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Author Topic: Peavey VSX26 Review  (Read 42601 times)

Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2006, 02:49:16 pm »

"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"

Both are available as free downloads on our website
http://www.peavey.com/support/software/vsx26_presets.cfm

"My thought is, if it digital signal processing, there should be no hum or noise in a quesient state"

No digital has noise just like everything else.  The residual noise of the unit is -107dB.  The problem is that digital noise is more easily heard by the ear than analog noise.  Proper gain staging is very important if you are concerned about noise.  You probably want to set your amps to 20X gain for reasonable performance.
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Don Boomer
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Greg Green

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2006, 11:42:17 pm »

Since I haven't had time to return the Vsx unit for a refund yet,thought I might as well update the firmware to get the new Autograph funtion. ( Peavey version of autoeq). Upgrading was easy enough.( good job on this piece) Just hook a reference mic up and let it start sampling with pink noise. Just ramps up the noise 6 times ( not full on all the time) and gives you some result in the GEQ for inputs A & B. Is it accurate? Don't know yet...haven't had a chance to compare with something I know is fairly accurate yet. The menu and process is very basic. No ability to limit the range or adjacent ranges. Can't set a prefered curve or room correction curve. Can't see the GEQ as its be adjusted. It just quits and you go to the Eq menu to see the results. Web site has no details other than here's how you run it.
Any more details from you Peavey support guys reading this?

and btw...why would someone pay for a 32x potential gain amp and cut it back to 20x gain because of noisy frontend processing?
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2006, 10:15:41 pm »

You can set a preferred curve by dialing it into the GEQ and then and selecting the "averaging" option.

As far as setting the gain, it's not that the VSX is noisy (-107dB) ... it just a matter of setting it correctly for proper SN ratio.  It's probably incorrect with 32X gain with most mixers anyway (forget the VSX).  Most modern amps, even really big amps will drive to full power with about 2 volts in.  Most mixers will put out 8 volts or better before clipping.  Wasting those extra 6 volts or so constitutes mis-setting your gain structure and decreases your SN ratio by 16dB or so.  By turning down the sensitivity of your amplifier by 16 dB automatically increases your SN ratio by 16 dB.
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Don Boomer
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Tom Young

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2006, 08:38:44 am »

I bought a new VSX 26 2 months ago and have had mixed, but promising, performance from it. I bought it specifically to drive my home playback system which has 2 sets of nearfield monitors (Mackie HR824's and KRK's w/ Yamaha power) and a Sunfire subwoofer. Using it in this manner would also allow me to thoroughly evaluate it for my lower budget loudspeaker system design projects.

Out of the box it exhibited a significant amount of hum and caused scrolling vertical lines on my TV set. These 2 conditions didn't occur befor in my system with various other DSP systems and it disappears when the VSX is powered down and hardwire bypassed.

Once I played with gain through the system, added an unbalanced-to-balanced transformer isolated interface (RDL, between the source (consumer HiFi preamp) and the VSX) and added power conditioning (SurgeX)..... the hum was reduced to an acceptable (barely audible) level. The hum bars would still come into the TV image and would disappear whenever I powered down the VSX 26.

Another glitch is that it doesn't retain the equalization I have applied in both the graphics (on inputs) and paramterics (on outputs). I painstakingly saved these as the sole preset (for the Mackies), but to no avail. Each time I powered the system down, the EQ was lost.

I tried 3 different USB stoarge cards to transfer the ver 1.3 firmware and all failed (the VSX simply wouldn't talk to the USB sticks). The dealer said he had the same problem and that a new Staples-branded storage card worked. So I bought one. It didn't work. I then dropped the VSX off at the dealer and they were able to transfer the new firmware for me using this USB stick.

Last night I reinstalled my VSX 26 and it appears to have less hum and also now retains the equalizer filters.

One other significant problem for me is in the processing choices (or lack thereof). There is no option to choose parametrics on the inputs versus the graphics and there are too few parametric filters on the outputs.

IMHO; in this day and age with the prevalence of Smaart (and other) high resolution measurement systems and the widely held observation that: 1) the chances that any frequency-related anomalies will fall on ISO 1/3-oct center frequencies are VERY slim and, 2) you are (also) extremely lucky to experience only 5 (or less) frequency-related anomalies...... those who employ such measurement systems need either the option to switch to parametric filters on the inputs OR have more (7-10 should be fine) filters on the outputs. I note that there is certainly a need for 1/3-octave graphics in live sound but it is widely considered that these need to be analog (or analog controlled). Accessing the graphics in the VSX for on-the-fly adjustments (aka: feedback) is just plain not gonna happen in kamikaze, real-world live sound conditions.

In my home listening environment (typically flawed but OK) I need 7-8 filters total. In live sound environments I also typically need 5-10 parametric filters per output. Sometimes a few more. Note that the subwoofer in question needs only 2 filters and this is not untypical for the live sound systems I work with.

I am aware that there is often a limit to the available DSP procssing available and this may be why the amount of equalization was restricted in this manner. Perhaps Don Boomer can confirm that this is why it is what it is ? If so; can there not be a choice to switch between graphic and parametric filters on the inputs ?

Overall this device has great promise as a very economical loudspeaker system processor. But I have never seen a new product take so long to get to the production stage and it appears we (owners) are now being used as Beta-testers.
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Tom Young
Electroacoustic Design Services
Oxford CT
Tel: 203.888.6217
Email: dbspl@earthlink.net
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2006, 03:55:19 pm »



The noise issue was eliminated with firmware upgrade 1.03.  It turned out certain combinations of filter styles and rates were incompatable.  We changed all the filters to high resolution models after about 3 weeks.  The current rev is 1.05


The VSX was not intended to be run unbalanced.  I've helped a few users and yes, transformers took care of the problem.


I don't know why you had problems saving presets.  You DO have to save parameters to a preset to be able to recall them.  I don't know why it worked for you after the firmware upgrade ... we didn't change anything there.  Maybe you missed hitting the confirmation button at the bottom??


We have had a number of users that were unable to utilize the USB function and there are few common reasons (assuming you were using a USB 2.0 stick).  Fragmentation errors on the stick will cause the VSX to not work correctly ... it doesn't take very many.  We directed almost all of the CPU to running audio and as a result there's not an abundance left over for houskeeping.  But the most difficulties that users have had is putting files in the proper folder/subfolders on the stick.  They MUST be in a very specific location.  You also have to wait about ten seconds for the VSX to recognize your thumb drive when you first plug it in (this may be the thing about different brands).  It is possible to start sending commands before the stick is ready to go.  On the one I most often use the stick sends out 2 sets of led flashes.  I get a little overanxious sometimes too.


The front end EQ is a graphic because the overwhelming number of customers demand it be so.  We may well offer an option in future firmware updates.  We have lots of plans.  We do offer that option on some of our more expensive units

Did you test out the Autograph automatic EQ setup function?

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Don Boomer
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Tom Young

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2006, 08:33:25 am »

Thanks, Don, for your replies.

I will try defragmenting my USB cards, though to date I have never had any problem with this and any other device/PC that I use these cards with.

Upon reading your reply and then re-reading the firmware instructions at your website, it now is clear to me that the firmware needs to be stored in a file with a very specific name. May I suggest you employ quotation marks around this file name on your website so that this instruction is more immediately clear and does not result in the confusion I have gone through ?

I failed to mention that prior to uploading ver 1.3 firmware I also had sporadic "motorboating" -like LF noise (audible when music was not being played) coming through my subwoofer and this is now gone (along with the hum). Great !

I'm not sure what you mean by the VSX 26 was not designed for unbalanced inputs. At one time or another virtually any/all pro audio (ie: balanced) equipment is used with (adapted to) unbalanced inputs and/or outputs and this seldom results in any significant problems (provided long lines are not in the equation, etc). This is not ideal, but it should work temporarily when the situation demands it. In fact; it appears to have 'worked' when I did this with my VSX 26 (it did not increase the hum or other noise). In the process of trying to reduce the hum I opted to buy the converter device and do not regret having it as a long-term interfacing solution for my system.

I am quite certain I set the preset correctly and the fact that it came back after I retrieved my device from my dealer (with all my filters intact) supports this.

I have no immediate interest nor need for Autograph, as I am a disciple and practitioner of manual measurement and optimization; including the acoustic environment, crossover selection, phase alignment between subs and fullrange devices and precision equalization via parametric filters. As I stated in my earlier post (and I am sure you are aware) the likelihood that the needed corrections in any electroacoustic system occur at ISO 1/-3-octave frequencies is very slim and the Q that is required seldom equals that of a 1/3-octave filter. Experience shows that attempting to correct specific frequency anomalies with set filters results in 'throwing out' lots of "good" signal content while often barely effecting the "bad".

I recognize that for the semi-skilled market that this device is aimed at a function such as Autograph has some appeal and may result in better response than that attempted by the novice sound system operator.

I am aware that the VSX 26 offers a lot of bang for the bucks it costs. And I do not wish to appear to be unreasonable. It just seems to me that the two functional shortcomings I have identified (choice of parametric EQ on inputs, more parametric filters on outputs) should be considered. I do not believe I am the only one who would appreciate these. I would love to use this device for my lower budget projects but these often require a greater degree of electroacoustic correction than I encounter in better funded projects.

Thanks again and feel free to keep this dialogue going if you wish to.
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Tom Young
Electroacoustic Design Services
Oxford CT
Tel: 203.888.6217
Email: dbspl@earthlink.net
www.dbspl.com

Kent Clasen

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2006, 10:43:58 am »

We have a very early production unit in stock.

I tried to use one in an unbalanced situation and it had a horrible hum and was replaced with another unit.  I tried every concievable transformer/grnd lift imaginable, to no avail.

Upon reading about the S/W update, one of my guys tried to update it and couldn't get it to read the USB drive. After reading Don's last post, my guess is the file name thing. So we will try again.

I want to try the computer GUI.

It is a very low budget device so I am not expecting miracles, but before I put it in an installation (we are a Peavey AA dealer) I want to make sure that it works in an acceptable, reliable manner.  I would like to compare it's noise, filter response, and phase to other units, if I ever have time....

I did use it to demo (balanced=no noise) some speakers for a church and found the 5 parametric filters enough using Smaart to analyize, then used the 1/3 oct to tweak to taste.  Granted, as Tom mentioned, some installs may require more parametric filters.





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Kent Clasen
MSM Systems
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2006, 12:56:09 pm »


"I will try defragmenting my USB cards, though to date I have never had any problem with this and any other device/PC that I use these cards with."

You probably don't have any Frag issues .. probably just had the files in the wrong place.  The VSX will automatically write the file structure it needs the first time you store a preset.  Firmware upgrades require setting up the files on an outside computer.

"Upon reading your reply and then re-reading the firmware instructions at your website, it now is clear to me that the firmware needs to be stored in a file with a very specific name. May I suggest you employ quotation marks around this file name on your website so that this instruction is more immediately clear and does not result in the confusion I have gone through ?"

I can do that if you think it will help

"I failed to mention that prior to uploading ver 1.3 firmware I also had sporadic "motorboating" -like LF noise (audible when music was not being played) coming through my subwoofer and this is now gone (along with the hum). Great !"

Yep!

"I'm not sure what you mean by the VSX 26 was not designed for unbalanced inputs. At one time or another virtually any/all pro audio (ie: balanced) equipment is used with (adapted to) unbalanced inputs and/or outputs and this seldom results in any significant problems (provided long lines are not in the equation, etc). This is not ideal, but it should work temporarily when the situation demands it. In fact; it appears to have 'worked' when I did this with my VSX 26 (it did not increase the hum or other noise). In the process of trying to reduce the hum I opted to buy the converter device and do not regret having it as a long-term interfacing solution for my system."

Anyone wishing to use unbalanced ins/outs will need 1:1 transformers

"I am quite certain I set the preset correctly and the fact that it came back after I retrieved my device from my dealer (with all my filters intact) supports this."

So you're saying you saved the presets but they would re-load?  When you power down/up the VSX will revert to the last saved preset.  If you made changes but didn't store them you would lose that portion.

"I have no immediate interest nor need for Autograph, as I am a disciple and practitioner of manual measurement and optimization; including the acoustic environment, crossover selection, phase alignment between subs and fullrange devices and precision equalization via parametric filters. As I stated in my earlier post (and I am sure you are aware) the likelihood that the needed corrections in any electroacoustic system occur at ISO 1/-3-octave frequencies is very slim and the Q that is required seldom equals that of a 1/3-octave filter. Experience shows that attempting to correct specific frequency anomalies with set filters results in 'throwing out' lots of "good" signal content while often barely effecting the "bad".

Yeah ... but I thought you'd be at least curious considering how poorly this function works on other units.  I think we've come up with a scheme that does no bad ... it does only things that can be improved with front end EQ.  All the rest, as you stated, has to be done on the back end.  We've done that with a series of presets for most of our speakers .... just plug in a factory preset.

"I recognize that for the semi-skilled market that this device is aimed at a function such as Autograph has some appeal and may result in better response than that attempted by the novice sound system operator."

"some appeal" ... man everybody and their uncle has been beating on me for months til we finished and included it. Shocked

"I am aware that the VSX 26 offers a lot of bang for the bucks it costs. And I do not wish to appear to be unreasonable. It just seems to me that the two functional shortcomings I have identified (choice of parametric EQ on inputs, more parametric filters on outputs) should be considered. I do not believe I am the only one who would appreciate these. I would love to use this device for my lower budget projects but these often require a greater degree of electroacoustic correction than I encounter in better funded projects."

Well it does have 5 PEQ filters per output compared to my competition's 2 or 3.  I can see, in the case of going into an internally processed system like your Mackie that more filters would be handy.  We really expected that most folks would be preforming the "crossover" with this unit.  Done that way you would have had 10 filters.  While more would be better ... there's only so much you can do without running out of CPU and cutting the  overall frequency response (like my competetion does).  Like I said ... there may very well be  a front end option in the future

"Thanks again and feel free to keep this dialogue going if you wish to."

Happy to!
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Don Boomer
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Don Boomer

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2006, 01:09:02 pm »

We have a very early production unit in stock.

I tried to use one in an unbalanced situation and it had a horrible hum and was replaced with another unit.  I tried every concievable transformer/grnd lift imaginable, to no avail.


You had two problems ... one was fixed with a firmware update and the other would have been fixed with transformers.  So even though you fixed the "transformer" issue ... the firmware was the bad guy.

Upon reading about the S/W update, one of my guys tried to update it and couldn't get it to read the USB drive. After reading Don's last post, my guess is the file name thing. So we will try again.

the firmware goes in a folder titles "firmware" ... and that file goes in a folder titled "vsx26"

I want to try the computer GUI.

A free beta version is available on our website  http://peavey.com/support/software/vsx26_presets.cfm   It does not yet connect directly to the VSX in "live" mode.  You can however make any adjustments you want , save them to USB stick, and transfer them over ... either direction.  The full version should be available very soon

It is a very low budget device so I am not expecting miracles, but before I put it in an installation (we are a Peavey AA dealer) I want to make sure that it works in an acceptable, reliable manner.  I would like to compare it's noise, filter response, and phase to other units, if I ever have time....

Please do. I have and I think you'll find it quieter and with a high frequency output nearly an octave better than my competition

I did use it to demo (balanced=no noise) some speakers for a church and found the 5 parametric filters enough using Smaart to analyize, then used the 1/3 oct to tweak to taste.  Granted, as Tom mentioned, some installs may require more parametric filters.

Yep!  Good thing we offer more expensive units too  Very Happy  






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Don Boomer
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Greg Green

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Re: Peavey VSX26 Review
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2006, 10:43:46 pm »

After seeing what the noise floor levels were supposed to be (-110 or so), it occurred to me to hook one of my rta's up to the output of the vsx26 and sure enough there was the NOISE. But only on outputs 5 & 6. The funny thing was, if I used the standard "config" CFG2 ( no preset xover on 5 & 6) the noise was -70 and fluctuated. When I switched the config to CFG3 , it dropped back to -110. Then when I set the config back to CFG2 to reproduce, the level was ~ -90?? Power reset, and then back to the -70 noise.The noise increase showed up from 30 to perhaps 120hz and is very easy to reproduce. Seems to follow no crossover config in line with a given output. Anyones thought on whether this is firmware or I have a defective unit?
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