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Dirac, Crossovers, 2.1 setup, which way to go?


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So I used Direc Live trial and was very impressed. Living without it is hard, but I'm confused as to which way to go in implementing it in my system. When I was using the trial my setup was:

 

Mac Mini > Audirvana with Dirac AU plugin > USB > DAC > Balanced out to power amps & Main speakers full-range

Mac Mini > Audirvana with Dirac AU plugin > USB > DAC > Unbalanced out to powered sub with low-pass filter

 

Now I could just go with Dirac Live, but then I saw some of the new products from MiniDSP incorporating Dirac, particularly the upcoming 2 x 4 DL, which will essentially be the same as the below 2 x 4 HD which implements an active crossover, but also will have built-in Dirac:

 

https://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/minidsp-2x4-hd

 

So I guess my question relates to how important an active crossover is when also using Dirac. It seems to me that while not a crossover itself, using Dirac alone should be able to smooth out any unwanted bass humps caused by the overlap between mains and sub.

 

Options:

 

1. Using Dirac Live software alone on Mac Mini. Advantages - keeps the 24/192 signal chain, no additional boxes. Disadvantages - doesn't do active crossover.

 

2. Using Dirac Live and crossover on MiniDSP 2x4 DL. Advantages - does both crossover and Dirac. Disadvantages - If using the internal DAC of the MiniDSP via USB it is likely not as good as a dedicated DAC. If using the MiniDSP via RCAs after the dedicated DAC, you would be adding an additional AD/DA stage. Reduces the signal chain to 24/96. Essentially the setup would be like this below but with the upcoming Dirac 2x4 DL model:

 

https://www.minidsp.com/applications/digital-crossovers/282-2x4-hd-sub-integration

 

So it seems that while you would gain the crossover functions, you would lose in some other ways. While I'm not currently a Roon or HQPlayer user, I could imagine using it in future in which case I'd still want Dirac somewhere in my system.

 

Any thoughts on which way to go? Anyone else using Dirac and/or a 2.1 crossover solution? Thanks....

Mac Mini > RME ADI-2 DAC > Hypex Ncore monoblocks > ATC SCM-11 speakers & C1 subwoofer

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a similar goal in mind. My constraints are a little different. I will also be going with 2.0 or 2.1.

 

1. I need an HDMI input - I would use an HDMI to Optical/Coaxial converter if needed

2. I want to keep everything in the digital domain from start to finish

3. I want to try to keep it simple using the boxes at minidsp, but would use a Mac Mini if that's the only way

4. If I use a Mac Mini, I would still use a box to do the digital crossover function.

 

I just started researching my options today so I'm just starting out. I'd also like to hear from others who have done this.

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1. Using Dirac Live software alone on Mac Mini. Advantages - keeps the 24/192 signal chain, no additional boxes. Disadvantages - doesn't do active crossover.
You may not be able to do this with A+ but you can do it with JRiver.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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Yeah I have a similar issue in 2.2, but I also want inputs from my oppo (SPDIF) for films. DAC wise I have an Antelope Zodiac Platinum, I have DL on the PC, and a 22D for SPDIF inputs to the Antelope. I actually have a Behringer DCX2496 coming to put downstream of the Antelope to mess about with crossovers but I don't like the principle of the AD/DA stage so unsure how I will get on with it. The only solutions I can think of are to get a pro interface with 4 analog outputs and 2 spdif inputs, or 2 Mytek 192 DACs as they will run together on multichannel via USB and spdif. Then use DL and JRiver on the PC for xover and Dirac via USB, and get a nanodigi to go downstream of the 22D to do crossover for the spdif inputs.

 

The issue here (apart from being a reasonably complex setup) is I am likely to have a reduction in SQ because of DACs.

 

I just wish more higher end manufacturers included useful things like crossovers. I used to have a Classe CP800 and it was great with its features but the DAC is outclassed by the Antelope.

 

Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk

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