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NAD C658 to stream + dirac or is there a better way?

Malcesine

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Mar 29, 2024
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Looking for most efficient but high quality way to....

a) move to native Qobuz high res streaming from my current squeezebox touch
b) Dirac or similar room correction to correct a couple of bass issues in my room. I don't want to correct anything above 200Hz.

Current system = SBT -- EE Minimax DAC --- VTL Preamp -- VTL Power Amp -- Martin Logan Speakers

Ideally would keep as much of current system as possible except the SqueezeBox Touch (this has to go!)

Perfect situation would be streamer with Dirac and digital outputs - but if not my EE DAC can go also.

The NAD C658 is closest option I've seen but doesn't have digital output and I'm not sure of it's DAC quality v my upgraded EE Minimax.

Budget around £1500 used - I never buy new.

Your thoughts and expertise are very welcome!
 
Quick update, updated Dirac to latest software and remeasured and adjusted curtains to be 20-200Hz. Measured both at the recommended 9 points and at one just to simplify.
The bass issues gone but again comes with trade offs across spectrum
The image is centred but wider, lacking both precision and punch - it's just generally dull and vague.
I'd rather live with serious bass issues than the Dirac 'processed' sound, its so, so poor.
I know it shouldn't, but it very clearly IS impacting rest of spectrum, even if it's technically only 'processing' the input signal and spitting it back out uncorrected, it's doing a really bad job.

Dirac is clearly not a good solution so the NAD is out and I need to go with process that I know is ONLY processing/correcting the frequencies I need.
Does minidsp have same issue as Dirac with whole signal being 'processed' (even if not corrected)?
 
Update....so got suckered into the NAD at v. good price and it's actually sounding pretty nice using basic subwoofer output/high pass crossover at 90Hz.
Still to try again on Dirac - very, curious as to whether the NAD Dirac at low Hz is any better than the full version on my Arcam AVR - will report back.
 
Naively hoped the NAD Dirac implementation for 300Hz and lower would somehow be better than full range via Arcam AVR, alas no.
Sucks the life out of the music, spreads and shifts the central image - just poor all round on stereo.
However the NAD C658 is very nice indeed, and huge upgrade on SBT and separate DAC and with the subwoofer out and adjustable crossover, I've got it sounding very nice.
Yes, there is the occasional room effect and audible bass hump, but will gladly live with that to retain the musicality and soul of the music v the sterile, flat Dirac adjusted version (even if it measures great!)
 
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