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Adding a woofer to mains with the Minidsp 2 x 4 HD 4 years 11 months ago #28125

  • martinwild
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I'm not much of a DIYer but a real advocate of the Minidsp, so this is a description for the non or low techies of how easy it is to improve the quality of your sound system with the Minidsp.

When I decided to up the quality of my system I started at the front end with Foobar2000 so I could play HD audio files such Flac and other lossless audio files. output was into a Cambridge Audio DACMagic. I then used a headphone splitter to provide the input signal to two amplifiers. One amplifier an Arcam A75 powers the excuse for the upgrade, a pair of Royd Minstrel speakers. Vintage speakers with a big sound stage and real detail for the size. They as the name implies are great for vocals such as jazz, but if you want to put on the dance music the bass is lively but a bit lacking. So I had a look at adding a bass speaker. the Minstrels replaced a pair of 3 way Sony speakers made in Norway in the 70's matched with my Sansui AU 101. The 8"woofers had blown. so I bought a single SEAS L22RN4XP/H1208 based on the description of tremendous bass precision and extension, as I like my bass nice and tight. It fitted straight into the Sony box without a problem after playing around with box design software, and sounded fine. I then plugged the second DAC output into a Pioneer SA620 and connected the Seas box to the left channel. I then added a crossover filter 12db from 120hz and an Lpad attenuator so I could adjust the bass volume without going into the cupboard housing all this stuff. And it was fine, but the bass was not quite integrated into the overall sound. As the old nettop pc was running slow I bought an Intel NUC, moved the itb hybrid hard drive and connected an external 1tb drive, though that will be going to a 3tb soon.

enter the Minidsp. Looking at the website articles and downloads about how to use it was initially a bit offputting, not knowing much about equalising and high shelf filters etc etc. However, it was pretty easy in practice to get major improvements with relatively few filters etc.

One really massive improvement came from simply adding the left and right input channels to the woofer output channel. With only space for one woofer the previous arrangement was a problem, adding the two channels with the DSP gave the bas a much fuller and rounded sound. I added a Linkowitz transformation. The Seas driver had a very smooth response when I measured it, so all that was needed was a high shelf filter to smooth out a few bumps at the lower end. then it was the crossover, which took a bit of playing around with to get the best sound and balance between the Minstrels and the Seas woofer. I ended up with a BW 18db at 150 z on the woofer and LR 12 db at 150hz on the Minstrels. That was it. I then went to the Foobar graphic equaliser and boosted the vocal range a bit, and damped down the 8 -10khz range to remove a bit of sibilance from the Mintrels. Clarence Carter and the Enforcers, Ella Fitzgerald, Led Zeppelin, Earth Wind and Fire, Mark Murphy, Livingstone Taylor all beautiful. Next step in the project is to replace the Minstrels with the Linkwitz LX Mini .

Anyway this is the kit in the cupboard, I have a TV on top with a wireless keyboard and mouse connected into the Intel NUC. One of the selling points of the HD version was the remote, which I have not tackled yet but really should do soon.


this is the Seas L22 in the old box



and this is the Minstrel and drivers



so plenty of changes have gone into improving the overall sound, but the Minidsp has had a major impact for not much hassle, It is so easy to set up it makes it possible to build your own speakers from any driver you care to join up. I am really interested in an open baffle setup, hence my interest in the LW , but now with the mindsp will have a go at building my own sometime.
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Last edit: by martinwild.

Adding a woofer to mains with the Minidsp 2 x 4 HD 4 years 11 months ago #28174

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Hi Martin

Thanks so much for your new project entry! Much appreciated how you took a leap of faith to get this system together..
We're sorry to hear that all our app notes were offputting and maybe scary. We're trying to show the most information we can about our products in a wide range of setups.. Hoping it provides the most info for our customers. We can understand that it's indeed a bit overload for a first time user.. :-)

Great to hear that you're enjoying and looking forward to seeing your REW measurements.. That's another great step of speaker building now with that new toy.

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