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

Trdat

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There was at least one person in the JRiver forum who said he preferred JRSS to Dolby prologic IIx due to the "better" way it handles bass-management and the LFE channel. Sorry, can't remember the specific thread. But I've not really tested that since I've never owned an AVR to compare between the two. So far, I'm quite satisfied with their native upmixing/downmixing algorithm.
I have come across that post, but that is testament to how little is known about JRSS, If your satisfied then no doubt I will try it, my set up is all there but I will also have to set up my mains(triamped) with a electronic crossover to connect to my AVR to try Dolby Pro Logic 2.
 

ernestcarl

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I have come across that post, but that is testament to how little is known about JRSS, If your satisfied then no doubt I will try it, my set up is all there but I will also have to set up my mains(triamped) with a electronic crossover to connect to my AVR to try Dolby Pro Logic 2.

Indeed, I wished the developers would have shared more info, but for whatever reason not much more is disclosed.
 

fluid

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From what I am gathering this product is more about mixing and mastering stereo tracks into surround? Nothing is very clear on there website. Or have I understood incorrectly and it is a simple software that allows for on the fly reproduction of stereo into surround...?
It does all of that the Auro 2D plugin is the stereo upmixer.

From the instructions pdf I linked before
"Auro-Matic Pro 2D can function as a stand-alone plug-in that upmixes mono and stereo sound sources to a 5.1 surround sound field".
Plus you replied no to this question so I am a bit confused to whether you use it for the simiplicity of upmixing?
I don't have a traditional multichannel system. I have a few of the upmix and associated plugins for testing in ambience channels.
 

Worth Davis

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Been playing with Audiolense and Dirac in room. I believe audiolense sounds better, but they both improve things a good bit from untreated. Dirac is on my minidsp shd, Audiolense I use the Roon convolver.
 

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I use multichannel Dirac Live 3 on my pc as a vst plug in for JRiver. I have a 4.1 system consisting of LS50 metas with OG LS 50s as surrounds and a single SVS SB2000. Dirac Live works well, but I continue to wait for DLBM for PC's and workstations which is still vaporware. I might experiment with Audiolense XO in the future as I hear it may do an even better job than DL 3.
 
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Been playing with Audiolense and Dirac in room. I believe audiolense sounds better, but they both improve things a good bit from untreated. Dirac is on my minidsp shd, Audiolense I use the Roon convolver.
This seems as it is becoming a consensus, that Dirac while good, just isn't as powerful as the more labor intensive products. I am glad for that--my biggest concern that it would be a wash and I'd be left no wiser. And once having made a commitment would likely have remained no wiser, leaving me to live with a second rate product. I am curious are you using AL to improve the impulse response of the driver or is it more for digital room correction?
 
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I use multichannel Dirac Live 3 on my pc as a vst plug in for JRiver. I have a 4.1 system consisting of LS50 metas with OG LS 50s as surrounds and a single SVS SB2000. Dirac Live works well, but I continue to wait for DLBM for PC's and workstations which is still vaporware. I might experiment with Audiolense XO in the future as I hear it may do an even better job than DL 3.
Sounds like a very good system. I have always been impressed with the uniQ driver set. First heard them back around 2000 and thought there is no way this little unprepossessing bookshelf should sound so damn good. Only gotten better since.
 

gnarly

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Here's just another idea/option for a processor....a QSC Q-Sys Core110f. https://www.qsc.com/products-solutions/q-sys/processing/core-110f/
It is an 'open architecture' Linux device where you build whatever schematic you want on your PC with Q-Sys Designer software, which compiles it onto the Core110f (or other Core model).
There is extensive, easy to follow on-line training for Q-Sys Designer, which can run on a PC in emulation mode, not needing a Core processor.
So a person can see if the whole idea works for them without having to buy a Core,.... short of being able to actually process signal flow.

The 110f has 8x8 balanced mic/line I/O, with another 8 flex channels that can be individually assigned as either input or output. USB 8x8.

The flexibility is mind boggling. Besides being able to route however you want with whatever type filters, xovers, etc you want,, Qsys allows as many presets that can change as little or as much of the design as you like. For instance, with a mouse click i can instantly switch a 5-way system between all linear phase xovers to all minimum phase xovers, to any combination in between. Xover frequencies, EQ's, shelving etc etc, ...anything can be made into a preset. It switches FIR files on the fly without glitch or tick. 8 channels of 4k FIR taps per channel run fine, I think maybe 10 channels is about the 4 k per channel FIR limit.

Here's an example list of some of the components that can go into a schematic.
Qsys component list.JPG



Stability is rock solid. And if you're concerned about dangerous input levels from a PC source or something, just place output limiters into the schematic.

You can build a User Interface to run on a PC or any IOS device. Right now, i have this on my laptop which controls
settings via wi-fi for the 5-way schematic that follows.
qsys uci for syn9x60 schematic.JPG


qsys schematic syn9x90.JPG


The cons are: 48kHz only, if that matters to you.
USB says 16, 24 bit selectable, but I still need to find out how to set 24 bit. I haven't bothered because it's easy enough to keep digital signal high throughout a schematic, and attenuate analog at the end.
It's ADC and DACs are fine to my ears, but i know folks can be choosy on this.
And of course, if using FIR, the files need to be supplied via rePhase, Audiolense, Acourate, DRC, etc, etc...(I use FIR Designer, but only for speaker building...I've yet to do any room correction, but easily could if desired.)
Price. New is kind of high, in the low-mid $2000 range. Ebay has seen many trade used for around $1250, but it takes patience and diligence to nab one at that price.

Oh, some more pros....metering and test components that can be placed in the schematic. Peak and RMS meters can be placed anywhere.
A real time dual channel FFT can be inserted. (using QSC amps with dataports connect via ethernet, both peak and RMS amp output voltages can be monitored which i find fascinating to observe sometimes).
Maybe the biggest pro, is that Qsys is software based and doesn't require new hardware every time improvements are made. It has made a major impact in the install world and is constantly being improved/expanded (without charge).

Anyway, just another option, off of the usual home-audio track.
Q-sys has really changed my audio world, opened my eyes. It is sooo easy to experiment with. Hope this was at least interesting :)
 

phoenixdogfan

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Here's just another idea/option for a processor....a QSC Q-Sys Core110f. https://www.qsc.com/products-solutions/q-sys/processing/core-110f/
It is an 'open architecture' Linux device where you build whatever schematic you want on your PC with Q-Sys Designer software, which compiles it onto the Core110f (or other Core model).
There is extensive, easy to follow on-line training for Q-Sys Designer, which can run on a PC in emulation mode, not needing a Core processor.
So a person can see if the whole idea works for them without having to buy a Core,.... short of being able to actually process signal flow.

The 110f has 8x8 balanced mic/line I/O, with another 8 flex channels that can be individually assigned as either input or output. USB 8x8.

The flexibility is mind boggling. Besides being able to route however you want with whatever type filters, xovers, etc you want,, Qsys allows as many presets that can change as little or as much of the design as you like. For instance, with a mouse click i can instantly switch a 5-way system between all linear phase xovers to all minimum phase xovers, to any combination in between. Xover frequencies, EQ's, shelving etc etc, ...anything can be made into a preset. It switches FIR files on the fly without glitch or tick. 8 channels of 4k FIR taps per channel run fine, I think maybe 10 channels is about the 4 k per channel FIR limit.

Here's an example list of some of the components that can go into a schematic.
View attachment 178199


Stability is rock solid. And if you're concerned about dangerous input levels from a PC source or something, just place output limiters into the schematic.

You can build a User Interface to run on a PC or any IOS device. Right now, i have this on my laptop which controls
settings via wi-fi for the 5-way schematic that follows.
View attachment 178201

View attachment 178202

The cons are: 48kHz only, if that matters to you.
USB says 16, 24 bit selectable, but I still need to find out how to set 24 bit. I haven't bothered because it's easy enough to keep digital signal high throughout a schematic, and attenuate analog at the end.
It's ADC and DACs are fine to my ears, but i know folks can be choosy on this.
And of course, if using FIR, the files need to be supplied via rePhase, Audiolense, Acourate, DRC, etc, etc...(I use FIR Designer, but only for speaker building...I've yet to do any room correction, but easily could if desired.)
Price. New is kind of high, in the low-mid $2000 range. Ebay has seen many trade used for around $1250, but it takes patience and diligence to nab one at that price.

Oh, some more pros....metering and test components that can be placed in the schematic. Peak and RMS meters can be placed anywhere.
A real time dual channel FFT can be inserted. (using QSC amps with dataports connect via ethernet, both peak and RMS amp output voltages can be monitored which i find fascinating to observe sometimes).
Maybe the biggest pro, is that Qsys is software based and doesn't require new hardware every time improvements are made. It has made a major impact in the install world and is constantly being improved/expanded (without charge).

Anyway, just another option, off of the usual home-audio track.
Q-sys has really changed my audio world, opened my eyes. It is sooo easy to experiment with. Hope this was at least interesting :)
So do you find the linear phase with FIR filters to sound superior to minimum or mixed phase filters?
 

gnarly

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So do you find the linear phase with FIR filters to sound superior to minimum or mixed phase filters?
Yes, i do.
But it's a bit more complicated than say, just swapping xovers between linear and minimum phase.
I think complementary linear phase xovers work best when high order. (for minimizing lobing and and potential/theoretical off-axis pre-ringing.)
And minimum phase xovers work best when low order (for their better phase and impulse response).
I typically use 96dB/oct linear phase LR xovers, but no higher than 24 dB/oct min phase LRs.
So that's the comparison where i think the lin phase implementation sounds superior.
 
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JRS

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So do you find the linear phase with FIR filters to sound superior to minimum or mixed phase filters?
Interesting software. Reminds me a bit of Audio Weaver which allows for object oriented audio systems design and is offered as part of the Danville DSP Nexus 8 channel processor. When the Danville product will be sold is an ongoing mystery, but hopefully soon. In fairness the product is evolving and seems more capable with each iteration and now includes an RPi for whatever the user wants--so streaming is built in, and then there is this miserable semiconductor shortage, so it appears patience is key.

The advantage over the Octo 8 is it will host all the DSP giving one an upscale MiniDSP, but I am not sure to what extent it is able to invert an impulse response of a driver to obtain flat phase and FR. Seems a bit clunky in some ways, again appealing to a much broader range of applications than say a DEQX or a Trinnov, using run of the mill building blocks for filters and XO's. There is a pro version that includes Matlab so potential power is unlimited, if one has the expertise.

From my very limited exposure, it appears that the QSC is more capable in many regards. But take that with a tsp of salt. Both products offer the kind of DSP we are in most need of as a tiny fraction of the total capabilities. For no particulary rational reason, I'd like to 96k/24 as the base standard. I have read plenty that say beyond 48 is superflous, but like SINAD numbers above 100dB, we audiophiles want what we want.

(I also noticed that besides LINUX QSC works in the Windows environment, but Mac users need to use a shell of their choice).

And BTW I had no idea QSC did anything but make studio/live musical equipment. Can't decide whether to use those or CROWN for my bass bin duties, although audiophile class D amps are getting down to a comparable price.

edit: almost forgot that I am also a believer in brick wall filters, at least above subwoofer territory.
 
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DWPress

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The QSC looks very capable but lacks important things like remote, volume control and display and all those phoenix connectors, oh my. Not to mention it is probably in the 1-4K range of $$$$. (I didn't ask)

The DSP Nexus will be $3000 and they hope to release it late this quarter. It's onboard processing is done with a Shark processor with the RPi which is very similar to some of the miniDSP boards but probably measures better. A older computer or laptop will still have loads more processing power than the Danville board will be able to provide unless it's all done on the Pi.
 
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The QSC looks very capable but lacks important things like remote, volume control and display and all those phoenix connectors, oh my. Not to mention it is probably in the 1-4K range of $$$$. (I didn't ask)

The DSP Nexus will be $3000 and they hope to release it late this quarter. It's onboard processing is done with a Shark processor with the RPi which is very similar to some of the miniDSP boards but probably measures better. A older computer or laptop will still have loads more processing power than the Danville board will be able to provide unless it's all done on the Pi.
thank you. It answers that question, and so back to PC+software + music digital interface, most likely MOTU.
I was hoping the Danville would come under 2k. But with these boutique products, I totally get it.
 

gnarly

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Interesting software. Reminds me a bit of Audio Weaver which allows for object oriented audio systems design and is offered as part of the Danville DSP Nexus 8 channel processor. When the Danville product will be sold is an ongoing mystery, but hopefully soon. In fairness the product is evolving and seems more capable with each iteration and now includes an RPi for whatever the user wants--so streaming is built in, and then there is this miserable semiconductor shortage, so it appears patience is key.
i hadn't seen Audio Weaver and the Danville product before. Thx. My bet is these open architecture type devices are where the market is headed.

It seems you have a very good handle on exploring DSP options...good luck whatever you decide on and pls keep us posted.


Personally, I'll have nothing to do with high spec home-audio devices anymore. I still have a number of such, now sitting in the closet, as when push comes to shove, I find making good speaker measurements and appropriate tunings dominates SQ to the point i feel silly chasing specs.
So i buy functionality nowadays...
 

gnarly

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The QSC looks very capable but lacks important things like remote, volume control and display and all those phoenix connectors, oh my. Not to mention it is probably in the 1-4K range of $$$$. (I didn't ask)
Remote can be via any IOS device. Unfortunately not with android yet.
I have remote with a wireless mouse controlling my laptop, which controls the Q-Sys Cores. I like the laptop screen anyway, becuase I want far more remote features than volume etc, in very easy to access fashion (no menu trees).
If you'll notice the User control panel i posted earlier, it has a master volume along with individual volume for each of the 5-way driver sections. Also allows switching between stereo, stereo summed to dual mono, and same summed to mono left or mono right.

I like that i can build a custom remote panel to control any aspect of the design.

Easiest way to handle the phoenix connectors is make an XLR breakout panel (on the backside of a rackrount box).
Like said earlier, they can be had for about $1250 used. They are very robust, used is fine imo.

Certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but a fine alternative i think..
 
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i hadn't seen Audio Weaver and the Danville product before. Thx. My bet is these open architecture type devices are where the market is headed.

It seems you have a very good handle on exploring DSP options...good luck whatever you decide on and pls keep us posted.


Personally, I'll have nothing to do with high spec home-audio devices anymore. I still have a number of such, now sitting in the closet, as when push comes to shove, I find making good speaker measurements and appropriate tunings dominates SQ to the point i feel silly chasing specs.
So i buy functionality nowadays...
Thanks in great part to all the folks here at ASR I feel reasonably well informed about the various options--at least in general terms. 6 months ago I wasn't even able to articulate the question properly. I had heard of REW but knew precious little else. Now I know a teeny weeny bit about microcomputers, HAT's, the myriad of flavors of players, Python, BB coding, and just how sorely needed a simple, affordable DSP/multichannel DAC that goes a step beyond the MiniDSP products in SQ and processing power, and that isn't too much more expensive. So we hobble together what we can, and talk about cats, there are a few dozen ways to skin this one.

I dig DIY for that reason--a wannabe engineer that ended up as a physician who likes to get into the nitty gritty of the hobby. I was a bystander enthusiast who was picked clean of 10k before waking up to the fact that I was on the turntable of upgrades--in fact I owned a nice VPI, Zeta arm, Koetsu MC cartridge that was just dandy, but effing $$$. I bought a DEQX showroom sample from them when they were just bringing product to market for less than the TT setup. My only knowledge of the technology was from stopping in a showroom while in Atlanta and being shown the new "digital" Meridian speaker line. It was hardly genius on my part to recognize passive XO's were a waste of money and that individually tailored EQ for drivers was a lot more saavy than buying some 32 band sound "palette" from M. Levinson. Talking 25 years ago to be exact.

It's been a lot of fun and the $$ I have saved by having been cured of upgrade-itis has been huge. There a lot of naysayers who argue at every opportunity that the savings is an illusion with DIY speakers. Which might be the case for a one off and done project--heck I have 700 dollars worth of routers and saws that were pretty much just for audio. But I have amortized these and you know once every five years or so I get the hankering to try a different approach. Those "upgrades" were more along a 500 to 1000 for drivers, and a couple hundred for lumber and whatever else per pair, versus spending 5 to 10K on a store bought product. And a built a few kits for friends. So all good. Now just needing to complete the chain by tackling the nuts and bolts of DSP. Also all good. Meanwhile I am now close to accumulating enough extra pairs of speakers to go 7.3 My assumption is that even though there will be a hodge podge mix of brands, my belief is if one uses the same target curve they will play well enough together to make for convincing envelopment. I think at that point I'm going to bite the big one and purchase a Monoprice pre/pro.

The next stereo project will have this sweet young thing as its heart (or maybe the Mg-Al version--1/2 the cost), running from 500 to 5kHz. Early report is vocals are like hearing angels in your living room. All waiting the Audio Compass review to see how bright this star shines. But confirmed specs are 97dB efficiency, able to hit 116dB w/o fuzz and just a smidge of compression. Haven't seen any polars yet.

It aint cheap as in open that wallet wide and prepare for 10 Benjamins to be plucked per driver. But who said endgame was supposed to be cheap. Anyhow, enough rambling.
 
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While I can only speak for Dirac as it is the only one of the four that I have personally used, what I can say about it is that it was easily the best audio money that I have personally spent. you will get out of it what you put into it, so if you decide to use it you should set aside time to take many sets of measurements under conditions as ideal as you can make them and experiment.
 
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While I can only speak for Dirac as it is the only one of the four that I have personally used, what I can say about it is that it was easily the best audio money that I have personally spent. you will get out of it what you put into it, so if you decide to use it you should set aside time to take many sets of measurements under conditions as ideal as you can make them and experiment.
Curious are you using the Dirac as a stand alone license or is it part of a miniDSP or AV receiver? Also are you using that with subs?
 

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Curious are you using the Dirac as a stand alone license or is it part of a miniDSP or AV receiver? Also are you using that with subs?
I use Dirac. I initially bought the 1.0 version in 2015, and they allowed me a free upgrade in 2021 to 3.0. It was being offered only as a stand alone on a PC. Initially the upgrade to 3.0 was only available a VST plugin which was fine with me b/c I have JRiver MC28, which accepts VST plugins. Later they released a stand alone version for PC. I have both versions, but I decided to use the VST plugin which I did upgrade to multi channel.

I do not have any experience with Accourate or Audiolense, so I can't verify they are superior, but I can tell you Dirac is very good, and, I think, relatively easy to learn. There are all kinds of internet videos out there on how to use it. The hardest part, I think is calibrating microphone level. After that, you will want to make certain you have a proper microphone boom (around $20 on Amazon) b/c the Umik-1 does not come with one. Finally, the proper voicing curve is also important. Dirac's is close to the Harman curve, but you may want to use your own. I know I did.

I may look into Audiolense, but I want a second sub before that. Ultimately, if Dirac releases a stand alone version of their DLBM, I will almost certainly just go with that as it would probably do everything Audiolense XO does at that point.
 
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I use Dirac. I initially bought the 1.0 version in 2015, and they allowed me a free upgrade in 2021 to 3.0. It was being offered only as a stand alone on a PC. Initially the upgrade to 3.0 was only available a VST plugin which was fine with me b/c I have JRiver MC28, which accepts VST plugins. Later they released a stand alone version for PC. I have both versions, but I decided to use the VST plugin which I did upgrade to multi channel.

I do not have any experience with Accourate or Audiolense, so I can't verify they are superior, but I can tell you Dirac is very good, and, I think, relatively easy to learn. There are all kinds of internet videos out there on how to use it. The hardest part, I think is calibrating microphone level. After that, you will want to make certain you have a proper microphone boom (around $20 on Amazon) b/c the Umik-1 does not come with one. Finally, the proper voicing curve is also important. Dirac's is close to the Harman curve, but you may want to use your own. I know I did.

I may look into Audiolense, but I want a second sub before that. Ultimately, if Dirac releases a stand alone version of their DLBM, I will almost certainly just go with that as it would probably do everything Audiolense XO does at that point.
Thanks for the detailed comments. And there seems to be a solid consensus that it is the most novice friendly of the bunch by far. And this stuff can be daunting, I recall firsst opening my DEQX manual ( 2 of them about 150 pp in total IIRC) and thinking holy crap, what have I gotten myself into? Thankfully the users group got me to chill long enough, to slowly go through the step by step--you may not understand everything, but just do it, and I did. Now it's intuitive as a soup spoon. Well maybe not that intuitive. But we all know the drill with complex software, you dig in, you get it to work in some basic use case, and then add to ones chops piece by piece. You look back and think, that was no big deal. Photoshop was that way for me. Still no wizard by any stretch, but I can get what I need done.

One thing Mitch Barnett talks about in his e book is the sheer torture of repetition one encounters in Acourate, having to repeatedly enter the same statements over and over vs having some handles and automation that would reduce the workload by a huge chunk. That's one thing DEQX does beautifully, maybe a bit too well insofar as you sacrifice flexibility (eg target curve is flat, you have to add EQ later). Otherwise it is cursors, value fields, and check marks.
 
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