They're actually okay for what they are. I've had one for about a year and a half - haven't used it that much (not need to) but good to have around.
I think Dolphin music might have the lowest UK price (£18 - a massive 92p saving on the studiospares price).
I mention this so that you can get a price match in one of your local music shops (turnkey, digital village, soundcontrol - if you live near any of the london branches or whatever and happen to be passing... deliver is probably similar to tube fare etc etc).
Ibliss, thanks for the Dolp stuff. I was at SS anyway after sourcing some cabling on the web, noticed the "offer" and bought one. 92p eh? DAMN!
Plasma! Oh yes! I had 40 metres of XLR playing up - was at Senniheiser out west, showed them an issue. Guy brings out one of these puppies and says - "There yah go!" XLR had been wired up incorrectly. Not by me either!
" . it's cheap peace of mind to know the phasing is correct." Oh yes . .
I agree, a cable tester can be very useful. Cables fail much more often than virtually anything else.
I've got a love/hate relationship with Behringer though. Their stuff is certainly inexpensive, but I have a problem with their business practices. Take the CT-100 cable tester that Grazie mentioned, it is a 100% complete and total ripoff of the Ebtech SwizzArmy cable tester. Behringer didn't design their own cable tester, they copied the Ebtech down to the placement of the jacks, switches and LEDs. The Ebtech sells for $90 and the Behringer sells for $35. I have no idea how Behringer gets away with this. Last I heard, Behringer had not licensed the design from Ebtech and Ebtech isn't happy about it.
Here is a picture of the CT-100 (note that it says "Designed and conceived in Germany")
I'll admit, I do own some Behringer stuff. They make one particularly interesting gadget, the Shark DSP-110 and it doesn't seem to be a ripoff of someone else's design. For under $100, it is an amazing and immensely useful device.
XLR wiring reminder (for North America anyway):
Warning: I've been told that, in certain countries (yours, Grazie?), the wiring for pins 2 & 3 is the reverse of the above.
Bottom line is that, as long as ALL your XLR cables are wired the same way, you're OK. If you borrow one from someone else and it's wired opposite though, then you're in trouble. For this reason, part of my "audio grab bag" includes a couple of cables (called phase reversers) wired with pin 1 hot at one end and pin 2 hot on the other end.
I am definitly not a fan of Behringer. I purchased a product and discoverd the output was not balanced. this was a disappointment, but then I noticed the output was also out of phase with the input. I sent it back.
XLR wiring has been a problem for many years. It was only in the 90s that AES issued a "Standard" which is as Mike says. It is the same standard as I learned from an NBC sound man back in the 1950s. However I have racks full of equipment that is wired with pin 3 hot., JBL amplifiers and EQ from the 1980s. Trying to wire equipment with a mix of phasing standards is a nightmare. The racks have several "out of phase cables" that I built in order to keep everything in phase. I much prefer to use screw terminals, at least in permanent installations.
edit: I have a Sescom cable checker that I use on every cable I make. I use a dual trace scope to follow the phase through the chain of equipment. The cable checker is essential.
Historically, I believe Behringer have faired pretty well in courts. Even if you do win a lawsuit against them, the damages you win may be less than your legal fees.
Behringer VS Aphex: I believe Behringer won this.
Behringer VS Mackie: Behringer won, as the judge found that circuit designs aren't patentable (I'm not sure about the exact details of this; there was some patent loophole).
They later settled out of court (since Mackie was to appeal the decision or something like that).
Behringer VS Roland: This was settled out of court; details undisclosed.
The reason Ebtech has not sued Behringer (and they may have a strong case for trade dress infringement) may be because they are a small company and they don't have the money.
I don't know very much about the law here so this is just my guess. You can certainly consult a lawyer and look at the previous cases for better information.
"The reason Ebtech has not sued Behringer (and they may have a strong case for trade dress infringement) may be because they are a small company and they don't have the money."
Well, that's kind of my point. Behringer is stealing (from my point of view) designs and ideas from everywhere and getting away with it because their legal team has deeper pockets that the small companies from which they are stealing. Behringer is saving on all that R&D cost, plus they are manufacturing all their stuff in China, so they can certainly sell their products cheap. Obviously, the consumer makes out pretty well here, but the "mom and pop" manufacturers, like Ebtech, are losing out. While Behringer's practices may be (barely) legal, it doesn't make them fair and I am reluctant to buy products from Behringer for ethical reasons. Although, like I said in my previous post, I am a hypocrite of sorts because I have bought a few Shark processors.
"Warning: I've been told that, in certain countries (yours, Grazie?), the wiring for pins 2 & 3 is the reverse of the above.
Bottom line is that, as long as ALL your XLR cables are wired the same way, you're OK. If you borrow one from someone else and it's wired opposite though, then you're in trouble."
All standard cables should be wired pins 1 to 1, 2 to 2, and 3 to 3. It really isn't rocket science, just standard and good practice. Any phasing problems that may arise are then stemming from the equipment connected. Anyone departing from the standard wiring and not clearly tagging the cables then using them without further thought deserves what he gets.
WOW that is a direct ripoff. I had never seen that SWIS device before.
The only other Behringer item I own is a small mixer I bought for personal field use. It's SO much like a Mackie I was wondering about patent stuff. I've read some other things about them recently, including a settlement with the FCC about improper type acceptance practices, so I'm now starting to get an unsettling picture about the company, and if direct ripoffs are the way they achieve the remarkably low cost, I'm disappointed in their practices. My mixer was a tremendous value for the money.
The Shark device does look intriguing, however. I don't think I've come across anything like it.
I'd look at it the other way around, Ebtech are ripping their customers off to the tune of $45 per unit. There's nothing in their design that's new, cable testers have been around for decades and so have tone generators. And why single out Behringer, what about Rostronics who make cheap lighting gear. The list of companies making the same thing either cheaper or better is pretty long. Even I make knock offs of portable battery systems and I'm a backyard manufacturer, I manage to sell my stuff for a 1/4 of the price of the competition. My products are designed from the ground up by yours truly but the end result certainly has the same look and feel as the more expensive units, I think it's called competition.
Next thing someone will be saying my video is a rip off because it's got opening and closing titles and uses ideas from Ken Burns.
It's this very sort of muddled thinking that's one of the reasons why it's so hard to get the public interested in stopping piracy.
. . seesshh . . all I did was to go buy a piece of equip that I've been hankering after for 2 years and thought others might be interested in purchasing - at that price? It's a cable tester! Which I'm assuming consists of resistors, a tone generator, some buttons and some Diodes? When I was very tiny I used to solder this type of stuff up for fun!!
Mind you, my newly acquired SpiderBrace ( thank you jr for pushing me!) is far, FAR more exciting!
"I think it's called competition. Next thing someone will be saying my video is a rip off because it's got opening and closing titles and uses ideas from Ken Burns.
It's competiton if Behringer designed and manufactured a better cable tester and was able to sell it cheaper, but Behringer didn't just copy the "look and feel" of the Ebtech, they handed an Ebtech to a manufacturer in China and said, "make 100,000 of these as cheap as you can." It's one thing to use someone else's ideas, it is entirely another to out-and-out clone something and put your name on it. If you lifted Ken Burn's exact open and closing titles, I'm sure he'd have something to say about it.
Serena, that's the way I've been wiring them for years but I've had guys from the UK tell me that I'm doing it backwards. Old BBC thinking?
Then again, this is the country that had positive ground automotive electrical systems when everyone else was negative ground :-)
I've also had to re-wire Hitachi 1" VTRs because they were wired with pin 3 hot.
BTW, for unbalanced, I've always joined 2 & 3. YMMV.
Well the Behringer cable tester is a different color so it's not a rip off.
Yes, I'm being trite. And yes I think it'd be nice if Behringer gave Ebtec a royalty on every unit sold, $I per unit wouldn't have strained anyone and Ebtec would have probably been over the moon to get an extra $100K. Problem is then some genius in Behringer says 'how about we swap the M and F XLRs around, then we don't have to give Ebtec a dime and save $100K'. Trust me, this is how management thinks.
This whole thing has gotten out of hand. Who'd have thought the way a camera connects to a release plate is someones IP? Well it seems it is, a simple 1/4 screw and a pin though a machined sliding plate. Miller have had to change the design of their release plates because of this, now it's very easy to loose that precious 1/4" screw and pin assembly when the plastic clip comes off.