Tact vs DEQX

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#1
I am interested in who uses the DEQX system and how it compares to TacT

From the DEQX website.....

DEQX-HD™ is a new generation of active DSP loudspeaker regime offering a dramatic performance improvement over traditional passive and active loudspeakers.

Importantly, those who want to keep their loudspeaker system passive can also employ DEQX-HD’s unique technology.

DEQX-HD™ is used by many of the most demanding audiophiles and professional loudspeaker manufacturers because, unlike DSP room correction, DEQX-HD™ first addresses the major faults and distortion that mechanical loudspeakers inherently introduce.

Essentially, DEQX-HD™ compensates the signal each driver receives for its measured errors in phase (timing) and amplitude while using linear-phase crossovers to reduce distortion. Once a speaker’s native performance is ‘ideal’, room correction can also be applied.

Wizard-based software allows a user, with moderate speaker design understanding and software skills, to enhance any existing passive, active or DIY system.

DEQX’s new HDP-3 is our latest stereo preamp-processor to offer our patented speaker and room correction technology. The HDP-3 lets you measure and correct your main speakers and subwoofers with largely automated measurement, analysis, and correction software.

As our correction technology is a complete software package, its easy-to-implement features (including room correction and parametric EQ) can be deployed instantly. And pleasingly, its more advanced applications are ready when adventure—like going active—calls!
 

RUR

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
647
0
0
SoCal
#2
That makes two of us, Steve. I know folks who use one or the other, but none who've actually compared. HDP-3 price looks roughly comparable to a 2.2XP.

Pretty decent review may be found here.
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#4
FYI we requested a demo unit and they were kind enough to send us one. So I will be able to compare it against my Tact soon.

For now, they seem to have functionality that other room correction devices don't have. Namely, it analyzes the drivers and compensates for their failures and avoids driving them to distortion. This obviously needs to be in an electronic cross-over situation with multiple amps driving ala Wisdom Audio. Pricing is also quite a bit more reasonable than TacT.

More later as we learn more....
 

RUR

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
647
0
0
SoCal
#5
Amir, can you please try to obtain details of DEQX' forthcoming (and compatible) 4ch digital amps? They're referenced on page 2 of the review I cited above. Specifically, are they "pure digital" i.e. power DACs a la TacT and how many watts.

Looking forward to the results of your comparison!
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#6
Our interest in talking to them is around processors, not amps. But sure, if the opportunity presents itself, we will ask them that question.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,740
16
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#7
Amir:

Which Tact unit do you have? If the 2.2, are you using it with external subs?

I currently have (but am not using) a Tact 2.0 with digital in and analog and digital out but am thinking of upgrading it to the 2.2XP. After I heard Marty's (OB's friend) and how it did virtually nothing to screw up his analog turntable sound, I got quite interested.

Maybe I should hold off and read more on the DEQX product.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
The amazing thing about Marty's system is that even after his TT sound is digitized via TacT his sound IMO is the finest I have ever heard
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#9
Amir:

Which Tact unit do you have? If the 2.2, are you using it with external subs?
I have the theater version. I was driving multiple subs with it.

I currently have (but am not using) a Tact 2.0 with digital in and analog and digital out but am thinking of upgrading it to the 2.2XP. After I heard Marty's (OB's friend) and how it did virtually nothing to screw up his analog turntable sound, I got quite interested.
I think the right way to look at this is that the room correction has the potential to far more to help the room than hurt it due to A/D and D/A conversion.

Maybe I should hold off and read more on the DEQX product.
That would make sense. They are sending us the units from Australia and I would be able to report back.

Here is another tidbit. I and someone else in my team have TacT. We both have had service issues. I bought my original for $10K. Then spent $6K to upgrade it to version 2. Never used it for many reasons. A couple of years later I unboxed it, only to find two channels completely non-functional. I contacted them, buz (?) answered with a short message that they don't support that unit anymore. I explained that I had spent $16K on a unit that clearly came broken from the factory. He was not sympathetic and simply said to reset the machine which did nothing. I explained to him my engineering background and asked again for help only to be given the cold shoulder.

So I pop the box open, notice a highly modular architecture where each pair of channels is on a card. Since my setup at this time is 5.1, I swapped the extra two channels for the rears where I was having problems. This causes all kinds of issue since those channels were configured differently. But I managed to sort through them using the awful software and got the unit working. Well, I should say partially working. The unit randomly goes nuts now sending nasty static to the speakers. So I unplugged it and having to do without :(.

Now, if this was a big company I could understand. But we are talking a small company with the principal exchanging email with me and one would think more help would be forthcoming. The guy in my team likewise had some issues and was told the same thing: your unit is too old and not supported.

Net, net, I think TacT has wonderful room correction logic. But support is dicey as is usability of the software. So if we can find something better, I like to go with that.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#10
From my conversations with Marty, he says that there is no manual and really nothing on the software except learn as you go. Perhaps this is why there are so many on-line TacT Forums
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#12
Amir, when you did use your TacT, did you set it and forget it or did you ever make changes on the run?
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#13
Amir, when you did use your TacT, did you set it and forget it or did you ever make changes on the run?
I got mine when it first came out. At that time, I spent at least a month playing with it. I created multiple settings and as soon as I would think it was the best, I would play something new and would find a new setting that was better :). The remote has multiple settings so makes it easy to compare if you are going forward or back.

Once I got a good setting though, I stopped playing with it and used the machine for quite a while. Mostly this was due to the hassle factor of remembering how to use the box, having a convenient PC next to it which has a serial port (pain in the neck these days as PCs don't have them anymore and USB dongles don't always work). This was more of a reason for not messing with it than any other. 'cause it really is fun to keep experimenting. You learn a lot about things like crossovers.

Overall though, this was about the last 10 to 20% set of changes. The large improvement is there regardless -- at least in rooms that are not heavily treated and are large.
 

Brucemck2

Member Sponsor
May 10, 2010
244
1
18
Houston area
#14
I've owned two different Tact units (a two channel and a theater multichannel). I've also owned a DEQX.

Both are reasonably easy to use within the construct of computer based audio equipment. Neither is easy if you are not pretty comfortable with a laptop, with measurement equipment, etc.

They have radically different functionality.

The DEQX is a digital crossover. It does a terrific job time aligning individual drivers; phase correcting individual drivers; frequency and group delay correcting individual drivers; and finally crossing across individual drivers. It's got some, but frankly pretty limited, room equalization (a PEQ with only six filters, and the filters can't differ across the channels, so the Left and Right mains get identical PEQ.) It's easy to use shallowly, and hard to use well.

The Tact is a room correction device, and, a mains to sub crossover. It does a terrific job crossing the mains to the subs, allowing very precise time alignment. It does a great job with room equalization, although it's far from a hands off automated set and forget; like the DEQX it's easy to use shallowly and hard to use well.

The AD/DA stages in both units are very transparent, and in my opinion the losses from those incremental transformations is overwhelmed by the positive additions those units can make to a system.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,740
16
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#16
Brucemck2, thanks.

I initially tired to get my Tact 2.0 upgraded as it only has digital in and no analog in (it does have analog and digital out). I sent the company (Boz - the owner) an email and got no response. I waited a while and called him and was told that they don't support that product anymore so there was no availability of adding analog inputs. But, that said, the next time we talked, he offered me a very fair price on a trade in of my unit to the 2.2XP which does all that I need and, according to Marty and Boz, has some very slick functionality.

OB: Unlike Marty, I did not continually tweak my digital room correction systems (either SigTech or Tact). I did spend HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS doing the initial setup but once it was done to my satisfaction, I left it alone for a couple of reasons. (1) It is a pain in the posterior to re-learn the Tact software every time since it is anything but intuitive and, as noted previously, you have to keep your laptop handy and (2) after a while, I felt like I was playing with a balloon. I would find some room issue, fix it and then another would show up. When I would fix the next issue, it could potentially affect the first one. After a while, I just left it alone and was perfectly happy with the results. Like most audio products, the Tact or SigTech or (I assume) DEQX are not perfect. But what they can do in most rooms is phenomenal and once you get them set up, they are about the best value audio device you can purchase.

But let me say again, there were MANY MANY long hour sessions working to extract the very best out of my room. As an aside, when I was installing SigTechs, we could get 97% of the benefit in a few hours. It was that last 3% that would drive you nuts (just ask Marty!!)
 

FrantzM

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
6,469
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0
#19
I have to ask the guys to see if they received the gear :). Will report back when we have some data.
I could be an atypical audiophile. I research my gear for a long time and when I find what I like or want,, fiddle, optimize for several months .. then settle and simply use the gear to listen to music... for years. My search and research have begun.
The new system will reside in a living room. Not a dedicated room... something I took for granted when I had 2 separate rooms one for HT and one for 2-Ch .. Now everything will be in this Living Room .. :( Room treatments will likely be minimal (nostalgic about my "forrest" of Tube Traps) although drapes will be generously used ... This system will have DRC ... so I am reviving this thread .... and reminding Amir of his promise ;)Ok People... Thsi WBF is a treasure trove ... :) I am interested. My next system will have Digital EQ in it call it by any name you please DRC.. ARC.. or Digital EQ. I am sold. What about your own results Amir?
 
Apr 3, 2010
16,022
0
0
Seattle, WA
#20
We lost complete touch with them then. But this year at CES I met with them and spent good bit of time chatting. They have a new unit they wanted me to review and said it would be available in Mark/April time frame (I think). They were supposed to send me email but never got that. I need to go and see if I can find their business cards.

The comparison that I mentioned is sadly not going to happen. My TacT was losing its channels randomly. So I made the "stupid mistake" of telling the program to re-download its firmware. That immediately bricked the machine where it gets in an infinite loop when starting. I contacted Boz at TacT. His answer was, "why did you do that?" I explained and he says that wasn't the right fix. I said I realize that but why does a machine break when re-downloading its own firmware. Answer again, "you shouldn't have done that." I say that was a standard option in the PC software for TacT. Answer, "you shouldn't have done that." So I ask what next. He says the main DSP board is probably not functional anymore. I ask if he can send me the right firmware. Answer. No, there is nothing to send me. I ask if there is a replacement DSP board. Answer: "no, the main DSP was discontinued a while back and we have no replacement boards."

I take out the DSP board and see that some chips have been had replaced. I had sent it in to be upgraded from rev 1 to rev 2. Whoever did that work didn't do a good job as across the flash memory which holds the firmware there was a solder bridge (short) across a couple of pins. I fix that but it does not help. Likely due to that short it corrupted the firmware and since it no long boots, I can't redownlaod the firmware to it using the PC software.

Net, net, I have a $16,000 door stop. My advice: please avoid TacT at all costs.

Currently our reference is the JBL Synthesis SDEC-4500. I just finished the "master class" for it at Harman last week. It has 20 channels of correction, so easy to do bi-amp and 4 subs, etc. Down side: it is very expensive. There is a cheaper version SDEC-3000 but that doesn't have SFM (soundfield management which equalizes multiple subs). Plan to write an article in the future. For now, here is a quick snapshot of the UI:

 

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