Behringer DEQ2496 vs. DSP8024 as DAC

I just got a Behringer DSP8024 digital EQ on an impulse and am loving the room correction. I'm using it as a DAC for my HK8550 CD changer. Didn't know what to expect, so I jumped on an eBay bargain rather invest in the reportedly better DEQ2496. I was planning to use it solely for bass correction in my biwired & biamped system, but I'm loving the full-range EQ.

My question is, is the DEQ2496 an audibly better DAC than the DSP8024? Anyone have experience with both? I'm feeding it to Martin Logan Aerius i's through an Adcom GFP-555 and a pair of Adcom GFA-5200s in a 12x19x9 living room at modest listening levels.

Any first-hand info would be much appreciated.
I used an 8024 for a while in an InnerSound Eros system for a while and could not get the system to sound good when the 8024 was in it. It was always bright and zingy to my ears. I ended up sending the 8024 back and never regretted it for an instant.

The 2496 is supposed to be better, sonically, but I have not heard it, so can only report what others have said.

Perhaps someone else could offer a direct comparison between the two. Personally, I wouldn't use an 8024 for anything other than bass EQ. YMMV.
Bright and zingy? Was that the Auto-Q result? Did you try manually adjusting the curve after doing the Auto-Q? I found the Auto-Q result to be understandable, but a bit bright. I moderated the curve by 1db (raising dips and lowering peaks, except in the bass), and this restored just the right amount of the Aeriuses' warmth. Not bright and zingy now.

Also, did you use it as a DAC, or did you insert it into the analog chain? The former has the theoretical advantage that the digital signal from the CD player is EQed while still in the digital domain, and the signal then goes through D/A conversion only once on its way to the preamp. If you put the EQ into a tape or processor loop, the CD player or outboard DAC converts the digital signal to analog, and then the Behringer converts it back to digital, EQs it, and then converts it to analog again. Three D/A conversions can't be a good thing.

Any comments on its relative merits as a DAC? I'm finding its EQ functionality thoroughly agreeable. I'm just curious whether the DEQ2496's DAC might be audibly better. I've got a cheapo HK CD changer and have never had the chance to A-B against a higher-end player or DAC, so I don't know what to expect or listen for, or how big a difference a DAC upgrade might make. Is the Behringer's DAC comparable to the HK's? A Rega Planet's? A $500 outboard DAC? I just have no idea.
I could not get the 8024 to sound good in my system no matter what I did, even with manual tweaking of the controls. I don't remember if I tried it as a DAC, but I think I did. This was about 4 years ago. My main memory was that my system sounded much better after the 8024 was removed from it.
Well, my HK CD changer is not exactly hot stuff, so maybe there's nowhere to go but up. The room EQ improvement certainly outweighs any signal degradation, as I can hear the former clearly and the latter not at all. That's why I'm interested in knowing if the DEQ2496 is any better. I was planning on eventually getting a Rega Planet 2000, but now I'm not sure if I can live without the EQ, and if the CD player is being used only as a transport into a Behringer DAC, I suspect the main advantage of the Planet is lost. Perhaps feeding the Behringer into a proper outboard DAC is the way to go. Any addition to the front end can't cost more than $500, though, as I've got to squirrel away $3,000 for a new Mac.
You see, you'll never achieve great sound because your priorities are all wrong. You should be squirreling away $3000 for stereo upgrades and set aside $500 for the computer... You can buy a pretty good PC for $500 these days, but maybe not a Mac.

I don't know, my 8024 never sounded good in my system. But you have a different system in a different room... Who knows, maybe my unit was slightly defective or perhaps they used differnent internal components from a different product run.

If you can find a nice Bolder Cable-modified ART/DIO DAC, that might be a nice upgrade over the Behringer's internal DAC and they can normally be found in your price range. I'm still using one in a second system, and it sounds pretty darn good. :)
$500 PC? Bah! I'm a professional photographer - I NEED a top-end Mac. Give me OS X and at least a Conroe, or better yet two Woodcrests. I don't know a single pro photog who uses Windows, and I wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole. Sorry if that offends, but I have strong feelings on the subject. Fifteen years, and no AV software and no viruses, spyware or adware, ever... Don't get me started - wrong forum.

Thanks for the Art/Dio suggestion. I'd never heard of them. I've also heard good things about the CAL Sigma tube DAC in that price range (used). But, to be honest, I'm not in the market for either a Planet 2000 or an outboard DAC right now: new Macs will be announced August 7. Around $150 to upgrade my 8024 to a 2496 is about the limit for the time being. Curious whether that would be worth it.

I'll post again after a buddy comes over (soon, I hope) and we do a proper A-B DAC test with the 8024 in and out of the signal path with EQ turned off. Of course, comparison with the built-in DAC in a $200 HK CD changer is not exactly going to be a tough challenge.

I'm trying very hard to be satisfied with what I've got and keep my aspirations modest. Otherwise, the weapons race can go on forever. I bought all my Adcom and Martin Logan gear a few months ago to replace an HK receiver and a pair of Mission 772s. What I've got now is better than I had dreamed I'd be able to afford in this decade. Gotta keep that in perspective (he said as visions of the lovely Planet 2000 danced in his head). :-) / :-(
The DEQ2496 DAC is supposed to be better...that's why they updated the unit. If you want even better performance check out the RAM mods to the DEQ2496.