• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Minidsp SHD Calibration routine; 6 months on

My adventures in stereo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
155
Likes
144
I have been using a minidsp SHD for nearly 6 months now

This used to be my routine :

Measuring the subs, with no crossover enabled
Making sure both subs & both mains are at the same levels
I run my subs around 6 db above the mains, keeping in mind the Fletcher Munson curve & my listening preference
Auto aligning the subs, using the tool in REW & then eq’ing flat to 120 Hz
I then enable low pass filter at 80 Hz & low pass filter at 80 Hz & import the eq filter in to the minidsp
Then I run the, Dirac live software, from the minidsp software

The results were sub optimal


My present routine is:

First measure the subs individually, with the mains on for timing reference, at my normal listening level, with no crossover enabled & no PEQ
Then I use the REW alignment tool to get my subs ( 2 SVS PB 2000 Pro) aligned, in my room a 0.5 ms delay works well, as the subs are nearly symmetrically placed
I then dial the delay in to minidsp to the appropriate sub out put & run a measurement, to confirm the alignment
Then I run the REW eq process flat from 16 -200 hz
I then import the eq obtained in to minidsp sub output
Then rerun a measurement to confirm the eq is suitable & also try some sample music
At this point, I also add crossover, high pass and low pass filters both set
I tried adding x over post dirac & the results were not great

20220917_191638 with xover post dirac.jpg


Now starts the dirac process
aim for a target of -40 db above the nose floor, to get a clear test tone
I have gotten best results with the tightest config, for a single person in a chair
The exact primary listening position, is crucial
I find tape measurement useful, my ear level is around 42 "

Once I get the filter done, I import a 6 db Harman curve
I played around with harman curves from 4-10 db, for my setup 6 db seems to work best
I also use the peq on the svs subs to fix dips
All curves are without any smoothing

20220917_191336 after REW eq, pre dirac.jpg


20220917_191357 xover pre dirac.jpg
 

Ricwa

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Messages
8
Likes
9
I also use the SHD with 2 subs for my 2 ch stereo setup. However, I use multi-sub optimizer (MSO) to align the subs + mains flat to 200hz. After that I run Dirac. On most of my (several) pairs of bookshelf speakers it works great every time I re-align. Occasionally I need to increase the LF cutoff freq. in Dirac. Note: I add LP and HP filters in MSO and then import the bi-quad coefficients in the SHD.
 

Soundstage

Active Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
279
Likes
200
The numerous steps involved in aligning the subs together and with the mains are the reasons why I don’t buy subs/Shd for now. Maybe I will when dirac live bass management is available and makes it easy.
In the meantime I am looking at other options such as Genelec with GLM to align the subs and the mains / Kii Three cardioid speakers.
 
OP
My adventures in stereo

My adventures in stereo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
155
Likes
144
I also use the SHD with 2 subs for my 2 ch stereo setup. However, I use multi-sub optimizer (MSO) to align the subs + mains flat to 200hz. After that I run Dirac. On most of my (several) pairs of bookshelf speakers it works great every time I re-align. Occasionally I need to increase the LF cutoff freq. in Dirac. Note: I add LP and HP filters in MSO and then import the bi-quad coefficients in the SHD.
Thanks for sharing your routine
Jeff Mery's tutorial on youtube have been very influential in developing my routine
I am yet to try MSO

Presently happy with the REW/ dirac combo
MSO will be the next step, when the dissatisfaction bug bites :)

The numerous steps involved in aligning the subs together and with the mains are the reasons why I don’t buy subs/Shd for now. Maybe I will when dirac live bass management is available and makes it easy.
In the meantime I am looking at other options such as Genelec with GLM to align the subs and the mains / Kii Three cardioid speakers.
Yes, there is a learning curve involved
Lets see how much simpler newer software will make it
 

Ricwa

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Messages
8
Likes
9
Thanks for sharing your routine
Jeff Mery's tutorial on youtube have been very influential in developing my routine
I am yet to try MSO

Presently happy with the REW/ dirac combo
MSO will be the next step, when the dissatisfaction bug bites :)


Yes, there is a learning curve involved
Lets see how much simpler newer software will make it

MSO does have a small learning curve at first but it’s quite fun (for those who like to tweak). I optimize the left/right delays and gains, and add LP/HP filters and let it run for a few minutes. Then I pause optimizing and check the various optimization parameters for “sanity”. If any are out of whack (delays too long, filter cutoff frequency not to my liking, etc.), I change the optimization parameter range and continue optimizing, and then check the final results with REW. About 80-90% of the time, the result is beautifully flat. I also check the full frequency response after running Dirac. Usually it’s good as well. MSO gives you full control over the process. For example, I have a pair of Blumenstein Orca’s with 3 inch drivers. Due to their small drivers, I HP the Orca’s with 24dB Butterworths at 140hz!
 
OP
My adventures in stereo

My adventures in stereo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
155
Likes
144
Thanks Ricwa for the tips on MSO, you are seriously tempting me to try it

Jeff Mery has posted some MSO tutorials on youtube, I found his REW calibration steps very useful and insightful
He makes the process logical and sequential
I am yet to do the MSO tutorials
 

Ricwa

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Messages
8
Likes
9
@Ricwa any easy to folow MSO tutorial/video that you would recommend? Thanks
MSO is not as much as a committment as you might think, but you also have to know a bit of REW and the SHD app to pull it all off. I followed the tutorial on the MSO website but became impatient and just learned it on my own. Between the 3 programs, there's a fair amount to keep track of. Here's the basic steps, (from memory):

1. Check that Dirac is disabled in the SHD app and that all filters, crossovers, etc. are disabled as well. I have created an SHD file I named "Clean Slate" which zeros out all the many parameters in the SHD control app and find it very useful as SHD doesn't have a "Reset All Settings" button.

2. Take 4 separate measurements at the listening position using REW, 2 mains and 2 subs. You need to use the acoustic timing option in REW. There is a tutorial on the SHD website about how to do the measurements for MSO. It's worth reading. Enable the right main on Dirac 2 in the routing matrix (used for the timing signal). Then one by one, enable (and measure with REW) the left main, right main, left sub, and right sub on Dirac 1 in the routing matrix.

Label each REW measurement, i.e., "Main L", "Main R", "Sub L", "Sub R". Choose "Export all as text" in REW. Make sure the export doesn't apply any filters. REW will save four files with names based on the labels.

3. Start MSO and run the measurement import wizard. The wizard is overly complex but your choices are mostly obvious. Choose "both subs and mains", next "add files" then choose the REW file names for both subs, then for both mains, then "yes, run configuration now", "configuration with both subs and mains", choose 2 subs independently measured, then 2 mains independently measured, 1 listening position, assign the subs and mains, "create both config and template, choose "Config 1" and 4 PEQs (default) and finally finish and Ok and Ok again.

As I said, the Wizard could be simplified. When in doubt, just pick the default choices. If you're like me you just want to run the thing for now, you can learn all the details later.

Run the wizard using the button at the top (sidewise triangle pointing to the right). It will stop automatically after about 5 minutes (or you can stop it anytime with the solid square button at the top, click and accept results).

Finally choose Config (not obvious) and "Save config to MiniDSP biquad files".

Go back to SHD and import the biquad files. This is done one channel at a time by clicking on "PEQ" in the SHD control app, then choose "advanced", and "import". Once imported in SHD make sure each filter is "enabled" in SHD. This non-obvious step also doesn't tell you the number of filters you need to enable but it will be 4 (since you told MSO to use 4 PEQs by default) and 0 for the mains. Note that at a later point if you start adding digital filters and other parameters in MSO, there will be more PEQs.

I forgot to mention you need to tell MSO you're using MiniDSP SHD somewhere in it's config section, this will place limits number of PEQs, max gain and delay settings, etc. based on hardware limitations of the SHD.

This should help get you started.
-Ric
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom