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Old 1st October 2013, 01:30 PM   #1
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Default Xover with software : async DSP or Sync PC

Hi, I repost here a thread posted in digital line section, cause here seems a better place.

I have the project to go with Xover but with shareware plug in, like JRiver, Rephase... to work for my futur DIY planar (ESL or Magneplanar...hesitate)

My understanding is that there are two ways :

- One I call Asynchrone : I use a DSP which run the data in a separate box near the electronic rack : amps, sources... Acquisition measure are traken with a laptop with a micro and you load after your set up work on the DSP box whic ran the Software Xover in a plug in made for the DSP : the software and the setup are maid before on the Laptop.

One I call Synchrone : The measure acquisition, XoverSoftware, soundcard and In for datas (the stream or the music library) are in a PC, most of the time fanless and big enough to powersupply a good souncard: so PCI rather han miniPCI.

I don't believe in analog out with pci soundcard but see that some brand make good second box (sound card > numeric stream > second box with D/A and "good" analog stages for the amps before the sperakers' drivers.

I have some questions please for the ones who tried this way :

Am i right with above ?

As I have already squeezebox for digital library on a upnp server and Duett streamers with spdif output for dacs :

Is there soundcards or second/standalone box with spdif In and Sync or Async for the digital Xover and/or rooms treatments ?

I don't want to have all the time a laptop to play with my librairy but can have a little computer or a standalone professional converter near the amps. The laptop is in my mind to set up with the micro acquisition. The library has always its server and TCIP or wifi communication for the stremings flux with the Duett. So I talk only for xover, room correction.

My first hope is to have analog output to go with multiamp like hypex or else. Don't know if there are full digital crossover to go with multiple powerdac for drivers.

i understand that th volume and library management is one of the problem... but i have squeezebox Duett and want to go with Free for soft in speakers and rooms management.

DLCP is expensive for me and not very open, MiniDSP in three ways are expensive : both are async (I prefer) but not really open, MiniDsp seems better as i can understand with a light view. Any good 3 ways speakers PCI soundcard and/or second box with spdif In for my squeezebox ?

Thank you to add to my thoughs, I'm beginner here but have a good understanding with computers technology as IT... but never really mix my hobby with that...

My final understanding is asynch is better for noise and some soundcard have noise problem to be serious xover interface (better standalone box maid for noise issue (buffers, transformers, async interfaces, DSP load for FIR IIR)

Can we hope something cheaper without loose audioquality in regard to the final price ? PC is cheaper or more expensive but with more possibilities with the excellent shareware or opensource software (EasySound, rePhase, J-river)...what about hardware Interface and quality of interconnect with pc soundcards (microphonie).

Is there someting like that : DSP : AD/DA with sabre or equivalent quality for separate the chanels (Xover) and apply IIR or FIR equalization ?

sorry to be long here and thank you to read it, it's a little bit confuse in my mind. Audio quality is the first factor but TCO (Total Cost Ownership) is second (less than 800 euros/dollars). I have just a ECM 8000, no usb/phantom interface yet : i'm at the beginning.

thank you for yours answers, the thread is totally open to make the OP's original question...smarter.

Eldam
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Old 2nd October 2013, 02:36 AM   #2
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Eldam, I've gone a somewhat different route. My system is all on one PC, running MPD, Alsa, etc. I had some issues setting it up, but I'm very happy with the sound, better in this forum.
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Old 2nd October 2013, 12:56 PM   #3
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Hi JPlesset,

thank you for your answer you save me from the shame...my questions have not a lot of sucess !

If I have a lot of money I will go to buy Trinov which is a computer audiophile boxed with audiophile DAC outputs.

I saw Minidsp support rePhase, but don't understand if the DSP is enough powerfull. Don't understand with Minidsp if i can take measurement without their USB Micro but with a Laptop and send result targets on the DSP ? MiniDigi+MiniDSP are pleasent but two ways for xover : more is more expensive !

I never can't understand if it's possible to have digital volume management with the streamer like in my squeezeboxDuett before the D/A of a DSP/DAC unit for the Xover and room correction ? i read volume management is better in the final DACs!!!!

Last point : all these computers based solution or Pro Boxes don't have the possibility of the tunning outstages we like to aplly here...but if you put all the audiophile DAC in one box needed to manage the multiway xover before the amps and the speakers' drivers. Out connectic of PCI card seem poor in term of audiophony, noise...

good solution seem to go towards full digital with powerDAC... but best amps are not full digital like the Ncore which is analog (it's not a powerdac).

Hypex seems take care of sound with DLCP but my understanding is it has not all the possibilities of a strong PC conf (FIR+IIR...) and expensive with all the necessary refinements : preamp, remote controle : the price of a all in one with box but without the box, guaranty, powersupply...(maybe not chinese maid explain the price ?)

I believe in open world & shareware when we talk about softwares (Rephase, REW, J River, ... and want to go in a solution with free choice but with no loss of hardware quality (DAC, outputsatges....).

Sync (PC+ DAC) or Async (DSP+DAC) ?

I believe more and more that a solution like the DSP SHARC (I2S output) of MINIdsp and a I2S In a separate DAC for Xover is a solution : not the easiest in hardware management but the best for hardwarequality with DIY and cost management ? Am I right ?

So it will look like that : squeezebox Duett (library management & digital volume) with Spdif out -> SpdiF/I2S asynchrone interface -> DSP Sharc with I2S multiway outputs (3+3 for stereo 3 ways Xover) -> D/A DAC box with I2S IN : one Multichanal DAC like Sabre or multiple DAC chips and audiophile analog outputstages (powerdac are not really musicals for the moment...try one chinese one, no expensive but poor sound).

In this solution it's for me Asynchrone : measurement is taken with another software than the plug in in the DSP, for example with RePhase or Rew in a laptop with a micro : and we send the result target curve on the DSP : we can't listen result in direct like systems with firewire between PC and Xover when we seeting up the EQ...

For the last stage : DIY multiDAC or Pro Box seems better than all in one PCI soundcards when talking about analog out!
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Old 2nd October 2013, 03:21 PM   #4
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Hello, again...

You always have choice. My choices were governed by several factors, including:

1. Wife acceptance factor, including: A. No money spent, B. Minimal visual footprint, C. Minimal downtime.

2. On-hand equipment: Old PC with Turtle Beach Montego DDL sound card.

3. Unix experience.

By mixing the above, I followed the steps in this posting: Digital Crossover/EQ with Open-Source Software: HOWTO | Richard's Stuff

There are a quite broad selection of good quality sound cards (5.1, and 7.1) available that will work with the software, including external USB selections. I see quite a conversation about optimizing a Xonar card in this forum, too. That may be of interest. Since the software noted has little impact on the PC, there's really no need to build an "audiophile" computer, unless you enjoy spending extra. My system sounds better than it ever has, no audible noise in the speakers, and much more convenient to select music.

The calculations for the crossover are done with high precision, and there are a broad variety of plugin filter types available, including phase correcting types...

Good luck!
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Old 2nd October 2013, 03:39 PM   #5
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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thank you,

yes seen that link on the linkwitz web site.

I don't think that architecture is a small part... but good if a simple card is enough. As I have already a music server my hope is just xover and room correction.
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Old 8th October 2013, 11:55 AM   #6
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You could buy a few sound cards install them in your music server and run vsthost on it to implement the xover... All works on a windows pc
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Old 13th October 2013, 08:48 PM   #7
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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The only way seem to have a sound card with numeric In & Out because the weak link is DAC. How to make a Dac for dig to Analog Out : IIS ?

IIS/ESS SABRE ? Problem of clock & ground between sound card and DIY multiDAC ?
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Old 14th October 2013, 02:26 PM   #8
Wungun is offline Wungun  Canada
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Default Xover with software : async DSP or Sync PC

Here is the setup I ran in my car...it might give you a few ideas...

Click the image to open in full size.

I ran two Xonar's analog out...it was a 3-way active crossover VST (LSFilter...the best if you can find it). Since I had 4X 2-ways plus sub, I needed two soundcards. The way I had it configured, was all left channel audio was low pass, all right channel, high pass. Sub-out had its own jack. This ran into Audiomulch to do the patching, run the x-over, delay and "room convulsion" correction.
However, with J. River, you can probably do all of this without Audiomulch.

Here is the convulsion pics...

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

You could also create a convulsion for x-over, delay, correction in a wav file and run it in Pristine Space VST.

Click the image to open in full size.


Sent from my iPhone...
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Old 14th October 2013, 10:56 PM   #9
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Yes I think JRiver or rephase are great softs for that and it's a very good idea to make EQ in a car.

My feeling is the soundcards are not at the same level for D/A conversion than hifi one cause of the output stage and all the subtilities we fight against (look at digital line forum). Am I wrong or Have I to go with products like miniDSP, tweak with IIS or do the D/A with external converter (all the digital crossover and eq maid with the DSP of the soundcards) ?

I can hear with my speakers (not the futur ones) all the subtle move with electronics... That's why I think it's not only a soft choice...hardware and architecture count. maybe I'm wrong ? I don't want move for worse or just enjoyment with soft if the hardware side waste it.

that's the sense of my question but has no experience with soft sound correction. Just tweaked amp and digital sources
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Old 15th October 2013, 12:41 AM   #10
Wungun is offline Wungun  Canada
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Look at the Xonar Essense ST threads in the forum to see just what can be done with PC audio.


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