BEHRINGER Ultracurve Pro DEQ2496


Digital sources

The Ultracurve Pro DEQ2496 is a mastering processor – its role is in fine tuning recordings before they are sent to a “printing” house. On top of that it is a very useful tool for concert PA systems as it helps suppress feedbacks, optimize stereo field or handle the proper amount of reverb. The Behringer is an extremely versatile device with dozens of different settings and I can guarantee that many of them will keep us, audiophiles, busy for weeks.

Function and form

Ease of use

The Ultracurve Pro is a modular system, alike the Lego blocks. The software modules can be activated and deactivated independently of each other, daisy chained or pooled. That is basically how the device works. With the help of push buttons a user goes through a system of menus (similarly to your mobile phone operating system) and sets the parameters. Should you do something wrong it is possible to either correct it or reset the default. All information is shown on a monochromatic orange display which is dimmable in several steps.

For most hifi users the equalizing module is one of the most attractive. Though some abbreviations may sound unfamiliar once you test them you will understand what they are about immediately.
The paragraphic EQ is a standard “graphic equalizer” that can control 31 audio bands from 20Hz-20kHz. There is 31 virtual sliders on the screen that can boost or attenuate the band in the range of +/-15dB. The processor allows you to choose to which extent the adjacent bands should be affected too (creating the characteristic bell shape of the frequency response) or you can apply a SHELVING filter. It is possible to choose if those (or any other) adjustments should affect both channels simultaneously in a stereo mode or just one channel at a moment.

Bass management

The parametric equalizer (PEQ) is even more powerful. There are 10 open positions, each of them can be assigned any center frequency you like and decide, how wide the audioband should be (from 1/10 octave to 10 octaves) and what the gain (positive or negative) should be. The shelving filter is available too as well as high and low pass filters with the roll off up to 12dB/octave.
The PEQ is extremely effective in taming acoustic modes in listening rooms – with a bit of patience it is possible to achieve a ruler flat response from your speakers. The Behringer provides the user with a build in generator of pink noise so a measuring microphone is the only tool that is required.

Clarity & delicacy

The dynamic equalizer (DEQ) is sophisticated software that allows to set THRESHOLD, RATIO and GAIN plus ATTACK and RELEASE – there are 3 such equalizers available for each channel. At home such a function can be useful to prevent too high dynamic peaks (when you listen at high volume) or to boost the dynamics at low volumes, typical for night listening sessions.

There is another great tool that affects the dynamics: in the DYN mode the Behringer works as a dynamic compressor or expander. The options include limiting (cutting off the dynamic peaks), soft limiting (the same but with gentle rounding of the cut-off peaks) or expanding (again with the THRESHOLD, RATIO, GAIN, ATTACK and RELEASE, all independently adjustable). I do not assume that the limiter is something to bother about in hifi as audiophiles have the opposite problem – the recordings come limited and squashed so it may be worthwhile trying expand them.

Tonal accuracy

Let’s suppose that your listening environment is assymetrical or has assymetrical acoustic parameters (like when one wall is reflective and the other wall absorbing, which is often the case in modern interiors full of glass and gypsum boards). Or let’s pretend that, for some reasons, you are forced placing the main speakers assymetrically to your listening position. That’s why the Behringer features the WIDTH module. It enables to virtually simulate any width of stereo base to the point when both channels become separate music sources and the stereo ceases to exist or, vice versa, when both channels become one in mono sound. The WIDTH module also allows rotating the stereo image – thus you can optimize the stereo field for a listener that sits off axis. The WIDTH module also allows you to compensate the imaging for individual audio bands (lows are less directional than highs, for instance, so you may require only certain frequencies to be affected).

There are many other modules, filters and settings – when you are done with all of them it is possible to store the configuration in one out of 64 memory slots.The slot can be renamed according your preference. Thus one can optimize its listening field or equalizing preferences for individual music genres, day or night, one or more listeners, one or another speaker set, open or closed windows, your favourite album, you name it. The BYPASS function is an easy way to compare the before and after sound on-the-fly.

So, even now when you are done and ready to listen there is so much to do with the Behringer. The RTA spectral analyser analyses the audio signal in real time – the user can select the resolution of the RTA as well as the peak hold time and how fast it should react. One can also choose which input or output should be monitored. As you know from (now vintage, time flies) tape decks the moving graphic bars can be almost hypnotic but here they are also very informative as they show the numeric values of peaks and corresponding frequencies. Good for learning, especially at low frequencies – you may be surprised how high the center frequency of your favourite “deep” bass is, for instance.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

Do you want another gadget? The METER module has two modes – digital (LED bars) and analogue (VU meters simulation) with the indication of clippings like we know from tape saturation control.


The complete review of the Behringer Ultracurve Pro DEQ24/96 including practical auditioning sessions can be found in our Special Edition Reviews section.

Price as reviewed:7 900,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Audiopro, Praha, tel. +420 777 238 283

Associated components

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-78, Pioneer PD-S904G (transport section with digital output)
  • Amplifiers: Accuphase A-60
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Krautwire Fractal, Homegrown Audio DNA, Nordost Whitelight, Van Den Hul The Optocoupler MkII
  • Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Virgo V, Dynaudio Confidence C1
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Nordost Valhalla, Block Audio Snakeblock, Furutech Powerflux



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