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Help with system: Dual Subwoofers, DSP Options, and General Audio Advice

vitty0425

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Oct 25, 2021
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Hi All,

Intro
I've been a long time lurker and always check for measurements / reviews on this site & others prior to purchasing any home audio gear. Really appreciate all the work and information this forum provides as it can provide a "reality check" for those emotional / impulsive purchases :). Quick intro: I got hooked into audio starting in car audio. Still have a fun system in my current car. Now I spend a lot of time on my desktop in a small spare bedroom working & listening to music so I've been slowly beefing up my desktop setup. Finally decided to create an account as I am looking for some recommendations for my desktop setup.

The Room: 11x9x9ft. Room doesn't have any acoustic panels / bass traps / diffusers. This is a spare bedroom so it has a bed, some furniture, boxes, a bookshelf, etc.

Current desktop setup: RME ADI-2 DAC FS --> Audiolab 6000A integrated amp --> Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2-EX (on 32" stands to meet ear level)
I only use digital sources like Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, Youtube. I really like the RME because I use it as a headphone amp & switch between headphones & line out with a simple press.

The Sierra 2-EX speakers claim to typically extend down to 33hz in-room? Since there is a bed behind me, I can only place them 5" inches from the wall. Still, I really enjoy them as a near-field speaker. I recently ordered two SVS 3000 Micro subwoofers for additional low end thump. So I started looking into how I can best integrate two subwoofers. First off, I know the importance of measurements & EQing as my car was tediously tuned (lots of hours tuning and late nights by a good friend). I also purchased a UMIK-1 (on the way) so I can learn to do my own measurements. Initial plan is to get by using the PEQ settings in the SVS app to flatten as much as possible.

In the event the SVS app w/ the 3 PEQ is not enough, I was looking at the MiniDSP 2x4HD. Here are the questions based on the scenarios of adding it into the chain:
  • 1: Based on all the diagrams I've seen on the 2x4HD, it goes before the RME and directly to the sources. Instead, can I connect it after the RME? Meaning: Source --> RME DAC --> 6000A Integrated amp --> Amp's Pre-Out --> 2x4HD -- > Subwoofers. Probably not a good idea since I'll lose ability to high pass filter to my mains? Also may cause some time alignment issues? Ideally I want to use my RME as the main volume control since I can see the volume display and it sits on top of my desktop. Any workaround solution would be appreciated.
  • 2: If I do add the 2x4HD into the chain and if it had to connect directly to my sources (computer) / streamer before the RME, I have to use it as the main volume control to control both subs & mains?
  • 3: Something else? I was also looking at the SHD but that's a totally different beast. Also was going to get an NAD M10 for simplicity & use its room correction but I've been reading about the V1 issue with low subwoofer output levels?
Cheers!
 
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alex-z

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Feb 19, 2021
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33Hz in-room is definitely a stretch. From their own measurement graphs you can see the bass rolloff starting at 50Hz.

To be honest, the SB-3000 Micro subs are super overpriced unless you cannot spare a single cubic inch of space in your room. A pair of SB-1000 Pro will perform substantially better for less money.

The miniDSP 2x4HD is an analogue to digital to analogue converter, and does all filtering in the digital domain. Using the RME ADI-2 at all would be redundant, you may as well use the miniDSP as your DAC and avoid an extra conversion.

What I would suggest is using the 4x10HD. Then you can have 2 outputs for the subs, 2 for your speakers, and 2 for your headphone amplifier of choice.


The alternative is to perform all your EQ via software such as EqualizerAPO. Only downside is then you are tied to using your PC as a source.
 
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vitty0425

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Oct 25, 2021
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33Hz in-room is definitely a stretch. From their own measurement graphs you can see the bass rolloff starting at 50Hz.

To be honest, the SB-3000 Micro subs are super overpriced unless you cannot spare a single cubic inch of space in your room. A pair of SB-1000 Pro will perform substantially better for less money.

The miniDSP 2x4HD acts an analogue to digital to analogue converter, and does all filtering in the digital domain. Using the RME ADI-2 at all would be redundant, you may as well use the miniDSP as your DAC and avoid an extra conversion.

What I would suggest is using the 4x10HD. Then you can have 2 outputs for the subs, 2 for your speakers, and 2 for your headphone amplifier of choice.


The alternative is to perform all your EQ via software such as EqualizerAPO. Only downside is then you are tied to using your PC as a source.
Yeah the micros are pricey but I wanted to try them out first in this small room with the space I have left. I was even considering placing one micro on top of the cabinet if needed. I was in between the SB1000 Pros as well. With SVS, I have time during the in-home trial so stepping up to another size is an option.

Good suggestion on the 4x10HD. I still prefer a physical volume knob, volume display, and the conveniences the RME provides. Another reason is because the RME is also my headphone amp. So I assume placing the 2x4HD or the 4x10HD after the integrated amp is not a good idea? In the case the RME is redundant, I may consider selling it and just get the MiniDSP SHD. Then get a separate headphone amp.

I do use EqualizerAPO to EQ my headphones now but I switch between my Mac & PC so EqualizerAPO isn't the ideal solution for both.
 

alex-z

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Yeah the micros are pricey but I wanted to try them out first in this small room with the space I have left. I was even considering placing one micro on top of the cabinet if needed. I was in between the SB1000 Pros as well. With SVS, I have time during the in-home trial so stepping up to another size is an option.

Good suggestion on the 4x10HD. I still prefer a physical volume knob, volume display, and the conveniences the RME provides. Another reason is because the RME is also my headphone amp. So I assume placing the 2x4HD or the 4x10HD after the integrated amp is not a good idea? In the case the RME is redundant, I may consider selling it and just get the MiniDSP SHD. Then get a separate headphone amp.

I do use EqualizerAPO to EQ my headphones now but I switch between my Mac & PC so EqualizerAPO isn't the ideal solution for both.

If you are just sitting stationary at a desk, a single SB-1000 Pro will match a pair of SB-3000 Micro for output, and the worse room mode problems can just be EQ'ed away.

Placing your miniDSP after the amplifier doesn't work, because then you cannot apply any filters to the speakers, only the subwoofers. Which rather defeats the goal being able to high-pass the speakers for proper integration just like an AV receiver does.

Yes, I would sell the RME and get an external headphone amp. Something like the Topping L50 gives you top of the line performance for $230. I would just use the miniDSP 4x10HD, I don't see the SHD as being terribly practical because it only has 4 outputs, and 6 would be ideal for your situation.
 

DanielT

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Hi All,

Intro
working & listening to music ..

The Room: 11x9x9ft. Room doesn't have any acoustic panels / bass traps / diffusers. This is a spare bedroom so it has a bed, some furniture, boxes, a bookshelf, etc.
How much space do you have in the room? How big subwoofers can you place in your room? If you take into account the size of the room and your furniture, that is.

If you work at the same time as you listen to music from powerful subwoffers, it will not be difficult to concentrate on the work then?
I did something similar in my combined work - listening room a few years ago but it ended up with me removing the large subwoofers. Mostly because they eventually took up too much space but also because I prioritized Hifi in the living room. But people are different. Different needs and priorities. Hope you get it working so you will be happy! Good luck.:)
 
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vitty0425

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Oct 25, 2021
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How much space do you have in the room? How big subwoofers can you place in your room?

If you work at the same time as you listen to music from powerful subwoffers, it will not be difficult to concentrate on the work then?
Yeah, I didn't want to get anything too intrusive. I tried putting my SB-2000 in this room some time back and it did feel out of place. I like to have background music while I work and although I do get distracted finding new tracks to listen to, I think life is too short to work in silence :)

I'm going to try to work with one 3000 Micro first. I looked around the room and the Micro can fit in way more spots in the room compared to anything bigger. We'll find out this weekend!
 
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