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TOPIC: SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes

SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44387

  • xrqp
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who has used the crossover on SHD Studio?
And what did you use for the subwoofer DAC?

My mains DAC is Mytek Brooklyn ($1500) with upgraded external power supply ($600+). I did not want to spend a lot for the sub DAC. I tried a Schiit Modi 3 ($100) but it did not sound good enough to go well with the Brooklyn. Now I think I am going to have spend big for the sub DAC. :S I know the SHD (not Studio)solves this, but I assume the SHD DACs are not as good as my mains DAC.

I assume nearly everyone is not doing this, as there are other solutions that cost less and are simpler. But I kind of need to do this due to my situation. Is ANYONE else doing this?
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by xrqp.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44389

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It may be heresy to some but have you considered just taking the sub output from the mains DAC. With Dirac Live you don't really need to integrate things with crossovers like you would without Dirac Live., Admittedly I have a full SHD with two pairs of analogue outputs but I send exactly the same signals to both pairs, no crossovers used. I adjust the balance slightly bass heavy with the sub gain and HPF controls then let Dirac Live sort the integration out. This causes my mains to be delivered a slightly bass light signal which helps my slightly underpowered power amp strain less. As long as you have used REW to align your mains time delays in the plugin so that the sub integrates in proper time alignment it can result in a very good integrated sound.

If nothing else it may provide a temporary solution and a reference to compare separate DACs to.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44390

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Yes. I have done that. It works good. My amp has a line out (with same signal as goes in) and that goes to powered subs. The amp goes to main speakers. I set my powered subs to a high level so Dirac would attenuate the bass - then my subs would be right and the mains would be light on bass (like you did).

But I wanted to try the crossover for more accuracy, control, and tweekability of where the bass goes. And I am hoping i can play a bit louder with no bass to the mains. My subwoofer's built-in low pass seems crude.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by xrqp.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44391

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Unfortunately two DACs is what you need then, yes. Sub filters are likely low order compared to crossovers, less steep attenuation changes, which may be what seems crude to you.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44392

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Yes. I think you described my sub filters very well. I will not be too surprised if no one has used the crossover of SHD Studio due to needing two DACs. Good DACs cost too much to buy two.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44397

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Might I suggest you check out the following site: www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?reviews/
A wonderful resource of accurate measurements of a wide range of DACs.
You might rethink what constitutes the cost of a good DAC... :-)
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 2 weeks ago #44410

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Thanks for the kind suggestion. I check out that site often. They even examined the Modi 3 that I mention in the first post.

In every price category, there are DACs that are very good for that price. Let's call those the good value DACs(value = goodness per dollar). I think Modi 3 is a good value DAC. I believe the good value DACS get better sound with increasing cost. As time passes, and the state of the art improves, DAC value increases.

Some may believe that as DAC prices increase, the value drops (goodness per dollar goes down). In a way I agree with this too. When I take this point of view other factors come in to play, and those factors take me back towards "more money = better DAC".

After my failed Modi 3 trial, I think for bass that is B+ or better, it will need a good power supply that is not inexpensive. And it will have to be a very good DAC to be holistic with my very good mains DAC. I don't think any one makes a DAC for very good bass unless the whole frequency spectrum overall is very good. There is no market for what I need (very good bass and cost cutting for the non-bass).

Anyway, it will be interesting to hear if anybody has actually used the SHD studio crossover feature, and if so, please tell us what you did and how you like it. If I do it, I will report back here. If your mains DAC is less than $500 value today, it may make more sense than my situation.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by xrqp.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 1 week ago #44434

  • Juoigâ
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another option is to use a sub amplifier which has a digital input, like the MiniDSP PWR-ICE series
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 1 week ago #44435

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xrqp wrote:
Anyway, it will be interesting to hear if anybody has actually used the SHD studio crossover feature, and if so, please tell us what you did and how you like it. If I do it, I will report back here. If your mains DAC is less than $500 value today, it may make more sense than my situation.
yes I have *), my main DAC is a DIY unit, for the sub I initially had one of those very cheap ones of ebay, but now have changed to an FX-AUDIO DAC from miniDSP dealer Audiophonics in France. The latter still needs to be hooked up as we speak, but should be completed this weekend

*) my living room set has been sat/sub for ages, using a 2x4, then a 2x4HD and now a SHD Studio. I have stereo DIY subs that I have placed in the Ikea cabinet (modified the doors) no way this would have worked without the crossover in the DSP

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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 1 week ago #44445

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That is nice looking sub setup. Very clever to put it in the furniture so it blends like a built-in. With the front swung open, it reminds me of my front load washing machine. In terms of balancing costs, using SHD Studio crossover does make sense with low cost DACs, if they can give the sound quality you want. After you get it running I hope you let us know how it goes. Are you using REW to determine the crossover settings? I am.

For the subs I ordered a Schiit Bifrost 3 DAC, with ship and tax is about $800. Yikes! It is supposed to have good bass based on user reviews. Once you have DACs at a given quality level, it's hard to accept less. I could have tried a $300 or $400 DAC but I don't want to take the chance of wasting time if I don't like it. I am trying to get to my end game ASAP, instead of doing upgrades often.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 4 months 1 week ago #44446

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The cross-over point is the balance between as-low-as-possible and what the small sats (2*8cm bass with FR for the mid/high) are capable of. I chose 100Hz with 48dB/oct slopes basically determined by the natural roll off of the sats. The delay on the subs I've determined with the measuring tape. I've measured the subs close range with REW to get their "own" response straight up to 200Hz (so the filter set by the DSP acts like expected) and also "notch out" resonances. The sats (closed box) have their own 12dB/oct roll-off so I set a 36dB/oct in the DSP to match the sub's slope.

Room corrections I do with Dirac, but I intend to experiment in first setting a few 'manual' corrections using REW and on top of that Dirac and compare that to Dirac only. Find some weekend when I have the living room to myself to do that, as the rest of the family is not very fond of the test signals :-)
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 3 months 3 weeks ago #44685

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I got the Schiit Bifrost 2 for $800 and burned it in 100 hours, then listened to it as my only DAC driving mains and subs. It sounded real good, especially the bass. Compared to my Mytek Brooklyn DAC with Uptone JS-2 power supply (DAC and power supply cost about $3000) the Brooklyn w PS was a little better overall. The bass was about equal on the two DACs. So the Bifrost 2 is a good value, and very good quality, and less clutter (with its own good internal power supply). The Bifrost 2 was very enjoyable to listen to for long periods. Much better than the Modi3. I am sure it is good step up from the Bifrost 1 as well from extensive reading what others said.

But when I used the SHD Studio crossover and sent bass to Bifrost2 and subs, and sent the rest to Brooklyn and mains, it was an overall significant reduction in sound quality. I could not pinpoint why, except for the lack of integration. What came out of the bass, did not correspond well with what came out of the mains. This could be due to timing , or it could be the DACS have different character even though both are excellent alone. I set timing delays based on the distance to sub vs mains. I tried at 80 hz xover and 100 hz. I tried different slopes, like BW12, BW24, LW24, LW36, and maybe 2 others.

So I decided I will not use the crossover feature of the SHD Studio and will return the Bifrost. If I want more loudness, I will just have to get better main speakers. That may be cheaper than using the SHD with 2 of the Brooklyn DACs, which I still see as risky.

Juoiga, did you get good integration of subs with mains?
Last Edit: 3 months 3 weeks ago by xrqp.
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 3 months 3 weeks ago #44686

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I doubt that this will be caused by the DAC ...

some questions:
- what sub?
- mono / stereo?
- where is the sub compared to the mains
- have you measured the sub and the mains "alone"?
- reduction in sq compared to what?
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 3 months 3 weeks ago #44687

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xrqp wrote:
Juoiga, did you get good integration of subs with mains?
yes, but only after doing a correction on the sub's FR to ensure proper flat response to >2 octaves above the x-over frequency. same goes for the fronts (but that I already had done before)
so I measured (REW) the subs close range and put the required corrections in the DSP to get to a flat response. you'll be surprised how not flat the response of most subs is, most of them already drop significantly above 100Hz
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SHD Studio crossover requires two (2) DAC's. Yikes 3 months 3 weeks ago #44689

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I would suspect crossover filters spoiling integration. To integrate properly crossovers should take account of the frequency magnitude and phase responses of the drivers to be crossed over. Often only one order of crossover filters integrates phase properly, sometimes the order needs to be different on LPF and HPF to take account of driver differences. Crossovers are hard.
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