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Thread: MiniDSP 2x8

  1. #1
    Founding Member earthtodan's Avatar
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    MiniDSP 2x8

    Having played around with the MiniDSP 2x4’s quite a bit, I’m already a fan of the concept, and familiar with their strengths and shortcomings. When the 2x8 came out, I had to try it out. Conveniently enough, I have a bench system with a 7-channel amp mounted on the wall in my garage, and some speakers I’ve been meaning to test, and all it needed was a big DSP to make it work. Justification for purchase, check!

    miniDSP 2x8 kit | miniDSP

    First and foremost: at 200mm x 300mm, there is nothing mini about this DSP. It probably has the largest footprint of any DSP available for 12V. It's almost the size of my laptop. Unlike the 2x4, much of the circuit board is wasted space. It looks like they took a large PCB template and rushed the product to market without much time spent on form factor (I hope this is the case, because that means they might be working on a more compact one).




    On the board on the wall in 3-channel initial hookup phase. You can get the scale of the thing by the objects next to it.




    I'm just starting to play with it, and I'll post my impressions as they are created.


    Dan
    Last edited by earthtodan; 07-09-2011 at 05:59 PM.

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    Founding Member earthtodan's Avatar
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    Here are some screen shots that should illustrate the functionality pretty well. Unlike the classic 2x4 unit, this doesn't have a selection of different plug-ins. It just has a single DSP software.


    Input stage, with PEQ, gain adjust, input level monitor and mute. Notice it has two analog and two digital inputs, which can be used at the same time. It also has four separately adjustable configurations.




    You can see the flexibility in the channel routing. Any input channel (analog or digital) can be routed to any output channel (analog or digital), really making this a 4x10 unit if you have the hardware to take advantage of it. The routing pictured is how you make L/R pairs of channels 1 & 2, 3 & 4, etc.




    Output home page. The delay adjustment is here, and has very high resolution. Unfortunately, it only goes up to 9ms.




    One new feature of the 2x8 is an output level meter for each channel.




    Another cool feature is real-time linking of any channel to any other channel. It is no longer necessary to take an extra step to transfer an EQ or Xover setting to the other side.




    The crossover has nice resolution on the slopes. Notice 30 db, etc. Also in this shot, two channels are linked.




    As before, you can track the EQ curve with the mouse.




    And the same EQ curve, but with "high shelf" instead of "peak" selected as the filter type.

    Last edited by earthtodan; 07-09-2011 at 05:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Awesome information. The ability to pass through a digital signal is very attractive. That means one could have a digital input to the 2x8, then send that to the digital output and pass it on to a 2x4. Probably not a big deal to many folks, but it would mean one less a/d and d/a conversion, plus it allows all 8 analog outputs to run to amps rather than having two of them dedicated to feeding another downstream unit.

    Linking the channels is a great addition, and in general the interface looks very nice. I need to look into their future plans for additional 2x8 plugins that incorporate some of what is available in the 2x4 units.

    I'll be interested to see what the "2x8 in a box" looks like. Even if it is a little large, the ability to use balanced connections is a nice feature that gives it a leg up on a few other processors out there.
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    Founding Member earthtodan's Avatar
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    I've read on the miniDSP forum that the inherent delay in a 2x4 is about 2.5 ms, depending on the amount of processing. So, if you were to hook one up downstream of the digital out, you'd want to add that much delay to all the analog channels.

  5. #5
    Devil's Advocate Adam_MSS's Avatar
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    Good catch. The fact that it's variable relative to the amount of processing employed probably means it would be necessary to fine tune via either impulse response, or by ear.
    You don't use science to show that you're right, you use science to become right. - R.Munroe

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    Does the linking allow for separate processing as well? For example, can you link EQ band 2, 3, and 4 to another channel but have seperate and different EQ bands on #'s 1 and 5 for the two linked channels?

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    Also,

    No delay on the digital outputs???

  8. #8
    Founding Member earthtodan's Avatar
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    You're right, I cannot find any delay on the digital outputs. Also, the linking isn't that flexible, basically you can link any channel to one other channel, and it will show as linked in the Xover and the PEQ screens. It's meant for L/R linking of similar channels.

    On the upside, I noticed that you can rename each channel. The characters are limited. Here is a shot of the channels renamed using all the characters available.


  9. #9
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    Boo. The DCX2496 has the same linking problem. Fortunately, the DEQ2496 does NOT.

    I wonder how easy it would be to route the analog input through each digital out/in as a double loop then back out the 8 analog outs. That could give you a global EQ for the entire left and right side, along with all the individual eq for each channel.

  10. #10
    Founding Member earthtodan's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I don't have the equipment to test the digital channels.

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