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Minidsp SHD Review Updated (DSP, DAC & Streamer)

deercreekaudio

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In that case, you can run it with stereo inputs using the following routing matrix. The monauralization will be performed by the Hsu.

CLlSK4aJOc35Ul6IJXjU9vwpR2nEP2N7AuDsfYYln8hB8yO0ID2Ut1dqDw8u0Aq_kwX1T8HNr6Ng98vaHAAID9GD5FQe_G2Vi4fDk_VF4oCACr_TkEN9Qs0V_6TGMw257cD0LkHd5uQAwCe9wA


Or if you only want to run a single XLR cable from the SHD, you can contact Hsu and see if that will work and which input to use.
 

mamsterla

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I just wanted to share my recent experience. After watching the AudiophileJunky on YouTube, I got turned onto the miniDSP-SHD to be my music only processor. I had been using an Anthem AVM60 for both music and video. The Anthem setup used a miniDSP 2x4-HD for dual Rythmik subs. I moved the Phono to the SHD and Roon to it as well. I kept the Blu-Ray and Smart TV on the Anthem. I was able to integrate both systems with my Harmony remote so that I could share my subs using a Y-connector between the SHD 3&4 outputs and the 2x4-HD outputs. The fronts use a Y-connector for the SHD and Anthem. Everything works really well.

I was able to run the 5 position Dirac and chose a 40Hz crossover to the dual subs. It is seamless on the handoff. Without the Dirac, the system was very bass heavy due to room nodes. I took the advice from AudiophileJunky and leveled the preference curve so that it is mainly cutting. I was lucky that my baseline scan was pretty close to +-4dB, so I did not lose much headroom. I used a very mild slope as my starting point. I have not yet been able to look at the result via REW, but what I hear is very clear compared to the pre-Dirac sound.

The streaming with the RAAL SHD endpoint has been flawless. It has no hiccups, no stalls, no issues with sample rates from Tidal or my own large digital collection. I also use the analog RCA inputs for my Herron VTPH-2A phono amp. It is very clean - I cannot hear any artifacts of the A/D conversion at all. It retains the flavor of an analog source with all the benefits of Dirac. I think this will be my reference for quite some time.

The SHD is feeding Linkwitz LX-521.4 ASP which is connected to ATI 528NC amplifier and 2 Rythmik F15HD. The system is delicate or big depending on the source. Soundstage is really precise. The AKM4490 sound as good as any DAC I have heard. I feel that people who don't mind tinkering will find the SHD to be a really good audio front end especially for folks with analog and digital sources. I really like the flexibility and the results are the best I have had so far. I can share some of my graphs once I get REW to see the output.
 

srtate

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I just got my new MiniDSP SHD up and running. Still lots of playing to do before I can make a final judgement, though initial results make me want to go back to my McIntosh preamp with no processing.

Let me go ahead and say up front, "Yes. I should have done my homework on the return policy." In today's world of try it and return it online sales, I didn't even think about asking. But:

A quick warning to potential buyers who my not be aware:


- All sales are final, No exchange, No refund, No return policy. For a damaged item, please request a Return Authorization from our customer service staff using the contact us form. Please consult miniDSP Warranty terms for more details.
 

Kachda

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I just got my new MiniDSP SHD up and running. Still lots of playing to do before I can make a final judgement, though initial results make me want to go back to my McIntosh preamp with no processing.

Let me go ahead and say up front, "Yes. I should have done my homework on the return policy." In today's world of try it and return it online sales, I didn't even think about asking. But:

A quick warning to potential buyers who my not be aware:

You can always sell it on usaudiomart or here. You lose 100 bucks or so but minidsp is popular enough to sell quickly
 

srtate

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You can always sell it on usaudiomart or here. You lose 100 bucks or so but minidsp is popular enough to sell quickly
Thanks for the tip! I had considered ebay (where I sell other stuff), but here may be a better focused audience.

That said, I still plan to test it out thoroughly. I've only done a quick measure and 4 presets. For all 4, the midrange was way more pronounced than I'm used to. It may just come down to finding the right curve and letting my ears burn-in. I've downloaded some Harman curves to test out.

My McIntosh control center has a loudness function that just seems perfectly dialed in. But, the ASBS / FOMO got to me.
 

BearWant

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Thanks for the tip! I had considered ebay (where I sell other stuff), but here may be a better focused audience.

That said, I still plan to test it out thoroughly. I've only done a quick measure and 4 presets. For all 4, the midrange was way more pronounced than I'm used to. It may just come down to finding the right curve and letting my ears burn-in. I've downloaded some Harman curves to test out.

My McIntosh control center has a loudness function that just seems perfectly dialed in. But, the ASBS / FOMO got to me.
Hope it works out for you. If not Im shopping for a unit on the used market.
 

deercreekaudio

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I just got my new MiniDSP SHD up and running. Still lots of playing to do before I can make a final judgement, though initial results make me want to go back to my McIntosh preamp with no processing.

Let me go ahead and say up front, "Yes. I should have done my homework on the return policy." In today's world of try it and return it online sales, I didn't even think about asking. But:

A quick warning to potential buyers who my not be aware:

Deer Creek Audio does accept returns on SHD per out terms and conditions. On miniDSP we have a 15% restocking because any returns are sold on eBay as open box/used at a discount, fully updated and with new licenses.

The SHD is a bit of a paradigm shift in the traditional mode of swapping various components in and out of an audiophile systems. Reason is that SHD to optimizes most system attributes and then can make subjective adjustments so your system is enjoyable and can be listened all day long. This process can take time and some personal investment.

Deer Creek Audio is authorized miniDSP dealer for the SHD.
 

Keened

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That said, I still plan to test it out thoroughly. I've only done a quick measure and 4 presets. For all 4, the midrange was way more pronounced than I'm used to. It may just come down to finding the right curve and letting my ears burn-in. I've downloaded some Harman curves to test out.
One of the few disappointments I have with Dirac is how annoying it is to dial in personal listening preferences. An evolutionary method that would start from a flat in room response and then give you 4 different versions to test, select the best two and go from there as they work across the spectrum. Then generate 4 random curves from these options and let the user A/B test. If they're going to lock away the computation from the user and stick it in the cloud then they can give us added value through this.
 

deercreekaudio

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One of the few disappointments I have with Dirac is how annoying it is to dial in personal listening preferences. An evolutionary method that would start from a flat in room response and then give you 4 different versions to test, select the best two and go from there as they work across the spectrum. Then generate 4 random curves from these options and let the user A/B test. If they're going to lock away the computation from the user and stick it in the cloud then they can give us added value through this.
We recommend starting with the Dirac Live default Harmon tilt curve and loading that project in all four of the configuration slots. Then apply overlay curves in each of the four configuration slots. Now you can skip around quickly and also make real tine changes. Here an excerpt from our blog:


Output PEQ Overlays



Deer Creek Audio has pre-configured overlay equalization curves that can be applied after completing a Dirac Live project. These are applied on the output page of the four corresponding configuration slots, as shown below.





Diagram 14. Normal configuration slot 1


Diagram 14. Normal configuration slot 1






Diagram 15. Tilt configuration slot 2


Diagram 15. Tilt configuration slot 2






Diagram 16. Warm configuration slot 3


Diagram 16. Warm configuration slot 3






Diagram 17. Bright configuration slot 4


Diagram 17. Bright configuration slot 4

Deer Creek Audio is an authorized miniDSP dealer.
 

Cayo71

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Room treatment need not look bad, but I wouldn't want to put it in my living room! ha ha My stereo system is in my office. The room treatment is effective and looks pretty cool. Bought my stuff from GIK Acoustics. Looks even better in person.

View attachment 167165View attachment 167166View attachment 167167View attachment 167168
That's an impressive system. Congrats. I'm about to pull the trigger on the SHD and I have a question for you. How are you connecting your Mc Preamp? And what role does he play in your system considering the the SHD can be used as a preamp.
 

djgras

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I am waiting for the SHD STUDIO 2 to go digital to my external DAC at max 192 kHz.
Will use for digital Cover to high pass the mains and manage 2.1 or 2.2 stereo with subs. Probably Dirac live too.

See Alir's thoughts on hirez audio files.
www.audiosciencereview.com
High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter?
High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter? By Amir Majidimehr [Note: This article was published in the January 2015 issue of Widescreen Review Magazine. This is a slightly revised edition.] Yes! Thought I give you the short answer first in case you are impatient like me. If you have read my...
www.audiosciencereview.com www.audiosciencereview.com
Summary and Final Thoughts
As I mentioned at the outset, high resolution audio makes a difference. And a huge one at that in the way it gives us access to stereo masters prior to re-mastering for the CD. That path means the music can be free of loudness compression which will have clear benefit, putting aside any additional sonic fidelity due to use of higher bit depths and sampling. Given the fact that CD has no choice but to go away in the future, we as enthusiasts better get behind high resolution audio distribution. Nothing but goodness comes from having more choices of formats for our music.

My own experience with purchased (Qobuz) hirez files on albums I love and properly recorded I guess, is just great sounding (studio masters kind of ?) on a high-end hifi system. Please feel free to snigger or chortle...
 
Last edited:

nick-v

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I am waiting for the SHD STUDIO 2 to go digital to my external DAC at max 192 kHz.

See Alir's thoughts on hirez audio files.
www.audiosciencereview.com
High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter?
High Resolution Audio: Does It Matter? By Amir Majidimehr [Note: This article was published in the January 2015 issue of Widescreen Review Magazine. This is a slightly revised edition.] Yes! Thought I give you the short answer first in case you are impatient like me. If you have read my...
www.audiosciencereview.com www.audiosciencereview.com
Summary and Final Thoughts
As I mentioned at the outset, high resolution audio makes a difference. And a huge one at that in the way it gives us access to stereo masters prior to re-mastering for the CD. That path means the music can be free of loudness compression which will have clear benefit, putting aside any additional sonic fidelity due to use of higher bit depths and sampling. Given the fact that CD has no choice but to go away in the future, we as enthusiasts better get behind high resolution audio distribution. Nothing but goodness comes from having more choices of formats for our music.

My own experience with purchased (Qobuz) hirez files on albums I love and properly recorded I guess, is just great sounding (studio masters kind of ?) on a high-end hifi system. Please feel free to snigger or chortle...
Are they currently working on Version 2 of the SHD/SHD Studio?
 

doorofnight

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I use the minidsp SHD with the SDA2400 Lyngdorf power amplifier and 2 JL-E112 subs and a pair Dali Epicons. And I love the minidsp SHD. It's versatile, DIRAC is excellent, and not unimportant, the SQ is great. Nice image also, very pinpoint voicings with an 3D imaging.

The only thing that I cannot configure is the the digital output for my poweramp (it has a digital input that I would like to use) together with the 2 analog outputs for the subwoofer. Somehow during the volume calibration the Minidsp SHD does not see the subwoofers, even though when I test the routing everything works well.
 
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Rednaxela

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The only thing that I cannot configure is the the digital output for my poweramp (it has a digital input that I would like to use) together with the 2 analog outputs for the subwoofer. Somehow during the volume calibration the Minidsp SHD does not see the subwoofers, even though when I test the routing everything works well.
Could you elaborate on this? What do you mean by the highlighted bit?

(Don't have an answer BTW. Just curious.)
 

withoutsuit

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Are they currently working on Version 2 of the SHD/SHD Studio?
The last newsletter, two days ago, was hinting to something. Of course, unsure about what it will be, but the shd series is now many years on the market. I'm hoping for dirac live bass control, no matter if it would be an upgrade of the current shd or a new series.

We feel the Flex Eight rounds out the Flex family nicely, and most of ourengineering team is already busy on a brand new platform that is taking shape back in the Lab. We're always pushing to innovate in our niche andare very excited about this new work that we believe will be breaking through a few barriers! We hope we'll have more to say in the nextnewsletter.

Therefore I will wait for the next newsletter, before buying an SHD Power.
 

nick-v

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The last newsletter, two days ago, was hinting to something. Of course, unsure about what it will be, but the shd series is now many years on the market. I'm hoping for dirac live bass control, no matter if it would be an upgrade of the current shd or a new series.



Therefore I will wait for the next newsletter, before buying an SHD Power.
DLBC would be excellent. I'd be very interested in a 6 or 8 channel version with DLBC for a flexible number of subwoofers.

For now, my SHD will do. I still think it's one of the best kept secrets in high-performance audio.
 

Matt S

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We recommend starting with the Dirac Live default Harmon tilt curve and loading that project in all four of the configuration slots. Then apply overlay curves in each of the four configuration slots. Now you can skip around quickly and also make real tine changes. Here an excerpt from our blog:


Output PEQ Overlays



Deer Creek Audio has pre-configured overlay equalization curves that can be applied after completing a Dirac Live project. These are applied on the output page of the four corresponding configuration slots, as shown below.





Diagram 14. Normal configuration slot 1


Diagram 14. Normal configuration slot 1






Diagram 15. Tilt configuration slot 2


Diagram 15. Tilt configuration slot 2






Diagram 16. Warm configuration slot 3


Diagram 16. Warm configuration slot 3






Diagram 17. Bright configuration slot 4


Diagram 17. Bright configuration slot 4

Deer Creek Audio is an authorized miniDSP dealer.


I've only just setup my SHD. It's in a relatively small room that isn't quite finished yet so my Genelec 8030 and Kef sub combo are easily enough to fill it at levels that do not cause annoyance to my neighbours. Or perhaps, minor annoyance now and then! But, even without the final 'soft furnishings' present, I was wowed at the sound. This week I shall re-run Dirac once the room is full.

I found the setup process to be straight forward as simply following the manual slowly and carefully works a treat. The ability to switch between configs is fabulous and I'm learning more about my own preferences too.

How much ones stress levels and general mood can impact perceived sound quality is rather interesting.

I'm very happy with my purchase and will enjoy lots of tinkering.
 

Darkscience

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I've only just setup my SHD. It's in a relatively small room that isn't quite finished yet so my Genelec 8030 and Kef sub combo are easily enough to fill it at levels that do not cause annoyance to my neighbours. Or perhaps, minor annoyance now and then! But, even without the final 'soft furnishings' present, I was wowed at the sound. This week I shall re-run Dirac once the room is full.

I found the setup process to be straight forward as simply following the manual slowly and carefully works a treat. The ability to switch between configs is fabulous and I'm learning more about my own preferences too.

How much ones stress levels and general mood can impact perceived sound quality is rather interesting.

I'm very happy with my purchase and will enjoy lots of tinkering.
I agree with you. Not sure how much of a secret it is, but I use it as a Streamer, DAC, Room Correction, Roon Endpoint and a Pre-Amp device all in one and it performs great at all of those. The only issue I had was trying to figure out what miniDSP device model I needed, when they come out with new models I am going to use my current SHD as my music player in my HT room for 2ch music playback.
 
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