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In this paper, we study the joint transmitter and receiver design problem over frequency-selective fading channels. Motivated by a conventional minimum mean square error decision feedback equalizer (MMSE-DFE), we present a simple approximate maximum-likelihood (ML) decision feedback equalizer at the receiver. We then perform precoding in a downlink scenario at the transmitter side to minimize the analytical symbol error rate (SER) of the proposed equalization scheme. Simulation results indicate that the proposed precoder achieves substantial performance gains over previously reported techniques.