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Two channel and cinema - need some good advice ! 4 years 8 months ago #41386

  • Slammer87th
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Hi everyone, i need som good advice regarding what minidsp unit or units would be best choice.

My situation is as follows - I have a new dedicated music- and homecinema-room and will runsetup consisting of highend two-way tops and an four subs. I already own some very good poweramplifiers for the tops and subs and my mainfocus is two channel musiclistening but i would also like run surround speakers for the movie-experience.
I will use a HTPC as source for both uncompressed music, streaming and movies. I off course want a decent DAC and incorporate Dirac live in the chain.

I´ve looked at the DDRC-24 which seem to be perfect to add between pc and two poweramplifiers, utilising the DDRC-24 for DAC, Dirac live and crossover between subs and tops. This would allow me to use Windows ASIO drivers. This seem to be quite a nice setup for two-channel music listening. This on the other side doesn´t let me decode multichannelsound and use the amplifiers and speakers for cinema :/

Off course i don´t want to go DAC - AD - DAC in several steps...

Am I wrong thinking that an nanoAVR-DL Dirac Live in series with a nanoAVR-DA would solve the situation. This would off course require a relatively lowpower multichannel poweramplifier for surroundspeakers and a possible center. I am curious as for what quality is the musicsignal for two-channel coming out from the PC through HDMI compared to USB and ASIO drivers?
Another soultion would be to buy a AV-receiver with pre-out for frontchannels but im unsure as for where i the would put in the Dirac Live.
One "easy" solution would be to go for an AVR with integrated Dirac Live but those come with a rather hefty price.

A discussion around this and suggestions would be highly appreciated, especially if someone could shed some light on HDMI vs USB/ASIO :)

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Two channel and cinema - need some good advice ! 4 years 5 months ago #42554

  • rhollan
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My priority was cinema, but the principles are similar: you may want better DACs, amps, and speakers for the front but that's about it.

In my case I take the "audio only"HDMI from my UHD blueray player (video goes to TV) into a nanoAVR HD (for base management) and a nanoAVR DL (for Dirac Live! and currently, volume control, though that will change, as it is done digitally). From there, things get interesting.

I run the HDMI out from the nanoAVR DL into an HDTV supply HDMI to SDI converter, and then into a Blackmagic SDI audio de-embedder. This gives me 4x 2ch digital audio at 48 kS/s on AES3 lines. Those run into a Lucid ADA 8824 ADAT/AES DAC/ADC (AES3 to DAC, 105 dB SNR), and into amps and dual subs. Being a cinema, Crown XLS 1502 and 1002 amps are fine. You might want something better for your front left and right DAC and amps for audiophile listening (and may want to disable Dirac Live for that too). ATI makes nice Hypex ncore based multichannel amps (2-8, so you can just use them for the fronts if you want).

As an alternative (and possibly better for you), splurge on a DDRC-88D, and feed your HDMI to SDI and SDI AES3 digital audio deembedder from the HDMI "audio" source. This way, if you have a two channel source, you can run it's AES3 digital; audio straight into the DDRC-88D on one line out of three (SPDIF to AES3 converters are cheap). You will still need DACs and amps.

I would NOT recommend a nanoAVR HDA for the DAC output after (or instead of) a nanoAVR DL. While I have not tried it, I find small, wall-wart powered DACs tend to have poor SNR and THD figures. Unless minidsp can prove me wrong, I'd use a dedicated DAC.

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Last edit: by rhollan. Reason: more info
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