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Author Topic: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?  (Read 1893 times)

Gordon Brinton

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2018, 05:42:07 pm »

Lot's of people today need to learn what a basic crossover will do before they jump into anything with more than one setting to be configured. And most of todays kids still don't understand what cabinets should be producing what tones, then set the high pass filters incorrectly later to complain about the sub that won't reproduce their 200hz sound.

My suggestion to the OP would be to buy the best DSP his money can buy. However, having lived in both the analog and digital world of reality I can reference the sound of yesteryear and compare it to the sound of today. Having said that, DON'T buy an analog DSP.

My vote would be for the dbx 360. It's flexible, well supported, and the difference in sound vs the lower cost crapola is noticeable, in a good way.

Thanks, Bob. Yep! I am well aware. I've already owned a few crossovers over the years and even a cheap digital DSP...just not a decent one.

I have a rare opportunity to get a new, unused, (open box) Protea 3.6SP for $400 US. I think I might just jump on that deal while it's hot. I won't have any trouble dialing it in.
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Gordon Brinton

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2018, 05:43:12 pm »

Yup those analog DSPs always have trouble with the "D"....

JR

Oh, I get it. Bahahahahah  ;D
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2018, 08:02:39 pm »

Dave, you do realize that no matter what tones are used, if it cannot differentiate between direct and reflected sound and compare to what went in, it cannot show a good response. Oh, and it is only good for where the mic is. The sound may be horrible a few feet away.

I do indeed.  Note that the newer Wizards utilize multiple mic positions to lessen that effect.

I'm not suggesting to rely on them as gospel - just that they can help get closer, quicker.

Dave
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Luke Geis

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2018, 10:14:10 pm »

I can say for a fact that there is a difference between midrange analog stuff and lower end DSP. A company I work for has a passive VRX system and utilized for the longest time an analog Ashley crossover. I always thought the PA sounded awful despite using the settings that most closely matched what was suggested. Then one day Me and the other shop dawg decided to do a side by side. We had a dbx driverack on one speaker and the Ashley on the other with the same amplification and the same basic settings. No matter what we did, we could not get the Ashley to sound as good as the one with the dbx unit. We surmised that from that point on, the analog Ashley unit was to be a paperweight.

Is there a difference in sound quality? Yes, but to which degree is the debate. I am not a fan of the dbx stuff honestly. I have used many different models over the years and none of them struck me as sounding great, they simply worked well. Having used Galileo's, Lake's, XTA's, Ashely Protea's higher-end BSS units, the dbx offerings were just good in comparison. I wouldn't say no, it just isn't my first choice. The Protea offerings from Ashley are good and offer really neat solutions, but are not much better than similar dbx stuff.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2018, 10:42:16 pm »

Yup those analog DSPs always have trouble with the "D"....

JR

Holy bat shit batman. Did I just do that? What a knucklehead I are.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2018, 10:46:25 pm »

I can say for a fact that there is a difference between midrange analog stuff and lower end DSP. A company I work for has a passive VRX system and utilized for the longest time an analog Ashley crossover. I always thought the PA sounded awful despite using the settings that most closely matched what was suggested. Then one day Me and the other shop dawg decided to do a side by side. We had a dbx driverack on one speaker and the Ashley on the other with the same amplification and the same basic settings. No matter what we did, we could not get the Ashley to sound as good as the one with the dbx unit. We surmised that from that point on, the analog Ashley unit was to be a paperweight.

Is there a difference in sound quality? Yes, but to which degree is the debate. I am not a fan of the dbx stuff honestly. I have used many different models over the years and none of them struck me as sounding great, they simply worked well. Having used Galileo's, Lake's, XTA's, Ashely Protea's higher-end BSS units, the dbx offerings were just good in comparison. I wouldn't say no, it just isn't my first choice. The Protea offerings from Ashley are good and offer really neat solutions, but are not much better than similar dbx stuff.

Luke,
I went from an Ashley, to a 480, then to a 4800. Night and day one step at a time. And I still haven't heard anything that sounds better than the 4800.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #36 on: September 14, 2018, 11:30:54 pm »

I have not used the 4800 yet. Many PA's, 360's and 480's, but not top tier dbx. I have been lucky in that I have used several top-tier items of the other brands. Ashely has some work to do as I think their best offering isn't much better than any of the dbx units I have used. That being said, the protea does have some neat features not found on other units.
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Kevin Maxwell

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2018, 12:55:25 am »

Luke,
I went from an Ashley, to a 480, then to a 4800. Night and day one step at a time. And I still haven't heard anything that sounds better than the 4800.

What are you using the 4800 on, is it the EV QRX speakers? I have been using the DBX Drive Rack 4800 for a while now (is this the 4800 you are referring to) and I really like it. We have been using the QRX212 speakers in the passive mode not bi-amping them. I have been playing around with the EV Dx46 that has the FIR setting for a bunch of the EV speaker Bi-Amped including the QRX and from some testing I have done I think this takes them to a different level. I keep running out of time trying to play with this just before the band shows up. But I am anxious to get some time retuning the system with the Dx46. But we usually only use the QRX stuff for an outdoor summer concert series and that just ended yesterday with the last show for the season. I also have the Zx3 FIR setting for the Dx46 and hope to play with that real soon.

I have a BSS FDS-310 analog crossover sitting here that has basically been retired and replaced with DSPs. I think that was a pretty good crossover in its day.
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Stephen Kirby

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2018, 01:53:48 am »

What are you using the 4800 on, is it the EV QRX speakers? I have been using the DBX Drive Rack 4800 for a while now (is this the 4800 you are referring to) and I really like it. We have been using the QRX212 speakers in the passive mode not bi-amping them. I have been playing around with the EV Dx46 that has the FIR setting for a bunch of the EV speaker Bi-Amped including the QRX and from some testing I have done I think this takes them to a different level. I keep running out of time trying to play with this just before the band shows up. But I am anxious to get some time retuning the system with the Dx46. But we usually only use the QRX stuff for an outdoor summer concert series and that just ended yesterday with the last show for the season. I also have the Zx3 FIR setting for the Dx46 and hope to play with that real soon.

I have a BSS FDS-310 analog crossover sitting here that has basically been retired and replaced with DSPs. I think that was a pretty good crossover in its day.
Bob bleeds orange.   ;D

I went from a DRPA to an Ashley to a Xilica/Sabine.  Biggest difference was between the first two, but I can tell the Xilica sounds better.  Funny thing is that I got it used for less than the Ashley, which is now a backup.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Outboard DSP's. Is there much difference in audio quality between brands?
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2018, 08:25:50 am »

Audio quality is a slippery word, what exactly does that mean?

If we think about the primary function of DSP is to slice and dice audio streams, it is hard to imagine ever performing a controlled listening test between units, with identical transfer functions.

Yes I expect there are audible differences between units in execution. So again I would look to manufacturer's recommendations for presets for specific platforms where their individual behaviors are incorporated into the presets.
 
JR
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