Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-02-16, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management



by Wayne Myers

Price Each: $999



Introduction

MiniDSP has become a solid source for hardware-based Dirac Live implementations in recent years. Their products cover a range from two-channel 24b-96kbps models to eight-channel 24b-48kbps nano-sized and rack-mount models. But their offerings have fallen short in situations where AVR-embedded room correction has been entrenched for many years.



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post #2 of 15 Old 10-02-16, 12:36 PM
 
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

Thanks for the excellent write up, Wayne. I wholeheartedly agree with you, and will be keeping both of my 88M boxes for quite a while. Did you by any chance take any pics of the frequency response plots the Dirac makes... I am curious as to how yours was plotted.

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-02-16, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

I do. I will be posting a number of measurement plots over the next few days.
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post #4 of 15 Old 10-04-16, 05:44 AM
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

"Both miniDSP and Dirac Research have online guides and user support available. But a one-stop, start-to-finish detailed guide would be nice, and none of the guides I looked at contained the details I would have needed."

This is my biggest concern about spending the $$ to get the Mini DSP system for my home theater. I am not very technically inclined, so unless I have an easy to understand and follow "cheat-sheet", I find it hard to figure out how to get complicated technical systems to work like they are supposed to. Just to take an example, even the supposedly simple to use REW/UMIK system has multiple "how-to" guides (some of them as long as War and Peace!) and videos out there and not all give the same instructions on how to use the system. It would be so nice to have a set of easy-to-understand directions for the newbie, and another set of instructions to use as one gets more familiar with the system and wants to go beyond the newbie instructions. Just my 2 cents worth!

Cal68
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-05-16, 07:09 AM
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

Quote:
Cal68 wrote: View Post
"Both miniDSP and Dirac Research have online guides and user support available. But a one-stop, start-to-finish detailed guide would be nice, and none of the guides I looked at contained the details I would have needed."

This is my biggest concern about spending the $$ to get the Mini DSP system for my home theater. I am not very technically inclined, so unless I have an easy to understand and follow "cheat-sheet", I find it hard to figure out how to get complicated technical systems to work like they are supposed to. Just to take an example, even the supposedly simple to use REW/UMIK system has multiple "how-to" guides (some of them as long as War and Peace!) and videos out there and not all give the same instructions on how to use the system. It would be so nice to have a set of easy-to-understand directions for the newbie, and another set of instructions to use as one gets more familiar with the system and wants to go beyond the newbie instructions. Just my 2 cents worth!

Cal68
Yeah, Cal, I hear you loud and clear. There's a lot of grey areas with this equipment and confusion can be easily found!

Nice review, Wayne. Enjoyed it!
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-05-16, 07:54 AM
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

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Yeah, Cal, I hear you loud and clear. There's a lot of grey areas with this equipment and confusion can be easily found!

Nice review, Wayne. Enjoyed it!
Thanks Todd, I'm glad that I am not the only one who feels that the instructions are not as clear as they can be. Just to give you an example, I have been using Pink Noise with REW/UMIK-1 instead of the Sine Wave. Wayne set me straight yesterday so I will make the correction this weekend when I have time to redo my REW measurements. The REW instructions were not clear on this point and I obviously made the wrong choice.

If I could get together with someone locally who had a miniDSP system hooked up and could get some training and observation time, then I would consider plunking down a grand for the unit. Right now I have decided against it because of my fear that I will be stuck with an expensive paperweight if I cannot figure out how to use it.

Cal68
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-05-16, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

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Cal68 wrote: View Post
Thanks Todd, I'm glad that I am not the only one who feels that the instructions are not as clear as they can be. Just to give you an example, I have been using Pink Noise with REW/UMIK-1 instead of the Sine Wave. Wayne set me straight yesterday so I will make the correction this weekend when I have time to redo my REW measurements. The REW instructions were not clear on this point and I obviously made the wrong choice.

If I could get together with someone locally who had a miniDSP system hooked up and could get some training and observation time, then I would consider plunking down a grand for the unit. Right now I have decided against it because of my fear that I will be stuck with an expensive paperweight if I cannot figure out how to use it.

Cal68
I totally hear you. Finding the right balance between brevity and detail, and digging into the right detail, is not an easy matter. My musings are not always newbie friendly, not always friendly for any audience, pics and diagrams help but take a lot of time. My approach tends to be to chunk it into categories. For instance, HDMI stuff is mainly all in one guide. Speaker setup in another. I am trying to get more organized about such things. Let us know what areas you need more clarification in.

BTW what is your home city?


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post #8 of 15 Old 10-05-16, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

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Cal68 wrote: View Post
...I have been using Pink Noise with REW/UMIK-1 instead of the Sine Wave...
Just curious about the context here. I do a lot of jumping back & forth, and could probably clarify a bit on the matter. Can you describe what you are doing with what waveform?


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post #9 of 15 Old 10-06-16, 01:32 PM
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Re: Review Discussion Thread: miniDSP DDRC-88BM 8-Channel Dirac Live Processor With Bass Management

Dear Audiocarver,

Thank you so much for this review. Among others, I really appreciate your comparison with NanoAvr-DL.

I totally agree with:

"Both miniDSP and Dirac Research have online guides and user support available. But a one-stop, start-to-finish detailed guide would be nice, and none of the guides I looked at contained the details I would have needed."

At this price level, we would deserve a very well detailed guide.

A question. Is the following statement also applies to nanoAvr-DL?

"When I started out with the 5.1 setting, the DL calibrations always ended up with that 10 dB loss in all of the channels but the LFE channel and the net 10 dB loss in overall volume. But the Custom configuration, with the subwoofer box unchecked always set the channel gains with no compensation for LFE level, assuming that will be done elsewhere. In my case, I let the Onkyo AVR take care of that boost. The result? All channel gains were equal in the 88BM, exactly what I wanted."

In other words with nanoAvr-DL, would you recommand to choose custom configuration (DL is before the AVR) knowing that the sweep comes from the laptop through Nano to the receiver?
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-06-16, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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I am not sure, I will have to check it out.
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8channel , bass , ddrc88bm , dirac , discussion , live , management , minidsp , processor , review , thread

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