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Old 5th February 2015, 09:07 PM   #1
djn is offline djn  United States
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Default Any tube guys here use a MiniDSP

I have a long list of DIY audio projects I can finally get to and one of them is a Steve Bench three way tube crossover in a Steam Punk motif. That one is way down there so in the mean time I was thinking about using two 2X4 MiniDSPs for active crossover.

Anybody here use them? What do you think?
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Old 5th February 2015, 10:15 PM   #2
rhone is offline rhone  Australia
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I use a 2x4 MiniDSP to run an active subwoofer, the rest of my system is DIY tubes.
IMO integrating MiniDSP into a tube-based system is frustrating and problematic for two basic reasons.
The input impedance is much lower than us tube guys are used to. The 2x4 unit I use has 9k input Z. If you want to maintain a nice high Z ratio between source and MiniDSP then you're looking at 500ohms or less, ideally less than 100 ohms. So no anode follower pre-amps.
The other big issue is gain. The great thing about MiniDSP is the ease of applying EQ, it really is DSP for the masses. But you have to have lots of gain available to allow for the cut and boost without clipping. So no two-stage low-gain power amps.
I run my MiniDSP from the power-amp speaker output to get around these issues.
Yes, you could construct an all tube active MiniDSP system but it is difficult to integrate it into an existing tube set-up. As I have found!
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Old 5th February 2015, 10:44 PM   #3
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In my setup, the miniDSP works quite well.

The chain:

Source(s)--> SS pre-amp--> miniDSP --> 250Hz-20kHz--> 25wpc EL34 PP tubes--> 6" fullrange
.................................................. .--> 20Hz-250Hz--> 100wpc class D--> 12" woofers

Sources are a DIY DAC and a Technics SL10

The tube amp has just enough gain for "loud enough" listening just before my pre-amp pushes the miniDSP into clipping. It just worked out that way.

A lower powered tube power amp might not be enough.

Last edited by cogitech; 5th February 2015 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 6th February 2015, 11:43 AM   #4
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I briefly tried a 2x4 miniDSP/miniDIGI combo with an EL84 SE. Source was a HTPC with usb to S/PDIF converter. The miniDSP stack was used to cross subs/mb/mf, mf/hf crossed passively. EL84 drove mf/hf (JBL 2446/2405) from 500 Hz up. No problems driving to 90+ dB at 20 ft, even in triode mode. I beleive we only leveled the mf down, no EQ other than a bump filter for the subs. Sounded quite good as I recall.
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