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I was using a Behringer 2496dcx before I replaced it with the Ashly and did compare the two side by side........channel vs channel. It was an interesting comparison. The Behringer cost $269 and the Ashly $1260. When you look at the two units side by side the Behringer has a nicer fit and finish. Actually looks more expensive than the Ashly. However, I had one unit on each channel and the sound is the big difference. The Behringer makes my system sound more like a clock radio and the Ashly makes it sound like a large concert sound reinforcement system. The Ashly is VERY impressive and it has a very analog sound to it. I had tried in the past to "go digital" and failed based on poor choices of equipment and component matching. My advice if you truly want audiophile sound is to forget about trying to do an active system on the cheap. Just forget about it until you have the $$$. Forget about Behringer. It gets you in the game and gets you running, but it does not have an audiophile sound (2496DCX). If you are as picky as me you will be disappointed. I also replaced my equipment and now run a pure McIntosh system with C220 preamp and mac amps for all channels............no buzz, no hum.......no headaches with equipment matching which is another HUGE concern. But the Ashly is the heart of it all and got me there in a very comfortable and satisfying way. The Protea 4.8SP is also a 4-way unit and so since I am operating an MCM-3-Grand I have the extra channels for my two subs. When you look at my system it looks simple...........it is all dialed in via a combination of Roy Delgado's settings and some minor tweaks via RTA and ear.........and like I said I just turn it all on and listen to it now.

Thank you for the review. I have been using the 2496, as you said, to get in the game. I originally got an EV DC-ONE and it was truly noisy on my attempt to triamp my Khorns. I don't know if it was the difficulty I had in trying to integrate the pro crossover with consumer gear, but I ended up getting the 2496 at the same time I got some Hafler pro amps. The amps are extremely quiet and well behaved. I also got a K1 for the woofers.

When I get the chance I think I will try the Ashly in the system. As I finish tweaking my new DBB system, it is sounding very good. It would be nice to be able to make a direct comparisson with a higher quality unit.

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One thing I should say is that although I have the Ashly Protea 4.8SP, there are others I considered that may be even better. There are lots of these type of processors coming on the market with progressively better processors. Look at Sabine Navigator, EV DC-one, DBX driverack 4000 series ($2500+), even the better Ashly NEE series ($2500+). Yamaha has a nice 3-way processor out there. There are more.

In testing a couple of processors vs. analog solutions it was found that the processor more or less can dominate the system sound. It is the heart of it all and definitely NOT the place to cheap out. I promise as good as what I have now, the Protea is only a stopping point and I definitely plan to get into more expensive processors. Not for features. I have all the required features now..........it will be for sound quality reasons. Heck the Behringer 2496DCX has more features than most of the processors out there. It is very full featured, it just doesn't cut it in the sound dept. Plus as a side note both Behringer 2496DCX units that I have owned have electrocuted me (minor shocks) at times when I lifted their grounds. That has never happened with any other piece of equipment I have owned and I use GFI receptacles.

Another personal comment of mine.........and this is just my opinion SO DON"T GET MAD ABOUT THIS COMMENT...........I think if you are using horns you are completely wasting your money on analog active crossovers. They have no time delay and I have found that is the single most important feature where a horn system is concerned. Time alignment is everything. So the goal is to find a suitable sounding and featured digital processor. Again.........just my opinion.

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Mark, all excellent points. I'm a little surprised about the shock thing, but then again Behringer doesn't exactly have the quality market cornered.

I truly wish I had the DC-ONE back again now that I know a little more of what I am doing and have the pro audio amps to go with the crossover.

In the future, I too will be looking for that step up in audio quaility, but while I learn and work on my first active system the DCX has been ok.

Finding decent pro amps was a challenge as well.

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Got the Rane PE-15 EQs into place with judicious appplications of MORE XLR balanced cables...what a mess of cabling behind my unit:

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At first, the Ranes exhibited an INCREDIBLE amount of noise; I mean I was almost ready to take them out & forget this entire project, it was so bad. After they had a chance to warm up & I worked the scratchiness out of the pots & bypass switches, things got a LOT better. I'm going to have to pull them & liberally apply De-Oxit to everything....I think that will clear things up considerably.

I am REALLY liking the whole active route, a LOT. I highly recommend it.

Special thanks to mbskeam on the Carver forum who is building me a custom pair of stainless steel cover plates to replace the original crossover plates on the back of my AL-IIIs. As far as I'm concerned this is going ABOVE & BEYOND what anyone could realistically ask for.

So, here's what the entire mess looks like now; sorry about the crappy pictures:

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I'm going to be looking for a way to pack this all away in a rack as it's getting a little TALL for the desk....that's my next project~

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I ordered new binding posts & fuse holders to go with the new panels Mike is making for me. Binding posts are from Parts Express:

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The fuse holders are the knurled-knob type vice screwdriver-removable ones currently in place (although I ordered a new set of those as well, just in case). However, I also bought a set of 3 amp circuit breakers to try out:

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Push Button 3A Circuit Breaker
Philmore # B7003
Same as GC 35-2103

* Maximum DC Voltage: 50 VDC
* Maximum AC Voltage: 250 VAC
* Mounting Hole: .500"
* Push to Reset
* .250" Quick Connect

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The rear panels will have the original mounting hole configuration so I can utilize the original screw holes, but I'm going to use these type of blind nuts with same diameter bolts --- the MDF doesn't like repeated insertion/removal of screws :D :


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I'm a little apprehensive about the whole testing/analyzing thing. I
might learn something (or not) that puts this outside my abilities...

received my binding posts & fuse holders yesterday; still waiting
on the circuit breakers. I'll post pics later today--they are quite

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Some FYI about Rane for anyone following this thread:

The Rane Story

Rane Corporation History & Philosophy

Rane Corporation, founded and incorporated in 1981 in Washington State,
is a privately held company. The owners all previously worked together
in middle management positions at Phase Linear Corporation,
a high-end consumer electronics company. With this background, they
pooled over 40 years of combined audio experience to create Rane
Corporation. Owners became separate department heads based upon their
expertise. This organization created an unusually strong structure,
since all department heads had a unique owner's perspective in making it

The company name was selected from an anagram created from the common
letters of the first and last names of the original founders. This
particular anagram was selected because it was short, easy-to-say and
remember, and they liked the double-entendre possibilities implying
wet-links to the Northwest.

The essential ingredients in Rane's successful philosophy are knowledge,
integrity, pride and common sense. At Rane, people learn to treat
people the way they would want to be treated, to design & build
products the way they would want theirs designed & built, and that
when something goes wrong, you react quickly and decisively to correct
it. It is an old fashioned, common sense way to run a business, based on
mutual trust and respect.

Rane started out with four products aimed at small bands, designed to
make their live performances better. At the forefront was a unique
12-input, 6-output matrix mixer (MM 12) used to create six different
monitor mixes for driving stage monitor speakers. The idea was to help
performers hear themselves better. Up to that time, either the small
group had no monitors at all, or they were all driven by the same mix.
What Rane provided was new, compactly designed, affordable tools to help
solve the many problems of on-stage monitoring. Complementing the
matrix mixer was the industry's first 6-channel power amplifier (MA 6),
and a companion 6-channel headphone amplifier for rehearsal (HC 6). The
fourth initial product was a unique combo unit, consisting of a
1/3-octave graphic equalizer and a simple realtime analyzer (RE 27),
aimed at giving the performing musician a handy, easy-to-use tool for
improving their sound in all venues. In doing all this, Rane established
a new price-point for performance, quality and reliability. Rane
products were priced well below the top high-end equipment yet
outperformed and outlasted them, but were still priced significantly
above the low-end products -- thus creating a new middle ground.

A noteworthy testament to Rane's design significance and reliability
reputation, is that in their first two years of production, Rane
designed and shipped eight new products -- five of which are still in
production today.

Rane Corporation today is an established innovator in providing
problem-solving professional audio tools, affordably priced, with
unequalled reliability.

Rane Corporate Milestones

1981: Incorporated in Washington State, USA

1982: 1st Constant-Q EQ & 1st EQ/RTA combo unit - the RE 27

1983: AES paper: 4th-order state-variable Linkwitz-Riley crossovers

1984: 1st Linkwitz-Riley crossovers: AC 22 & AC 23

1986: AES Journal publishes Rane's landmark Constant-Q Graphic EQ paper

1986: 1st Interpolating Constant-Q EQ

1987: Rane's 1st digital audio product: AD 13 Audio Delay

1988: Publish PI 14 Pseudoacoustic Infector data sheet

1989: 1st 8th-order L-R Crossover

1989: 1st MIDI-Programmable EQs

1989: Develop Accelerated-SlopeTM EQ

1990: Patent: Constant-Q Topology

1991: Patent: Accelerated-Slope EQ

1991: 1st THX Home Cinema EQ: THX 44

1993: 1st Dolby Time-LinkTM pro audio delay

1994: Home Cinema Products launched

1995: PAQRAT® Digital Audio Recording System

1995: 1st RW 232 software product: RPE 228 Equalizer

1995: Launch website & Pro Audio Reference

1996: Mojo Series introduced

1997: Rane 1st DSP digital audio product: RPM 26

1997: Rane 1st teleconferencing product: ECS

1998: Patent: teleconferencing product

1998: New standard in DJ performing mixer: TTM 54

1999: Rane 1st Ethernet product: Via 10

2000: Rane 1st CobraNet products: NM 84 & NM 48

2001: Twenty-Year anniversary

2001: First magnetic fader DJ performing mixer: TTM 56

2002: Drag Net 100% drag and drop DSP

2003: DEQ 60 Perfect-Q Graphic Equalizer

2004: Patents: Magnetic Fader and Acoustic Echo Canceller

2004: SeratoTM Scratch LIVE digital audio computer interface

2005: SeratoTM MP 4 digital audio file mixer

2005: Digital Amplifier: MA 4

2006: Scratch LIVE Mixer: TTM 57SL

2006: Twenty-five Year Anniversary

We may be reached via telephone during normal business hours (8:00 AM to
5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time) at 425-355-6000. You may fax us any time
at 425-347-7757.

Our postal mailing address is: Rane Corporation, 10802 47th Avenue West,
Mukilteo, WA, 98275, USA

If you prefer hard copies of literature in the mail, you may email or
call us at 425-551-1833.

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