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miniDSP 2x4 HD Sweetspot-audio Mod Review

Rate this DSP Mod:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 191 88.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 16 7.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 2 0.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 8 3.7%

  • Total voters
    217

TheBatsEar

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Has it been burned in though?
417453.jpg
 

pseudoid

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...Last thing: who voted for great? Explain yourselves!
Good luck and I hope you are not holding your breath waiting for an answer.
Thus far, it appears that I am the highest (and only) bidder for a date with the HappyPanther

IMO, having to pay to get your audio hardware modified is in vain... Unless one takes on the challenge on their own and the hardware is worthy of such mods.
I once paid an expert oodles to get an original-issue MC275 back to working conditions.
A hypocrite?:oops:
 
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I don't see what this type of device can be used for. Hoping to reduce noise and distortion with this type of device seems illusory to me, and Amir's measurements demonstrate it.
 

TheBatsEar

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Je ne vois pas à quoi peut servir ce genre d’appareil. Espérer réduire le bruit et la distorsion avec ce genre d’appareil me semble illusoire, et les mesures d’Amir le démontrent.
The usecase for the 2x4HD without the mod is very valid. It does more good than it does harm i believe. If you haven't used one yet, now seems to be the right time to get a 2x4 HD V2 which seems to measure a tiny bit better than the V1.

I would say even the 2x4 without HD does more good than harm, but i guess thats kind of a bold statement. ;)
 

TurtlePaul

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Last thing: who voted for great? Explain yourselves!:D;)
I didn’t vote for great but I can see why.

I think this format of a review does a disservice to the MiniDSP. The first half of the review is for a good 2x4 HD but the panther and page rating are for a ruined device. Maybe some people voted for the good device in the first few graphs.

A ruined MiniDSP 2x4 HD is still better than an infinite SINAD DAC. If I had to choose between a 2x4 HD with 70 SINAD and a 125 SINAD DAC I would choose the ruined MiniDSP.

The MiniDSP has great performance. 100 dB SINAD and 100 dB SNR is audibly transparent with music. Of course the forum would recommend the Flex but I think there is little science behind that. I very much doubt I could ABX a 102 SINAD 2x4 HD vs a Flex. I do appreciate MiniDSP improving the looks substantially though.

I think that Amir’s review (and his original 2x4 HD review) neglects to spend time regarding how useful DSP is. I think if he showed that this device could turn a 5.0 preference score speaker into a 7.0 speaker or fix a room that makes a 7 speaker sound like a 5, then more people would have the ah-ha moment that SINADs above 100 dB just aren’t that important.

The SINAD race is on though: nobody seems to care about this device judging by the replies here while the 120+ SINAD stuff gets tens of pages of comments.

Relative to a DAC with no DSP or a device with only 3-5 bands of PEQ, maybe this device with 10 bands on each input and output, plus IIR filter, crossovers, limiters, is deserving of a golfing panther.
 

TheBatsEar

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I think the vote is for the mod, not the device unmodded. We know that people like the 2x4HD from the older review.
 

TheBatsEar

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But did one single person think it was for the original device?
I thought you did, because you mentioned the first half of the measurement. Which, in my understanding, where there to verify the original review with the previous measurement rig. Anyway, not the first time i was wrong i guess :)
 

TurtlePaul

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I thought you did, because you mentioned the first half of the measurement. Which, in my understanding, where there to verify the original review with the previous measurement rig. Anyway, not the first time i was wrong i guess :)
I voted postman panther because the mod tried to ruin the device.

I still do think it is a disservice that the vote is a SINAD poll when even the ruined device would improve most people’s systems dramatically.

As you say - even a 2x4 non-HD would improve most systems.
 

JustJones

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I voted postman panther because the mod tried to ruin the device.

I still do think it is a disservice that the vote is a SINAD poll when even the ruined device would improve most people’s systems dramatically.

As you say - even a 2x4 non-HD would improve most systems.
I don't vote on SINAD but the review of the device. There are other measurements and features mentioned.
 

baron-bob

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Hello fellow members,
oh boy how stupid and naive I must look to you right now :eek: (this is sarcasm, my favorite spice to live:) In general I do not think that trusting people is a bad habit of me)

He is a really nice guy I think and sounded very trustworthy and honest to me. We had a pleasant conversation between audio enthusiasts. I'm curious about the measurements to but I would also just take his word for the quality of his work and that the upgrade is within reason and no snake oil.
I must admit that I really trusted him after I talked to him about the mod and also because he made the upgrade for free and knew that I was going to send it in to Amir. I was really surprised when the measurements came in. I was not expecting very much but an decrease in performance would not have been my first bet....:(

One thing I want to mention is that Amir did not measured the analog to anlog performance. This would be nice to have because Sweet-Spot Audio said that the mod is aimed at this. I also want to use the 2x4 HD in this way so it would be great if Amir could do this before he is sending it back to me.

So far I never had a DSP integrated to my speakers, only with my subs. When I have my setup back running again in a month or so the first thing that I will try is to hear a difference between AVR > AMP and AVR>DSP>AMP. With no EQ or so just to check if I can hear any difference because of the ADC/DAC process. I guess that I will not be able to discern the two chains from each other but I'm curious how it will be. On Audioholics they mentioned that chasing SINAD is something with diminishing returns after 80db. Also the DSP by it self can not improve the incoming signal from the AVR. I think that leaves little room for any mod to bring any audible benefit for the 2x4 HD.

But the question is still if the mod makes an audible difference and how it might sound. Some people like Marantz more than Denon despite the fact Marantz measures worse.
I'm afraid to ask this question ;) but how many of you think that the electronic measurements can not fully tell us how something might actually sound? I found this test from Amir where he made this recordings when he tested a power cable very interesting. He could proof this way that the cable made no audible difference. Something like that would be also nice for comparisons between other gear I think.
:)
 
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wwenze

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It's great for people who want to "upgrade" stuff but don't have the time to do it and don't believe in measurements

Which is kind of strange because if you would use a minidsp you probably believe in measurements. It's hard enough convincing people that room reflections exist.
 
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amirm

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I think that Amir’s review (and his original 2x4 HD review) neglects to spend time regarding how useful DSP is.
What do you mean? Here is the conclusion from that review: "As it is, you would be compromising some performance to gain the benefits of its equalization. That technology [DSP] if well implement, can make significant improvements to sound reproduction in your room so in balance you will come out way ahead."
 

TheBatsEar

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oh boy how stupid and naive I must look to you right now :eek:
You don't know for sure until you do the measurements, which includes packaging, shipping, import fees and all that. You and Amir did all that, and now you know better. That isn't stupid at all.


I must admit that I really trusted him after I talked to him about the mod and also because he made the upgrade for free and knew that I was going to send it in to Amir.
It's likely he really believed in it himself.
It's possible that the measurements cause cognitive dissonance once he sees them, and that he opts to just ignore them and continue to believe in his own tuning skill. I once was pretty sure i could hear difference in power cables. Like, 100% sure.

One thing I want to mention is that Amir did not measured the analog to anlog performance. This would be nice to have because Sweet-Spot Audio said that the mod is aimed at this. I also want to use the 2x4 HD in this way so it would be great if Amir could do this before he is sending it back to me.
@amirm That would be great!

So far I never had a DSP integrated to my speakers, only with my subs. When I have my setup back running again in a month or so the first thing that I will try is to hear a difference between AVR > AMP and AVR>DSP>AMP. With no EQ or so just to check if I can hear any difference because of the ADC/DAC process. I guess that I will not be able to discern the two chains from each other but I'm curious how it will be. On Audioholics they mentioned that chasing SINAD is something with diminishing returns after 80db.
I doubt it makes a difference for a home theater where you are meters from the speakers.
However, say on a desktop where you are just half a meter from the speakers, you might hear some hiss. Some people complained they could hear it with the 2x4HD (untuned). But yes, most people won't notice, tuned or not.
You are in a unique situation, you can try both 2x4HD and record the hiss by putting the UMIK near the tweeter.

Also the DSP by it self can not improve the incoming signal from the AVR. I think that leaves little room for any mod to bring any audible benefit for the 2x4 HD.
Doesn't movie sound have higher dynamic content than music, what with all the explosions and such?

But the question is still if the mod makes an audible difference and how it might sound.
The hard truth and audible difference is this: the mod adds +6dB noise.
Distortion at low levels gets painted over by noise, at higher levels it likely doesn't make a difference. I don't subscribe to the "good distortion" theory. All added distortion is bad to me, unless it's part of the artistic product.

Some people like Marantz more than Denon despite the fact Marantz measures worse.
In a blind test or sighted? Bias is the largest contributor to what we like.
This is a hobby of hard, irrefuteable facts on the objective side and psychology, audio illusions and biases on the subjective side.
It's a mess.;)

I'm afraid to ask this question ;) but how many of you think that the electronic measurements can not fully tell us how something might actually sound?
This thread has all the details and arguments:

I found this test from Amir where he made this recordings when he tested a power cable very interesting. He could proof this way that the cable made no audible difference. Something like that would be also nice for comparisons between other gear I think.
Right. Maybe such measurements have been made a few times and we can adapt them to this situation using thought and logic.
I mean, you don't have to measure every tree falling in the forest to assert that every falling tree actually makes a noise. :cool:
 

TheBatsEar

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So price went up, noise went up by a good amount and distortion by some. The last possible argument left is a subjective one, that the nature of the distortion has changed and thus sounds better and is worth the added N and higher THD.

Kudos however to the company for doing the mod for free and allowing them to be tested by a third, impartial party.:)

They must have believed in their mods. And that is where it gets interesting for me, if anyone has insight into this, maybe out of experience with their own jittery and messy brain, i would love to hear an attempt of an explanation.:oops:
 

Sokel

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So price went up, noise went up by a good amount and distortion by some. The last possible argument left is a subjective one, that the nature of the distortion has changed and thus sounds better and is worth the added N and higher THD.

Kudos however to the company for doing the mod for free and allowing them to be tested by a third, impartial party.:)

They must have believed in their mods. And that is where it gets interesting for me, if anyone has insight into this, maybe out of experience with their own jittery and messy brain, i would love to hear an attempt of an explanation.:oops:
The thing is that one expects that companies like this will have a way to measure stuff which in that level of THD+N is trivial,it don't have to be a AP555 to see it,a simple decent interface or better a Cosmos ADC with REW or Multitone Analyzer can do it and show all that stuff in all it's glory.

It's really inexplicable.
 

baron-bob

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This thread has all the details and arguments:


Makes absolutely sense that a DAC should not have a "flavor". Question answered:)
 

baron-bob

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Doesn't movie sound have higher dynamic content than music, what with all the explosions and such?
What I meant is that the pre-out of the AVR gives out a analog signal. The DSP has then the task to capture it as good as it can and to also give out an analog signal to the AMP. What is lost in dynamic range at pre-out of the AVR that can not be recovered by DSP, or do I get something wrong?
 
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