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Discussion Starter #1
The Bass Management option, via a plugin upgrade, is now available for miniDSP's DDRC-88A 8-channel Dirac Live unit. The DDRC-88BM plugin, costing only $99, can be purchased and downloaded from the miniDSP web site.

I just received the miniDSP DDRC-88A and -88BM for a review on Home Theater Shack, and just MIGHT drop a nugget of news on this thread during the process of completing and writing that review.

Check back, and post any questions.
 

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:eek:lddude:subscribed
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No big news. The unit is set up and working.

I forget that when I am working with a unit like this, my whole setup tends to end up in turmoil for a few days. No, I will not take pictures of the chaos.

The unit I got is a demo, so it was all ready for the BM plugin. Those of you who have a previous DDRC-88A unit will have to open it up and move some jumpers inside. Excellent instructions are included with the BM plugin upgrade for doing this. But I was glad not to have to do it. If you buy a DDRC-88A and the BM plugin at the same time, the DDRC unit should come with those interior mods already applied.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have gotten a little carried away with the review process - there is a first time for everything!

My MartinLogan ESLs needed to be re-set-up, and it seemed like a good time to:
  • See how much Dirac Live can improve an already almost-perfect SS&I setup.
  • Review and document some of the more detailed steps of the setup process.
The one OCD cell in my brain (yes, there is only one, but it is a big one!) got militant and took over and I spent much of the last 24 hours re-doing that setup. The result is the best manual SS&I setup I have accomplished to date. With no manual EQ or Dirac applied, it is so sharp and clear and 3-dimensional, including good depth acuity, that Dirac is going to have its work cut out improving anything. However, Dirac has done nothing but surprise and delight me up until now, so I leave it to the design to surprise and delight once again. My LXmini pair is next.
 

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Have you listened to the new Adele "25" disc yet? On my setup the soundstage was at least 12' deep! When we sit in the 2nd row she is singing in the front row, and her chorus is behind the screen 12' farther back!
 

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I will give it a spin via Tidal.

The problem with this kind of success is that you just want to sit and listen and all further progress just halts for a day or two.
Well it does allow you to get more familiar with the new setup first. :) One nice thing about the DDRC-88 is that you can turn it off and listen to your setup un-tuned too. :T
 

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Discussion Starter #9
One question I will be addressing is the "are there any negative effects from adding another pair of AD and DA conversions in my system?" question, which might have some of the more "idealist" prospects holding back from the DDRC88A_BM. I think I already know the answer, but measurements and listening tests will have to confirm it before I say anything.

Still loving and enjoying the "raw" sound of my system right now. A couple of impulse diagrams with my dipole MartinLogan ESL mains, looking at the timing of the Direct to LP wavefronts and the Main Reflected wavefronts, as measured at the LP center-of-head position. I know the "we have two ears" crowd will think it looks like a ridiculous goal. All I can say is: Come have a listen. (I know one of you who will in a few days.) And, the math will follow (let's see, according to Radiohead, 2+2=5 ?????????).
 

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Don't upgrade the firmware to the new one that just came out...people are having problems with it connecting afterwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Slow, slow, slow, but making progress. Had to get a handle on the interior gain structure of the 88BM and the best way to make use of it.

An apparent show-stopper for a few potential Dirac users has been: "What happened to my gain? I can't get it loud enough." I hope to have an answer to this issue.

Also working on a checklist for 88BM implementation.
 

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Can I suggest an other question? Is the sound very different (measurable differences ? maybe??) than with NanoAVR-DL for small to medium size rooms?
 

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Very good question, I will try to squeeze in an AB comparison.
That would be great for many of us. I do not know all the science between the "before and after bass management thing", but my intuition tells me that there is no such a great difference in rooms, let us say, less than
2 000ish cube feet.:ponder:
 

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Have you by any chance tried running the Dirac Setup with the mic pattern being real close vs a wide pattern? I am asking this because in my room a single point tune had unreal mid to high clarity, and when we did a pattern that went to the center of the seat on each side of the MLP seat the mids to high are not near as clear as they were with the single mic position. I am assuming this is because Dirac is trying to average the sound over a larger area.

I am going to try this weekend to do a 2nd tune that is in a closer grouping that would not extend beyond my MLP seat and see if it brings back the clarity from the single mic tune. I am very curious to see what it does on your setup too. I am hoping it does bring back the clarity as it will be excellent for 2 channel listening too then.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The review has been posted.

Have you by any chance tried running the Dirac Setup with the mic pattern being real close vs a wide pattern? I am asking this because in my room a single point tune had unreal mid to high clarity, and when we did a pattern that went to the center of the seat on each side of the MLP seat the mids to high are not near as clear as they were with the single mic position. I am assuming this is because Dirac is trying to average the sound over a larger area.

I am going to try this weekend to do a 2nd tune that is in a closer grouping that would not extend beyond my MLP seat and see if it brings back the clarity from the single mic tune. I am very curious to see what it does on your setup too. I am hoping it does bring back the clarity as it will be excellent for 2 channel listening too then.
I have seen that tendency. I actually did a fair amount of listening with a 3-point pattern, MLP, 1 foot forward, another 1 foot forward. Sounded fantastic. 3 points helps negate effects from chair back reflections.

Not recommending it over DL's way, because their pattern gives terrific results, too. But it is sure worth a try. Plus, with DL, if you don't like it, you don't have to start over, just add more measurements and re-optimize.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
BTW, other than the MLP 1st mic position, no precise position measuring was used for any other points, all were eyeballed. I have never needed to be more careful than that with Dirac Live.

The MIP 1st mic position, however, I measure with laser distance meter and with analog mic / audio interface / timing loopback, as a reference, to verify precise equidistance from each of the front mains & front wall. I saved Measurement 1 as a project of its own so I could quickly and easily add whatever measurements I wanted to without having to repeat it.
 

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Don't upgrade the firmware to the new one that just came out...people are having problems with it connecting afterwards.
Ive had my unit now for 2 months - it started generating random crackling / popping sounds and Im not the only one with this issue.... no issues with connection
but imagine loud random popping sounds like capacitor discharge...

Its definitely not the gain structure being over driven OR sweeps recorded too high / gain....

Its soon to be a deal breaker.... at least 2 others on forum reporting similar issue....
 

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Ive had my unit now for 2 months - it started generating random crackling / popping sounds and Im not the only one with this issue.... no issues with connection
but imagine loud random popping sounds like capacitor discharge...

Its definitely not the gain structure being over driven OR sweeps recorded too high / gain....

Its soon to be a deal breaker.... at least 2 others on forum reporting similar issue....
Mine is working fine other than one channel emitting a buzz. We believe it is caused by the hookup blocks, as the weight of the cables has made them seem loose. I chatted with MiniDSP, and they wanted me to send it back at my expense. For the time being we have moved the problem channel to the surrounds so it is not heard unless you are almost next to the speaker. Eventually i will have a friend check the solder joints on the board where the connectors attach, as we think it is a bad solder joint causing our problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Weird. Always, always, always provide strain relief.

It does kinda sound like a bad ground. Try a short jumper from a neighboring ground pin to the ground pin of the noisy channel, on the outside of the unit, you don't even have to crack the cover open, see if it eliminates the buzz. It might save your DDRC-88BM a return trip to Hong Kong.
 
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