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Old 15th January 2017, 12:50 PM   #1
nzlowie is online now nzlowie  Australia
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Default Minidsp quality

Hi guys
Just been thinking about the quality of the Minidsp.....
For the dsp to work it takes an analog (or digital) signal then uses a DAC to convert this so it can be processed before the DAC returns it to analog.
And here is my point..... surely the whole process depends on the quality of the minidsp DAC?

So if we have a really whiz bang top of the line DAC feeding the mindsp it can only sound as good as the inbuilt minidsp DAC, correct?

What made me question this was that I tried a direct swap between my current DAC and the minidsp with a flat non eq'd setupo, eg straight through and there was a big changes, sound stage dramatically shrunk and some detail was missing.

Am I correct in thinking that the sound will only be as good as the weakest link in the system, eg the minidsp DAC?..

Cheers for now..
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Old 16th January 2017, 08:34 AM   #2
gwingn is offline gwingn  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzlowie View Post
Hi guys
Just been thinking about the quality of the Minidsp.....
For the dsp to work it takes an analog (or digital) signal then uses a DAC to convert this so it can be processed before the DAC returns it to analog.
And here is my point..... surely the whole process depends on the quality of the minidsp DAC?

So if we have a really whiz bang top of the line DAC feeding the mindsp it can only sound as good as the inbuilt minidsp DAC, correct?

What made me question this was that I tried a direct swap between my current DAC and the minidsp with a flat non eq'd setupo, eg straight through and there was a big changes, sound stage dramatically shrunk and some detail was missing.

Am I correct in thinking that the sound will only be as good as the weakest link in the system, eg the minidsp DAC?..

Cheers for now..
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Old 16th January 2017, 08:39 AM   #3
gwingn is offline gwingn  United Kingdom
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Yes of course this is true, although that minidsp DAC might not actually be the weakest link you are introducing totally unnecessary extra conversion with that choice of operation.

As an alternative if you are running digital sources you could omit the DAC and choose one of the minidsp products accepting a digital input instead. If you want to keep the DAC you might choose one of their models offering both digital input and digital output, which can then be fed to your DAC.
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Old 16th January 2017, 12:46 PM   #4
JohnR is offline JohnR  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzlowie View Post
Am I correct in thinking that the sound will only be as good as the weakest link in the system, eg the minidsp DAC?..
In general, I think this is a furfie. You need to look at the overall result. I can't imagine anybody would put a DSP unit (of any kind) their system and then listen to it without using any of its features (EQ, crossover etc).

Also and FWIW, miniDSP have about a thousand different products. "miniDSP" is the company not the product.

HTH
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Old 16th January 2017, 09:18 PM   #5
nzlowie is online now nzlowie  Australia
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The reason I put the minidsp in the system without using any EQ was to see if there was any impact on sound quality, and yes there was. With this configuration it was basically just a DAC so it was easy to compare to my normal DAC. From what I understand most of the minidsp products use the same DAC configuration.

I have the minidsp that takes digital input from my source.

Will pursue passive a crossover a bit more now I know the difference.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
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Old 16th January 2017, 09:41 PM   #6
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If you want better sound quality, you can use the Minisharc kit, and add an I2S DAC like one of the Twisted Pear offerings.

Johan-Kr
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Old 16th January 2017, 09:42 PM   #7
zdr is offline zdr  Belgium
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There is also an awesome DIY alternative, FreeDSP. This is diy forum after all
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Old 16th January 2017, 09:45 PM   #8
TNT is offline TNT  Sweden
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Every time I have tried to use these DSP with their digital input, the sound has been bad. Using analogue in and out has been decent however. Must be the SRC that isn't up to par.

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Old 16th January 2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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MiniDSP 4x10 HD Performance Measurements.

a set of measurements Tomchr did on the miniDSP. Doesn't look at all shabby to be. Given you can have a setup where you use the miniDSP to do its magic and then an external set of DACs to convert, any audiophilia nervosa can be assuaged.

But if you have your system gain balance out a DSP is a good way to mess things up.
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Old 19th January 2017, 04:53 AM   #10
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Location: HK
Quote:
Originally Posted by nzlowie View Post
Hi guys
Just been thinking about the quality of the Minidsp.....
For the dsp to work it takes an analog (or digital) signal then uses a DAC to convert this so it can be processed before the DAC returns it to analog.
And here is my point..... surely the whole process depends on the quality of the minidsp DAC?

So if we have a really whiz bang top of the line DAC feeding the mindsp it can only sound as good as the inbuilt minidsp DAC, correct?

What made me question this was that I tried a direct swap between my current DAC and the minidsp with a flat non eq'd setupo, eg straight through and there was a big changes, sound stage dramatically shrunk and some detail was missing.

Am I correct in thinking that the sound will only be as good as the weakest link in the system, eg the minidsp DAC?..

Cheers for now..
I have a Minidsp 2x4 HD laying around. I tried it with usb input as a dac, not the best sound IMO. I then mod it bypassing the opamp at output stage with just a capacitor and it was better, but still can't compare with a better AKM dac. The 2x4HD uses a lower end AKM AK4626 dac.
Another problem with the small size and price is it tends to use sub optimal power supply, in this case the newer Ti switcher which regulates and spits several voltages with one IC.
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