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Minidsp SHD Review Updated (DSP, DAC & Streamer)

TomJ

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The flex has been measured and it is slightly more accurate than the SHD: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/minidsp-flex.28660/
The Flex has half the resolution of the SHD on its outputs when it runs Dirac. The SHD processes the signal at 96k with and without Dirac. The Flex operates at 96k running the miniDSP-2x4-HD plug-in without Dirac, or at 48k running the DDRC-24 plugin which applies the Dirac filter.

That's why the SHD multi-tone result looks as it does, because the test signal is at 192k and the SHD downsamples it to 96k.
 
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srslee

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I'm currently having some issues with the NAD M10 v2 which I'm using with pre-outs to an external amp. It's in use in the main family living room area for mixed usage with the TV. So I'm strongly considering getting the MiniDSP SHD, but ease of usability once everything is setup is fairly important. I'm planning on running optical out from the LG C1 to the MiniDSP to the power amp. I had a few concerns before purchasing.

- Will I be able to control the volume of the SHD with the LG remote? Looks like it is possible with the C1 and optical out, but wanted to make sure it would work with the SHD.
- Is the best way to set a max volume by adjusting the output in the plugin?
- The NAD unit had a trigger out, but sadly the SHD does not. I do have a Furman Elite-15 PFi power conditioner that has switched outlets with trigger in & trigger out. Any way I can make use of that?
 

Kachda

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I'm currently having some issues with the NAD M10 v2 which I'm using with pre-outs to an external amp. It's in use in the main family living room area for mixed usage with the TV. So I'm strongly considering getting the MiniDSP SHD, but ease of usability once everything is setup is fairly important. I'm planning on running optical out from the LG C1 to the MiniDSP to the power amp. I had a few concerns before purchasing.

- Will I be able to control the volume of the SHD with the LG remote? Looks like it is possible with the C1 and optical out, but wanted to make sure it would work with the SHD.
- Is the best way to set a max volume by adjusting the output in the plugin?
- The NAD unit had a trigger out, but sadly the SHD does not. I do have a Furman Elite-15 PFi power conditioner that has switched outlets with trigger in & trigger out. Any way I can make use of that?
1. Since minidsp does not have earc, you can’t control volume like you can with the m10. However, You can program minidsp shd volume to the LG remote.
2. I would not boost volume in plugin, only use it for filters.
3. The latest minidsp switches off its usb host port when it’s switched off. So you can make a simple usb to 3.5mm mono trigger to use with your power amp
 

srslee

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1. Since minidsp does not have earc, you can’t control volume like you can with the m10. However, You can program minidsp shd volume to the LG remote.
2. I would not boost volume in plugin, only use it for filters.
3. The latest minidsp switches off its usb host port when it’s switched off. So you can make a simple usb to 3.5mm mono trigger to use with your power amp
I'm not trying to boost volume, I'm trying to put a max volume limit in to protect the equipment in case of accidents as is prone to happen in a shared family room - what's the best way to do this?

Good to know about the USB port..but as I understand it there's no way to switch the SHD off via remote. If so, would it be viable to put a Bluesound Node (have one I can use) in between the TV & SHD (HDMI to TV & optical to SHD), and use the trigger out on the Node to the trigger in on my amp? All the while just leaving the SHD always on since it consumes very little power?
 

RichB

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I'm not trying to boost volume, I'm trying to put a max volume limit in to protect the equipment in case of accidents as is prone to happen in a shared family room - what's the best way to do this?

Good to know about the USB port..but as I understand it there's no way to switch the SHD off via remote. If so, would it be viable to put a Bluesound Node (have one I can use) in between the TV & SHD (HDMI to TV & optical to SHD), and use the trigger out on the Node to the trigger in on my amp? All the while just leaving the SHD always on since it consumes very little power?
I use a USB to trigger cable to power on the AHB2 amplifier.
The MiniDSP (NEO3) that started shipping in Jan 2021 does not supply power when the unit is off.
The MiniDSP comes with a remote that power it on and off and the USB/Trigger powers the amp.

The supplied remote is weak and requires accurate pointing but a third-party remote may not have this issue.

- Rich
 

srslee

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I use a USB to trigger cable to power on the AHB2 amplifier.
The MiniDSP (NEO3) that started shipping in Jan 2021 does not supply power when the unit is off.
The MiniDSP comes with a remote that power it on and off and the USB/Trigger powers the amp.

The supplied remote is weak and requires accurate pointing but a third-party remote may not have this issue.

- Rich
Nice, that's good to hear. My amp trigger input receives signal from +5v to +12v, and requires stereo (for meter illumination), so I could just use something like this? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FFTVRN

Anyone have luck with a Harmony remote using the SHD along with a TV?
 

Karu

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I am using Harmony (SHD, Apple TV, LG TV), works flawlessly.
 

Karu

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I have set up two activities - one for music only, other for TV. The Activity is a sequence of commands that turns on all the devices in sequence and selects the relevant inputs. One button for each activity.
 

srslee

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I have set up two activities - one for music only, other for TV. The Activity is a sequence of commands that turns on all the devices in sequence and selects the relevant inputs. One button for each activity.
That's perfect and should work great for the family - much obliged!
 

RichB

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Nice, that's good to hear. My amp trigger input receives signal from +5v to +12v, and requires stereo (for meter illumination), so I could just use something like this? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B099FFTVRN

Anyone have luck with a Harmony remote using the SHD along with a TV?

That table is USC-C you need USB-A.
A trigger is not stereo and an off-the-shelf USB-A to trigger may not work.
I made my own, so it works.

What I can tell you is this can work, but if you want it to work, your going to have to learn about cables and how to learn code with Harmony.

- Rich
 

srslee

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That table is USC-C you need USB-A.
A trigger is not stereo and an off-the-shelf USB-A to trigger may not work.
I made my own, so it works.

What I can tell you is this can work, but if you want it to work, your going to have to learn about cables and how to learn code with Harmony.

- Rich
Right, realized that it's USB-C - found the right one now, thanks for that. I do need stereo on the other end though if I want the McIntosh amp to light up haha.

I saw that I need to run REW to set the crossover and delays for the sub prior to running Dirac (which I've done before with the 2x4 HD) since the SHD is only 2 channel Dirac. On the M10, it's 4 channel Dirac, so the sub is treated as a separate speaker for calibration. I then set the crossover in BluOS. Someone in another thread regarding the M33 (same as M10 for Dirac) mentioned disappointment in NAD's multichannel Dirac since 'In this case I can not alter the crossover filter (-6db/-12dB/...) and volume between mains and sub in any way, only adjust the handover frequency, right?'

For the final result, is there any appreciable difference to the 2 above calibration methods? With 2 channel Dirac, the sub gets corrected as if they are part of the mains, and one of the admins on the MiniDSP forums intimated this makes sense since this is how you will listen to your system. On the other hand, I wonder if there's actually some benefit to having the sub(s) in a separate channel with multichannel Dirac. Anyone care to chime in to enlighten me?
 

Dathzo

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Right, realized that it's USB-C - found the right one now, thanks for that. I do need stereo on the other end though if I want the McIntosh amp to light up haha.

I saw that I need to run REW to set the crossover and delays for the sub prior to running Dirac (which I've done before with the 2x4 HD) since the SHD is only 2 channel Dirac. On the M10, it's 4 channel Dirac, so the sub is treated as a separate speaker for calibration. I then set the crossover in BluOS. Someone in another thread regarding the M33 (same as M10 for Dirac) mentioned disappointment in NAD's multichannel Dirac since 'In this case I can not alter the crossover filter (-6db/-12dB/...) and volume between mains and sub in any way, only adjust the handover frequency, right?'

For the final result, is there any appreciable difference to the 2 above calibration methods? With 2 channel Dirac, the sub gets corrected as if they are part of the mains, and one of the admins on the MiniDSP forums intimated this makes sense since this is how you will listen to your system. On the other hand, I wonder if there's actually some benefit to having the sub(s) in a separate channel with multichannel Dirac. Anyone care to chime in to enlighten me?
Hi,

I trust the below helps.

I do have a NAD C658, which operates Dirac in the same way as the M10 (up to 2.2). I have a pair of Genelecs 8030 and two subwoofers. At the same time, I have a miniDSP 2x4HD that I have used for bass management.

I have tried several configurations as per below:

Setup 1: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658 and subs connected to Sub1 and Sub2 from the C658. DIRAC applied as 2.2 (LEFT, RIGHT, SUB1 and SUB2)

1647163482596.png


Setup 2: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658, miniDSP 2x4HD connected to the preamp outs from the C658 and subs connected to outputs 1 and 2 from the miniDSP 2x4HD. This setup is to avoid the clipping distortion that occurs when bass management is ON in the C658. DIRAC applied as a 2.0 system (only LEFT and RIGHT)
1647163600583.png


Setup 3: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658, miniDSP 2x4HD connected to SUB1 out from the C658 and subs connected to outputs 1 and 2 from the miniDSP 2x4HD. I only use the miniDSP in this case for level matching the subs at the main listening position. Dirac is applied in this case as 2.1 (LEFT, RIGHT and SUB1). Basically DIRAC sees both subs as one.
1647165099604.png


Measurements of the 3 cases at the MLP below:

SETUP 1 (2.2):
1647165335262.png

SETUP 2 (2.0):
1647165381822.png

SETUP 3 (2.1):
1647165435231.png


It is hard to do ABX listening tests as this involves changing cables and settings, but when doing blind hearing tests, both myself and my friends prefer Setup 3, by a small margin against Setup 2. Setup 1 is the worst and it is not recommended to use a 2.2 system, unfortunately, as that is the way NAD has (poorly) designed their devices.

Questions are welcome.-
 
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srslee

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Hi,

I trust the below helps.

I do have a NAD C658, which operates Dirac in the same way as the M10 (up to 2.2). I have a pair of Genelecs 8030 and two subwoofers. At the same time, I have a miniDSP 2x4HD that I have used for bass management.

I have tried several configurations as per below:

Setup 1: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658 and subs connected to Sub1 and Sub2 from the C658. DIRAC applied as 2.2 (LEFT, RIGHT, SUB1 and SUB2)

View attachment 192069

Setup 2: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658, miniDSP 2x4HD connected to the preamp outs from the C658 and subs connected to outputs 1 and 2 from the miniDSP 2x4HD. This setup is to avoid the clipping distortion that occurs when bass management is ON in the C658. DIRAC applied as a 2.0 system (only LEFT and RIGHT)
View attachment 192071

Setup 3: Mains connected to the balanced outputs from the C658, miniDSP 2x4HD connected to SUB1 out from the C658 and subs connected to outputs 1 and 2 from the miniDSP 2x4HD. I only use the miniDSP in this case for level matching the subs at the main listening position. Dirac is applied in this case as 2.1 (LEFT, RIGHT and SUB1). Basically DIRAC sees both subs as one.
View attachment 192078

Measurements of the 3 cases at the MLP below:

SETUP 1 (2.2):
View attachment 192081
SETUP 2 (2.0):
View attachment 192083
SETUP 3 (2.1):
View attachment 192085


It is hard to do ABX listening tests as this involves changing cables and settings, but when doing blind hearing tests, both myself and my friends prefer Setup 3, by a small margin against Setup 2. Setup 1 is the worst and it is not recommended to use a 2.2 system, unfortunately, as that is the way NAD has (poorly) designed their devices.

Questions are welcome.-
Wow, this is immensely helpful. Exactly what I was looking for (actually goes far beyond what I was looking for - I say this with gratitude). I was also considering the C658 before I bought the M10 v2, but one of the dealbreakers for me on the C658 was the max volume limit feature which is strangely missing in the BluOS app. Fairly important to me as this is in a shared family setup, and I just didn't want to run any risk of accidental blowing out of speakers. In this context, though, as you say, Dirac operates the same way between the two. I did have a few follow-up questions..

First, if you are running just 1 sub, there is no difference between setup 1 & 3 - right? I'll be running just 1 sub (although I'm running 2 currently - upgrades will be happening), but am planning to get the 2nd sub at some point. Thankfully, I do have a 2x4 HD that I can use once the 2nd upgraded sub is had, but wanted to ask and be clear on this.

For setup #2, when you run the sweeps in Dirac, does it sweep L + subs & R + subs together? If so, I think that would be the same way that the SHD Dirac calibration is done. At the same time, I'm not sure if this is the same, as in your image, your Genelecs are full range, while with the SHD, you would set the crossover & delay prior to running Dirac (which then sweeps L + subs & R + subs). If it's not the same, it would be interesting to see the FR between Setup 3 & the results of the SHD Dirac calibration process. Any thoughts on what the resulting differences might be here?

As a side note, I confirmed today that the M10 v2 also has the clipping distortion issue when I listened to Lana Del Rey - For Free. Fortunately (although unfortunate that this issue still exists), I hadn't noticed the clipping on pretty much all the other tracks I listened to. Also would be super nice to have DLBC, but not sure if that's ever actually coming to the current line of NAD products. The original plan was to get the HTP-1 once re-stocked, and move the M10 v2 to my bedroom setup, but not sure when that's happening either. Looks like no DLBC for the time being. That being said, setup 3 does look really good! The preferences of you and your friends is also appreciated (as is the difficulty of doing ABX with the different setups..), and will certainly try it with my 2 subs soon.

By the way, do you usually prefer to correct the full range, or limit the curtains in the higher frequencies?
 

Dathzo

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Wow, this is immensely helpful. Exactly what I was looking for (actually goes far beyond what I was looking for - I say this with gratitude). I was also considering the C658 before I bought the M10 v2, but one of the dealbreakers for me on the C658 was the max volume limit feature which is strangely missing in the BluOS app. Fairly important to me as this is in a shared family setup, and I just didn't want to run any risk of accidental blowing out of speakers. In this context, though, as you say, Dirac operates the same way between the two. I did have a few follow-up questions..

First, if you are running just 1 sub, there is no difference between setup 1 & 3 - right? I'll be running just 1 sub (although I'm running 2 currently - upgrades will be happening), but am planning to get the 2nd sub at some point. Thankfully, I do have a 2x4 HD that I can use once the 2nd upgraded sub is had, but wanted to ask and be clear on this.

For setup #2, when you run the sweeps in Dirac, does it sweep L + subs & R + subs together? If so, I think that would be the same way that the SHD Dirac calibration is done. At the same time, I'm not sure if this is the same, as in your image, your Genelecs are full range, while with the SHD, you would set the crossover & delay prior to running Dirac (which then sweeps L + subs & R + subs). If it's not the same, it would be interesting to see the FR between Setup 3 & the results of the SHD Dirac calibration process. Any thoughts on what the resulting differences might be here?

As a side note, I confirmed today that the M10 v2 also has the clipping distortion issue when I listened to Lana Del Rey - For Free. Fortunately (although unfortunate that this issue still exists), I hadn't noticed the clipping on pretty much all the other tracks I listened to. Also would be super nice to have DLBC, but not sure if that's ever actually coming to the current line of NAD products. The original plan was to get the HTP-1 once re-stocked, and move the M10 v2 to my bedroom setup, but not sure when that's happening either. Looks like no DLBC for the time being. That being said, setup 3 does look really good! The preferences of you and your friends is also appreciated (as is the difficulty of doing ABX with the different setups..), and will certainly try it with my 2 subs soon.

By the way, do you usually prefer to correct the full range, or limit the curtains in the higher frequencies?
Great it was helpful!

Regarding your questions:

1. If you only run 1 sub, you are absolutely correct that setups 1 and 3 would be equivalent, as you don't need anything in between to eventually level match the subs.

2. You are right again. Setup 2 would sweep only LEFT and RIGHT channels, but the frequency sweeps of the subs will be part of the L and R sweeps. Exactly in the same way as Dirac would operate in the SHD. Regarding the crossovers, you also got it right. With my setup 2, I dont have a way to limit the frequency range sent to the mains as the C658 does not have such capabilities. With the SHD, you have that flexibility. It is hard to say what would result in better SQ, as sometimes having more drivers playing the same frequencies (from different spots in the room, at low frequencies) may be beneficial. On the other hand, limiting the Genelecs 8030 to high frequency is good as they can reproduce the sound almost distortion free.

3. Last question, to me, all the time going full frequency makes sense. The beauty of Dirac is that you have full control of the target curve so you can set the tonal balance you like

Happy to answer any other question you may have
 

srslee

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Great it was helpful!

Regarding your questions:

1. If you only run 1 sub, you are absolutely correct that setups 1 and 3 would be equivalent, as you don't need anything in between to eventually level match the subs.

2. You are right again. Setup 2 would sweep only LEFT and RIGHT channels, but the frequency sweeps of the subs will be part of the L and R sweeps. Exactly in the same way as Dirac would operate in the SHD. Regarding the crossovers, you also got it right. With my setup 2, I dont have a way to limit the frequency range sent to the mains as the C658 does not have such capabilities. With the SHD, you have that flexibility. It is hard to say what would result in better SQ, as sometimes having more drivers playing the same frequencies (from different spots in the room, at low frequencies) may be beneficial. On the other hand, limiting the Genelecs 8030 to high frequency is good as they can reproduce the sound almost distortion free.

3. Last question, to me, all the time going full frequency makes sense. The beauty of Dirac is that you have full control of the target curve so you can set the tonal balance you like

Happy to answer any other question you may have
Well, that definitely helped to clarify things in my head, including the decision to keep the M10. Think I'm set for now aka at least for a few days while I tinker with Dirac lol - big thanks again!!
 

deano454

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I love my shd studio, which works perfectly fine as a Roon endpoint. I'm not really sure what people's issue is with the Roon aspect. I believe there is a Roon endpoint plugin that you just download.
Gee be nothing to do with the exorbitant cost of roon would it ? What is it now lifetime $650 ?
 

brtd

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Gee be nothing to do with the exorbitant cost of roon would it ? What is it now lifetime $650 ?

$699 I believe. I might be inclined to purchase a lifetime if they would credit me the monthly I've paid while making a final decision. I've had it for six months or so and I'm not yet ready to commit long-term.
 

cwatt

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I have been running a 2.0 setup with the miniDSP SHD and am now looking to integrate a subwoofer that has rca inputs and outputs into a 2.1 system and need some assistance.

Right now I have one rca cable going from the R input of the sub to analog output 3 of the miniDSP.
1. Should I be connecting the L&R inputs of the sub to outputs 3&4 of the SHD instead?
3. Should I bypass the internal subwoofer settings for LPF frequency and slope, as these will be set in the SHD?
 

deercreekaudio

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One of the two RCA inputs on your subwoofer should be a mono input, check with your owner's manual to determine which one that is.
You will then use the routing matrix in the SHD to combine input channels 1 and 2 into a mono signal going to output channel 3, see example.
TCKKE9ym1elgBUa0bYugHS7shzPx_-F_kgcqdFpJEpn3D9_eUg7HQ0TtB53QTFJOiGvaoT1FZD3HAyj9oBbFqoH0148pw5gx4-BeZK03u8YoPJsBSP3tHIDxlTxXWsUlYlocN81l


We recommend setting your subwoofer controls as follows, and then perform the set up adjustments in the SHD output section before performing your Dirac project.
2Yz8ZQld56jEYWE7MO60HNQYjTuNyp6XnZdws5WGxyL4370xiZXyMgjiLsc1MMw3N2W3IARnUr-rCP420ClLh-aVqDLfC2Biagy-Am1f-RQFqRvZGFihH-_Pu2DHYV9lmlolxWwU


Here is the summary list of miniDSP Plug-in setup
  • Subwoofer Routing
  • Delay Settings
  • Crossover Settings
  • Relative Amplitude Settings

Once you finish the basic setup, your system will be operational and ready for your Dirac Live project.

Deer Creek Audio is an authorized miniDSP dealer.
 
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