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Author Topic: Peavey VSX26 Review  (Read 42373 times)

Justin Rygel

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Peavey VSX26 Review
« on: June 07, 2006, 02:20:19 pm »

First off, let me say that I have no experience with any other DSP units, I am not a pro, and I have no ability to take fancy measurements, so take this all with a grain of salt.

I recently purchased a Peavey VSX26 for my church, it is taking care of our processing for a pair of EAW AS300e and LA400.  With the amount of difficulty I had finding useful information on this unit, I thought I’d share what I know now having one in use.

I bought a ‘demo’ unit for a $50 discount, it came with a manual that was labeled as ‘Preliminary'.  I downloaded the latest firmware (v1.03) from the Peavey website.

The VSX26 is pretty easy to use; it has buttons to go to each of the main functions and a navigation wheel to change settings for each function as well as select which input/output you are using.  All parameters are controllable.  The first screen you see upon start-up is a routing matrix where any combination of inputs -> outputs can be selected.  The standard functions are available: compression and delay on all channels, 27 band GEQ on A and B inputs, high and low pass filters (all standard types, 6 – 48 db/oct) on all outputs, 5 band parametric EQ on all outputs, all are fully programmable, no limitations by pre-configured templates or anything like that.  

I have seen some information that says an RTA, which doesn’t seem to be implemented yet.  The computer interface software is still non-existent; although, as easy as it was to use, I don’t see that as a really big deal (esp. for $450).

A couple features that are working that I like:  
The USB jack works perfectly and allows me to keep a backup of the settings on the USB flash drive I always have around, no need to worry about lugging computer along just to backup the DSP (I didn’t try to hook a computer to it to see how/if that worked).  It is a 3-input unit, allowing aux-fed subs, the mic input on the front panel needs to be used for the third input, and there is no compression or GEQ available for this input, but that shouldn’t be a big deal for aux-fed subs.  Input ‘A’ can be configured as an AES/EBU digital input, not something I plan to use or could test, but an interesting feature none the less . . .  could be useful with a DM1000 or TT24, keep out one D/A to A/D cycle . . .

The unit did add a barely perceptible amount of noise to the total system.  When I say ‘barely perceptible’, I mean that it was difficult tell the difference over the building’s/existing system’s noise floor (I did the install at 11:00 pm and was the only one there), not audible at all during Sunday morning.  The signal chain is currently as follows: CR1604VLZ-PRO (soon to be replaced with an O1V96) -> Rane ME15b (for BEs) -> VSX26 -> RMX amps (1450 and 1850HD).  Like I said, noise is not a big issue, but there is enough that it could become a problem with poor gain staging, I know that is always the case, but it seems to me that it is more often the case with digital gear (admittedly, I only use cheap digital gear).
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

Matt Vivlamore

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2006, 11:34:41 am »

how is the unit holding up?  

have you been able to use the computer interface yet?
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I'm using: EV QRx212 over JBL SRX718s(2) with Crown IT's and MRX512m & MRX525 on monitors with XTi's; all controlled by Yamaha LS9-32.  I have a bunch of other stuff too.

Justin Rygel

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2006, 07:18:38 pm »

Everything still works just fine.  I am now running aux fed subs via the front input, settings are a little different for the front input (~ 12 dB hotter than the back inputs), and has no EQ available, but that's not really a problem for me.  The front panel interface is very easy to use and the USB drive port works so well that haven't had any reason to try to use the computer interface yet.  I was not able to open my configuration files saved on my flash drive with the software though, so I think there are still some issues there.

Since my last post I have upgraded from a CR1604-VLZ PRO to an O1V96, and spent a little more time setting up the gain staging correctly, and the additional noise has pretty much gone away; I can't hear any system noise over the cooling fans in the RMX amps, which are located just off stage.
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

Tim Tyler

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2006, 10:05:00 am »

Justin -
If you have continued problems with the flash drive, I suggest you go get the smallest (like 128) cheapest drive you can find.  There is an issue with the amount of current that some (larger)drives pull, and the VSX26 ends up not recognizing them.  Also, make sure the drive has a "vsx26" folder with a "presets" folder within that.  
The Peavey web site has a forum with substantive discussion and information on this piece.

Enjoy,

Tim Tyler
Detonator Sound
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Justin Rygel

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2006, 10:39:51 am »

I have had no problems using the flash drive (256 MB) with the processor, I just haven't been able to open and edit the configuration files that were saved by the processor with the computer based software.
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

Greg Green

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2006, 01:05:26 am »

Have you noticed a hum on the A or B input connected to a mixer? The Vsx26 I have in the signal chain introduces a low level hum that the other dsp /eq devices do not....just curious.
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Justin Rygel

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2006, 12:16:11 pm »

I have noticed a very low level (and low frequency, could be 60 Hz, but too quiet to really tell) hum in my subwoofers.  It may or may not be present in the mains, I can't tell, because it is quiet enough that even when the room is dead quiet (or as quiet as it gets anyway), I need to stick my head into the mouths of my LA400s to hear it, and I haven't gotten up on a ladder to put my ear next to the mains.  

I haven't tried any other DSP units, and before the only thing between the board and the PA was a Rane ME15b.  In any case, the O1V96 -> VSX26 -> RMX amps setup is quite a bit quieter than the previous CR1604 -> ME15b -> RMX amps setup in every way.  I honestly don't think anyone but myself to come into that room has ever noticed the hum, so its not a problem for me.
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Justin Rygel
Federal Way, WA

Greg Green

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2006, 01:55:16 pm »

That helps if you are hearing something of a hum....I've been doing A/B testing between the vsx26 a dcx2496. Consistently the vsx has hum when placed in the signal chain between A&H pa28 and Crown Xti4k. Have tried another Yamaha mixer as well with same results. Still waiting on manufacturer support of the vsx  to answer my question about it. My testing was to "upgrade" fro m the dcx unit to something else but with the current state of the vsx ( no remote control gui and quiesent noise design), I don't see the vsx as an upgrade path. I think I'm back to more testing of the Xti with built in dsp. At least with system architect, it can be controlled in great detail via it's gui capability. Meantime, it seems the dcx2496 is still my best "semi-reliable" solution.  Smile
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Tim Tyler

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2006, 09:23:09 am »

Are you using ver 1.03 firmware?  My VSX26 is dead quiet.

As far as comparing the DCX to the VSX, If you explore the features, sound quality, support, the VSX is simply a cut above.  With the VSX you will not run out of memory if you try to use "too many" features.  

Cheers,

Tim Tyler
Detonator Sound
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Greg Green

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2006, 02:42:24 pm »

Yes, I had to upgrade to the v103(May) when I got the unit. There was mention on the support sight about noise issues on earlier versions. My thought is, if it digital signal processing, there should be no hum or noise in a quesient state. I like the fact that this unit seems to have better build quality but functionality is not quite as good as the dcx, IMO. If you compare the on-unit vsx crossover menu to the dcx you'll see what I mean. Perhaps if they ever come out with the gui for this I would reconsider but in its present state I would make yet another price jump and just go to the dbx260. Without the remote control for foh, its not of much use for my application of a performing band. Perhaps for a permanent installation where it is set once and you don't need to adjust it would be ok...
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