**miniDSP DDRC-88A Official Thread**8-channel AI/AO Dirac Live in a box - Page 511 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #15301 of 16655 Old 05-21-2018, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by healthnut View Post
I am working my way through this thread (on post 3500 right now), and I’ve decided to use the 2x4HD i recently acquired to optimize my 2 subs and later add Dirac to it (available for the 2x4HD as an add on) I have a full Atmos system, but since there’s no one box solution at this time, I think I’ll be able to get a good taste of what Dirac can do in this way. I have found it’s not a simple thing to wade into this (nor did i expect it to be), but I admire greatly those who have persevered and reaped the considerable benefits this technology can offer.


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You understand that the 2x4HD Dirac Live update converts it into a ddrc-24 with only 2 inputs split to four outputs, right? You would only be able to do Dirac Live on 2 channels (L&R + Subs, I guess).
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post #15302 of 16655 Old 05-21-2018, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by MBrown2020 View Post
You understand that the 2x4HD Dirac Live update converts it into a ddrc-24 with only 2 inputs split to four outputs, right? You would only be able to do Dirac Live on 2 channels (L&R + Subs, I guess).


Yes, but they are the primary channels and would be of the most benefit (i have no center nor see the need for one). If MiniDSP ever makes a device that will do an entire Atmos Suite in one box, then I’m all in.


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post #15303 of 16655 Old 05-21-2018, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by healthnut View Post
Yes, but they are the primary channels and would be of the most benefit (i have no center nor see the need for one). If MiniDSP ever makes a device that will do an entire Atmos Suite in one box, then I’m all in.


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Ok, just wanted to make sure you knew, since no returns once ordered. If I had a dedicated stereo setup, that would be a sure bet buy to do Dirac Live on it.

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post #15304 of 16655 Old 05-21-2018, 11:31 PM
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Thinking about purchasing one of these with the mic kit and the BM and I'm interested in knowing how much the total cost is for those who have purchased one in the US. What did you pay when including the duty/taxes and the shipping amount. i need to know what I'm looking in total price wise. I've never ordered from outside the US and don't know the specifics involving import duty/taxes and fees. Minidsp just tells me to check the duty/tax calculators,which I'm not sure are reliable enough. Thanks

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post #15305 of 16655 Old 05-22-2018, 06:31 AM
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Thinking about purchasing one of these with the mic kit and the BM and I'm interested in knowing how much the total cost is for those who have purchased one in the US. What did you pay when including the duty/taxes and the shipping amount. i need to know what I'm looking in total price wise. I've never ordered from outside the US and don't know the specifics involving import duty/taxes and fees. Minidsp just tells me to check the duty/tax calculators,which I'm not sure are reliable enough. Thanks
IIRC, I paid $50-$60 import duty on the unit.

Edit: I checked my records, and I logged a payment of $52.28 to FedEx, which represents the import duty on the 88A, which was paid on my behalf as part of the shipping expense.

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post #15306 of 16655 Old 05-22-2018, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TimoJ View Post
Since few people are getting new units....
Is there a reason people are not buying these now? I'm considering getting another one to handle multiple subs and ATMOS speakers.

Speaking of, do I remember correctly that it's generally accepted that having an 88A for ATMOS is nice, but probably not necessary? I tend to work on my theater in stretches, and I've been working on other hobbies for the past few months. So I've forgotten most of what I read about it

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post #15307 of 16655 Old 05-22-2018, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
Is there a reason people are not buying these now? I'm considering getting another one to handle multiple subs and ATMOS speakers.

Speaking of, do I remember correctly that it's generally accepted that having an 88A for ATMOS is nice, but probably not necessary? I tend to work on my theater in stretches, and I've been working on other hobbies for the past few months. So I've forgotten most of what I read about it
There are a number of factors that might be influencing purchasing decisions. The 88A is limited to 8 channels, which means that users with immersive audio configurations with ceiling speakers would need two 88A’s to equalize all channels. Also, a number of manufactures have released AVR’s that support more than 8 channels of Dirac Live in a single box. NAD is a goood example. And finally, Dirac has announced that a new version of Dirac Live is under development, perhaps to be released later this year. It is unclear whether the 88A will be upgradeable. The details of the new Dirac software are also unknown at this time. So, given a certain amount of uncertainty, it would be normal for potential Dirac users to proceed with caution.

As far as whether ceiling speakers can be left in-corrected, there are a number of 88A users who have Atmos configurations and are correcting only the bed speakers. And there are also thread participants who started out with one 88A and upgraded to a second unit after a while. Perhaps these owners will provide feedback about whether correcting the ceiling speakers is worth the additional cost.
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post #15308 of 16655 Old 05-22-2018, 08:05 AM
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That's good to know! Amazing what I miss out on by not checking this thread for a couple months. I guess with that in mind, it makes sense to leave my (soon to be installed) ATMOS speakers un-calibrated for the time being.

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post #15309 of 16655 Old 05-22-2018, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by J_P_A View Post
That's good to know! Amazing what I miss out on by not checking this thread for a couple months. I guess with that in mind, it makes sense to leave my (soon to be installed) ATMOS speakers un-calibrated for the time being.
You should still look up the guide for doing this, useful info on timing the Base (Dirac delayed) speakers with the Atmos ones.
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post #15310 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 07:56 AM
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You should still look up the guide for doing this, useful info on timing the Base (Dirac delayed) speakers with the Atmos ones.
Good idea. It's been quite a while since I've read the guide. Maybe that will save me some time once I've got my speakers installed and I'm itching to try them out!

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post #15311 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 09:20 AM
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Good idea. It's been quite a while since I've read the guide. Maybe that will save me some time once I've got my speakers installed and I'm itching to try them out!
In this post, Keith alludes to a post "a few pages back" with step-by-step instructions on how to use Audyssey to set the delays and trims for the overhead speakers using Audyssey. I have searched in vain for said post. If anyone happens to find the post, or any other post documenting the procedure, please post a link here. I would like to have a link to point interested people to in the future.

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...l#post39105602


The only documentation in my Guide is for immersive sounds systems with two 88A's.
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post #15312 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 10:22 AM
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The only documentation in my Guide is for immersive sounds systems with two 88A's.

I am not sure where the original link was now, but my copy is here if that helps....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p6y5mjbkhi...81%29.pdf?dl=0

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post #15313 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 11:32 AM
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I am not sure where the original link was now, but my copy is here if that helps....

https://www.dropbox.com/s/p6y5mjbkhi...81%29.pdf?dl=0
Thanks for providing that document, but it is the procedure for setting up two 88A’s. I am actually looking for the procedure for leaving the ceiling speakers with no correction, only delays and trims set by running Audyssey. Some users will want to try this setup before spending the money on a second 88A.
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post #15314 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 11:41 AM
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I am actually looking for the procedure for leaving the ceiling speakers with no correction, only delays and trims set by running Audyssey.
Run Dirac then run Audyssey then turn off Audyssey. Trims & delays set by Audyssey are left intact (including compensating for the latency of the Dirac box).
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post #15315 of 16655 Old 05-23-2018, 11:49 AM
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Run Dirac then run Audyssey then turn off Audyssey. Trims & delays set by Audyssey are left intact (including compensating for the latency of the Dirac box).
Thanks for weighing in, Sanjay. I could not remember if there was anything more complex to the process. Sounds pretty straight-forward.
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post #15316 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 01:02 PM
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@AustinJerry , I'm using Dirac Auto curve. Wanted to know if I'm following the right procedure to measure reference level.

1 - Place Mic at MLP with tip facing up.
2 - Open REW/SPL Meter. Set it to SPL/C/S and press record button.
3 - Generate tone from avr and increase volume until SLP reads 75dB.

Is this correct?
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post #15317 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 01:24 PM
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@AustinJerry , I'm using Dirac Auto curve. Wanted to know if I'm following the right procedure to measure reference level.

1 - Place Mic at MLP with tip facing up.
2 - Open REW/SPL Meter. Set it to SPL/C/S and press record button.
3 - Generate tone from avr and increase volume until SLP reads 75dB.

Is this correct?
With the REW mic at ear level at the MLP, and with the REW SPL meter open, generate the speaker level-setting test tones using the AVR, with AVR master volume set to zero. The test tones play at -30dBFS, and if speaker trims are set correctly, you should be measuring 75dB from all speakers. This means that your AVR will output sound at “Reference Level” when the MV=0. Reference Level is 105dB (30dB higher than the test tones playing at -30dBFS).

Does this answer your question?
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post #15318 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 02:06 PM
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With the REW mic at ear level at the MLP, and with the REW SPL meter open, generate the speaker level-setting test tones using the AVR, with AVR master volume set to zero. The test tones play at -30dBFS, and if speaker trims are set correctly, you should be measuring 75dB from all speakers. This means that your AVR will output sound at “Reference Level” when the MV=0. Reference Level is 105dB (30dB higher than the test tones playing at -30dBFS).

Does this answer your question?
Thx Jerry. To get 75dB, I had to raise volume to 5. All speakers read ~75dB. At 0 they measure 5dB more. All trim levels in avr are 0.
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post #15319 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 02:29 PM
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Thx Jerry. To get 75dB, I had to raise volume to 5. All speakers read ~75dB. At 0 they measure 5dB more. All trim levels in avr are 0.
It is not unusual to measure a level lower than 75dB after a Dirac calibration. The important thing is that the levels are balanced across all speakers. To compensate for the slightly lower output levels, you can raise either the MV 5dB, or raise each speaker trim by 5dB.
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post #15320 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 03:27 PM
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The custom target text file I am currently using is attached below. Applying it will result in a curve that looks like this:

how does your sub channel look like? I'm guess that its following the same curve as LR but up to 150Hz? Would be helpful if we could see the Average Before as well. What do you CO your mains at?
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post #15321 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 03:32 PM
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It is not unusual to measure a level lower than 75dB after a Dirac calibration. The important thing is that the levels are balanced across all speakers. To compensate for the slightly lower output levels, you can raise either the MV 5dB, or raise each speaker trim by 5dB.
Errrr. Sorry I miss-typed. For reference level, you said I had to set avr volume to 0 and get 75dB. I'm getting 75dB at volume -5 which means that I'm 5dB higher. So to get to Ref, I need to reduce all trims by -5.

Anyway, I don't even understand why we have reference level. I mean, for some movies, I set main volume to -20, for some its -12 and for some its -8. Its not like all the bluray I rent from Netflix have same level. So even if I have reference level at 0, no way for me know how low/high I'm playing as compared to reference. Most of these bluray movies don't seem to have the same volume level.
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post #15322 of 16655 Old 05-24-2018, 11:19 PM
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Anyway, I don't even understand why we have reference level.
Reference level is a great idea but unfortunately it has become an exercise in futility over the last years. Reference level never translated well to home theater installations to begin with (further psychoacoustic research would be necessary). Furthermore some movie mixes are altered and get remixed for the home. There's no standard these mixes adhere to. I suspect there's even compression applied to make a movie sound louder. Movie sound for the home has shifted away from predictable presentation.
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post #15323 of 16655 Old 05-25-2018, 10:58 AM
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Reference level is a great idea but unfortunately it has become an exercise in futility over the last years. Reference level never translated well to home theater installations to begin with (further psychoacoustic research would be necessary). Furthermore some movie mixes are altered and get remixed for the home. There's no standard these mixes adhere to. I suspect there's even compression applied to make a movie sound louder. Movie sound for the home has shifted away from predictable presentation.
Exactly. Every time I pop a movie in, I turn the volume knob to -25dB first and then let the movie play. It takes around 4-5 minutes till I know what level I need to set volume to (based on dialog clarity). If everyone was following the Reference level, I would have done this exercise once and be done with. For "Outlander", I set volume to -19, Skull Island to -12, Transformer to -7 (errrr). Sooooo annoying. Wish there was a way to let receiver know what level I want my system to and then once the movie starts, it adjusts the levels accordingly. More like dynamically changing the volume. So if I tell receiver that I'd like to play -7dB below reference level, it always plays movies -7dB below reference.
I think that would be a awesome feature.
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post #15324 of 16655 Old 05-25-2018, 12:27 PM
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I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that does this! When I'm watching a movie with my family and I end up at -5 or something like that, I always ask my wife if it's too loud or if it's just me. Apparently the ears are still OK, b/c she's never told me to turn it back down
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post #15325 of 16655 Old 05-25-2018, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by harrisu View Post
Exactly. Every time I pop a movie in, I turn the volume knob to -25dB first and then let the movie play. It takes around 4-5 minutes till I know what level I need to set volume to (based on dialog clarity). If everyone was following the Reference level, I would have done this exercise once and be done with. For "Outlander", I set volume to -19, Skull Island to -12, Transformer to -7 (errrr). Sooooo annoying. Wish there was a way to let receiver know what level I want my system to and then once the movie starts, it adjusts the levels accordingly. More like dynamically changing the volume. So if I tell receiver that I'd like to play -7dB below reference level, it always plays movies -7dB below reference.
I think that would be a awesome feature.
Me too!

I think we are close to the day when the playback device will have some ability to recognize the source it is playing, that it has been played before, and that the user expressed preferences he wants to use again. Aside from playback level, I'd like metadata clustered into preset macros including:
-- EQ mode (maybe different bass levels or target curves, for example)
-- Surround mode (which upmixer, if any)
-- Picture/display adjustments including AR, zoom, brightness, lamp power, gamma...

Then you only have to train the system the first time you play something, either by calling one of the macros, or doing specific tweaks.

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Reference level is a great idea but unfortunately it has become an exercise in futility over the last years. Reference level never translated well to home theater installations to begin with (further psychoacoustic research would be necessary). Furthermore some movie mixes are altered and get remixed for the home. There's no standard these mixes adhere to. I suspect there's even compression applied to make a movie sound louder. Movie sound for the home has shifted away from predictable presentation.
Sometimes I playback at 66 main level in my AVR, sometime, at 70 and other time at 75.

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My room:15'4" x 11' 6" x 7'6" tv near the center of the long side wall
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post #15327 of 16655 Old 05-25-2018, 10:52 PM
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IIRC, I paid $50-$60 import duty on the unit.

Edit: I checked my records, and I logged a payment of $52.28 to FedEx, which represents the import duty on the 88A, which was paid on my behalf as part of the shipping expense.

Thanks Jerry. Is the payment made to the FedEX driver directly?


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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Me too!

I think we are close to the day when the playback device will have some ability to recognize the source it is playing, that it has been played before, and that the user expressed preferences he wants to use again. Aside from playback level, I'd like metadata clustered into preset macros including:
-- EQ mode (maybe different bass levels or target curves, for example)
-- Surround mode (which upmixer, if any)
-- Picture/display adjustments including AR, zoom, brightness, lamp power, gamma...

Then you only have to train the system the first time you play something, either by calling one of the macros, or doing specific tweaks.

Wasn't THX's BlackBird going in that direction?
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post #15328 of 16655 Old 05-25-2018, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post
Dirac has announced that a new version of Dirac Live is under development, perhaps to be released later this year. It is unclear whether the 88A will be upgradeable. The details of the new Dirac software are also unknown at this time. So, given a certain amount of uncertainty, it would be normal for potential Dirac users to proceed with caution.

Does the 88A run Dirac LE?
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post #15329 of 16655 Old 05-26-2018, 06:20 AM
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Thanks Jerry. Is the payment made to the FedEX driver directly?
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Does the 88A run Dirac LE?
I was invoiced for the duty charges. And no, the 88A has a full version of Dirac Love.
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post #15330 of 16655 Old 05-26-2018, 08:13 AM
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About to pull the trigger on an 88A --- has anyone purchased the Phoenix-XLR adapters from them directly? They want $30 but for one, not sure if that is for one channel or does that cover all 8 channels? Seeing the phoenix->XLR adapters for like $7 from cheaper makers like Hosa for just a single channel. Probably not worth it for such short cable runs but then I start thinking "why not?" since I already have a bunch of balanced cables.
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