why is behringer so cheap?

dukas

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anyone know? is it just build quality or does the audio quality suffer too? they seem to offer the same features but at drastically reduced cost?
 

Zen Cat

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Our company did some research into Behringer a while ago and I worked on the case. It was a very interesting project for a number of reasons. One of the most interesting things is the huge debate that exists in music technology circles as to whether Behringer can legitimately be accused of copying other manufacturers' designs. The only company ever to have successfully sued Behringer is Aphex. Aphex accused Behringer of directly copying the Aphex Aural Exciter and won in a German court. Interestingly, Aphex had itself 'stolen' the patented Aural Exciter design from the original inventor.

Contrary to popular belief, Mackie was unsuccessful in its lawsuit against Behringer.

But to answer you question, Behringer is so cheap because it was one of the first companies to realise the benefits of moving its production facilities to China. Labour costs there are very low and this allows Behringer to "pass on savings to the consumer".

I spoke at length to a studio producer who visited Behringer's production facility in China. He described it as "state of the art" and said that the build quality of most of their stuff is at least as good as most of their competitors.

I have a Behringer UB1240 FX mixer and I have no complaints! The same type of mixer from Mackie would have cost more than double what the Behringer cost me.

As part of the project, I also interviewed a number of sound technicians, some of whom actually prefer Behringer to Mackie!

Mind you, a lot of people will no doubt disagree...

<opens floor to anti-Behringer peeps> :ibiggrin:
 

Gibbonflux

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Zen Cat said:
Behringer is so cheap because it was one of the first companies to realise the benefits of moving its production facilities to China. Labour costs there are very low and this allows Behringer to "pass on savings to the consumer".

That's true, but you'd be surprised how much audio equipment is manufactured in china these days
 

Zen Cat

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Gibbonflux said:
I've heard that they reverse engineer other companies' products, so they save money on R&D but generally produce something that sounds pretty close. The build quality is usually utter shite though, so anything like a mixer with lots of controls which can wear out isn't going to last very long at all.

That particular accusation (reverse engineering) is one that we came across on several occasions. Uli Behringer (founder and Chairman) actually built his first synth when he was fifteen and knows a hell of a lot about the technology, so he doesn't actually need to reverse engineer anything. A mixer is a mixer and there are only so many ways to put one together.

The key here is that the cost of Behringer equipment is a more accurate cost in terms of how much the components and labour should cost. Mackie is more expensive because their products are made in the US and they can trade off their brand name. I'm not saying Mackie products aren't well made... just too expensive considering how simple they are to make.
 

Zen Cat

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Gibbonflux said:
That's true, but you'd be surprised how much audio equipment is manufactured in china these days

These days, yes. But Behringer was out there way before anyone else and had a massive head start. Everyone else followed suit much later on.
 

Fushion Julz

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Behringer DO copy other companies' designs (for example the EP range of amps are almost perfect copies of the QSC RMX range). However, whether or not the product designs are licensed or not only the companies involved will say....

Behringer kit isn't, on the whole, as well made as (say) BSS, Crown, DBX, etc. But it certainly isn't second rate stuff. It is easily as good as things such as Samson, dB tech, etc.

I have a few bits...and last year we did an A-B comparison between a Behringer Ultradrive and the Void Digidrive Plus which has roughly the same set of features but costs £450 to the Behringer <£200

There is a difference...but it isn't that the Void is better...Far from it, just diferent...
 

Fushion Julz

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miszt said:
I like behringer personally, had a 500 mixer and now I have a lil 1002 mixer, all good :Grin: am lookin into the Ultradrive aswell to work as a compressor/eq/crossover/limiter, supposed to be pretty good, esp for the money :Grin:

The Ultradrive is a GREAT LMS (Crossover) and has good delays, too...The Compressor and limiters are fair, but not superb and the eq is best avoided...

It also has a small design fault in that it will run out of memory if you program too much EQ or too many/too steep crossover points, etc...
 

trancetheory

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Fushion Julz said:
The Ultradrive is a GREAT LMS (Crossover) and has good delays, too...The Compressor and limiters are fair, but not superb and the eq is best avoided...

It also has a small design fault in that it will run out of memory if you program too much EQ or too many/too steep crossover points, etc...

ooOo lol cheerz, will keep that in mind :ibiggrin:
 

Zen Cat

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Fushion Julz said:
However, whether or not the product designs are licensed or not only the companies involved will say....

And therein lies the conundrum, because Behringer would argue: "Hey, if I build a guitar with six strings, you can't accuse me of copying your design, which also happens to have six strings. There are only so many ways to build a guitar or a mixer."

Fushion Julz said:
Behringer kit isn't, on the whole, as well made as (say) BSS, Crown, DBX, etc. But it certainly isn't second rate stuff. It is easily as good as things such as Samson, dB tech, etc.

DBX and BSS have also both unsuccessfully sued Behringer! :iyes:
 

JPsychodelicacy

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I'm just repeating what I heard from Steve Plank many moons ago, but as I understand it Behringer's initial quality control issues were caused by using a contracted factory to do their manufacturing in China. This has since been replaced by a purpose-built factory owned and run by Behringer themselves which has improved the quality control a great deal.

They're still far from perfect - Ott had some trouble with his UB2442 desk, and EVP had issues with the DDX he was using, but I must say (touch wood) that my 2442 has been OK thus far. Certainly good enough for demo recordings.

J.
 

Gibbonflux

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Electronically I think Behringer are fine, as electronics don't really wear out in the same way that mechanical components do.

The problem with things like mixing desks is that there are a lot of faders, pots etc to go wrong; and behringer use cheap components which tend to wear out quickly
 

Night'S-Kool

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If you do a direct A/B with Behringer/Mackie.......I think you'll hear what you pay for. That's if you haven't blasted your ear drums to pieces standing next to the 30k rig every weekend tripping balls:irofl:
 

JPsychodelicacy

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I don't think it's an audible difference so much, although the Behringer mic preamps are a little noisier at higher gain settings - the behringer doesn't quite feel as solid - but as it's only being used in my bedroom and not taken out, I don't see that as so much of an issue.

J.
 

Nanook

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Zen Cat said:
............... a number of sound technicians, some of whom actually prefer Behringer to Mackie!


not gonna get stuck into the whole of this thread but id agree with that. ...
just something in the feel of em.... very little difference in the sound for me.
 

Continuum

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JPsychodelicacy said:
my 2442 has been OK thus far

Mine hasn't...:isad:

One blown channel..and the two channels with hardly any level and loads of crackling...and meter LEDS that don't work any more.

To be fair it was cheap and its been used pretty hard for a couple of years, moved lots of times and never serviced or really treated with any respect at all.

But still. The Mackie 1604 that replaced it has been in use longer and hasn't had a single issue at all..
 

JPsychodelicacy

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I wouldn't be happy with the 2442 on the road without putting it in some kind of case, that much I will say. But then there are also some design issues with the 1604VLZ, the Mackie equivalent - all the circuitry is plumbed in by a ribbon cable which isn't very well secured and it falls out on occasion. Admittedly it's easier to fix than the Behringer, which uses a lot of surface-mount stuff, but then you can get 3 Behringers for the cost of the Mackie...

J.
 

Night'S-Kool

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9 times out of 10 you get what you pay for. In my experience I would never buy Fostex or Behringer........
 
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