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TOPIC: Passive 2way Conversion Initial Thoughts onMiniDSP

Passive 2way Conversion Initial Thoughts onMiniDSP 4 years 1 week ago #21333

  • aktiondan
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I finally had some time today to set up my MiniDSP2x4 with an older set of passive speakers I made several years ago. I hadn't intended on converting them to an active crossover/DSP setup but I'm months away from starting another speaker project and I really wanted to play around with my new toy. I had bought a set of dual/bi-amp binding post terminal cups from PE weeks earlier and cut them into my cabinets today and pulled out the massive crossover that once was the heart of these nice little speakers. I got a weird rush out of wiring the tweeter and woofer straight to each binding post and then onto their own dedicated channel of my Emotiva UPA-700 amp. I could just sense something awesome was afoot.

I plugged in the MiniDSP after purchasing the 2wayAdvanced plugin and just played around with vast array of settings. I was completely blown away with the simplicity and versatility of it all. The unit was basically plug-n-play. I picked a super-simple LR crossover at 2kHz with 24dB/octave slopes and synced it up. I turned everything on (Old Sony CD, Denon AVR for the pre) and listened to some tunes. Everything worked perfectly (of course I checked every connection like 5 times just be sure, ie., no cap on the tweeter). I was actually shocked to find that the software updates the MiniDSP real-time, while you're listening! I don't know why I didn't expect that. I noticed right away there was little mid-to low end - it needed some baffle step. So I made something up, picked 450 Hz and bumped it up 5 dB. Wow instantaneous improvement. I love the "copy to" function. I used it over an over again to sync settings between the Left and Right channels. The tweeter was a bit bright so I dropped it down 3 dB, sounding better already! Of course since I had designed the previous passive crossover, I already had an idea of where to start. At this point I just listened to some music and loved it. This is one happy customer here, and I've just scratched the surface.

Next I pulled out all my measurement gear (UCA222, EMC-8000, 1202 mixer) and clicked open REW. Oh and I'm running Windows 10 on an HP Elitebook with this setup and so far everything works great without any problems. I ran a full-range sweep in-room at 0.5m and it didn't look too bad! I was just shooting in the dark with my first pass too. I played around with the crossover points, the baffle step, the tweeter levels and then moved onto the PEQ settings to tame some peaks and bumps. I dialed in some delay in the tweeter until the inverted phase gave me a decent null (is that how you're suppose to figure out how to set that?) I'm in hog heaven! I haven't had this much fun in a long time with DIY. I pulled out some more CDs and just listened to whatever I could find. Everything I listened to sounded better than it ever has with these speakers. I am super excited to see what else I can do with this sweet little piece of hardware. And as far as noise floor goes, with the 2x4 unbalanced straight into the UPA-700 (100W/channel into 4 ohms, 29 dB gain) and a tweeter with a sensitivity of 90 dB the noise was completely acceptable, inaudible past 1m away. I'm running the unit off a wallart from an old Linksys router rated at 12V @ 1A and it works great.

Anyway, I've gone on, but I just wanted t o say that as a newbie to the world of DSP (but not so much to DIY speakers) this thing is amazing and has exceeded my expectations. Big thanks to the guys that developed this thing, it is obviously the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to the art of DSP. Not to mention this thing was only $80. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Thanks again guys and hopefully I'll have more project pics to share in the months to come.
Last Edit: 4 years 1 week ago by aktiondan. Reason: typo
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Passive 2way Conversion Initial Thoughts onMiniDSP 4 years 1 week ago #21341

  • Jim the Oldbie
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Hi Dan(?), welcome to the fray!

I think many of us here can relate to your excitement. Mine has subsided a bit these days, but only because my miniDSP rig sounds so good now that I'm just sitting back and enjoying the music! This is far & away the best-sounding audio system I've had the pleasure to own.

Have fun!

-- Jim
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Passive 2way Conversion Initial Thoughts onMiniDSP 4 years 1 week ago #21345

  • aktiondan
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Thanks Jim! And yes, it is Dan. Didn't even realize I didn't sign that last post. I've had a chance to listen more this afternoon and continue to be impressed with everything I hear. I took a few pictures of my setup and even threw together a quick sketch/interconnect diagram just for fun. Even though I hadn't intended on keeping these speakers as an active 2-way, I may just have to figure out a way to keep them like this because they do sound so good. I'm also very interested in doing some A/B comparisons against the old passive crossovers. I'm sure that might interest others as well?










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Last Edit: 4 years 1 week ago by aktiondan. Reason: updated pics
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Passive 2way Conversion Initial Thoughts onMiniDSP 4 years 1 week ago #21406

  • devteam
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Great post Dan, thanks very much for your feedback!

Sounds like you had quite some fun here with that little board. It's indeed quite enlightening to be able quickly A/B test a configuration.
The 2x4 is a great started, next step will be to test the miniSHARC series for FIR filters.

DSP is quite addictive, you'll have loads of fun trying many speaker configurations and measurements to back up your experiments, just remember that your neighbors might not enjoy the audio sweeps as much.. ;-)

Keep us updated with your progress!

Devteam
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