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Living room system feedback request

mtmpenn

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Hi All,

I am thinking of putting a 2.2 system in my living room.

This would be used for casual music listening, television and movies. Importantly the solution needs to be easy to use (ie wife and kids should be able to use without much added thought).

Currently we have a TV connected to an Apple TV 4K. Streaming music via the Apple TV is sufficient (ie no need for roon or anything).

I am thinking TV via optical out to minidsp ddrc with Dirac outputting to subs and to amp/speakers.

I am wondering if anyone has a similar setup and I am specifically wondering 1) how important a physical volume knob or preamplifier is in this setting, 2) how set it and forget it would this be?

My hope is that the tv volume control would be adequate, and so once things are set up I am hoping that other family members could use the tv and get the advantage of the sound system without really having to think about it or fiddle with other remotes or settings.

Will this work? Am I missing something?

Thanks for any feedback,
Mike
 

voodooless

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Why not stretch the budget to MiniDSP flex? It will give you a decent volume control and a physical one. It’s probably better implemented than the one in the TV.
 

MarcosCh

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I always used a full size amplifier (Yamaha) with a nice volume knob. I kept a volume knob high on my list when i changed to a system similar to the one you are describing.
I think i touched the knob of my dac the day i received it (to check how it feels) and never ever again. There it is poor thing.
20220409_175737.jpg
PS: that said, i would kill for a volume knob for the headphone rig (pi streamer + dongle) that sits besides the couch.
PS2: my tv toslink out is not affected by the tv volume control, you sure yours is or can be?
 
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mtmpenn

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Voodooless - The flex seems like a nice device. I was thinking that for this implementation it might actually be preferred to NOT have a physical volume control. I was hoping to put the ddrc and the amp somewhere on a shelf or in a cabinet so that others would not need to think about it.

When we had a surround setup the receiver caused a lot of confusion for everyone that wasn’t me.

MarcosCh - thanks for the feedback, good to know!
 

voodooless

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Well, you don’t have to use the flex volume. In general it’s a much better device technically, so might be worth the extra money anyway.

As for the TV: first check if the volume control works on the spdif at all. In some cases it doesn’t (or needs to be enabled).
 

abdo123

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Most TVs don't have volume control via their optical out, so you would need to use your headphone / line out to whatever processor you end up buying.

To circumvent that and still use the optical out I taught my miniDSP Flex the IR codes of my TV's remote so when i press 'raise volume' on the remote the Flex also raises volume. You can do the same thing with the DDRC you don't need the Flex for that.

personally i would buy one of Onyko / Pioneer 's new AVRs with Dirac support. Since you have an Apple TV 4K you obviously want to enjoy the Dolby Atmos mixes on Apple Music.

buying a stereo only device in 2022 is honestly a mistake.
 
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mtmpenn

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Ah, my ignorance begins to show itself!

I did not realize that the TV remote might not control the optical out. I will need to investigate for my TV. Although it sounds like from what abdo123 is saying I would potentially teach the miniDSP to respond to the TV remote. That would dash my hopes of placing the miniDSP in a cabinet (i.e. no line of sight inside the cabinet), but could still work. If it is going to be sitting out, I'd probably want to go flex (nicer looking, can hide cabling since the connections are on the back, emergency volume control).

I suppose HDMI ARC connectivity would be ideal, but it seems like those products get a bit spendier and less modular (i.e. something like the NAD m10 would work but is significantly more expensive).

I'm hesitant to go AVR partially for the physical size and partially because I know that this system won't be going beyond 2 channel.
 

abdo123

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Ah, my ignorance begins to show itself!

I did not realize that the TV remote might not control the optical out. I will need to investigate for my TV. Although it sounds like from what abdo123 is saying I would potentially teach the miniDSP to respond to the TV remote. That would dash my hopes of placing the miniDSP in a cabinet (i.e. no line of sight inside the cabinet), but could still work. If it is going to be sitting out, I'd probably want to go flex (nicer looking, can hide cabling since the connections are on the back, emergency volume control).

I suppose HDMI ARC connectivity would be ideal, but it seems like those products get a bit spendier and less modular (i.e. something like the NAD m10 would work but is significantly more expensive).

I'm hesitant to go AVR partially for the physical size and partially because I know that this system won't be going beyond 2 channel.
Well just remember that every downmix to stereo discards the LFE channel, so you might be missing out on a lot of content that way.
 

kongwee

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Most likely, you are the only one operating it. Unless your wife and kids are as keen as you. My solution is just HDMI ARC sound-bar. On the power switches and that it.
 

tonycollinet

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Ah, my ignorance begins to show itself!

I did not realize that the TV remote might not control the optical out. I will need to investigate for my TV. Although it sounds like from what abdo123 is saying I would potentially teach the miniDSP to respond to the TV remote. That would dash my hopes of placing the miniDSP in a cabinet (i.e. no line of sight inside the cabinet), but could still work. If it is going to be sitting out, I'd probably want to go flex (nicer looking, can hide cabling since the connections are on the back, emergency volume control).

I suppose HDMI ARC connectivity would be ideal, but it seems like those products get a bit spendier and less modular (i.e. something like the NAD m10 would work but is significantly more expensive).

I'm hesitant to go AVR partially for the physical size and partially because I know that this system won't be going beyond 2 channel.
You could use a simple IR repeater:

 

MarcosCh

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These days i am testing a flirc usb (connected to a pi) and works very good, as responsive as any other remote. This makes super easy to hide all the electronics in a cabinet if you have a computer based system.
 
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