Tutorial: Dual sub integration using the MiniDSP - Page 11 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #301 of 315 Old 01-27-2016, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Why not just turn down the gain on the subs?
Course I tried it
Balancing gain on 8 subs is neigh on impossible, they all end up nearly on their stops with hardly any "output" and IMO give a poor calibration.
It seems that using the miniDSP and neutros guide might be a better solution.
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post #302 of 315 Old 01-27-2016, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim1290 View Post
How about use Audyssey from the AVR to do equalizing, filtering, level adjustment?
Is MiniDSP does a better job other than Audyssey?
I am not properly educated with these HT stuff, so please keep teach me.
Audyssey generally does an awesome job of equalizing to a flat response and adjusting the levels. The MiniDSP doesn't take measurement so it cannot do Audyssey's job. To do that you have to get a calibrated mic and recording software. Once you have measurements, you can use the MiniDSP to dial in an EQ curve. So it's a lot more job, but once it's done, you can let the MiniDSP EQ your sub response. This is especially useful for receivers that do not EQ the sub channel (or doesn't EQ it proplerly). As I alluded to before, you can also use the MiniDSP after EQing using Audyssey for reaching a non-flat response of your liking.

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Originally Posted by gogothedodo View Post
I am using a PA-amp for my DIY subwoofers. Should I not apply a high pass filter in the Crossover block to protect my drivers..?
If your sub amp doesn't have any low-end protection built-in (limiter or high-pass filter) already, then I guess it should be a very good idea to use a high-pass filter. However, I'm not sure from memory what is the lowest frequency possible for the cut-off. The MiniDSP filter response may eat into your low-end if the cut-off is not low enough and/or the roll-off too shallow.

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Originally Posted by Lesmor View Post
My solution was to buy 2 x -10db attenuators fitted into the sub inputs but this resulted in levels too low for Audyssey, even -6 db caused problems.

Your application of the miniDSP looks like the ideal solution to my gain problem with the added benefit of perhaps using EQ
The MiniDSP sure is more expensive than a couple attenuators, but yes it can cut -10 dB off your signal and add EQ capabilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Why not just turn down the gain on the subs?
It's just that SVS (and Ken Kreisel apparently) said that the peak performances for the sub can be reached with the amp set to the max setting (no attenuation), which is the default setting now also. Note that it's not the amp gain per se -- the amp is digital, and the setting controls input attenuation as far as I can tell. Well, I have no idea if attenuating the signal prior to the sub ruins the peak performance thing, but in a small room with plenty of subwoofage, the problem is that you can't keep the sub amp set to max, then attenuate the sub signal and reach the levels Audyssey want using only the AVR. The MiniDSP then constitute a handy variable attenuator in this case.


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Two schools of thought on this;
  • EQ pre-Audyssey to present Audyssey with the flattest response possible requiring Audyssey to do less work - this usually is the best method if you are aiming for a flat bass response and you have very large peaks that Audyssey is having trouble dealing with.
  • EQ post-Audyssey is usually the best method if Audyssey is giving you a fairly flat response on it's own and you would like to "un-flatten" the response to your preference (i.e. adding a house curve, mid-bass bump, increase in ULF, etc.).
... Exactly!
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Last edited by neutro; 01-27-2016 at 12:56 PM.
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post #303 of 315 Old 01-27-2016, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
The MiniDSP sure is more expensive than a couple attenuators, but yes it can cut -10 dB off your signal and add EQ capabilities.



It's just that SVS (and Ken Kreisel apparently) said that the peak performances for the sub can be reached with the amp set to the max setting (no attenuation), which is the default setting now also. Note that it's not the amp gain per se -- the amp is digital, and the setting controls input attenuation as far as I can tell. Well, I have no idea if attenuating the signal prior to the sub ruins the peak performance thing, but in a small room with plenty of subwoofage, the problem is that you can't keep the sub amp set to max, then attenuate the sub signal and reach the levels Audyssey want using only the AVR. The MiniDSP then constitute a handy variable attenuator in this case.
Actually the mini DSP is not that much more expensive than the $61.00 cost of 2x different sized attenuators.

One Ken Kreisel DXD-808 on reference will give 75db but once stacked as a Quattro and room gain is added the level is way too high for Audyssey
Even adding -6db attenuators on both stacks still results in -12.0 db maxed out AVR trims
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post #304 of 315 Old 01-27-2016, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesmor View Post
Actually the mini DSP is not that much more expensive than the $61.00 cost of 2x different sized attenuators.

One Ken Kreisel DXD-808 on reference will give 75db but once stacked as a Quattro and room gain is added the level is way too high for Audyssey
Even adding -6db attenuators on both stacks still results in -12.0 db maxed out AVR trims
Lesmor,

I'm using the miniDSP (10x10HD) as both an attenuator and active crossover management with the satellites and mid-bass modules with satisfactory results.

This is in preparation to implementing Dirac Live via the DDRC-88A where it's important to get the speakers and subs around the same dB so that the mixed phase filters can be fully taken advantage of.
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post #305 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
Audyssey generally does an awesome job of equalizing to a flat response and adjusting the levels. The MiniDSP doesn't take measurement so it cannot do Audyssey's job. To do that you have to get a calibrated mic and recording software. Once you have measurements, you can use the MiniDSP to dial in an EQ curve. So it's a lot more job, but once it's done, you can let the MiniDSP EQ your sub response. This is especially useful for receivers that do not EQ the sub channel (or doesn't EQ it proplerly). As I alluded to before, you can also use the MiniDSP after EQing using Audyssey for reaching a non-flat response of your liking.
Thank you very much!
Your explanation is easy to understand.
And so, I guess I need THIS? as it included a calibrated mic and recording software.
Hopefully it's not too difficult to learn and to get the job done. Thanks again!
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post #306 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jim1290 View Post
And so, I guess I need THIS? as it included a calibrated mic and recording software.
I am not familiar with this product at all, but as far as I can tell, it will replace Audyssey completely with the Dirac room correction algorithm. It's not only for the sub, but instead for your whole 7.1 setup (hence why it's 8x8). It will take automated measurement and build the appropriate correction.

To use this product, you must have an AVR or pre-pro with pre-amplified outputs and separate amps. The DDRC-88A sits between the AVR/pre-pro and the amps. If all you want is try and equalize your sub channel, this is massively overkill.

Audyssey does EQ the sub channel; if you want to take measurements and tweak further, the least expensive options are probably a calibrated USB mic such as the Umik-1 by MiniDSP, and the free Room EQ Wizard (aka "REW") software that can be found on HomeTheaterShack. I'll let you research REW on your own; it has monster threads on AVSForums and lots of people that can help you with it much better than I can.

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post #307 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 06:46 AM
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Well I had been looking at the DDRC-88A thread but got totally confused as to if it did exactly the same as the miniDSP as documented by neutro wrt. level adjustment.

If it did I could have used it to calibrate 5 of my speakers as I only have a 5 channel power amp that would leave 8 un-calibrated

I was also shocked with the issues being highlighted in the DDRC-88A thread it looks to me like a lot of people are paying big bucks to be BETA testers.
With all the cautions and warnings its not for me as I want plug and play.

So think I'll stick with Audyssey but maybe get a mini DSP for gain balancing my subs.
Would I also need a Umic-1 and a plug in to do that?
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post #308 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lesmor View Post

So think I'll stick with Audyssey but maybe get a mini DSP for gain balancing my subs.
Would I also need a Umic-1 and a plug in to do that?
I can't really comment on the DDRC-88A and its level of readiness; however there is a certain appeal in being able to run DiracLive on 8 channels. One of the limitation of using a MiniDSP for the sub channel only is that it can only affect frequencies below the crossover. It's great to be able to bump the very low end, but when crafting a mid-bass hump for example to get more of that club chest thump, you can't touch the crossover region and above. In theory it could would work well with the DDRC-88A.

If you only want th gain balance the sub (and add a bit of shape to the sub channel response), you don't necessarily the UMIK-1: you can work with a sonometer such as RadioShack's, or you can adjust it at the beginning of the Audyssey routine when sub level is displayed. However if you have 8 subs and want to measure their levels individually, having a UMIK-1 wouldn't hurt. It's not terribly expensive and it's a very useful tool to have in a HT setup. Note that the UMIK-1 is not the only calibrated mic out there, but it works just fine in my experience and is one of the cheapest available.

You always need at least one plugin to use a MiniDSP however; the plugin installs the firmware that runs on the unit, and without a plugin, the MiniDSP does nothing.
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post #309 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
I can't really comment on the DDRC-88A and its level of readiness; however there is a certain appeal in being able to run DiracLive on 8 channels. One of the limitation of using a MiniDSP for the sub channel only is that it can only affect frequencies below the crossover. It's great to be able to bump the very low end, but when crafting a mid-bass hump for example to get more of that club chest thump, you can't touch the crossover region and above. In theory it could would work well with the DDRC-88A.

If you only want th gain balance the sub (and add a bit of shape to the sub channel response), you don't necessarily the UMIK-1: you can work with a sonometer such as RadioShack's, or you can adjust it at the beginning of the Audyssey routine when sub level is displayed. However if you have 8 subs and want to measure their levels individually, having a UMIK-1 wouldn't hurt. It's not terribly expensive and it's a very useful tool to have in a HT setup. Note that the UMIK-1 is not the only calibrated mic out there, but it works just fine in my experience and is one of the cheapest available.

You always need at least one plugin to use a MiniDSP however; the plugin installs the firmware that runs on the unit, and without a plugin, the MiniDSP does nothing.
Thanks neutro excellent stuff

First off, no question DDRC-88A Dirac live would be awesome but not with the catalogue of issues presented on the thread.
You should not live in fear of blowing drivers or tweeters or doing something that will damage your system due to an incorrect setting.

Thanks for confirming that I wouldn't need the Umic-1

I have a SPL meter and a XTZ Room Analyser Pro which I use to check calibrations.
The Audyssey pre cal level check is all I am looking to improve on so looks like the miniDSP is all I would need.

Post #1 it has been a great help to me.
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post #310 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for pointing out the existence of a DDRC-88A thread -- I seldom have the time to visit threads other than my subscription and this should be interesting. Not that I'm a prospective buyer (I'd need better financing options as I would need amps as well!) but I find the concept interesting. I am sorry if users blew up their gear with signals generated with the unit. But in general MiniDSP strikes me as a very innovative company in a field with very conservative players who only produce 2-3 types of product (AVR, pre-pros, amps), whereas it could be so different.

Anyways, to be clear: the UMIK cannot even be connected to the MiniDSP so it's just a USB mic that is usable with a computer and well-integrated with REW. If you have SPL meters and XTZ RAP, you sure don't need a UMIK for adjusting the gains on your subs.

If I had to list the things I dislike about the MiniDSP (a "cons" column so to speak), there wouldn't be much to say. The power supply side is a bit weird: you can power it via USB (e.g. with a phone charger), but you have to use the same port for syncing with the plugin, so it then means powering the unit off and on again. This is instant, but you typically do that when you want to change a parameter. One of the great things with the MiniDSP is that you can do it live and immediately hear the effect of the parameter change (e.g. filter cutoff or gain). So if your setup is on and you cycle the power by disconnecting and reconnecting the MiniDSP, you can have a surprise (thumps on the subs, etc.). You can also use a wall wart type power supply, but it is *not included*, and you have to strip wires and connect it to a connector block, remembering that if you swap the wires or used the wrong wall wart, you may fry the unit.

The other thing is that while the plugin interface is superb, they run Adobe Air, and thus are Windows and OS X only. Having even partial support for Linux (e.g. command line tool) would be awesome, and of course, while having a laptop in my HT is great, it would be so much better if I could adjust MiniDSP parameter on a tablet... A web interface like in routers would be awesome and universal.

So my wishlist would be a web interface and a proper power supply. Apart from that, works as expected!

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post #311 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 12:54 PM
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Whoooh dont want to give the wrong impression AFAIK no one has blown their speakers yet but there is certainly the potential and warnings to that effect.

It is a loooooooooooong thread and early adopters have been working through issues with miniDSP
There are some very informed AVS members on there and mini DSP support is excellent in resolving the problems I am sure it will all work out in the end.

This is all well and good if you are technically minded and prepared to do the legwork.
but I expect things to be as near plug & play as possible Audyssey although not perfect provides that.
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post #312 of 315 Old 01-28-2016, 06:56 PM
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^^Lesmor/neutro,

Don't if you're aware that MiniDSP is coming out with two new products that's generating some interest with a few well respected enthusiasts here at AVS.

The first one is called 2x4DL and will go for about $450 with a UMIK-1 mic. This is for the two channel stereo guys who would like to implement Dirac Live in their dedicated stereo system. It has the same features as the regular balanced 2x4, but now with room correction of Dirac Research.

The second unit is somewhat called the DDRC-88ABM. This is the more interesting unit that got Mark Seaton and Markus all excited. I'm not sure what's the big deal, but the short story is that active crossover and bass management features are now available on the DDRC-88A. So one can have a single LFE output from the pre/pro/receiver and control up to 8 subs for level and time alignment. I reckon this is an expensive option for those crazy bass heads.

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post #313 of 315 Old 01-29-2016, 01:40 AM
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@steveting99
Thanks for the heads up
Yes I did see mention of the DDRC-88ABM
The range of products from miniDSP really confuses me to the extent of being very cautious not to buy the wrong one.

neutro has produced a thread that the layman can understand on one of those products so with that said.
I am going to stop there rather than go off thread which has spoiled many good threads which then get out of hand.
I mean the DDRC 88A thread has now around #9500 posts which makes it impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Cheers
Andy
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^Lesmor,

The 1st page of the DDRC-88A thread has been curated so that useful information can be found there for newbies. It includes links to relevant posts within the thread. It is occasionally up-dated when relevant information comes along, thread participants advise that a post is useful and worthwhile to link to the 1st page.

The basic concept of the DDRC-88A is easy to understand, just refer to the diagram in the first post. The owner's manual by miniDSP is also easy to read and understand. So just download, pull up a chair with your favorite beverage and have a read. The next question is a bit harder and that's if one is willing to roll up the sleeves and implement the device into the audio chain.
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post #315 of 315 Old 01-29-2016, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neutro View Post
I am not familiar with this product at all, but as far as I can tell, it will replace Audyssey completely with the Dirac room correction algorithm. It's not only for the sub, but instead for your whole 7.1 setup (hence why it's 8x8). It will take automated measurement and build the appropriate correction.

To use this product, you must have an AVR or pre-pro with pre-amplified outputs and separate amps. The DDRC-88A sits between the AVR/pre-pro and the amps. If all you want is try and equalize your sub channel, this is massively overkill.

Audyssey does EQ the sub channel; if you want to take measurements and tweak further, the least expensive options are probably a calibrated USB mic such as the Umik-1 by MiniDSP, and the free Room EQ Wizard (aka "REW") software that can be found on HomeTheaterShack. I'll let you research REW on your own; it has monster threads on AVSForums and lots of people that can help you with it much better than I can.
Thank you for your time & patience. But I have learned a lot!
Someone else also pointed me to REW, but I find it quite difficult after reading its threads...
Not easy for old dog to learn new tricks. In the meantime Audyssey seems like the easy way.
Perhaps I at least should start with getting the sonometer or UMIK-1, and learn REW...
Thank you again!
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