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

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Old 18th July 2017, 08:03 PM   #1
retearl is offline retearl  United States
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Default MiniDSP or something better...

I use miniDSP 2x4 and really like it. It's robust and pretty capable. I'm convinced that DSP & separate amps for active speakers provide clarity beyond any passive crossovers. Since the miniDSP has been out for years, I do wonder if there have been advancements that can audibly improve what I have & enjoy now. I'm aware of 2x4 HD, but I recently became aware of a company called
Analog Precision who is introducing what looks amazingly capable and advanced.

Any thoughts about this or other offerings?
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Old 10th September 2017, 11:25 PM   #2
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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I was using the Older MiniDSP 2*4 for many years and recently, ie a few weeks(still testing it) ago bought the newer 2*4HD and found it to sound superior to the older model(no illusion/imagined) really. The new model costs more than twice the older model but it has 2 more important features, a) USB input to accept music stream from PC and b) FIR for correcting phase response. If you have money it is worth an upgrade, also more self learning is required on how phase response works and implement ie how to correct it, also learning how to use new software packages like Rephase and REW.

This thread prompts me to buy the HD model:
Just read the 1st post, be aware Fjhuerta has many years of experience designing and building speakers.
The new MiniDSP 2x4HD has made all my skills obsolete. How about yours? - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum

I also found the support on this product is not really responsive(you need to wait for your queries sometimes a few days) so your self learning/studying and problem solving is a prerequisite.
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Old 11th September 2017, 01:43 AM   #3
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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You can forget about most all hardware (except DACs) and go with a software approach using a low cost linux SBC. I did this a few years ago after becoming dissatisfied with the capabilities of the miniDSP lineup, and have never looked back. Basically you need some hardware to get audio in and out, and the rest (the DSP processing cum crossover part) is done in software on the SBC. The nice thing about this approach is that it is portable/upgradable. You can change the DAC(s) when better ones become available, or move the whole system to a new SBC system, etc. The software runs under standard linux programs and is completely portable and largely open source.

Since you seem to know of PE TT, here is a link to a member who is taking this approach with his system:
No Sawdust, but Metal Shavings - Techtalk Speaker Building, Audio, Video Discussion Forum
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Last edited by CharlieLaub; 11th September 2017 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 21st January 2018, 08:00 PM   #4
dtaylo3 is online now dtaylo3  United States
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Charlie: Can an non-computer/software person get such a system up and running? I can build DIY electronics just fine, so long as I have a good road map. I have built amps and pieced together PCs. But I have no experience with LINUX. Do you need a sound card with the SBC to make this work? I like Tinker Board and had no problem setting up Volumio on my TB. What speaker measurement package do you use? Thanks.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 01:45 PM   #5
Rokytheman is offline Rokytheman  Denmark
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Also have a look at the Open DRC-DA8.

On paper using a PC+ USB soundcard is superior - But is is TRICKY to get it working properly. If you want to safe yourself for a possible long headache, my advice is not to go that route.

I bought an Open DRC-DA recently and I am very happy with it. It performs really well and can be controlled with a volume control or on the front.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 01:51 PM   #6
katariat is offline katariat  United States
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Couple of points based on my experience and understanding

a) mini dsp 2x4 is really not ideal for speakers. You can use that for sub integration etc but for you main speakers i would not touch it with a 10ft pole if you consider yourself an audiophile remotely. the Minidsp doesn't even cut close to anything i would consider average and i have done A/B testing to validate that. There is significant drop in fidelity in both the low and the high frequency spectrum. The bass is light and the treble just gets killed. This is because the mini dsp 2x4 is taking your analog and converting it into digital and then reconverting it back to analog. Needless to say their conversions kills it applicability for a speaker cross over for me and i as i said it would probably only use it for a sub woofer etc. If you have to use the mini dsp stick with the mini dsp HD. It takes the digital signal as an input and avoids all the necessary conversions. If you want more than 4 outputs then you have to upgrade it their 4x10H which is 599.

b) I was in the same boat that i was convinced that an active cross over is the way to go but wanted to keep the costs in check. I found another option that has really worked very well for me. I use the software called EKIO (EKIO) along with a creative sound card which i bought used on ebay. For $50 (card) + free software (upto 4 outputs) plus a computer i was able to replicate an active cross over. If you have to go the unlimited output route then EKIO costs 149, which is worth every penny if this route suits you.

c) i would explore the raspberry pi option that CharlieLaub mentioned. i am also interested in that as it provides a small print but my challenge was that i am not very knowledgeable on linux/ pi.

best of luck and please do you share what you land on

Last edited by katariat; 22nd January 2018 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 22nd January 2018, 02:11 PM   #7
Davey is online now Davey  United States
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FYI, there's a new miniDSP unit in the works that addresses some of the issues users have had with parts (quality) selection, user-friendliness, front-panel controls, etc, etc.

Dave.
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Old 26th January 2018, 12:01 PM   #8
pos is offline pos  Europe
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Hello Dave,
Interesting! Any info or link you can share?
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Old 26th January 2018, 12:35 PM   #9
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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MiniDSP or something better...
Interesting thread. What I like about the 4x10HD I have is that it gives upgrade options. If like Katariat you are convinced you have a sonic limitation (which the measurements suggest the HD doesn't) You can add your own ADC up front and your own DAC after.

My issues with it are
1. Not enough inputs. I have 3 digital sources, going to 4 in the future and you only get 3 so will need an external switcher
2. Not enough presets. I'm an edge case with wanting to do RIAA digitally off LP and I also want a centre channel mode for watching films. If I want to use an analog input I lose a preset for that.
3. Some odd filtering is hard to do.

But I don't want to have to have a PC connected all the time to play music so on balance it's close enough and the limitations can be worked around as it does 90% of what is needed and the other 10% is mainly audiophile goofing around
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Old 26th January 2018, 02:31 PM   #10
Davey is online now Davey  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pos View Post
Hello Dave,
Interesting! Any info or link you can share?
Not yet. I've just seen a single photo and some preliminary information.

They're working at it, but miniDSP's product focus is still not correct, IMO. I think they have too many products, and should probably reduce that number and concentrate more on optimizing the ones that remain. The Dirac products are a confusing/expensive option as well.

There's a certain percentage of customers that will never be satisfied though. "My application NEEDS 200,000 tap digital filters. Why can't you guys build that?"

That said, there are existing, potent products that have a lot of value for us in the DIY world.

We'll see.

Dave.
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