. It's all gone. I would have been better off saving my money to get better equipment in every case. Didn't always know it at the time, but it is clear in hindsight.

    2. The trail of lawsuits speaks for itself. However, it does not bother me that much. We are talking mixers and speakers here. Everyone uses some degree of reverse engineering. I know several engineers who have been sued for similar reasons, so I've seen the other side. I'm willing to leave this to the lawyers.

    3. Here I completely disagree with Jeremy. If he has led a bad life he will probably have to spend eternity listening to a bunch of people with multimillion dollar studios complaining that new technology has let riffraff like him into the business. :wink:
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Ha...you must know me well Bob as it's quite likely that I'll end up just as you say. Though my fear isn't what you say, it's having to listen to Kenny G and John Tesh records for all eternity.

    Bear in mind though that I'm not saying inexpensive gear has no place and that people can't start and learn on cheapo stuff. I just hate that companies like Behrin**r sell themselves as "pro" and so many people buy it and proclaim themselves "pro engineers."

    If they pitched it as "educational tools," I'd have no beef with it at all.
  9. Slice

    Slice Guest

    I myself think of Behringer stuff as home studio equipment nothing more, it will never go pro that's for sure, but for someone like me it does fine until I go to university in recording arts.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Never imagined you'd been that bad. Or is that just plans for Saturday night.
  11. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Words hurt Bob...
  12. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Well, it's obvious that price is a serious factor here since you say "very low price range". So that being the case, Behr**ger is you answer. They are cheap and can work.

    If you are just messin' around it'll likely do the job you want. If you want something that will last for a dozen years or so you will need to spend more money.

    I would suggest checking out the used market, craigslist, pawn shops, eslay, etc. You can likely get a better unit for around the same price.
  13. Slice

    Slice Guest

    Let's say...what's the cheapest after Behringer? (with not too bad quality)
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    In a word....Yamaha.
  15. Slice

    Slice Guest

    Thanks, I'll look into their gear.
  16. cheeseman

    cheeseman Guest

    yeah yamaha has a nice feel to their stuff. Its cheap but has a good quality feel about it. Safer bet than Behringer.
    On the topic of Behringer and more over home recording , I think its the new punk. I don't mean that in the watered down dross angdrogenized crap that claims to be punk, but the ^#$% you very much establishment punk of yore. DIY recording is the male solo accoustic act of the decade and is a music movement in itself. People are thinking outside the square and doing amazing things by being inventive and making music using $*^t gear a creative choice. Its REAL punk! Engineers who know better will never like it because it defies the rules. But just because it defies the rules doesn't mean that it lacks merit. Some idiot savant is out there putting the lot of you to shame. Evolve or die!
  17. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Actually in some cases evolution seems to be killing us. :) sorry couldn't resist
  18. DIY is definately coming to be more of a state of mind than it has in the past. I think using crappy gear is the best way to grow as an engineer. What better way to learn about signal flow than trouble shooting a buzz throughout your entire signal chain from your mic to your speakers? I think crappy beginner gear is what pushes pros to the top. Given, anybody who can talk to a Guitar Center salesman can call themselves an audio engineer, but without the drive to REALLY become an engineer, they will always be stuck in that "learning at Guitar Center" mentality. Behringer, hell yeah, they are cheaper components, and they will definately break down faster than say a Mackie, or Yamaha, but they are an affordable place to start, and you will be forced to learn about how to record a sound wel,l so you don't have to kill your mix by using crappy eqs to try to make it sound better.
  19. pkev

    pkev Guest


    Hi there,

    New to forum so have been catching up on different topics.

    I reckon it's very much each to their own view regarding any manufacturer.

    I still think it's a fairly safe bet that there are quite a few Pro Studio's using Behringer gear. Even if it's only their DI boxes or Headphone Amps or whatever!. There are also Pro's using Behringer gear in `Live` applications. They might take the view that they use Behringer gear cos it actually does the job really well, instead of being a stop gap till they can afford something better.

    As previous posts have suggested, Behringer gear can be good to cut your teeth into Audio production, but I would also argue that one could really learn how to get the best results from the gear and be able to produce some quality sounds.

    I could also argue re reliability by saying that `none` of my Behringer gear has let me down and I have several products.

    Personally, I have a small recording setup to pursue my musical and audio interests. It is probably worth remembering that It's the music that is important to me more than the actual audio stuff. I would never claim to being an audio engineer by any manner of means, my objective is to capture my musical ideas as best as I can with the tools I've got. I don't see the need to go and buy a top notch compressor.

    Given that it's all a learning curve and I've been a musician for 30+ years, I am aware however of the quality to be had from different gear!

    It's also worth considering that my outboard `crappy` gear has outlasted several PC crashes, OS, software / dongle and Plugin crashes.

    Read any audio forum and I'll rest my case. I think the whole PC software, plugin thing is a minefield and it's getting worse cos it's sucking everyone and his granny in.

    I'm inclined to take the view to a certain extent, that as far as equipment goes,

    EQ is EQ, Reverb is Reverb, Compression is Compression, Gating is Gating

    Someone who has the skillset / experience to apply this stuff can do it just as well with a waves EQ plug, JMeek compressor, Alesis Reverb and Behringer Gate.

    Anyway, just a shout up for some behringer gear that I've found good

  20. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    The behringer stuff I have used I inherited and haven't liked any of it. The headphone amp well.. has no power. It can't drive the number of headphones it has Jacks for, can't even drive one set properly. The DI's well they work ok. The eq well I just disconnected it because it kept doing weird things to the sound randomly. Just my experiences with their stuff maybe others have different experiences.

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