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2.1 Setup for Films & Music

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#1
I enjoy films and music in Stereo (PC -> DAC -> Rotel Amp -> ATC SCM20). I am aware that in my current setup where surround is downmixed, I'm losing the LFE channel. Furthermore, I am not currently running any sort of room correction. Finally, my partner is tired of fiddling with the PC to watch anything so I intend to get a media streamer with a friendly UI.

I would like to start out with a 2.1 system with dual subs. Some may cal that 2.2 although not looking for an argument in semantics. I may possibly add more speakers in future but setup doesn't have to be future proof.

Issue is that for my lowish budget (without counting subs/speakers) I can't find an AVR that measures well and has decent multi-sub room correction.

My proposed solution is:
Apple TV 4K-> miniDSP NanoAVR HDA, 4 channels out-> Multichannel Analog Pre-amp -> Power Amp/Speakers & Powered Subs.

My questions are:

-Is this crazy? Am I missing something obvious here?
-Anyone have any experience with this kind of setup or alternatives?

The other route is getting a Denon AVR-X3500H and call it a day until my budget increases, however using REW with miniDSP seems more fun than an Audyssey setup, and Denons don't seem to measure well from the reviews in this forum.
 

Ron Texas

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#2
If the NanoAVR HDA measures like the 2x4 HD, it might fall into the category of "doesn't measure well." If there is a low priced box which does what the 2x4 HD does, but measures better, I want to know about it.
 
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#3
Ah, I'm not sure where I got the idea that in general miniDSP measured well here. Looking at reviews now I can see varied results, depending on product.
 
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#5
They measure well enough.
Admittedly, I haven't given much consideration into the audibility thresholds and such of measurements, just the overall tone and conclusions of reviews from this forum.

I guess combining miniDSP + budget preamp + budget power amp could potentially measure worse than the single Denon AVR-X3500H I'm considering anyways.
 

Krunok

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#6
Admittedly, I haven't given much consideration into the audibility thresholds and such of measurements, just the overall tone and conclusions of reviews from this forum.

I guess combining miniDSP + budget preamp + budget power amp could potentially measure worse than the single Denon AVR-X3500H I'm considering anyways.
That is hard to tell without knowing which budget pream/amp you had in mind.
 
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#7
That is hard to tell without knowing which budget pream/amp you had in mind.
Whichever would measure best :D. To be honest, I was still in the theoretical stage under the assumption that there would be 4-channel pre-amp/stereo power amp combo that was under say $500 total.
 

Krunok

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Whichever would measure best :D. To be honest, I was still in the theoretical stage under the assumption that there would be 4-channel pre-amp/stereo power amp combo that was under say $500 total.
It may be quite challenging to find those with price lower than Denon but with better measurements.
 
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#9
Or using a used good AVR that doesn't have room correction, and sending the second sub channel from miniDSP HDMI out through one of the unused surround channels, into the AVR, and through the pre-out of the AVR. However, that sounds pretty hacky.
 

Krunok

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#12
Or using a used good AVR that doesn't have room correction, and sending the second sub channel from miniDSP HDMI out through one of the unused surround channels, into the AVR, and through the pre-out of the AVR. However, that sounds pretty hacky.
In that case you better go with used good AVR which has multichannel inputs so you can hook miniDSP to it. In that scenario you use 2 front and 2 rear channels of the AVR - basically using it as a 4 channel preamp/amp, exactly what you need. ;)
 
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#13
In that case you better go with used good AVR which has multichannel inputs so you can hook miniDSP to it. In that scenario you use 2 front and 2 rear channels of the AVR - basically using it as a 4 channel preamp/amp, exactly what you need. ;)
Yes that would be a good option. I was also considering miniDSP nano that only has HDMI output (not analog) into used AVR HDMI that has the necessary pre-outs. That is, if the miniDSP can send two bass channels through rear channels via HDMI. I would then use the AVR as amp for fronts, and rear pre-outs for subs.
 

Krunok

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#14
Yes that would be a good option. I was also considering miniDSP nano that only has HDMI output (not analog) into used AVR HDMI that has the necessary pre-outs. That is, if the miniDSP can send two bass channels through rear channels via HDMI. I would then use the AVR as amp for fronts, and rear pre-outs for subs.
Yep, that works as well.
 

Ron Texas

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#15
They measure well enough.
At the end of the 2x4HD review here our host says the SINAD is around 90 db. At the start of the review he characterizes it's performance as in the league of $25 or $30 DACS. Of course a SINAD of 90 is better than most amplifiers. I don't know how well the MiniHT would measure.
 

Krunok

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At the end of the 2x4HD review here our host says the SINAD is around 90 db. At the start of the review he characterizes it's performance as in the league of $25 or $30 DACS. Of course a SINAD of 90 is better than most amplifiers. I don't know how well the MiniHT would measure.
IIRC @RayDunzl uses it for a while and is happy with it. Besides, miniDSP has 4 channels and roomEQ capability which is what OP needs.
 

Ron Texas

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#17
IIRC @RayDunzl uses it for a while and is happy with it. Besides, miniDSP has 4 channels and roomEQ capability which is what OP needs.
To be honest, I have debated whether I should get a 2x4HD would allow me to replace my Crown XLS 1502 with it's built in high pass filter/DSP. The Crown has a SINAD of around 76. However, both the Crown and the 2x4 HD run @ 48khz. It might be something I can't hear, but it could be a limitation.

I have been trying some experiments to see how the system sounds (LS50 + Martin Logan Sub) without a high pass, just using the low pass on the Sub, but so far results have not been satisfactory.
 

RayDunzl

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#18
I have a 2x4HD on four channel subwoofer duty.

The signal to the mains does not pass through it.
 
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#19
Was tempted to just do room correction on subs, with 2x4HD after sub pre-out, but would really like to go up to 200 Hz at least in room correction.

Would it be mad to have each sub below each bookshelf speaker and crossover at 200 Hz? I guess I am aware this would defeat some of the purpose of going dual sub vs. large floorstanders.
 

Krunok

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#20
Would it be mad to have each sub below each bookshelf speaker and crossover at 200 Hz?
If you find subs that are linear up to 200Hz that can be done. Subs will play fine when positioned bellow bookshelves.

Most of the room impact happens below 200Hz so your idea will work pretty well assuming you get subs/bookshelves integration well.
 

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