Thoughts on MiniDSP SHD as a DAC, Preamp and streamer with Dirac room correction - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-29-2019, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Thoughts on MiniDSP SHD as a DAC, Preamp and streamer with Dirac room correction

I have been missing the room correction benefits in my 2 channel setup and have been considering the MiniDSP SHD. I don’t see much mentioned on the forums, however it appears to have a killer feature set as a Dac and preamp with built in bass management and room correction, at a reasonable price. The Volumio streamer is likely the weak link (compared to Bluesound etc), however I believe Roon endpoint integration is coming.

The option I’m considering is the NAS C658.

I wanted to get thoughts from the community as to whether this would be a good option.



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post #2 of 14 Old 09-30-2019, 08:57 AM
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You might be interested in these SHD measurements:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...streamer.4286/
They are excellent, please take into account that noise and jitter where spikes are below -120 dB can be measured but definitely are very much below audibility

Flavio

Warning: My posts might be biased even if in good faith, I work for Dirac Research :-)
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-01-2019, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Those results look pretty good even as a dedicated Dac and preamp for the price, plus you get the room correction and streaming.

I wonder why there isn’t more interest in this product in the forums? Is the lack of a prestigious brand name holding it back, or do most 2 channel listeners not “want” room correction?
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-05-2019, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by thebrieze01 View Post
Those results look pretty good even as a dedicated Dac and preamp for the price, plus you get the room correction and streaming.

I wonder why there isn’t more interest in this product in the forums? Is the lack of a prestigious brand name holding it back, or do most 2 channel listeners not “want” room correction?
I have this unit and it is a fantastic 2 channel unit. A very very good DAC (as measured at audiosciencereview), capable of a 2.2 system, Dirac 2.0, ability to set your crossovers/slopes, etc I don’t use the built in streaming with volumio. It is really hard to beat in my opinion.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dj7675 View Post
I have this unit and it is a fantastic 2 channel unit. A very very good DAC (as measured at audiosciencereview), capable of a 2.2 system, Dirac 2.0, ability to set your crossovers/slopes, etc I don’t use the built in streaming with volumio. It is really hard to beat in my opinion.
Does Dirac room correction works if you connect SHD via 'digital out' to a powered speaker like KEF LS50 wireless which has its own on-board DAC?

Thanks!

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post #6 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Does Dirac room correction works if you connect SHD via 'digital out' to a powered speaker like KEF LS50 wireless which has its own on-board DAC?

Thanks!
Yes... the SHD has coax out and yes it is designed to do that. Or if you don't need any analog inputs or a DAC, you could do the SHD Studio and use the AES or coax output.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 10:26 PM
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Yes... the SHD has coax out and yes it is designed to do that. Or if you don't need any analog inputs or a DAC, you could do the SHD Studio and use the AES or coax output.
Thanks!

Does the Dirac Live 2.0 come with Dirac Live Bass Management? Do you know if it will added once released?

I am trying to find a solution that integrates all the pieces in my system.

I currently have a USB DAC/Headphone Amp -> KEF LS50W -> Powered Subwoofer. I also have a Massdrop THX AAA 789 Headphone Amp on order.

Using SHD as the USB DAC, can I connect the KEFs with Digital out and Sub to the 3rd analog out. This will allow me to use the Analog 1 and 2 to feed by headphone amp. I am not sure if this is possible. AFAIK, connecting the sub directly to LS50 will defeat the bass management feature of Dirac.

The backup solution to this would be connecting SHD to Headphone Amp and using RCA SE Pass-through to connect to KEFs.

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-13-2019, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonstopdoc1 View Post
Thanks!

Does the Dirac Live 2.0 come with Dirac Live Bass Management? Do you know if it will added once released?

I am trying to find a solution that integrates all the pieces in my system.

I currently have a USB DAC/Headphone Amp -> KEF LS50W -> Powered Subwoofer. I also have a Massdrop THX AAA 789 Headphone Amp on order.

Using SHD as the USB DAC, can I connect the KEFs with Digital out and Sub to the 3rd analog out. This will allow me to use the Analog 1 and 2 to feed by headphone amp. I am not sure if this is possible. AFAIK, connecting the sub directly to LS50 will defeat the bass management feature of Dirac.

The backup solution to this would be connecting SHD to Headphone Amp and using RCA SE Pass-through to connect to KEFs.
Dirac 2 won't include Dirac Live Bass management as far as I know. I believe it is always a separate add on (paid). I also do not know if it will be compatible with the shd, although I thing there would be a good chance.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-27-2019, 05:14 PM
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Smile My experience with miniDSP SHD

I put an SHD into our TV system. (TV to SHD to powered speakers.) Because the speakers are modest (Audioengine A5+) and the room is asymmetrical and untreated, I can't comment on high-end sound quality. However, I can say this about my experience:
  • The Dirac room correction works well. You have to buy the mic separately, at least if you use a dealer in the US. Though the Dirac program that came with mine doesn't have bass management, miniDSP includes their own bass management software, so that when you run Dirac, it can correct the full-range signal.
  • I thought the combination of miniDSP bass management and Dirac might be a kluge or hard to set up, but I didn't find that the case. It was straightforward.
  • The SHD's combination of a good DAC and the Dirac correction really helped a lot in our situation, in which one speaker is against a wall, and the other is not. Intelligibility of dialog is improved tremendously, and the "boom" is gone.
  • Streaming with Volumio works very well, assuming you are reasonably familiar with DLNA/UPnP/Open Home systems.
  • Support has been good.
  • The user interface for setup, though straightforward, is not as refined as units that cost much more. However, Dirac is excellent and allows complete flexibility.
  • I think the unit is a bargain: streaming, DSP, and a good DAC and digital preamp all for about US $1200 can't be beat.
I hope that helps, and that if you get an SHD, you enjoy it!

Mike (Portland, Oregon -- Long gone from North Carolina)

Main 2.2 system: Auralic Aries G1 streamer, Anthem STR preamp, Bryston 4B3 amp, Janszen Valentina mains, 2x JL Audio F112 subs. Desktop 2.1 system: JRiver Media Center, Classé CP-800 DAC-preamp, Marsh A400s amp, Harbeth P3ESR, B&W ASW610.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-14-2019, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike in NC View Post
I put an SHD into our TV system. (TV to SHD to powered speakers.) Because the speakers are modest (Audioengine A5+) and the room is asymmetrical and untreated, I can't comment on high-end sound quality. However, I can say this about my experience:
  • The Dirac room correction works well. You have to buy the mic separately, at least if you use a dealer in the US. Though the Dirac program that came with mine doesn't have bass management, miniDSP includes their own bass management software, so that when you run Dirac, it can correct the full-range signal.
  • I thought the combination of miniDSP bass management and Dirac might be a kluge or hard to set up, but I didn't find that the case. It was straightforward.
  • The SHD's combination of a good DAC and the Dirac correction really helped a lot in our situation, in which one speaker is against a wall, and the other is not. Intelligibility of dialog is improved tremendously, and the "boom" is gone.
  • Streaming with Volumio works very well, assuming you are reasonably familiar with DLNA/UPnP/Open Home systems.
  • Support has been good.
  • The user interface for setup, though straightforward, is not as refined as units that cost much more. However, Dirac is excellent and allows complete flexibility.
  • I think the unit is a bargain: streaming, DSP, and a good DAC and digital preamp all for about US $1200 can't be beat.
I hope that helps, and that if you get an SHD, you enjoy it!
Great to hear someone else is enjoying it as well. I now have 2 in our home. One is in my main system in a 2.1 system (SHD). The second is in our living room which is a digital only 2.0 setup and for this I use the SHD Studio hooked up to a pair of JBL 708P. Works really well. On the digital only for our TV system, HDMI goes into the tv and optical out. Works well.
Also for those that use Roon, it is also a Roon endpoint (RAAT).
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-15-2019, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by dj7675 View Post
Great to hear someone else is enjoying it as well. ....
I am also in the club
Pretty pleased with the gadget ... SHD studio → Chord qutest
Thinking now to connect to the second output another dac and a subwoofer.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-22-2019, 09:31 PM
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I am also considering purchasing the SHD.

Let's say I want to connect an AVR. The AVR already has Audyssey calbrated to the room in a desired way. Ideally, one would want to leave that system as-is but pass those outputs over to the SHD via analog inputs (L/R Balances, Sub single ended).

For the internal streaming services, I would like to use Dirac room correction for the L/R and subwoofer.

Is there a way to tell the SHD to disabled Dirac for L/R/Sub outputs if the Analog input is selected? or is there no way to modify Dirac output settings per input type?

Thanks,
-Rob

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post #13 of 14 Old 12-04-2019, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Exocer View Post
I am also considering purchasing the SHD.

Let's say I want to connect an AVR. The AVR already has Audyssey calbrated to the room in a desired way. Ideally, one would want to leave that system as-is but pass those outputs over to the SHD via analog inputs (L/R Balances, Sub single ended).

For the internal streaming services, I would like to use Dirac room correction for the L/R and subwoofer.

Is there a way to tell the SHD to disabled Dirac for L/R/Sub outputs if the Analog input is selected? or is there no way to modify Dirac output settings per input type?
Rob, You can't set Dirac per input type, but the SHD stores 4 Dirac profiles + Dirac off. Those can be chosen at any time from the remote, independently of the output or input chosen. --Mike
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Main 2.2 system: Auralic Aries G1 streamer, Anthem STR preamp, Bryston 4B3 amp, Janszen Valentina mains, 2x JL Audio F112 subs. Desktop 2.1 system: JRiver Media Center, Classé CP-800 DAC-preamp, Marsh A400s amp, Harbeth P3ESR, B&W ASW610.
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post #14 of 14 Old 12-04-2019, 10:30 AM
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Rob, You can't set Dirac per input type, but the SHD stores 4 Dirac profiles + Dirac off. Those can be chosen at any time from the remote, independently of the output or input chosen. --Mike
Thanks Mike!

I have since purchased a preamp with HT Bypass so this is no longer an issue. The SHD will go to the preamp via balanced analog out.

I will test the SHD directly to my amp vs through the Preamp to see if there is any degradation of sound quality.

Sorry to hijack this thread OP!

Does anyone use an external DAC with MQA support with the SHD? Would Coaxial out to an MQA supporting DAC allow for both unfolds to occur or does the first unfold need to happen at the streamer?

Thanks,
-Rob

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