dB-Mark : DP vs XCA

With both the DP Series and XCA series sporting the same set of features, we frequently had customers asking what the difference was, and which one is best for them.

After a few years of the DP series always being the underdog to the XCA series, and all the new improvements being applied to XCA series only, it reached a point where the guys at dB-Mark thought it was time to simplify things, to make life easier for everyone. Previously the DP series and XCA series required separate software, and the configuration files were not interoperable. With the introduction of the + models on both DP and XCA, all this is history.

You can now use the same software to copy settings to and from DP series and XCA series, so once you have a system configuration, you can apply it to any model. All the newer features from the XCA series have now been applied to the DP Series, and they both now boast an impressive set of features:

  • Compressor and Noise Gate on all input channels
  • Dynamic EQ on all input channels
  • 6 Parametrics EQs per channel (input and output) with Hi-Shelf and Lo-Shelf
  • 96kHz Sampling Frequency
  • Configurable compressor and Limiter on each output channel
  • 1st and 2nd Order All Pass Filters
  • Bessel, Butterworth and Linkwitz-Riley filters up to 48dB/octave
  • 24 bit A/D and D/A conversion
  • Fully configurable matrix, link any input to any output

So what’s the point in having two ranges exactly the same? Well, they’re not identical, there are some subtle differences, essentially the DP series is intended as a high quality option for lower spec applications and to be affordable for entry level sound systems. The XCA Series has a few improvements, putting it firmly into the top end of the Pro Audio.

Balanced Outputs. The DP Series uses impedance balancing, its a common solution for budget audio, used by many audio manufacturers to keep costs down. The benefits of balanced cable are retained, but without using a ‘true’ balanced output. There is only the ‘hot’ signal, and the ‘cold’ inverted signal on pin 3 is just linked to ground through a resistor. The XCA series has true active balanced outputs, with both hot and cold signals present. For short cable runs, (ie within an amp rack) there is little difference between these solutions, and chances are you are already using audio gear with impedance balanced outputs – but you just dont know it! – if you want the best – the XCA series is the choice.

Sound Quality. In their quest for optimum sound quality, dB-Mark took a no expense spared approach to components, and looked for the highest quality D to A and A to D converters, and premium op-amps to ensure maximum quality, and lowest distortion and noise. This is the key difference between the two ranges, and the higher quality of the XCA series allows it to compete with some of the best audio processors in the industry.

Ready to buy? Check our website now: https://www.bluearan.co.uk/index.php?manufacturer=dBMark&masthead=System_Controllers&subheadnew=Digital_Lms

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