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Minidsp SHD Review Updated (DSP, DAC & Streamer)

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Dec 23, 2020
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Hi all. I am tired of waiting on NAD to get me the M33 I ordered four months ago and am thinking about getting the SHD and cancel the M33. My question is what power amp to use? It doesn't have to class D Purifi or anything like that. I am just looking for a good amp that outputs 100 - 200 watts into 8 ohms. Any suggestions would be helpful. If I should create a thread about it, just let me know.
Buckeye amps 2 channel NC502MP $650 shipped is a great choice to match any DAC and any loudspeaker in the world.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...amplifier-builder-line-up-announcement.16835/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ckeye-hypex-nc252mp-amplifier-teardown.18614/

If you want a traditional amplifier and your budget allows, invest in benchmark AHB2.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-and-measurements-of-benchmark-ahb2-amp.7628/
 
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nothingman

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I've sent an email to miniDSP to see if they can clarify their manual instructions in terms of output levels and Dirac. I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong if so, and that would be great news for folks like me and @Kachda who understood it the same way. The miniDSP forums also talk about this -10db volume setting as well, fwiw, so it's not just us.
 
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JustJones

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Help! This is as good a place to ask my question since we are on the topic of minidsp. I own the DDRC 88A and have had it running without hiccups for the last few years. I finally decided to upgrade to the new Dirac Live as I have been running the legacy version of 1.0. Part of the upgrade was to upgrade the firmware. I read the instructions over and over so as to not screw it up. Well, I screwed it up. I clicked on the wrong firmware update (not sure why there two different ones given) and now my unit is bricked. I cannot get back into it. I have reached out in the MiniDSP forums and even sent a support ticket and I cannot get a response back. I found online a way to reset the firmware but it was on an older unit. Any suggestions or ideas on how to reset the unit so I can load the correct firmware or am I S.O.L!!!
How long since you made out the ticket? I bricked a SHD Studio and they sent me the original file to reflash the micro card. I had to remove the card and did it with a computer. It took a few days for them to respond and this was precovid.
 

sarumbear

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It's required for all analogue inputs, as shown in that chart, nothing to do with digital out.
I'm confused. You earlier said: "Please test the ADC in units that have them as a core part of their functionality." ADC is Analogue to Digital Conversion, hence it is about the digital out. What do you then mean with "nothing to do with digital out".

I appreciate if you clarify.
 
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Buckeye amps 2 channel NC502MP $650 shipped is a great choice to match any DAC and any loudspeaker in the world.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...amplifier-builder-line-up-announcement.16835/
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ckeye-hypex-nc252mp-amplifier-teardown.18614/

If you want a traditional amplifier and your budget allows, invest in benchmark AHB2.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-and-measurements-of-benchmark-ahb2-amp.7628/
Oh, the Benchmark looks awesome! Thanks!
 
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I was seriously considering the Minidsp SHD about a year ago but changed my mind due to these two issues:

1. There was no way that I could figure out how to configure the analog inputs as a home theatre bypass for the L+R +subs so that I could integrate this into my home theatre (which is where I listen to my stereo music).

2. I don't/won't use Roon. I currently use JRiver and control it with JRemote and stream to Volumio on a Raspberry Pi which acts as a DLNA renderer. Works great, including gapless playback. From my research on the Minidsp SHD forums (some time ago), it appears that the Volumio/hardware implementation in the Minidsp SHD does not support gapless playback as a DLNA renderer.

I'd still like to consider this device so if anyone is aware that I'm wrong about these two issues or that they've been corrected in a firmware or hardware fix please let me know.
 

mdsimon2

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I've sent an email to miniDSP to see if they can clarify their manual instructions in terms of output levels and Dirac. I'll be the first to admit I'm wrong if so, and that would be great news for folks like me and @Kachda who understood it the same way. The miniDSP forums also talk about this -10db volume setting as well, fwiw, so it's not just us.
If you use a target response that is at or lower than your initial measured response Dirac will cut, not boost. In any case it is very easy to measure the amount of boost that Dirac is applying by doing a loopback with REW using the SHD as the USB input/output on your computer. This will also give some interesting insight in to what Dirac is actually doing. It is likely that the applied boost is much less than 10 dB.

Assuming you are using the SHD as volume control Dirac boost is also much less of an issue. If you do not have enough output at -10 dB that means your input is much less than 0 dB and it is perfectly safe turning the volume up. To me Dirac boost is really only an issue where you are running the SHD at 0 dB and using downstream volume control.

To your specific case you mention an amplifier input sensitivity of 1.43V. Applying -10 dB to the 4V SHD output gives 1.26V, so although you will not be able to clip your amplifier at these levels you are really close (~1 dB).

EDIT: Should have stated the obvious but the example above regarding the amplifier with 1.43V input sensitivity assumes that NO boost is applied. If you apply even 2 dB of boost it is possible to clip your amplifier even at a volume setting of -10 dB. Short story is 4V output voltage is more than enough to drive most amplifiers in to clipping even with some attenuation.

Michael
 
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win

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If I'm using the studio version, which has no analog capabilities, is this 10db issue moot?

Fwiw, applying 10db eq boosts is generally a bad idea. I have my subwoofers gained a bit higher than my mains so that the low stuff doesn't really need a boost anyway.
 

Jerry Sobel

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How long since you made out the ticket? I bricked a SHD Studio and they sent me the original file to reflash the micro card. I had to remove the card and did it with a computer. It took a few days for them to respond and this was precovid.
I made out a support ticket last night. My unit does not have an SD card to take in and out.
 

jhaider

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Do you listen in an acoustically insulated room? Even though I live in suburbs, the background noise level in my room is never lower than 45dB. So no, I can't hear noise floor of miniDSP 2x4HD.
Anything but - small (by US standards) old (again by US and especially by Southeastern former slaver-traitor state standards) brick house on a main urban thoroughfare.

Note the conditions: nearfield use driving powered speakers (I expect no resistors in the tweeter signal path) with balanced inputs. Under those conditions, there are audible noise floor differences.
 

mdsimon2

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If I'm using the studio version, which has no analog capabilities, is this 10db issue moot?

Fwiw, applying 10db eq boosts is generally a bad idea. I have my subwoofers gained a bit higher than my mains so that the low stuff doesn't really need a boost anyway.
I also have a SHD Studio and can confirm that if the output level is above 0 dB it will clip.

Michael
 

JustJones

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I assume it has some sort of flash memory or firmware that can be updated or reflashed to factory. Of course you'll lose your settings. They first tried some sort of reset file i put on a USB drive but it didn't work so i had to reflash the OS.
 

Bear123

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Do you listen in an acoustically insulated room? Even though I live in suburbs, the background noise level in my room is never lower than 45dB. So no, I can't hear noise floor of miniDSP 2x4HD.
I could be mistaken, but I think the issue in his case is not that the -90 dB signal can be heard, but that the active speakers are noisy and amplify the otherwise inaudible signal to an audible level. So with passive speakers with high fidelity amplification(low noise), the 2x4 HD should be inaudible?
 

jhaider

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I could be mistaken, but I think the issue in his case is not that the -90 dB signal can be heard, but that the active speakers are noisy and amplify the otherwise inaudible signal to an audible level. So with passive speakers with high fidelity amplification(low noise), the 2x4 HD should be inaudible?
Mostly. I don’t think the speakers are especially noisy, if anything above class average. However, the tweeter amp is presumably directly connected to the tweeter. So anything on the input gets amplified. A passive speaker will typically have some resistance in the tweeter crossover. Also output signal from the DDRC-24 is necked down because the speakers’ inputs are balanced.
 

PeteL

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Asynchronous transfer is bit-perfect within the certified cable specs. There is no need for error correction.

5VDC run parallel on EVERY equipment's signal path. In your view there are no correct audio devices as DC is all around the signal. I have news for you. Without that DC there is no device!
I ran into USB ports that were noisy enough to interfere with the signal and create significant error rate. When you design a pcb, for example, one a first thing you learn to do is to isolate the power trace from the data trace, and to not run them parallel. The same apply in a cable. 99 % of the time it wouldn't create problem, until it does.
here's an interesting article, you can dismiss the marketing part where they try to sell a usb cleaning device, it's not the point. but the measurments shown in the example are real, I've experimented them.
https://darko.audio/2016/05/gordon-rankin-on-why-usb-audio-quality-varies/
 
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Joined
Dec 23, 2020
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Hi all. I am tired of waiting on NAD to get me the M33 I ordered four months ago and am thinking about getting the SHD and cancel the M33. My question is what power amp to use? It doesn't have to class D Purifi or anything like that. I am just looking for a good amp that outputs 100 - 200 watts into 8 ohms. Any suggestions would be helpful. If I should create a thread about it, just let me know.
FYI; If you are planning to get a MiniDSP SHD, I saw one for a great price on eBay from a seller with good feedback. I purchased mine few months ago and there were none for sale.
 
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My unit does not have an SD card to take in and out.
If you remove the top of the unit, you can see it has inside a single board computer (NanoPi NEO2) which has an SD card slot. Push in the SD card to eject it from the slot. It's a good idea to keep a known-good copy of the OS backed up to a separate SD card, in case you brick the unit in the future.

MiniDSP Support will be able to provide you an image to use to flash the SD card. They sometimes take a few days to get back to you on service requests (perhaps even longer during holiday season + COVID)
 
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