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Found 8 results

  1. MiniDSP UMIK-1 USB Measurement Microphone. Excellent condition and complete with the original carry case, wind deflector, tripod stand, USB cable and serial number needed for the unique calibration file. The 0deg & 90deg calibration files can still be downloaded directly from the MiniDSP site. £85 inc. postage to a UK Mainland/NI address.
  2. Hi all. I currently use an Arcam SR250 as a one-box solution for both 2 channel listening and HT duties *2 channel plus 2 subs*. Although the Arcam is a fantastic unit, I am considering selling and going the separates route. My speakers are Spendor A7's and feel they would benefit from some beefier amplification in the form of a stereo integrated with HT bypass. With the sale of the Arcam and some piggy Bank money, I should have a budget of around 2.5k. Can any of you amplifier aficionados point me in the right direction? I have my eye on a Musical Fidelity M6si which seems to tick all the boxes but would it be a good pairing with my Spendors? I'm open to any and all options and opinions (including constructive criticism) so please fire away..... . Just some additional info: My plan is to buy a slimline Marantz NR1507/8/9 to handle my movie audio decoding and HDMI switching. MiniDSP 2x4HD with DIRAC built in to give me my room correction and parametric EQ tinkering fix that I love and need. I use REW regularly so using the miniDSP will be a joy. Then comes the integrated. I want something with plenty of power in reserve for 2 channel listening. Plenty of headroom is the key. I like to listen loud sometimes and that's where I feel the Arcam can struggle on occasion. With only 90w per channel, it isn't exactly a powerhouse. I'm not interested in valves as the wife would have a fit and I know for a fact my 3 year old son would see the warm glow and want to touch it. I'm happy to answer any questions you guys might have. Including questions on my sanity.
  3. Well, despite reading comments on here about the benefits of in-room EQ, room measurements, etc. it has taken until now for me to shell out on the Minidsp Umik-1 digital microphone, necessary for making the required measurements. For many months, I had already been using a Minidsp 4x2HD, configured as a crossover for my 4 x EAR 509 II monoblocs, Quad ESL63/ Gradient SW63 woofer system but I wasn't doing any further equalization to correct for any in-room anomalies, as I thought my system sounded very good and that the room was probably good, too. Well, as I'd built up a little extra money in my bank account, I thought I'd take a punt and spend the £109 for the microphone. A quick install of the free REW software on the laptop, a handful of room frequency sweeps , some reading to get some understanding of what REW was doing and the processing of the correction file into my Minidsp 2x4HD and I am pretty gobsmacked. The sweeps highlighted, amongst other things, quite a lift in the 200-300hz region and dips in the sub-110hz region(from memory, anyway). With the correction applied, it's so much better to listen to. Bass is tighter, easier to follow and as a result, detail in the mids and highs is now easier to hear. I'm just simply getting more enjoyment from the music. I didn't spend a great deal of time with the sweeps etc. and fully intend to do some more but putting more time and effort into it. However, for now, I just want to sit and play my music and enjoy the new experience. Once I'm used to the new sound I will find sone time to do further work, including trying out the trial version of Dirac Live. For anyone that has a minidsp unit and hasn't yet got hold of a mic to run some room measurements/correction, I unreservedly recommend that you do so. As has been stated many times by people that have done this, the interaction between the loudspeakers and the room is key and you can obtain a big improvement for a relatively small expenditure by working in this area.
  4. Right this is the start of what might end up to be a very long thread . Apologies in advance to thise that will lose patience but due to my inexperience in trying anything like this there are many stupid questions I will need to ask . Day One Stripping of the Monitor Audio units down to component parts . I have taken the useful hot weather as an excuse to start getting these two units stripped out of the cabinets so that I can look and photograph everything . Sorry for the poor quality of the images these are all phone pictures . I may well get my camera out for later but at the moment my pc is locked in a disc copy so everything is slow . So hopefully in sequence is a picture of the units complete . Then the bass and tweeter units . Then the crossover and then the empty cabinet . Both bass units were twinned to the earth connectors on the crossover then split to an Inductor and resistor each . Resistors were different in both cases with one a 10 Ohm the other a 3.3 Ohm . Think this means they were connected together and can be treated as a single unit but not certain . However as they are identical units I am going to treat them as one for this build. Sorry ran out of space to post more pictures so will need to have a think about what I need to do to post the others .
  5. I have thread in the DIY section on buying a second hand pair of 80's Monitor Audio 11 speakers (choice was made for Two way , Sealed Baffle ,cheapness) which I have disconnected the passive crossover and then created an active digital crossover using the Minidsp which slots in between my Pre Amp (Concordant Exhillarant) and two Quad 405 power amps . Anyone interested in the details and various stages please read the DIY thread. What I want to put here is my thoughts (initial ones as I only got the speakers working today) on Active Speakers . These are the first fully active units that I have heard in my system and using my equipment . I have heard and liked Meridian M30 and the larger units which I know are active and I believe they are but this was only in either a Show or another system in a strange room . I have also while working on this project heard two very different active set ups one a multi speaker multi amp set up that dominates a very large room the other a pair of dipole units with some very complex and very expensive digital control . Both were intersting but nothing like what I was creating . So I have always had passive speakers and the ones I currently own make a pretty good job of making very good music that I enjoy and listen to at least once every day. I expected Active to be just the same but and here is the thing I was not really sure what they would be like just like a good passive ? Truth is they do sound different and I think I could identify an active speaker from a passive without much of an issue . I am saying that for me at least Active speakers have a sound . It is not some thing like an LS3/5a which has a very definite sound which is down to the design compromises . Actives (or at least those I have heard up to now) have speed to the sound . By this I mean they start and stop notes very quickly far more than any passive I have heard to date . My pair are very clean and seem to be transparent , due to their size they are never going to offer trouser flapping bass but once adjusted (by in ear in my case because I lack the knowledge and skill to do it from measurement) every thing now seems in its right place with bass clear and driving when it is called to be .Vocals are very pure and then there is that speed and fast attack which just seems to make the music flow naturally and. gives you the aural vlues you need to make sense of the performance. Now I do not know if this is just a facility and talent of Active speakers due to the crossover being directed and controlling each drive unit one to one , the dedication of an amplifier simply for that unit or the seperation you now have with seperate amplifiers for each speaker . What I do know for me at least is once you hear that speed and musical ease it is very addictive .
  6. Hi purchased a virtually new unit from e-bay and everything worked except the DSP Software to control the unit . I loaded this in the sequesnce that the manual instructs but it will not connect with the Minidsp unit when it connects. Instead it tell me I have to load some additional software which turns out to be NET frame 2.0/3.0 but when I do this it htne says I already have Net Frame 3.5 which includes both of the other versions. But the program still fails to connect. Now I have checked that Windows recognises the Minidsp which it does and it can be seen in the Control Panel list of devices . The system also tells me the Minidsp has been connected and that it is setting up the hardware and then confirms the hardware is loaded and ready for use. I have also tried using the Compatability Tool and changing the software to Windows 7 , Windows Vista , Windows XP but it still will not connect. Naturally I have sent a message to Minidsp Customer Service but they have not been that helpful i had already stated in my message that yes the unit was powered upo and yes the blue LED was on even I would have suspected somehting was wrong if that had not happened. I had also used the Firmware update tool to update the unit so it is connected and seen by my PC . Have to be truthful I do not undersatand line three what HOST file ? Has anyone had any similat issues with this unit ? IF so any suggestions of how to get things sorted Hello, Let’s see how we can help, - We assume that the drivers (miniDSP UAC2 driver) installed correctly? What can you see under the UAC2 control panel? Please show a screenshot. - Unit is correctly powered by external power supply and has the front panel LED on? - Did you even modify your HOST file? Please send us a bit more details of your setup so we can help troubleshoot. Hoping this info helps and keep us updated if you have further questions.
  7. Apologies in advance for the wall of text. There's a fairly simple question you can skip to at the end but the rest is included because it's part of a wider plan with an imperfect solution and I'm open to ideas if anyone wants to really get into it, or just hear about the project we're starting to plan. I got the free trial of Dirac and I rather liked it. I'd like to buy it but I'm having trouble figuring out in which form. Medium term I'm planning to build a good digital chain. It'll be composed of a modular system connected with I2S, possibly in one physical box. There will be some sort of media player module, a DAC (probably Twisted Pear), source selection, volume, Dirac, and an active crossover. All that's going to take shape over the next year or two, for now the system is PC, USB to SPDIF interface, DAC, and preamp. One possible complication is that I have both a digital and an analogue source. That means I need some sort of A/D conversion if I want the analogue to go through the DSP, or post digital source selection if I accept that's not going to happen. The analogue source is my turntables. Plural because a long time ago I used to DJ and I keep the setup to play around with occasionally, with a few upgrades to make it suitable for quality single deck listening (very occasional, almost all digital these days). Occasional DJ use means on the one hand that if it goes through a digital stage it need to have a very low latency but on the other it's not the end of the world if it can't go through the DSP and gets selected after the digital chain. What would be perfect for me is source selection, incorporating at least two digital inputs (future proofing) and an analogue input with high quality, very low latency A/D. I figure attenuation pre-DSP is a bad idea as it'll squish the dynamic range and/or raise the noise floor and I'm going for optimal quality here. That would mean separate source control and volume, the latter being analogue, after the digital chain and right before the power amp. I should note that I work with a brilliant audio engineer who, if it's at all technically possible, can tap the I2S on the individual boards and the suchlike, even if they don't have native external interfaces for it. So it's more a question of whether things are practically technically possible than if they're built in as standard user I/O. So, that's the plan medium term but my main concern right now what implementation of Dirac I should go for in order to ensure future compatibility with the planned system (Dirac can't be re-sold and I really don't want to pay for it twice). Dirac comes first because it's all I can afford right now, I can get it off the peg and working straight away, and I feel a desperate need for DSP to help with room acoustics (I'll be treating the room as well but I'm moving house in a bit so that has to wait). There are three main options I'm looking at (although other suggestions are welcome) because none of them quite tick all the boxes or at least I have questions/concerns with them: Option 1: MiniDSP DDRC-24 This has analogue and digital inputs, which is great. However it only has analogue outputs and so would prevent me from using separate DAC(s). To be honest I don't trust at least the output stage of the DAC in this to be up there with the Twisted Pear stuff I'm planning. My engineer chum is confident he can tap the I2S in a standard 2x4HD but he's concerned that there may be some f***ery involved in the Dirac version which would prevent this, and it's a lot of money to take a chance on. This is compounded by the inability to resell Dirac products meaning I couldn't just move it on for a relatively minor loss if it's not suitable. Second concern is how well Dirac runs on these boards. The rest of the MiniDSP Dirac embedded products seem to run on a different platform. Take the DDRC-22DA. Differences seem to be that it doesn't function as an active crossover (having only two outputs), has no analogue input, but does give balanced outputs and AES input. Yet it costs over 300 Euros more. Is this really just horribly squiffy pricing where balanced outputs and AES are considered to be worth about 300 Euros plus the loss of the analogue input and the crossover or does this platform somehow have superior processing in this context? What am I missing here? Option 2: MiniDSP DDRC-22D AES I/O is nice to have as I'm slowly migrating to pro hookups but it's not that big a deal, especially as I might wind up giving it I2S I/O anyway. The attraction of this is in how little it does. Having a box with digital in and out which only handles the Dirac processing leaves all my options wide open in terms of the future modular system, but would also work with what I have right now (possibly excluding the analogue). The issue I have is that it's the best part of double the price of the other options for apparently less functionality. Just over 700 Euros for two channel Dirac only is hard to swallow. So I guess same question as above. Is there anything about this platform which justifies the significant extra cost? Option 3: Dirac for PC Removes the option for a dedicated digital source, unless I pipe it through the PC, which negates the point. It would also create a similar problem for analogue in that I would have to sort out the analogue I/O at the PC which is an unwanted complication and cost if I want high quality and low latency. Advantage is that it's (relatively) cheap. So, it seems that none of the options are quite right for me. If MiniDSP made a version of the DDRC-24 with digital outputs, if I knew that there was no compromise from the other platform beyond the lack of AES, and if I knew for sure the I2S could be tapped in the future, it'd be perfect. The more I think about it the more I reckon I'll have to forget about processing the analogue and restrict DSP to digital sources. I've included analogue considerations in case anyone can see a way of making this happen but I think, especially considering latency issues, I can and will need to live without it. In that case I guess the obvious answer is the DDRC-22D, but can anyone tell me if anything justifies the extra cost in this unit? That's a serious question because if it does do something in the processing better then I could possibly be persuaded to save for a little bit longer.
  8. After considering a purchase of a Minidsp unit for a while, I recently bought a Minidsp 2x4HD unit from Luke (insider9) of this parish. It was purchased mainly to act as an active crossover to my Quad ESL63 and Gradient SW63 subwoofer combo. Gradient supply an active crossover with the subs and although it works quite well, you do lose some of the immediacy of the Quads. Another option that I tried, following a well known tweak from the internet, was to use the Gradient crossover to the subs but to use a single in-line capacitor in circuit to each of the Quads. This opened up the sound from the Quads but the overall sound was less seamless - you could hear that each channel was coming from 2 separate units. I therefore went back to using the Gradient crossover, but knew that greater transparency/immediacy should be possible. Enter the Minidsp unit. Despite being a novice in things dsp, after reading the setup notes, I was able to configure the software to set the crossover frequency of a nominal 110hz and create left and right outputs to the Quads and again to the subs. I was able to choose the crossover type that allows a 6db per octave boost on the subs (required due to them being open baffle dipoles). I then read that the Gradient crossover has a sharp reduction in output below 28hz, as the subs are not flat below this frequency. After a further bit of reading I found that I could set something called a low-step filter in a tab called 'parametric equalizer' on the output to the subs, to achieve this. The Minidsp is doing what I hoped it would do - greater immediacy with a seamlessness between the Quads and the Gradient. As has been said before, a great strength is to be able to try different settings on the fly e.g different crossover points/frequencies, different output levels on the subs. There is also the facility to store different configurations in four different presets. I have also been able to store functions such as volume up/down, presets 1 to 4, on my Sony TV remote. That has enabled me to hear the difference, the touch of a button, between using a crossover point of 110hz, 115hz, 120hz etc. It also gives me the ability to have 2 presets which are identical apart from one being in positive phase, the other in inverted phase (for those who, like me, hear the difference from one recording to another). I can therefore switch from positive to inverse phase and vice versa, at the touch of a button. In summary, a very worthwhile purchase and I can also look forward to a future purchase of a Umik-1 microphone and using the free REW software to carry out room correction or even buy the Dirac software. Oh, one last thing to mention was the excellent transaction with Luke, yet another example of a fine, trustworthy Wammer. It was a real pleasure to do business with him.