Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why not modded DCX's ? Why not miniDSP ?

Instead of getting DEQ units for each range of digital crossover I need, another alternative is to get a DCX with a modification to permit digital outputs for each range.

Unfortunately there are not many companies offering this mod (and in fact the company that did appear to offer this mod according to old posts in various places does not list it on the company website anymore).  The last time I saw this mod listed, they wanted $999 just for the modification, or $1299 for a modified unit.  Since the price of a new DEQ in the US is now $299, the modification price equals 3 brand new DEQ's, and the cost for a fully modified DCX with 3 digital outputs equals 4 brand new DEQ's.

To add to the uncertainty, the only picture shown for the modification only shows high and low pass outputs, with the mid connector marked N/C.

And then it's a modification by technicians of unknown skill, compared to a brand new factory made unit with warranty.

And having the 3 DEQ's means that you can have meters or spectrum on each one, which is cool.  Though perhaps it's not so cool to have a pile of three units when one would do the same job.

Also, the DEQ's have AES/EBU output and Toslink output running in parallel, whereas the modified DCX's only have coax spdif.

On the other hand, the downsides that have appeared with the DEQ are:

1) Space, takes more space
2) Reliability?  I've had two DEQ's fail since 2005 but not one DCX fail since 2008.
3) Balance only to about nearest 0.2-0.3dB
4) Level only to 0.5dB
5) It takes some calculation and testing to set up a 24LR crossover.
6) You are limited to 6dB, 12 and 24 LR, and a few other crossover choices.  Notably you can't do 48LR because that would require making two 4 pole Butterworth filters.
7) Less convenient to mute.

Fortunately, delay is settable (though the delay menu is hard to find).

I'm still planning to go ahead with DEQ's for each crossover range.

An entirely different option would be to use miniDSP's.  They would cost more than the DEQ's and I'd still need one per range, they require a computer to set up (the DEQ can be set up entirely from front panel controls), I'd have to learn how to do what I want, and there's no "meter" option.

I still like things I can control directly without having to plug in a computer.

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