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TOPIC: Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac

Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47649

  • asx77
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Hi Everyone,

Love the forum and all the knowledgeable folk who take the time to post.

Here’s my challenge question for today. I’ve a pair or two way standmount speakers and a sub. With two power amps I could bi-amp my speakers and what’s more, have active crossovers (always wanted to try that!)

What is the best way to have (a) active crossovers for my main speaker’s tweeters-woofers and also (b) have sub integration?
....and... have Dirac correcting for my room! I want it all!! :-)

The SHD seems an obvious choice for achieving either (a) or (b) but not both. If only the SHD had 4 outputs + a dedicated sub out.

Anyway who fancies the challenge of figuring it out.
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47653

  • Ultrasonic
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You probably know but let me just double-check: you understand that to use a miniDSP as an active crosover you would need to remove the passive crossover from your speakers, right? I'm asking as doing this, and the associated work to set this up well, is more involved than many may want to get into. Which is not to say there aren't loads of people who have put the time in to do this and are very happy with the results!
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47655

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Yes understand it involves removing the passive crossover in the speakers. I never mind being asked things like that though - no one is infallible, something potentially damaging can be easily missed.
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47656

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asx77 wrote:
Yes understand it involves removing the passive crossover in the speakers. I never mind being asked things like that though - no one is infallible, something potentially damaging can be easily missed.

Great.

As for your main question there is no clear answer. One option would be to use a 2x4 HD for the active crossover and then have a DDRC-24 or an SHD to control to sub to main speakers crossover and apply Dirac correction to the combined system. This isn't something I've done myself though, although I do actually have all the hardware I'd need!

@Tony_J is one member who has done something like I described I think. Maybe have a search through his threads if he doesn't spot this.
Last Edit: 1 month 2 weeks ago by Ultrasonic.
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47669

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Hi Ultrasonic,
Thanks for that. Would you have the DRC/SHD feeding the 2x4 or the other way around?

I’ve read Tony’s threads and he seems to have daisy chained smaller units. The thing I don’t like about that is the Digital-Analogue-Analogue-Digital-Digital-Analogue back and forth. Seems to me MiniDSP really want to be offering a Dirac plug-in to something like there 4x10!
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47670

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asx77 wrote:
Hi Ultrasonic,
Thanks for that. Would you have the DRC/SHD feeding the 2x4 or the other way around?

The former, and critically a 2x4 HD not a basic 2x4, which I'd totally avoid. You have to have the Dirac capable unit controlling the signal sent to all elements of the combined system for it to work.
asx77 wrote:
I’ve read Tony’s threads and he seems to have daisy chained smaller units. The thing I don’t like about that is the Digital-Analogue-Analogue-Digital-Digital-Analogue back and forth. Seems to me MiniDSP really want to be offering a Dirac plug-in to something like there 4x10!

Sure, miniDSP simply don't make a product that does all that you want hence some form of compromise if you want to try. My likely long term plan will be to replace my main speakers with commercially made active speakers and to keep using my SHD as I do now for sub integration and then Dirac Live applied to the combined system.

Having said the above is a compromise it should perhaps be pointed out that I'm sure loads of people have made active speakers with 2x4 HDs acting as active crossovers and been very happy with the results.
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 2 weeks ago #47671

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Hi, a 4x10HD or C-DSP8x12 driven from one of the SHD digital outputs will work fine and without additional A/D/A conversions. Think of it as one unit being the speaker crossover, the other being room correction and sub integration (and in this case, the network and USB audio inputs as well).
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
-> Have you posted a screenshot?
-> Have you posted your config file?
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 1 week ago #47692

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Cheers Ultrasonic that looks like and option but...

Ultrasonic and John,
John’s post prompted me to look at the Car audio options. Have you seen there appears to be a new product? The C-DSP 8x12 DL. It accepts digital input. Has as many assignable channels as could ever be needed and has Dirac! I think that is the answer product right? Or is there an issue with the quality of a product aimed for use in the car? Will the components (importantly the DAC) be lower quality?
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 1 week ago #47706

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asx77 wrote:
John’s post prompted me to look at the Car audio options. Have you seen there appears to be a new product? The C-DSP 8x12 DL. It accepts digital input. Has as many assignable channels as could ever be needed and has Dirac! I think that is the answer product right? Or is there an issue with the quality of a product aimed for use in the car? Will the components (importantly the DAC) be lower quality?

That's not a product I've ever looked at before...

From a quick look the two most obvious potential issues are that firstly you'd need to find a way to power it (as it's designed to work with a car battery as power source) and that going from the spec sheet the 6 V rms output level is high compared to the standard 2 V rms output for in-home unbalanced audio signals. The output level issue could be managed with digital or analogue attenuation though, and the DDRC-24 runs off a 12 V DC supply from a 'wall-wart' power supply so I'm guessing there must be a way to use something similar here.

On the quality front, going solely on the info. on the chips used, it looks equivalent to a DDRC-24 to me (which for what it's worth is not at good as the SHD series but these cost a lot more). There is more to ultimate performance than just part numbers of course.

One feature the in-car option doesn't support is a USB audio input. And it obviously lacks the streaming capabilities of the SHD series too.

I've just had a quick look at the user manual and I'd advise you to do the same. The plugin is designed around a surround-sound configuration like you'd have in a home cinema rather than a stereo setup, with specific functionality around handling the signal sent to the subwoofer. At first glance I think it would probably be suitable for what you want but I'd need to spend more time going through all the details to be sure. Make sure you do this before spending any money!

You may want to have a read through the CDSP section of this forum to see if you can learn more.
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 1 week ago #47708

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Great shout! There are a few posts there regarding home use. Devteam chipped in to warm folk of a few things they need to overcome. One thing I didn’t understand was their comment about the analogue outputs

“All inputs are "differential balanced" = like balanced input. So it's not the same as a simple RCA.”

Does that make sense to you?

Anyway I raised a new post there asking if anyone has implemented it in a stereo setup with success. Let’s see if anyone has!
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Active crossovers, Sub integration, Dirac 1 month 1 week ago #47714

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asx77 wrote:
Hi Ultrasonic,
Thanks for that. Would you have the DRC/SHD feeding the 2x4 or the other way around?

I’ve read Tony’s threads and he seems to have daisy chained smaller units. The thing I don’t like about that is the Digital-Analogue-Analogue-Digital-Digital-Analogue back and forth. Seems to me MiniDSP really want to be offering a Dirac plug-in to something like there 4x10!

Hi - an alternative that avoids the D-A-D-A problem is instead of daisy-chaining one of the cheaper miniDSPs, daisychain an analogue 2-way crossover instead.

Alternatively, you could do what I did very early on in my experiments with DSP:

I presume that your sub has its own low-pass filter, and can take high level signals as input. If that is the case, then use either a DDRC-24 or a SHD and configure it to feed the bi-amped 2-way speakers, with a suitable crossover point. Do any tweaking of the 2-way setup that is appropriate (with the sub switched off) so that the overall balance WITHOUT Dirac is as good as you can get it - adjust levels between the LF and HF sections, remove any gross peaks in the FR by applying PEQ filters, etc. Feed the sub with the high-level signal from the bass channels of the bi-amped setup (or split off a low level feed from the LF outputs of the DSP) , and deliberately set its level control too high. Then run Dirac and allow it to "tame" both the overall response and also the sub. What Dirac will do, because the setup is too bass-heavy, is to apply a bass cut in the region of the FR curve where the sub is operating, and where there will be some overlap with the bass drivers in the 2-way. The effect of this will be to reduce the sub's output, but also to reduce the LF output of the 2-way in the region of overlap. In effect, Dirac has created a bandpass filter for the LF section of the 2-way, and integrated the sub in the process.

I did a very similar thing to this with a pair of full range speakers, a sub, and a DSPeaker Antimode 2 DSP box to do the integration - it worked surprisingly well.
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