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MiniDSP SHD Question

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#1
I currently have a Pro-ject Pre Box S2 Digital -> minidsp -> amp. I am thinking about changing up my digital equipment for two reasons - would like to give DIRAC a try and the various settings on the Pro-ject bother me. I feel like a Dac should just output a sound without various controls such as Distortion Compensate, Audio Quality, and the 8 different filter settings. The directions give virtually no description as to the different controls. My favorite is the Audio Quality description - the test setting states it gives the best value when using testing equipment but then states best is the preffered setting...WTF?????

I'm thinking about two different equipment chains:
SHD Studio -> Benchmark Dac -> Amp or
SHD -> Amp

How does the SHD Studio work to adjust the eq/DIRAC settings? Does it have both a DAC and ADC in it? In other words, does it convert the digital stream to an audio file to do the EQ'ing and then back to digital to send the stream to the outboard DAC? Or does it somehow eq the digital stream?

With the SHD being more of a straight pre-amp is there a way to turn off the volume control? I have a Yamaha integrated that has volume control on it. I would like to only use that one for my wife's usability. I can only imagine the panicked calls I will get at work when she can't figure out why there is no sound/maximum volume despite her turning the volume knob.

Yes - I know there should be no audible difference between the two DAC's...I've just always wanted a benchmark dac.
 

voodooless

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#2
The studio is purely digital. You cannot connect an analogue source directly. It has no ADC, nor a DAC.
 

Χ Ξ Σ

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#3
I would go with the multichannel SHD. The SHD is such a value pack for all of its features. From a practical standpoint, I don't even know what the Benchmark DAC could bring to the table. Maybe you would love its 20Vrms output because it's louder.
 

Jim Matthews

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#4
I use the MiniDSP SHD.

If you're using a CD player as a source, an external DAC might be nice.
If you're streaming, or use a device like the BlueSound Vault it isn't necessary. I chose the SHD for the AES outputs (my speakers have built in DAC and amps).

The DIRAC correction is performed using a separate PC to measure room response and "flash" the adjustments to the SHD.

Alternatively, the RME ADI-2 DAC can function as a PreAmp with USB and two digital inputs. It has some correction filters as well and sounds excellent.
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #5
Thank you for all of the answers.

I use the MiniDSP SHD.

If you're using a CD player as a source, an external DAC might be nice.
If you're streaming, or use a device like the BlueSound Vault it isn't necessary. I chose the SHD for the AES outputs (my speakers have built in DAC and amps).

The DIRAC correction is performed using a separate PC to measure room response and "flash" the adjustments to the SHD.

Alternatively, the RME ADI-2 DAC can function as a PreAmp with USB and two digital inputs. It has some correction filters as well and sounds excellent.
I was looking at the RME but it only has 5 bands of correction. According to my REW measurements (still playing around with it) I could use 7 bands.
 
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#6
I use the MiniDSP SHD.

If you're using a CD player as a source, an external DAC might be nice.
If you're streaming, or use a device like the BlueSound Vault it isn't necessary. I chose the SHD for the AES outputs (my speakers have built in DAC and amps).

The DIRAC correction is performed using a separate PC to measure room response and "flash" the adjustments to the SHD.

Alternatively, the RME ADI-2 DAC can function as a PreAmp with USB and two digital inputs. It has some correction filters as well and sounds excellent.
Hi Jim!
So you need the pc only for the measurements and then you use only the SHD for playback?
 

Jim Matthews

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#7
Hi Jim!
So you need the pc only for the measurements and then you use only the SHD for playback?
That's correct.

The measurement process is involved. DIRAC compiles on the testing PC and generates a correction file that is "flashed" to the SHD.

DIRAC may be toggled ON/OFF while music is playing to evaluate the result. Page 52 and 63 describe the steps, DIRAC calibration is described elsewhere, but the process was easy enough to follow.

FYI - Some of us are recognizing that corrections like these have limitations: they may make your playback sound different, but not necessarily better.

Physical treatments for room induced problems might do more, for less money with fewer compromises to Sound Quality.


https://www.minidsp.com/images/documents/SHD Series User Manual.pdf
 

Jim Matthews

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#8
Thank you for all of the answers.



I was looking at the RME but it only has 5 bands of correction. According to my REW measurements (still playing around with it) I could use 7 bands.
The RME unit is a real powerhouse, and the application of EQ was genuinely transparent in my use.
 
OP
T
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Thread Starter #9
That's correct.

The measurement process is involved. DIRAC compiles on the testing PC and generates a correction file that is "flashed" to the SHD.

DIRAC may be toggled ON/OFF while music is playing to evaluate the result. Page 52 and 63 describe the steps, DIRAC calibration is described elsewhere, but the process was easy enough to follow.

FYI - Some of us are recognizing that corrections like these have limitations: they may make your playback sound different, but not necessarily better.

Physical treatments for room induced problems might do more, for less money with fewer compromises to Sound Quality.


https://www.minidsp.com/images/documents/SHD Series User Manual.pdf
Fully agree about the use of room treatments to improve sound but not so sure about it being less money. MiniDSP + UMIK is about $200. Even if you make your own room treatments I think you would be out more money.

Ideally, the use of room treatments with some form of DSP would probably be the ideal way to go.
 

Jim Matthews

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#10
The least expensive DIRAC series, perhaps.
The SHD series has real functionality baked in and is roughly $1000.

My take on room treatments starts with optimal placement of your mains, drapes on the windows and rugs on the floor. My exposure to more extensive (read :expensive) treatments has me puzzled.

It's my opinion that the loudspeaker itself must be well behaved or trouble follows.

https://www.minidsp.com/applications/digital-room-correction/dirac-series-getting-started
 
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