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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 2 months 2 days ago #62324

  • hakongud
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Dear experts,

Please help! 

What is the best way to set-up a MiniDSP SHD (with Dirac), combined with both a NAD T777 for home theater and Hegel H590 for music. I have looked briefly in the forum, and if my questions below are covered in other posts, I am very happy to receive pointers. Thank you for any guidance you could share!

Set-up / equipment:
  • NAD T777 Home Theater AVR with Atmos, Dirac (upgraded w MDC-modules)
  • New MiniDSP SHD (not installed yet) with Roon, Dirac and several analog and digital input+outputs 
  • New Hegel H590 (not installed yet) with HT bypass
  • 2 x B&W active subwoofers, DB3D
  • Front speakers B&W CM9 (equivalent to new 703 S2?), perhaps weakest component in setup?
  • Additional B&W center (HTM71), wall and ceiling speakers (for Atmos)
  • Dedicated movie and listening room (ca 4x3,5m) equipped with acoustics treatments incl basetraps, diffusion panels in ceiling/walls, various absorption etc.
  • Mofi Phono Studiodeck turntable + Mofi Studiophono Soundstage RIAA
Other relevant info:
  • Active Roon-user (lifetime)
  • Probably 80% movie-watching vs 20% stereo listening in a dedicated movie/listening room
  • I am an electrical engineer (telecom), but regard myself as a novice seeking guidance from audiophiles.
Goals of set-up:
  1. Superb stereo set-up based on MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590 (driving front and 2 x subs), where the bass is managed by Dirac room correction. I wish to play my music from Roon or from the turntable. 
  2. Superb Home Theater-setup (Atmos) with Dirac room correction from the NAD T777, with the same tight bass as in the stereo-setup. The analog input of the Hegel would be configured as HT Bypass, effectively controlling the volume from the NAD T777.  
Listed below are a few connection alternatives that I am considering. I humbly seek your guidance on which of the alternatives that is optimal for connecting NADT777 + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac for both stereo and HT + Roon + Phono:

Alternative A:  
  • From NAD T777 (pre-out) to MiniDSP (RCA analog in). 
  • From MiniDSP: analog out #1 to Hegel analog input #1) which is configured as HT Bypass mode for home theater, AND from MiniDSP analog out #2 to Hegel analog input #2) for stereo. 
  • Also, from MiniDSP, both active subwoofers connected from analog out #3 and # 4. 
  • I then run Dirac from MiniDSP focusing on bass management. 
  • Phono RIAA also connected to the MiniDSP analog input.
Alternative B:    
  • From NAD T777 (pre-out) to Hegel (RCA analog in). 
  • From Hegel, enabling a DAC loop: Digital out from BNC to MiniDSP digital RCA input using a BNC to RCA adapter. 
  • From MiniDSP: RCA digital out with RCA to BNC adapter connecting to Hegel BNC digital input 
  • From Hegel: both active subs connected from analog out #1 and #2. 
  • I then run Dirac from MiniDSP (the external DAC) focusing on bass management (!?). 
  • Phono RIAA connected to Hegel analog input.
Alternative C:
Another connection alternative I have not considered.

Questions:

1. Will alternative A work? If so, could I effectively control the volume of the Hegel when listening to stereo if I solely connect to a Hegel analog input configured as HT bypass (for home theater), skipping the additional analog input into the Hegel (for stereo) without HT bypass?  

2. Will alternative B work somehow, even with the BNC/RCA-adapters? If so, should I connect the Phono RIAA to the Hegel directly, or to the MiniDSP? Could or should I also run Roon from the Hegel itself, not from the MiniDSP? Are there any considerations or changes I need to make to make alternative B work?

3. Is there any other alternative C I haven't thought of? If so, this alternative also needs to maintain my goals of enabling HT (Atmos), stereo, Roon, Dirac bass management etc., all listed above?

I hope there is some way of making it work!
I would truly, truly appreciate any advice you may share to solve this conundrum (at least to me it is). 

Please remember that the MiniDSP SHD and the Hegel H590 are fresh out of the carton, and I have still not made any connecting set-up. I was planning to wait for any possible guidance before assembling!  

Kind regards, Håkon in Oslo, Norway  
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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 2 months 1 day ago #62335

  • asx77
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Hi,
You asked for expert opinion but in the absence of any I'll give it a go! 

I've not read your set-up suggestions but think I understand what you want to achieve.

I'd set things up like this: SHD balanced out into hegel balanced in. Front left and right driven by the hegel. T777 left and right pre-amp out into one of the rca inputs of the hegel set to HT pass through. Done. 

Oh and your room looks great!
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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 2 months 22 hours ago #62337

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Thank you for your reply !!

How would you connect the 2 subs in this case ?? I
I would like to run Dirac for bass management. from both NAD T777 and MiniDSP how would I do this then ??

EDIT: Problem solved

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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 2 months 21 hours ago #62338

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Can you attach a picture of the rear panel of the subs?

Btw neither the SHD or T777 have Dirac Bass Control.

Edit: never mind about photo of the rear, I found one. Simply connect the SHD to the subs's right inputs and the t777 to the left (LFE) input. So long as SHD and NAD aren't playing at the same time it should work fine. 
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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 1 month 3 weeks ago #62385

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After reading and trying to understand what your goals are (BTW I gave up digesting option B .. too many loops 😉), I can confirm option A will work. However, you will have to connect your Phono RIAA to the NAD. The MiniDSP has only 2 RCA inputs (= 1 stereo).

I have kind-off a similar set-up. See attached pic to give you an idea of my stack. I use the SHD to drive my 2 main speakers (vintage 2-way speakers in active mode).
Most of the time (70%) I listen 2 channel audio pulling files from a media server, in this case the SHD acts like a renderer, pre-amp, crossover including great DSP capabilities such as Dirac Live. When listening to music I do not use my HT receiver.

My SHD RCA inputs are connected to my Yamaha HT receiver RCA pre-outs. When watching movies multichannel DSP is done by the Yamaha receiver, the SHD drives the main left and right. I have my subwoofer connected to the Yamaha as I use all the 4 outputs on SHD to drive my mains (I wish the SHD had 6 outputs), in your case you would be able to connect the subs to the SHD.

I measured and optimized my mains first using PEQ and Dirac Live on the SHD. Second step was measuring and optimizing the HT multichannel (surround) room correction with my Yamaha (no Dirac live unfortunately, likely I will buy a HT unit that has Dirac Live in the near future).
Due to the signal path delay for audio signals going through the SHD, in your NAD you will likely have to adjust the distance or time delays settings of your mains and subs relative to the speakers that are driven directly by the NAD. (Maybe the room correction SW in your NAD is smart enough to figure it out). Or there is an application note how to measure time delay’s in a HT setup: Speaker time alignment (minidsp.com) .

As @asx77 mentioned, the SHD does not have Dirac for bass management. However, I believe you will be able blend in your subs nicely with your mains. The nice thing of the SHD it has 4 preset modes allowing you to store and switch between 4 different DSP correction configurations. I.e. one for stereo with 2-main speakers only listening, one stereo with 2-main speakers and 2-subs, one optimized for HT/Video and one bonus.

I think there is also an option C if:
- The build-in power amps for the mains in the NAD satisfy you performance wise.
-  Like the SHD, the NAD to provides the capability to measure, create and store multiple room correction configurations like the SHD (i.e. one for HT-mode and another for stereo listening). -=> something I do not know, but you will be able to find out.

If above IFs are possible, you can greatly simplify your system by purchasing a Roon renderer with HDMI out, you will connect it straight to your NAD. In this case you will not need the SHD and Hegel H590.
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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 1 month 2 weeks ago #62457

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this is what i have ended up with.
except i am using anlog rca to rca from shd to hegel. 
this works for front speakers

however, I have also connected output 3 and 4 (rca) to my 2xsubs, rca to xlr-cables into the subs.
this does not work and I dont understand why...any idea why?  
there is a tiny vibration in my subs, but no sound, and I have tried to increase the sub-gain. still no sound. 

EDIT: Problem solved. didnt sync config, now it is ok!

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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 1 month 2 weeks ago #62458

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thank you!!
and great speakers!!

right now I am not getting any sound from my 2xsubs, from SHD output 3 and 4 (RCA) into XLR on each of the subs.
SHD output 1 and 2 (RCA analog) into the Hegel-amp (RCA) for front speakers is working.
Must be something very basic I am doing wrong!!??

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Guidance connecting NADT777 AVR + MiniDSP SHD + Hegel H590, enabling Dirac&Roon 1 month 2 weeks ago #62465

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Both me and @Espowilleit suggested possible connection options. You said "that's what I've gone with in a post" but don't say which option you chose. 

If you didn't go with my set-up that had SHD to subs and Hegel for stereo and then NAD to hegel and subs for cinema, (noting that with two always live rca inputs the sub's can get I dependant signals from shd and nad) then it could be you're having Dirac on top of Dirac issues. 

But more likely if the subs are silent, have you bass managed them in the processor? You will need to tell the NAD you don't have a sub and set all speakers to small apart from the mains. That way the NAD will merge mains and LFE info along witg anything below the crossover you set for the other speakers. The SHD will then split the sound out again however you tell it to.

Also check you simply don't have 3 and 4 muted. 
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Last edit: by asx77.
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