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New setup from scratch - with DSP preferred

mvnchies

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Hi everyone!

I've previously gotten a lot of good help with my setup on this forum but now I'm in a bit of a situation...
New living situation (relocation)!
So I have to re-do my entire setup from scratch, basically. I am in the process of selling/returning all my current gear, which has been OK to be honest - but I'm ready for a new adventure.

Budget is €2500 for the entire setup - some "constraints" apply. Can stretch budget if needed... DSP seems expensive to include though.

Need to have the option to do room EQ of some sort - it can be manual but it needs to be saved to some device of sorts since I plan to use this in the living room, no PC included in the chain.
Optical from TV to DAC is a must - or HDMI but I'm thinking that would be even more expensive.

Would prefer no subwoofer since I'm having problems finding a good spot for one without cable mess becoming a huge issue. 50Hz +/- 6dB or so extension would be very acceptable. Don't listen super loud either... but it'd be nice to have headroom for movies and whatnot.
I do have a TV bench but only 19cm on each side of the TV to put speakers on, which is probably a problem if I were to go bookshelf speakers. Stands is an option but I'm a bit scared of them getting knocked over due to it being basically the busiest 'street' in the house... they'd stand next to a doorway on either side, right into the kitchen and a bedroom.
I have had that happen before...
Quite liking the look of something like the Wharfedale Linton stands- maybe there's some "copy cat" of those that I could put bookshelf speakers on? It would be nice to have functional stands that can double as a shelf and not just ugly poles. Not a fan of the €500 price tag for just stands that are essentially metal shelves...
Class D would be the preference for amplification, but I understand if it's hard to fit into budget with how rare they tend to be. I'm not super sold on extremely low SINAD being a requirement as long as there's no hissing when powered on and nothing playing. I just want low power draw + low heat generation.
Active speakers would be really nice too, as long as I can add DSP to them!

Cables are all taken care off from old setup I hope, so no need to include cables.

WAF might be a limitation but... generally pretty tolerant... just nothing too big or really glossy shiny or crazy colours.

If I'm missing anything please let me know.

Thank you very much!
 

Triliza

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Kef R3 + Audiophonics MPA-S250NC + miniDSP Flex, around 3000 euro (wait for black friday in a couple of months or look around for sales to get a better price). Kef R3 are around 20cm so maybe they can fit on the bench.

For actives, Focal Solo6 Be + miniDSP Flex, if you're around France they get some good prices in the Focal's from what I have seen.
 

MarcosCh

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If you are sure you only need 2 channels and you definitely want room correction, investing some time setting up a raspberry pi / camilladsp can save you significant money vs minidsp flex (i guess you are in Europe)
 
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mvnchies

mvnchies

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Kef R3 + Audiophonics MPA-S250NC + miniDSP Flex, around 3000 euro (wait for black friday in a couple of months or look around for sales to get a better price). Kef R3 are around 20cm so maybe they can fit on the bench.

For actives, Focal Solo6 Be + miniDSP Flex, if you're around France they get some good prices in the Focal's from what I have seen.
I was actually considering this exact setup (well, ish, I still don't know how the miniDSP systems work) but unfortunately 20cm will mean about 1cm overhang on each side of the TV bench, and I don't want to block the TV for when watching from off-center (when not watching alone).
so that means I would have to get stands as well, and I fear I'd be a fair bit over budget there given that the miniDSP is about €800 with a microphone here, speakers €2000.
black friday is not a bad idea though - I do still have my tiny wharfedale diamond 12.0 until I can get a new setup :)
but I would have to get a lower priced amplifier.

I was not aware of this miniDSP Flex thingy, it looks absolutely fantastic. I think I'll add this to my purchase list. it acts as a DAC as well right? I saw the review here on ASR for it just now. also - I assume the remote works as volume? then I can use as pre-amp + power amp, like the one you mentioned.

thank you very much for that. very cool!
If you are sure you only need 2 channels and you definitely want room correction, investing some time setting up a raspberry pi / camilladsp can save you significant money vs minidsp flex (i guess you are in Europe)
I am indeed - only heard about camilla DSP today. can I use this the way I want to set it up?
TV (optical) -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?

if so, I'm very curious about it, given how little the RPi costs vs. the miniDSP. it would be nice to have an all-in-one box though, but saving that much money is tempting too.

thank you very much, neat project!
 

MarcosCh

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I am indeed - only heard about camilla DSP today. can I use this the way I want to set it up?
TV (optical) -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?
if your source is your tv, yes. or more exactly: TV (optical) -> toslink to usb card -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?

this guy below is trying to do something like that, see this post and the following ones. and note if you are new to camilladsp and raspberry pi, it will take some time and learning. As always, it is a matter of time availability and willingness vs budget...

 

HarmonicTHD

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I was actually considering this exact setup (well, ish, I still don't know how the miniDSP systems work) but unfortunately 20cm will mean about 1cm overhang on each side of the TV bench, and I don't want to block the TV for when watching from off-center (when not watching alone).
so that means I would have to get stands as well, and I fear I'd be a fair bit over budget there given that the miniDSP is about €800 with a microphone here, speakers €2000.
black friday is not a bad idea though - I do still have my tiny wharfedale diamond 12.0 until I can get a new setup :)
but I would have to get a lower priced amplifier.

I was not aware of this miniDSP Flex thingy, it looks absolutely fantastic. I think I'll add this to my purchase list. it acts as a DAC as well right? I saw the review here on ASR for it just now. also - I assume the remote works as volume? then I can use as pre-amp + power amp, like the one you mentioned.

thank you very much for that. very cool!

I am indeed - only heard about camilla DSP today. can I use this the way I want to set it up?
TV (optical) -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?

if so, I'm very curious about it, given how little the RPi costs vs. the miniDSP. it would be nice to have an all-in-one box though, but saving that much money is tempting too.

thank you very much, neat project!
I don’t know 100%, as I only used the Pi (Moode and Cammilla) directly with a DAC and did not have a TV to connect. But I think this might not work as you sketched. Others would have to comment.

Alternatively connect the TV to the amp or what about an AVR?
That solves all your problems in one box (Streamer, DSP, TV, DAC and amp). The new X3800 sound promising unless you get a good deal for the outgoing model x3700 or higher. And at these levels there is no audible differences coming from the electronics (if you need power, you can still add an power amp based on Purify or so).
 

tonycollinet

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I'm gonna second the MiniDSP flex paired with a hypex based amp (probably 252MP or 502MP based depending on what power you want).

RasPi with camilla is fine and lower cost. I considered it myself - but you're going to spend a lot of time on the learning curve. And no volume knob.

I also needed an analogue input, and there is no easy way of mixing that in. So I went flex.



No idea what to suggest on speakers. I got Dali Oberon 5's and couldn't be happier with them - but they are not readily available everywhere, and I've no experience to say if there are much better alternatives out there.
 

MarcosCh

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. And no volume knob..
Well, most dacs have volume knob and remote control nowadays, even the cheap ones.
If you need multichannel with an interface it is indeed a different story. That's why i was asking the op if he goes for 2 channels only

The learning curve, i fully agree it is a matter of wanting and being able to pay 750 euros to skip all that. Unfortunately room correction is another learning curve that for me is even more steep and that one is not that cheap to avoid...
 

tonycollinet

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Well, most dacs have volume knob and remote control nowadays, even the cheap ones.
If you need multichannel with an interface it is indeed a different story. That's why i was asking the op if he goes for 2 channels only

The learning curve, i fully agree it is a matter of wanting and being able to pay 750 euros to skip all that. Unfortunately room correction is another learning curve that for me is even more steep and that one is not that cheap to avoid...
Oh I dunno - the additional £200 for Dirac does a lot to remove the learning curve. Had my first measurment done and filters created in about an hour.
 

MarcosCh

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Oh I dunno - the additional £200 for Dirac does a lot to remove the learning curve. Had my first measurment done and filters created in about an hour.
And you are in 950 euros for a total budget of 2500. Probably worth it, don't know, but not a super easy decision to make.
 

tonycollinet

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And you are in 950 euros for a total budget of 2500. Probably worth it, don't know, but not a super easy decision to make.
I bought direct from China - so more like £750 for the unbalanced version after VAT and shipping. But yes, a chunk of the budget.
 

MarcosCh

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Those were the days.... today with the $ breaking records and audiophonics lower price, i would not buy it from minidsp.
Just checked: 19 euros difference where i live audiophonics vs minidsp.
 
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Triliza

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I was actually considering this exact setup (well, ish, I still don't know how the miniDSP systems work) but unfortunately 20cm will mean about 1cm overhang on each side of the TV bench, and I don't want to block the TV for when watching from off-center (when not watching alone).
so that means I would have to get stands as well, and I fear I'd be a fair bit over budget there given that the miniDSP is about €800 with a microphone here, speakers €2000.
black friday is not a bad idea though - I do still have my tiny wharfedale diamond 12.0 until I can get a new setup :)
but I would have to get a lower priced amplifier.

I was not aware of this miniDSP Flex thingy, it looks absolutely fantastic. I think I'll add this to my purchase list. it acts as a DAC as well right? I saw the review here on ASR for it just now. also - I assume the remote works as volume? then I can use as pre-amp + power amp, like the one you mentioned.

thank you very much for that. very cool!

I am indeed - only heard about camilla DSP today. can I use this the way I want to set it up?
TV (optical) -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?

if so, I'm very curious about it, given how little the RPi costs vs. the miniDSP. it would be nice to have an all-in-one box though, but saving that much money is tempting too.

thank you very much, neat project!
Maybe you should consider ease of use also if the TV will be a significant source for audio and used by other people also. I don't own a miniDSP (I'd love to) so I don't know how exactly it works, if the TV can wake it up automatically when you turn the TV on or not. An AVR as said above may be something you can consider also, it'll give you dac+amp+room correction+microphone. The Denon's AVR amps are not class D though, that's a bummer. From what we know for the new x3800, it will offer the choice between Audissey or Dirac. But it'll cost you more than 1000 euro, and I doubt it'll get any significant discount right after it'll be shipped.

You don't need to spend a fortune on stands. Monoprice.eu has some not too expensive stand, especially on sales. You can also use something else, for example something like this:

PXL_20220913_230048277.jpg
 
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mvnchies

mvnchies

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if your source is your tv, yes. or more exactly: TV (optical) -> toslink to usb card -> RPI + camillaDSP -> DAC -> amplifier -> speakers?

this guy below is trying to do something like that, see this post and the following ones. and note if you are new to camilladsp and raspberry pi, it will take some time and learning. As always, it is a matter of time availability and willingness vs budget...

I see... hmm... that would mean I need a DAC added to the chain which can add up if I want volume control with a remote. I think this might be a bit too complicated and too many boxes, I no longer have room to hide them in a drawer so this might not survive the WAF check.
Thank you for the suggestion!
I'm gonna second the MiniDSP flex paired with a hypex based amp (probably 252MP or 502MP based depending on what power you want).

RasPi with camilla is fine and lower cost. I considered it myself - but you're going to spend a lot of time on the learning curve. And no volume knob.

I also needed an analogue input, and there is no easy way of mixing that in. So I went flex.



No idea what to suggest on speakers. I got Dali Oberon 5's and couldn't be happier with them - but they are not readily available everywhere, and I've no experience to say if there are much better alternatives out there.
Flex is also available to me locally, so I can return it if it doesn't work out. Very heavily leaning towards this one! :) I think I would go for unbalanced, and a HypeX amplifier from Audiophonics.
Going to watch some videos on the Flex today to see how easy it might be.

As for speakers - I'll probably figure something out from all the reviewed speakers on this site.
Well, most dacs have volume knob and remote control nowadays, even the cheap ones.
If you need multichannel with an interface it is indeed a different story. That's why i was asking the op if he goes for 2 channels only

The learning curve, i fully agree it is a matter of wanting and being able to pay 750 euros to skip all that. Unfortunately room correction is another learning curve that for me is even more steep and that one is not that cheap to avoid...
I do like learning, and if it's just a set and forget thing it'd be nice - but ultimately I think it'll just be too many boxes and cables and whatnot, even if it would be cheaper and probably a lot of fun. I was hoping I could measure and do EQ trial and error until I found something that looks good and sounds good, so that I don't have to buy Dirac.
Maybe you should consider ease of use also if the TV will be a significant source for audio and used by other people also. I don't own a miniDSP (I'd love to) so I don't know how exactly it works, if the TV can wake it up automatically when you turn the TV on or not. An AVR as said above may be something you can consider also, it'll give you dac+amp+room correction+microphone. The Denon's AVR amps are not class D though, that's a bummer. From what we know for the new x3800, it will offer the choice between Audissey or Dirac. But it'll cost you more than 1000 euro, and I doubt it'll get any significant discount right after it'll be shipped.

You don't need to spend a fortune on stands. Monoprice.eu has some not too expensive stand, especially on sales. You can also use something else, for example something like this:

View attachment 231624
Those "stands" are perfect, exactly what I want! I love those Genelecs too... possibly the best speakers I've ever heard, just far too expensive :D
Time to hunt for some counter chairs at the right height...
Thank you very much for that!
 

tonycollinet

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Maybe you should consider ease of use also if the TV will be a significant source for audio and used by other people also. I don't own a miniDSP (I'd love to) so I don't know how exactly it works, if the TV can wake it up automatically when you turn the TV on or not. An AVR as said above may be something you can consider also, it'll give you dac+amp+room correction+microphone. The Denon's AVR amps are not class D though, that's a bummer. From what we know for the new x3800, it will offer the choice between Audissey or Dirac. But it'll cost you more than 1000 euro, and I doubt it'll get any significant discount right after it'll be shipped.

You don't need to spend a fortune on stands. Monoprice.eu has some not too expensive stand, especially on sales. You can also use something else, for example something like this:

View attachment 231624
Wow - those genelecs are monsters. :)
 

tonycollinet

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I see... hmm... that would mean I need a DAC added to the chain which can add up if I want volume control with a remote. I think this might be a bit too complicated and too many boxes, I no longer have room to hide them in a drawer so this might not survive the WAF check.
Thank you for the suggestion!

Flex is also available to me locally, so I can return it if it doesn't work out. Very heavily leaning towards this one! :) I think I would go for unbalanced, and a HypeX amplifier from Audiophonics.
Going to watch some videos on the Flex today to see how easy it might be.

As for speakers - I'll probably figure something out from all the reviewed speakers on this site.

I do like learning, and if it's just a set and forget thing it'd be nice - but ultimately I think it'll just be too many boxes and cables and whatnot, even if it would be cheaper and probably a lot of fun. I was hoping I could measure and do EQ trial and error until I found something that looks good and sounds good, so that I don't have to buy Dirac.

Those "stands" are perfect, exactly what I want! I love those Genelecs too... possibly the best speakers I've ever heard, just far too expensive :D
Time to hunt for some counter chairs at the right height...
Thank you very much for that!
If you want to try Flex without Dirac, REW will measure your room, and generate appropriate filters. Not quite as easy to use as DIRAC, but still pretty good.

Not sure you can do amplitude and phase response or impulse response as DIRAC will do - but you can try it and add DIRAC later if you want to.
 
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mvnchies

mvnchies

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If you want to try Flex without Dirac, REW will measure your room, and generate appropriate filters. Not quite as easy to use as DIRAC, but still pretty good.

Not sure you can do amplitude and phase response or impulse response as DIRAC will do - but you can try it and add DIRAC later if you want to.
I accept the challenge! :D
will have to check out some REW documentation to see what it can do.
I showed that photo to my wife and strangely she liked them, found them futuristic. When I told her the price, she just uttered a dismissive 'hmm' and walked away o_O
this is identical to what happened for me... well she didn't say "hmm" but she raised her eyebrows and then walked away.

---

now to choose speakers... I wonder... LS50 Meta are lovely with the coaxial, my friend has a pair, but... still can't fit a subwoofer. we tried turning off his subwoofer and disabled whatever EQ he has and it just sounded a bit boring without it.
UBR-62 also look interesting but seems to have a lot of mixed reviews.
R3 looks very interesting too, just worried about budget becoming 3500+ instead of 2500. I'm going to wait for Black Friday because of these though. they are so pretty, as well...

I'm also looking at the Kali Audio IN8-v2 as I saw hardisj doing a review of them. But I don't really know if they would work with DSP - or would they? I was under the impression they already have built in DSP which I fear would make them hard to EQ more.

other suggestions are definitely welcome.

Thank you very much everyone so far!
 

Eetu

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I'm also looking at the Kali Audio IN8-v2 as I saw hardisj doing a review of them. But I don't really know if they would work with DSP - or would they? I was under the impression they already have built in DSP which I fear would make them hard to EQ more.

other suggestions are definitely welcome.

Thank you very much everyone so far!
Another +1 for the Flex here.

Not an issue even if the speakers have internal DSP. When you measure the in-room response it will take into account whatever the speakers' DSP is doing. The only thing to remember is that it's best to leave the dip switch settings to default and not mess with them AFTER the calibration.
 
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