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Minidsp SHD as a DAC and preamp? Questions to SHD users

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#1
All. I have read Amir's review with interest and while there is a solid recommendation for the DAC, the jitter, albeit inaudible, does concern me, perhaps un-necessarily.......... Realise the unit gives Dirac (very interested in this - see below), a streamer (not sure what to make of Volumio as I have read mixed reviews and not used it myself), and a pre-amp, I am wondering:

1. Is the DAC an achilles heel? What would I need to spend to equal / better the performance with a standalone DAC
2. Is the pre-amp on the SHD any good? Guess I could still use analogue out from the SHD into my Rotel preamp if not.
3. Is Volumio practical? Reckon I could manage to use it but not sure how user friendly it would be for wife and kids

Ref Dirac. Local audition of a NAD T758 in 2 channel mode, toggling Dirac on and off was intriguing. On was far more listenable, precise, less resonant, clearer soundstaging, less fatiguing etc I could go on. I am about to try out the trial PC version of Dirac with a UMIK 1 measurement mic on its way to me presently.

My current set up - Spotify from Minix media player / iphone into Bleutooth Receiver - Rotel RC1070 pre - Linkwitz Orion Active Crossover - ATI 6012 power amp - Linkwitz Orion speakers
 

amirm

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#2
I wouldn't worry about the jitter. Certainly not worth hooking up another DAC to it.

I have only casually used Volumio. It seems fine but not user friendly for family or such. I would hook it up to a streamer and use better software like Roon.
 

Krunok

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#4
3. Is Volumio practical? Reckon I could manage to use it but not sure how user friendly it would be for wife and kids
I've been using Volumio for more than year now. It's very good solution if you have musical files stored on a NAS attached to your home network.
You can use BubbleUPnP app to control Volumio from Android phone/tablet or Linn Kinsky app to control it from iPhone/Android/PC.
You can also use Volumio as Roon endpoint.

With Volumio you can also install BruteFIR convolver plugin so you have room EQ functionality. You can make measurements with REW, export to rePhase and then generate filters to be used with BruteFIR.
 
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Krunok

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#6
Where do you run Volumio+BruteFIR? It sounds interesting, but I wonder if a Raspberry Pi or similar SBC would be enough powerful.
I'm running mine on a fanless mini PC but you can run it on Asus Tinkerboard S or Odroid C2 as well.

You can run it on Raspberry Pi as well but don't use USB DAC as it will cause pops during playout due to poor USB port implementation on RPI platform.
 

amirm

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#9
There are also rumors that MiniDSP is going to implement Roon so you can use it as an Endpoint in the (near) future.
That would be killer.
 
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#10
All. I have read Amir's review with interest and while there is a solid recommendation for the DAC, the jitter, albeit inaudible, does concern me, perhaps un-necessarily.......... Realise the unit gives Dirac (very interested in this - see below), a streamer (not sure what to make of Volumio as I have read mixed reviews and not used it myself), and a pre-amp, I am wondering:

1. Is the DAC an achilles heel? What would I need to spend to equal / better the performance with a standalone DAC
2. Is the pre-amp on the SHD any good? Guess I could still use analogue out from the SHD into my Rotel preamp if not.
3. Is Volumio practical? Reckon I could manage to use it but not sure how user friendly it would be for wife and kids

Ref Dirac. Local audition of a NAD T758 in 2 channel mode, toggling Dirac on and off was intriguing. On was far more listenable, precise, less resonant, clearer soundstaging, less fatiguing etc I could go on. I am about to try out the trial PC version of Dirac with a UMIK 1 measurement mic on its way to me presently.

My current set up - Spotify from Minix media player / iphone into Bleutooth Receiver - Rotel RC1070 pre - Linkwitz Orion Active Crossover - ATI 6012 power amp - Linkwitz Orion speakers
I am using the Minidsp SHD. I find it to be really good for my needs.
1-I don't have a ton of experience with DACs but the ones I have compared it to are McIntosh MA7900 and Oppo BDP105. In the FWIW category I think the Minidsp is better.
2-I find the preamp to work very well too. My only complaint would be the volume control. It is in .5db increments and would prefer a smooth feeling knob. But it is fine.
3-I have used Volumio some and it seems to work pretty well. It is a web based gui which at first threw me a little, but it too works fine. I have a sonos hooked up now and use that instead most of the time. I would call the UI functional and it works well but it isn't necessarily pretty if that is important.

Dirac is really good and a huge piece of the SHD. Also it is very flexible in setting up subs/crossovers. I am slowly coming to the conclusion that a minidsp shd with something like a Hypex N400/N500 based amp would be quite a combo.
I also do have an NAD 758 in our home theater and it too works very well. Not sure how it would measure compared to the SHD which measured very well. As always YMMV but I quite like it for my needs.
 

Krunok

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#11
3-I have used Volumio some and it seems to work pretty well. It is a web based gui which at first threw me a little, but it too works fine. I have a sonos hooked up now and use that instead most of the time. I would call the UI functional and it works well but it isn't necessarily pretty if that is important.
As Volumio is DLNA/UPnP renderer you don't need to use GUI at all with Volumio. On a windows PC, IOS or Android you can use Linn Kinsky app to control Volumio or a BuBbbleUPnP app on Android. Both are free to download.
 
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