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Desperate for some Room Correction, not sure where to start 1 month 3 weeks ago #56782

  • marcus68
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Greetings to the helpful miniDSP community!
I have a terrible listening room: two floor to ceiling glass walls, two concrete block walls — and a tiled floor.  The room is quite big.  I want to see if DSP room correction can help me.
I have a nice-but-simple audio system: two passive floor-standing speakers (no sub), a power amp, a "pre-amp/streamer/DAC", a turntable, and Apple Music coming through a dedicated iPad via USB.
I find the selection of miniDSP products confusing.  I "think" I could use the DDRC-24 between my "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" and my power amp, but I would lose the balanced (XLR) connection between those components.  Also, the "AD/DA" conversions in the DDRC-24 seems like it would negate any benefits from the (supposedly good) DAC in my "pre-amp".
So then I thought maybe the DDRC-22D would better suit my needs by doing the DSP "before" my "pre-amp/streamer/DAC".  However, with this solution, my turntable would not benefit from any of the DSP.
Then I thought maybe the SHD or SHD Studio might be the way to go, but... they seem a little overkill for my needs.  And I'm not even sure one of these units would give me any more in the end than the DDRC-22D would (for my purposes).  (Also, would I need to use Volumio?  I'm okay with my current Apple Music Lossless service, and may want to utilise the Roon Ready feature of my "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" in the future with Tidal/Quobuz.)
I have very little understanding about any of this.  Please let me know if I'm confusing different functions of DSP, different miniDSP product purposes, or if I've left out any important details.
Any thoughts/suggestions about how to implement a miniDSP solution in my system would be much appreciated!
Thank you in advance.

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Last edit: by marcus68. Reason: typo

Desperate for some Room Correction, not sure where to start 1 month 3 weeks ago #56800

  • daveing
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Hi Marcus,

Does your "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" have a digital out?
If so, you could connect it to the DDRC-24 with the optical input and connect your phono preamp to the RCAs on the DDRC-24. You'd then use the DDRC-24 as the volume controller with the miniDSP remote or other.

Is there a good reason to hang onto your "pre-amp/streamer/DAC"?
The SHD is also a streamer-DAC & preamp, with balanced inputs/outputs. And of course it is a DSP. Unless there's a good reason to hang onto your existing unit you could replace it with the SHD.

The third option
If so, the DDRC-88A could neatly slip between your "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" + phono preamp and your power amplifier. And it has balanced inputs/outputs. It also has many outputs. You could run 2 or 3-way speakers and have dual subs down the track if you wanted. The DDRC-88A would be used to adjust the volume.


 
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Desperate for some Room Correction, not sure where to start 1 month 3 weeks ago #56808

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Thank you, daveing.

My "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" does not have a digital output, only balanced and unbalanced analogue outputs.

Unfortunately, I do have a good reason to keep my "pre-amp/streamer/DAC" — it was expensive and it's virtually new.  It also has a nice internal headphone amp, with balanced and unbalanced sockets, as well as a good internal mm/mc phono pre-amp.  And it matches physically with the power amp — same manufacturer, same half-rack dimensions.

I'm still confused about how the DSP/Dirac technology works.  Is it best to put it between the pre-amp and the amp?  Is it the only option?  Or can it be placed before the pre-amp, doing it's magic on the digital stream between the iPad/USB source and the pre-amp?  If this is the best solution, I'd be willing to forego DSP for my turntable.  I mostly listen to records through my headphones.

Finally, if a USB input to a miniDSP device is an issue, I would seriously consider connecting my iMac via a network cable.

Thanks again for your help!

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Desperate for some Room Correction, not sure where to start 1 month 3 weeks ago #56813

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Sounds like a nice setup Marcus.

The DDCR-24 can take a USB input, so you could use it for just the iPad, between the iPad & preamp.

But for the exercise, did you want to try RCA connections from your preamp to your power amp to compare to balanced. With one unit on top of the other it shouldn't make any discernible difference.

If it does sound different, the DDRC-88A will take care of the balanced signal between your preamp & power amp.
If you cannot detect any difference, save the considerable coin and use the DDRC-24 between your preamp & power amp.
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Desperate for some Room Correction, not sure where to start 1 month 3 weeks ago #56823

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Thanks again, daveing.

Indeed, I am very happy with my setup!

You are probably right that RCA vs. balanced will not make much difference in my case.  But since I can't "try out" different miniDSP units in my system, and since I technically "paid" for the balanced connectors in my pre-amp and amp, I will probably splurge a bit to make use of them.

I appreciate the back-and-forth to help me think this through!

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