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Starting over...

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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The recent threads relating to digital room correction were really inspiring. Having gone to Scalford I was even more inspired and really amazed what can be achieved at a relatively low cost. All to that extent that I'm considering wholesale changes to my system. In a way it's to limit perpetual box swapping with usually unknow results. But also to future proof my setup when and if I move (whether room or a house).

I'm considering a diy digitally room corrected active setup. And no, nothing that's readily available on the market so bear with me.
The aim would be to achieve all of it for no more than a £1,000 source excluded. It would need to allow flexibiity so I can expand if I wished. I've never undertaken anything like it so would like your input.

Until I know this will 100% work and that I will enjoy the effects I don't want to plough money into it. So I'm considering doing it in three stages. That would allow me time to learn and slowly make changes as my ears adjust.

1) TESTING... Use a UMIK-1 (circa £100) to measure and take out a two week trial of Dirac Live to see how much can be achieved with my existing setup also have a pair of QLN Qubic 122 (floorstanders) that I'd test and use for this project. I'd be particularly interested on impact of different speakers and amplification on the end result. Would

2) EXPERIMENTATION... Buy Minidsp DDRC-24 (circa £450) as a 2 way active crossover / room correction solution. Would use both pairs of speakers. At that stage I would not remove passive crossovers. Using standmounts as mids and highs (HF) and getting bass (LF) from woofer on the floorstanders to add extension. To do that I'd need amplfication. I'd probably use Sony STR-DB930 (sub £100) as one box solution. Individual drivers don't require as much power as passive speakers. I understand I could connect LF to back speaker terminals and HF to fronts.

3) IMPLEMENTATION... Depending on results above I'd either keep existing speakers and remove passive crossovers or buy and repurpose a second hand pair of floorstanders or transmission line standmounts. Two way IPL floorstanders (sub £200) or some older PMC (max £350) but would remove passive crossovers. If I'd manage to go with cheaper speakers I could diy some acoustic panels for about £100 or if need be upgrade the amp to something like a 4/6 channel power amp. I've seen some Rotels for little money.

So once completed the chain would look like this

Preamp streamer -> (digital stereo signal) -> DDRC-24 (working as active crossover + room correction + dac) -> (2 x analog stereo signal for HF and LF) -> at least 4 channel amp -> 2 LF channels to drivers + 2 HF channels to tweeters

Any thoughts? Are there non minidsp (similar budget) alternatives to DDRC-24? Have I missed anything or made a wrong assumption? Is there a better way to do it that's withing the budget?

Thanks in advance for all help and participation in this thread.
 

drummerman

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Jan 18, 2008
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I assume you saw an exhibitor at Scalford using a similar set-up?

What was used and did they demonstrate with/without room correction?
 

insider9

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drummerman said:
I assume you saw an exhibitor at Scalford using a similar set-up?

What was used and did they demonstrate with/without room correction?
Yes, the setup I was astounded by was Linn + PMC (Linn Akurate Exact DSM, Linn Akurate Exaktbox DAC/DSP, two Linn Akurate 4200/1, PMC Twenty.26)

The most astounding thing was the clarity. And it was across the spectrum without crazy volume levels and from floorstanders in a bedroom size room. Almost defying physics. These size speakers would usually have no chance of working in a such a small room.

My idea is a cheap diy version of that :)

And no there was no option without. PMC had their passive crossovers taken out. And active crossovers were in place making corrections for the room as well.
 

luckylion100

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Nov 6, 2011
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I'm sure amazing results can be achieved and I'm sure this will make for a very interesting thread, I'm expecting great things!

I'd love to consider something like this myself, my next goal is assembling a Raspberry Pi3 and the thought of that is terrifying. ;-)

Best of luck.
 

DocG

Well-known member
May 1, 2012
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Your train of thought is remarkably similar to my own project (almost scaringly so!). Though I must admit I threw more money at it...

At the moment, I have a Bluesound Node 2 as my source; digital RCA into my DEQX HDP-3 (active XO + driver and room correction + DAC); analogue RCA-to-XLR to 2 two-channel Hypex amps (diy, 1 x SMPS-600, 2 x NC-400) and to my Rythmik subwoofer (15", sealed, bespoke cabinet, 370 W AB-amp); and 4-core 4mm2 speaker cable (spades to Speakon) to Magnepan MMGs (reframed in solid wood, XO-less).

Everything bought blind or diy...

Very happy so far; still have to integrate the subwoofer (that was brought just this morning).

I tell myself this set-up will cure upgraditis (though I'm already toying with the idea of adding separate DACs...).
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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DocG said:
Your train of thought is remarkably similar to my own project (almost scaringly so!). Though I must admit I threw more money at it...

At the moment, I have a Bluesound Node 2 as my source; digital RCA into my DEQX HDP-3 (active XO + driver and room correction + DAC); analogue RCA-to-XLR to 2 two-channel Hypex amps (diy, 1 x SMPS-600, 2 x NC-400) and to my Rythmik subwoofer (15", sealed, bespoke cabinet, 370 W AB-amp); and 4-core 4mm2 speaker cable (spades to Speakon) to Magnepan MMGs (reframed in solid wood, XO-less).

Everything bought blind or diy...

Very happy so far; still have to integrate the subwoofer (that was brought just this morning).

I tell myself this set-up will cure upgraditis (though I'm already toying with the idea of adding separate DACs...).
Yes, I was very impressed reading about your setup in different threads. Hope the sub will give you all you hope for.

I want my project to be as open as possible so exchaning components wouldn't cause major issues. Must say that Quad 57 or 63's plus a sub would probably be stage 4 :)

luckylion100 said:
I'm sure amazing results can be achieved and I'm sure this will make for a very interesting thread, I'm expecting great things!

I'd love to consider something like this myself, my next goal is assembling a Raspberry Pi3 and the thought of that is terrifying. ;-)

Best of luck.
Thanks Lion :)

I hope it will be interesting and worth the effort.

drummerman said:
Also try DIY Audio and PFM/Wigwam for advise.
Yes, will do, thanks. Joined the Wam before Scalford so will pick their brains too. The more the merrier :)
 

insider9

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MajorFubar said:
I just think your wife is a saint. Mine would have divorced me by now.
She is great, I'm truly blessed. I'm trying to keep the hobby within reasonable financial constraints. I intend to keep my existing setup (bar one amp, not sure which still) almost until the end. In real terms I might actually be saving money or spending very little.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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I'd recommend the Crowns with integrated DSP crossover option. You can use one for the highs and one for your lows, eliminate the extra active crossover in the setup. XLS 1000 sell for $300 each on Amazon, though I prefer the black XLS 2002 for more power and looks.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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A lot depends on how much computer nonsense you plan to get involved in, or whether you prefer to keep it 'hi-fi'.

Your proposal will involve some complications, finding speakers that can be used actively at this sort of price will be a challange, 4 channels of amplification will cost, etc, etc.

A relatively 'hi-fi' solution would involve using a pair of integrated active speakers, probably from the pro world, these will give you crossover and amps 'matched' to the drivers. Drive them with the DSP Antimode Dual Core, a processor/dac/preamp that is a complete package, including measurement microphone.

The DSP Antimode costs £700, so a big chunk of the budget, but it is effectively plug and play so just add a small pair of actives, entry level Adams say as a starting point. Stretch you budget to a pair of A7x, and you have a very capable system indeed.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Vladimir said:
I'd recommend the Crowns with integrated DSP crossover option. You can use one for the highs and one for your lows, eliminate the extra active crossover in the setup. XLS 1000 sell for $300 each on Amazon, though I prefer the black XLS 2002 for more power and looks.
Excellent, thank you!
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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davedotco said:
A lot depends on how much computer nonsense you plan to get involved in, or whether you prefer to keep it 'hi-fi'.

Your proposal will involve some complications, finding speakers that can be used actively at this sort of price will be a challange, 4 channels of amplification will cost, etc, etc.

A relatively 'hi-fi' solution would involve using a pair of integrated active speakers, probably from the pro world, these will give you crossover and amps 'matched' to the drivers. Drive them with the DSP Antimode Dual Core, a processor/dac/preamp that is a complete package, including measurement microphone.

The DSP Antimode costs £700, so a big chunk of the budget, but it is effectively plug and play so just add a small pair of actives, entry level Adams say as a starting point. Stretch you budget to a pair of A7x, and you have a very capable system indeed.
I intend to take the crossovers out of passives I'd get second hand. That would give me more room in terms of what's availble.
 

luckylion100

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Nov 6, 2011
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doesn't your suggested approach take some of the fun away from the project though and for the future of the thread? Come on be a sport! ;-) That's basically providing an active solution with some added dsp to play with... but I get entirely where you're coming from. One thing though, why would you opt for the Antimode over the Minidsp/Dirac Live solution?
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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Firstly, conventional 'passive' crossovers often do more than just 'cross over', they often adjust driver roll off and adjust phase around the crossover point. A little more complex than just 'dialing in' the crossover point.

Secondly, the Antimode DSP is effectively a 'hi-fi' component, plenty to tweak and twiddle, but not really a computer, some may prefer that, others not.

It all depends on the 'point' of the excersise, what you want to learn and discover in technical terms or whether you simply want to experiment with what sophisticated dsp does in musical terms.

Interesting whichever way you play this.
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Thanks for your input. Yes, I'm aware that designing a crossover is much more than just selecting crossover frequency. I'm aware I'm a novice, but I'm willing to learn.

From what I've read minidsp allows for phase correction.
 

luckylion100

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Nov 6, 2011
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it's a great way to learn, especially if you can do a hands on project. I'm tinkering away tonight, very chilled and relaxed, back at school but with some decent tunes keeping me company. ;-)
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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seemorebtts said:
Any reason the speakers you have chosen.iv never heard them before
Both pair of speakers I currently possess are rather rare. QLN Qubic are a small 2-way floorstanders with fair quality Vifa drive units. They go much deeper than the Rosebuds so would provide more extention. They're quite a decent speaker in their own right. They're worth more to me for how they sound than what others would be prepared to pay for such an unkown Swedish brand. Plus if I was to damage the woofers on them I wouldn't really be that upset as it wouldn't be that big of a financial hit.

Plans wise, I reckon advanced transmission line would give me the bass I'm after.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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insider9, yes your proposed computer controlled active system makes a lot of sense and you should be able to put together a good sounding system for your £1000 budget.

I, personally would choose different speaker drivers as I prefer EV or Altec compression drivers and horns over direct radiators. For the bass I'd probably go for an EV or Altec or JBL 15" driver, but would understand why most people would prefer a 12" or 10" or 8" for domestic acceptability.

Sunbeamgls's room with the Exakt and PMC's did sound good. I enjoyed the time I spent in there. Did you ask him how much he paid for it all?
 

insider9

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No, I didn't ask. I've looked at individual prices of components and any one of them is more than I'm prepared to put towards my whole system :) I had a nice chat with him trying to understand his setup. I then went to Linn presentation and workshop that was at the end of the day and at that point I kinda knew that's the direction I want to be heading in.

Thanks for the tip on drivers I'll definitely come back to this once I'm at that stage.
 

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