Mini dsp what's the deal

So I have been reading about mini dsp and am wondering what is the best one to go with? Is it good enough for a main system? I am looking at the 2*4 hd and the one above it. My room is not great but i think it sounds pretty damn good. If I can get it better with time alignment crossover to sub etc without sound degredation for a reasonable amount I would be all in. Also I don't know what the hell Dirac Live is? Any comments? 
Hi mofojo,

It is definitely fun to play with. I use it for my HT sub and it's perfect.  When necessary I also use it on my center channel.

First, EQ's work best with bass traps and room acoustics already in place. If you have that, then EQ's in combination can really eliminate resonant modes. Without this, an EQ can only go so far.

Part of what you need to consider however is how you will measure your room and set the corrections. Be sure you have read up on this before committing.

Also, one reason why I don't use it on my mains is that it is an A/D, CPU D/A system. That is, any input will be converted to digital, processed, and then re-output. It's not bad, but I spent a lot of money on my DAC. :-)


Thanks erik,

I am also not sure I would want to re digitalize after my DAC to my main speakers. Do you know with the standard minidsp if I could run it off my second set out pre outs that go to my sub and do time alignment with my main speakers as well as room correction etc to my sub. Seems like that might make for a good compromise as my mains are full range and wouldn't necessarily need crossed over. I know I have some learning to do on how to take the measurements/load software etc but pretty sure I can figure all that out if I know it is capable of doing what I want.
 I have a Wyred4Sound DAC 2 with femto clock. Not exactly state of the art but I would have to believe the DA conversion would definitely be superior to a couple hundred dollar box.    

I agree with Eric on his points. I think you should be able to run the mini-dsp from the second set of pre outs.

I would highly recommend finding an external linear power supply with a good size capacitor bank. The mini-dsp comes with a wallwart, which is adequate, but you’ll sacrifice sound quality for sure. Since your going to use this as a subwoofer DSP, the power supply size is very critical to allow the mini-dsp enough constant voltage to properly build the large bass waveforms. If cost is an issue, then I would look at the standard 2x4 (non HD) model. The 96khz high-resolution and FIR filters of the HD version are nice-to-have, but I would rather have a large linear power supply instead of these features. The standard 2x4 model still has crossover / parametric EQ / time delay.

The Dirac Live is high end automatic room correction that is similar to stuff like Audessey but more complex and allows some tweaking. I have used Dirac before, but I could never get it to sound right in my opinion. It does weird things to the sound phasing and the bass correction will sometimes over EQ the subs to the point where the woofer peaks.

In my experience, if you feel you are lacking bass in certain frequencies, you are better off doing acoustic treatments. Look into getting a couple of GIK Acoustics Monster Bass Traps with the FlexRange RANGE LIMITER feature. Stick them in the back/front corners or line the back wall. I have used these and they are effective in improving bass response in a room. Make sure you get the FlexRange RANGE LIMITOR option.

Hi OP,

Yes, running miniDSP from a second set of outputs is ideal, so long as those outputs are after your volume control.


Just wanted to recap.

The recipe for ideal bass is usually room acoustics PLUS equalization.

The two combined are a much better recipe than either alone. The bass traps provide an energy sink, so the room does not resonate indefinitely, and the EQ tames peaks and, after treatment, may even help nulls.


Yeah I have bunches of owens 703 panels in my room. It definitely helps. Can never get the sub in sync with the mains perfectly and I figure a time alignment software might make it more seamless. 
Make sure you get the H/D version as it has digital input, always better to have this one. Don't put your mids and highs through it, as your own dac/cdp would have a better converter. But good for doing the bass and room correction, but you'll need the minidsp calibrated microphone, and get the $10 remote too.
Cheers George