Dirac Live Software Trial

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Rambles, Aug 17, 2018.


    1. Rambles

      Rambles
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      My Umik-1 arrived, and I finally get to hear Dirac in my room.

      Initial impressions are that the software is a lot easier to use than I was expecting, so that's good.

      Downside is that I am left somewhat underwhelmed at first listen, I think my expectations were too high.

      The most improvement I heard was with 2 channel music, where I currently don't use any room correction at all. I didn't like the house curve, so I made a custom one with more bass and less treble, and that does sound nice, and definitely better on than off. Not hugely better though, but maybe 30% better. I suppose that is quite a lot better.

      In 5.1 mode through the Denon AVR, the difference is less noticeable, it is better than Audyssey, but not by a huge amount. In some scenes I was struggling to hear the difference. It does improve dialogue, but again not by much. However, I have spent a long time with Audyssey and the app and have customised it endlessly and think I have it as good as it is going to get in my system. Whereas, Dirac is just 'out of the box', and is slightly better, so potentially with some time and customisation, it could be much better.

      Maybe, I like it more than i thought. :)

      @dollag @Topmetom 2
       
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    2. dollag

      dollag
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      2 channel is where I saw the most benefit. what would be interesting is running dirac on your avr alone and a/b test against your MF without dirac for music and see where the most benefit is, RC or integrated amplifier. also run dirac direct to your dac and MF and withput comparison

      got any graphs?
       
      Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
    3. Topmetom 2

      Topmetom 2

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      Interesting
       
    4. Rambles

      Rambles
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      I never use my AVR for music, because it sounds horrible!

      So, for this trial I am doing stereo and 5.1 separately. Stereo from laptop - usb - DAC - MF amp. For 5.1 laptop - HDMI - AVR.

      Here is a graph for stereo, with a first try at a custom curve. The high bass is because I have the BK sub connected via high level to support the Kef R300's for 2 channel music.

      stereo.PNG
       
    5. dollag

      dollag
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      It's really flattened out your FR.

      I was underwhelmed with the bass but as time has gone buy, I have started to appreciate the extra detail presented behind the bloatiness (if that's a word)

      I have too done a custom graph that is similar to yours in the lower FR.

      so in a nutshell..... meh???
       
    6. Topmetom 2

      Topmetom 2

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      Hows it sound? Do you have a audyssey chart for the same speakers?
       
    7. Rambles

      Rambles
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      Ha, a little bit meh, but I probably was expecting too much, and I need to listen some more. I have 14 days of the trial to play around.

      I do think that I want an Arcam AVR550 though :)
       
    8. Topmetom 2

      Topmetom 2

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    9. Rambles

      Rambles
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      Well, It could potentially replace my Denon 4400 AVR plus the MF V90 Dac plus the MF M3i integrated amp, plus the graphic EQ, so it would be a tidier and easier to use set-up. Plus it would give me the option of room correction (Dirac) for 2 channel music, which I don't have now.

      It's the £££'s that I am struggling to justify :thumbsdow

      Out of interest, here is how Audyssey measures the front left and right

      2018-08-17 17.53.05.jpg 2018-08-17 17.53.15.jpg
       
    10. dollag

      dollag
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      Just get the 390 and use your power amplifiers? or what about the Nad?

      Probably people like myself who over praised it; however, it has transformed my listening experience and can assure you, I will not be without Room EQ again

      A 30% performance increase is a big difference.
       
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    11. dollag

      dollag
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      Audyssey doesn't seem to do a bad job either!
       
    12. Topmetom 2

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      Hmmm very interesting this thread
       
    13. Rambles

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      The cheaper Nad doesn't have enough HDMI inputs and outputs for me. And the more expensive Nad is the same price as the Arcam.

      I thought about the 390, but I wouldn't want to drop down in power from what I have now, as I would need a 2 channel power amp for 2 of the atmos speakers, plus whatever else I need to offload from the AVR, maybe the front mains. I do like to listen to films quite loud, and the 390 may be going backwards in terms of headroom. Plus, a toroidal :rolleyes:

      Yes!
      That is true, but.. if I use Audyssey on the centre it sounds wrong to my ears, a bit processed / digitized and unnatural, so I just use it for bass and not the main dialogue.
       
    14. Topmetom 2

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      I use the app up to 198 as the schroeder way? So to go to 5k?
       
    15. Topmetom 2

      Topmetom 2

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      Audyssey....
       

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    16. lmccauley

      lmccauley
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      Interesting thread!

      I was just thinking yesterday that I'd like to find some time to play with the Dirac Live software trial. My system is 2.1, and I don't have a USB DAC, so it would be laptop->(HDMI)->TV->(Optical)->Arcam Alpha 10 [DAVE].
       
    17. Topmetom 2

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      The more comparisons the better i think
       
    18. dollag

      dollag
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      Is there such a thing as a usb to optical out?
       
    19. simonb3665

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      From what I can tell from the screenshots Dirac takes measurements again after eq has been applied to show its actual effect where as Audyssey app just shows what it estimates the response will be. I have checked the Audyssey app after eq with umik and rew and its no where near its estimates. Unless I am missing something (which is very possible)?
       
    20. DodgeTheViper

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      I believe you are correct with your assumption. Audyssey ‘estimates’ what it thinks the response will be.
       
    21. DT79

      DT79
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      So, let me get this straight. All i need to do is get a suitable microphone, and I can download a free trial version of the Dirac software to my laptop, do the whole Dirac room correction jiggery pokery, then play back music from my laptop with the Dirac specific compensations applied, and I can test out what sort of difference it makes before taking the plunge on an expensive device that has Dirac built into it?
       
    22. dollag

      dollag
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      Yep that’s correct
       
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    23. DodgeTheViper

      DodgeTheViper
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      Technically, yes. But there may be differences in other equipment due to manufacturer implementation. How much of a difference that makes and what it means in the real world, who knows.
       
    24. dollag

      dollag
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      Another thing @Rambles, is it taxing on the laptops cpu or ram? I just built a new htpc but I use it for everything inc my servers. How hungry is the Dirac software? I was thinking I might get a lyngdorf for 2 channel playback one day but be interesting to here your thoughts.

      Also, can you stream over the network with the Dirac software?
       
    25. Rambles

      Rambles
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      Yes, good point. An expensive device with Dirac built in will likely sound different again, also due to the change in electronics.
       
    26. DodgeTheViper

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      A change in electronics yes, but other manufacturers will have their own limitations. Hence ‘their’ implementation.
       
    27. Rambles

      Rambles
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      No, it didn't seem too taxing. I am running it on a pretty basic Windows 10 laptop.

      I purposefully kept it off my HTPC as I didn't want to risk messing it up. I'm a bit precious about keeping the software install as minimal as possible on my HTPC's.

      The measuring part of the software is, I imagine, the same as with Arcam. Once the filters are generated and saved, you start the Dirac Audio Processor and set it to be the default sound device.

      You can then set DAP to use the audio device you want e.g. HDMI audio or USB DAC. And you can slot in up to four different filters. Then whatever audio you play with any software will go through that and you can switch between any of the four filters, and on or off, on the fly.
       
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    28. Rambles

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      Indeed. That's why I said *also* due to the change in electronics. There are different versions of Dirac of course. The PC software trial is version 1.1, the Mac is version 1.2 and I understand that version 2.0 is being beta tested.
       
    29. DodgeTheViper

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      Good to see that you’re learning :smashin:
       
    30. Abacus

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      If you’re using a calibrated microphone make sure you load the calibration curve of the Mic into the software, or it will assume you are using a general purpose mic.

      Bill
       

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