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Behringer gear, a love story gone sour...

I have been a big fan of Behringer equipment for many years. Some of the advantages that really got me hooked on using Behringer gear for live performances include the following:
  • Behringer equipment is generally inexpensive and provides good value for money. This is critical for small touring bands with limited budgets for gear and a desire to maximize their investment.  
  • Behringer manufactures a wide range of audio equipment, including mixers, amplifiers, and speakers. This means that small bands can easily find the equipment they need to create a fully functional live sound setup.
  • Behringer equipment is lightweight and compact, making it simple to transport and set up at various locations. This is especially important for small touring bands who need to move their equipment quickly and efficiently. 
  • Many Behringer products feature simple, user-friendly controls that make adjusting levels and settings during a live performance a breeze. This is especially important for small bands that may lack the technical knowledge or experience to operate complex equipment.
  • Behringer equipment is generally dependable and long-lasting, which is important for small touring bands who rely heavily on their gear. Behringer equipment is designed to withstand the rigors of live performances and to deliver consistent, dependable sound.
My most recent purchases in gear have mostly been Behringer, and I've advised and assisted several bands and churches in purchasing and implementing Behringer... BUT, I've had a number of serious issues with Behringer that have completely changed my opinion of them. 

In this article, I will share some of my recent experiences/frustrations with Behringer, but first, a disclaimer...

DISCLAIMER: The opinions/comments I am sharing are my own. This is how I see Behringer as a company and the quality of its products and services. My experiences may not be representative of those of other Behringer gear users/owners. I sincerely hope that my experiences are an exceptional case, but I have the impression (as you will see in my subsequent comments) that these are not isolated incidents.

Behringer X32 series plus Digital Snake S16

For several years, I've been using Behringer X32 series mixers, Behringer Digital Snake S16, and other related equipment. The S16 was our most recent purchase three years ago, when we had to decide whether to replace our snake with a longer one or to go digital (this was a year before COVID happened). We were extremely pleased with the solution of connecting the digital snake (stage box) to the X32 via a CAT5/CAT6 UTP cable for a year. We had two or three performances after the worst peaks of COVID had passed and we could safely resume performing when our Behringer Digital Snake S16 died on us. We're talking about around 15 performances with the S16.

I've worked in electronics/information technology/audio for over 50 years, and I know that every time you turn on a device, there's a chance something will go wrong. When something goes wrong, you go to the nearest service center, and this is where my positive experiences with Behringer gradually turned into a nightmare!

I went to every Behringer Service Point that Behringer claims to have in the Netherlands and Belgium. All of these Service Points are telling me the same thing... They can't get spare parts from Behringer, or it takes forever! The Service Points in the Netherlands added another detail: they stopped being a Behringer Service Point several years ago because they were constantly receiving unhappy Behringer customers seeking service, and they couldn't help them because Behringer wasn't delivering parts. They have requested that Behringer remove them from the website and other lists... but Behringer does not appear to keep the list up to date.

I went back to the shop where we bought the equipment... but they can't help either and point to the service points. The Service Points are blaming Behringer for not sending parts. So I approached Behringer, who directed me back to the Service Points that (to my knowledge) no longer exist.

Behringer is required by Dutch law to service equipment for a period of five years, but they are failing to do so. They point to the Service Points and claim that this is how they provide sufficient support... However, it appears that these Service Points are no longer providing assistance. I am currently feeling abandoned and helpless, and what can I do about it? I would ship the defective snake to Behringer in Germany if I thought I would get support... but they want everything to go through their service points... So that is the problem I am referring to as a "disaster waiting to happen," because anything can break down, and with no way to fix it,

I found an engineer who is experiencing the same issues, and he is willing to assist by opening the box and replacing components until the thing works again. It'll be a long road to get this working again, but with all other options exhausted, it's the only way to go.

My love for Behringer has gone

What hurts is that I have lost complete confidence in Behringer and feel that I have wasted precious funds. Behringer may be creating nice gear, but I believe that the trouble starts when Behringer gear break.
I believe that Behringer is not interested in providing quality services, their focus seems to be on selling gear. In my opinion, no matter how low you price this gear, once it breaks it needs to be replaced because getting it repaired seems to be almost impossible. 
With this in mind, the total cost of owning Behringer gear increases to such a level that midrange gear (non-Behringer) becomes a more interesting and cost-effective alternative.

Unless and until Behringer significantly improves the current repair situation, I will not recommend Behringer gear again, and I have actively begun to replace all Behringer gear used in the bands/churches that I support. The existing gear will be kept as a backup system in case we need an extra set somewhere, or in the unlikely event that the midrange gear fails.

Note to Behringer:

We're getting a "divorce" because I believe you cheated on me ... you abandoned me!! You said I could trust you, but when the trust was put to the test, your 'Yes' was nowhere to be heard. You seem to just love me for my money, and the rest of our relationship seems to be shallow... Where were you during challenging times!

There is still a way back, and I am willing to forgive and 'forget,' but you must take action by repairing my equipment and demonstrating how you have improved the situation so that this does not happen again. Until then, like anyone who has felt cheated in a 'relationship,' I will not hesitate to share my experiences as a personal opinion, hoping that my opinion will assist others in deciding whether or not to enter into their own 'relationship' with you.


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