Author Topic: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)  (Read 824 times)

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« on: January 30, 2018, 04:40:22 PM »
Hey all!


So I have been toying with the idea of getting a DSP for quite a while now and am taking a more serious look into it and trying to decide which route to go as they have plenty of options.


I feel as if I will give the normal MiniDSP a skip, I am specifically looking at the MiniDSP HD range (be it the 2x4HD or 4x10HD) and their AVR range. Some of these products have Dirac support as well or can be upgraded to what is essentially their Dirac version.


Now this is where I am getting a bit stuck and am asking for a bit of assistance. From what I can tel it appears as if Dirac is more of an automated process, like when using Audyssey's and the auto room correction & speaker correction. Where the others give you the option to make use of REW and export the targets and such as biquad or whatever it is called.


Now one thing which they really seem to flaunt with Dirac is the impulse correction. However would this not be possible with one of the MiniDSP HD's?
How would one go about impulse correction in terms of DSP? They refer to it as time correction, which makes me think of time alignments / phase alignment.


Here is a little image which they have on their site:




Am I missing something with regards to the impulse correction? Is it just marketing and this can be achieved with one of the MiniDSP units without the Dirac Live software?


Regards,
Psy
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2018, 04:44:02 PM »
Just after posting this, I have another question which perhaps someone here can answer as well.

Is it possible to have speakers which are phase aligned but not time aligned and visa versa?
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Online Rodney_gold

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,228
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2018, 09:46:47 AM »
2x4hd and the DDRC series support DIRAC live 4x10hd doesnt
DIRAC does phase and amplitude correction , REW will only allow amplitude correction if you use it to export filters to a mindsp device
DIRAC is real easy to use , 9 measurements and you are done , you can tune the system afterwards with a target curve
I have used dirac for ages , migrated to a trinnov , but trinnov is 8x the price (but does a much better job)
A lot depends on your path as to what minidsp you get , I used a DDRC 22d between my source and dac/pre , totally in the digital domain
Roon/tidal > Squeezebox touch> Trinnov St2 >2x Devialet D premiers>  Vivid audio Giya G1 spirits ..fully treated room

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2018, 03:02:47 PM »
2x4hd and the DDRC series support DIRAC live 4x10hd doesnt
DIRAC does phase and amplitude correction , REW will only allow amplitude correction if you use it to export filters to a mindsp device
DIRAC is real easy to use , 9 measurements and you are done , you can tune the system afterwards with a target curve
I have used dirac for ages , migrated to a trinnov , but trinnov is 8x the price (but does a much better job)
A lot depends on your path as to what minidsp you get , I used a DDRC 22d between my source and dac/pre , totally in the digital domain


So you'd recommend their Dirac live products over their HD series with REW support? More functionality too I guess, being able to do FIR and IIR filters. My concern is how much control can you take with Dirac live after it has taken the measurements?

The one thing which I noticed is that it appears as if by default the Dirac live units do not allow for xover's and time alignment etc. to be set yourself, it seems you need to purchase an additional plugin for $99.

I am trying to get decide on which route to take. I would most likely use the MiniDSP as the DAC and run digital from the source (PC of some sort) to the MiniDSP, then analogue out to the amp and then to the speakers. So a fairly simple and straight forward setup.
Otherwise the alternative is the AVR MiniDSP series which would then be HDMI to the MiniDSP and then HDMI from the MiniDSP to my Onkyo Receiver. I dislike the thought of this as the receiver has its own EQ and such. Also I want to run a fully active setup I'd need the AVR to have pre-outs for this to work. So thinking of getting rid of the AVR altogether.

 I plan to use the MiniDSP mostly to allow me to run a fully active setup. The EQ will be great as well. I'd like to make a single purchase and not have to change to a different product later on or regret not having the ability to do something.
So the 2x4HD probably won't work long term as 4 channels won't be enough. I'd need to look at one of their 8 or 10 channel products realistically.

Still a bit stuck on the Dirac version vs the normal one with REW support. It appears you can't have both. If Dirac provides features like REW and the customization as well. If is worth the additional $$$ ?
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Online Rodney_gold

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,228
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2018, 04:10:06 PM »
I would run dirac software on the source computer , prior to that use a 4x10hd + plugin for the active setup.. do all the minidsp stuff like crossovers , level , delays etc and afterwards run it all thru dirac to "clean" it all up .
Just be aware that dirac will require a -6db attenuation so as not to go into digital clipping

Roon/tidal > Squeezebox touch> Trinnov St2 >2x Devialet D premiers>  Vivid audio Giya G1 spirits ..fully treated room

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2018, 01:28:02 PM »
I would run dirac software on the source computer , prior to that use a 4x10hd + plugin for the active setup.. do all the minidsp stuff like crossovers , level , delays etc and afterwards run it all thru dirac to "clean" it all up .
Just be aware that dirac will require a -6db attenuation so as not to go into digital clipping



So I can run Dirac Live off my source PC and not need to purchase a device like a MiniDSP in order to make use of it?
That is pretty nifty, how does that work and what is the pricing like that for?

I am leaning heavily towards the NanoAVR HDA after taking another look at my setup and pricing.
It will allow me to use an AVR for a fully active setup (stereo) and no need to get a dedicated power amp.
Plus later on I can expand and get a power amp and use the analogue outputs. I could always use an HDMI to optical converter and add a DAC or similar.

I do not see me moving away from a PC as a source anytime in the near future, therefore making HDMI inputs perfectly fine.
Worst case you get optical to HDMI converters as well.


EDIT: I found the info on the Dirac site for their software. I think later on I will give the trial a go and see what it's like and how it works.
Rodney, do you know whether you purchase the license for a lifetime or just 1 year? I see it mentions 1 year free support and updates?

Do you just not get the support and updates for free after that year? Also I imagine this would not work with a WASAPI output which bypasses the windows mixer?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 01:35:47 PM by PsyCLown »
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Online Rodney_gold

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,228
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2018, 04:28:57 PM »
I really dont know much on ht/multichannel stuff re both dirac or mindsp so cant really comment on that.

Dirac live is a better option than a minidsp solution..you CANNOT change a minidsp dirac licence to a stand alone , it is tied in with the hardware and can only be used with that hardware.

The dirac live software is a once off purchase. Dirac hasnt been updated for a long time..they are coming out with an improved solution soon..

as far as I know , existing dirac licencees will get the upgrade..except if you are running a minidsp version..which pisses me off somewhat as I wont get the upgrade as I run dirac via a ddrc 22d.

https://www.dirac.com/news/2017/12/7/dirac-research-to-introduce-the-next-generation-of-its-acclaimed-dirac-live-platform-at-ces-2018

Not too sure about the wasapi thing but when I tried the software only version , I dont think it went thru the windows mixer


Roon/tidal > Squeezebox touch> Trinnov St2 >2x Devialet D premiers>  Vivid audio Giya G1 spirits ..fully treated room

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 01:59:25 PM »
I really dont know much on ht/multichannel stuff re both dirac or mindsp so cant really comment on that.

Dirac live is a better option than a minidsp solution..you CANNOT change a minidsp dirac licence to a stand alone , it is tied in with the hardware and can only be used with that hardware.

The dirac live software is a once off purchase. Dirac hasnt been updated for a long time..they are coming out with an improved solution soon..

as far as I know , existing dirac licencees will get the upgrade..except if you are running a minidsp version..which pisses me off somewhat as I wont get the upgrade as I run dirac via a ddrc 22d.

https://www.dirac.com/news/2017/12/7/dirac-research-to-introduce-the-next-generation-of-its-acclaimed-dirac-live-platform-at-ces-2018

Not too sure about the wasapi thing but when I tried the software only version , I dont think it went thru the windows mixer




It will actually be a stereo setup, just using everything to allow me to run it fully active.

I like the idea of running a Minidsp and then having Dirac running on the pc. I'd imagine (and hope) it would go through something like ASIO or Wasapi.
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Online Rodney_gold

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,228
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 07:13:53 PM »
You could also have a look at acourate as software .. some prefer it over Dirac
http://www.audiovero.de/en/acourate.php
Dirac is far easier to use tho
Roon/tidal > Squeezebox touch> Trinnov St2 >2x Devialet D premiers>  Vivid audio Giya G1 spirits ..fully treated room

Offline wesrobb

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2018, 05:49:37 PM »
Nice info here. I'm also considering getting a MiniDSP with Dirac although more for multi-channel HT. I would stay on the analog side of the chain though because HDMI gets replaced, analog never goes out of style.

If you are going to be getting the NanoAVR be aware that it is HDMI 1.4 which means 4k limited to 30hz and no HDR. Unfortunately that means for PS4 Pro / Xbox One X gaming it is a no go. Also if you ever get an HDR TV then your NanoAVR is gonna be the weak link in the chain.

Rather go AVR pre-outs -> Analog MiniDSP -> Power Amp if you want to be future proof IMO.

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 09:58:20 PM »
Nice info here. I'm also considering getting a MiniDSP with Dirac although more for multi-channel HT. I would stay on the analog side of the chain though because HDMI gets replaced, analog never goes out of style.

If you are going to be getting the NanoAVR be aware that it is HDMI 1.4 which means 4k limited to 30hz and no HDR. Unfortunately that means for PS4 Pro / Xbox One X gaming it is a no go. Also if you ever get an HDR TV then your NanoAVR is gonna be the weak link in the chain.

Rather go AVR pre-outs -> Analog MiniDSP -> Power Amp if you want to be future proof IMO.

I do not think HDMI will be going anywhere anytime soon. I wonder how long it will take for HDMI to be replaced, let alone for the replacement to become mainstream and for everyone to have moved away from it fully. I am certain we still have quite a few good years. I'd much rather have a MiniDSP with digital inputs. With digital outputs gives you options with regards to DAC's. There are pro's and con's for both digital and analogue inputs / outputs.

I agree that it would be nice if the MiniDSP had a newer HDMI version, but I personally am not too worried.
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Offline wesrobb

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2018, 09:50:09 AM »
I completely agree that HDMI is not going anywhere. Specifically being limited to HDMI 1.4 is a problem. HDR TV's are becoming more and more common and already the NanoAVR does not support this. HDR requires HDMI 2.0 at a minimum.

Adaptive Sync will be introduced with HDMI 2.1 and again all those HDMI 2.0 devices will not support this. I'd rather be on the analogue side and have a device which I can use for many years in the same way I can a set of speakers.

Also, having the MiniDSP on the analog side does not preclude you from using a DAC, it just sits at a different point in the chain.

Online Rodney_gold

  • Trade Count: (+13)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,228
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2018, 10:18:33 AM »
Most of the stereo minidsp boxes can be used as preamp/dacs ..eg 2x4hd or 4x10hd ..
Roon/tidal > Squeezebox touch> Trinnov St2 >2x Devialet D premiers>  Vivid audio Giya G1 spirits ..fully treated room

Offline PsyCLown

  • Trade Count: (+1)
  • AVForums Veteran
  • ***
  • Posts: 833
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2018, 08:52:40 AM »
I completely agree that HDMI is not going anywhere. Specifically being limited to HDMI 1.4 is a problem. HDR TV's are becoming more and more common and already the NanoAVR does not support this. HDR requires HDMI 2.0 at a minimum.

Adaptive Sync will be introduced with HDMI 2.1 and again all those HDMI 2.0 devices will not support this. I'd rather be on the analogue side and have a device which I can use for many years in the same way I can a set of speakers.

Also, having the MiniDSP on the analog side does not preclude you from using a DAC, it just sits at a different point in the chain.

This would complicated the setup a tad, however you could have one hdmi going to the Minidsp just for sound and another straight to the TV for the video. That would bypass any video limitations of the Minidsp.

Do we even know whether Minidsp plan to release a newer version which has the newer hdmi port versions or possibly more features?


@Rodney, I plan to use mine as a preamp and get the IR remote at some point. Probably as a DAC too.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:56:14 AM by PsyCLown »
AVR: Onkyo HT-R548
Front: B&W DM602 S3 / DIY Full Range Phillips AD12202
Sub: Energy S10.3 / DIY 12"
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT770 LE & Superlux HD681

A victim of Compulsive Upgrade Disorder (CUD)

Offline wesrobb

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • AVForums Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Re: MiniDSP (Dirac Live vs REW)
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 03:37:46 PM »
Yeah, it does complicate it a fair bit.

...however you could have one hdmi going to the Minidsp just for sound and another straight to the TV for the video. That would bypass any video limitations of the Minidsp.

If your AVR allows dual HDMI out with the mirror option (most do AFAIK) then that will be a good strategy.