I definitely messed up when ordering a MiniDSP 2x4 HD, advice requested. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-01-2020, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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I definitely messed up when ordering a MiniDSP 2x4 HD, advice requested.

Hi everyone, my dad has an office setup of a pair of LS50's and an REL T9i. The LS50s are powered from a pretty hefty Denon Integrated amp. I was telling him how we really needed to get a proper crossover setup and use my UMIK to create some DSP filters with REW. So we ordered the MiniDSP. We set it up and BOOM, the sub is going insane. After a very confused 5 minutes I finally figure out the issue. The volume knob on the amp isnt controlling the sub volume, DUH.So the sub is getting a full signal with no way to attenuate it except digital control. Now I feel like a total dummy, having wasted a lot of time and effort moving his office stuff around to set it up on top of the monetary cost. I was thinking that it may be possible to use a pre-out of the Denon into the Analog input of the MiniDSP but it appears you cant use a digital and analog input at the same time.

I'm humbly asking for some advice here. Is there anyway to dig myself out of this situation? (no hate please, )
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-01-2020, 09:42 PM
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this youtube channels covers minidsp very well


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwx...mIaH1jQ/videos



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post #3 of 27 Old 04-01-2020, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidmaster7 View Post
Hi everyone, my dad has an office setup of a pair of LS50's and an REL T9i. The LS50s are powered from a pretty hefty Denon Integrated amp. I was telling him how we really needed to get a proper crossover setup and use my UMIK to create some DSP filters with REW. So we ordered the MiniDSP. We set it up and BOOM, the sub is going insane. After a very confused 5 minutes I finally figure out the issue. The volume knob on the amp isnt controlling the sub volume, DUH.So the sub is getting a full signal with no way to attenuate it except digital control. Now I feel like a total dummy, having wasted a lot of time and effort moving his office stuff around to set it up on top of the monetary cost. I was thinking that it may be possible to use a pre-out of the Denon into the Analog input of the MiniDSP but it appears you cant use a digital and analog input at the same time.

I'm humbly asking for some advice here. Is there anyway to dig myself out of this situation? (no hate please, )
What's the Denon amp? How do you have the miniDSP connected?

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post #4 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Squidmaster7 View Post
I finally figure out the issue. The volume knob on the amp isnt controlling the sub volume, DUH.
Like Ryan said, how is the sub connected to the Denon? Because the only way you could have this situation is if you’re using something like a tape monitor or Zone 2 output, both of which are fixed-level signals that bypass the front volume control.

The only way this is going to work as you envisioned is of the Denon has pre-out and main-in jacks. The pre-out jacks would go to the miniDSP. The mini’s high freq output would go back to the Denon’s main in jacks, and the low-freq output would go to the sub.

If the Denon only has pre-out jacks, then your only options is to go back to the way it was before, with the system operating with no crossover filtering. Or add an outboard amplifier for the main speakers.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
What's the Denon amp? How do you have the miniDSP connected?
Its a Denon PMA-2000IVR. Heres the signal chain: imac usb out -> MiniDSP -> L&R RCA cables to amp + RCA cable from miniDSP to sub.
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 06:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
Like Ryan said, how is the sub connected to the Denon? Because the only way you could have this situation is if you’re using something like a tape monitor or Zone 2 output, both of which are fixed-level signals that bypass the front volume control.

The only way this is going to work as you envisioned is of the Denon has pre-out and main-in jacks. The pre-out jacks would go to the miniDSP. The mini’s high freq output would go back to the Denon’s main in jacks, and the low-freq output would go to the sub.

If the Denon only has pre-out jacks, then your only options is to go back to the way it was before, with the system operating with no crossover filtering. Or add an outboard amplifier for the main speakers.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
So the sub is not connected to the Denon, which in hindsight is obviously the issue. The amp is a Denon PMA-2000IVR. The signal chain is: imac usb -> MiniDSP -> L&R RCA cables to the Denon + RCA cable from MiniDSP to sub. The Denon has two pre-out jacks and if by main-in jacks you just mean line level inputs then yes it does as well. I have attached a picture of the back of the Denon.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squidmaster7 View Post
Its a Denon PMA-2000IVR. Heres the signal chain: imac usb out -> MiniDSP -> L&R RCA cables to amp + RCA cable from miniDSP to sub.
so...

2 options...
Easy option would be to sell the miniDSP and Denon, buy something with bass management at accessories4less, or your favorite place... you should be able to get a Denon x2500h or 1600h for about $330 bucks, and you're done...

alternatively, i "think" you should be able to run imac-->Denon-->Denon pre out L+R-->miniDSP-->sub

this should work, but is a heck of a lot more complicated, and has the added drawback that your LS50 speakers are still running full range and aren't bass managed... that makes the wave interaction issues more difficult to address in room... but it will work... if i'm reading things right RE the Denon...

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post #8 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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so...

2 options...
Easy option would be to sell the miniDSP and Denon, buy something with bass management at accessories4less, or your favorite place... you should be able to get a Denon x2500h or 1600h for about $330 bucks, and you're done...

alternatively, i "think" you should be able to run imac-->Denon-->Denon pre out L+R-->miniDSP-->sub

this should work, but is a heck of a lot more complicated, and has the added drawback that your LS50 speakers are still running full range and aren't bass managed... that makes the wave interaction issues more difficult to address in room... but it will work... if i'm reading things right RE the Denon...
So in this set up, I am basically just inserting the minidsp between the single denon preout and the sub? In effect just EQing the bass? At that point I feel like I could just run some EQ on the computer to cut down on the extreme low end. Im getting way too much room gain at around 30-40hz. If I cant figure out a good solution here Ill probably dive into the rabbit hole of using the MiniDSP in between my receiver and my sub for use in Audyssey with my Home theater setup. Ive already gone down the path of adding in a house curve using the MultEQ editor and all that jazz.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Squidmaster7 View Post
So in this set up, I am basically just inserting the minidsp between the single denon preout and the sub? In effect just EQing the bass? At that point I feel like I could just run some EQ on the computer to cut down on the extreme low end. Im getting way too much room gain at around 30-40hz. If I cant figure out a good solution here Ill probably dive into the rabbit hole of using the MiniDSP in between my receiver and my sub for use in Audyssey with my Home theater setup. Ive already gone down the path of adding in a house curve using the MultEQ editor and all that jazz.
yep... since the receiver doesn't have a bass output, the pre-out is a full range output, and the miniDSP is acting as the crossover + EQ. Eq in the mac wouldn't be that effective, as it would cut output everywhere...

with the miniDSP, you could futz with the phase/level of the sub only (while the L+R still play 30-40 Hz normally). this "may" let you get some improvement there... but really, the LS50 is already at least 6db down at 47Hz, therefore the sub is most of your output from 30-40..

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post #10 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jcr159 View Post
alternatively, i "think" you should be able to run imac-->Denon-->Denon pre out L+R-->miniDSP-->sub

this should work, but is a heck of a lot more complicated, and has the added drawback that your LS50 speakers are still running full range and aren't bass managed.
Can’t the mini be configured with high and low pass filters? Judging by this brochure, it looks like it can. If so, you’d get bass management for the main speakers by feeding the high-pass outputs back into the Denon’s “Power Amp Direct” inputs. Plus, you’d also get full-range EQ from then mini for both the mains and sub.

IOW, it will do everything the OP envisioned.

https://minidsp.com/images/documents...202x4%20HD.pdf

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
Can’t the mini be configured with high and low pass filters? Judging by this brochure, it looks like it can. If so, you’d get bass management for the main speakers by feeding the high-pass outputs back into the Denon’s “Power Amp Direct” inputs. Plus, you’d also get full-range EQ from then mini for both the mains and sub.

IOW, it will do everything the OP envisioned.

https://minidsp.com/images/documents...202x4%20HD.pdf

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
hmm... i was thinking the power amp direct were outputs, not inputs... if they are inputs, then yeah, that's the solution... it turns the Denon into a dumb amp...

i think the setup would be

mac-->
miniDSP
-->Denon-->LS50
-->sub

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post #12 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
Can’t the mini be configured with high and low pass filters? Judging by this brochure, it looks like it can. If so, you’d get bass management for the main speakers by feeding the high-pass outputs back into the Denon’s “Power Amp Direct” inputs. Plus, you’d also get full-range EQ from then mini for both the mains and sub.

IOW, it will do everything the OP envisioned.

https://minidsp.com/images/documents...202x4%20HD.pdf

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcr159 View Post
hmm... i was thinking the power amp direct were outputs, not inputs... if they are inputs, then yeah, that's the solution... it turns the Denon into a dumb amp...

i think the setup would be

mac-->
miniDSP
-->Denon-->LS50
-->sub
In this scenario how would one perform volume control? It would have to be entirely digital correct? If so I be really concerned about accidentally bumping up the volume to max and basically blowing out all the speakers at once. I dont think there is a way to cap the output volume of the minidsp. I guess it would have to be capped on the mac? It appears that the MiniDSP does have a compressor. this might also be an avenue to explore.
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post #13 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 08:58 AM
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The Denon has a front volume control. The mini DSP won't output anything louder than the signal it receives from the Denon's pre-amp outputs. The problem you had before was the result of things not being connected properly.


Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 09:01 AM
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Just to clarify, your imac is going to have to be connected to a Denon input. You can't connect it straight the the miniDSP as you were before or you'll have the same problem. This may require a D/A converter.

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post #15 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
The Denon has a front volume control. The mini DSP won't output anything louder than the signal it receives from the Denon's pre-amp outputs. The problem you had before was the result of things not being connected properly.


Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Im not quite following you Wayne. Per Ryan's suggestion about using the power amp inputs, the MiniDSP would have to feed into the Denon's power amp inputs there would be no way to use the volume knob. This means volume control would need to be upstream, either on the MiniDSP or the Computer itself.

As far as I can tell, there just isnt going to be a way to have the amplifier control the volume of the LR + Sub while also allowing the MiniDSP to act as a crossover.
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 09:46 AM
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As I said, you can’t send the front-end signal source to the miniDSP. You have to send it to the Denon. That way the Denon controls everything, which it is the way it was working before you told your dad you could improve his office system.

Sorry, couldn’t resist that – hee hee!

And – as I also said, you will have to get an A/D converter for the imac if it has no analog outputs.



Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
As I said, you can’t send the front-end signal source to the miniDSP. You have to send it to the Denon. That way the Denon controls everything, which it is the way it was working before you told your dad you could improve his office system.

Sorry, couldn’t resist that – hee hee!

And – as I also said, you will have to get an A/D converter for the imac if it has no analog outputs.



Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
I dont think this is going to work simply because you can only select one input on the Denon. I would have to pick between the LINE IN from the computer and the power amp input. The pre out likely only feeds out what is going into the selected Input. Also, there is no volume control when you have the power amp input selected. Just for reference heres a page from the manual.
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 10:57 AM
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Line in on the Denon = any non-phono input: CD, DVD, AUX, TUNER. Pick one.

That is not the same as the power amp input. You don't see an input on the front panel for "Amp," do you??

That tidbit from the manual about the power amp input and the volume control is only relevant if you are using it as a stand-alone amp. Whatever you connect to those jacks is what controls the volume, even if it's the Denon's own pre-amp outputs (albeit in this case with a processor in between).

One of the main reasons integrated amps had pre-out and main-jacks to begin with was to insert an outboard processor, like you're trying to do!

Just hook it up like I drew and it will work. Get back to us after you've done that.

Regards,
Wayne Pflughaupt
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post #19 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
Line in on the Denon = any non-phono input: CD, DVD, AUX, TUNER. Pick one.

That is not the same as the power amp input. You don't see an input on the front panel for "Amp," do you??

That tidbit from the manual about the power amp input and the volume control is only relevant if you are using it as a stand-alone amp. Whatever you connect to those jacks is what controls the volume, even if it's the Denon's own pre-amp outputs (albeit in this case with a processor in between).

One of the main reasons integrated amps had pre-out and main-jacks to begin with was to insert an outboard processor, like you're trying to do!

Just hook it up like I drew and it will work. Get back to us after you've done that.

Regards,
Wayne Pflughaupt
Thanks for the responses Wayne, I really appreciate your help here. Forgive my repeated questions as I have a final one:

Heres a hypothetical setup:
1. imac to Denon line in (lets just say CD input)
2. Pre out RCA on Denon to RCA inputs on MiniDSP.
3. RCA output from MiniDSP to Sub
4. Heres where Im stuck, where should the L+R analog outputs from the MiniDSP go? They cant go into the Power Amp input on the back as there wouldnt be volume control and the amp would no longer be looking at the CD input (where the sound is coming from in the first place). If I plug the L+R into another regular Line In then we have the same issue. The amplifier wouldnt be receiving sound from the CD Line In. The Pre-out would now be outputting a loop of highpassed absence of sound.

I have attached some pictures to highlight my confusion. As I see it, when I go to select the input on the front of the amplifier I would essentially be creating a loop.
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post #20 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 01:46 PM
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Connect everything per my diagram. It will work, and at that point it won’t matter if you’re confused as to why it works.

Just be sure the miniDSP’s four RCA outputs are configured to have two for high pass (main L/R) and at least one for low pass.

The only thing I’m uncertain about is which way the On/Off switch at the power amp input should be. I’ve never seen one of those. But switched one way or the other, the front volume knob will control the entire system and everything will be working as it should.

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post #21 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 02:20 PM
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Perhaps a little Audio 101 is in order.

An integrated amp is basically two components in one box: A pre-amp, and an amplifier.

The pre-amp section is where all the component inputs are (CD, Tuner, etc.). The volume control, tone controls, balance controls, etc. are also part of the pre-amp. Everything the pre-amp does – volume, tone controls, selected input – shows up at the Pre-amp Output jacks.

If you decide one day that you want more power, you could get a big ol’ high-powered amplifier and hook it up the integrated amp’s Pre-amp Output jacks. Naturally, you have to connect your existing speakers to the new amp. At this point, the amplifier section in the integrated amp is vacated and only its pre-amp section operates.

Alternately, you’ve moved on from the old integrated amp and it was moved to the closet to make way for your “latest and greatest” stereo or home theater receiver. But one day the main L/R amplifier channels go dead in the “latest and greatest.”

Well, you can drag the old integrated amp out of the closet and connect the “latest and greatest” L/R pre-amp outputs to the integrated amp’s Power Amp inputs. Move the existing speaker connections to the integrated, and you have a working system again.

Using the Power Amp inputs, the signal goes directly to the amplifier section and the entire pre-amp section – input selection, volume control, etc. – is bypassed.

Thus, an integrated amp can be used as intended, or as a stand-alone pre-amp, or as a stand-alone amplifier.

Get it?

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post #22 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Perhaps a little Audio 101 is in order.

An integrated amp is basically two components in one box: A pre-amp, and an amplifier.

The pre-amp section is where all the component inputs are (CD, Tuner, etc.). The volume control, tone controls, balance controls, etc. are also part of the pre-amp. Everything the pre-amp does – volume, tone controls, selected input – shows up at the Pre-amp Output jacks.

If you decide one day that you want more power, you could get a big ol’ high-powered amplifier and hook it up the integrated amp’s Pre-amp Output jacks. Naturally, you have to connect your existing speakers to the new amp. At this point, the amplifier section in the integrated amp is vacated and only its pre-amp section operates.

Alternately, you’ve moved on from the old integrated amp and it was moved to the closet to make way for your “latest and greatest” stereo or home theater receiver. But one day the main L/R amplifier channels go dead in the “latest and greatest.”

Well, you can drag the old integrated amp out of the closet and connect the “latest and greatest” L/R pre-amp outputs to the integrated amp’s Power Amp inputs. Move the existing speaker connections to the integrated, and you have a working system again.

Using the Power Amp inputs, the signal goes directly to the amplifier section and the entire pre-amp section – input selection, volume control, etc. – is bypassed.

Thus, an integrated amp can be used as intended, or as a stand-alone pre-amp, or as a stand-alone amplifier.

Get it?

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Hi Wayne, I tried out your diagram. Im afraid I was not able to make it work. I tried switching the Power amp switch from off to On as well.
Heres what I tried.

1.Imac to Denon CD input
2. Pre-out from Denon to MiniDSP
3. L+R minidsp output to Denon power amp input
4. Sub RCA from MiniDSP to Sub

Observations: When I switch to the Denon CD input, get sound (coming from the imac). The sub works too but the Mains are not being effected by the MiniDSP (muting output 1 &2 in the miniDSP does nothing).The power amp input is toggle-able between a regular line level input and the power amp input. I tried switching the Denon to the toggleable input and tried both. No dice.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 05:55 PM
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The power amp input is toggle-able between a regular line level input and the power amp input.
Have no idea what that means, but I guess it's not going to work. Every other integrated I've ever seen allow you to insert a processor between the pre-out and amp-in jacks.

One more thing you can try: Bypass the mini and simply connect a pair of RCA cables between the Denon pre-out and amp in and see if that works - i.e you get music from the CD input through the main speakers, with the volume control etc. working. Let me know.

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post #24 of 27 Old 04-02-2020, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
Have no idea what that means, but I guess it's not going to work. Every other integrated I've ever seen allow you to insert a processor between the pre-out and amp-in jacks.

One more thing you can try: Bypass the mini and simply connect a pair of RCA cables between the Denon pre-out and amp in and see if that works - i.e you get music from the CD input through the main speakers, with the volume control etc. working. Let me know.

Regards,
Wayne A.Pflughaupt
The input is called Aux 2 / P. Direct. On the back there is a switch that switches between the two modes. I havent tried what you recommended yet but I doubt it will work because the manual explicitly states there is no volume control in P. Direct mode and I would have to be on the CD input to receive any sound. When the amp is not in P. Direct mode then the Aux 2 inputs just function as regular line inputs.
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The reason I ask is that your description above sounds like you were actually getting audio to both the speakers and the sub.

Studying the confusing manual more carefully, it appears that if you use the AUX2 input, and switch the “Power Amp Direct” switch to “On,” it essentially sends the AUX 2 inputs straight to the amplifier section and bypasses the pre-amp section. (IOW, the same as if you plugged whatever you plugged into the AUX 2 jacks directly into the Amp jacks.) I have what their thinking was on that was, but whatever.

So, it looks like with the switch in the “Off” position, the Amp jacks act like they would normally – plug something into them to access the internal amplifier directly.

Thus, in the “Off” position with jumper cables between the Pre Out jacks and Amp inputs, the Denon should behave the same as if the cables weren’t there. Which is what we’re looking for.

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post #26 of 27 Old 04-03-2020, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Wayne A. Pflughaupt View Post
The reason I ask is that your description above sounds like you were actually getting audio to both the speakers and the sub.

Studying the confusing manual more carefully, it appears that if you use the AUX2 input, and switch the “Power Amp Direct” switch to “On,” it essentially sends the AUX 2 inputs straight to the amplifier section and bypasses the pre-amp section. (IOW, the same as if you plugged whatever you plugged into the AUX 2 jacks directly into the Amp jacks.) I have what their thinking was on that was, but whatever.

So, it looks like with the switch in the “Off” position, the Amp jacks act like they would normally – plug something into them to access the internal amplifier directly.

Thus, in the “Off” position with jumper cables between the Pre Out jacks and Amp inputs, the Denon should behave the same as if the cables weren’t there. Which is what we’re looking for.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
Wayne I have been able to come to an acceptable solution. I am going USB to the MiniDSP, analog out of the miniDSP into the Power amp section of the amp. Sub is being fed by the MiniDSP. All of the volume control is happening digitally in the imac.
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post #27 of 27 Old 04-03-2020, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Squidmaster7 View Post
Thanks for the responses Wayne, I really appreciate your help here. Forgive my repeated questions as I have a final one:

Heres a hypothetical setup:
1. imac to Denon line in (lets just say CD input)
2. Pre out RCA on Denon to RCA inputs on MiniDSP.
3. RCA output from MiniDSP to Sub
4. Heres where Im stuck, where should the L+R analog outputs from the MiniDSP go? They cant go into the Power Amp input on the back as there wouldnt be volume control and the amp would no longer be looking at the CD input (where the sound is coming from in the first place). If I plug the L+R into another regular Line In then we have the same issue. The amplifier wouldnt be receiving sound from the CD Line In. The Pre-out would now be outputting a loop of highpassed absence of sound.

I have attached some pictures to highlight my confusion. As I see it, when I go to select the input on the front of the amplifier I would essentially be creating a loop.
You simply can't use miniDSP for all of the speakers with what you have. You're limited to only EQing the subwoofer. You basically need an amp like this video:


So you can only go Denon pre-out to miniDSP to subwoofer. You won't need anything else other than the Denon's remote or your hand to manually adjust the volume knob on the front.

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Last edited by Ryan Statz; 04-03-2020 at 06:30 PM.
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