I calibrated Dirac Live within an miniDSP SHD Studio as part of a very nice and comprehensive HiFi system consisting of many parts such as Wilson Benesch Speakers, NuPrime amplification, Audio-GD DAC and separate preamplifier, two REL T7/i subwoofers, Townshend super-tweeters, a Roon Nucleus a music server, lots of linear power supplies, IsoAcoustics GAIA isolation and more and more.
This was a very interesting calibration because it was a situation where the customer had covered pretty much every attention to detail he could with his system, doing pretty much everything he could to get noise floor down and as much sound quality from the system as he could. Pretty much to the point of covering every base but still things weren’t 100% and could get better.
The customer had heard about the benefits of DSP from a podcast and he contacted me asking me more about Dirac Live after seeing my YouTube channel and hearing good things spoken about me by John Darko – Darko Audio.
I advised the customer that at present a miniDSP solution is the only stand alone hardware that includes Dirac that can be incorporated into a HiFi system. It does lots of things that he didn’t want or need, but the SHD Studio has a digital in digital out connection so its ideal for using between the source and the DAC.
This calibration was a very interesting one for me, where I learnt a lot as always and discovered a quirk in the miniDSP that meant this calibration was a two day process rather than the usual one.
The big challenge with the calibration was the subwoofer integration, getting bass right and subwoofers integrated is always difficult but finding the sweetpot for this system required me to start from the beginning, check and change how the subwoofers were setup for crossover and level before starting Dirac. I then tweaked, pushed and went with a unique approach to achieve a bass quality that I would astound most audiophiles, a bass that was fast, big, powerful and totally transparent. You were not aware of the speakers or the subwoofers at all, you were just listening to clear defined bass notes – very cool stuff.
The Wilson Benesch speakers measured pretty neutral and good above the bass region and the addition of the super-tweeter really helped to extend the treble giving the system more sparkle and “air”. I used Dirac to find an even more neutral response filling in some gaps and better integrating the tweeter and super tweeter.
Overall I am really proud of what I did for this customer because he already had a very nice sounding system, but after my Calibration turning it on and off was a eye opener to just how powerful Dirac is when you know how to use it. The general smooth, relaxed and sweet organic sound of the system was still there but it was elevated to something a lot more special.
I’m writing this evening to say a massive thank you, my man. You have worked some magic here in the last couple of days! I am over the moon!
I’m here in my room enjoying the music I love at a completely other level. Thanks to you! Talk about consequential to me…