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this is kinda a 2ch problem with 5.1 gear, never mix the 2 they say.... After having 5+ sets of speaker, 5+ Amps , lots of subs, cables and sources, REW and an UMIK-1 in my living room over the last 18 months one thing is clear, My room sucks. I have massive hump between 1 to 5Khz that just makes 2Ch listening unbearable, Yamaha YPAO does settle it down but sucks all the life out of the music. The room needs lots of treatment, that's not going to happen, maybe a little but not to the extent that it needs. I have been playing around DSP/EQ with JRiver on a PC using REW with aUMIK-1 over the last week via a Music Fidelity M5si amp and actually got a reasonable result, it can be better, and has proved to me that DSP room correction does work. the equipment chain is as follows, Sources, HTPC, BluRay, CD, HDD Music, Spotify/Tidal (on the Yamaha) into a Yamaha RV-X 1081 used as Preamp only, > Emotiva XPA-5 > either Ambience Superslims 1400 or Quad S5 for the mains, 2 x REL R3 Subs running from the Yamaha in mono via a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 Cinema and stereo line-level in from the Mains (Ambience don't need the subs). Centre is an old Quadal that I still love, the rears are Mirage Omi 350. for those that aren't Familiar with the REL subs, they have a .1 RCA input with volume only that you run from the AVR and a Line-Level input with Volume and Freq that you run from the speakers, you can run them both at once and tune them in. Best of both worlds the Quad S5 with the REL T3 running in stereo via line-level in are my pick ATM, that combo just suits rock a little more the Ambiences are very picky with the room, so I need to run them both via Dirac to see which ones I keep. Jury is still out on that one, but one set has to go. the MF M5si is now gone, fantastic amp but it didn't fix the hump (silly of me thinking it might) and had to go to finance the next step I am not massively into movies much these days, but still enjoy Concerts on Bluray and multi-channel music a bit, the 5.1 system gets used more for Netflix and Tv more than anything and I'm really heavily getting back in to 2Ch, hence the change. music is mainly Prog rock to Jazz, I don't consider myself a Audiophile, but what to get the best out of my gear. Budget, about $2.5k tops. scenario #1 Nad C658 between the Yamaha RV-X 1081 and the XPA-5 on the main chs only, the analogue in on the C658 can be set up as a HT Bypass, so the 5.1 will be basically untouched but 2 ch Spotify/Tidal and HHD music will all be running via the C658. Dirac will be limited to the mains speakers and line level in of the subs only. but this is probably the best 2ch solution. cost ~$2300 to $2500 with Dirac full scenario #2 Nad T758 v3 get rid of the Yamaha RV-X 1081 and replace with the T758 as a pre amp only (maybe use the amp stage for Atmos, but Atmos is not really on the radar ATM) this will give me a better 5.1 system, allow me to get rid RV-X 1081 and the DSPeaker Anti-Mode. Hearing rather good reports on the T758 with Dirac as a music pre, but it can't be as good as the C658 you would think (or could it?) but their feature set is basically the same on both with Bluesound built in for all streaming/HDD duties. because will sell the RV-X 1081 and the DSPeaker Anti-Mode this could be less that $1500 with full Dirac scenario #3 Emotiva XMC-1 Emotiva are selling refurb XMC-1 pre's with 4k video and full Dirac for $1100USD, I can go via a friend in the states if they don't deliver to Aust (no Aust distributor listed on their website no more), problem they are out of stock, they were not yesterday, they are today....bummer replace the Yamaha with the XMC-1 and have a killer 5.1 and 2 ch system but will have to buy something like a Bluesound Node 2i to do the Streaming duties as the XMC-1 does not do that. selling the Yamaha and DSPeaker Anti-mode might pay for the Bluesound Node 2i, so with delivery it will still cost around $2k both the Nads are thin on the ground ATM, cant find a C658 to demo but have found a hi-fi store that has the T758 and a C388, they are willing to set both up as 2ch preamps via separate Power amps to see if the T758 holds up as a 2ch pre. I really like how Spotify runs via the Yamaha, for backgroud music. I can use the Spotify app on my phone and its turns on the Yamaha automatically and plays, this is a big plus to the wife as she hates having to touch any of the remotes or gear, so in a way I want to T758 to sound great because it should operate similar. I really have to make it simple. the XMC-1 will require turning things on manually via remote methinks.... but there is a Sonus One lying around somewhere if it gets too hard 😉 so, any other options or directions? which would be your choice? ta Marty
Item: Minidsp DDRC-24 ((with latest DiracLive 2 series, the latest upgrade) and minidsp umik-1 (usb mike) as new with packaging Location: South East Suburbs , Melbourne Price: $530 ( New Landed cost $770 if you buy together from Hong Kong, more if you buy separately). Can post for about $30 because there are two boxes. Item Condition: As new, 4 months old Reason for selling: No longer needed ( changing my setup to simplify and consolidate gear) Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, Bank deposit Extra Info: The Dirac Live licence is easily transferred by the buyer once the serial number of the DDRC-24. Process outlined here on minidsp website. The UMIK-1 has a serial number which allows the buyer to download the calibration file. from minidsp. This is all you need other than 3-4 m USB mini cables and a mike stand to easily mount the mike at listening height( I have both of these, if you pick I can sell for $35 extra all up) Photos: Advertisements without photos of the actual item will not be approved.
I need a favor from my fellow XMC-1 owners in Melbourne. Is there anyone near Mount Waverley/Glen Waverley (or in Melbourne) who has the XMC-1? I would like to borrow the XLR to USB cable that is used for DIRAC just for one night. I just bought a unit from a friend and I got everything in the package except that cable. I got my DIRAC activated with a my own license but I can't connect the mic to my laptop. I've ordered one from Emotiva but would like to tune my system in the meantime. Could anyone loan it to me for an evening or a weekend? PM me if you are able to help and I can organize a time to come borrow it. I can even give you some money as a retainer until I return it you'd like. Thanks in advance. Cheers guys.
Well, a bit of background to kick things off. I upgraded my speakers to Kef Rs about 2 years ago, and had intended to buy a new AVR once Atmos came out. Between that, my wife and I had our first child, so it was a bit pointless upgrading for the sake of it! We now find we are able to sneak in the odd movie and I thought we may as well upgrade to Atmos too! The shortlist was always the Anthem 1120, then came along Arcam with the 550 and Dirac, so it got added to the shortlist too. After demoing both, they were both very similar in sound quality with the Arcam having a slight edge. Considering it had Dirac, that ended up being my choice (despite effectively being $2k more once you get extra amps for Atmos). At home with the Arcam...... Once I got it home, that is where all the problems started. The idiots at Arcam put out a dodgy version of the Dirac software on the website, which failed to work with my calibrated Umik-1. Additionally, the rubbish microphone Arcam provide failed to work too. I wasn't too happy. After some sleep, I was kindly sent the previous version of the Dirac software. This at least worked with my Umik-1, although it isn't the easiest software to get running. Basic TV viewing was sounding great, so it was time to get onto some demo material. I immediately got out the Dolby Atmos demo disc and played a few clips which went well, until I got to the Horizon Demo. This is where the next round of trouble started. The Arcam kept shutting down at the same point in the demo clip at reference volume. I was a bit puzzled, surely the Arcam would have enough grunt for this? Well, the answer is a bit more complicated. Checking the Dirac filter, it applies a 10db boost around 150hz, about the same spot my 8ohm rated speakers drop to around 3.2ohm on their impedance curve. Basically, the Arcam (550 at least) cannot handle difficult loads very well, which is why it was shutting down. Testing with Dirac off it passed this same test, and it also passed with Dirac on at 10db less volume. Ok, well I figured that would be solved by a power amp, so I could live with it for the time being. Some more viewing (via Plex on XboxOne), saw the Arcam flick between a 5.1PCM and 7.1PCM source, despite the XboxOne being set on 5.1PCM. This was something minor that I could live with, but Arcam just dismissed this blaming the source. I also had been reading all the issues with Dirac on AVS, which seemed to blow up during my period of ownership. Testing on my end using REW, easily replicated the same issue. Basically, the correction filter for one speaker (i.e. Left Front), was still being applied on content sent to the sub. Playing a few more familiar clips, the bass disappeared from my room (7db reduction between 35hz to 65hz), so much so even my wife noticed. Arcam technically firstly dismissed this complaint, then commented that the filter at a certain frequency is correcting the room, so it shouldn't matter what speaker it was sent to. Obviously this is total BS! I said to Arcam technical, that if they were intending to solve the issues I would be happy to keep the product, otherwise I would seek a full refund. Anyway, they maintained there was no problem so I got a refund. Arcam Summary + Great sound quality (just ahead on Anthem) + Great build quality + Dirac very effective above the crossover, especially at low listening levels - Dirac implementation is (currently) incorrect (unless you have genuine full range speakers) - AMP cannot handle difficult loads - Some HDMI issues - Rubbish included microphone - Very expensive in Australia, even more expensive once you had amps for Atmos - Likely needs power amps with difficult speakers At home with the Anthem...... Well, with the Arcam gone I could immediately notice the difference going back to the Denon, but thankfully it was only for a few days. Setting the Anthem up was extremely easy, it was all just very logical. First impressions are good. I quickly had everything plugged in, all the inputs renamed and was ready to run ARC (although not at midnight). Waiting until the next morning, I was very impressed with ARC. The microphone is very impressive, and the software is also very impressive. This is a very polished product! A minor issue with running ARC, it was misinterpreting the 150hz null in my room as the speaker roll-off, so I just manually adjusted that, which was again very simple! Ok, straight into it. Can it handle the Dolby Horizon demo clip? Yes, it certainly could, and it was even louder than when the Arcam shut down! I was impressed, but how did it handle bass? Straight onto a few demo clips and the room came alive. I was a very happy camper! Just to double check, I measured with REW and the hole the incorrect Dirac implementation created was virtually gone. A few tweaks with ARC quick measure improved things even further, so I did another calibration which improved things a little further. Anthem Summary + Great sound quality (just behind Arcam) + Good build quality + Excellent amplification, it seems effortless and no need for power amps + Quality included microphone + ARC is a very polished product and very simple to use + 11amp channels on board + Great pricing in Australia - Looks a bit cheap - Display not the easiest to read (I'm nitpicking) Overall Well, to be honest they are both outstanding products, but the Arcam is particularly let down by their incorrect implementation of Dirac (which they are only now starting to investigate). I would give Anthem the win, but (ignoring cost) if Arcam do fix Dirac, I would give it the edge overall.