• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of miniDSP SHD DAC, DSP And Streamer

franspambot

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
652
Likes
1,421
No idea but is worth noting this is "Ver 1.3 Apr 10, 2019" and Amir's original review date was August 2018. So something has changed in the design (for better or worse is anyone's guess).

I can comment on the design a bit. I review electronic schematics and layout for a living, not in the audio world mind you but good PCB design is good PCB design in many ways.

First, the PCB is larger and there is more on it than I would have expected. Obviously this is a huge DAC but I was expecting to see something like a raspberryPi and a DDRC24 in there with cabling to the connectors. The modular raspberryPi like board is there but clearly the meat of the SHD is much more than what goes into the substantially smaller DDRC24. Also look at all those caps!

Second, look at the SHD and SHD Studio layout around the XMOS and AKM chips; note it is extremely similar. Also note those cables which go from one part of the PCB to another part of the same PCB. That is abnormal and suggests the layout in this area was locked before they decided where to put the raspberryPi like device. It suggests they had a well tested, well performing layout and rather than rip it up to fit the extra signals they ran cables instead.
This is all great information. Many thanks.
 

RichB

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
1,448
Likes
1,985
Location
Massachusetts
Speaking of the lack of HT Bypass mode - I'd love to see a SHD + with the following features added:

- Updated DAC performance
- HT Bypass
- 4 sub support
- Dual Mono Purifi or hypex based power amp

What a monster that would be...
Some changes:

- power amp.
+ Hand sanitizer :p

- Rich
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
69
Likes
17
Yes, what is the question?
How dose it sound compare to your previous pre amp? I am asking because once me and my father tested 3 different pre amps for his primare a32 and end up going with primare pre32 pre amplifer as it sounded best. So what I am trying to say is if it is good to use it with example the new class D power amps from audiophonic without loss in sound quality?
 

dreite

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 10, 2018
Messages
676
Likes
842
Location
Bremerton, WA
Dose anyone has experience with using the Minidsp SHD as an pre amp?
The SHD is not a preamp. At least not in the traditional sense.
There's no phono section, no line-amp section, no tape-monitor or looping capability, no voltage gain in excess of unity, etc, etc, etc.

If your intention is to use without utilizing the extensive DSP/Dirac capability, then I think you should look for another solution.

Dave.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
69
Likes
17
The SHD is not a preamp. At least not in the traditional sense.
There's no phono section, no line-amp section, no tape-monitor or looping capability, no voltage gain in excess of unity, etc, etc, etc.

If your intention is to use without utilizing the extensive DSP/Dirac capability, then I think you should look for another solution.

Dave.
I planned to use it as a streamer and volume controller for a power amp and ofc use its room correction to improve sound quality. What I am concerned about is if its volume control is good for such use case or do I need a traditional preamp?
 

ironhorse128

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2020
Messages
108
Likes
108
I planned to use it as a streamer and volume controller for a power amp and ofc use its room correction to improve sound quality. What I am concerned about is if its volume control is good for such use case or do I need a traditional preamp?
It is a modern digital volume control. Works perfectly. No concerns.
 

beeppeep61

Active Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
147
Likes
295
Location
Northern Italy near Garda Lake
I planned to use it as a streamer and volume controller for a power amp and ofc use its room correction to improve sound quality. What I am concerned about is if its volume control is good for such use case or do I need a traditional preamp?
Hello,
I have owned the SDH miniDSP for several months and have been using it to drive two McIntosh MC601 monophonic amplifiers.
I can say that using the balanced XLR outputs, there are no problems driving the amplifiers, that the wide range of attenuation of the volume (100dB) and the silence of the output stage of the SDH are doing an excellent job inside my HI system FI.
Never had any problems and the environment correction works great by solving the problems that my room had.
In summary it is an apparatus that I recommend.
Happy listening to everyone
20191124_182828.jpg
20191201_201700.jpg
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
69
Likes
17
It is a modern digital volume control. Works perfectly. No concerns.
Hello,
I have owned the SDH miniDSP for several months and have been using it to drive two McIntosh MC601 monophonic amplifiers.
I can say that using the balanced XLR outputs, there are no problems driving the amplifiers, that the wide range of attenuation of the volume (100dB) and the silence of the output stage of the SDH are doing an excellent job inside my HI system FI.
Never had any problems and the environment correction works great by solving the problems that my room had.
In summary it is an apparatus that I recommend.
Happy listening to everyone
Thank you for your replies, now i have confidence in buying one when my bank account allows for it :D
 

franspambot

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
652
Likes
1,421
I'll add that I use my miniDSP SHD with a Benchmark AHB2 and, while I can't use low gain on the amp, it works wonderfully. I connect my turntable to the SHD via a phono stage, and that works perfectly for me.

My only complaint regards the remote control. It does the job but is of low quality. A specific issue that drives me batty is that I cannot use it to turn the SHD on or off. I think you can use one of those fancy third party ones, but I find them too big, full of redundant features, and cumbersome.

Other than that I am EXTREMELY happy with the set up.



miniDSP: please upgrade the control (the unit is more than $1000, it should come with a better one) and add power functionality to it!!!
 
Last edited:

murraycamp

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
421
Likes
608
How dose it sound compare to your previous pre amp? I am asking because once me and my father tested 3 different pre amps for his primare a32 and end up going with primare pre32 pre amplifer as it sounded best. So what I am trying to say is if it is good to use it with example the new class D power amps from audiophonic without loss in sound quality?
I don't know about "sound quality" as that is a purely subjective determination and really doesn't mean anything useful when discussing equipment. Based on measurements, it should be audibly transparent. Mine is.

I use it as a "pre-amp" and agree that it would be great if it had HT bypass and a more user (read: wife/gf/so) friendly input selector. But in terms of it's transparency, it's great. HTH, IMHO, YMMV, etc.
 

dwkdnvr

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
268
Likes
374
FWIW MiniDSP provides Harmony configuration for the SHD. I have mine running our Living Room system via a Harmony, and my wife hasn't complianed (yet) about it. I do agree though - on/off via the remote and a trigger out are annoying omissions on what is otherwise almost a perfect unit.
I would like per-source volume memory though. For some reason our TV has much lower output over toslink than the Squeezebox Touch does over coax for music - I need to back off the volume 8-10dB when swiching over to music (which is actually the opposite of what I'd expect). Haven't tried the built-in Volumio yet, so I'm not sure whether it behaves similarly.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
69
Likes
17
I don't know about "sound quality" as that is a purely subjective determination and really doesn't mean anything useful when discussing equipment. Based on measurements, it should be audibly transparent. Mine is.

I use it as a "pre-amp" and agree that it would be great if it had HT bypass and a more user (read: wife/gf/so) friendly input selector. But in terms of it's transparency, it's great. HTH, IMHO, YMMV, etc.
I agree on that, i should correct my self and say that by sound quality i mean that it is transparent and dosnt negatively impact the sound. My technical knowledge of how he audio equipment works is very shallow so i apologise for my poor explanations. I am just talking out of listening experience. Why is the HT bypass so important? asking out of curiosity
 

murraycamp

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
421
Likes
608
I agree on that, i should correct my self and say that by sound quality i mean that it is transparent and dosnt negatively impact the sound. My technical knowledge of how he audio equipment works is very shallow so i apologise for my poor explanations. I am just talking out of listening experience. Why is the HT bypass so important? asking out of curiosity
No worries. It's a journey. I have learned a lot since I joined ASR. You will too.

HT bypass is useful if your HT set up and your music system all run through the same back end.
 

stunta

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,082
Likes
1,238
Location
Boston, MA
With SHD Studio + 1 2-channel DAC, isn't the crossover feature effectively useless? One of the main reasons I have 2 miniDsp units is the crossover functionality.
 
Joined
Mar 13, 2019
Messages
69
Likes
17
No worries. It's a journey. I have learned a lot since I joined ASR. You will too.

HT bypass is useful if your HT set up and your music system all run through the same back end.
I sober up a lot since i noticed this forum, especially when you are coming from what-hifi, headphone.org etc. Especially regarding class d amplifiers :D

The way i imagine it is a power amp with both xlr and rca outputs. The xlr outputs are occupied by the minidsp so you still have the RCA outputs to use with a AV-Reciver. Are these RCA outputs from a power amp not as usefull as an HT bypass?
 

murraycamp

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
421
Likes
608
I sober up a lot since i noticed this forum, especially when you are coming from what-hifi, headphone.org etc. Especially regarding class d amplifiers :D

The way i imagine it is a power amp with both xlr and rca outputs. The xlr outputs are occupied by the minidsp so you still have the RCA outputs to use with a AV-Reciver. Are these RCA outputs from a power amp not as usefull as an HT bypass?
I don't know. I run my AV receiver through the balanced input on the SHD (with an adapter cable).
 

bughunt62

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 25, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
5
I'm definitely intrigued by the SHD and adding room correction.

I'm thinking it could replace my pre-amp (Simaudio Neo 350P, the version without digital inputs) and digital source (I use Roon via MacMini -> SMSL M500 to the preamp using XLRs). My phono preamp could go into the XLR input on the SHD; my only other sources are an SACD player (which frankly doesn't get much use) and a second turntable hooked up to another phono preamp with both XLR and SE output (so I could use something like a Schiit Sys as a switch with the second turntable & SACD player going into the SE analog input, if I really wanted to keep all of my current sources active).

I appreciate everyone's efforts & inputs to this thread; it is extremely informative.
 
Top Bottom