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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious if anyone else has tried the Behringer SU9920 Sonic Ultramizer in their two channel system.

I've been using one in line with my Behringer DEQ2496 for six months now and I like it, a lot. A/B tests with other listeners have all been in favor of the SU9920 in circuit rather than out. For around $66 brand new this piece seems like a no brainer to me.. especially for middle-aged ears like mine that are starting to lose their ability to hear upper registers. If you already have pro audio gear in your audio chain then you're just a set of XLR patch cords and $66 away from trying an SU9920.

The remainder of my system consists of: Acoustat 2+2 speakers, Acoustat TNT-200 amplifier, Acurus RL-11 preamp, Oppo CDP, Winamp.
 

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I'm curious if anyone else has tried the Behringer SU9920 Sonic Ultramizer in their two channel system.

I've been using one in line with my Behringer DEQ2496 for six months now and I like it, a lot. A/B tests with other listeners have all been in favor of the SU9920 in circuit rather than out. For around $66 brand new this piece seems like a no brainer to me.. especially for middle-aged ears like mine that are starting to lose their ability to hear upper registers. If you already have pro audio gear in your audio chain then you're just a set of XLR patch cords and $66 away from trying an SU9920.

The remainder of my system consists of: Acoustat 2+2 speakers, Acoustat TNT-200 amplifier, Acurus RL-11 preamp, Oppo CDP, Winamp.
I'd like to analyze the waveform modification it supposedly introduces. I'll tell you, with the lack of detail of what 'exactly' it's supposed to do, and the silly sounding functions, I suspect it's Behringer's version of the 'do nothing' knob that engineers have traditionally used in studios to quell people who want just a little something 'extra'. Have you measured/analyzed the device?

-Chris
 

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I'd be curious to know exactly what it does as well. Harmonic enhancement and phase alignment... Curious if it looks for an inherent dominant phase and frequency and boosts related harmonics or creates them. Sounds like an interesting piece of gear. Good find!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
WmAx, I have not measured the device's output with anything other than my ears and brain but I can tell you that it certainly does something. This would be clear to anyone who cranked up the SU9920's adjusters past my normal setting of 12-noon because the effects become way too strong. Even at 1:00 or 2:00 they are too much in my system for some music tracks.

The best way I can describe my perception of the SU9920's effect is that mid and high frequency sounds have more presence and realism. A perfect example is the sound of a crash cymbal. With the SU9920 the initial strike has increased energy and the sustain is long and shimmering. Instruments like acoustic guitar really shine with the SU9920 as do certain vocals. And my stock system, without the SU9920, is no slouch when it comes to reproducing such sounds.

In the six months since I bought my 9920 I was expecting at least some online discussion or reviews of the unit but my latest searches still turn up nil. This I attribute to several factors, notably people's skepticism of sound processors and, perhaps, digital devices in general, coupled with the too-low-to-be-taken-seriously price of the SU9920.

From time to time I still get doubts about the whole concept of harmonic enhancement, and I get up from my couch and press the unit's bypass button. And the the sound from my system goes flat and after a few more seconds of listening I turn it on again and sit back down and enjoy the music.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Based on the image on BBE's site (http://www.bbesound.com/products/maxim/882i.asp) this is the same unit that Behringer markets as the SU9920 (http://www.behringer.com/SU9920/?lang=ENG) though I doubt Behringer uses 1% metal film resistors and milspec PCB's based on their price of the SU9920. Perhaps one OEM's it to the other. Or perhaps BBE is licensing the technology to Behringer as BBE's web site has plenty of mention of technology licensing.

BBE's description here (http://www.bbesound.com/technologies/BBE_HDS/) concurs with my own findings on "material containing sharp transients (e.g., percussive and plucked sounds such as drums, guitar, piano and harpsichord, etc.)"
 

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Here’s another one I’d forgotten about, the Aphex Aural Exciter (although this particular model also includes some bass processing). Come to think of it, those CDs I mentioned used the Aphex system, not the BBE.

Here’s a discussion I found on it at the HT Guide Forum. As you can see, users with professional experience prefer the Aphex; users with no professional experience prefer the SU9920.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That Aphex unit (http://www.aphex.com/204.htm) appears to be very similar to the Behringer SX3040 (http://www.behringer.com/SX3040/index.cfm?lang=ENG) that I was also contemplating when I bought the SU9920. So I emailed Behringer asking them which they though was more appropriate for home two-channel use and they replied "Both products are very similar, but I would get the SU9920."

Re the thread on HT Guide, what I read were (mostly) uninformed prejudicial slams on Behringer or the concept of digital audio processing itself. No one there had ever actually owned, or even heard, a Behringer SU9920. Such is the nature of the web, I suppose! So many expert opinions, so little time.
 

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No one there had ever actually owned, or even heard, a Behringer SU9920.
Hmm... That’s not what I saw at all. Two of the three professional users who commented claimed they have used this particular Behringer and/or the BBE or Aphex units, and prefer them to the Behringer (“littlesaint” [Post #17], “iiaudio” [#19]). On the other hand, the Behringer defender (“Victor”) never claimed he had actually used any of them.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SU9920 isn't mentioned anywhere on the HT Guide thread nor is any specific Behringer model. Behringer offers many signal processors -- and has to its credit many older/discontinued models as well -- so who's to know which device(s) those HTG's guys are bashing?

I renew my challenge to anyone with 66 bucks to rub together to buy an SU9920 and try it in their own 2-channel system. Then comment. Enough said on the matter.
 

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I don't think anyone is trying to say that you made a bad purchase. I think moreover we're trying to find out how it changes the sound. It seems that the aim these days is about removing everything that alters the signal and achieving the most accurate reproduction. This is only one approach and using signal processing or eq are approaches just as valid. If it sounds good to you and improves your listening experience then that's all that matters.
 

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No need to speculate blindly on what the device does; Behringer puts all their manuals online: http://www.behringer.com/SU9920/?lang=ENG Download the free PDF-based manual and read page 7, section 3 "Practical Application" for Behringer's description of how the SU9920 works.

I'd cut/paste the relevant text here but the encoding on the PDF prevents that.
 

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For several years I had the Behringer EX3200 in my 2-channel signal path. This unit has a multitude of effects including dynamic frequency correction, phase shifting, and artificial harmonic generation. This is a fun toy with lots of controls to play with and it can truely enhance the sound of many recordings. The SU9920 maybe similar in what it does.

For a while I also owned a Carver H-9AV which produed an interesting effect, but also introduced noise in the audio path.
 

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nathanso, interestingly, I've just ordered a Behringer SX3040 to see what it can do.

I currently use a Behringer DEQ2496 Equalizer; it sits between my CD Transport and DAC and consider it the most important piece of kit I have.

Where did you place the SU9920 in your System? According to Behringer, the SX3040 is best placed before the equalizer.

Are you able to describe what sonic differences it makes? Especially, what does it do that the DEQ2496 does not?
 

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Hipper,

MY SU9920 is indeed connected before my DEQ2496. For my best effort at putting the sonic experience into words please see my previous posts in this thread. The effects produced by the SU9920 are altogether different than any effect I've been able to produce with the DEQ2496 though my efforts there have been limited to Auto EQ (manually smoothed) and some parametric bass boost.

Do report back when you've had a good listen to your system with the SX3040. I think you will be favorably impressed.
 

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I put the Behringer SX3040 in my system (Shunyata Hydra 8 Power Conditioner, Teac P/70 CD Transprt, Behringer DEQ2496 Digital Equalizer, Teac D/70 DAC, Son of Ampzilla Amp, VMPS RM30M speakers plus various good cables).

I had assumed that the SX3040 was a digital processor so stuck it between the P/70 and DEQ2496. Nothing happened. I fiddled around for a while with different cables and positions but nothing. I then guessed it might be anologue ins and outs and connected it between the DAC and amp. It worked! Doh!!!

Anyway. it was very disapointing although at £70 compared to my pricey gear, I shouldn't complain.

The disapointment was the way it damaged the sound as I played something whilst it was in bypass mode. It just roughened up the music - not nice. I did of course fiddle around with the knobs, altering both the base and the treble but it didn't matter as the sound was always unpleasant after what I am use to. I can only guess the cause is that it, presumably, converts anologue to digital, does the processing and converts back.

I don't regret trying and I'm now using it in a more modest headphone system (Marantz CD63 Mk II CD Player, Corda Headamp-1 Mk II Headphone amp, Sennheisser HD650 Headphones) where I only use the exciter part to lift the treble as the bass is already pretty solid. Each of the three knobs are roughly at the ten o'clock position. Here it works well.

It's a pity, but at the price it was worth the try.

There's a review of it and the SU9920 here:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan08/articles/behringersx3040su9920.htm
 

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I can only guess the cause is that it, presumably, converts anologue to digital, does the processing and converts back.
but the deq also converts to digital and back to analog, presumably without ill effects otherwise it would not still be in your system.

Does it not have some way of analog in (esp if it needs to be before the deq) yet digital out, straight digital into the deq, and then analog out of the deq?

On the other hand, the adc/dacs in the lower priced unit may be of lesser quality than in the higher priced unit.
 

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The SX3040 doesn't have any digital inputs or outputs. The inputs are 'used to connect line-level sources' according to the manual. They offer balanced XLR or 1/4" jacks, two of each in and two of each out, a set for each channel. There are no other inputs or outputs.

My DEQ2496 has a host of inputs and outputs, both digital and analogue. The anologue will convert to digital to enable the processor to do its stuff, and then convert back to analogue. I use the DEQ in digital only, between my CD Transport and DAC. This is what most people recommend. I have used the anologue inputs when using a turntable and it seems OK to me. I highly recommend the Behringer DEQ2496. It's excellent at what it does and a bargain (about £200), even though it takes time and persistance to learn to use it.

Some people have said that the DEQ does have a negative effect on the sound even in digital. Well, I'm happy with what I get from it and at between 15 and 30 times cheaper then its high end competitors (DEQX, Tact) I'm not complaining.

Generally all this Behringer gear is meant for home studio use or live playing, along with mixing gear etc.. May be at that level all this converting doesn't have such an impact. I would imagine for these situations, the quality/price is more than acceptable.
 

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I use deqx in my system, and it's great of course.

But boy I reckon a lot of people would be surprised at the improvements a deq 2496 can bring. very highly recommended by me as well.

I lent mine to a mate recently, and installed it and measured it all up for him. Heh heh, he was quite happy and proud of his homemade speakers before I came....was in a state of shock when I left. (I did the whole thing, fixed up the intrinsic FR of the speakers 1m on axis, then fixed the room response at the LP)

He admitted to being actually embarressed that he previously thought his system sounded good.
 
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