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Recommendations needed for a replacement for a miniDSP active crossover

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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Not sure whether this is the right forum. . .

I need to replace my miniDSP 4x10HD. It works well enough in providing active crossovers for my 3-way speakers, but it's just not reliable. This is my system:

FLAC files on my PC > LAN to Squeezebox Touch > co-axial SPDIF to miniDSP > balanced outputs to 6-channel amplifier > 3-way stereo speakers

I use the miniDSP to implement LR 4th order crossovers with time alignment and a few dB of gain adjustment and PEQ. It's about the right level of complexity for my simple, non-EE mind.

I'm looking for a product rather than a project. At some future date, I may re-visit my crossover designs with the intention of improving or simplifying them, but I don't have time at the moment. I'm hoping to find a product where I can dial in my current crossover parameters and be back in business. It would be a bonus if if it could handle an input from a phono amplifier, but my expectations for this are low (I tried this with the analogue inputs on the miniDSP, but the result was dreadful).

Is there anything that you would recommend for this application? I don't mind spending a bit more if it does a good job and I don't have to find a teenager to set it up for me.

Thanks!
 

voodooless

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How is it not reliable?

What about MiniDSP flex eight?
 
OP
O

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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How is it not reliable?

What about MiniDSP flex eight?
Without getting into too much detail, I'll just say that I've had multiple failures in the almost five years that I've owned my unit and now it appears to have died completely. The Flex Eight would probably do the job, albeit with unbalanced outputs, but I have no reason to expect its life to be any better. I expect better when I spend US$500+ on an audio product and dislike the idea of disposable electronics.
 

voodooless

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Topping DM7 with a pi or other sbc to replace the squeezebox, with software DSP would probably also work. CamilaDSP has a web interface that should be easy enough. It’s not really out-of-the-box ready to go, but possibly close enough.
 
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Old Hi-Fi Guy

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Topping DM7 with a pi or other sbc to replace the squeezebox, with software DSP would probably also work. CamilaDSP has a web interface that should be easy enough. It’s not really out-of-the-box ready to go, but possibly close enough.
The Topping is interesting - just plug it in and turn it on, plus it would be a nice DAC upgrade from the miniDSP - but I'm not so sure about the rest. I've just looked at a 72-page tutorial on using an RPi4 + CamillaDSP and felt like I was reading a foreign language. I'm a guy who has trouble getting his TV to work on his home network!
 

voodooless

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Maybe this is easier then:


Otherwise look into a pro-audio DSP. DBX Driverack Venu360 for instance, but as with many pro-audio tools, SINAD isn’t spectacular. Some audio interfaces can also run in standalone mode and have DSP functions.
 
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OP
O

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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Maybe this is easier then:


Otherwise look into a pro-audio DSP. DBX Driverack Venu360 for instance, but as with many pro-audio tools, SINAD isn’t spectacular. Some audio interfaces can also run in standalone mode and have DSP functions.

These things are always dead easy if you do this stuff every day, but it's a mystery to the rest of us. I could probably spend a lot of time learning about it and getting it to work, but it's not a great use of my time if I'll only ever do it once (because it'll all be different next time I have to do it). It'll take me several weeks to do what you can do in a hour.

I once owned a Behringer DCX2496; I never did figure out how to use it. I think this was due to a combination of being unfamiliar with what I was trying to achieve and unfamiliar with the equipment I was trying to use. Whether it's pro gear or a Raspberry Pi, I'm not going to get very far without a working familiarity.

I suspect that there may be no hope for me, but thanks for trying!
 

suttondesign

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Not sure whether this is the right forum. . .

I need to replace my miniDSP 4x10HD. It works well enough in providing active crossovers for my 3-way speakers, but it's just not reliable. This is my system:

FLAC files on my PC > LAN to Squeezebox Touch > co-axial SPDIF to miniDSP > balanced outputs to 6-channel amplifier > 3-way stereo speakers

I use the miniDSP to implement LR 4th order crossovers with time alignment and a few dB of gain adjustment and PEQ. It's about the right level of complexity for my simple, non-EE mind.

I'm looking for a product rather than a project. At some future date, I may re-visit my crossover designs with the intention of improving or simplifying them, but I don't have time at the moment. I'm hoping to find a product where I can dial in my current crossover parameters and be back in business. It would be a bonus if if it could handle an input from a phono amplifier, but my expectations for this are low (I tried this with the analogue inputs on the miniDSP, but the result was dreadful).

Is there anything that you would recommend for this application? I don't mind spending a bit more if it does a good job and I don't have to find a teenager to set it up for me.

Thanks!
My 4x10 was sketchy too. My flex 8 has been great, but unbalanced outs only. I am committed to minidsp b/c the dsp settings have to be the same as the 4x10.
 

Eurasian

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You might consider Audiolense XO since you use a PC. There is a bit of a learning curve but the results can be very good. Look for Juice hifi.
 

Eurasian

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I should add that you will need a multichannel dac. I have used the inexpensive Gigaport with great results.
 

radix

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dualazmak

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- Software DSP (XO/EQ/Delay) (in my case "EKIO" with very nice GUI) in PC as system-wide DSP center,
- JRiver MC or Roon as audio-visual player to digitally feed all the audio into ASIO4ALL as virtual audio device,
- Multichannel USB DAC (hopefully 8-Ch, HiFi, XLR balanced out, in my case OKTO DAC8PRO, TOPPING DM7 can be used).

My latest system setup, and @pma's recent "EKIO" utilization project would be of your reference, I assume.

In my system, vinyl LP player has been also incorporated in the system (ref. here, here, here).
 
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OP
O

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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My 4x10 was sketchy too. My flex 8 has been great, but unbalanced outs only. I am committed to minidsp b/c the dsp settings have to be the same as the 4x10.
May I ask how long you have owned your Flex Eight? My understanding is that they haven't been out very long.
 
OP
O

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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You might consider Audiolense XO since you use a PC. There is a bit of a learning curve but the results can be very good. Look for Juice hifi.
Thanks. This may be a longer term option - it looks like I'd have to go around the whole measurement loop again, which is something I don't have time to re-learn and do at the moment.

With these software-based crossovers that don't have any associated hardware, I assume that playback is also through some kind of PC-based media player. This isn't what I want. Ideally I'd prefer to become less reliant on a PC, and I particularly don't want to be paying a monthly subscription to a streaming service.

The top-of-the-line Audiolense XO product isn't cheap and the website includes close to zero detail, preferring to push you into a demo version instead. I'm wary of such practices.
 
OP
O

Old Hi-Fi Guy

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- Software DSP (XO/EQ/Delay) (in my case "EKIO" with very nice GUI) in PC as system-wide DSP center,
- JRiver MC or Roon as audio-visual player to digitally feed all the audio into ASIO4ALL as virtual audio device,
- Multichannel USB DAC (hopefully 8-Ch, HiFi, XLR balanced out, in my case OKTO DAC8PRO, TOPPING DM7 can be used).

My latest system setup, and @pma's recent "EKIO" utilization project would be of your reference, I assume.

In my system, vinyl LP player has been also incorporated in the system (ref. here, here, here).

Your multi/multi/multi project pops up everywhere - you are obviously very proud of it. I've looked at EKIO several times in the past; it seems relatively straightforward, but the website is a little thin on detail and the 3-way version will cost $150 to explore further, if I remember correctly.

I'm allergic to monthly subscription fees, so I'll stick with my Squeezeboxes (I have numerous) in preference to Roon et al. When I'm down to my last Squeezebox, I'll either have to bite the bullet and learn how to build a Raspberry Pi replacement or retreat to a cabin in the mountains and play my father's 78s on a wind-up gramophone. The latter becomes more attractive every time I read the news.

I own a fair number of vinyl LPs, but I don't see much point in digitizing them. I'd rather just buy the CDs. I've done this in surprisingly few instances, which tells me that I own them mostly for nostalgic reasons.
 

dualazmak

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I own a fair number of vinyl LPs, but I don't see much point in digitizing them. I'd rather just buy the CDs. I've done this in surprisingly few instances, which tells me that I own them mostly for nostalgic reasons.

At least on this point, I essentially agree with you as I wrote in my post here.:)

Now I well understood your points and basic stance, so please kindly ignore my post #12 above.
 
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phoenixdogfan

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I really think Dualazmak has the secret sauce here. You can use JRiver, Ekio, and even add Dirac Multichannel, have it feed a multichannel USB DAC and never look back. If you get a trial version of Ekio you will find its interface is extremely similar to miniDSP's software. As an owner of the 2X4 HD, I speak from experience. The one other multichannel DAC other than the Octo (which I own), and the Topping DM7 (which will only accept USB input) is the Motu MK 5 Ultralite which is in the same price class as the DM7. It will output 10 channels rather than 8. Why could that be important? Well, if you ever decide you want to delve into an Atmos system, and the lord of the Atmos copyright ever decides it can be decoded on a PC by a program like JRiver. all you would need to do is upgrade to that version of JRiver, let it accept the streaming Atmos audio feeds from Tidal, Netflix and Amazon Prime, and just send it to the Motu via USB LPCM where you will get full 10 channel D to A conversion to send to your 5.1.4 Atmos system amplifiers. Would be a really simple, easy, and economical way to get into ATMOS.
 
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Old Hi-Fi Guy

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Motu has their 8d and lp32.

The 8D looks interesting, but I'm wary of equipment, especially pro gear, that does far more than I need. The probability that I will 1) choose the wrong hardware, and 2) set it up incorrectly is very high. It can be a daunting prospect and there's always the possibility that it will end up as an abandoned project. There can be so much new stuff to learn that it becomes overwhelming.
 
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