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TOPIC: Possible Defective Unit?

Possible Defective Unit? 5 days 1 hour ago #48559

Just got my DDRC-24 a week ago and not having much luck with it. The reason I suspect there may be a problem with the unit is because when it is in "bypass" mode (no filters) my stereo sounds worse than it does if there was no minidsp connected.

I have run the measurements 4 times with dirac live. 2 times with a 2.1 system (KEF LS50 and SVS Sub); And twice with my vintage B&W 2.0 system. In all 4 cases the dirac filter doesn't improve the sound. It is lacking in bass and warmth, it makes the vocals very prominent, but the rest of the music sounds compressed.

But again, the real reason I suspect there is a possible defective issue is because when I press the "bell" button on the remote which bypasses the minidsp filters, the speakers sound terrible. Tinny, compressed, muffled. To be clear, when I hook the stereo up the old fashioned way (no minidsp) it sounds warm and full. The "bypass" mode does not sound the same. It should sound the exact same, right?

Now my sound isn't perfect without minidsp which is why I got it. It gets such good reviews I was looking forward to a real improvement but after 4 attempts I am very disappointed. Any thoughts?
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 17 hours ago #48563

  • dreite
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Your unit is not defective.

Pressing the Dirac (bell) button to disable it does not put the unit into "bypass" mode. You can still have numerous filters active. And you will if the unit is in the default configuration since crossover filters are active there.

Dave.
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 13 hours ago #48565

  • Ultrasonic
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Just to add to the comment above, what the 'bell' button does is to turn the Dirac filters on and off but it has no effect on all of the setting in the SHD plugin. I'm not sure what you've done there but note you need to be doing a fair bit of work on this configuration to optimise the sub integration before running Dirac. Specifically setting up the crossovers and delays, with the latter requiring you to make measurements using something like REW to be done properly. Doing this will also make it very obvious if there are problems with you plugin configuration, and as above my bet is you'll find you currently have an incorrectly set crossover applied.

For what it's worth I do think its regrettable that the default crossover setting are not with them all disabled and you would be far from the first person to be caught out by this if you have been.
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 4 hours ago #48576

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I'm surprised how many people don't inspect the configuration of their unit before putting in a system and going for it. :)

Anyways, Section 9.3.4 of the DDRC-24 manual shows the default crossover settings. If you don't change them, that's the response you have with the Dirac capability turned off.

I think it's an understandable (conservative) default configuration for the miniDSP units. I don't find it regrettable at all......in fact, I applaud it.

Dave.
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 3 hours ago #48577

  • Ultrasonic
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dreite wrote:
I'm surprised how many people don't inspect the configuration of their unit before putting in a system and going for it. :)

Anyways, Section 9.3.4 of the DDRC-24 manual shows the default crossover settings. If you don't change them, that's the response you have with the Dirac capability turned off.

I think it's an understandable (conservative) default configuration for the miniDSP units. I don't find it regrettable at all......in fact, I applaud it.

Dave.

I can't see any advantage at all personally.
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 3 hours ago #48578

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Well, either way, I just don't understand folks not checking the settings of the unit before using it. :)
My goodness.

Dave.
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 2 hours ago #48579

Thanks for the responses everyone. I only got the MiniDSP a few days ago, so I did read through the settings section but am only now coming to fully understand everything. That's why I posted this in the newbie section!

So I now get that pressing the bell button removes the Dirac filter but doesn't change what is being done in the ddrc24 plugin. I do still wonder though, in the scenario where I only did a 2 channel stereo project (no sub) if the filters in ddrc24 would alter the original sound very much. I had the Crossover settings bypassed. But I did not make any changes to PEQ or Comp. Are those two active but unchanged settings enough to change the basic sound that is passing through the minidsp? If I click "bypassed" on Crossover, PEQ, and Comp, will that be like a full bypass mode, so when I click the bell on the remote the sound I will get is my original stereo sound without any filters applied by the ddrc24 plugin?

Again, my goal is to make sure there isn't something faulty in this unit because so far I have not like the effect it has had on my sound.

Assuming the minidsp is working, it sounds like the advice is to do a full REW calibration before doing a Dirac calibration. Correct? I skipped REW so far. Is it possible that even after that I may just not like the sound of the ddrc24? Or is it the case that if used properly the ddrc24/dirac combo will always produce better sound? I very much want this to work, but feeling a bit discouraged so far.

Thanks for the help!
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 2 hours ago #48580

  • Ultrasonic
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Just to check, when you look at the crossover setting for the output channels you are using, are both showing a flat orange line at 0 dB?
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Possible Defective Unit? 4 days 30 minutes ago #48581

That is correct.
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Possible Defective Unit? 3 days 22 hours ago #48584

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elikirschner wrote:
That is correct.

And it still sounds rubbish?

The PEQ and compression settings should do nothing by default but check.

A frequency sweep measurement in REW would be interesting to see what's going on. This is easy to do.

One other thought: when you say you're toggling Dirac on and off with the remote is in definitely off that sounds bad?
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Possible Defective Unit? 3 days 18 hours ago #48589

Yes, still rubbish. I haven't learned REW yet but will do that next so I can measure with no minidsp connected and then with.

2nd question is interesting, how can I tell whether Dirac is engaged or not? I would assume that when I hit the number on the remote for one of the presets that that preset would begin being on. Then hitting the bell turns it off. If that is true then I am sure. But neither way sounds very good, just different. And neither sound as good as when minidsp is taken out of the signal chain.
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Possible Defective Unit? 3 days 12 hours ago #48591

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elikirschner wrote:
2nd question is interesting, how can I tell whether Dirac is engaged or not? I would assume that when I hit the number on the remote for one of the presets that that preset would begin being on. Then hitting the bell turns it off. If that is true then I am sure. But neither way sounds very good, just different. And neither sound as good as when minidsp is taken out of the signal chain.

On the SHD that I have the button on the remote toggles Dirac on and off for ALL presets. It's an independent setting to the preset number, so changing to a different preset won't turn Dirac back on. I expect it's the same for you.

For you to be sure if Dirac is on or not I think you need to control your DDRC-24 with the plugin and use the Dirac button there. Don't use the remote when the plugin is connected as this can cause problems.
Last Edit: 3 days 12 hours ago by Ultrasonic.
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Possible Defective Unit? 3 days 6 hours ago #48593

  • john.reekie
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elikirschner wrote:
Again, my goal is to make sure there isn't something faulty in this unit because so far I have not like the effect it has had on my sound.

Which input are you using? (A diagram showing all connected equipment with model numbers would be even better.)

Can you save your (plugin) configuration to a file and post it here? (You may need to add a .txt extension.)
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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Possible Defective Unit? 3 days 37 minutes ago #48605

Per Ultrasonic’s suggestion I tried controlling the on/off for the Dirac filter in the ddrc24 plugin, not with the remote. The results were the same. Sounds okay with Dirac on. Sounds bad with Dirac off. Neither way sounds as good as the speakers with minidsp removed from the chain entirely.

Per John.reekie’s question, I have attached the plugin config file. Config 4 is the one I have calibrated for this test. It's really the simplest hookup possible with 2 channel audio. Klipsch streamer > Rotel RC1150 preamp > Minidsp DDRC24 (Inputs 1 and 2 for left an right) > Onkyo M504 power amp > B&W speakers.
Attachments:
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Possible Defective Unit? 2 days 16 hours ago #48611

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Great, thank you. A config file contains only one config (not all 4), so hopefully you had config 4 selected when you saved the file? If so, then in your routing you have the left channel (only) routed to outputs 1 and 2. I'm not sure if that would account entirely for what you are hearing but it would be one thing to fix.

The other question I suppose is where your master volume is set in the DDRC-24. If it's set low, then it's possible you are over-driving the analog input. (Setting it at 0dB and controlling the volume downstream is the other common issue, but that doesn't apply here.) Setting the volume in the DDRC to -10 dB would be the best place to leave it. That is assuming you are controlling the actual volume with the Rotel preamp.

HTH :)
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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