MiniDSP SHD - for 4 subwoofers (quick review) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-07-2019, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
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MiniDSP SHD - for 4 subwoofers (quick review)

I have had the MiniDSP SHD (2in x 4out) in my rack for a couple of weeks and I wanted to provide some impressions about this unit.


Pros:
1. Compared to other miniDSP stuff, this one aesthetically is nice.
2. It is perfectly rack mountable and comes with ears
3. 2 XLR balanced inputs (you will likely only use one)
3. 4 XLR native outputs means you don't need breakout cables like some of mini-dsp's other stuff
4. Gain, Delay, and PEQ can be set for each subwoofer.
5. the ability to import biquad filters is excellent (for andy c's multi-subwoofer optimization)
6. sound quality is excellent with no noise or ground loop issues (I had problems with the behringer 2496 in this respect).
7. MUCH faster to enter data by plugging in your laptop compared to data entry on the behringer 2496.
8. multiple presets for experimenting with different configurations.

Cons:
1. only 4 XLR outputs. I wish it was more like 10 but I suppose you could buy two devices.
2. you pay for Dirac live but you don't really use it for subwoofer EQ in this application.
3. lacking a 12v trigger which would seem appropriate.
4. lacking homekit, alexa power on/off features despite it being a network device.
5. UNFORTUNATELY you can't do the MiniDSP config connection over LAN like I expected, only streaming music to the device. This was a letdown but once I had everything dialed in, I don't really ever have to touch this thing again anyway...
6. Cost - substantially more expensive than a 10x10 balanced even though I'm not using most of the SHD features such as streaming.


I got my MSO output into the miniDSP easily and things sound great now over a wide array of seats. I then used my AVR/processor to do final optimization and integration with my mains and things sound phenomenal.

I found the Dirac to be somewhat pointless (which you do end up paying for) if you don't actually use it. It did not seem that Dirac was created for the explicit purpose of calibrating multiple subs.

My wishlist for a product like this:
a) REW/MSO software embedded in the device would be COOL... plug in a UMIK-1, make your measurements, optimize, and you are good to go.
b) homekit compatibility for simple control of this unit for building scenes in homekit.
c) Ability to change the display name of the "Preset 1", "Preset 2" into something more descriptive.
d) wifi/ethernet/lan based control of the minidsp setup.

All in all, I can't complain, one of the better and more useful purchases I have made as of late.
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-08-2019, 05:06 PM
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For whatever it is worth, my three 2496's never had any hum or noise. But yes the 2496 is 90's technology.

You realize that for just $300 more you could have 16x16 XLR (with networking-based configuration) and USA support?
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...rface-with-avb

It would required a DAW of some sort, but computers are cheap these days. It doesn't take much horsepower to run JRiver, which goes up to 32x32 I believe...
That gives you unlimited XO's and EQ's, that go to 1hz.

Or Audition 2019 which goes up to 256x256 and has FIR support. Which is what I run...

The Motu's are 192khz 32bit floats. ~115-130db SNR flat to 1-2hz -3db.
and JRiver and Audition are 64bit floats. >200db SNR, flat from dc to nyquist +-0db

Or for $800 more than the miniDSP you have 24x24 XLR:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-ios-interface
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-ios-interface
Which is what I run in multiples.

Given how close the two are in price, the SHD doesn't seem so great with only 2x4 and dodgy float-precision and no networking, and dsp to only 10hz.
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 02-08-2019 at 06:02 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-08-2019, 05:58 PM
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It's probably worth mentioning that I run a highly-modified version of Windows 10 Home on my Motu rig.

0) Fresh install
1) All of the scheduled tasks are deleted (which has to be done one by one, and is irreversible short of reformat.)
2) All of the unnecessary services and start programs are disabled.
3) All the unnecessary windows features and apps are uninstalled.
4) All unnecessary HDMI and USB devices are unplugged, literally just the Motu USB cable.
5) The network card is disabled in the BIOS and control panel so that no Updates can ever be fetched or applied, firewall disabled. Security centers disabled.
6) There are only 3 pieces of software installed. Windows, Motu drivers, Audition.

In that mode it is super-duper-stable, ran it 2 weeks continuously without a reboot or a single audio glitch,
and it could likely run that way forever...
In that config Windows Updates never runs, and disk fetch and defrag are nuked. Zero disk activity EVER.
One could even take it a step further and kill explorer.exe once JRiver or Audition is running. Which will be even-more stable.
CTL-ALT-DEL -> TskMgr -> run process, to bring it back. (or a reboot)

At work we have multiple versions of Windows from 2001 to 2019, both server and home editions.
Those have been running 24/7/365 for years without a reboot or update. Same with the Linux OS's we also have. So I know it is possible [in a highly-controlled environment, disconnected from the internet. You can't get to it... if you can't get to it. hehe! ]

Both the Dell MC OS and the ESXi5.5 OS hasn't seen a reboot or loss of power in over 2 years, and counting...

200% STABLE!
Zero microseconds of downtime.
All your 9's are belong to me!
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-09-2019, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
I have had the MiniDSP SHD (2in x 4out) in my rack for a couple of weeks and I wanted to provide some impressions about this unit.


Pros:
1. Compared to other miniDSP stuff, this one aesthetically is nice.
2. It is perfectly rack mountable and comes with ears
3. 2 XLR balanced inputs (you will likely only use one)
3. 4 XLR native outputs means you don't need breakout cables like some of mini-dsp's other stuff
4. Gain, Delay, and PEQ can be set for each subwoofer.
5. the ability to import biquad filters is excellent (for andy c's multi-subwoofer optimization)
6. sound quality is excellent with no noise or ground loop issues (I had problems with the behringer 2496 in this respect).
7. MUCH faster to enter data by plugging in your laptop compared to data entry on the behringer 2496.
8. multiple presets for experimenting with different configurations.

Cons:
1. only 4 XLR outputs. I wish it was more like 10 but I suppose you could buy two devices.
2. you pay for Dirac live but you don't really use it for subwoofer EQ in this application.
3. lacking a 12v trigger which would seem appropriate.
4. lacking homekit, alexa power on/off features despite it being a network device.
5. UNFORTUNATELY you can't do the MiniDSP config connection over LAN like I expected, only streaming music to the device. This was a letdown but once I had everything dialed in, I don't really ever have to touch this thing again anyway...
6. Cost - substantially more expensive than a 10x10 balanced even though I'm not using most of the SHD features such as streaming.


I got my MSO output into the miniDSP easily and things sound great now over a wide array of seats. I then used my AVR/processor to do final optimization and integration with my mains and things sound phenomenal.

I found the Dirac to be somewhat pointless (which you do end up paying for) if you don't actually use it. It did not seem that Dirac was created for the explicit purpose of calibrating multiple subs.

My wishlist for a product like this:
a) REW/MSO software embedded in the device would be COOL... plug in a UMIK-1, make your measurements, optimize, and you are good to go.
b) homekit compatibility for simple control of this unit for building scenes in homekit.
c) Ability to change the display name of the "Preset 1", "Preset 2" into something more descriptive.
d) wifi/ethernet/lan based control of the minidsp setup.

All in all, I can't complain, one of the better and more useful purchases I have made as of late.
Thanks for the write-up.

$1200 and it still can't handle input voltages over 4Vrms... It has a few "new" features like compression and limiting, but those aren't terribly useful to someone who want faithful sub reproduction. Sure it looks nicer, but if you're not using the Dirac functionality I don't see the draw. Beyond that, is there data showing how the IIR/FIR filters of Dirac are audibly better than traditional biquads/parametric EQ for sub equalization?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
It's probably worth mentioning that I run a highly-modified version of Windows 10 Home on my Motu rig.

...
I'm pretty sure no one in this thread cares... Why do you try to sidetrack so many threads with crap?
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-09-2019, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
For whatever it is worth, my three 2496's never had any hum or noise. But yes the 2496 is 90's technology.

You realize that for just $300 more you could have 16x16 XLR (with networking-based configuration) and USA support?
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...rface-with-avb

It would required a DAW of some sort, but computers are cheap these days. It doesn't take much horsepower to run JRiver, which goes up to 32x32 I believe...
That gives you unlimited XO's and EQ's, that go to 1hz.

Or Audition 2019 which goes up to 256x256 and has FIR support. Which is what I run...

The Motu's are 192khz 32bit floats. ~115-130db SNR flat to 1-2hz -3db.
and JRiver and Audition are 64bit floats. >200db SNR, flat from dc to nyquist +-0db

Or for $800 more than the miniDSP you have 24x24 XLR:
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-ios-interface
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-ios-interface
Which is what I run in multiples.

Given how close the two are in price, the SHD doesn't seem so great with only 2x4 and dodgy float-precision and no networking, and dsp to only 10hz.

No question that pro-gear is very good for the money. The signal to noise on the minidsp is more than adequate for my subwoofer setup. I hear ZERO noise now with my ear to the subwoofer which is really good enough for me. For some reason with my behringer I was getting noise out of one subwoofer no matter what channel i plugged it into on the 2496. It was some sort of strange interaction with my amp and the subs. It really might not be the behringer's "fault" although I have to conclude it was due to the fact that it has not happened ever again as long as the behringer is out of the system.

I have a pro mixer on my desk called the RME fireface which is a great product as well. No question that you can get great stuff from the the pro arena but for the average user, I think the implementation of MSO is hard enough as it is. MiniDSP really makes that relatively simple. I even used to run a home theater off of a multichannel HTPC setup with an RME multichannel DAC/pre-amp.

Any pro equipment is much better off if you can run it without a DAW/computer actually on. I would only want those connections for setup, but not for actually having the thing work. That's seriously overkill.

I do think the miniDSP stuff in general is in an acceptable value for a niche product. There are plenty of niche products that are vastly more expensive. I clearly purchased the wrong one for value (I sorta got this one for the aesthetics/xlr). I would have been just fine with the 10x10 balanced which I think most people would buy if they need a rack mount and balanced design.

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post #6 of 7 Old 02-09-2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
For some reason with my behringer I was getting noise out of one subwoofer no matter what channel i plugged it into on the 2496. It was some sort of strange interaction with my amp and the subs. It really might not be the behringer's "fault" although I have to conclude it was due to the fact that it has not happened ever again as long as the behringer is out of the system.
It is entirely possible the DCX2496 was defective, or you just had some funky groundloop induced by some combination of gear.
Problem is the DCX2496 is also limited to 20hz and will run out of CPU if too many things are enabled.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
Beyond that, is there data showing how the IIR/FIR filters of Dirac are audibly better than traditional biquads/parametric EQ for sub equalization?
FIR is measurably better, especially with a RePhase IR-convolution plugin or file import.
The only downside is the time delay that linear-phase demands, generally 20-50ms if I recall.

I heard it also has a problem handling infrasonic frequencies, that's not something I've had a chance to test yet with the FIR tools I have, the miniDSP may be slightly different results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
No question that pro-gear is very good for the money. The signal to noise on the minidsp is more than adequate for my subwoofer setup.

Any pro equipment is much better off if you can run it without a DAW/computer actually on. I would only want those connections for setup, but not for actually having the thing work. That's seriously overkill.
I agree one should, *if* they could...
The problem is that the RME, Antelope, Motu etc... none of those have on-board XO's or HPF (especially below 20hz). 5 bands of EQ at-best.
So we are forced to for higher channels counts or for anyone wanting infrasonic DSP.
The pro industry has moved towards DSP-amps and everyone is cool with their 20hz DSP limitations. What can a ULF-basshead do...

Although that WAS like 1-2 years ago last I checked all their product lines, maybe now they have a product out that does that? One could dream!

I happen to enjoy the 3-10hz region, even as inefficient as it is. So that's sort-of a limitation I'd like to avoid if possible (and it is possible. )

I'd rather have a Trinnov, but wouldn't we all!!! Short of that, I'm not sure it is overkill. What scared me away from the miniDSP was AVS'ers complaining about noise and limited output voltage or resulting clipping thereof. I didn't want noise on my LCR's being 108db/w/m SEOS's. That and, I can do matrix Atmos with the rig, creating phantom channels that don't normally exist, such as: rear center, rear center height, tri-channel bass support, and low noise for LCR tweeters. Routing any channel (or combinations thereof) to any driver. All via network on-screen from my chair. (Never having to touch another wire again!)

I'd have to buy 4 or 5 miniDSP 10x10's and downmix XLR to RCA, and back up again, and the extra noise that causes, lose 80% the routing, and fart around with USB cables and software connections.
If you want Left bass signal from the 1st 10x10 to the 4th 10x10, now you have to re-wire it with physical cable (can't do it from a chair, have to make a trip to the hardware store to get more RCA cable etc.)
and that would be additional cascaded delay + noise too, and you'd lose 1 channel of DSP for every out-of-box routed connection.

For people without active speakers or only 4 subs, I suppose those limitations aren't encountered.
In a bigger system, say with 32 subs + active speakers, 4 or 5 10x10's still end up being like $3000, that is a LOT of money to spend to still be unhappy with. It was enough to scare me away at least...

-My 2 cents

Last edited by BassThatHz; 02-09-2019 at 10:19 AM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 06-26-2019, 05:20 AM
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Would the SHD Studio be the right missing device?

Hey guys!
My first post here! Great community here!
I'm in the process of upgrading/tweaking my system and there's one "final" piece of the puzzle I need to find.

Current setup:
- Speakers: Klipsch Forte III
- Subwoofer: Klipsch R-115SW
- Amplifier: Hegel H190
- DAC: Chord Hugo 2
- Room size: 4*5 meters (roughly 13*16 ft)
- Four wall-wall corners treated with GIK Tri-Trap Corner Bass Trap
- Two front wall-wall-ceiling corners treated with GIK Soffit Bass trap
- Side walls, rear wall and ceiling early reflection points treated with GIK Monster bass traps

Considering the small size of the room and the big size of the speakers, I reached the conclusion that a quite heavy acoustic treatment was needed for both bass and mid high early reflections (as you can see from all the acoustic treatments in my setup). I'm still waiting for the panels to be delivered though (looking forward to!!).
My next move would be that of using digital correction as the final tweak to reach a flatter frequency response curve in my room (or at least in my listening spot).

Would the SHD Studio be the right missing device?

I'd like to use my Chord Hugo 2 dac to provide analog signal to the main speakers. I suppose the audio chain will be something like: Macbook --> SHD Studio --> Hugo 2 DAC --> Amplifier --> Main Speakers

But then what if I want to add 2 subwoofers to the system?
How can I set the whole thing in a way that the 2 subwoofers can be equalized separately with Dirac?

FYI: I have a spare Chord Mojo dac with two analog outputs that i can use to provide analog signals to the subs, but then I won't be able to equalize them separately, will I?
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