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TOPIC: nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain

nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 2 days ago #39414

  • tecnogadget
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Hello folks, I'm having some doubts about how I could fit the nano AVR DL in my future audio chain :blink:

Since the nanoAVR internals are quite outdated ( HDMI 1.4, no ARC ), Im trying to figure out how to set up everything to keep the signal in the digital domain and avoid any kind of incompatibility issues.

Scene 1.
4K UHD Blu Ray player + nano AVR DL + AV receiver


Most 4K Blu Ray players have 2 HDMI outputs (One of audio and video, and a second output for Audio Only).
nano AVR DL is capped to only HDMI 1.4 video passthrough...so it won't work with 4K, HDR, BT. 2020 Gamut, etc...
I thought one solution may be to connect the Blu Ray Audio+Video HDMI output to the A/V Receiver, and the secondary HDMI Audio output to the nano AVR DL input...but I've read in this forum that the nano AVR need an HDMI with video signal (even if just a black screen signal)....does the HDMI Audio only output from the player apply in this case?

Scene 2
Oppo Blu Ray player with 7.1ch Analogue outputs + nano AVR DL + 7.1ch Amplifier


This option uses the Oppo as a player and preamp and eliminates the need for an A/V Receiver...you just plug the spdif analog outputs from the Oppo straight to the Amplifier...

This is where the HDMI input/output gets a little bit complicated. Does someone know if this is the correct way to do it?

Oppo Blu Ray (could be either of 105 or 205) HDMI output to nano AVR DL input>> then nano AVR DL HDMI output to the OPPO HDMI input >>> then the OPPO processes the HDMI input (with Dirac filters already applied) and uses internal DAC to output from analog spdif to Amplifier.

What about if im using the Oppo 105 as a preamp, but want to play the newest 4K UHD Blu Ray discs (which this Oppo can't do) ?
The oppo has 2 HDMI inputs. But i dont really know if they can work simultaneusly...yes i know im asking the strangest things
For example: Using a cheap 4K UHD player, conect it to the Oppo HDMI input (so it can pass trough the video)...then use the secondary HDMI input to receive the nano AVR Dirac stream....

What about if I'm using the Oppo 205 with a 4K HDR Blu Ray disc ?? Nano AVR DL would not take the video signal since its only HDMI 1.4
Should in this scenario just use the Oppo Audio only HDMI output? And regular HDMI to the TV
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 2 days ago #39415

  • rhollan
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I have an Oppo 103D and will be using a nanoAVR HD for bass management, followed by a nanoAVR for Dirac Live processing. Normally this would then go into an HDMI input of a preamp/processor.

Aside: You CAN do the bass management in the pre/pro AFTER Dirac Live processing, but it is NOT recommended. There are several long threads about this, and the nanoAVR DL documentation describes how to set up the pre/pro so it works best (match levels, gains, distances, as well as bass management) in such a scenario. Nevertheless, it is less than ideal: Dirac is designed to measure the response of SINGLE speakers (or closely time-aligned 2/3/4 way speakers in a single enclosure), and can't optimize impulse response if using multiple speakers (sub and satellites) that can't be realistically time-aligned at all Dirac measurement points.

Couple points about Oppos:

1) The 10x series is NOT recommended to be used as a preamp. People do it, and it works. Oppo does not recommend it. You do realize the nanoAVR provides a digital volume control with 32 bit resolution, yes (arguably better than at least the Oppo 10x series)?

2) The bass management and volume control in the Oppo only controls the analog outputs. (Not sure what you mean by SPDIF analog -- there is no such thing. There ARE aftermarket mods for Oppos to output DIGITAL audio on RCA connectors for all channels).

3) You can't take the output from the Oppo and run it back into an input: it does not work like a processing loop. You can select among the inputs or the disk.

4) The "Audio Only" output of the Oppo DOES contain a video signal. It HAS to to transfer audio. As far as I know it's 720p or 1080p black. I think it's configurable and should be set to AT LEAST 720p to have enough bandwidth to carry the multiplexed audio. Reportedly this works with nanoAVRs so there is no HDCP: just black and audio.

5) You can configure the audio format over HDMI out (main and audio only) as LPCM. The Oppo will do the Dolby TruHD and other types of decoding. This was designed to be used with older AVRs and pre/pros, and is exactly what the nanoAVR wants.

6) Normally, when people use both main and hdmi outputs of the Oppos, the main one goes to the TV, or projector, and the audio only goes to the AVR or pre/pro. This design was necessitated by people updating TVs but having old AVRs or pre/pros. This renders the HDMI input switching of the pre/pro rather useless, but you can always front the Oppo with an HDMI switch (and do decoding for all sources in the Oppo).

My plan is to NOT use an AVR, but rather take the output of the nanoAVR, run it through an HDMI to SDI converter, thence an SDI to AES/EBU digital audio deembedder, and two AJA AD4 digital/audio converters to provide 8 channels of balanced professional level audio driving professional amps.

Good Luck!
Last Edit: 1 week 2 days ago by rhollan.
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 2 days ago #39416

  • domin
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With a 4K screen and a NanoAVR, the connection is very simple (the AVR could be 4K or FullHD only, it's not important) :

Output video 4K of source -> 4K Screen
Output audio of source -> NanoAVR -> AVR -> speakers

Your AVR accept only one signal at once.
Even if it's 4K, you need your AVR for sound, so the input with the NanoAVR, not the input with video... An AVR don't mix two hdmi signals!
With a NanoAVR, your AVR is only for the sound, but no more for the video...

If your source have only one hdmi output (4K), you need to add HdFury AvrKey or equivalent to create two outputs :
www.homecinema-fr.com/forum/switch-split...i-2-0-t30082326.html
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 2 days ago #39417

  • rhollan
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Will the AVRKey strip HDCP?
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39419

  • john.reekie
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rhollan wrote:
the nanoAVR DL documentation describes how to set up the pre/pro so it works best (match levels, gains, distances, as well as bass management) in such a scenario

If you were not using the nanoAVR DL, you would need to do this anyway. The nanoAVR DL will fine-tune it, but you have to get it basically right regardless of whether you have a nanoAVR DL in the chain or not.
Nevertheless, it is less than ideal: Dirac is designed to measure the response of SINGLE speakers (or closely time-aligned 2/3/4 way speakers in a single enclosure), and can't optimize impulse response if using multiple speakers (sub and satellites) that can't be realistically time-aligned at all Dirac measurement points.

That is why you want to set the distances in the AVR before you do your DIrac Live calibration.... then this is not an issue any more.

The downside of putting the BM before the DL is that you won't get any help from Dirac Live around the BM crossover, and it's also harder to adjust the target curves.
2) The bass management and volume control in the Oppo only controls the analog outputs.

When I measured my 103, it didn't do BM correctly. They may have fixed it with a firm update since, possibly, it was some time ago.

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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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39424

  • tecnogadget
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Thanks everybody for the useful information :) !

I will go this way using the nano AVR

HDMI Output video Blu Ray player (4k or 1080p) -> Screen (4k or 1080p)
HDMI Output audio of Blu Ray player (LPCM) -> NanoAVR -> Pre ( Dts HDMa/Dolby True HD) -> Amp (multich analog) -> speakers


I don't know why there is such a lack of consensus regarding this topic...already read on forum threads people swearing the correct way is to Bass Management before Dirac...and the other half going the opposite route saying BM after Dirac is better...
Aside: You CAN do the bass management in the pre/pro AFTER Dirac Live processing, but it is NOT recommended. There are several long threads about this, and the nanoAVR DL documentation describes how to set up the pre/pro so it works best (match levels, gains, distances, as well as bass management) in such a scenario. Nevertheless, it is less than ideal: Dirac is designed to measure the response of SINGLE speakers (or closely time-aligned 2/3/4 way speakers in a single enclosure), and can't optimize impulse response if using multiple speakers (sub and satellites) that can't be realistically time-aligned at all Dirac measurement points.

What strikes me is the fact that nanoAVR DL User Manual on the MiniDSP website always puts the nanoAVR before the AVR and never specifies one should bass management before Dirac processing.







As you can see in the above screenshots the suggested audio chain is Player -> NanoAVR -> AVR
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39425

  • tecnogadget
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It looks like the DSP can process the 7.1 stream as individual channels and even uses a different impulse test signal for the subwoofer to not mess up with the measurements
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39428

  • rhollan
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john.reekie wrote:

If you were not using the nanoAVR DL, you would need to do this anyway. The nanoAVR DL will fine-tune it, but you have to get it basically right regardless of whether you have a nanoAVR DL in the chain or not.

You should, but DL will do it for you, or fine tune what you did. However if you do BM downstream of DL, you must do level and delay (distance) adjustment downstream as a first approximation,.
That is why you want to set the distances in the AVR before you do your DIrac Live calibration.... then this is not an issue any more.

Well, it is, because you can only optimize impulse response at multiple locations for a single point source, or what effectively acts as a single point source (multiple drivers close together in a single cabinet). Once you start trying to optimize impulse response from drivers some distance apart, the range of optimized locations traces out a hyperbola in space (if I remember my geometry right, at least for two point sources -- I run dual subs so I have three).

That said, I think DL only tries to optimize impulse response at the first measurement point. Still, it will spread out worse if the drivers aren't reasonably close together, so this may be a minor issue
The downside of putting the BM before the DL is that you won't get any help from Dirac Live around the BM crossover, and it's also harder to adjust the target curves.

N ow, this stands out to me. If you do some hand-waving and argue that the ear is insensitive to main/sub crossovers (unless grossly mismatched levelwise) compared to crossovers in the treble, I would be inclined to agree. Still, it is a fair point.

Of course, when you do bass management after DL, while you can compensate for this crossover, you end up mixing DL-processed signals, which is discouraged: mix before and cross over after. Alas, most bass management systems do not do this (but see my thoughts below)
When I measured my 103, it didn't do BM correctly. They may have fixed it with a firm update since, possibly, it was some time ago.

I've heard some rumblings in that area, yes.. Not sure if it was ever fixed, but the grumbling seems to have stopped so I presumed it was.

Now, here's my wonky idea, based on mix before DL, and cross-over after:

1) use a nanoAVR HD to mix LFE into left and right channels before DL.
2) use a crossover after DL to separate them out again.

I drive my fronts with a Crown XLS 1502 amp. It has configurable high pass,. low pass, and bandpass for each channel (or both the same). I can actually implement a crossover inside it if I want for the two channels. It also has feedthrough connections for each channel, unaltered (as in they are on a TRS connector as opposed to XLR and can be used as inputs if desired) -- straight feedthrough.

I'm thinking of running the feed through from each amp channel (high-passed inside the amp for the speakers it drives) into the sub closest to each front speaker (at 1/3 and 2/3 of the front wall) and setting a low pass filter at each sub.

Granted, I 'll have to match levels at the sub to each front speaker, but I don't think time-alignment will be an issue as they are so close to one another (if this were an issue, a minidsp could be used to correct).

At the very least, I think it is something worth trying.

Issues I can see are:

1) LFE levels overloading the front channels (though they should be 10db down at this point, but there still may be issues that might require lowering all channels 6db).
2) Adding that 10db gain back a the right point (to wit: in the sub).
3) Compensating for the +4dBu nominal feedthrough level out of the amp instead of -10dBv. (A 12 dB attenuator can help as the difference is 11.79 dB, but if the sub input is not overloaded this would give us a lot of the +10 db we need :evil: )

HTH :)
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39429

  • rhollan
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tecnogadget wrote:
As you can see in the above screenshots the suggested audio chain is Player -> NanoAVR -> AVR

And what Dirac advises against: do not mix Dirac processed signals.

I suspect most people can't do BM before the nanoAVR so they do it after. Do note that the DDRC-88s with the BM plugin do do it before.

I expect that mixing Dirac processed signals in different frequency ranges where the ear is rather insensitive, frequency-wise, at the crossover, is far less of a concern than if it were done, say, in the treble.
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39430

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tecnogadget wrote:
It looks like the DSP can process the 7.1 stream as individual channels and even uses a different impulse test signal for the subwoofer to not mess up with the measurements

Well, yes, but once you start mixing channels downstream, all bets are off. How much they are off is a matter for debate. For example, if DL corrects for the subwoofer impulse response, it will apply the wrong correction to audio redirected to the subwoofer from a different channel. Yes, you measure them together in this case, but the overall correction might be less ideal than correcting each one individually, particularly if they are some distance apart (making for a small sweet spot). I'm not even sure if DL can measure and correct what it thinks are full range speakers (I would hope it can). I expect most decent movie mixes will have little low frequency content in the non-subwoofer channels, but this would not be true, for example, of two channel stereo.

The thing is BM before DL has a different set of tradeoffs than BM after DL, and Dirac discourages mixing signals after processing. Some people have strong opinions about which tradeoffs are worse.
Last Edit: 1 week 1 day ago by rhollan. Reason: more info
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39431

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The thing is BM before DL has a different set of tradeoffs than BM after DL, and Dirac discourages mixing signals after processing. Some people have strong opinions about which tradeoffs are worse.

Would you be so kind to share any link with that information from Dirac ? So i can understand it better, thanks
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39432

  • rhollan
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tecnogadget wrote:
The thing is BM before DL has a different set of tradeoffs than BM after DL, and Dirac discourages mixing signals after processing. Some people have strong opinions about which tradeoffs are worse.

Would you be so kind to share any link with that information from Dirac ? So i can understand it better, thanks

www.dirac.com/faq-technical/

Particularly:

"Note that Dirac Live Room Correction Suite does not include crossovers or bass-management, these functions need to be applied separately. While crossovers should be applied downstream of (after) Dirac, bass management or any mixing of source signals into speaker channels should be applied upstream of (before) Dirac. The main rule of thumb to follow is that one should not mix together two separately Dirac Live-processed channels into a common speaker channel."

The big problem is that bass management crossover and mixing are usually done in the same place, so people argue which is least worst.
Last Edit: 1 week 1 day ago by rhollan. Reason: more info
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39433

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You make things too complicated!
It's correct but doesn't correspond at a regular system...

A Nanoavr is hdmi.
The only way to process bassmanagement before the Nanoavr is too have a PCHC as source (and the soft to do it) or use a Nanoavr HD...
Not a standard configuration , but more a complex one!

The Nanoavr must be before the AVR (or preamp) because after that, there is no hdmi signal...
So the configuration is thus after the Nanoavr.
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39434

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rhollan wrote:
tecnogadget wrote:
The thing is BM before DL has a different set of tradeoffs than BM after DL, and Dirac discourages mixing signals after processing. Some people have strong opinions about which tradeoffs are worse.

Would you be so kind to share any link with that information from Dirac ? So i can understand it better, thanks

www.dirac.com/faq-technical/

Particularly:

"Note that Dirac Live Room Correction Suite does not include crossovers or bass-management, these functions need to be applied separately. While crossovers should be applied downstream of (after) Dirac, bass management or any mixing of source signals into speaker channels should be applied upstream of (before) Dirac. The main rule of thumb to follow is that one should not mix together two separately Dirac Live-processed channels into a common speaker channel."

The big problem is that bass management crossover and mixing are usually done in the same place, so people argue which is least worst.

You speak about the software for PC.
It's not the same placement than a Nanoavr !
So configuration it's not the same process
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nano AVR DL implementation in audio chain 1 week 1 day ago #39435

  • tecnogadget
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This is exactly where I wanted to get.

If i have to put a nanoAVR HD before an nanoAVR DL this means is a terrible product. Like there is no point at all buying a nanoAVR DL if its not going to do the job since they “could not fit the needed processing power in the DSP to handle BM”

Following that reasoning one may conclude the Hdmi AVR DL is useless, not a complete solution and the real product is the DDRC-88 (twice the price $)...im not making an statement, just saying what people may think.

The hole thing is so confusing that at the end of the day you turn out spending on a AVR that has Dirac build in just because you dont want to mess up with BM.

Don't misunderstand me, i want to believe in the nanoAVR DL, its supposed to make pEQ automatically for surround sound at a kinda reasonable price...but the do after/before BM think is quite misleading.

I think this topic should be clarified better in the official webpage/brochure/manual/Faq to stop the endless mistery for the users.
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