[LAU] Pro Audio? OT rant.

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Wed Dec 26 11:22:34 UTC 2012

On Tue, December 25, 2012 3:26 am, Thomas Vecchione wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Patrick Shirkey <
> pshirkey at boosthardware.com> wrote:
>> Most people don't have the luxury of choosing their tools for every job.
>> Behringer mass produce their products using the cheapest methods
>> possible
>> out of China which also includes the dubious practice of copying others
>> in
>> their industry (cough: Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google...) and high
>> turnover that has resulted in their market domination for the low price
>> end of the market.
> At that end of the market it isn't necessarily a matter of having 'luxury
> to pick your tools for every job' it is a matter of, do I spend a few
> bucks
> more and get something that will last me two to three times the lifespan?
> Or not sound like crap?  Or both, depending on the equipment.  Yes some of
> it sounds good, but I can't depend on any of it to last long.
>> Our tests on this side of the pond have given us confidence in Behringer
>> products. Not only are they cheap but they also represent very good
>> value
>> for money and we can't fault the signal/noise ratio on the units we have
>> tested.
> You obviously haven't tested enough.  Some of their stuff has decent S/N
> ratio yes, the ADA are a prime example of this.  However other equipment
> from them is absolute crap and inject more noise into the signal path than
> any CONSUMER equipment I have used.  This includes, and especially applies
> to, their low end mixers, compressors, and DIs, in particular are the
> units
> I have had hands on experience with that I have refused to touch again.

Yes, over ten years ago Behringer's large mixing consoles had marginal or
inadequate power supplies.  Smart audio engineers bought them anyway and
first thing ripped out the power supplies, put in a socket, and added an
external supply to feed the necessary DC power to the mixer.  The last two
generations of Behringer mixers have been flawless.  Quantum theoretical
levels of self-noise, no measurable distortion (on very high end test
equipment), and rock solid reliability even in educational settings.

>> The Music Group is a strange company in the audio hardware manufacturing
>> industry. They do hardly any marketing because they recognise that if
>> you
>> Make things cheap and good enough to get the job done and people will
>> buy
>> them. That simple directive has enabled them to become the biggest audio
>> hardware manufacturer on the planet. Almost the complete opposite of any
>> other successful audio hardware company. In a way they are actually
>> enabling the masses to create and produce music rather than keeping it
>> solely the domain of the wealthy elite who can afford to spend the price
>> of a European house on a new toy ;-)
> Wait, are you saying that Behringer hardly does any marketing?  BS.
> Period.  I see more marketing from them than I do from A&H, Soundcraft,
> Yamaha, etc.  They are not Bose no, but they are far from the least
> marketed brand out there.
> They depend on the 'walmart principle' if you make it cheap enough, people
> won't care that it sounds like crap or will break in a few months as they
> will just replace it.

Behringer products, from the past six years or so, have little if any
resemblance to the competition.  Different chips, different circuits, and
very clever original internal layouts.  On the other hand, the internals
of most of their competitors looks pretty much the same - standard
off-the-shelf IC's, pots built into the circuit boards, capacitors of the
day, etc.

> They haven't lowered the entry bar for making music, that bar was lowered
> before they even entered the market.  People like Mackie, Samson, etc.
> made
> low cost, just not quite as low, equipment, that lasted better and
> generally sounded better, even if it wasn't close to what you get in the
> low to mid range part of the market.  What they have done is taught people
> to settle.
> Look, I am obviously not a fan of Behringer, but at this point you are
> really sounding like someone that is.

I'm not actually a fan but I think a lot of people round here make a big
deal out of Behringer products which doesn't meet the experience we have
on this side of the pond of using them. However it may just be that we get
better quality Behringer products on our side of the pond.  Maybe it's a
supply chain issue or maybe it's something to do with the stockists.

Anyway I don't sell mass manufactured audio hardware in a chain of stores
so I don't have the stats to say if Behringer products have a higher
failure rate or return rate than other manufacturers.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

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