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Sparky

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Hi all.

So, lets get it out of the way, I'm a bit of a "box swapper" and enjoy doing the research on various new items in the audio market which may or may not improve my listening experience.
I'm going through that phase now and have a couple of questions which, depending on the answers, will determine if I decide to keep what I have or move on to something new.

My current set up is a s follows:

(Music) - Intel NUC gen 10 Fanless Case running as ROON Core -> USB -> MiniDSP SHD

(TV with 4 sources) -> LG OLED -> Toslink -> MiniDSP SHD

Audio Output - Genelec 8341 -> AES/EBU -> 75 Ohm to 110 Ohm Converter -> 75 Ohm Digital COAX -> MiniDSP SHD
Active Subwoofer (x 2) -> RCA -> MiniDSP SHD

I don't have any music stored to HDD and I stream everything from Qobuz via the ROON Core.

I use the miniDSP SHD for a number of reasons:

1. Pre-Amp for the Genelecs
2. Input Device Switcher
3. Digital X-Over for the speakers/subs
4. Subwoofer integration with the speakers using REW

I have seen a lot of love for the Pi2AES device and it has me thinking, can I utilise this device at all in my set up and maybe use it to replace one of the items listed above to achieve the same goal. if so, how?

Subwoofer integration - Is there a device out there that will allow me integrate my subs the way the SHD does?

I obviously need a pre-amp for the Genelecs so any replacement device will need to satisfy that requirement.


Looking at my set up, are there any suggestions for improvement anywhere in the audio chain at all?


What would you guys suggest? Can I utilise a Pi2AES at all and do I need to?
 
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Sparky

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Also, I have a spare minidsp 2x4HD in the attic I could utilise if any of you guys suggest a better DAC/PreAmp.

A DAC with i2s input would be cool but could I still utilise my subs somehow?
 

RayDunzl

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Sparky

Sparky

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Looks like you're done to me.

Have a beer.
You'd think so wouldn't you...... :p

The serial "box swapper" in me makes me itch though and I'm curious to know if I can utilise the Pi2AES somehow.

You see, if I can sell the minidsp SHD and not lose much on the sale (which is possible as I have a potential buyer lined up), I could buy a smaller, more advanced DAC/Pre with I2s input (from the Pi2AES) and AES/EBU output (to the Genelecs) then maybe somehow utilise the mindsp 2x4HD that I already have for the analogue subs.

Obviously, with the subs only having a RCA connection, I could possible utilise the 2x4HD as a DAC for the subs only.

The only reason I bought the SHD is ultimately for the subs as I'm not using DIRAC as I prefer the SAM software in the 8341's themselves.

Do you see where I'm going with this?
 

RayDunzl

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Do you see where I'm going with this?

It's doubtful I2s will improve anything, if I remember the consensus of other discussions, so I wouldn't be inclined to make having that a goal..

But then, I've never been shy about buying something when my neuron decides to inform me "I want this!".

Rearrange how your stuff works if you like. If you need to buy something to do it, then do it.
 
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It's doubtful I2s will improve anything, if I remember the consensus of other discussions, so I wouldn't be inclined to make having that a goal..

But then, I've never been shy about buying something when my neuron decides to inform me "I want this!".

Rearrange how your stuff works if you like. If you need to buy something to do it, then do it.
Hi Ray.

You're right. I've looked into the i2s standard and usb or AES/ebu will do just fine.

I've been looking at improving my DAC and have narrowed my sights to the SMSL D1se or the Gustard X26 pro. My Genelecs deserve it! :)

I'm certain that, although the SHD measures well, it just cannot compete with the likes of the above two DACs. I can run my 8341's via XLR whilst using the same RCA outputs running simultaneously to the 2x4HD which will handle the subs.

If I sell the SHD, I'll get a nice chunk of change back which will pay for one if the above mentioned DACs.

I only really bought the SHD for DIRAC which I don't use as I prefer the inbuilt SAM software of the 8341's and to handle my subs. Seen as though I'm not using DIRAC, it's a whole lot of machine for what I'm using it for!

I'm edging towards the X26 if I'm honest.

Any thoughts?
 

RayDunzl

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Any thoughts?

I have a 2x4HD doing sub duty.

But none of the other items mentioned have crossed my path.

Were they reviewed here?
 
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I have a 2x4HD doing sub duty.

But none of the other items mentioned have crossed my path.

Were they reviewed here?
Good morning Ray.

Ah, so you're familiar with the power of minidsp...that's good to know! The 2x4HD is a impressive little box that is massively underated.

This guy: https://goldensound.audio/

I've been watching his subjective and objective reviews for a while now. He seems genuine with no bad motives other than to give an honest and detailed review of a product be it good or bad.
He includes all measurements on his website using the same methods as Amir.

Both the SMSL and the Gustard are on there.....

See what you think. :cool:
 
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It comes down to this though doesn't it?





Quite the history here.
"Quite the history here"? Do you know something I don't? Care to share?
 

Katji

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I got the impression there that you're not aware of it. ...Well...you could search...(the forum, I mean.)
 
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I got the impression there that you're not aware of it. ...Well...you could search...(the forum, I mean.)
Ah....what a disappointment. I'll do just that, go searching. Thanks for the heads-up. ;)
 

FrantzM

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@Sparky

To paraphrase @RayDunzl ... I am not shy about purchasing something when my neurons inform me to just do so.. Rationale be damned. You have a superb system. Keep the SHD, keep it, nice looking and very good gear. I get it you don't use DIRAC.. all good...
Add the powerful miniDSP 2x4 HD, to your system. You already possess it, just go to your attic and find it :), ... then , download MSO here ... If you haven't done that yet, download REW there, while on REW's website, make a donation, this software deserves more than a donation and, do buy a miniDSP Umik-1 through the REW website, the only purchase you will have to make, about $100.
Then your work and the fun, start. Lot of work to digest REW, steep learning curve to measure correctly , then to understand and use MSO the Multisubwoofer Optimizer software. At the end which may take several months., your system shall sound objectively and subjectively better. perhaps end-game better.
No DAC changes will, can't, provide the results the above recommendations would. None.

Peace
 
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Sparky

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@Sparky

To paraphrase @RayDunzl ... I am not shy about purchasing something when my neurons inform me to just do so.. Rationale be damned. You have a superb system. Keep the SHD, keep it, nice looking and very good gear. I get it you don't use DIRAC.. all good...
Add the powerful miniDSP 2x4 HD, to your system. You already possess it, just go to your attic and find it :), ... then , download MSO here ... If you haven't done that yet, download REW there, while on REW's website, make a donation, this software deserves more than a donation and, do buy a miniDSP Umik-1 through the REW website, the only purchase you will have to make, about $100.
Then your work and the fun, start. Lot of work to digest REW, steep learning curve to measure correctly , then to understand and use MSO the Multisubwoofer Optimizer software. At the end which may take several months., your system shall sound objectively and subjectively better. perhaps end-game better.
No DAC changes will, can't, provide the results the above recommendations would. None.

Peace

Thank you for your detailed reply!
I appreciate it very much. You're right of course, I'm being daft as the title of this thread suggests! :)

I will definitely download MSO as I really enjoy using REW and I've managed to get my subs running quite nicely.
This MSO though, it could enhance my efforts quite nicely.

As far as keeping the SHD is concerned, I can't promise I'll do that as this hobby of mine kind of keeps me looking over the horizon to the next "big thing".
Sad I know but I really get a kick out of doing all the research on these new items.
I run an electrical contracting business and the hunt for new gear is like an "escape" for me.......

I do appreciate your comments though bud.

Cheers.
 

TimW

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As someone who has owned multiple rpi based streamers as well as DAC's and various miniDSP devices including the SHD, I am confused by your desire to replace the SHD. The Pi2AES looks like a toy and offers no performance or utilitarian advantage over the SHD. The 2x4HD does great things but looks ugly doing it and is limited in functionality. The the SMSL D1se and the Gustard X26 pro should sound identical to the SHD, no audible or functional improvement there either. My advice to you is, if you haven't already, try using Dirac just for the bass frequencies to see if it brings audible improvements. Then find another obsession to waste time and money on. Lately I have gotten into coffee.
 
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Sparky

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As someone who has owned multiple rpi based streamers as well as DAC's and various miniDSP devices including the SHD, I am confused by your desire to replace the SHD. The Pi2AES looks like a toy and offers no performance or utilitarian advantage over the SHD. The 2x4HD does great things but looks ugly doing it and is limited in functionality. The the SMSL D1se and the Gustard X26 pro should sound identical to the SHD, no audible or functional improvement there either. My advice to you is, if you haven't already, try using Dirac just for the bass frequencies to see if it brings audible improvements. Then find another obsession to waste time and money on. Lately I have gotten into coffee.

Hi Tim.

I'm just as confused as you are! I just really enjoy the research and watching the reviews.
I, like you, have had my fair share of audio gear. I have swapped numerous passive speakers, amps, preamps etc etc.

I genuinely do see where you're coming from and I realise the irony of wanting something I actually already have......it's an old feeling though......wanting more....it's sad really.
 

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Hi Tim.

I'm just as confused as you are! I just really enjoy the research and watching the reviews.
I, like you, have had my fair share of audio gear. I have swapped numerous passive speakers, amps, preamps etc etc.

I genuinely do see where you're coming from and I realise the irony of wanting something I actually already have......it's an old feeling though......wanting more....it's sad really.
I understand the feeling because I feel it too. I just think you may be making a rash decision if you sell the SHD. The only things that I would consider as replacements in kind would be much more expensive like the new DEQX, but I don't know if those are actually better.
 

tonycollinet

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What do you want the Pi2AES for? As far as I can see it can only be used (together with a ras pi) as a streamer. It can't act as a DAC, so can't replace your SHD. You could only replace your Intel NUC with it.
 
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Sparky

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What do you want the Pi2AES for? As far as I can see it can only be used (together with a ras pi) as a streamer. It can't act as a DAC, so can't replace your SHD. You could only replace your Intel NUC with it.
I don't know enough about it to give an answer that would validate the "need".
I thought about NUC - USB - Pi2AES - AES/EBU - DAC

I could then feed my DAC with an AES/EBU whilst also being able to wirelessly stream my content to other devices.

I'm still researching this though and its probably not needed to be fair.
 

tonycollinet

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I don't know enough about it to give an answer that would validate the "need".
I thought about NUC - USB - Pi2AES - AES/EBU - DAC

I could then feed my DAC with an AES/EBU whilst also being able to wirelessly stream my content to other devices.

I'm still researching this though and its probably not needed to be fair.
Won't work. The USB on a raspi is output only for audio (strictly master only). You can't use it as a USB slave device. The Pi2AES simply provides a number of different audio output interfaces for a standard raspberry pi setup. You can use it as a streamer, but not much else.

I guess you could set it up with a streaming service such as airplay (or whatever the windows equivalent is) and send from the NUC via that. But why would you - you can use the raspi as a roon endpoint in any case so one of the NUC or Raspi is always going to be redundant.

But in the end you are trying to find a problem for it to solve that doesn't exist in your system. And creating more problems for yourself in the process.
 
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