Mini DSPs or computer + sound card - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Digital Line Level
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Digital Line Level DACs, Digital Crossovers, Equalizers, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 8th January 2016, 01:07 PM   #1
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Derby, UK
Default Mini DSPs or computer + sound card

(this post is about choosing between digital line and PC based approaches so I had to choose one or the other forums, apologies if you don't think it fits properly)

I need 'effectively' a pair of 3-way active crossovers plus linkwitz transforms, to run a pair of 3-way stereo speakers. The transforms are needed because the bass drivers are purposely in undersized sealed enclosures. (My sources include analogue line but are mainly computer based, and are mainly audio but with occasional video/film). There are different ways of doing this, so I've asked a few questions around the subject and narrowed it down to my two favourites:

1.) A pair of 2x4 miniDSPs. Purpose made for this kind of thing and would be very straight forward wrt usability - in combo with my existing stereo DAC they could allow almost any source via physical connectors or a selector knob and pretty much just do what they say on the tin. However, it seems like a fairly messy signal path for my main software-based source - there'd be first a usb DAC and then also the mini DSP's internal A/D and D/A processing. I'm a little concerned about the effect on sound quality and also latency on those rare occasions when I play video with the sound.

2.) A netbook/laptop plus decent USB surround sound card (like the asus xonar u7) would be a shorter/simpler path for native software playback (employing just one D/A step). It should be possible to set up XO and EQ in my existing playback software (JRiver), and theres the potential for linux alternatives (if I ever get to grips with them) and other wizziness in the future. But IMO it can be a faff dealing with different sources and line inputs on a computer, and theres always the chance of sounds not coming through the playback software (which would therefore bypass the Xover etc.).

So, I'd like the miniDSPs but suspect the laptop/soundcard approach may be inherently more suitable (given that software is my main source). And hence I'm dithering yet again. What do people think - am I worrying too much about the signal path etc?

Many Thanks
Kev
  Reply With Quote
Old 10th January 2016, 10:25 PM   #2
Foxx510 is offline Foxx510  Australia
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
If your source is digital, have you looked at the MiniDSP miniDIGI product? 4 way stereo, digital in and out. I use a very cheap ES9023 Teradak I2S board with mine and it sounds great. I2S outputs can be accessed internally if you can solder reasonable well.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2016, 09:14 AM   #3
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Derby, UK
Yeah, I'd looked at the minidigi but perhaps I'd dismissed it too quickly. IIRC it has neither USB nor analogue inputs so it didn't seem suitable for any of my sources.

BUT, yes it would let me replace the DAC from my main digital source with a simple USB/SPDIF (or tosslink) converter, which may be better. I see the minidigi also has two switch-selectable inputs so I could have the DAC connected to the second input for my analogue sources.

I also considered the nanodigi 2x8. I wasn't sure it gained much over the minidsps at the time, since it would need a decent quality 6 or 8 way DAC adding on the outputs. However, thinking again it could have advantages. As above, it would allow a usb/spdif converter on the input instead of unnecessary D/A stage. The need for outboard output DACs would make it more upgradable, and I could even have those DACs positioned at the active speakers, making the long signal runs digital.

Hmm, interesting, much food for thought. Thanks!
Kev

Last edited by Kev06; 11th January 2016 at 09:18 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2016, 09:17 AM   #4
Foxx510 is offline Foxx510  Australia
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Oops I meant the nanodigi 2x8- that's the one I have. Sorry for the confusion!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2016, 09:24 AM   #5
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Derby, UK
No worries. It made me think again and come up with a similar idea, which is good. :-)

Cheers
Kev
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2016, 09:30 AM   #6
Foxx510 is offline Foxx510  Australia
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
You might have already seen it, but they also do an 8 ch I2S DAC now that should work with the nanodigi if you are ok with soldering. https://www.minidsp.com/products/minidspkits/minidac8
  Reply With Quote
Old 11th January 2016, 09:39 AM   #7
Kev06 is offline Kev06  England
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Derby, UK
Yes, it would be a neat solution, its worryingly cheap for an 8-way but then probably as good as the DACs in a minidsp.

Cheers
Kev
  Reply With Quote
Old 13th January 2016, 11:10 PM   #8
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
Anyone knowing an equivalent which can be MCLK feeded ! Was it RasBerryPi, PC, or Appliance ?
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 07:09 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Hello

maybe this solution is intersting for you:
X-over realized by Laptop, Open Source and 7.1 AV Receiver over Display Port / HDMI

Regards
Guenter
  Reply With Quote
Old 14th June 2016, 07:36 PM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Randers, Denmark
Another sound that is fairly cheap is ESI U46 XL

ESI - U46 XL

MiniDSP is straight forward, PC is versatile

I use MiniDSP 2x4 right now, but I would like to try linear phase, and that I can get for free using my PC and a good soundcard (not free).

What to recomment? - I don't know it depends if you are willing to use some days to learn the PC'way. MiniDSP is up and running in minutes.
__________________
http://kjeldsensforbindelser.dk
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
impedance test in Arta - any risk to sound card/computer knifeinthesink Multi-Way 5 16th July 2015 03:56 PM
Can I use an external USB DAC as a totally normal computer sound card? Welcome PC Based 6 7th December 2013 08:34 PM
Sound card for computer audio/testing ted4412wilt Digital Line Level 1 9th February 2009 04:06 AM
Power Amplifier -> Computer Sound Card EchoWars Everything Else 4 20th December 2005 11:08 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:55 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2017 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Wiki