Behringer DEQ2496 - wow

Has anyone forked over the $300 for this unit? I was using a Z-Systems RDQ-1 between my CD transport and preamp, and decided to try the Behringer mainly because it has 10 channels of parametric EQ vs four for the Z-Systems. I cannot tell a difference in sound quality between the Behringer (digital in-out only... the DACS might not be of the highest quality) and the many times more expensive Z-Systems. In fact, the Behringer is much better ergonomically and has many more features than the Z-Systems. It also has an auto EQ mode which I tried, but prefer to trust my own ears. The Behringer does not have the kind of build quality that the Z-Systems has (the Behringer is very light), but it works very well, and am amazed at the number of features it has and how inexpensive it is. By the way I'm using the unit in a very high-end audio system. I'm curious what others have experienced with this unit. It seems like an incredible value to me.
I never thought the product is perfect, nor am I willing to completely rearrange my living room for the sake of perfect sound. I've already taken many steps and have acquired some very good equipment, but need to take some steps to cure some tonality issues without rearranging the room.

As far as the mic is concerned, you certainly might be correct. I do happen to have a Shure SM57 which I'll try out, although I believe since this mic is generally used for vocals, might be tilted a bit in the midrange.
Forgot to touch base on this, but the reason that they use pink noise is that it offers simultaneous full spectrum output for time-domain measurements. You can't do that nearly as quickly or effectively when using a frequency sweep. Pink noise is also a far more complex signal, which can cause the speaker & room to respond slightly differently than if it was being excited with a sweeping narrow band signal. Sean
I would guess that the reference mic sold for the Behringer is corrected for in the RTA (that should be the way it works). That has been true of every RTA that I've used. My old standby is an Audio Control 3050A and its reference mic, a C15360. I usually use Alesis digital eq's (two to eight channels). A couple weeks ago I purchased a dBX DriveRack Studio (partly to check out how well the auto eq works) but I'm now waiting for the reference mic (dBX RTA-M) to arrive as it was on backorder. I'd recommend sticking with the mic made for the system.
Danner, you may be right. I just tried a SM57 and what happened is what I thought might happen. Since the SM57 has a somewhat tilted midrange, and not great response at the extremes, the Behringer produced a tonal curve that was severely boosted in the bass and high treble. As it stands now, I'm still trusting my ears!
Smeyers: The Behringer acted as if the system was lacking bass and treble due to the SM-57's lack of extension and corrected accordingly i.e. increased the lows and highs. As such, i would "assume" that the Behringer is taking things in stride in a relatively linear fashion.

This is why i said that the "flatter" the mic is, the more accurate the correction factor will be and vice-versa. That's because the Behringer will correct for the non-linear frequency response that the mic itself introduces into the equation, not what the system / room interface is actually doing.

Compare the results of the SM-81 to that of the SM-57. Now look at the response curve of the ECM8000. You'll have to go to the Behringer website and then click on "spec sheet, PDF 145 kb" to see it though as i can't do a direct link.

As a side note, the response curve Behringer has posted seems to be slightly different from the curve i saw about two years ago or so. As such, they might have changed the mic, changed the spec sheet or both. If the Behrigner ECM8000 actually tests out as this chart shows, and the mics are consistent from mic to mic, it is a tremendous bargain. This is true even if the cost of the mic went up 25% in the last year or so.

One more thing. The ECM8000 is an omni mic. In other words, it picks up relatively evenly in all directions around it. While this may be beneficial in some instances, i don't think that it is here. The Shure SM-81 that i mentioned above is not an omni, but uses a cardiod pattern. That means that it is more sensitive to sounds coming from directly in front of it and off to the sides, but response falls off as you get further behind it. This is somewhat how our hearing works too as our ears act as horns facing slightly forward. Obviously, some folks have larger / smaller ears and some are more stream-lined clinging to the sides of their heads whereas others are more "focused", sticking out and facing more towards their front. This will affect what we hear as individuals and is part of why a machine can only correct for each of our own hearing attributes to a percentage.

Like i said, these devices are great tools, but you've got to learn how to use them. They aren't perfect and you have to be able to interpret the data that they provide and tweak it accordingly to the given installation. Sean