Does anyone use a MiniDSP 2x8 as a preamplifier? - diyAudio
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Old 26th July 2011, 09:57 PM   #1
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Default Does anyone use a MiniDSP 2x8 as a preamplifier?

I've been contemplating purchasing a MiniDSP 2x8 kit for the last couple of months. I'm still on the fence over the whole idea of having integrated circuits in my signal path, but that's another issue I suppose.

What I'd like to know is if anyone has successfully used a MiniDSP kit in place of a preamplifier? I tried looking around online and on their site, but it doesn't seem to be clear. Do they have gain? Is the potentiometer option only for attenuation?

I'd like to build a 2x8 kit into a chassis with an input selector, but I can't seem to find any information about how much output voltage they are capable of or how much gain the circuit has.
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Old 27th July 2011, 03:25 PM   #2
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Never heard of the product. Post a link! E
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Old 27th July 2011, 08:41 PM   #3
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Oh, haha, sorry I didn't think there was anyone left who hadn't seen one yet

miniDSP 2x8 kit | miniDSP
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Old 27th July 2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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DrDyna,

I would not worry too much about having integrated cicuits in your signal path, because 1) HQ modern opamps are really like a straight wire with gain and 2) your music sources are likely to have been 'compromised' by such darned IC's earlier in the chain, long before you got to them.

vac
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Old 28th July 2011, 01:46 PM   #5
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacuphile View Post
DrDyna,

I would not worry too much about having integrated cicuits in your signal path, because 1) HQ modern opamps are really like a straight wire with gain and 2) your music sources are likely to have been 'compromised' by such darned IC's earlier in the chain, long before you got to them.

vac
This is probably true.

Do you think that its a viable idea to build a diy preamp built around one of these boards then, or do they really need a gain stage to prop them up?
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Old 28th July 2011, 02:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDyna View Post
This is probably true.

Do you think that its a viable idea to build a diy preamp built around one of these boards then, or do they really need a gain stage to prop them up?
Yes, absolutely, I use MiniDSP's in the development of active loudspeakers, and they easily drive any power amp I connected to them. Their bigger brother will certainly be able to do the same. After all, they were developed to drive power amps directly.
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Old 28th July 2011, 06:20 PM   #7
DrDyna is offline DrDyna  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacuphile View Post
Yes, absolutely, I use MiniDSP's in the development of active loudspeakers, and they easily drive any power amp I connected to them. Their bigger brother will certainly be able to do the same. After all, they were developed to drive power amps directly.
Thanks I'm probably going to order one of these in the next couple of months and build it into a case with an input selector and make a nifty 2 channel preamp / processor.

The other idea I had was to use a large HTPC type case and put a mini itx type pc in the case too and use a little touch screen on the front for control of the MiniDSP, and perhaps even XBMC.

Gonna take some planning though, I'll post something up if I decide to take the plunge.

Thanks fellas!
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Old 2nd August 2011, 11:50 AM   #8
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As said on other threads I've also been considering on of these or the 8x8 version.
I was concerned about the DAC side but understand (help from DIYaudio'er) that you can add a optical input and use the DAC of your choice. Not quite sure how that works - need to investigate. For vinyl I would be at the mercy of the ADC built in.
As I have 5 way horn speakers and 5 amps to crossover (only the tapped subs and mid bass horns) really need any correction though, it would be interesting to try active / digi crossovers on the lower 4 horns and just tag the tweeter on at 9000Hz.
A digital master vol would be nice too.

I'll be very interested to read your reports on sound quality etc if/when you take the plunge.
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Old 2nd August 2011, 12:10 PM   #9
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Speedysteve,

DAC in the MiniDSP is good enough for me. Frankly, can't hear difference with direct input from source into poweramp, or signal run through an ADC-DAC conversion in the MiniDSP. Don't think you can add external DAC though.

vac (no interest in the company whatsoever, just happy with the product).
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Old 4th August 2011, 01:21 PM   #10
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It is generally possible to add external DACs, however for multichannel it will be really DIY. 2 of the 8 output channels can be routed to an SPDIF out (available on optional miniDIGI card). If you want to add your own DACs for all of the 8 channels, you will have to grap I2C Signals from the board and route them to the DACs (having I2C inputs). Really not plug and play ;-)
However I also think that the DAC used on miniDSP (cirrus CS42528) is quite good.
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