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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:31 am 
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https://www.minidsp.com/products/dirac-series/ddrc-24

If you are looking to integrate a subwoofer into your setup, or just time align your individual transducers, correct impulse response, set up custom crossover slopes, fix response errors below your rooms transition frequency, try out an aggressive "smile curve" (cough) etc. Here it is. :cool: Christmas is coming guys. ;) I know what I want.

So long to my 25hz length mode resonance!

This is a very powerful and inexpensive hardware based solution. The techie audio guys have been waiting for it to drop. It represents an excellent value that is sure to be a hit with DIY enthusiasts and hardcore audiophiles alike. I'm excited. This is the sort of tool that enables a properly designed loudspeaker, in a properly setup environment, to give nothing up to high dollar speakers in their class. With subs you are laughing. Focal utopia who?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:50 am 
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Very cool. For the price, could be worth a try. I see the mic is another $75 but still doesn't break the bank.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:01 am 
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That could be the cheapest upgrade available for some setups.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 9:05 am 
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Very interesting to say the least. A USB DAC/Pre-amp with configurable RC or active bi-amp capabilities.. for those without the "dollars spent = preformance" belief system this could be a great unit.
Maybe at its price point some of the 2ch "purists" might take a flyer on it and finally get to understand how much more significant room/speaker interaction and EQ are than any component change...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:26 am 
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You know...
Its funny...
They don't make products like this for guys like me.
I'm just your average audiophool who has to rely on my ears God gave me to tell myself if my system is ok.
I don't own a computer so that's out the window...
I give it the old school method of set up.
Man.. sometimes I would like to at least see how proper room accoustics are set up.
It might at least give me an idea of what is right and wrong.
Sigh..maybe in the next life. :roll:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:49 am 
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This would be a great and inexpensive product for mixing panel speakers and subs. The room nteractions and timing isssues would be easy to tackle.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:01 am 
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rnrgagne wrote:
Very interesting to say the least. A USB DAC/Pre-amp with configurable RC or active bi-amp capabilities.. for those without the "dollars spent = preformance" belief system this could be a great unit.
Maybe at its price point some of the 2ch "purists" might take a flyer on it and finally get to understand how much more significant room/speaker interaction and EQ are than any component change...


I would qualify as one of those guys. As I said, tempted to take a flyer.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:32 am 
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WANT!!!! (sorry for shouting)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:54 am 
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Chipmunk1957 wrote:
You know...
Its funny...
They don't make products like this for guys like me.
I'm just your average audiophool who has to rely on my ears God gave me to tell myself if my system is ok.
I don't own a computer so that's out the window...
I give it the old school method of set up.
Man.. sometimes I would like to at least see how proper room accoustics are set up.
It might at least give me an idea of what is right and wrong.
Sigh..maybe in the next life. :roll:


So you must be surfing on your phone then.. :wink:

There's no right or wrong, in the end it's whatever floats your boat.

I've been at this hobby forever, and addressing room acoustics with and without EQ have trumped anything else I've experienced as far as system change is concerned. That being said it's not a "one size fits all" thing because there's so many moving parts and we tend to adapt easily to our environment.

The crital element is getting the bass right, and that's harder than it seems in most rooms. Just google "room mode calculator" and plug in your rooms' dimensions into one of them, then have a look at the bass frequencies.

But even placing your speakers properly is a form of room correction, so it's not like nothing can be accomplished passively.

What you could achieve by tuning your system with this unit for $600 would blow any comparable investment out of the water IMO.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:58 am 
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I don't mean this as negative as it sounds but my AV amp from a number of years back came with a mic. and build in calibration/setup for the 5.1 speakers.

The other thing is a look a the link shows the system doesn't really fit in an optimized 2-ch setup, whichin my case includes 40 years old tech in the 15" Tannoy dual concentric drivers ... yet sounds great to me!

I also wonder where this fits in with millennials and younger. I tend to see headFi crowd as steering the way forward ... is this supposed to be leading them to speaker based systems?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:08 pm 
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b3733366 wrote:
I don't mean this as negative as it sounds but my AV amp from a number of years back came with a mic. and build in calibration/setup for the 5.1 speakers.

The other thing is a look a the link shows the system doesn't really fit in an optimized 2-ch setup, whichin my case includes 40 years old tech in the 15" Tannoy dual concentric drivers ... yet sounds great to me!

I also wonder where this fits in with millennials and younger. I tend to see headFi crowd as steering the way forward ... is this supposed to be leading them to speaker based systems?


Actually now that I think about it headphones could be an excellent way to model the effects of room acoustics, albeit a exaggerated example.. simply put on the headphones and listen to them in proper position over your ears and then spread them apart notice how little difference in distance is required to make a huge difference in their ability to reproduce sound.

The early room corrections in receivers were pretty basic, mostly designed to get the delays and SPL right in a MC environment. They are way more advanced now.
But many high end two channel and multi-channel companies like TaCT & Meridian had far more sophisticated RCs before they became available in receivers.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:35 am 
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I downloaded the free Trial of Dirac and played with it for several hours. My wife and I compared the results Dirac provided subjectively and objectively with a separate measurement setup. One of us was at the remote rack location toggling the filters on and off in the software in real time while the other listened. Here is my personal experience:

Dirac isn't for me in the end for the entry price. I A/B tested with my wife, with several different filters, each less intrusive than the next. The best attribute we were able to achieve was tight, dry bass. But if you have heard really, really tight, dry bass, well, it sounds weird and unnatural. MINIMAL processing was my preferred setup for all filters. Toggling the filters on and off quickly showed obvious, although not always better changes. I was only EQing most of the range by a few DB -and it was too much. I could never get every region sounding "just right."

My experience with the Dirac Calibration software was great. It is very intuitive and quick to generate and save filters. The companion Dirac Audio Processor Controller on PC is less than bug free. I have new found respect for those who run an HTPC or a computer audiophile rig. What a pain in the nutz it is to get everything to play well together. Had a few "just walk away" moments for sure....

All in all this was a great experience. I learned about how my speakers react to EQing. Extending the high end treble range causes obvious problems. Flattening out the midrange seemed to shrink the feeling of envelopment in the space. Tightening up the subwoofer response yielded pretty good results, but there was now a pronounced "Hi, I'm a subwoofer" sound to every bassline. The mains and subs were no longer seamless. Asking my speakers to do more or differently than they were designed to do with Dirac made for a lesser experience, but better measuring system. The one thing Dirac did seem to improve was the dynamic impact of transients after impulse correction. But the difference was akin to toggling the volume up a hair with the remote with no filter applied.

I think the tried and true passive acoustic treatment methods are less intrusive and natural sounding than my experience with Dirac -but in a bare room the results may have been very different. I could have probably spent more time with the filters, but it seemed there was no way to EQ small portions of the frequency range and leave the rest alone. The sliders only allow a low\high pass filter arrangement. I would like to try another PEQ that lets the user focus on key ranges and leave the rest alone. I have determined my room has comparatively minor issues. They measure much worse than they sound. Chasing the remaining issues down with Dirac software was two things for me.

1. Enlightening
2. Soul suckingly un-fun

I learned a valuable lesson. Boiling results down to raw numbers and graphs with Dirac boiled me down to a frustrated person. So thankful for the free software trial. Moving on! :)

Here is how my main speakers and subs averaged over the 9 measurement positions before Dirac was applied (blue) and the post calibration predicted outcome after the default target filter was applied (green.) I was able to verify the in room response closely matched the target curve at the listening position post default calibration. In the end 9 filters were tested.

Image


Last edited by Serenity_now on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:12 am 
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Of course it sounded weird to you, you're used to 20 dB swings in frequency, there were sounds you would never had heard without it.
Taking a look at the Stereophile website and their favorite speakers, none of themy show a frequency range like you chose with Dirac. Most have the smile appearance with a solid kick at 140hz and down and a dip where we are most sensitive.
Looks like you just got started and gave up.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:34 am 
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Thanks for that observation.
I have yet to try Dirac, and it's definitely on my to do list. But I have quite a bit of experience with other RC's and digital EQ's as well as passive room treating. On that basis I would agree with kcross that it's not surprising you didn't like the results.
Some points to consider:
1. The idea of digital EQ is to tailor your room and speakers to your own taste and not always to "flat". Even though Diracs house curve does slope down a bit it's pretty flat and the reviews I've read on it aren't often favorable.
2. Almost all research indicates that flat frequency responses tend to be the least "preferred". Audyssey for example did an enormous amount of preference research before coming up with their target curve. Some like Meridian's just do below 250hz choosing not to mess with the top end, basically it's not a one size fits all approach. (What separates Dirac Live from many is it's ability to be tailored.)
3. The most common response to accurate bass is to initially find it anemic, it's pretty simple since most rooms tend to "bloat" bass and since our ability to hear bass diminishes as it get lower in frequency or amplitude. Most people get "used" to their room's bass response.
4. Based on Fletcher - Munson's research into how we hear different frequencies, the "smile" curve with a drop-off in the top end is a good place to start for finding a preferred curve.

My experience has led me to the conclusion is that the best way to use a tool like Dirac is to use its measuring prowess to passively get the room and speakers as flat as possible (or close to what you prefer) at the MLP, then use EQ to taste.

Just my $.02...


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:48 pm 
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Hey rnrgagne

I respect your views highly, and look forward to your perceptions of the Dirac processing solution. I would highly recommend the free trial, as it would benefit the community to have your experience contribute to mine for the group. Heck, I'm selfish, send me a pm if you do. :D I am an ambitious supporter of the aspirations of software and methods such as Dirac, and it was with great disappointment it didn't pan out for me. It may well work for others, as has been the case for many other well documented accounts online. Bummer for me. I had high hopes.

I fully agree with your points above. Please be assured there was great effort and foresight applied to the strategy of the Dirac method. I tried a total of 9 curves in the end. House, smile, low frequency only, mid only, highs only, etc... Only a few of the most superficial of corrections were acceptable in my system. These were all below the room's transition frequency, and the best few were focused on the sparsely populated modal region below 100hz. Finally, testing with sub 150hz, then 60hz, then fine tuning filters below 60hz was where the best results were found. Full bandwidth correction was not at all flattering to the performance in my room. Spatial rendering was completely lost post Dirac full bandwidth calibration -regardless of curve if it expanded past the low frequency region.

This is one of those times where it would be nice to have a couple of the more knowledgable folks over for an A/B test. But alas, I live on an island mostly populated by potatoes. :oops:

-- 23 Oct 2016 18:02 --

Subject: Finally. Affordable Dirac live for 2ch.

kcross wrote:
Of course it sounded weird to you, you're used to 20 dB swings in frequency, there were sounds you would never had heard without it.
Taking a look at the Stereophile website and their favorite speakers, none of themy show a frequency range like you chose with Dirac. Most have the smile appearance with a solid kick at 140hz and down and a dip where we are most sensitive.
Looks like you just got started and gave up.


Pm sent. Explanations are in order. The image shown you are referring to is the default target curve Dirac presents. I may not have made it clear my several hours involved many curves and close analysis of each. :)


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