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A.wayne

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#22
Boy that Dbx box is pricey! So I ordered the mindsp. Should be here on Friday.

Keep the suggestions coming everyone. Specifically I like to know what are the popular devices out there that lack objective analysis. Those of you who are active on other forums please post what you see is most talked about.

We did , Hypex! touted as best on dah world ....

I think even Gary Koh uses the Ucd version ...


Regards
 

oivavoi

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#28
Wow, great Amir! I'm already gearing up and getting excited for the results!

This is what I've picked up on forums:
Minidsp 2x4 HD is popular, either as a loudspeaker management box or for room correction (you can load Dirac onto it), and/or as a pre-amp pure and simple. But inevitably, as it's cheap, some people think it sounds bad, and prefer for example to use a box from minidsp with dirac which has digital in and out, and connect it to an external dac. Minidsp also has other boxes which are used quite a lot, with more inputs and outputs.

The Behringer 2496 is also fairly popular, mostly for loudspeaker management/driving active DIY loudspeakers. Also has dac functionalities, but since it doesn't have volume remote it's difficult to use as standalone pre. Also people who claim that it's unlistenable etc.

The DBX PA2 is somewhat less popular on hifi forums, but very widely used in the pro world. Still, some hifi people use it. Again mostly for loudspeaker management/active crossover. It also has room correction (Harman's own proprietary system). Seems to get mostly good reviews, but again some people think it sounds grainy etc.

The VENU360 is the bigger brother of the PA2. Same functionality, but supposedly better ADC and DAC, faster processor and one digital input (AES/EBU), etc. Because it's more expensive, it's less widely used. But used quite a lot among pro people. Seems to get good reviews.

DSPeaker Antimode 2.0 and 8033 is also used quite a lot. Can be used as a preamp and dac, and offers room correction in the bass and for subs. The more expensive models offer room correction all the way up.

More upmarket, Hypex offers the DLCP, which gets better reviews from people (it's Hypex), but seems to be plagued which losts of glitches and problems.

Beyond these, there are some alternatives whih are starting to get really expensive: Xilica in the pro world. DEQX and Lyngdorf in the hifi world. Comparatively few reviews on these out there, as there are few users, but generally seem to working very well according to what people say.

Ok, that's what I've picked up from forums on this specific product category, I think.

EDIT: Forgot one box, which is mostly used in Germany, but seems to get good reviews there: A preamp/dac which can run room correction with Acourate, from German manufacturer Audio Vero. On the expensive side as well. Can't do digital crossover/speaker management like the others. Only preamp/dac and room eq. (the reason I've looked into all these products is that I was researching what to use for a DIY speaker project some time ago)
 
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oivavoi

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#29
Other than treating them as a DAC, what other tests should I be conducting on these DSP boxes?
Hm, let me think a bit. Other people probably have input on this too. For the DBX boxes, it would be interesting to get some test of the room correction, as it's a cheap way of getting basic room correction done (at least with the PA2 it's very cheap). I haven't seen any reviews of the room eq it employs so far. But I have no idea how an objective test of that would look.

Also, some of these boxes do format and/or sample conversion between digital signals. Can that be tested, whether it affects the sound in any way?

The amount of delay is relevant, as some people use it for their home cinemas.

Rejection/treatment of incoming jitter - can that be tested? I'm for example using a sonos connect with toslink out as source, running it through a cheap toslink switcher from ebay so I can connect a DVD player as well, converting it to aes/ebu through a cheap converter (studiospares), and then aes/ebu into the Venu360. I'm not stressing about it, but I assume that there is some jitter coming in to the Venu360, and would be interested in knowing what it does with that.

That's what I can think of here and now.
 
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oivavoi

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#30
Yeah, one last thing: the digital volume control on the minidsp unit. The beauty of this small box is that for a lot of people it can basically cover all one's needs. 210 USD for the box, with dac and pre functionality, and additional 240 for the Dirac add-on. Can also be used to integrate two subwoofers with passive mains for example. It doesn't come with a remote, but can be programmed to be used with universal remotes, in order to control the volume. But of course, some people think digital volume control is bad because it's bad mkay. Is this true? Can digital attenuation in this box affect sound quality? Have no idea if it can be measured or not.
 
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DonH56

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#31
Roger Sanders (the ESL guy) switched from the Behringer to the dbx unit in his latest speakers FWIW.

I think the Behringer is very popular because it is cheap and a number of freebie/DIY audio apps support it. The dbx IME (limited) has better specs, sounds better (lower noise), and is preferred by pros (more reliable, dbx rep better). But, I have no real experience with either, take with block of salt.
 

oivavoi

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#32
Roger Sanders (the ESL guy) switched from the Behringer to the dbx unit in his latest speakers FWIW.

I think the Behringer is very popular because it is cheap and a number of freebie/DIY audio apps support it. The dbx IME (limited) has better specs, sounds better (lower noise), and is preferred by pros (more reliable, dbx rep better). But, I have no real experience with either, take with block of salt.
Interesting. You're right. Seems like he's using the Venu360 unit for his speakers. Boy, does the desciption of those electrostats of his make me weak in the knees. Hadn't heard of them before.
 

DonH56

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#33
I first met Roger decades ago when he was in Atlanta (he would not remember me, but I remember him). Now he lives an hour or two away and yet I've never managed to visit him. :( His ESLs were on my short list but a great deal on Salon 2's took me that way instead for my "last" speakers. His are not curved so are pretty directional, a mixed blessing. His TL woofer design is pretty impressive.
 

Blumlein 88

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#34
That sounds like a very good reason to get and test the Behringer. Find out if there is is a reason that it apparantly is "unlistenable".
I concur about the Behringer being unlistenable in this particular piece of gear. Not true of all Behringer gear. Have had hands on a couple of 2496 units. They sound quite a lot to me like the very first Dynaco SS amps and integrateds. The ones that had high levels of TIM. That can be fixed on the Dynacos with a few parts substitutions. The sound is sharp, brittle and piercing. I have not however measured them to find out why the 2496 leaves me with that impression.
 

Blumlein 88

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#36
So who wants to buy the Behringer and loan it to me for testing? :) I am out over $500 on the other two already so struggling with pulling the trigger on the third.
I saw where someone I think on the CA forum had their wife bring one home from a yard sale for $6. That is the kind of deal you need to find Amir. :D
 

jhaider

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#37
Other than treating them as a DAC, what other tests should I be conducting on these DSP boxes?
If you are getting a couple DSP boxes, it would be very interesting to see how their frequency responses differ when asked executing a common band of parametric EQ.

See http://www.rane.com/note167.html

As a Harman dealer, perhaps you could throw a BSS BLU/Synthesis SDEC one into that pool even if you're not comfortable doing the full battery of measurements on it.
 

amirm

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#38
As a Harman dealer, perhaps you could throw a BSS BLU/Synthesis SDEC one into that pool even if you're not comfortable doing the full battery of measurements on it.
I have one but it is pre-programmed for Arcos room EQ and hate to reflash its firmware. I will look to see if we have one spare at work.
 

amirm

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#39
If you are getting a couple DSP boxes, it would be very interesting to see how their frequency responses differ when asked executing a common band of parametric EQ.

See http://www.rane.com/note167.html
Thanks. Yes, I was thinking along those lines and dreading dealing with PEQ bandwidth settings as stated in the Rane article.

Are folks mostly using two-way speakers or more? If it is two-way then I can just test the low-pass and high-pass filter. Trying to get the matrix of testing down to manageable size.
 

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