Originally Posted by mraub
Did those of you who tried the computer version of Dirac notice any significant improvement in sound quality? Dirac apparently does make a measurable change in the signal, but does that mean I'm likely to hear that change and, more importantly, perceive it as an improvement. I use full range speakers, so subwoofer integration isn't important to me. However, the physical surroundings of my speakers aren't completely symmetric.
From the PR
department description of Dirac Unison, it sounds like it's trying to mimic Trinnov. I have a very primitive version of Trinnov in an old Sherwood AV receiver and it is pretty impressive for home theater; it really makes the speakers disappear as distinct sources of sound. Newer versions of Trinnov are only available in +$10K gear and maybe the new Dirac product can make it into gear at a more reasonable price point.
As of yesterday, I'm now using the PC version of Dirac in 2 rooms (which is permitted under the full license) - my bedroom and my home theater. In each room it improved the sound substantially, but in somewhat different ways. It's easy to hear the difference between before & after, because Dirac lets you switch it on and off.
My bedroom has an asymmetric layout, due to the location of windows and doors. I use a Gigabyte Brix PC running JRiver as my source, with powered active speakers. In that room, the most substantial changes with Dirac were:
1) The imaging was restored, so that it sounds like I'm sitting in the sweet spot in a symmetric room. Really!
2) I was able to EQ the speakers for a transparent, natural sound.
3) Clarity was improved a bit, similar to turning off a gimmicky surround effect.
1&2 helped the speakers disappear. 3 anchored the sound more, narrowing the soundstage. It comes from the direction of the speakers, not the individual speakers, though. IMO, this is an improvement.
My home theater has a symmetrical setup, with great imaging prior to Dirac. That room would benefit from more sound treatment, though. Here are the differences:
1) Clarity was improved a ton, similar to turning off a gimmicky surround effect or using headphones instead of speakers. This was a bigger improvement in this room. It made the sound less fatiguing, voices more intelligible, and details more clear.
2) I was able to EQ the speakers for a transparent, natural sound. I have a second preset that starts with this, but boosts the bass for more impact.
I have never heard Trinnov, but based on what I read, Dirac Live has similarities to Trinnov, minus the speaker remapping. Since I'm not crazy about matrix surround effects, I doubt I would like speaker remapping compared to putting speakers in the right spots to start with.
My understanding with Dirac Unison is that it will do active cancellation of low frequency reflections, by sending different signals to different subs. Dirac Live has a a single sub signal. It will still cancel low frequency reflections in the sweet spot, but by sending different signals to each sub, Unity should be able to do it with a larger sweet spot. This requires a lot more measurements (nearly 1000?), so it's more practical for industrial applications, like cars. It does seem like Trinnov could use that fancy 3D mic to help with the measurement problem, but I haven't read anything that says that the 3D mic is used for anything aside from speaker remapping.
The Double Bass Array concept is interesting, and I would think that it could provide similar result to Dirac Unity. Maybe I'll try a 2D version of that someday with my 4 subs. I can't imagine hanging big subs from the walls.