• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Which is the best DSP option: DIRAC vs Acourate vs Audiolense vs RePhase vs ?

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
838
Likes
721
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
So I am trying to make up my mind as to how to replace the DEQX preamp/processor that has been a faithful companion for the past 20 years, but is long in tooth, the mic board is dead, and it can't do 8 channels. It has been by far the best audio investment I have ever made, but it is time to move on.

My sources will be either streaming or video, just L/R + subs. My speakers are tri-amped and although they have ample bass on their own, I would like to leave room for a future upgrade of adding 2 subs--I have one Dayton Audio 18 HO who is lonely ;-D and all I've read is 4 or more is the sweet spot--I count the two main 15" as subs, given they are flat to 30Hz and can do 112 dB there.

I have been spending countless hours in the past few months researching the various means by which this can be done and the best fit seems with my skills is to use a multichannel musical equipment interface such as the MOTU (preference would be for an Octo8 DAC, but this isn't looking like an anytime soon option) and a PC. None of the miniDSP products quite fit the use case here IMO.

So I need 8 channels, would like a remote single master volume and need to select between a streaming device (likely a PC, maybe a RPi or NUC) and the digital output from video source,. I don't have any recorded music so being able to access a huge library of music is not a concern.

My budget, excluding amps is in the $1000 to 1800 USD neighborhood.

The options I see are Acourate or Audiolense for all the filters, or the multichannel Dirac license that can do XO's and which is also in the same price range of $500. Or I could do it on the cheap using RePhase for the filters and use JRivers or a PC for convolution.

I should also say that most of my computer experience in the last quarter century has been windows, and so while the option of doing this all using CamillaDSP is intriguing, I no longer have the energy to do software thrashing. I've done enough debugging in my time--I want something reasonably straight forward and STABLE.

i really would appreciate some direction here from those who might have trod this path. it's a golden age for audio, and this may be the last stereo system I put together. (Ultimately, I see something like a 16 channel pre/pro and Dolby Atmos setup down the road a few years from now).

(I have been following the group DIY streamer/DSP project but that seems to have come to a standstill for now). Also it goes without saying that if there is another solution that checks all the boxes, I am all ears.
 

Holmz

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
1,090
Likes
645
Location
Australia
I cannot help too much for 8 channel, but I have been to Albuquerque many times. (Ex FIL lives there, and itr reminds me I shoudl give him a call)
And I am also very interested the topic.

Usually FIR based EQ (like Dirac, RePhase, APL, etc.) gives the ability to shapren up the impulse response and/or fix group delay.
Some of the HT processors seem to work more on the <200-400 region, like the Lyngdorf… But they are NOT doing impulse response correction.

I’ll look at CamilaDSP, and it reminds me that I should get the APL DSP going.
 
OP
J

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
838
Likes
721
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
ABQ is till rocking. If craft beer is your thing, it is a cornucopia, tho sadly many closed their doors during the pandemic. I hope to have this all up and running by late summer (divorce, ugh), so by all means drop me a PM if headed this way.

So I should have honed the point that you made--this is primarily about getting the impulse response right. My speakers are DIY, and I have no interest in designing passive XO, or in having them get in the way of an iron-fisted amp's control.

While there is great value to be said for mitigating bass lumpiness, IME that's icing on the cake in an otherwise good listening room. In fact, with my DEQX, I would use pEQ's to lop off the peaks and little else.
 

Holmz

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 3, 2021
Messages
1,090
Likes
645
Location
Australia
ABQ is till rocking. If craft beer is your thing, it is a cornucopia, tho sadly many closed their doors during the pandemic. I hope to have this all up and running by late summer (divorce, ugh), so by all means drop me a PM if headed this way.
Thanks I’ll keep it in mind. The FIL is off of Coor’s road in the NW corner.


So I should have honed the point that you made--this is primarily about getting the impulse response right. My speakers are DIY, and I have no interest in designing passive XO, or in having them get in the way of an iron-fisted amp's control.
Well, funny you should mention ^that^. I have a center channel that I got used.
I am thinking of using a Hypex plate amp (FA253) and doing the DSP in there, and running the two MR and single tweeter off of the three separate amps. Maybe using some ALLPASS to help with group delay.
(Ideally I would take the APL I have and try it with FIR based.)

Then try and get it looking good in FR and impulse response testing it outside.
The Hypex have the DSP built in, and the FA253, for example, is 2x 250W and a single 100w amp (for a 3 way)

While there is great value to be said for mitigating bass lumpiness, IME that's icing on the cake in an otherwise good listening room. In fact, with my DEQX, I would use pEQ's to lop off the peaks and little else.

Then with that center channel and surrounds, I’ll just use the Lyngdorf to shape the room response.


^These ravings^ are more along the lines of ideas.

And… you may want to consider Neutrik SpeakOn connectors?
 
OP
J

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
838
Likes
721
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
Thanks I’ll keep it in mind. The FIL is off of Coor’s road in the NW corner.



Well, funny you should mention ^that^. I have a center channel that I got used.
I am thinking of using a Hypex plate amp (FA253) and doing the DSP in there, and running the two MR and single tweeter off of the three separate amps. Maybe using some ALLPASS to help with group delay.
(Ideally I would take the APL I have and try it with FIR based.)

Then try and get it looking good in FR and impulse response testing it outside.
The Hypex have the DSP built in, and the FA253, for example, is 2x 250W and a single 100w amp (for a 3 way)



Then with that center channel and surrounds, I’ll just use the Lyngdorf to shape the room response.


^These ravings^ are more along the lines of ideas.

And… you may want to consider Neutrik SpeakOn connectors?
That's a feature I'd like to see more of--DSP in power amps! Split the signal n number of ways, and let the local sheriff manage matters. And yes, I see all sorts of pitfalls with that approach, but particularly in a Dolby Setup, just broadcast the signal, and be done--add batteries, and voila one has a cable free setup.

Depending on the center channel specs, you may be good to go with a XO and 3 PEQ's per channel. At mids and above, minimal phase considerations are less of a concern, and many would argue, inaudible. I like to line up everything just so, but you look at how passive XO's mangle the phase, and no one goes running from the room, screaming phase errors, I can't take it anymore.

So it's more likely a purely intellectual and technically empty goal. And as everyone is so fond of pointing out, that point of phase coherence exists in one point in space and nowhere else. I recall arguing with Geddes over at DIY for a couple of pages about that. In retrospect, I think his argument carries the day.

(I absolutely plan on using those connectors on this project. More than once I managed to get mid and tweet wiring mixed up). One connector that goes in one way--I get the value!!
 

digitalfrost

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
1,124
Likes
1,951
Location
Palatinate, Germany
Personally I think Acourate is the best software, but it's also the most complex. Audiolense is in the middle. If you want something easy that just works go with Dirac.
 

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"
I opted for MiniDSP U-DIO8 which provides 8 channels, I use Audiolense to triamp and will be adding a centre channel and front side left rights for a multihannel set up to use for live recorded music. I feel 8 channels is not enough considering I have plenty of subs that I would like to time align.

I also have Marantz AV7005 for simplicity using my secondary left rights(passive crossover) for television and have a audio switch that allows me to toggle back the L/R's to the multichannel front side left right connected to the U-DIO8 which has my triamped(horn system) L/R as my main speakers. If I had Aura3D on my AV I would probably use that for multichannel but then I would have to find a way to have my main speakers(triamped horn) somehow triamped while on the AV pre pro complicating things and having the need for a Hypex amp or something.

To be honest I am not quite there yet so I can't say how the JRSS upmixing on Jriver is yet but I will be definitely comparing it to the standard Dolby on my Marantz.

I don't think I would have it any other way, but if your keen on a remote control for volume then I would go with the Okto as you lack that feature with the U-DIO8. Okto in combination with either Accurate or Audiolense will be your best option.
 
OP
J

JRS

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
838
Likes
721
Location
Albuquerque, NM USA
I opted for MiniDSP U-DIO8 which provides 8 channels, I use Audiolense to triamp and will be adding a centre channel and front side left rights for a multihannel set up to use for live recorded music. I feel 8 channels is not enough considering I have plenty of subs that I would like to time align.

I also have Marantz AV7005 for simplicity using my secondary left rights(passive crossover) for television and have a audio switch that allows me to toggle back the L/R's to the multichannel front side left right connected to the U-DIO8 which has my triamped(horn system) L/R as my main speakers. If I had Aura3D on my AV I would probably use that for multichannel but then I would have to find a way to have my main speakers(triamped horn) somehow triamped while on the AV pre pro complicating things and having the need for a Hypex amp or something.

To be honest I am not quite there yet so I can't say how the JRSS upmixing on Jriver is yet but I will be definitely comparing it to the standard Dolby on my Marantz.

I don't think I would have it any other way, but if your keen on a remote control for volume then I would go with the Okto as you lack that feature with the U-DIO8. Okto in combination with either Accurate or Audiolense will be your best option.
The miniDSP product I am not familiar with: on the website it shows it feeding a multichannel DAC, and being fed by a mixing console. So I am needing help here as to how it fits together in your system. But you do like Audiolense, and have had good support on the forum. It doesn't appear all that active, and so I conclude a) that the product is easy to work with or b) product is quirky but help is not to be had. I tend to believe the former and there are some very satisfied customers so it is high on the list. And I feel your pain--when it comes time I may have to dig deep into the bank account and get a Monoprice pre/pro which appears to have spectacular flexibility. Big ticket item, and one of the reasons I don't want to spend too much on a DEQX, Trinnov or the exa- something Kal R. has mentioned favorably a few times. Speaking of future you prefer the Aura 3D to Dolby Atmos?
Personally I think Acourate is the best software, but it's also the most complex. Audiolense is in the middle. If you want something easy that just works go with Dirac.
I don't want too easy but I sure as hell don't want too hard. I just haven't heard from many people who have owned both Dirac and say Acourate, and can offer some first hand experience. Instead it's more like Dirac is amazing, but you ask compared to what? So thanks for the responses guys.
 

Sal1950

Grand Contributor
The Chicago Crusher
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 1, 2016
Messages
10,642
Likes
11,271
Location
Central Fl
Personally I think Acourate is the best software, but it's also the most complex. Audiolense is in the middle. If you want something easy that just works go with Dirac.
Agreed but the other options are a whole lot cheaper than Dirac, you pay for that simplicity.
 

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"
I tried to keep the post simple and most likely confused you with adding my pre pro in the mix. I was just giving you an outline of how I have the best of both worlds and a set up that I can use without convolution and toggle between multichannel and a stereo triamped set up but for now just take the pre pro out of the equation.

Audiolense is hard enough as it is, so Accurate will be significantly harder, it all depends on how in-depth your knowledge is in interpreting measurements. Basic REW understanding will not do. With Accurate you'll be tweaking many functions based on what you want to achieve aiming responses from measurements while Audiolense is automated giving nearly as good response but of course you can do a lot more with Accurate. From what I gather your at an Audiolense kind of stage in your journey but please I do not want to judge, just don't want you getting ahead of yourself.

The UDIO8 can be fed into your own DACs, so if you already have a few DACs it's an option. It doesn't have to be a multichannel DAC. The UDIO8 feeds into 4 DACs which feed into each individual amp then feeding into each driver for it's respective frequency range. Audiolense sets the crossovers through a convolution which is set into Jriver, I am guessing you are aware of some of this.

Read Mitcho's articles on Audiolense and Accurate in the Audiophyle style forum, he has plenty to read on, you could even use his services if need be though I guess you will get the hang of it once started. Check out the Audiolense sub-forum on AVnirvana forum and the old google forum that is non existent although still up for reference. Bernt owner of Audiolense does provide ongoing support via email, my only caveat is that as advanced the Scandinavians are with psychoacoustics it always hard for a non native English speakers to get across there thoughts when it comes to something so complicated for us amatuers and that is quite common with highly intelligent people, I only say this not as a nab but perhaps something they can improve as the hardest part was trying to make sense of instructions which could have been constructed differetnly but hey maybe I was niconpoop who knows.

Bernt is very helpful and support is ongoing as long as you pay the yearly amount but the forum obviously is free and he is always there and always replies so support is there.

Alternatively the owner of Accurate is on ASR who uses the UDIO8 in a triamped system himself.

Feel free to ask more specific questions to get a better understanding of how the UDIO8 and Audiolense works. The only issue of multichannel with software DSP is no one has harcore evidence of how the JRSS upmixing is on Jriver while we know Aura 3D is raved upon but then you need a pre pro which is a totally different set up.
 

DWPress

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 30, 2018
Messages
570
Likes
695
Location
MI
It's possible to do what you want with a miniDSP 4x10 which has 2 practical digital inputs, analog in and a remote. If you're already contemplating even more channels I suggest looking at Motu or Focusrite now rather than later.

I've played around with REW and rePhase quite a bit over the years (3 way active XO + 2 subs, have 15" W in main cabs too) and feel I've developed some competency with these tools. I plan to acquire Audiolense as the next investment I had planned to make because of its XO feature but was holding off until I finished a couple room treatments. There's a pretty steep learning curve to all the DIY solutions so you've really got to take that into consideration though it sounds like you are a long hauler already. It takes time to absorb all the information, possibilities, hone your tweaking skills and then confirm them with accurate repeatable measurements.

The minDSP and Dirac would be the quick and easy solution.
 

fluid

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2021
Messages
479
Likes
833
The options I see are Acourate or Audiolense for all the filters, or the multichannel Dirac license that can do XO's and which is also in the same price range of $500. Or I could do it on the cheap using RePhase for the filters and use JRivers or a PC for convolution.
I use Jriver on an i3 NUC in a Fanless case with Windows 10 and an Android tablet with the Jremote2 app to control playback and volume.

Jriver is a great host for processing with convolution, PEQ and the ability to access VST plugins. Combined with any of the decent pro audio interfaces channels and processing should be scalable. While there can always be hardware of software conflicts there seem to be less and less over time and I have had no issue running windows for audio processing. Jriver occasionally hangs when settings are changed and VST's seem to be the main cause for me, in normal use I have never had a hang or crash happen.

I use DRC-FIR which is the free alternative to Acourate and Audiolense as far as overall correction goes. Rephase can be part of the setup for crossover filters and other tweaks but it has no built in processing and target algorithm like the others. A manual attempt using REW and it's Frequency dependent window and Auto EQ functions can be used but it is not the same as the processing in the other programs.

Acourate and Audiolense are more flexible and configurable than Dirac, I value this and do not consider Dirac to be comparable to the other two.
Being able to create the crossover filters and the overall correction inside the same program and have it output the convolution filters for each channel should not be underestimated. The same overall result can be had with DRC-FIR and rephase or other solution for crossover filters, but it is nowhere near as simple to setup.
 

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"
The minDSP and Dirac would be the quick and easy solution.

It seems though, digital software DSP with XO's are definitely the future of speaker design, regardless of DIY or not.

But the minidsp does not have XLR analog out. I cherish headroom with 4 volts out plus sometimes it's quiter, the OP should take lack of XLR outs in consideration.
 

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"
No, but I would probably use Auromatic if I wanted to upmix.

That will entail a new piece of hardware in the chain. What about any VST plugins that can upmix on the fly anything like that exist?
 

Trdat

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
693
Likes
286
Location
Armenia "Sydney Born"
D

Deleted member 23982

Guest
i ask this particular question myself since like 2 years.... since there dont seem to be "set and forget" solutions, specially in the lower price range...(tho i still need to get a measurement mic :D soon(tm)...)
the best (and probably the most cost effective) i came across is using CamillaDSP (with a rpi or computer) with a 4/6/8 channel DAC, probably the greatest thing about this is price and no need for multiple DAC/ADC stages (thats why i refused to buy minidsp, many say the dac was/is not good, atleast in the cheap model)
 
  • Like
Reactions: JRS
Top Bottom