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DAC with room correction?


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Hi!

 

I am thinking about getting a new DAC for my system. Now that I have changed from CD to computer, I do not need a CD drive anymore and would want to exchange my Unidisk SC for a better sounding processor. Many different DACs were already reviewed here and it is a great help to narrow down the number of units to listen to myself.

 

Besides the DAC / electronics my major audiophile worry is my room. It is very far from being perfect - better said, its pretty awful - but I do not feel like decorating it with foam, etc. In my ideal world I would need a DAC with an integrated room correction system. I read about the Lyngdorf DPA-1 and the TacT devises. Are there any others to consider? How do they compare to high quality DACs like the Berkley or Weiss? Any experiences or advises?

 

Thanks!

 

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My first thought on reading the headline was the Lyngdorf DPA (TacT is Lyngdorf's old name). I was reading HiFi magazine that came earlier this month and they mentioned a Trinnov Optimiser ST.

 

Another option I thought of was a Meridian G68. This is a surround processor which has good room correction built in and is also quite highly rated for stereo/music. There are of course other surround processors at similar level also with room correction facilities.

 

Just a few thoughts.

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Heia Berlin ;)

 

If you would like to tinker around with some room-correction, have you considered to integrate this task on your computer?

i.e.: DefiniteAudio AudioVolver (http://www.definiteaudio.de/)

There are some other vendors around, see: http://www.thuneau.com/

 

And there are some products like the KRK Ergo (german link: http://www.krksys.com/de/product_ergo.php) and of course the Lyngdorf you mentioned above.

 

Cheers

Harald

 

Esoterc SA-60 / Foobar2000 -> Mytek Stereo 192 DSD / Audio-GD NFB 28.38 -> MEG RL922K / AKG K500 / AKG K1000  / Audioquest Nighthawk / OPPO PM-2 / Sennheiser HD800 / Sennheiser Surrounder / Sony MA900 / STAX SR-303+SRM-323II

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Have some comfort knowing that you are not alone Johniboy. Many listening rooms suffer from less than desirable acoustics.

 

When we encounter an acoustic problem, it’s logical to seek a solution at the highest level of the audio food chain. An oversimplified expression of the computer audio chain is:

Digital source>DAC>preamp>amp>speakers>room

 

You may find that a DAC (or next-in-line device) is able to process the audio signal in a way that adjusts to the properties of your room. While this may be a good solution for your specific needs, allow me to point out a few disadvantages of this approach.

 

In the theoretical world, a black box can solve all of our acoustic problems. In practical application, any device that processes sound does just that…it changes the sound that was intended for your speakers. There is a limit to how much correction that can be applied this way without imposing undesirable effects on the speakers' sound.

 

Below are two links that discuss this issue in more detail (worth the read):

 

The Gentle Art of Room Correction

http://www.meridian-audio.com/w_paper/Room_Correction_scr.pdf

 

Anti-Node: Active Room-Acoustics Correction

http://stereophile.com/reference/108tech/

 

Since I prefer to preserve the integrity of the digital source, additional processing is not my personal preference. However, I find that some electronic correction can work with very low frequencies. If you have a low frequency issue, below are two products worth consideration:

 

SVS AS-EQ1 subwoofer EQ:

http://www.svsound.com/products-parts-subeq.cfm

 

Velodyne SMS-1

http://www.velodyne.com/products/product.aspx?ID=15&sid=191i858y

 

How much correction and the type of correction you require depends upon the acoustics of your room. Without knowing the specifics of your listening environment, it’s hard to point you in the right direction.

 

While I can’t recommend a DAC solution for you, I do suggest that you take a look at Auralex. I’ve been in plenty of recording studios that use their products. Even though I can appreciate why you prefer not to wallpaper your home in foam, a discrete analogue approach may work for you.

 

Company:

http://www.auralex.com/

 

Online vendor:

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/manufacturer/Auralex

 

Hope this helps.

Chris

 

 

Amarra 3.0.3/iTunes-->AQVOX USB PS-->Acromag USB Isolator-->Ayre QB-9-->Ayre K-5xeMP-->W4S SX-500-->Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Super Towers-->SVS SB12-Plus (L&R). Cables: Nordost, Transparent, LessLoss, Analysis Plus & Pangea. Dedicated line with isolated power conditioning per component: PS Audio & Furman. Late 2012 Mac Mini 2.6GHz Quad-Core i7 (16 GB, 1TB Fusion, 6TB ext via Tbolt). External drives enclosure http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f7-disk-storage-music-library-storage/silent-enclosure-external-hard-drives-7178/

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Have had outstanding results with the DEQX from Australia. deqx.com

 

I previously modded them, but now they have incorporated my mods.

 

I believe it does room correction as well as crossover, but I could be wrong.

 

Steve N.

 

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Copland DRC 205, a bit cheaper than the Lyngdorf but probably not as good.

 

jerryt[br]Intel D525MW based server -> m2tech hiface; Cambridge Audio 640c II -> Lyngdorf TDAI 2200 -> Dynaudio Confidence C1, Sunfire HRS-10; Meier-Audio Corda Arietta -> AKG K 701

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Thank you all for your suggestions!

 

Audio_ELF, your idea with the Trinnov Optimiser ST is extremely interesting. I looked up their homepage and searched their products in the web. They have a more sophisticated approach than others. The price is acceptable, too. Unfortunately, there is not too much information out there about what DAC they are using and whether they have an IR interface for volume control. Its a pretty new product and not very well distributed in Germany. I will try to contact their distribution partner and get some more info.

 

Harald, I know it would be easiest to integrate some sort of DSP into my music server. There are some possible solutions out there but I don´t feel secure and knowledgeable enough to get it right. My research tells me: If you don´t do it right, you can do more harm than good. I think I am going to keep my hands off this one...

 

Christopher, I see your point but I do not fully agree. In my opinion digital room improvement is going to catch up in (very) near future, especially as people are switching from lps, cds, dvds to full digital paths. I suppose you are right that today the optimal black box solution is still theoretical (I haven´t listened to any room correction systems, yet) but that is also true for all the other components of your system. Today, even the most expensive speakers are not optimal, that is why people have "sound preferences". And speakers have been built for quite a while now, while electronic room corrections are a new field.

 

With computer power enabling better and better DSPs, its just a question of time that we will be rewarded with really nice products. The Trinnov Opimizer was developed for movie and sound studios for surround sound engineering. The system costs >16.000 EURs. Now there is a 2-channel version available for less than 3.000 EURs. If this is one of the best systems available today for studios, why not bring the same quality to your home?

 

Regarding the issue that the systems today will only optimize the sweet spot and make the surrounding sound worse, I can only say: I already have that now. The Dynaudio C2s use a "DDC" to avoid reflections from the floor and ceiling which results in a pretty bad sound if I stand up from my listening position. As long as the sweet spot is big enough, I do not care... too much.

 

Two more words to my listening environment: about 25 square meters (4 x 6), about 2.8 m high, L-shape and one longer side of the room there is a huge 5m long window. So not very good acoustics, but a nice view on Berlin ;-) I did what I could with curtains and rugs but it would be a shame to overload the room with stuff. So my best bet is to try to take out the room from the equation. I always wonder anyway how people can be discussing the smallest audio differences between 3000 EUR and 4000 EUR DACs or CD players when they have a less than optimal listening room...

 

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  • 1 year later...

I recently listened to two DRC solutions, each in a different price class, but nethertheless, DRC.

I listened to the Lyngdorf TDAI 2200 with the Lyngdorf CDP-1 and Dynaudio Excite X32 speakers. Though I didn't like the speakers I liked the effect the Lyngdorf's RP had on them. I can say that the problem was with the speakers, because later on I changed to the Wilson Benesch Square 2 (without RP) and I preferred them. Toggling between the RP and bypassing it on the Lyngdorf with the Dyns gave me a deeper, clearer and more defined sound stage. Since the room was less than great it gave me a nice idea of how a DRC would influence my situation at home.

I also listened to the Behold Gentle 192 which is a one-box solution. Since the listening room was far better in that environment the differences were smaller, but still noticable. In fact, I must say that I know people who spend quite a huge amount of money just to get this kind of small upgrade in their system.

I don't view the DRC as a messing around with the source, but as altering the reproduction in regard to the room. I'm a firm believer that it will be a very interesting method, especially for people without a dedicated listening room.

best regards

André

 

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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I face a similar problem, suspended wooden floor, plasterboard walls, large window on one side and not many, in fact not really any options about speaker placement and not that much interest in spending a lot of money addressing the problem.

Without building a purpose built listening room a compromise is what most of us end up with.

 

Like Christopher I’m reluctant to chuck more electronics in the signal path and major alterations to the room’s structure are not practical.

My first step was to attempt to find out where the major problems lay.

I borrowed this ;)

http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

There are quite a few software options available for measuring room acoustics and most as far as I’ve seen are not exactly user friendly. I was lucky in that the guy that lent me a copy of this also spent a few hours helping me to know how to work the software.

I already had this from my speaker building and the microphone it points to on the Linkwitz site.

http://www.speakerworkshop.com/

 

I have to emphasize this; I didn’t find either of the above easy to use. I imagine a lot depends on how comfortable you are with computers. I’m truly terrible with them.

 

However, I did mange to make some substantial improvements by moving speakers and furniture relatively small distances; even a few inches difference in speaker placement can knock out some unpleasant standing waves.

It sounds as if you also have plain walls behind and directly in front of your speakers and an angled large picture for example with a few layers of builders bitumen sheet can do a lot to soak up mid to high frequency problems.

If you can get under the floor, ensuring your speaker stand spikes locate at joist positions can help. If not then it’s not a major DIY task to fill in between the joists with lengths of timber. I find a couple of sheets of bitumen roofing felt between each timber infill works well. Better still if possible is to connect the floor boards to the ground underneath but obviously not an option for all but ground floor.

 

I don’t have this where I currently live but I’ve had some pretty good results with ceiling alterations in the past. This may sound a lot of trouble but fixing a row of 8” wide x width of ceiling plasterboard and bitumen felt and sandwich boards at 90 degrees to the speaker driver direction and slanted away from the ceiling at 25 to 15 degrees on the ceiling can help a lot and be made with a bit of paint or something more imaginative to look acceptable. I’ve got away with it in the past in a family environment with incurring the wrath and derision of the rest of the household.

 

Finally, if you’re prepared to open up your speakers and have basic soldering and electronic skills you can attenuate individual drivers. You do sacrifice something in linear frequency response but often that can be a lot more comfortable to live with. I tend to do this quite a lot, a few db less in a particular frequency band can compensate for some very irritating sonics.

 

I have to agree with your final comment. I too find it comical to read about audiophiles worrying about minute barely perceptible sonic changes brought about with cable and component changes when a few inches away from “the sweet spot” or even an extra person in the room can wipe out any benefits

 

 

Dedicated Mains Cond dis block. Custom Linux Voyage MPD server. HRT Music Streamer Pro, Linear mains powered ADUM Belkin Gold USB cable. TP Buffalo 11, Custom XLR interconnects/Belkin Silver Series RCA. Exposure 21RC Pre, Super 18 Power (recap & modified). Modded World Audio HD83 HP amp.Van de Hull hybrid air lock speaker cables. Custom 3 way Monitors,Volt 250 bass&ABR, Scanspeak 13M8621Mid & D2905/9300Hi. HD595 cans.[br]2)Quantum Elec based active system self built.

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If you use a computer why not use it to its full potetial.

Audiolense from http://www.juicehifi.com/index.html Is a Roomcorection and X-over solution for you, partner with a highend audiocard like Lynx and J-River you could run a activ crossover and roomcorrection setup.

But if you rather go with a new box there's Deqx.

A cheap simple solution is Squeezebox with Inguz plugin.

 

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Try a KRK Ergo. A new one is 500.00, it is a dac, preamp, and room correction. The only downside is it only has 1/4" phone jacks. It accepts and outputs either SE orbalanced. It also will handle subwoofers.

If you do not like it, they sell for 300.00 used. I think Room Correction is more important than "purist signal processing". I hope a year from now there are more options.

 

George

 

 

2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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I've put quite a bit of thought into this subject recently. There are some articles on my website that might be interesting (Chris I am trying to help the guy out, he is in Germany, I am in CA so no I am not spamming).

 

Basically you should choose a device that allows you to:

- choose which frequencies to apply room correction to

- choose the target curve that they correct to

- not perform un-necessary digital to analog conversion

- provide measurement and filter generation capability

 

If you agree with my list of functional criteria you will quickly come to the conclusion that there are few devices available that meet basic requirements. The list becomes basically Meridian and TacT.

 

I have implemented room mode correction on my music server using parametric EQ. It has been very effective at reducing a couple of noticeable resonance in bass reproduction but unfortunately you need to know where to put the EQ and how much to put there, which requires some degree of measurement expertise.

 

In any event, digital room correction cannot solve all acoustical issues in a room so therefore needs to be used in conjunction with acoustic treatment.

 

Nyal Mellor, Acoustic Frontiers LLC.

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If your sole source will be a computer (rather than a multitude of sources) you could use a software application like Audiolens to do room correction on your laptop upstream of the DAC. That application works pretty well.

 

I would not recommend the DEQX for room correction. It's terrific as a crossover, but it's far less accomplished as a room correction device.

 

Purists will puke (because of the incremental A/D and D/A), but I find the outboard Audyssey unit, particularly when modded with a higher quality clock and power supply, is pretty impressive.

 

Roon + HQ Player front end; Bricasti M3 with Ethernet and headphone amp; Pro Audio Technology 2115sm active speakers and amps plus four 15" subs; Lumagen Radiance video processor; Wolf Ref 700 projector; Kii3 + Control in another room; Accourate, Trinnov, and Dirac bass management and room correction; extensive RPG room treatment; HifiMan and Focal cans; Decware Taboo Mk3; 20 amp hospital grade UPS; EtherRegen, Sonore Empirical Audio and SOTM, all on LPS, feeding DACs

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Has anybody used Inguz plug-in for the SB?

Could anybody give me some input on Audiolense and/or Acourate?

I'm kind of itching to try something in this direction with my SB Touch.

Best regards

André

 

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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is poor at best, last time I tried it it did not suport higher version than 7.3 on squeezecenter. But that might have changed now. Its fairly easy to install, and out of box you hav a good EQ. For running room correction you need to messure the room, and thats where programs like Audiolense or Accourate comes in, they produce the file you need to load in to Inguz for roomcorrection. There is a fairly good guide on the Inguz website.

In adition to the software, you need a good soundcard an mic for messuring purpose around 200-300 usd should get you started.

 

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I just bought a KRK Ergo, so when I have it set up I'll let you know how I got on. I use Squeezebox (SB Classic) and amp into floorstanders and powered subwoofer. I plan to use an adapter TRS to 2 phono. My sub currently has a high level speaker connection to the amplifier, so I think the Ergo will see it as a 2.0 system.

I do have phono inputs on the REL also, which I guess would need to be directly connected to the Ergo to get it to operate in a 2.1 system mode.

I really like the features of the Ergo - headphone amp, dac and room correction in one device.

If anyone can give some advice on setup I would appreciate it.

 

Patricia[br]My system: Acer Aspire Revo 160GB; OS Vortexbox 1.4 serving flac > Squeezebox Classic > Cambridge Audio Dacmagic > Talk Electronic Cyclone 1.2 amplifier > Acoustic Research Status S50 > REL Strata sub.

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Thanks stejorge,

I have a friend who has the equipment and he'll lend it to me. Do you have any experience with Audiolense or Accourate? I'd like to find out which one is better. It seems that Accourate is more expensive (almost twice the price), but maybe the result is worth while.

Best regards

André

 

LDMS Minix Server>Lampizator TRP w/ VC>Gryphon Diablo>Heil Kithara

Cables: Douglas Cables 'Mirage'', (Power); Douglas Cables 'Mirage' (XLR); Douglas Cables "GLIA" (speaker cables & jumper); FTA Callisto (USB)

Accessories: Furutech GTX-D (G) with cover, MIT Z Duplex Super; Equitech Balanced Power, Sistrum (for Diablo & TRP)

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Would bee my choice, It's brilliant, and the developer is very helpfull. It is simple to use, and together with programe like J-River you would have a system that far exeede Lyngdorf/Tact/Deqx. But if you are just going to try it with Squeezebox I would have tried it with some free software like DRC.

I am curently using Audiolense on my computer, I previously had the Lyngdorf 2200RP, but Audiolense and Lynx soundcard far exeed the Lyngdorf in terms of soundquality and function.

 

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