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Minidsp SHD ; Initial Impressions; set up etc

Joined
Feb 9, 2022
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I was researching the KEF R3, on ASR & was advised to pick up a minidsp SHD instead ,as a logical upgrade to my current stereo system

I recently added a minidsp SHD to my audio chain, decided to share my experience here
It may prove useful to others, starting out

The device offered a unique set of features
- including balanced (XLR ) & unbalanced ( RCA) Input & output
- along with Analog to digital converter, thus allowing me to incorporate my LP player & SACD player
This would replace a Parasound P6 Preamp, which offers a multitude of connectivity options & bass management. Which in its time, offered one of the few options to run a 2.2 system with bass management.

Through using a minidsp 2x4 HD in my home theatre for sub management, I was already aware of the superiority of the bass management offered by going the minidsp route.

With the added advantage of Dirac Live to calibrate the whole system, I quickly decided to adopt the minidsp SHD.
I was aware, that I would face a learning curve, in setting this up well.
Warily I accepted the challenge & incorporated the SHD, in to my rig.
Taking out the P6 , out of my audio chain.


The SHD is half the height of the P6 & has a big legible display.
Comes with a functional, uncluttered remote, which is non back lit.
The power takes about 5 seconds to start, after clicking the remote.
A dim red light is visible in the display, when powered off using the remote.
You need to register at the minidsp site & use the included software key, to download the software
You also need to register at the dirac site to download the Dirac live software
Install the dirac soft ware but do not open it, you have to start dirac live from the minidsp software.
A umik has to be purchased separately & is not included in the package
Switched to the USB input, connected my laptop , plugged in the umik

The above process took me a few tries to get right, had issues with windows .net
Had to switch from my Microsoft surface to a regular windows laptop
Once all the software was installed

Ran the minidsp software connected & synched with the SHD
The minidsp SHD manual suggests some backend work on the minidsp, prior to running dirac live
I run a 2.2 system, Revel M 106 & SVS PB 2000 Pro x 2
My prep work routine, involves 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

I had best results on Dirac with using calibration for the narrowest listening space, shown as a chair in the interface

Fine tuning the above process took me days, there is, a stiff learning curve involved.
Be ready, to sink a lot of time, into this project
The results are indeed excellent & worth the effort, in my opinion

PS I still have not been able to get my Spotify plug in installed in volumio, working on that
Using a google chromecast audio, using mini toslink to toslink cable, currently
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
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Minidsp SHD.jpg
Minidsp SHD rear.jpg
The rig 4222.jpg


blogspot post; Minidsp SHD
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
82
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74
Updates 11/4/22:

A couple of errors in my process

1) I was not getting the auto aligned summed subs to work, figured out that I had forgotten, to add the delay you get from the tool, to the appropriate sub in minidsp output, duh!

2) You need to run a timing reference, had set it by default to my left main speaker.Have to leave the timing reference channel unmuted to get timing reference to work
 

TheBatsEar

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I have the MiniDSP Flex (basically a SHD without the size, connectors or streamer), and this reminds me to get the Dirac plugin soon.

Good information.

And if my eyes can be trusted, you have a Focal tweeter as your avatar.:D
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
82
Likes
74
I have the MiniDSP Flex (basically a SHD without the size, connectors or streamer), and this reminds me to get the Dirac plugin soon.

Good information.

And if my eyes can be trusted, you have a Focal tweeter as your avatar.:D

Thanks, to be useful is the intention
The learning curve is tough, I used all the help I could get
I am still ambiguous about the Dirac response, I find myself prefering the raw response from the aligned subs, after eq on minidsp
The dirac live seems to take life out of the subs
Need to try using a house curve, on minidsp, possibly the Harman curve
You are indeed right about the Focal tweeter, I use :)
 

Linus

Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2020
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I’m seriously considering a SHD, but more as a one box solution. Pre amp, DAC and streamer in one box. If Tidal sounds as good as .alac files from the Mac, that’s one less box in the mix. If not, will probably go the NAS way.
Question for you; the only way to have wifi capabilitie, is through the usb dongl?! So it’s either HDD or WiFi?! Weird design.
 

theREALdotnet

Active Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2022
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I am still ambiguous about the Dirac response, I find myself prefering the raw response from the aligned subs, after eq on minidsp
The dirac live seems to take life out of the subs
Need to try using a house curve, on minidsp, possibly the Harman curve

Yes, the default target curve in Dirac sounds a bit thin in the bass. The Harman curve with +4dB bass sounds much better for my taste.
 

theREALdotnet

Active Member
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Mar 11, 2022
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Trying to find the right curve, open to suggestions

I downloaded the four Harman curves from here. I like the +4dB one best.

There is also this thread:
 

Astoneroad

Active Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Messages
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323
I was researching the KEF R3, on ASR & was advised to pick up a minidsp SHD instead ,as a logical upgrade to my current stereo system

I recently added a minidsp SHD to my audio chain, decided to share my experience here
It may prove useful to others, starting out

The device offered a unique set of features
- including balanced (XLR ) & unbalanced ( RCA) Input & output
- along with Analog to digital converter, thus allowing me to incorporate my LP player & SACD player
This would replace a Parasound P6 Preamp, which offers a multitude of connectivity options & bass management. Which in its time, offered one of the few options to run a 2.2 system with bass management.

Through using a minidsp 2x4 HD in my home theatre for sub management, I was already aware of the superiority of the bass management offered by going the minidsp route.

With the added advantage of Dirac Live to calibrate the whole system, I quickly decided to adopt the minidsp SHD.
I was aware, that I would face a learning curve, in setting this up well.
Warily I accepted the challenge & incorporated the SHD, in to my rig.
Taking out the P6 , out of my audio chain.


The SHD is half the height of the P6 & has a big legible display.
Comes with a functional, uncluttered remote, which is non back lit.
The power takes about 5 seconds to start, after clicking the remote.
A dim red light is visible in the display, when powered off using the remote.
You need to register at the minidsp site & use the included software key, to download the software
You also need to register at the dirac site to download the Dirac live software
Install the dirac soft ware but do not open it, you have to start dirac live from the minidsp software.
A umik has to be purchased separately & is not included in the package
Switched to the USB input, connected my laptop , plugged in the umik

The above process took me a few tries to get right, had issues with windows .net
Had to switch from my Microsoft surface to a regular windows laptop
Once all the software was installed

Ran the minidsp software connected & synched with the SHD
The minidsp SHD manual suggests some backend work on the minidsp, prior to running dirac live
I run a 2.2 system, Revel M 106 & SVS PB 2000 Pro x 2
My prep work routine, involves 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

I had best results on Dirac with using calibration for the narrowest listening space, shown as a chair in the interface

Fine tuning the above process took me days, there is, a stiff learning curve involved.
Be ready, to sink a lot of time, into this project
The results are indeed excellent & worth the effort, in my opinion

PS I still have not been able to get my Spotify plug in installed in volumio, working on that
Using a google chromecast audio, using mini toslink to toslink cable, currently
This is incredibly helpful and painful at the same time. The MiniDSP is my next leap and I'm concerned about being able to deal with challenges that it's presenting to you, since my technical knowledge is considerably less than what you've expressed. Please keep posting your incremental advances and setbacks and hopefully ultimate elation at the final results. This is VERY useful to those of us without the skillset, yet recognize the value of the process. Be brave. Thanks.
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
82
Likes
74
I downloaded the four Harman curves from here. I like the +4dB one best.

There is also this thread:
How do you load the target curve in to dirac?
 

Flak

Active Member
Industry Insider
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Nov 18, 2018
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We just released Dirac Live 3.3 which is unique as it proposes a target curve that is custom-tailored according to the measurements of the user's listening room... as a result, it's different for each user:
https://www.dirac.com/live/downloads/
Worth noting that it's possible to switch the target curve to one with control points by right-clicking it or by using the small icons in the upper right corner.
Please take into account that you should be able to load a previously saved project without taking new measurements but please be patient... it will take time because of the recalculations.
Once recalculated it will load as fast as usual.
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
82
Likes
74
This is incredibly helpful and painful at the same time. The MiniDSP is my next leap and I'm concerned about being able to deal with challenges that it's presenting to you, since my technical knowledge is considerably less than what you've expressed. Please keep posting your incremental advances and setbacks and hopefully ultimate elation at the final results. This is VERY useful to those of us without the skillset, yet recognize the value of the process. Be brave. Thanks.
thanks for the encouragement :)
Wish you the best, in your dirac project

Just installed the target harman curve on dirac & it is sounding good
will have to play around with the 4>>10 db gain curves, to figure out which I like
 
Last edited:

TheBatsEar

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Nice stuff you have, i love the look of those Dynaudios. I might get a pair for myself eventually.

If this is the CD-S1000 from Yamaha, do you regret it as well? I somehow hoped it would play the multichannel tracks on SACD and export it via toslink, but it doesn't. It's just a CD player with a beefy case. Bought mine for 250€, the door transport wire slipped from it's pulley, a 5 minute fix, so i don't complain.

What else are we looking at, except for the MiniDSP SHD?
 
OP
My adventures in stereo
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
82
Likes
74
The Dynaudio focus 140 had me at looks, they sound pretty good too

On the Yamaha CD S 1000, bang on
I paid 500 euro for mine, they are OK for stereo SACD but yeah, I agree with your observations

On top
- Fluance RT 85

Top Rack
Yamaha CD S1000
Nuprime CD8 T pro
Topping Dx 7 pro

Middle Rack
Minidsp SHD
Parasound XRM phono
Nobosound XLR splitter

Third Rack
NAD C298
Yamaha BDA 1060, for SACD my CDS 1000 won't play

Bottom Rack
Power Strips
 
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