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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was looking at replacing my SMS-1 with a MiniDSP 2x4 unbalanced. I emailed the company and they are recommending that I purchase the balanced version (which requires some rather inconvenient and inelegant wiring). They said that it is because the 2x4 unbalanced output voltage is only 0.9V (as opposed the HT equipment standard of 2.0v). This is also reflected in the datasheet. Apparently the input voltage jumper pm the 2x4 unbalanced has no impact on the output voltage from the RCAs.

So, I just want to confirm this is correct. If this is the case -- I will probably just keep the SMS-1 as it is a nice, elegant and convenient sub EQ solution, and right now I really only have "one" sub to eq (a Seaton SubM Master + Slave setup).

I use a Seaton SubM -- so it does use an XLR input --but all my other wiring is RCA (and RG6 Coax in wall). So if I was going try to use the Balanced MiniDSP version -- the wiring would be like this I guess:

Denon X4000 --> RCA to XLR adapter --> MiniDSP 2x4 Balanced --> XLR to RG6 adapter (is this even possible?) --> long run in wall --> RG6 to XLR adapter --> Seaton SubM​

Seem kind of silly when my unbalanced cabling and SMS-1 seem to work fine (I use REW to model and come up with the filters).

What are the Shackers' thoughts -- is the 2x4 unbalanced ill-suited to HT work? is there any benefit to XLR cabling when the source device (in this case the Denon X4000) uses RCA outputs?

Thanks

CT
 

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They said that it is because the 2x4 unbalanced output voltage is only 0.9V (as opposed the HT equipment standard of 2.0v). This is also reflected in the datasheet. Apparently the input voltage jumper pm the 2x4 unbalanced has no impact on the output voltage from the RCAs.

So, I just want to confirm this is correct.
Not sure why you wouldn’t trust miniDSP’s literature or their personal communication, but everything I’ve heard on the forums pretty much says the same thing. :T


Denon X4000 --> RCA to XLR adapter --> MiniDSP 2x4 Balanced --> XLR to RG6 adapter (is this even possible?)
No XLR adapters needed; the miniDSP uses that “inelegant wiring” you mentioned, not XLR plugs.


What are the Shackers' thoughts -- is the 2x4 unbalanced ill-suited to HT work? is there any benefit to XLR cabling when the source device (in this case the Denon X4000) uses RCA outputs?
Keep in mind that you would only be getting the balanced version for its better headroom capabilities, not for its balanced-signal capabilities. The latter is of no relevance unless you have balanced equipment and cabling downstream of the unit.

For example, if you have outboard amplifiers or other equipment with balanced inputs, the miniDSP in place after your AVR would deliver a balanced signal to them even with an unbalanced input signal.

It might be nice to get a balanced signal from the miniDSP down to your Seaton, but that’s not possible with your current cabling using a coax cable: Balanced signals require a cable with two center conductors under the shield. Coax cable only has one center conductor, so for the purposes of this discussion it’s essentially the same as regular unbalanced RCA-terminated audio cables.

Bottom line, the miniDSP doesn’t seem to offer any practical advantage in your case (unless it has some features you need that the SMS doesn’t have).

Hope this helps! :)

Regards,
Wayne
 

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I am going to stick with the SMS-1 as it does what I need it to, has the inputs and outputs I want, and looks nice in the rack.
Yeah, I must admit I don’t get the miniDSP craze, at least for subwoofers. The vintage Yamaha YDP2006 will do most of what the mini will for about the same price. Looks great in a rack and requires no cut-up cables.

Regards,
Wayne
 
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