DSPeaker Anti Mode 2.0 evaluation

I have read all of the glowing reviews of this product and I just don't understand why I am not impressed. I have been lucky to find a very kind dealer to allow me to try one the DSPeaker Anti Mode 2.0 units.
I have 2 JL Audio F113 subwoofers that I have set up in stereo and are based on their own microphones measurement calibration.

So, with those sub settings and then switching out the LF Filter, I then used the DSPeaker unit to eq just my JL subs. That is, I tested the unit by playing my Andra 2 speakers full range via my Pass Labs Preamp and Amp and with the other Preamp outputs I plugged in the DSPeaker in and then the JL subs are plugged into the DSPeaker.

I ran the DSPeaker calibration. I used the DSPeaker in and out of the flow by using its bypass button and I really couldn’t tell much of any improvement. In fact I believe I like the bypass sound better.

Why is this? All of the glowing reviews and it is only marginal different if at all.

Now, there is an update for the DSPeaker in June 2013 but my Norton Virus control will not allow the download. Perhaps, if I was able to download that update it would be better, but I doubt it.

So, before I end my trial of the unit, is my configuration flawed , what do you guys think?
Listened carefully to DSpeaker in a friend's system. IT sounded better when we switched to by-pass. Then the system sounded MUCH better when we removed it completely.

It literally sucked the life out of the music.
Doak, Thanks for your comments. Even though I am really only using it on my subwoofers, I am leaning the same way.
One issue to be aware of is that the AM2, like other DSPs, introduces a significant delay (even in bypass) which will upset sub/main timing and integration unless you compensate for it.

Now, there is an update for the DSPeaker in June 2013 but my Norton Virus control will not allow the download. Perhaps, if I was able to download that update it would be better, but I doubt it.
Ozzy, my anti-virus program (NOD32) gives both the updater file and the firmware file a clean bill of health (downloaded from dspeaker.com), both before and after unzipping the zip-compressed firmware file.

The first item in the description of the June 3 updates sounds like it could possibly be something that would help.

Somewhere within the Norton program it should be possible for you to temporarily disable protection while you perform the download.

I have no experience with any DSPeaker products, btw, but the Dual Core is a product I've been curious about.

-- Al
Thanks for all the posting comments.

Within the next few days I'm going to try another computer that does not have the Norton 360 installed to see if I can complete the DSPeaker update.

Also, it should be noted that the DSPeaker is connected to the output of my QOL unit not the Preamp as I previously posted.

Now, that may make a difference because the QOL uses the out of phase information. I believe the DSPeaker sums the subwoofer outputs into a dual mono output.
So, this week end I will use the Preamp outputs to the DSPeaker and see if that changes anything.
Well I was able to connect the DSPeaker direct to my Preamp. I still cannot detect any improvement using the DSPeaker calibration setting over just using the calibration from the JL Audio microphone.

Viewing the DSPeaker calibration graphs the correction is very minor except for a peak around 90-100 Hz. However, when in use the JL Audio Subs are crossed over at about 55 Hz so that peak would not matter.

Hopefully, once I try a different computer without the Norton protection I'll be able to download the latest June 2013 update there will be improvement.

Otherwise, the JL Audio Sub calibration appears to be pretty right on, making the DSPeaker irrelevant.
Ozzy, right-click on the Norton icon in the lower right corner of the screen and see if the menu that comes up offers a "disable protection" choice. If so, disable protection while you do the download and update. When you are finished, again right click on that icon and you will see a choice to re-enable protection.

-- Al
Thanks Al, I have now tried 3 separate computers and I was able to disable Norton. But each time I attempted the download at 6% and error message would pop up asking to retry but it never completes.
So, I guess that is that.
Well I have determined that the unit I have been trying out is defective.
I will be getting a replacement next week.
Ozzy, how did you come to the conclusion it was defective?
I couldn't get it to update the June 2013 update and the before and after graphs were virtually identical after calibration.
Congratulations! Your setup and acoustics are perfect! :~)
Thanks, but I doubt it. We shall see with the new one.
Please give us an update upon receipt of the new unit. I am considering either the Dual Core 2.0 or the Anti-Mode 8033 for my 2.1 audio system (2 monitors and 1 REL sub).
All such products diminish absolute definition/clarity - no exceptions. They must, as they are not necessary devices inserted into the signal path. It is to be expected that the system will sound cleaner without any non-necessary device inserted.

This is not to say that such devices cannot confer a pleasing quality, and some people may like it better. But do not expect superior cleanness when inserting a non-necessary device into an existing rig.
Douglas_schroeder, I somewhat agree with you. That's why I am only using the unit on my Subwoofers.
Ozzy, you may even consider the physical placement of the subs; I use Legacy Audio XTREME HD Subs following the review at Dagogo.com, however I use them backwards. They are normally backwards firing, but I feel the sound is far superior when they are turned around and the primary driver is firing forward. I also placed them on hockey pucks to elevate the downward firing passive radiator. I discuss this in the review.

Such experimentation can have a nice improvement in store, and you may be able to get both improved definition and bass response.
Douglas_schroeder, Thanks for the help. I'm using 2 of the JL Audio Fathom F113 and they are forward firing.

But, I have never tried footers on the subs. I do have some Black diamond that I can try. But the subs are heavy...

Have you heard the device in question?

Maybe Kr4 can comment on your statement "All such products diminish absolute definition/clarity - no exceptions," which is a bit too absolutist and sweeping for my taste. Not to say that it might not be true. Good thing multiple retailers of the DSPeaker have audition or return policies.

IIRC, at least one of the published reviews of the Dual Core made reference to the transparency when it was in the system. Greene's TAS review I think?
In theory, of course, the insertion of any unnecessary additional device, even an interconnect can only diminish the accuracy of the signal. However, the issue is whether that insertion is truly unnecessary or if the price of its insertion buys an improvement in the perceived signal in some other way. To address this case, is the insertion loss due to the A/D/A and DSP of the subwoofer EQ more or less pernicious than that due to the imposition of modal room effects without it?
Rocsoeiii, yes, I have heard the Dual Core DSP unit and found it both intriguing and good sounding. I would consider the Dual Core as potentially highly efficacious because it has preamp funcitionality and as such would allow the removal of a traditional preamp and set of cables. I read one review, perhaps Greene's, I don't recall, and thought that it might have a high degree of transparency if replacing a preamp.

I have had similar experiences where CD players with preamp functionality have sounded cleaner than when in use with even very high quality preamps. Mind you, not necessarily superior overall, but in terms of cleanness and definition.

Ozzy, I suggest you try using the XLR outs of the Cary to the AntiMode 2.0, which would bypass the QOL and Pass Labs preamp. You may have too much of a good thing ahead of the Antimode and by streamlining you may like the result far better. If you have been running QOL/PASS/AntiMode 2.0 to the subs I would think that the simple removal of these two other devices will greatly enhance the bass performance and perhaps cause a reversal of your view of the AntiMode 2.0

One of the beautiful things about hockey pucks is they don't require two people to use, simply tip the sub and shove them underneath. :)
Doug, Somewhere down the line I will try the DSPeaker with a more direct path to my Amp. But, the Qol unit is a staple. I could not enjoy music without it in the chain.
Ozzy, I'll look forward to an update if/when you do.

Couldn't you also try the QOL after the AntiMode 2.0 and if you wish send it (or not) to the subs? Seems to me you have five or six discrete possibilities for arrangement of the components singly or collectively. It would be interesting if you choose to chase down all the permutations of systems and share about the experience. With the products you currently have on hand if you work through all the variables there is a good chance you will find a combo which is your new favorite.
"All such products diminish absolute definition/clarity - no exceptions. They must, as they are not necessary devices inserted into the signal path. It is to be expected that the system will sound cleaner without any non-necessary device inserted." Doug

Yeah you right.
Right On!
Could someone please define "necessary device"?

Kr4 is asking the right question.
A necessary device is one without which there is no music. Products like QOL, or in this application the AntiMode 2.0, are not necessary. They may be perceieved as enhancing the system's sound, but their removal does not halt it.

Now, if the AntiMode 2.0 is used as the preamp then it becomes a necessary device, assuming the source has no attenuation.
By that definition an analog preamp in a digital system with digital volume control is not a necessary device. Many people have phono preamps with high gain settings, but prefer the sound with a step-up transformer and the preamp set to lo gain. Is the step-up transformer a necessary device? If I have a CD player with a digital out and use a separate D/A converter is the dedicated D/A necessary? What about outboard jitter reduction devices? Or products like auto-formers or the Bybee things you place at your loudspeaker inputs?

What I'm getting at is that the idea of a necessary device is not very descriptive or helpful. If there is a problem in your system and an additional device can correct that problem without introducing other problems, then it's a useful device.
Necessary, useful, whatever. If you have a problem which needs a cure, you have to decide if the cure is worth the cost.
Well I received the new DSPeaker. It is a 2013 model with a 12 volt power supply.
I first tried it as you suggested without the Pass Labs Preamp and the Bryston BDA-2 Dac. I used the DSPeaker as a Dac/Preamp. The sound was different and I can see what you have implied that less is more. But...
Unless the DSPeaker needs more breakin there was a loss in transparency compared to using the DSPeaker as what I believe it was intended for, that is to balance out the sound from subwoofers.
At this point it doesn't seem to be up to the task of replacing my Pass Preamp. Perhaps as I stated it needs more breakin time. So, I'll give it another try in a few months.
As a EQ unit for my JL Audio subs it seems to be very good.
Ozzy - how do you have the Dspeaker hooked up as an EQ unit for the subs? I'm strongly considering buying either the Dual Core 2.0 or at least the Anti-mode 8033 for use with my system which currently has a single Rel sub, but might see a second sub in the near future.
Ozzy, that's great; you have taken half the step toward demonstrating the Pass preamp to be preferable to the pre function of the DSPeaker. How about trying this combo: DSPeaker acting as preamp to the Bryston BDA-2 DAC (bypassing the SDPeaker's DAC, if you can). That could be interesting, too if you can run it that way and would be closer to an apples to apples comparison as regards preamp.

So, you're concluding the new model has changed your opinion of the efficacy of the DSPeaker for the bass? If so, congratulations on your improvement.

I still think it would be interesting to see what the result would be to use the Pass pre with the DSPeaker for the bass and bypass the QOL, just to see what the result would be. You may not perfer it, but may as well try since you have the gear on hand. Every experiment gains one a bit more experience and can yield surprising result. On the positive side, if you do so and don't care for it, you've reaffirmed that QOL is your gotta have baby.
The best way to use the DSPeaker in my system is to place it after the BSG QOL unit utilizing one of the OOL 2 outputs. The first output goes to my main Pass Labs Amp. And the other QOL output goes to the input of the DSPeaker and the output of the DSPeaker to my JL Audio F113 subs.

I calibrated the system by setting the DSPeaker to 2.0 and running a Toslink cable into my Dac.
This way only the JL Audio subs are calibrated to fit in nicely with my main speakers.

I have never used the QOL but I should point out that, hooked up as you have it, the AM 2.0 will introduce a latency (delay)into the subs and that is likely to screw up some of the vaunted phase corrections of the QOL.
Kr4, Thanks for the reply. The Qol has 2 Balanced outputs. Only the sub information is coming out of the DSPeaker analog XLR output. The QOL output is still sending the same signal to the Pass Amp.
It sounds really good to me, the best bass i have heard, but I am always willing to experiment.
Please advise.
I have no doubt that both outputs are OK. However, the sub output will be delayed by about 10-20msecs which represents a phase shift between the subs and the main speakers. In the frequency range where they overlap, the phase shift might be a problem. It can be detected and/or corrected with ancillary equipment...........if you care.
Kr4, But would not the calibrating with DSPeaker reduce any overlap?
1. Overlap has nothing to do with time delay; it is the inevitable concomitant of using a sub with main speakers.
2. Calibrating the sub with AM 2.0 is what inserts the delay in the sub because the processing takes time. It cannot reduce/change it.
3. Since the QOL output bypasses the AM2.0, it is not subject to the delay.
Kr4, What type of "ancillary equipment"?
DSP processor or a proper crossover.
If you move your subs 3 ft closer than the mains, DSpeaker claims the delay is cancelled out.

Ozzy, did you choose the Dual Core over the 8033s II due to your need to hook up 2 subs, or was it more than that?
Koestner, Thanks so much for your reply. I'm not sure that I want my subs 3 feet more out in the room. Perhaps the 3 feet difference is meant to be 3 feet towards the front wall? Right now I have my JL F113 about 5 feet back from my main speakers and I have never had better bass.

I only demoed the Dual core so I cant really compare to the 8033. But separate channels for my subs is kinda nice.
Ozzy, DSpeaker says the time delay to process is equal to about 3 feet of sound travel, so placing your subs 3 feet closer to you than your main speakers will cancel that problem. They also state that it is very minimal and not to worry about that anyway.

I only have one sub (Velodyne DD15) so I think my interest still lies in the 8033s. I'm curious if you think the 8033s along with the DSP built into my Velodyne is too much, or do they compliment each other in different ways?
Let me amend my statement but saying that I am skeptical of the 2.7ms latency holding for all uses.

Kr4... your response wasn't there when I typed up my last response. Please don't think I said the same thing, although it looks like I did. What is it they say about great minds?
My only issue was that you posted so soon that I was unable to amend my post and had to make an additional one.

No problem.
I must say if there is any delay I sure can't tell. Still the best bass my system has produced.
I use an 8033 for my subs. I have a nearly square room. The bass has sounded so bad that I nearly gave up and sold all of my gear. Maybe there is a slight delay, but wow, this cheap unit has made my modest system sound quite good in this crappy room. The 8033 is good enough that I gave my tact 2.2xp the boot.

10-14-13: Kr4
"One issue to be aware of is that the AM2, like other DSPs, introduces a significant delay (even in bypass) which will upset sub/main timing and integration unless you compensate for it."



Just to be clear the DC does have a compensation feature built it (page 24 in manual). Selections are: Off, Auto, Manual.