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miniDSP Low cost, modular Digital Signal Processor (DSP) kits for the DIYer from miniDSP.

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Old 14th March 2017, 02:22 AM   #1
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Default Using I2S in and outs on MiniDSP

Hi,

I am not sure whether this query has been asked before I will try to explain ask here quickly. Those who have expertise, eg Curryman or those who have experience with is query I welcomed your inputs. I am using the Minidsp as digital Speakers x-over like more users.
After reading Curryman application notes on his 9023 DAC I am thinking of upgrading my current Minidsp to speakers setup. Refer to my attachment for my query.

Current Set-up
It has one weakness, the DAC converts digital signal to analog and the Minidsp converts the analog signal internally and then converts back to analog again. By changing the quality of the DAC in the set-up also changes the output audio quality. That's to be expected.

New Set-up
It has an advantage of purely digital outputs all the way till the audio signal is converted back to analog via the DAC 1 & 2.
Questions:

a. Will this configuration work? I don't have to use Mclk, why?
b. If it works has anyone use this configuration, if so do you experienced improvement in sound quality?

Any suggestions for improvements of the new set-up are welcomed e.g. using other convertors like Minisharc or Nanodigi.
Thanks.
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File Type: jpg MiniDSP_setup.jpg (294.5 KB, 187 views)
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Old 14th March 2017, 03:40 PM   #2
Davey is offline Davey  United States
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I don't see any reason why your proposed configuration won't work. In fact, it's exactly the type of configuration the miniSHARC boards were designed for. MCLK is not required when using the Curryman boards since they incorporate their own clock.
Whether or not removing the "extra" DAC/ADC conversions will improve the sound quality is a question mark.

If interested in a two-way system, you might consider the miniDSP 2x4HD unit, as it would incorporate everything but the amplifiers/speakers into one unit.

Dave.
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Old 14th March 2017, 10:34 PM   #3
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davey View Post
I don't see any reason why your proposed configuration won't work. In fact, it's exactly the type of configuration the miniSHARC boards were designed for. MCLK is not required when using the Curryman boards since they incorporate their own clock.
Whether or not removing the "extra" DAC/ADC conversions will improve the sound quality is a question mark.

If interested in a two-way system, you might consider the miniDSP 2x4HD unit, as it would incorporate everything but the amplifiers/speakers into one unit.

Dave.
Thanks for your response, the attractive feature of the using the new setup is it uses a digital chain throughout and furthermore using High Quality USB to I2S adapter and output DACs will further improve the sound quality. Also the new setup avoid using the ADC and DAC sections internal to the MiniDSP.
The MiniDspHD utilises its own internal USB(XMos) adapter and internal DAcs and I don't think they are comparable in quality to many external commercial units now available.

Last edited by ttan98; 14th March 2017 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 15th March 2017, 05:00 PM   #4
Davey is offline Davey  United States
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Well, you seem to have had the answers to your questions before you asked them.

I think your project sounds fine. I2S lines should be kept fairly short and you should have no problems.

Dave.
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Old 31st March 2017, 08:40 PM   #5
Gusser is offline Gusser  United States
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Just remember the MiniDSP I2S lines are 3.3v. Driving into 5V devices will require a voltage conversion IC.

But I see and easier approach. Why not run SPDIF into your MiniDSP and take the analog out from that. Unless you want a different DAC that MiniDSP uses on board, a standard MiniDSP 2x4 unit is basically the same thing as a MiniSharc and two DAC boards.

You can get USB to SPDIF converters for under $25. And as it's just a data protocol converter, there really isn't any audio quality differences between vendors. Don't be fooled by these $900+ units.

https://www.amazon.com/Signstek-Coax.../dp/B00FEDHHKE

Last edited by Gusser; 31st March 2017 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 10th July 2017, 03:03 PM   #6
triode_al is offline triode_al  Netherlands
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Nice schema. How does the I2S output work? I found no clear explanation in the manual.
I expect the usb is used to a computer so the same usb cannot be used to stream; alternatively, what other solution exists to stream to the minidsp?

This is along the line of my own query (to which dave answered)
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Last edited by triode_al; 10th July 2017 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 10th July 2017, 10:04 PM   #7
Gusser is offline Gusser  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by triode_al View Post
Nice schema. How does the I2S output work? I found no clear explanation in the manual.
I expect the usb is used to a computer so the same usb cannot be used to stream; alternatively, what other solution exists to stream to the minidsp?

This is along the line of my own query (to which dave answered)
The point is you do not need to deal with I2S. The MiniDSP has SPDIF inputs. That converter I referenced converts USB audio to SPDIF. Just take the SPDIF and feed it to the MiniDSP card SPDIF input.
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Old 11th July 2017, 09:14 AM   #8
triode_al is offline triode_al  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusser View Post
The point is you do not need to deal with I2S. The MiniDSP has SPDIF inputs. That converter I referenced converts USB audio to SPDIF. Just take the SPDIF and feed it to the MiniDSP card SPDIF input.
Sorry, I understand now I am looking at the wrong product if I want to keep my own DAC - A PCM1702 and a TDA1541 - for output. The diagram #2 above just put me off-track.
If I would not have invested in these DACs I would quickly go for this product or a larger one.
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