• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Best way to integrate Dirac without compromises?

joshz

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2022
Messages
17
Likes
2
Hi everyone!

First of all I have to say this community was already very helpful, thank you everyone!

So I am in the process of building myself a 2.0 or 2.1 system for Tidal streaming. For amplification I would like to go with the NAD M22 but I have difficulties finding a proper streamer/DAC with good Dirac implementation. MiniDSP SHD would be an option but it does not have MQA.

I would go with a Matrix DAC/Streamer and an MiniDSP DDRC 24, but since the measurements on the 2x4 HD aren't very good I don't want to "cripple" the chain with the small minidsp.

Another alternative would be the M33, though very expensive.

I would be happy for every idea, thanks :)
 

ppataki

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
725
Likes
756
Location
Budapest
I would use a PC (Windows-based mini PC or any kind of Mac) as the source that will host Dirac Live and just hook it up with a Sabaj A30A full digital amp via USB
That will do the job perfectly at a fraction of the price
 

voodooless

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
6,216
Likes
10,310
Location
Netherlands
MiniDSP SHD would be an option but it does not have MQA.
Dirac processing is at 48 kHz anyway. Your PC can do the MQA core render already, the rest is useless anyway for these sample rates.
 
OP
J

joshz

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2022
Messages
17
Likes
2
Dirac processing is at 48 kHz anyway. Your PC can do the MQA core render already, the rest is useless anyway for these sample rates.
ok i did not know that, thanks! Well then it's probably enough to stay with Tidal HiFi. Is that also true for streaming HiRes from a server?

I would use a PC (Windows-based mini PC or any kind of Mac) as the source that will host Dirac Live and just hook it up with a Sabaj A30A full digital amp via USB
That will do the job perfectly at a fraction of the price
sounds interesting, can i stream to the pc/mac via my phone?
 

ppataki

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
725
Likes
756
Location
Budapest
sounds interesting, can i stream to the pc/mac via my phone?
I have never tried that myself but I would use Tidal Connect for that
Tidal would be installed on your PC and Connect would control that so your phone would become your remote control essentially
Dirac Live's standalone mode would make sure that whatever you play via Tidal (or anything else for that matter) would flow through its DSP correction

No streaming involved and you maintain the best possible sound quality (especially using Tidal's Exclusive Mode on a PC that sends bitstream data to your DAC or your digital amp)
 

Kal Rubinson

Major Contributor
Industry Insider
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
4,716
Likes
8,250
Location
NYC/CT
Dirac processing is at 48 kHz anyway. Your PC can do the MQA core render already, the rest is useless anyway for these sample rates.
I am not sure exactly what you are responding to but................................................
1. Dirac processing may be limited to 48kHz in some/many embedded versions such as with miniDSP. The limitation is imposed by the hardware.
2. Dirac processing as implemented in PC/Mac processors is limited to 192kHz.
 
OP
J

joshz

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2022
Messages
17
Likes
2
I have never tried that myself but I would use Tidal Connect for that
Tidal would be installed on your PC and Connect would control that so your phone would become your remote control essentially
Dirac Live's standalone mode would make sure that whatever you play via Tidal (or anything else for that matter) would flow through its DSP correction

No streaming involved and you maintain the best possible sound quality (especially using Tidal's Exclusive Mode on a PC that sends bitstream data to your DAC or your digital amp)
i have tidal open on my Macbook and phone right now, the mac does not show up as a tidal connect device, only airplay..
 

voodooless

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
6,216
Likes
10,310
Location
Netherlands
I am not sure exactly what you are responding to but................................................
1. Dirac processing may be limited to 48kHz in some/many embedded versions such as with miniDSP. The limitation is imposed by the hardware.
We were talking about the MiniDSP HD specifically.
2. Dirac processing as implemented in PC/Mac processors is limited to 192kHz.
Sure. But they won’t do full MQA decode either, so makes it still pointless.
 

Axo1989

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
1,078
Likes
942
We were talking about the MiniDSP HD specifically.

You post said "your PC" also, I expect "we were talking about" is subject to words actually written and reasonable interpretations thereof. :)
 
Last edited:

ppataki

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 7, 2019
Messages
725
Likes
756
Location
Budapest
i have tidal open on my Macbook and phone right now, the mac does not show up as a tidal connect device, only airplay..
Yes, you are right, I just checked: only 'supported devices' are supported and that excludes computers of any kind
One solution can be to plug a Chromecast USB (or HDMI) to your computer - that is a supported device
 
Last edited:

Axo1989

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
1,078
Likes
942
I am not sure exactly what you are responding to but................................................
1. Dirac processing may be limited to 48kHz in some/many embedded versions such as with miniDSP. The limitation is imposed by the hardware.
2. Dirac processing as implemented in PC/Mac processors is limited to 192kHz.

For anyone interested, looks like Sonarworks have upgraded their Reference 4 software (which I've been using for room EQ for stereo) to multi-channel (up to 9.1.6) and renamed it SoundID Reference. I expect I'll try it if/when I augment my hardware to take advantage of the multi-channel DAC I purchased earlier. Currently a plug-in but soon to be a system-wide Mac/PC application (which is how I use it). Like Dirac, they charge more for multi-channel. Good to have choices, anyway.
 
Last edited:

Axo1989

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
1,078
Likes
942
So I am in the process of building myself a 2.0 or 2.1 system for Tidal streaming. For amplification I would like to go with the NAD M22 but I have difficulties finding a proper streamer/DAC with good Dirac implementation. MiniDSP SHD would be an option but it does not have MQA. ...

Depending how flexible you are conceptually and in practical terms, maybe Mac/PC as source running your Tidal app and your EQ software (system-wide Dirac, Sonarworks, etc) then out to any DAC you like for final MQA unfold?

I don't use Tidal any more, and went for multi-channel DAC instead of MQA so can't test/confirm.

Edit: if you have to do EQ downstream of full MQA unfold then that complicates things.
 
Last edited:

voodooless

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
6,216
Likes
10,310
Location
Netherlands
Wasn't it 96khz the SHD series and 48khz the 2x4hd and flex?
You may be right there. It really doesn’t change a lot though. You can’t do a full MQA render with a Dirac enabled device at this point in time.
 

voodooless

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
6,216
Likes
10,310
Location
Netherlands
Depending how flexible you are conceptually and in practical terms, maybe Mac/PC as source running your Tidal app and your EQ software (system-wide Dirac, Sonarworks, etc) then out to any DAC you like for final MQA unfold?
It can’t do that. Any DSP’ing will remove the MQA metadata.
 

Kal Rubinson

Major Contributor
Industry Insider
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
4,716
Likes
8,250
Location
NYC/CT
OP
J

joshz

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2022
Messages
17
Likes
2
Thanks for all the input! But if I would go: Streamer with MQA decoder -> DSP with Dirac -> Amp it should work right?

Question only is what device to use as a DSP, since the DDRC24/HD 2x4 has its flaws. I could use the SHD as a „Dirac only“ over analog in
 
Last edited:

voodooless

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
6,216
Likes
10,310
Location
Netherlands
Thanks for all the input! But if I would go: Streamer with MQA decoder -> DSP with Dirac -> Amp it should work right?
No, it’s all the same. The MQA decoder can only do the core decode, just as a PC would do. The question is: should you care? I guess not. MQA is a compromise in itself anyway, and the MQA renderer is the most nonsense part of the whole concept. At least the core decode tries to put back most of the data that got lost by the encoding in the first place, so best to at least have that.
 
Top Bottom