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Author Topic: Low Cost Processor Suggestions  (Read 2114 times)

Mike Karseboom

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Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« on: February 10, 2017, 12:17:03 pm »

I would like to add some DSP to an outdoor speaker system that uses mostly older Community R.5 speakers.  The main goal is speaker protection in the form of high pass filters and peak limiting.  Secondary goals would be EQ and possibly delay.


I have to be able to lock out any adjustments by users but front face "clip" indicators would be useful.


This is a community service job where I am donating the equipment and time so I am looking at used processors on fleabay in the $100-200 range.


Many of the older models have plenty of capability but have either non-standard (and missing) power adapters or potentially unsupportable PC interfaces.  And many are discontinued as well.


Two units that look promising and in the used price range are:


Shure DFR22
Symetrix Symnet 8x8


The Shure only has 2x channels but that may be enough.  Amazingly it has not had any kind of firmware update in it's entire life and older software is still current.


The Symnet 8x8 is more capable and probably more complex and has undergone yearly firmware and software updates.  My concern on this unit is possibly getting a unit that is very difficult to match software.  I don't want to buy a piece of hardware and then spend a lot of time trying to figure out a viable PC interface.  Maybe this is not an issue?


Does anyone have any recommendations or comments on these units?
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--Mike
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Live Sound for the Mt. Shasta area
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David Allred

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 12:55:00 pm »

DBX Driverack 260.
Up to 2 inputs and 6 outputs.  Serial interface required for PC control, but can be set up without, though a little more difficult (time consuming).
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 01:29:03 pm »

Check out some products from MiniDSP
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 02:00:54 pm »

I would like to add some DSP to an outdoor speaker system that uses mostly older Community R.5 speakers.  The main goal is speaker protection in the form of high pass filters and peak limiting.  Secondary goals would be EQ and possibly delay.


I have to be able to lock out any adjustments by users but front face "clip" indicators would be useful.


This is a community service job where I am donating the equipment and time so I am looking at used processors on fleabay in the $100-200 range.


Many of the older models have plenty of capability but have either non-standard (and missing) power adapters or potentially unsupportable PC interfaces.  And many are discontinued as well.


Two units that look promising and in the used price range are:


Shure DFR22
Symetrix Symnet 8x8


The Shure only has 2x channels but that may be enough.  Amazingly it has not had any kind of firmware update in it's entire life and older software is still current.


The Symnet 8x8 is more capable and probably more complex and has undergone yearly firmware and software updates.  My concern on this unit is possibly getting a unit that is very difficult to match software.  I don't want to buy a piece of hardware and then spend a lot of time trying to figure out a viable PC interface.  Maybe this is not an issue?


Does anyone have any recommendations or comments on these units?

Where will this DSP reside? 
Ambient temperature and the possibility of condensation are significant issues for DSP units.

A reasonably controlled environment is typically required. 
Most DSP is rated for ambient temperatures between about 85F and 120F and all that I know of require a non-condensing environment.
Symmetrix is on the lowest end of this for most of their products that I am familiar with.  BSS is rated at 95F, Ashly has DSP with the highest ratings that I have been able to find.

Lee
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 05:30:56 pm »

Thanks for the input.  The mini-dsp probably has enough processing power but the form factor is probably not what I am after.  My preference is something with a standard rack mount and an IEC power inlet - not a wall wart.


I am familiar with the Driverack 260 and lower models and they would work but I would prefer not have all the control buttons available.  I realize it can be locked out but I sort of want something that is just a "black box" to discourage part time sound guys from messing with it.  To some extent a unit with "euro-block" connectors  rather than XLR connectors on the back might help in this regard as it won't be quite as convenient to just bypass the unit.


This will live in a portable SKB rack along with the 70V amps.  It will mostly be stored in a climate controlled building and then will be hauled out into the elements for actual use. 


Temperatures in the summer could be 100F and in the fall and winter there it could be 20F or warmer with high ambient humidity a posibillity.


Are the "install market" DSP's really that sensitive to environmental conditions for temporary use?  Or is that a spec based on 24x7 use for years on end?


I have had most of my audio gear out in a variety of weather for extended periods and never had anything shut down due to temperature or moisture except  the iPads which thermal out if you leave them face up in the sun.



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--Mike
"If you're not confused, you don't know what is going on"

Live Sound for the Mt. Shasta area
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Will Knight

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 06:05:04 pm »

Mike,
You may want to take a look at some of the older QSC Basis products.  Some are available on eBay around your price point, most use Euroblock / Phoenix connectors for 8x8 Input/Outputs with full DSP capability.  No buttons on the front, lockable via password and rack mountable.  They were principally for the install market but also were useful in touring/live sound.  Designed originally for QSC amps but easily configurable for any amps.  May be worth a look.
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Lee Buckalew

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 06:22:28 pm »

Thanks for the input.  The mini-dsp probably has enough processing power but the form factor is probably not what I am after.  My preference is something with a standard rack mount and an IEC power inlet - not a wall wart.


I am familiar with the Driverack 260 and lower models and they would work but I would prefer not have all the control buttons available.  I realize it can be locked out but I sort of want something that is just a "black box" to discourage part time sound guys from messing with it.  To some extent a unit with "euro-block" connectors  rather than XLR connectors on the back might help in this regard as it won't be quite as convenient to just bypass the unit.


This will live in a portable SKB rack along with the 70V amps.  It will mostly be stored in a climate controlled building and then will be hauled out into the elements for actual use. 


Temperatures in the summer could be 100F and in the fall and winter there it could be 20F or warmer with high ambient humidity a posibillity.


Are the "install market" DSP's really that sensitive to environmental conditions for temporary use?  Or is that a spec based on 24x7 use for years on end?


I have had most of my audio gear out in a variety of weather for extended periods and never had anything shut down due to temperature or moisture except  the iPads which thermal out if you leave them face up in the sun.

Yes, some are very sensitive.
Almost all electronics are quite sensitive to heat.  The ratings are based on components used for cost, meeting the warranty period, etc. 
I have had laptops shut down due to heat outdoors, in the shade with the only thing they were doing being playing tracks back.  High ambient rated devices cost much more than others.  Check out the cost difference for standard heat rated computer switches and extreme duty.

That said, Ashly DSP has been very solid for us even in extreme use, 24/7, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F for days at a time.  We have experienced the most heat related failures with Symetrix even when used in temperature controlled environments.  We also use a great deal of BiAmp, BSS and QSYS installed with very good track records but none in the same high temp environment like the Ashly's so I can't comment on a real world experience in higher heat for them.

The higher the heat, the lower the life of the electronics.  Approximately every 18 degrees F or 10 degrees C increase in temperature cuts life expectancy in half.

Lee

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David Sturzenbecher

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 06:25:39 pm »

I still buy dfr22s new all the time. Maybe my 20 units a year is keeping the SKU alive. If only feedback filters could be implemented in a TF, QL or CL I could eliminate the need.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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Mike Karseboom

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 07:07:28 pm »

OK, have to add the QSC units to the list.  It appears those more capable ones are pretty spendy even used.  I was considering the  more modest QSC DSP30 even though it has XLR connectors.


Another one that I was considering is the Peavey X-frame 88.  Like some of the others it has front controls that probably can be locked out.


It looks like there are a lot of good choices at good used prices as long as I am willing to take a risk on outdated firmware/software.


The basic Shure DFR22 is looking better and better since it is still current.  I don't really need the touted feedback suppression.
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--Mike
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Live Sound for the Mt. Shasta area
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Tim Weaver

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Re: Low Cost Processor Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 07:33:55 pm »

The DFR22 really ain't bad....
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