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How do I add DIRAC/DSP to a setup with an integrated amplifier?

snakyshrek212

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Feb 11, 2024
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Hi all, new around here but have been lurking for a year now.

My setup:
Speakers: KEF LS50
Streamer: Sonos Port
Integrated Amplifier: Technics SU-G700M2
Turntable: Technics SL-1400

I use 3 inputs to the integrated amplifier: coaxial (Port), optical (TV), and the Phono MM input from the turntable.

I have been looking to do digital eq / room treatment with DIRAC.

My requirements:
  • I want to run my phono input through DIRAC/DSP as well. The integrated amp is already converting the phono input into a digital signal, so I figure I may as well do EQ on it.
  • Need a streamer somewhere in the setup, whether it is the Sonos Port I currently use, or an integrated solution. I am open to selling the Port.
  • Needs an optical input for my TV to also get DIRAC/DSP.
The options I have found are between the miniDSP SHD, Flex, and the NAD C658.

SHD:
  • Pros:
    • Can function as a streamer, so I can sell the Port.
    • Has all the inputs I need
    • Has digital out
  • Cons:
    • Does not have phono input, so I need to buy a phono preamp.
    • Costs around 1000 USD.
Flex:
  • Pros:
    • Keeps my setup modular and I can upgrade different parts whenever I want.
    • Has all of the inputs I need
    • Has a digital out (Flex Digital), so I can connect directly to the integrated amp, thereby avoiding an unnecessary DAC. It would be 1 ADC (Flex) and then 1 DAC (Technics) for analog sources, or just a DAC (Technics) for digital sources.
  • Cons:
    • Does not have streaming capabilities, so I need the Port or a separate streamer still.
    • Does not have phono input, so I need to buy a phono preamp.
    • Options online that include a Ubik and DIRAC run all the way up to 800 USD.
C658:
  • Pros:
    • Has a phono input
    • Has streaming capabilities
    • There is one on sale for 900 USD, which is cheaper than buying a Flex, and a new phono preamp.
  • Cons:
    • Does not have digital out, meaning I have to use the DAC.
    • Analog sources will run through an ADC and DAC twice each.
    • Digital sources will run through an ADC once and a DAC twice.
My Questions:
  1. What are your thoughts on running a phono preamp into the DSP and then connecting the DSP to the integrated amplifier with either coax or optical?
  2. If I buy the C658, I’ll effectively be doing a lot of converting of the signal - will that degrade the quality of sound?
    1. For phono input it will be: ADC (NAD), DAC (NAD), ADC (Technics, DAC (Technics).
    2. For streaming and digital it will be: DAC (NAD), ADC (Technics, DAC (Technics).
  3. Does anyone have a setup like this? Or are you running separate amps (pre and power)?
 

staticV3

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Hi @snakyshrek212! Welcome to ASR.

It's a shame that the SU-G700M2 has neither digital outputs, nor a Pre Power mode where you can insert a signal processor between its preamp and power amp, like for example the 6000A.

If that were the case, then you could simply keep the SU-G700M2 as your central receiver where everything is plugged in and just add Dirac to it with the $450 DDRC-24.

As-is, you're basically forced to outsource all receiver functionality to external units and use the SU-G700M2 as just a simple Power Amp, at which point the $2.5k price tag becomes a bit unjustified.

What I'm getting at is that you may want to consider selling the SU-G700M2 and rebuilding your setup with components that better suit your requirements, rather than trying to Frankenstein Dirac into your current one.

For example, there are AVRs with all of your required inputs, plus Dirac DLBC built-in, and perhaps even Dirac ART in the near future:
 
Last edited:

Ciobi69

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An avr with Dirac honestly if you dont have this kind of powerful eq, you would hear sonic imlrovement and an adjustable curve, i myself have a thorens connected with my avr with a Cambridge alva duo with Dirac sounds very very good
 

DMill

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I mostly hate when you’ve clearly laid out 3 options you are considering and someone like myself offers another suggestion. I suppose, if it were me, I’d probably go with the Flex. It seems the least amount of hassle. But in this case I tend agree with previous advice that maybe it’s time to sell off a few things to fund something a bit more suited to your current needs. Yamaha currently has something like the RN1000 which is a 2 channel receiver, has HDMI for TV, a phono stage, is a streamer, and room correction. Although it is YPAO and not DIRAC all in one package. It’s around $1800. Or go the AVR route if you plan on adding additional channels later.
 

wgh52

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Feb 25, 2021
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@snakyshrek212

Well, in a way I have a somewhat similar set up ...

My only analog source is Phono, all other sources are digital (CD, MD, TV, Streaming). I want to DSP ALL signals (to tune sound to my preferences, EQ room modes, potentially run Dirac some day). So the RIAA equalised analog Phono signal goes into ADC and then to a digital sources selector which puts out one SPDIF signal feeding the DSP. Being active speakers fan, though, the DSP stage also does the x-over work and then feeds DACs for each poweramp/chassis.

You may have noticed that there is only ONE ADC stage and ONE DAC stage. This is because a multiple A>D and D>A conversions (can) degrade the sound quality. I agree with @staticV3 that your lovely current Amp basically is functional overkill for your Dirac plans!

Having said all that, here's my recommendation: Run a proof of conept ...and then decide finally.

A miniDSP SHD gives you ADC, Dig. In, LAN In, USB In, DSP/Dirac, Dig. Out (and Analog Out). That's all you need really.
With this unit you can connect all your sources to the dig. Input of your Amp, try out Dirac, you retain the volume setting with your Amp. Now you can test if DSP/Dirac suits you and then you decide about the Amp, keep it or change to external DAC and Power Amp.

Regards,
Winfried
 

Overseas

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May first try a simple measurement in your room, with Umik1 mic us free REW software, to see if there are any big problems.

In the near term, may try Wiim streamer adding room correction.
 

ZolaIII

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Well... MiniDSP Flex HT (and UMIK 1 of course), Cambridge Audio Duo and WiiM Mini. You go HDMI for TV, Toslink for WiiM and obviously analog for Duo. You can pass without a Dirac with little learning how to do things on your own by using REW and that way you get a pretty good preamp for turnable.
If I whose you I would invest in speakers and sub's.
Edit: @DMill R-N1000A can be found for 1500$ on discount in US. If he can found old R-N803 (803D) that would be even better. Actually found some but needs to be checked for 750$ (new).
 
Last edited:

sarieri

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If you know how to do sonic measurements and correction on your own, why not Camilladsp. That offers ultra high precision on DSP. And pretty much as much I/O as you want. A raspberry pi+motu ultralite mk5 will cost you less than $700. I really think those who doesn’t need a fixed latency on DSPs should not bother to use any minidsps unless you need a fancy UI.
 

amix

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The Plinius 9200 integrated amp (vintage, early 2000s) has a pre out and a processor loop.
 

jurajc

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It's a shame that the SU-G700M2 has neither digital outputs, nor a Pre Power mode where you can insert a signal processor between its preamp and power amp, like for example the 6000A.

If that were the case, then you could simply keep the SU-G700M2 as your central receiver where everything is plugged in and just add Dirac to it with the $450 DDRC-24.
Hello, sorry to jump in, but I need an explanation because the manufacturer did not recommend it, maybe I misunderstood him.
I have Primere I35 Prisma. Is it possible to do this step on my amp according to this particular answer?
primare-i35-prisma-modular-integrated-amplifier-and-network-player-back.jpg
 

staticV3

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Hello, sorry to jump in, but I need an explanation because the manufacturer did not recommend it, maybe I misunderstood him.
I have Primere I35 Prisma. Is it possible to do this step on my amp according to this particular answer?
primare-i35-prisma-modular-integrated-amplifier-and-network-player-back.jpg
Hi @jurajc! Welcome to ASR.

I took a look at the I35 Prisma's User Manual, but was not able to find anything regarding a Pre Power mode or similar.

I don't think the I35 Prisma is capable of what I'm describing above.
 

amix

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I guess what you'd need is what's called a "Processor Loop", which is a Pre Out with a Pre In, that works on the current input. Not unsimilar to a tape loop.
 

jurajc

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Thank you very much for the answers. So if I wanted a "miniDSP" (SHD or FLEX) it would have to go before the DAC of the I35 amp, given that I can control the volume on the I35 without any problems. It is correct?
 

Xibal

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Hi all, new around here but have been lurking for a year now.

My setup:
Speakers: KEF LS50
Streamer: Sonos Port
Integrated Amplifier: Technics SU-G700M2
Turntable: Technics SL-1400

I use 3 inputs to the integrated amplifier: coaxial (Port), optical (TV), and the Phono MM input from the turntable.

I have been looking to do digital eq / room treatment with DIRAC.

My requirements:
  • I want to run my phono input through DIRAC/DSP as well. The integrated amp is already converting the phono input into a digital signal, so I figure I may as well do EQ on it.
  • Need a streamer somewhere in the setup, whether it is the Sonos Port I currently use, or an integrated solution. I am open to selling the Port.
  • Needs an optical input for my TV to also get DIRAC/DSP.
The options I have found are between the miniDSP SHD, Flex, and the NAD C658.

SHD:
  • Pros:
    • Can function as a streamer, so I can sell the Port.
    • Has all the inputs I need
    • Has digital out
  • Cons:
    • Does not have phono input, so I need to buy a phono preamp.
    • Costs around 1000 USD.
Flex:
  • Pros:
    • Keeps my setup modular and I can upgrade different parts whenever I want.
    • Has all of the inputs I need
    • Has a digital out (Flex Digital), so I can connect directly to the integrated amp, thereby avoiding an unnecessary DAC. It would be 1 ADC (Flex) and then 1 DAC (Technics) for analog sources, or just a DAC (Technics) for digital sources.
  • Cons:
    • Does not have streaming capabilities, so I need the Port or a separate streamer still.
    • Does not have phono input, so I need to buy a phono preamp.
    • Options online that include a Ubik and DIRAC run all the way up to 800 USD.
C658:
  • Pros:
    • Has a phono input
    • Has streaming capabilities
    • There is one on sale for 900 USD, which is cheaper than buying a Flex, and a new phono preamp.
  • Cons:
    • Does not have digital out, meaning I have to use the DAC.
    • Analog sources will run through an ADC and DAC twice each.
    • Digital sources will run through an ADC once and a DAC twice.
My Questions:
  1. What are your thoughts on running a phono preamp into the DSP and then connecting the DSP to the integrated amplifier with either coax or optical?
  2. If I buy the C658, I’ll effectively be doing a lot of converting of the signal - will that degrade the quality of sound?
    1. For phono input it will be: ADC (NAD), DAC (NAD), ADC (Technics, DAC (Technics).
    2. For streaming and digital it will be: DAC (NAD), ADC (Technics, DAC (Technics).
  3. Does anyone have a setup like this? Or are you running separate amps (pre and power)?
What about selling all the "sellable" and buying this: https://lyngdorf.steinwaylyngdorf.com/lyngdorf-tdai-1120/, you get everything you are asking for, in a all in one solution...
 

jurajc

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Apr 17, 2024
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Thanks for the suggestion, but I don't want to lose a good device.
 

jurajc

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What about selling all the "sellable" and buying this: https://lyngdorf.steinwaylyngdorf.com/lyngdorf-tdai-1120/, you get everything you are asking for, in a all in one solution...
To be precise, I'm using an external Yamaha streamer and CD player. Originally I wanted to put the FLEX between my streamer, CD player and DAC amp, or use the SHD instead of the Yamaha. This should work fine with the volume control on the amp.
So I jumped on this thread where you mentioned this connection option but explained that I can't connect to the loop ... thanks anyway.
 
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