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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:




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.




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:




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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