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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #55986

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I am considering purchasing a SHD to use with my powered speakers. I want the SHD for the analog input for my TT.
Since the speakers have a built in DAC am I able to bypass the DAC in the SHD?
Trying to keep less links in the chain for sound quality.
Thanks in advance for any direction.
 

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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #55987

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yes, this is possible. From the list of hardware features:
  • Outputs: 4 x digital (SPDIF out), 4 x analog out (Balanced XLR, unbalanced RCA)
So if you can use the SPDIF out to connect the speakers, this works. 
 
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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #55988

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So to confirm if I use the SPDIF digital out to speakers it will by pass the SHD internal DAC?

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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #55999

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I own the SHD Studio (that comes without the analog in- and outputs). But as far as I have read and understand the digitals outs of the SHD do offer the same signal as the analog outputs. Everything else would be very astonishing.

You can check the manuals / datasheets www.minidsp.com/support/downloads

"Three digital inputs, two analog inputs and USB Audio enable the SHD to fit right into any modern audio system, while processed outputs are available as unbalanced and balanced analog as well as digital."

I understand "processed outputs" as the dirac processed signal is passed to all outputs.

Also: "8. Digital outputs. Connect external DACs or other digital equipment using RCA SPDIF. These outputs each carry a stereo signal. The data format is 24-bit 96 kHz. Connected equipment must therefore be able to accept a 24-bit 96 kHz input signal.Note: if using two different DACs, you may need to adjust the time delay on the output channels accordingly."
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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #56003

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So to confirm if I use the SPDIF digital out to speakers it will by pass the SHD internal DAC?

I'm certain the answer is 'yes', as it would be crazy to do anything else.
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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #56023

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The answer to the OP is “yes.”

You can manipulate the signal however you want in the digital domain - PEQ, crossover, Dirac, matrix, etc. - then maintain the digital signal on the way out. The only thing that is happening, I believe, is that the SHD is working internally at 32bit/92khz but is outputting via SPDIF at 24/96. No big deal there. It would work great for bringing in a TT analog signal, running it through DSP and then sending it digitally out to the active speakers.

The only question is whether the DAC in your speakers is any better than the SHD’s which isn’t state of the art but is objectively very good. If not, run the analogs out of the SHD.

 

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DAC 3 months 1 week ago #56024

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...I believe, is that the SHD is working internally at 32bit/92khz but is outputting via SPDIF at 24/96.
 

I suspect this is what you meant but internally the SHD uses a 96 kHz sample frequency, not 92 kHz.

As regards whether it's better to use the DAC in the speakers or not will in part depend whether the speakers have a digital crossover or not. If they do then an analogue input will pass through an ADC anyway so it would arguably be better to use a digital input. As it happens I've recently bought some Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to experiment with, and I'll likely use the digital input for exactly this reason.
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DAC 2 weeks 4 days ago #57195

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...I believe, is that the SHD is working internally at 32bit/92khz but is outputting via SPDIF at 24/96.


 

I suspect this is what you meant but internally the SHD uses a 96 kHz sample frequency, not 92 kHz.

As regards whether it's better to use the DAC in the speakers or not will in part depend whether the speakers have a digital crossover or not. If they do then an analogue input will pass through an ADC anyway so it would arguably be better to use a digital input. As it happens I've recently bought some Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to experiment with, and I'll likely use the digital input for exactly this reason.

 

Hi Ultrasonic.  I have the Edifier S3000pros and I'm looking at getting the SHD Studio to correct the room.  What's your experience been like using the SHD with the Edifiers?  Do you have the SHD or the SHD Studio?  Either way what's your opinion on using the Edifier internal DAC vs the SHD or SHD Studio (with external DAC)?  The TI DAC in the Edifiers is supposed to be decent and while not nearly as good as the SHD DAC in terms of measurements I'm wondering how they compare.  Thanks.

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Last edit: by poxymoron.

DAC 2 weeks 4 days ago #57212

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...I believe, is that the SHD is working internally at 32bit/92khz but is outputting via SPDIF at 24/96.



 

I suspect this is what you meant but internally the SHD uses a 96 kHz sample frequency, not 92 kHz.

As regards whether it's better to use the DAC in the speakers or not will in part depend whether the speakers have a digital crossover or not. If they do then an analogue input will pass through an ADC anyway so it would arguably be better to use a digital input. As it happens I've recently bought some Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to experiment with, and I'll likely use the digital input for exactly this reason.


 

Hi Ultrasonic.  I have the Edifier S3000pros and I'm looking at getting the SHD Studio to correct the room.  What's your experience been like using the SHD with the Edifiers?  Do you have the SHD or the SHD Studio?  Either way what's your opinion on using the Edifier internal DAC vs the SHD or SHD Studio (with external DAC)?  The TI DAC in the Edifiers is supposed to be decent and while not nearly as good as the SHD DAC in terms of measurements I'm wondering how they compare.  Thanks.

I have an SHD rather than SHD studio but I'm afraid I'm not really going to be able to answer your question as you'd wish. Other than to test that all the speaker inputs were functional I've actually exclusively used the (RCA) digital input to the Edifiers as it just seems illogical to me to do anything else. As I wrote above, any analogue input will just be converted back to digital again by an ADC on the speakers.The DAC in the speakers is going to be used no matter what input is used. Maybe I should try the other inputs at some point just to check something unexpected isn't going on but it's not high on my priority list. 

I'm using the Edifiers as I type this actually, but high-passed in conjunction with my subwoofer. I'm using a mix of Dirac Live below about 150 Hz (I think) and some EQ applied in the miniDSP plugin at higher frequenceis. If you're partly asking if I think you'll be able to improve the sound achieved with your S3000s by adding an SHD then the answer is yes, just like it is with most speakers in typically sized domestic rooms. Bear in mind it gives you the ability to adjust the sound to your own preference too, rather than it giving a particular result for everyone, which you might like or not. 

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DAC 2 weeks 4 days ago #57214

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...I believe, is that the SHD is working internally at 32bit/92khz but is outputting via SPDIF at 24/96.







 

I suspect this is what you meant but internally the SHD uses a 96 kHz sample frequency, not 92 kHz.

As regards whether it's better to use the DAC in the speakers or not will in part depend whether the speakers have a digital crossover or not. If they do then an analogue input will pass through an ADC anyway so it would arguably be better to use a digital input. As it happens I've recently bought some Edifier S3000 Pro speakers to experiment with, and I'll likely use the digital input for exactly this reason.






 

Hi Ultrasonic.  I have the Edifier S3000pros and I'm looking at getting the SHD Studio to correct the room.  What's your experience been like using the SHD with the Edifiers?  Do you have the SHD or the SHD Studio?  Either way what's your opinion on using the Edifier internal DAC vs the SHD or SHD Studio (with external DAC)?  The TI DAC in the Edifiers is supposed to be decent and while not nearly as good as the SHD DAC in terms of measurements I'm wondering how they compare.  Thanks.

I have an SHD rather than SHD studio but I'm afraid I'm not really going to be able to answer your question as you'd wish. Other than to test that all the speaker inputs were functional I've actually exclusively used the (RCA) digital input to the Edifiers as it just seems illogical to me to do anything else. As I wrote above, any analogue input will just be converted back to digital again by an ADC on the speakers.The DAC in the speakers is going to be used no matter what input is used. Maybe I should try the other inputs at some point just to check something unexpected isn't going on but it's not high on my priority list. 

I'm using the Edifiers as I type this actually, but high-passed in conjunction with my subwoofer. I'm using a mix of Dirac Live below about 150 Hz (I think) and some EQ applied in the miniDSP plugin at higher frequenceis. If you're partly asking if I think you'll be able to improve the sound achieved with your S3000s by adding an SHD then the answer is yes, just like it is with most speakers in typically sized domestic rooms. Bear in mind it gives you the ability to adjust the sound to your own preference too, rather than it giving a particular result for everyone, which you might like or not. 



 

thanks for both replies and thanks for saving me €1000 - i was going to buy the RED ADI-2-DAC FS also.  how embarrassing would it have been to buy it and then go online and tell everybody how much better the edifiers sound with the new dac!  i never realised that and not that i doubt you because you know so much more about this than me but, are you sure that that is the case?

Edit: Okay, I get it now. All signals are converted back to digital so the speaker can do it's DSP magic.  Too bad for me I suppose, I wanted the RME as a gadget and to tinker, aswell as improve the sound.  I'm thinking now that the DDRC-24 might be a better option for me than the SHD Studio.  I was thinking that the DAC in the DDRC-24 might be the week link but in the end it might perform just as good as the TI DAC in the speaker.  I could then look at a better streaming option than the SHD Studio.  Streaming Tidal using Volumio on the SHD Studio seems to divide opinion.

Edit edit:  but then I couldn't add a sub.  SHD Studio it is then.  The biggest problem I have right now is the room so I need to fix that first.

Edit edit edit:  I can add a sub to the DDRC-24.  It's 01:06 and I've been drinking, I need to go to bed.

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DAC 2 weeks 2 days ago #57231

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thanks for both replies and thanks for saving me €1000 - i was going to buy the RED ADI-2-DAC FS also.  how embarrassing would it have been to buy it and then go online and tell everybody how much better the edifiers sound with the new dac!  i never realised that and not that i doubt you because you know so much more about this than me but, are you sure that that is the case?

Edit: Okay, I get it now. All signals are converted back to digital so the speaker can do it's DSP magic.  Too bad for me I suppose, I wanted the RME as a gadget and to tinker, aswell as improve the sound.  I'm thinking now that the DDRC-24 might be a better option for me than the SHD Studio.  I was thinking that the DAC in the DDRC-24 might be the week link but in the end it might perform just as good as the TI DAC in the speaker.  I could then look at a better streaming option than the SHD Studio.  Streaming Tidal using Volumio on the SHD Studio seems to divide opinion.

Edit edit:  but then I couldn't add a sub.  SHD Studio it is then.  The biggest problem I have right now is the room so I need to fix that first.

Edit edit edit:  I can add a sub to the DDRC-24.  It's 01:06 and I've been drinking, I need to go to bed.

Firstly, I'm just an interested user sharing my thoughts. Please don't take my posts as the only view on anything!

Regarding Tidal, many (including me) would be against using it on any hardware due to the use of MQA (which compromises rather than improves sound quality). Watch the videos I'll post at the end of this reply for one reasonably accessible explanation of why this is. In practice it's not that Tidal sounds bad (I have used it in the past) but it is being sold at a premium on the basis of offering superior sound quality when, objectively, it does the opposite. Music catalogue is a key component of choosing a streaming service of course, so if Tidal offers you something that others don't in this regard then it's clearly very much still worth considering/using. For my own use I'm very happy with Qobuz though, which is both cheaper and offers objectively higher sound quality.

If you use an SHD Studio to integrate a sub just bear in mind that you will need a DAC for the Sub channel. I've not experimented myself but I should think a pretty cheaps DAC would easily be sufficient for the low frequency range that would be relevant though.

A DDRC-24 would certainly be a much cheaper option but I'll make three points to consider:
  1. You would still have unecessary digiatal to analogue and then analogue back to digital steps vs a digital connection to the speaker. This may be essentially transparent but arguably might be slightly detrimental to sound quality. It's certainly not going to improve it.
  2. Actually more important I'd say is the practicality of using the DDRC-24 as your pre-amp, which I essentially experienced myself by using a 2x4 HD in this role. The key limitations that I found relate to a lack of a display, meaning that volume, input and preset could not be seen without also having a laptop/computer connected. If you're someone who intends to exclusively use a laptop/PC as source and doesn't mind this being on all the time then I guess this isn't an issue, but more generally it is.
  3. The DDRC-24 has an analgoue input which the SHD Studio does not, so depending what source components you might want to connect this could be a consideration.





 

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Last edit: by Ultrasonic.

DAC 2 weeks 2 days ago #57233

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I get that Ultrasonic, opinions only but very helpful, thanks. I'll stick with Tidal for now. Presumably if I'm not using  MQA decoding kit then it will default to just tidal HiFi and avoid the MQA nonsense or are you suggesting that all Tidal hi res might be compromised because of MQA? I'll trial Quboz when I have the time to do a proper sound and catalogue comparison. For me I found MQA sounded good but I suspect most of that is simply down to it always playing slightly louder. I watched those videos last  week and follow his channel and website. He knows his stuff. Anyway, I'm all over the place looking at different bits of kit. I want the best sound I can get out of my system but also have the flexibility to upgrade components and reuse the ones I might keep. I also just like having bits of hfi kit! For now I'm happy just to get as much out of the Edifiers as I can, I think they're superb. I'm going for the SHD Studio first to fix the room, I'll assess the streaming capabilities and then look for a different streaming option if needed (trying to stay away from laptop streaming altogether), then I'll add a sub with a clean sounding budget Topping DAC or similar. That's the Edifiers pretty much maxed out in the room I have now. Then I'll be converting the upstairs in my garage to an office/music room which I can acoustically treat as much as I want or can afford to take them a bit further. Thanks for all your input. 

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DAC 2 weeks 2 days ago #57235

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or are you suggesting that all Tidal hi res might be compromised because of MQA? 

Sadly, more than just the supposedly higher res. content. A growing proportion of the previously CD quality content is now becoming MQA encoded. 

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Last edit: by Ultrasonic.
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