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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63173

  • Jwildcat89
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I have a McIntosh MAC7200 receiver with the DA1 DAC. I also have a Bluesound Node 2i connected via optical to a Cambridge Audio DACMAGIC 200m which is then connected to the MAC7200 via analog outputs. I stream Tidal, so I use the DACMAGIC for MQA decoding. 

My main speakers are Sonus faber Olympica Nova V towers. I also have two SVS PC2000 Pro subs. 

As you can see, I really don’t need another DAC or streamer. I just want DIRAC and bass management. 

Which MiniDSP model would the community suggest?  
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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63174

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In reviewing the manuals, it looks like the SHD has the connectivity I want, but it also has a bunch of additional functionality that I don’t need. The studio looks like a better fit when it comes to functionality, but connectivity looks lacking. I need two sub outputs. 


IF I GET THE SHD…
As I understand it (which maybe incorrect), I need to go pre-out to the SHD from the MAC and then loop it back to the MAC for amplification. What I’m confused about is whether I can continue using my existing sources as currently configured (connected to the MAC) OR if I must connect my sources to the SHD. 

IF I GET THE SHD STUDIO…
Is there any way to use this device, given my dual subs?

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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63181

  • asx77
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You're fortunate the MAC has pre-out and main-in. You could use a DDRC-24. Send the Mac's pre-out to DDRC-24 analogue in. Do the crossovers and room correction within the DDRC-24. Then send two of its outputs into the Mac's main in for left and right amplification and the other two outputs to the subs.
Warning: Just because I'm a 'Platinum' member, doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about... It just means I've asked too many questions!!
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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63208

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I had not considered the DDRC-24. That appears to be the perfect solution. I assume the UMIK attaches to the computer, right? And once DIRAC runs, it stores the configuration in the DDRC? I don't need to have a computer continually connected do I?

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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63214

  • itskaefer
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I would rather try to do things in the digital domain instead of putting another ADC -> Dirac ->  DAC between the pre-out and the main-in.

It makes no sense to use MQA decoding in the DACMAGIC, send it to the MAC which sends it to the minidsp and back in twice converted.

I think you can stream Tidal over the SHD?
So instead of an extra DAC you probably could use the SHD as preamp and get rid of the bluesound node and the DACMAGIC?

Of course you can try the DDRC24.
But the DDRC24 also has only 48kHz Processing sample rate.

But to answer you're question:
You don't need to run a PC connected to the miniDSP. After you set it uo it runs on its own.

greetz
Marcus
miniDSP SHD, Marantz SA7001Ki, Rega P1
2x XTZ Edge a2-300 monoblocks - nuJubilee 45 bookshelf
Custom ICEPower 250ASX2 BTL - Hertz ES300 custom sub
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Last edit: by itskaefer.

Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63215

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@Jwildcat89, @itskaefer, I would have gone for something like the SHD too but the OP had already considered it. I was suggesting the DDRC-24 based on the fact the OP so wanted to keep their existing kit but I agree however that the SHD could become the source, and remove an extra AD-DA conversion. A problem with that is that with Macs costing as much as they do, I'd imagine the OP doesn't want to use it as just a power amp!
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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63217

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@asx77
I'm on your side. But than still the SHD would be the better choice because of the better ADC / DAC inside.
As you pointed out the MAC wasn't cheap for sure and adding a Bluesound node + DACMAGIC for streaming MQA neither.
So using the DDRC24 makes imho no sense when you put the weakest part right before the AMP sections.
If you do that there is no point streaming MQA or anything above 48kHz.

greetz
Marcus
miniDSP SHD, Marantz SA7001Ki, Rega P1
2x XTZ Edge a2-300 monoblocks - nuJubilee 45 bookshelf
Custom ICEPower 250ASX2 BTL - Hertz ES300 custom sub
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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63222

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You're right about the MAC. It cost a lot, and to replace its pre-amp functionality with the SHD just seems wrong. The upgrade from my prior pre-amp is significant, so cutting that out of the chain is not in the cards. 

That is why the DDRC24 sounded good. However, if it is limited to 48Hz, then that is also a downgrade. 

Does not sound like there is an ideal solution for my use case. If I go with the SHD, then I'm pulling the MAC preamp out of the chain. If I go with the DDRC, then I'm introducing more conversions and limiting the system to 48Hz.  Is there any other alternative that lets me get the best of both worlds? If so, let me know (and how it would be hooked up)!

I might have to bite the bullet and go with the McIntosh MEN220 (which I actually have on order - it just has not arrived yet). It's significantly more expensive ($6000), but has RoomPerfect and some other nice features. 

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Help me decide 1 month 3 weeks ago #63223

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You could of course use the SHD in the same way as the DDRC24.
You got analog inputs balanced XLR or unbalanced RCA and same for analog output.

The SHD has 96kHz internal sample rate and a better ADC / DAC as the DDRC24.
I think this wouldn't be a downgrade for your system.
You only get a ton of features you won't use.
But you still can try the SHD as preamp just for comparison. Maybe it's better than your prior pre-amp?
miniDSP SHD, Marantz SA7001Ki, Rega P1
2x XTZ Edge a2-300 monoblocks - nuJubilee 45 bookshelf
Custom ICEPower 250ASX2 BTL - Hertz ES300 custom sub

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