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PC Based Computer music servers, crossovers, and equalization

which dsp?
which dsp?
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Old 19th March 2017, 01:43 PM   #1
silvershadelynx is offline silvershadelynx  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Default which dsp?

Hi,

I'm searching for a digital crossover and I'm considering a MiniDSP 2x4 HD. But I've tried a computer based DSP (Equalizer APO on Windows) and recently I've looked into brutefir for Linux.

I'm still not sure what to choose: the MiniDSP has a small form factor compared to my pc, but I'm not sure if it will add any functionality compared to the pc solution? And how about sound quality of the MiniDSP HD (DA converter), how would that compare to an average onboard pc soundcard?

Regards

Last edited by silvershadelynx; 19th March 2017 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 19th March 2017, 04:03 PM   #2
Crashpc is offline Crashpc  Czech Republic
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Hey.
What is the rest of your audio chain?

MiniDSP has this advantage that it runs on stereo input, and doesnīt need PC to do its function. That is very usable for oustide work if you donīt use PC for what you play.
Once you donīt need that, or always have your PC with you as an audio source, then MiniDSP will be redundant for you.

Average onboard PC soundcard has very broad range of what it can be. It can be very respectable piece of HW, good enaugh for you, and it can be trash. It greatly depends. There is quite easy way to find out. Either RMAA or Arta will measure that for you. RMAA is user friendly.
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Old 19th March 2017, 09:36 PM   #3
torgeirs is offline torgeirs  Norway
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Equalizer APO can also be run on very cheap Intel Atom noiseless PC and a OTG powered USB hub . Then you can put the money on the usb soundcard of your choice.

Then again MiniDSP is as easy as it gets...
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Old 20th March 2017, 07:32 AM   #4
Loafmeat is offline Loafmeat  Germany
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Hello,

so here a solution. It is with LINUX but not so complicate with scripts - it is with a GUI.

X-over realized by Laptop, Open Source and 7.1 AV Receiver over Display Port / HDMI

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AnKX4vLSHn4Nh5ty6YD-Ge9iJbJ8qA

It is working with HDMI and/or 7.1 (5.1) sound card.

DSP is done by the PC (Linux).

And with HDMI and AVR you use the (i hope) high Quality DAC of the AVR.

regards
Guenter
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:22 PM   #5
silvershadelynx is offline silvershadelynx  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashpc View Post
Hey.
What is the rest of your audio chain?

MiniDSP has this advantage that it runs on stereo input, and doesnīt need PC to do its function. That is very usable for oustide work if you donīt use PC for what you play.
Once you donīt need that, or always have your PC with you as an audio source, then MiniDSP will be redundant for you.

Average onboard PC soundcard has very broad range of what it can be. It can be very respectable piece of HW, good enaugh for you, and it can be trash. It greatly depends. There is quite easy way to find out. Either RMAA or Arta will measure that for you. RMAA is user friendly.
Hi Crashpc,

thanks for your reply. I would like to stream the audio to the DSP. That way it feels redundant to use the MiniDSP, like you wrote.

My preferred setup is using a raspberry pc that runs Spotify for streaming music. I have a set of DIY electrostatic loudspeakers with two woofers. (2-way setup).

I tried my Windows 10 pc with DSP software and that worked very well. But this system is rahter big (dimensions). And I prefer to play music from a Linux machine rather than a Windows machine.

So I have serveral options, but I find it hard to choose. At the moment I prefer the MiniDSP 2x4HD option, the only possible future drawback is the limited amount of outputs (4): if I want to build a 3 or 4 way loudspeaker system in future, a pc with appriopiate soundcard would be better...

Last edited by silvershadelynx; 20th March 2017 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:23 PM   #6
silvershadelynx is offline silvershadelynx  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torgeirs View Post
Equalizer APO can also be run on very cheap Intel Atom noiseless PC and a OTG powered USB hub . Then you can put the money on the usb soundcard of your choice.

Then again MiniDSP is as easy as it gets...
That sounds like a good alternative to the MiniDSP to me.
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:24 PM   #7
silvershadelynx is offline silvershadelynx  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loafmeat View Post
Hello,

so here a solution. It is with LINUX but not so complicate with scripts - it is with a GUI.

X-over realized by Laptop, Open Source and 7.1 AV Receiver over Display Port / HDMI

https://1drv.ms/b/s!AnKX4vLSHn4Nh5ty6YD-Ge9iJbJ8qA

It is working with HDMI and/or 7.1 (5.1) sound card.

DSP is done by the PC (Linux).

And with HDMI and AVR you use the (i hope) high Quality DAC of the AVR.

regards
Guenter
Hi, thanks for your suggestion, I will have a look into your docuement
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Old 20th March 2017, 06:36 PM   #8
Crashpc is offline Crashpc  Czech Republic
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Join Date: Nov 2008
silvershadelynx: Once you drop out of M$, it gets hard.
That way MiniDSP is significantly easier way to solve things. :-)
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Old 22nd March 2017, 12:48 PM   #9
1201 is offline 1201  United States
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ive had two minidsp 2x4 hds and now I use a pc based solution that was about the same cost (maybe a little more for the pc solution and brutefir)

but please realize that the hd only has 2042 taps per chanel at 96khz, equivalent to 1021 taps at 48khz. this is not really enough to do linear crossovers, especially at the lower end of the frequency scale.

the other thing I prefer about pc based is that you don't have to be physically connected to the unit to program it. you can program it and make changes via wifi.
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Old 22nd March 2017, 05:20 PM   #10
silvershadelynx is offline silvershadelynx  Netherlands
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Join Date: Jul 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1201 View Post
ive had two minidsp 2x4 hds and now I use a pc based solution that was about the same cost (maybe a little more for the pc solution and brutefir)

but please realize that the hd only has 2042 taps per chanel at 96khz, equivalent to 1021 taps at 48khz. this is not really enough to do linear crossovers, especially at the lower end of the frequency scale.

the other thing I prefer about pc based is that you don't have to be physically connected to the unit to program it. you can program it and make changes via wifi.
Hi thanks for your message, it seems that apart from ease of use and the nice small form factor there are not really any big advantages for the MiniDSP 2x4HD compared to the (diy) pc solution.

To be honest, it doesn't help that the MiniDSP team is not planning to support Linux. It's interface is flash based and personally I don't really like that as I'm not sure if this is still supported after lets say 5 years. (although maybe I have a completely different setup at that time).

Right now I'm testing with an old pc of mine that is running Windows Vista + Equalizer APO + Peace Equalizer. I'm trying to get some old soundcards running. I will update my progress in this topic.
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