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Streamer/DSP/DAC Setup Recommendation

Gga

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Hello everyone!

I am a beginner to hifi and I am trying to create my first system. I have already purchased Triangle BR02 active speakers, which I really liked in the shop, but I have problems with my room.

Also, I am waiting for my Argon Solo streamer to arrive but I have second thoughts that I will explain.

I would like to ask your opinion between the Argon Solo streamer and the WiiM Mini paired with a Topping DAC.
Since Argon Solo doesn't have Tidal Connect, I have to stream it with Chromecast which is 24-bit / 96kHz. With WiiM I can use Tidal Connect and I can compensate for the better DAC of Argon with one from Topping. What is your opinion between these two options?

Also, my room is small and the bass sounds very boomy. I would like to avoid room treatment for various reasons and I am thinking of adding Minidsp Flex to my setup. Would it improve things? Do I also need its microphone and the Dirac Live subscription?

Also, all my surfaces are very reflective. Will a carpet help things regarding low frequencies?

My potential setups are the following:

1)
- TV (optical) --> Active speakers
- Argon solo --> Active speakers (either rca or coax)

2) (can I plug 2 inputs on MiniDSP Flex?)
- TV (optical) -> MiniDSP Flex -> Active Speakers (will I have latency and sync issues?)
- Argon solo (rca) -> MiniDSP Flex -> Active Speakers

3)
- TV (optical) --> Active speakers
- WiiM Mini (optical) -->Topping DAC -> Active speakers (rca)

4) (can I plug 2 inputs on MiniDSP Flex?)
- TV (optical) -> MiniDSP Flex -> Active Speakers (will I have latency and sync issues?)
- WiiM Mini (optical) --> Topping DAC -> MiniDSP Flex -> Active Speakers

If I cannot connect both the streamer/dac and the TV to the MiniDSP Flex, I will not connect the TV since music is a priority by far!

You can find attached an image of my living room for further help.

I would appreciate any comment/advice/suggestion that will help me!
Salon.jpg
 

mvnchies

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you will want something like the UMIK from miniDSP to get the Flex working. Dirac Live might make your life easier since it's automated, but I don't know how easy it is to use since I've never tried it - but it does work really well as I've heard a few rigs using it.

I also want to mention Genelec speakers, some of their largest speakers with the point source driver setup (8331A and up) seems to work well at around 2 meters distance and interfere less with the room. you also have the added benefit of not needing DAC, amp or DSP box - but they're expensive... 8330A also work well, for me, but I'm not an expert here. I have about the same distance to my speakers as you, and the 8331A do sound nicer to my ears.

but of course, if you're looking to keep your current speakers, miniDSP Flex will be excellent and the DAC seems great in it :) I think Dirac might add a little bit of latency if I understand correctly... but not sure how much. GLM has some limit on how much latency it adds, I heard.

as for multiple inputs - it should have the option to just switch which input you want to use with the press of a button.

hope that helps a little bit - and if I'm wrong on any point feel free to correct me!
 

HarmonicTHD

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This ^^^

Either way, get some sort of Room EQ, it will make the biggest improvement to sound next to the speakers. For example: MiniDSP or use software APOEQ or an AVR or some of the NAD amps have it too or Roon or Moode with CamillaDSP etc. There probably even more options, but those are among the most common ones.
 
OP
G

Gga

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Thank you everyone for your reply!

Unfortunately, your recommended speakers are out of my budget currently. I am thinking either of keeping my BR02BT or to upgrade to BR03BT. They were more open and airy but at the same time they had more bass so I am afraid that they will be even worse in my room.

Also, repositioning my setup is not an option for me because it is a living room and I cannot make such changes.

Do you think that room correction will significantly improve things with the current orientation?

Also regarding MiniDSP, I am frustrated for which product I need. I have found the following:

-DDRC-24
-2x4 HD
-Flex

Could you briefly comment?

Also, because of extended working hours I don't have the time to experiment myself on room correction, so I am thinking of subscribing to dirac.

Thank you all!
 

poxymoron

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I have a very similar setup with a small room and the MLP right at the wall. The boomy bass was almost painful until I got my Flex with Dirac, and that was a game changer. Boomy bass is gone, and it sounds so much better. I'll still need to add a sub or two and some room treatment, but for now I'm happy.
 
OP
G

Gga

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I have just been much more confused!

Why to proceed with this setup

- argon solo = 250 euros
- minidsp flex + dirac live + microphone = around 1000 euros

and not buy the new Onkyo TX-NR7100 for around 1300 euros that is also an integrated amp (including HDMI, Dirac Live and much much more), and buy only passive speakers?

How would the sound compare between 2 systems?
 

Recluse-Animator

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Unless you put some serious money on acoustic treatment or time and effort to DIY acoustic treatment that room isn't gonna sound good no matter what speakers or room correction.
Your seating position against the wall not only makes the bass boomy, but also gives you rear wall reflections.
It's also possible that the balcony glass door gives you first reflection.
If you put bass traps in all corners from floor to ceiling, in wall ceiling corners and floor wall corners, on the wall behind the sofa and have a sofa made out of bass trap material and use DIRAC then maybe you could get rid of the boomy bass.
Have you considered headphones and a buttkicker?
 
OP
G

Gga

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Your reply is heartbreaking! I was hoping that dirac could make miracles as many people stating. Truth is that expensive room treatment is out of my current budget. When you say it is not going to sound good, you mean that the place is not ideal (which I know) or that it is going to be a mess and music could not be enjoyed there?

I was thinking of buying a minidsp umik microphone to measure the room with REW, and start a thread in the forum regarding room acoustics, as this is mostly now about room treatment/correction and not about equipment. Isn't it that after measurement we could tell what can be expected from Dirac and what can be done with minimum room treatment (maybe a rug, a heavy curtain on the balcony door, an absorber behind sofa)?

I wasn't thinking of headphones as I would like to listen music/movies with friends etc.
 

TimW

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I've listened to great sounding systems that had the listening position against a wall. It's not ideal but often it isn't as terrible as people will tell you. The best sounding system I've heard like this was in a heavily treated room in a Hifi shop. The listening position was on a love seat against the back wall but there was thick treatment between them which must have helped. If you can treat the rear wall with rock wool panels and move your seat at least a few inches away from the wall it could help.

Room correction can make big improvements to sound quality by correcting the rooms affects in the bass region. Of course you will get better results if your room is well setup before applying correction, but even a compromised setup will see improvements if the correction is done properly. Doing it properly can be difficult, especially if you're doing it manually for the first time. Automated systems such as Dirac make it much easier but there is still a learning curve. I would usually recommend adding a subwoofer to your system to try to get a more even bass response but integrating a subwoofer properly is a whole other can of worms.

I have owned many miniDSP products including the 2x4HD, DDRC24, and an SHD. Getting a umik-1 is a great idea, I got mine several years ago and have used it with all sorts of setups and DIY endeavors. The Flex is the best option for you IMO. It has a volume knob and screen unlike the 2x4, which makes it much more user friendly when used as a preamp. You would be using it as a preamp for input switching and volume control with a remote as far as I understand. The inputs are clearly displayed when you switch them so yes you can connect your TV via optical and a streamer via coaxial. You can't connect two optical devices without some sort of external switcher. You could also just use bluetooth for streaming audio or USB if you had a streamer that supports it.

Don't be too discouraged and convince yourself there is no point in having a speaker system. This setup might not be the best but it will probably be enjoyable nonetheless and you can learn from it. No one's first system was perfect. While I do enjoy headphone listening, I have never gotten as much enjoyment from it as I have from loudspeaker listening.
 
OP
G

Gga

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Thank you very much for your reply.

I will follow the Dirac path for now. I am geeky by nature so, with the help from people in this forum, I think I will manage to move forward relatively quickly.

Regarding minidsp products, the local dealer told me that the ddrc24 is the exact same product as the 2x4HD but with the dirac subscription. Is this true?
I will connect my TV via optical and my streamer (Argon Solo) probably with RCA given the good reputation of its DAC. If I don't go with the flex, how do I switch between sources? Volume can be managed from speakers.

Thanks again!
 

TimW

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Thank you very much for your reply.

I will follow the Dirac path for now. I am geeky by nature so, with the help from people in this forum, I think I will manage to move forward relatively quickly.

Regarding minidsp products, the local dealer told me that the ddrc24 is the exact same product as the 2x4HD but with the dirac subscription. Is this true?
I will connect my TV via optical and my streamer (Argon Solo) probably with RCA given the good reputation of its DAC. If I don't go with the flex, how do I switch between sources? Volume can be managed from speakers.

Thanks again!
Yes, I owned the 2x4HD and then paid for the Dirac upgrade to make it a DDRC24. I used it as a preamp under a TV and have to say I wasn't a fan. It has a bright blue power LED that is on all the time and the connections coming out of the front and back are awkward looking. That wouldn't have been a problem if I could hide it but you have to have line of sight with it to use the remote. Input switching is done with the remote and there is no indication of what input is selected with the DDRC24. I ended up getting this automatic SPDIF switcher so I didn't have to do the switching.

Honestly I doubt the Argon Solo has a unique sounding analog output but if you feed that to a miniDSP it's just going to convert that to digital and then back to analog with its own DAC.
 
OP
G

Gga

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I bought a UMIK 1 microphone, made some measurements and started a new thread for opinions/suggestions. If you have some time to comment, I would highly appreciate it. Thank you!

 

LugsyTL47

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I've listened to great sounding systems that had the listening position against a wall. It's not ideal but often it isn't as terrible as people will tell you. The best sounding system I've heard like this was in a heavily treated room in a Hifi shop. The listening position was on a love seat against the back wall but there was thick treatment between them which must have helped. If you can treat the rear wall with rock wool panels and move your seat at least a few inches away from the wall it could help.

Room correction can make big improvements to sound quality by correcting the rooms affects in the bass region. Of course you will get better results if your room is well setup before applying correction, but even a compromised setup will see improvements if the correction is done properly. Doing it properly can be difficult, especially if you're doing it manually for the first time. Automated systems such as Dirac make it much easier but there is still a learning curve. I would usually recommend adding a subwoofer to your system to try to get a more even bass response but integrating a subwoofer properly is a whole other can of worms.

I have owned many miniDSP products including the 2x4HD, DDRC24, and an SHD. Getting a umik-1 is a great idea, I got mine several years ago and have used it with all sorts of setups and DIY endeavors. The Flex is the best option for you IMO. It has a volume knob and screen unlike the 2x4, which makes it much more user friendly when used as a preamp. You would be using it as a preamp for input switching and volume control with a remote as far as I understand. The inputs are clearly displayed when you switch them so yes you can connect your TV via optical and a streamer via coaxial. You can't connect two optical devices without some sort of external switcher. You could also just use bluetooth for streaming audio or USB if you had a streamer that supports it.

Don't be too discouraged and convince yourself there is no point in having a speaker system. This setup might not be the best but it will probably be enjoyable nonetheless and you can learn from it. No one's first system was perfect. While I do enjoy headphone listening, I have never gotten as much enjoyment from it as I have from loudspeaker listening.
I've listened to great sounding systems that had the listening position against a wall. It's not ideal but often it isn't as terrible as people will tell you. The best sounding system I've heard like this was in a heavily treated room in a Hifi shop. The listening position was on a love seat against the back wall but there was thick treatment between them which must have helped. If you can treat the rear wall with rock wool panels and move your seat at least a few inches away from the wall it could help.

Room correction can make big improvements to sound quality by correcting the rooms affects in the bass region. Of course you will get better results if your room is well setup before applying correction, but even a compromised setup will see improvements if the correction is done properly. Doing it properly can be difficult, especially if you're doing it manually for the first time. Automated systems such as Dirac make it much easier but there is still a learning curve. I would usually recommend adding a subwoofer to your system to try to get a more even bass response but integrating a subwoofer properly is a whole other can of worms.

I have owned many miniDSP products including the 2x4HD, DDRC24, and an SHD. Getting a umik-1 is a great idea, I got mine several years ago and have used it with all sorts of setups and DIY endeavors. The Flex is the best option for you IMO. It has a volume knob and screen unlike the 2x4, which makes it much more user friendly when used as a preamp. You would be using it as a preamp for input switching and volume control with a remote as far as I understand. The inputs are clearly displayed when you switch them so yes you can connect your TV via optical and a streamer via coaxial. You can't connect two optical devices without some sort of external switcher. You could also just use bluetooth for streaming audio or USB if you had a streamer that supports it.

Don't be too discouraged and convince yourself there is no point in having a speaker system. This setup might not be the best but it will probably be enjoyable nonetheless and you can learn from it. No one's first system was perfect. While I do enjoy headphone listening, I have never gotten as much enjoyment from it as I have from loudspeaker listening.
I've listened to great sounding systems that had the listening position against a wall. It's not ideal but often it isn't as terrible as people will tell you. The best sounding system I've heard like this was in a heavily treated room in a Hifi shop. The listening position was on a love seat against the back wall but there was thick treatment between them which must have helped. If you can treat the rear wall with rock wool panels and move your seat at least a few inches away from the wall it could help.

Room correction can make big improvements to sound quality by correcting the rooms affects in the bass region. Of course you will get better results if your room is well setup before applying correction, but even a compromised setup will see improvements if the correction is done properly. Doing it properly can be difficult, especially if you're doing it manually for the first time. Automated systems such as Dirac make it much easier but there is still a learning curve. I would usually recommend adding a subwoofer to your system to try to get a more even bass response but integrating a subwoofer properly is a whole other can of worms.

I have owned many miniDSP products including the 2x4HD, DDRC24, and an SHD. Getting a umik-1 is a great idea, I got mine several years ago and have used it with all sorts of setups and DIY endeavors. The Flex is the best option for you IMO. It has a volume knob and screen unlike the 2x4, which makes it much more user friendly when used as a preamp. You would be using it as a preamp for input switching and volume control with a remote as far as I understand. The inputs are clearly displayed when you switch them so yes you can connect your TV via optical and a streamer via coaxial. You can't connect two optical devices without some sort of external switcher. You could also just use bluetooth for streaming audio or USB if you had a streamer that supports it.

Don't be too discouraged and convince yourself there is no point in having a speaker system. This setup might not be the best but it will probably be enjoyable nonetheless and you can learn from it. No one's first system was perfect. While I do enjoy headphone listening, I have never gotten as much enjoyment from it as I have from loudspeaker listening.
I’m wondering if a miniDSP Flex would help my room acoustics?
Room layout, listening position identical as above but 10ft x12ft with a 25ft ceiling. The wall opposite sofa has dbl doors and are closed majority of time (also my home office, wfh).
My system: 2ch Int amp (2x40w), 8” powered sub, pr small 2-way stand mount speakers, turntable and tv.
Doesn’t take much volume to make room echo. Room treatment would be a major undertaking IMO.
Any feedback is much appreciated.
 

onlyoneme

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I’m wondering if a miniDSP Flex would help my room acoustics?
Room layout, listening position identical as above but 10ft x12ft with a 25ft ceiling. The wall opposite sofa has dbl doors and are closed majority of time (also my home office, wfh).
My system: 2ch Int amp (2x40w), 8” powered sub, pr small 2-way stand mount speakers, turntable and tv.
Doesn’t take much volume to make room echo. Room treatment would be a major undertaking IMO.
Any feedback is much appreciated.
You will need a calibrated mic anyway. Try to correct your acoustic with REW and Equalizer APO first and you will see if you can manage it.
 

regan

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The bass is boomy because your listening position is against the wall.
I suggest you reposition your setup 90 degrees so that you're listening across the long wall.
Could this be corrected with minidsp and dirac without repositioning the setup?
 

poxymoron

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Could this be corrected with minidsp and dirac without repositioning the setup?
I use a minidsp Flex to do just that and it made a huge difference. I'm delighted with the results and would be happy to recommend the Flex.
 

regan

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I use a minidsp Flex to do just that and it made a huge difference. I'm delighted with the results and would be happy to recommend the Flex.
With dirac or a different eq software?
 
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