My advice is no preamp. I use a computer -> dac -> DBX -> amps, and the computer controls the volume. I recently tried a $10,000 tube preamp in my system and it just degraded the sound. Of course if you have to have a preamp because you do not have a volume control on your source, or you want multi-input selection, then I don't have any advice except to somehow at least try the no preamp option.
Thanks Bdhgon. I actually am old school and still use a 400 disc changer for music. I think I would prefer something a tad warmer than my B&K Ref 70 for music. But, if the signal is converted from analog->digital->analog in the Behringer 2496 than does it matter much whether the incoming signal is slightly warm or slightly bright? I could reason that a better incoming signal could be better even if it is degraded. Conversely, I could reason that the final signal is perceived as slightly bright to me because of the digital crossover at the end. I just want to know if the digital crossover is more of the problem.
Im using a combination of an Audio Horizon tube DAC and TRL Dude preamp. The EP 2.3s are very neutral and reveling speakers. They have Titanium tweeters which can be a bit bright with the wrong equipment - but with the right combination of tube source(s), cables and SS amps they are quite amazing. I have the DBX 260 and not the Behringer. I have found it to respond very well to upstream changes - tube rolling to be more specific. It has other minor flaws but does not add brightness to the mix in my system. If you have digital sources I cant imaging not having tubes somewhere within the mix. I would NOT recommend TRL for a variety of reasons, but you might want to give Audio Horizons a call as they have tube dacs, pre-amps and some other tube warmth gadget. I think they also offer a 30-day trial option.
Thanks Cdente. I do need to add a tube preamp or definitely something warmer upstream. I am considering the Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2, however it is ss. I am also considering a Peachtree Nova. I have heard the DAC-2 will best a modified Nova that is more expensive. So many choices.
I'm using an Audio Aero Prestige cdp with my CS2.3 and formally CS2.It is a great preamp and DAC.I'm hoping it works for a while cause its pricy even used.
I'm wondering about anyone trying the Spatial Audio "Orpheus'DAC and thus eliminating the Behringer xover.I have the upgraded Behringer from Cullen Circuits and it is a monstrous improvement from the stock one.But its about a grand so the Orpheus seems like a good bet as it has many more features.
Strange thing is there is hardly any feedback out there specific to the Spaital products and our speakers. I for one am not going down that road unless I'm able to demo and compare the product in my own system. The requirement of having a MAC configured with their software only makes a demo that much more of a challenge.
I've been after Cullen to provide an upgrade path for the DBX 260 but no luck. Any suggestions on how to improve 0n this active xover?
Prism Orpheus is an amazing piece of equipment. Works beautifully with the CS2.3s. It's the only way to go. When coupled with spatial, it creates jaw-droppingly beautiful sound. Behringer sucks all warmth out of the system. It doesn't work. Tube preamp only makes it worse. You have to kill the Behringer.
I have heard nothing but great feedback on the Orpheus, its capabilities and sound quality. This however comes at a hefty price when you get into the Spatial paradigm.
How can a tube preamp would make a Behringer-driven CS2.3 system worse? Inserting a good quality tube preamp (with quality vintage tubes) in just about any system can make a profound impact on body, weight and warmth.
Thanks for reporting on the Orpheus from personal use.
I figured it may be the way to go.Next major purchase.
The best tube pre-amps from the $1,000 to $5,000 range would be as follows:
The Doge 8 ~ $1,150 (an incredible bargain for top drawer
performance. Comes with a phono stage.
The Audio Horizon 2.2 ~ $2,750 (excellent performance
many upgrades possible).
Coincident Technology Linestage ~ $5,000 ( a great bargain
considering its mind-blowing performance. Only downside is it only has 2 inputs.
Hooper, Rclaassen is right. I would go the Prism route. I briefly owned the 2.3s, and while they have a lot of promise, I think the cheap pro digital unit is a compromise. You can blunt the sonic contributions with tubes, but there are limitations. Clayton Shaw designed that speaker, and subsequently designed the Spatial rig. You can dialogue with him about the reasons why. There are multiple grades to choose from, not just the Orpheus which is expensive. It gives you so much more control, from the x-over, to room correction, to flexibility with source material (hi rez material...24/192, etc), and you can even add tube simulators which are little DSP-like programs that run in the digital domain. If you like what the 2.3s are doing, its a no-brainer.
Has anyone heard of these guys, www.asi-tek.com? I use a dbx as a crossover. The dbx does not suck out all of the life but does degrade the music to an extent.I need to upgrade. My budget is 4k or less.
You are right. The DBX is not a total assassin, but does influence things negatively. I have not heard of that modding outfit. If you have 4K to spend, I would look at the tudiokonnekt 48 and a mini. It would be under that price tag I believe and gives you much more flexibility, including upgradability for the future.
Investing 3x or more the resale value of these crossovers makes no financial sense. You would be lucky to get 25% of the upgrade cost back if you were to sell it. Interested however in feedback from those who went down crossover upgrade path as to the sonic benefits.
Its unfortunate that the recent 6moons review focused on Spatial rather that the base CS2.3 with the Behringer. What about the DBX vs. the Behringer? 2.7 vs 2.3? There are some of us that cant (or wont) go down the Spatial path.
A decent review of the base product might have gone a long way to help answer the original question of this thread.
Charlie, one option is to get one of the higher level DBX units. I spoke to DBX last year, and one model does have a bypass so you do not have a redundant and degrading DA conversion. I don't know what the price is.
I would still talk to Clayton about the Spatial thing. If you source a used Mini, and get one of his lower level packages (and sold your pre-amp and dac and some cables), it would not cost you much $ if at all.
At some point I'm going to look at other options. I believe I have found a solution for the line leveling and gain/hiss issue on the active xover side. Final testing should be completed next weekend. I'll post the results on the other thread. Traveling a lot so have not had much time. Then on to my pre-amp issues.