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Behringer - cheap and nasty???


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Cheap, certainly but in no way nasty.

 

I've been using Behringer stuff for years and have genuinely lost track of how many different bits of kit I've had. My bad experiences are limited to a BX3000 head (Ashdown clone) that developed a random cutting-out issue and some bargain basement headphones that were about as good as you'd expect £10 cans to be.

 

I currently have & regularly use for various purposes: BD121 pedal, V-Amp pod clone, V-Amp Pro bass, micro headphone amp, powered monitors, X-Touch control surface, USB micro-mixer, Virtualizer rack multi-FX, UMC404 interface - and probably a few things I've forgotten. A lot of of it's here:

 

studio1-21a.thumb.jpg.e64a09ac985357e5547dc038730bceef.jpg

 

It all does what it says on the label - I could have paid 40% or so more for 'proper' brands that did exactly the same things I suppose - but all I'd have would be less money for pies.

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I don't own anything by Behringer and I never have.

 

On the whole they don't really make any products that I am in the market for, so I don't have to wrestle with my conscience about their questionable business practices.

 

Every so often I get a bit of a nostalgia for one of their vintage synth reissues, but then I remember that when I owned the originals back in the day, it was only because I couldn't afford the synths I really wanted and not because they were brilliant musical instruments. However if they ever make a clone of the Oberheim Expander I might be in trouble...

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I'm not a massive user of pedals anymore, but I love my BDI 21. I've had my fair share of Behringer stuff and the only thing I didn't get on with was a bass synth pedal. Other than that, it's been good news all the way. In a previous life as a music teacher with less than no money to spend on gear, my choices were limited. I kitted out our rehearsal rooms with Behringer mixers, mics and a few of their multi use combo amps. They survived a hell of a beating and performed really well.

 

If it sounds good, it's reliable and easy to use then it's good gear, regardless of what it says on the label.

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I used the 20 quid behringer whammy clone pedal for years... I only needed the effect for about 20 seconds of the set so was a bit reluctant to spend a fortune. Done the job perfectly! 

 

Don't get me wrong, it didn't feel premium in in shape or form, but didn't feel like it would fall to bits! 

 

Ive had loads of behringer stuff over the years, bass amps, guitar amps, mixers etc... I wouldn't have a problem buying behringer in the future! 

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Very happy (and regular) Behringer user here. I've had all sorts of stuff over the years but the real clincher is the XR18 ... both my bands on stage are entirely built around that unit plus I've used it (successfully) as a recording desk.

 

Biggest (only?) failure so far was - incredibly - last night. It's been so reliable over the last few years that when the PA failed to work it took me ages to actually check the XR18 itself. That was the point at which I discovered that the kettle lead had come loose in the socket, which is mounted on the side of the XR18 and therefore pretty much invisible when inside a rack unit. 

 

Doh!

 

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I was lucky enough to find a Behringer V Verb for a decent price, it was absolutely brilliant for the 2 whole weeks it worked until one day with a tiny wisp of smoke it completely died, Behringer refuse to release schematics for products so once it dies it cannot be repaired

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23 hours ago, TheGreek said:

 

I've had a few...always sold them on as they don't get a lot of use.

Worked brilliantly for me when using an amp with a limited eq. Don’t really need it anymore with a decent head, but I’m sure it will come in handy

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15 hours ago, Roger2611 said:

I was lucky enough to find a Behringer V Verb for a decent price, it was absolutely brilliant for the 2 whole weeks it worked until one day with a tiny wisp of smoke it completely died, Behringer refuse to release schematics for products so once it dies it cannot be repaired


Does remind me that I was in a studio once & smoke started coming from one of the racks - turned out to be a Behringer headphone amp catching fire! Admittedly this was easily 20 years ago and given the track record of all my stuff, QC & reliability may have improved a bit over the years!

 

It may well be that Behringer don't release schematics because they just assume that any users who are dedicated enough to fix something (rather than chuck it in the bin & buy a new one) could just refer to the original manufacturer's documentation...

 

Those with long memories and who have ever tiptoed through the minefield that is TalkBass might remember an interesting thread, again from 20-odd years ago, about the similarities between ther Behringer BX3000 head (like wot I used to have) and an equivalent Ashdown MAG300. After much misplaced flagwaving fury about dirty German cheapskate knockoffs stealing the food off the tables of hardworking blue-collar 'Muricans (yes, it was broadly assumed in the thread that Ashdown was a homegrown American brand) it transpired, coming from someone in the industry, if I remember, that the Behringer & Ashdown amps were both made in the same Chinese factory, using the same components.

 

Jokey anecdotes aside, that's probably broadly true of current Behri products with, erm, close similarities to others.

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Had mixed experiences, myself. I'm sure I'll have forgotten a few bits but..

 

TO800 Overdrive is a great TS copy.

XM8500 Mic is great as a cheap talkback - possibly more but I don't sing.

FBQ1502 EQ is really handy for the dedicated sub out.

PM1 Belt Pack is alright.

MIC2200 Preamp was alright.

MDX2600 Compressor was alright.

DI100 DI Box is alright but noisy when phantom powered.

RX1202FX Mixer was alright but noisy and susceptible to interference.

Xenyx 502 Mixer was alright but the knobs went oddly discoloured for no apparent reason.

FBQ2496 Feedback Destroyer was actually quite good.. but would occasionally go nuts!

BDI21 Preamp was uninspiring and the switch felt crunchy.

FBQ100 Shark Feedback Destroyer was poor.

SU9920 Sonic Ultramizer was poor.

TU300 Tuner is poor.

MDX2200 Compressor died. Bought used - good condition.

Xenyx 2222 Mixer died. Bought used - reasonable condition.

Bass V-Amp Pro died. Bought used - mint condition.

DI20 DI Box died. Bought new.

 

On the whole mostly alright, some really useful bits, a few definite misses and a few total losses. I don't have any issue at all with using their gear, but I've found that the more complex bits that try to cram in loads of value-added features are very easy to forget how to operate if I'm not using them particularly often, and the manuals aren't always that helpful to get back up to speed. To that end I made a decision to avoid anything of theirs that doesn't have a dedicated, labelled dial or button for every feature it offers, and buy something else that just does the thing I need. No holding this while turning that and pressing the other until the light blinks 2 and a half times, thanks. I feel exactly the same way about Zoom gear as well, so it's not a unique situation by any means.

 

To answer the original question about why the used stuff fails to sell... well in my case I would only buy new Behringer kit now because everything I've bought used so far has died!

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On 20/08/2021 at 20:03, ambient said:

They’re cheap because they tend to copy other manufacturer’s designs. Investing in their research and develop department means they’ve bought a new photocopier.

Just like every guitar amp since Philips used to sell valves and give away schematics for radios and amplifiers.

 

No copyright in a circuit.

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Generally the analogue pedals seem to do a better job at cloning the originals than the digital ones.

 

I think it was mainly poor timing for them when they were released. Nowadays clones of pedals are much more commonplace, and are looked at as serving a different price point, whereas Behringer have a poor reputation for quality, and being a cash-grab when they were released.

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1 minute ago, BadHands said:

Whereas Behringer have a poor reputation for quality, 

 

It seems to me that that reputation comes largely from heresay, spread mostly by people that thinks the brand is beneath them, and have never actually owned any Behringer gear.

 

This seems especially prevalent on American based forums, where the attitude seems to be, if it's not made in 'Murica, it's crap. 

 

 

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Worked for a company that had their Feedback Destroyer. That unit was ok as long as you knew how to use it. Seemed sturdy enough. They also had Behringer DIs which were ok. 

 

However....back around that same time I bought their V-Amp Pro. Used it for a week at rehearsals and then on the first gig it started cutting out, only solvable by turning it on and then off again. Ended up just using FOH. That was me done with them.

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On 20/08/2021 at 20:03, ambient said:

They’re cheap because they tend to copy other manufacturer’s designs. Investing in their research and develop department means they’ve bought a new photocopier.

It seems OK for boutique manufacturers to copy other designs but with Behringer it is not. So I have a BD-I21, the concept is tha same as a Tech21 model but is it a copy? I don't think so . I have a Behringer mixer, it has innovations that others don't even though it is 18 years old. I have a Bugera Amp. Visual clues and voicing from other makes but IMHO far better built that the US amps they "copy". I also have a TCHelicon Mic Mechanic from the same group. Now my beef with Music Tribe (Behringer's parent) is the same one as with Mark Bass. No service information unless you are an authorised service centre. This menas that your local amp tech cannot get the information required to service the equipment. I must admit that EMS. the servcie centre for Behringer in the UK are reasonable in their charges but I like to repair my own equipment.

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13 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

It seems OK for boutique manufacturers to copy other designs but with Behringer it is not. So I have a BD-I21, the concept is tha same as a Tech21 model but is it a copy? I don't think so . I have a Behringer mixer, it has innovations that others don't even though it is 18 years old. I have a Bugera Amp. Visual clues and voicing from other makes but IMHO far better built that the US amps they "copy".

 

There are also completely new designs. OK, the Model D they do is a clone of the Moog Model D (but made accessible), but the Poly D, its a logical extension, but not one that Moog did. And although a lot of the synths that they are bringing out now are direct copies of older ones, most of them have not been in production for many years and are very hard to get.

 

And I think the prevelance of the XR18 / X-Air stuff speaks for itself.

 

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6 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

 

There are also completely new designs. OK, the Model D they do is a clone of the Moog Model D (but made accessible), but the Poly D, its a logical extension, but not one that Moog did. And although a lot of the synths that they are bringing out now are direct copies of older ones, most of them have not been in production for many years and are very hard to get.

 

And I think the prevelance of the XR18 / X-Air stuff speaks for itself.

 

Agreed although the Soundcraft Ui series are better than the XR series IMHO.

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