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DSP on the cheap: suggestions from those who know

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I want to experiment with conservative room correction.  The (2) goals are:


- refining bass <250hz  (happy to first experiment without a subwoofer, however i do seem to think my subwoofer is additive to the experience- comparing the 2 would be interesting

- Time alignment - i know very little about this parameter, but if there are cheap tools to achieve, i'm interested.  I'm also interested to learn if applying bass correction should be limited to the crossover point and below vs. applying to the mains AND the subwoofer.....?  i know nothing so....just thinking out loud  


Simply my idiot mind thinks I can run a manual frequency sweep using my phone & plot/chart the response, and use a free equalizer available online to correct the obvious flaws.   Am I out of my league in my idea?      I have no understanding of any free tools to correct for time alignment, but am game for learning more about this.....


thanks to those who know & can share.....conservative room correction is what I'm interested in experimenting with - on the cheap.....

Edited by heresyForthe1sttime
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I have tried using DSP to address flaws in my listening room and to integrate subwoofers in my system for better bass. My experience may be ill-formed, but ...


What I have found is that where and how much one can apply DSP is dependent on the equipment you have and how it is configured.

  • If you don't have a pre-amp or receiver with pre-outs, your ability to tune your system with DSP will be pretty much confined to what your receiver manufacturer provides (e.g., via Audyssey, DIRAC, or YPAO) and integrating subwoofers. Not all systems (even within a the same brand) provide the same capabilities, allow much tailoring by the user, or show what processing is being applied.
  • On the other hand, if you are bi-amping or tri-amping you have the flexibility to bypass the networks in your speakers and do whatever you wish.

In my case, I don't have much ability to apply DSP to my mains. My Yamaha R-N803 receiver allows me to turn YPAO on or off and set distances and gain, but that's about it. It doesn't show what it's doing; it operates as a black box. That pretty much restricts my ability to apply DSP to the LFE (i.e., subwoofer) signal.


I split the LFE signal and send it to two subwoofers. Although I started with the DSP capabilities provided by the plate amps (SPA250DSP) that power my subwoofers, I found those capabilities to be limited (no ability to set delay, for example) so that I ended up sending the LFE signal to a MiniDSP 2x4HD (which is far more capable) and feeding the the plate amps from it.


I've used a measurement microphone (UMIK-1) and REW (Room EQ Wizard) software to assess what DSP to apply and to program the MiniDSP 2x4HD. However, I've not yet achieved results that I find pleasing. Others, such as @wuzzzer, have had much better --- indeed superb --- results.


What you need to spend will depend on what you have, the problems you choose to address, and how far you want to go. You're likely looking at >US$400 to get started: the REW software is free (it's funded by donations from users), a UMIK-1 is about US$110, and a MiniDSP 2x4HD is about US$300.


I'll look forward to what others with more knowledge and experience have to say. 

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Get a used Pioneer Elite THX rated surround amp for around $200

100WPC front is plenty.

Pioneer is the one I know,

there are other THX rated surround amps that can serve the same function.

I think there are a lot of used Onkyo THX Certified surround amps in the used market.

I've never tried one.

Make sure you get the remote and buy it from the first owner.


Stock mic works well, others are probably better.


Build in DAC and other features that pass THX Labs certification.

10 years old.

Features can be turned on or off or tweaked. Make fantastic pre amps


Add a phono pre amp of your choice if you need one. $50-200 is plenty

Same for a quality outboard tuner if you like FM

Sangeon HD is fantastic for $200 or any used FM tuner


For a few bucks more score a used Yamaha MX Series Amp, 600, 800, 1000;  $200-400

Easy to recap with Nichicon FG caps everywhere.

Panasonic filter caps, and I think 1 bi-polar or non polar cap.

MX 600-630 has plenty of power for Klipsch Heritage Speakers

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