BEHRINGER V-VERB 2496
Verdict: top-class reverb for a price, it would be real flagship for a Behringer if they only had manufactured correctly, but there is fortunately all possible to repair and upgrade by handyman.
It is with 24bit 44.1/48/96kHz operation, wordclock, AES/EBU/SPDIF I/O and symmetrical I/O.
IT has 2 separate effect engines inside which can be routed with very flexible routing with all combinations, and so I use it has in analog path 2 stereo effects in series, or at a AUX sends on my DAW with digital output (one big reverb for left channel and another effect for right channel).
Mostly I find myself using 2 of the units as a AUX send effects (4 effects total), and 2 units
I use as DAC with effect units.
It is also perfect as a mastering reverb becouse of its lush modeled reverb algorithms. THE REVERB TAILS HAVE NO RINGING/metallic sidetones or other similar issues.
Certainly with better algorithms than the Alesis Midiverb III and IV or even the most software stock reverbs or freeware reverb VSTs made before which I know until 2010 !
I have used it also as a delay unit which parameters and preset change I control via MIDI.
I prefer the units reverb algorithms over any VST
Also it has very real comprehensive user manual which I found very helpful as I am person who
reads from cover to cover everything becouse of principle.
Compressor algorithms are somewhat limited as there is no expander included. But atleast it is all well written in the manual how it acts, and on the display by numbers and in a graphic representation in realtime.
Now the real bad things.
There are whistles in the analog path.
The power supply filtering is not adequate.
the local power stabilizer is not with adequate filtering nor cooling.
grounding through the PCB holes.
Too thin wires for ground.
I found this effect unit perfect in any ways but only with one minor fault -- the build quality and engineering original design sucks and some units were faulty direct after buying!
The signal-to noise and dynamic range numbers are one thing at the papers, but when using with the stock mixing console then the console goes generating, also the V-VERB unit does a high-pitched whistle at 2kHz which reduces the usable dynamic range down to 70..80.
Also in time the contacts get loose, the capacitors in the power supply are not filtering enough the pulsation.
BUT I discovered that I am quite "stuck" with it becouse everything which would be better than this costs 10 times more if I wanted to stick at my current workflow! If I want digital I/O or/and the similar flexible effect engines routing plus also possibility for 96kHz then Behringer V-VERB PRO REV2496 cost 100USD (at 2007 in Sweden), and other units with similar features cost more than 2000 USD !
Yamaha SPX2000 (looks quite similar? http://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-spx2000
Other units which were limited to 48kHz did not had wide variety of effects and/or so flexible effect engine routing, but still cost more than 400 EUR (Lexicon MX400)
So, in other words I found it very reasonable to get to know it so much as I can and I fixed all these
faults which were done at the production line, and in original design!
I own 7 of them, while 5 I bought back on 2007 and 2 more 2012, It cost 100USD back then, and now it is compared to the prices of Lexicon.
If I would mark the score then for a build quality I say 4/10, whereas when all works and is fixed then
it is 8/10 to me. But it really needs modification and repairs if to get peak efficiency from it.
So if You buy that stock unit then power on soldering iron too as you need:
1. re-cap power supply; 2. add thicker wire for ground signal; 3 improve local 1.8V filtering; 4. limit the signal bandwidth on analog stage; 5. isolate the CPU plate from the chassis; 6. extra cooling for LM317 would be good.
After these improvements it is like totally different item than it is supposed to be and with lower noise floor.
Better double the capacitances in the filtering section and make better filtering for +-15V area.
But what I really hate is this: The Behringer DISCONTINUED the product, there is no service manual, no spares, no support of kind at all even if I phoned to them.
I sent several times also letter with improvement recommendations for this unit. None.
The Behringer Virtualizer 3D come out instead as the next thing (which had no difference compared to the non-3D Virtualizer model).
After all these things done, I now got the signal to noise ratio -110dBu (by the papers it was -90dBu)
but the real unit has that noise floor actually at -75..80 dBu due to the whistles.
Well, some other DAC/ ADC chips can be used too, in order to obtain 120dB dynamic, but this can You do Yourself certainly.
Would keep it certainly after I can fix all the errors after such research
and there is always room for another one becouse of its functionality.
And so, I did not bought Yamaha SPX nor other >1000 EUR effect unit.
BUt certainly for that 100USD price these V-VERB units with the modification, I would get couple more, just to add these in series for the effect routing.