DSP

2022 The WAM show

tackleberry

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I’d like to ask people’s experiences with these devices 

Getting out of my comfort zone with advice of others to go active has been the best decision I’ve made in hifi. After toying with building some DSP actives speakers,  analogue actives are what I ended up with, solely because of my experiences below.

I was originally open to DSP and streaming equipment. Streaming being probably the next step but my mind is awash with ideas, and still have no clue which is the most foolproof way for quality and reliability.

 DSP has left me somewhat underwhelmed, and a little surprised. I’ve heard 4 DSP setups over approximately 3 (one of which yesterday, prompting this post!) years now and I’ve not really enjoyed any of them. I’m not sure what part dacs, power supplies and streaming gear (which I think all4 had in line with) has played in this but I found they mostly had the sound I would describe as a high quality docking station/Bluetooth speaker. I know that sounds a bit harsh but it sounded like someone had moved the graphic equaliser on my old aiwa stack system, not real sounding at all. I thought maybe it could be a setup problem or synergy across many boxes, but could they all have got it so wrong?!?! Two of the owners are very knowledgeable. One of the nitin sawhney tracks sounded so different on one systems, and being a fan asked him if it was a live recording, he said no it’s from the regular album!

Experiences please!

 
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Andrew_C

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I looked at this when I started to use Roon which has parametric filters, everything I have read suggests you only correct the very low bass, just removing the additions caused by the room, here it has removed rthe boom the rest of the sound remains unchanged.

You will need a microphone and I used room eq wizard measurement software.

 

Psilonaught

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I’d like to ask people’s experiences with these devices 

Getting out of my comfort zone with advice of others to go active has been the best decision I’ve made in hifi. After toying with building some DSP actives speakers,  analogue actives are what I ended up with, solely because of my experiences below.

I was originally open to DSP and streaming equipment. Streaming being probably the next step but my mind is awash with ideas, and still have no clue which is the most foolproof way for quality and reliability.

 DSP has left me somewhat underwhelmed, and a little surprised. I’ve heard 4 DSP setups over approximately 3 (one of which yesterday, prompting this post!) years now and I’ve not really enjoyed any of them. I’m not sure what part dacs, power supplies and streaming gear (which I think all4 had in line with) has played in this but I found they mostly had the sound I would describe as a high quality docking station/Bluetooth speaker. I know that sounds a bit harsh but it sounded like someone had moved the graphic equaliser on my old aiwa stack system, not real sounding at all. I thought maybe it could be a setup problem or synergy across many boxes, but could they all have got it so wrong?!?! Two of the owners are very knowledgeable. One of the nitin sawhney tracks sounded so different on one systems, and being a fan asked him if it was a live recording, he said no it’s from the regular album!

Experiences please!
What DSP units have you tried?

I have heard what you describe with a behringer DCX unit that made everything sound like a cheap digital source, splashy and etched.

I now use a Monacor  dsm-26lan and it is significantly better than the analogue DBX crossover I previously used. Analogue and natural sounding.

I will admit however that my 2022 plans involve swapping my Monacor crossover for a Sublime audio K231 card / resistor based analogue crossover, and then applying parametric EQ via my Aries G2.

I think that is ultimately the cleanest solution as is completely avoids any AD/DA conversion.

I'm doing this as I'm eventually getting a Lampizator later this year, which is a R2R dac, so using any sort of analogue to digital converter (e.g. a digital crossover) would be the hight of sacralige. 

G2 > Lampizator > sublime audio crossover will be a killer combination for those seeking a vinyl like analogue sound without the need for stupid plastic disks.

 
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eddie-baby

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Not convinced with the DSPs myself, think they need so much work to get them anywhere near a good analogue crossover.

I will admit however that my 2022 plans involve swapping my Monacor crossover for a Sublime audio K231 card / resistor based analogue crossover, and then applying parametric EQ via my Aries G2.

I think that is ultimately the cleanest solution as is completely avoids any AD/DA conversion.
Think this AD/DA probably is the biggest problem.

This K231 looks like a good solution if not a cheap one.

I've even read of people having better results with a cheap equaliser in line than using things like miniDSP HDs.

 

Psilonaught

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Not convinced with the DSPs myself, think they need so much work to get them anywhere near a good analogue crossover.

Think this AD/DA probably is the biggest problem.

This K231 looks like a good solution if not a cheap one.

I've even read of people having better results with a cheap equaliser in line than using things like miniDSP HDs.
The sublime audio crossover is very cheap !?

 

tackleberry

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I’ve not tried anything dsp.  
 

my room is very friendly. 
 

If I could complain about anything, there is a slight bass lightness in my seating position which I would rather it that way to be honest.

 

tuga

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DSP (digital signal processing) can be used for different purposes like upsampling, reclocking, room correction (DRC -digital room correction) or crossover duties. Which one are you referring to?

 
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lindsayt

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I looked at this when I started to use Roon which has parametric filters, everything I have read suggests you only correct the very low bass, just removing the additions caused by the room, here it has removed rthe boom the rest of the sound remains unchanged.

You will need a microphone and I used room eq wizard measurement software.
Is the rest of the sound really unchanged?

Or does passing the signal through the DSP circuit result in changes to the sound? Such as introducing some transistorised hash?

 

tackleberry

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If I’m honest I wouldn’t know what were in the systems I’d previously heard over the last three years, as I wasn’t all that interested at the time. 

 I’ve wondered if it was I have a very different system now, and that the one  I heard yesterday just sounded so different to mine that I’m over judging. 
 

I came away thinking that are some systems now over complicated as I can’t work out what is wrong where?

 

tuga

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Is the rest of the sound really unchanged?

Or does passing the signal through the DSP circuit result in changes to the sound? Such as introducing some transistorised hash?
In all the instances I listed above, DSP is used to change the sound.

If high processing bit-depth and sample rates are used the mathematical operation will not colour the sound, but the signal still has to go through a DAC, which may introduce the infamous digital “glare”.

 
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newlash09

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Iam a dsp convert when addressing room issues. I didn't like the dac section of the minidsp shd, but that could have been improper testing on my side. So will be giving it another shot. But apart from that, the only way to enjoy a huge concert level performance with huge speakers in a very small room is only by the way of dsp room correction for bass in my books.

 

Andrew_C

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Is the rest of the sound really unchanged?

Or does passing the signal through the DSP circuit result in changes to the sound? Such as introducing some transistorised hash?
Everything remains the same you flip the filters on/off instantly while music is playing, it has brought a huge improvement allowing me to enjoy almost full range speakers for the first time /

 
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mtbmarkymark

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I use the DSP built into my DAC. All the DSP processing is done in the digital domain before the DAC stage

I find it a help in taming some room modes in the low bass and seems to have almost no downsides when used judiciously

it stands to reason that a product that has to convert from analogue before DSP processing will be more difficult to implement

 
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Psilonaught

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it stands to reason that a product that has to convert from analogue before DSP processing will be more difficult to implement
The AD/DA conversion has nothing to do with DSP implementation IMO.

The issue is that it can add an unwanted layer of digital sheen and is definitely undesirable in purely  analogue system.

The issues around the use (overuse) of DSP is a different issue.

 
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uzzy

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I remain blissfully ignorant of room problems - if I have them my ears are not objecting to them.  My speakers were bought after a home demonstration and did it for me.   Could I make it better with room correction ? Well the answer has to be probably.  However, I would not go the digital route as I have a phobia about converting analogue to digital and back again for vinyl .. and as for the CD player, well if I had more than a few grand to spare (if I won the lottery) then hell of course I would try to buy a better DAC (and move house to get my ideal listening room).

In the meantime as long as my old lugs are happy then so am I .. been to many shows and I hear how we all say "well hotel rooms are not ideal for hifi" but lots have room correction with bass traps etc .. and I guess therefore many must also use DSP to try and iron things out BUT I have yet to hear a system at a show that when I get home I put my system on and am disappointed.

When I hear something that when I get home my system does not sound as good (and you get the niggles) then I might investigate a change but as to room correction I doubt I would get her indoors to agree to bloody great tubes or things that look like mini privacy office screens .. so with her resisting that and me resisting DSP it is down to home dems and finding what works well in the room you have and if you cannot find something then perhaps it is time to work hard on some room treatment (or move) 

 

MartinC

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been to many shows and I hear how we all say "well hotel rooms are not ideal for hifi" but lots have room correction with bass traps etc .. and I guess therefore many must also use DSP to try and iron things out BUT I have yet to hear a system at a show that when I get home I put my system on and am disappointed.
I'm a little surprised at this observation. The vast majority of rooms I've been in at hifi shows over the years use neither DSP-based EQ to compensate for room effects, and the few that have some acoustic panels in them are a long way from having enough/the right type to be considered to have effective bass-trapping.

 

tuga

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Years ago I attended a few Lyngdorf demos in shows at hotels and they never seemed to have any issues with the bass. Their best performing system used corner woofers and open baffle mains driven by the Millennium.

That's what sparked my curiosity and why I ended up trying the KRK Ergo DAC.

 
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