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Old 02-02-2019, 08:20 AM   #1
Duken4evr
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Cool Inexpensive Digital Signal Processor - Parametric EQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=t3BX7uwLBJI

Picked up a Dayton Audio DSP-408 with Bluetooth dongle for around $180 and plugged it into my ancient but still great sounding stereo home theater system.

Yes, modern AV receivers have built in software and EQ, but if one is an old school 2 channel aficionado who still uses a monster 2 channel amp from the 80s, this little DSP box is quite a nice addition. Bonus, it has a cell phone app, which allows EQ adjustments and of course overall system volume adjustment, which is nice as my stone age Yamaha amp does not have a remote.

With a fully parametric EQ with 6 spaces for creating and saving presets, this little box rocks. it is made for cars, but has selectable power on, with activation via RCA cable signal, so it turns on and off with my TV. The crossovers can also be defeated for home use. I run the High Pass set at 25hz with a steep roll off curve as a subsonic filter. The speaker cabinets are tuned to 32hz, so no sense in running significant power through them below that.

For grins, attached is a pic of the old monstrosity. Love that Yamaha amp and those big old towers. Built them myself in 1988, there is a lot of history attached to this system. Many a party in Long Beach that attracted the attention of the constabulary was thrown. Had the amp in college, more of the same. Nowadays it's life is pretty easy, but I turn it up once in awhile when the wife is gone

It has been cleaned with Deoxit over the years but not had an easy life. Amazingly all the caps are original and there is no hiss, no harshness, weakness or other sonic evidence of anything amiss. I may take the old girl in though for a bench test anyway, out of curiosity. Despite it's age, the system never strains, never flattens out or goes into "public address system" mode. Just a river of smooth sound, like getting hit with a musical fire hose. You don't realize how loud it is until you try to talk to someone next to you. Like Pink Floyd says "their lips move, but I can't hear what they say"

If and when I do replace the amp, it will be another Yamaha 2 channel unit. Have had a few driver updates over the years, but the cabinets just keep on going!
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:54 AM   #2
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Sweet!
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:04 PM   #3
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Very impressive! I have no idea what you said!
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Old 02-03-2019, 08:10 AM   #4
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Modern AV receivers are pretty amazing, hook up a microphone, play some test tones through them and they will tune themselves to the room. Pretty much like Autotune on the Power Commander. Honestly dunno if that tech works any better though.

Basically my take is this. Modern stuff is feature filled, but the old 2 channel stuff (and newer updates) are manically focused on sonic purity. My amp is rated at 105 watts per channel at .07 (a very low figure) total harmonic distortion (THD) continuous, and 275 watts peak music power into a 4 ohm load. It has a big ass power supply, huge capacitors and lots of transient power ability. To replace it with something comparable today with another Yamaha would cost me over 2K. It was a bit over $500 back in 1982. Well built good stuff lasts

If I do replace the old girl, I want one of these bad boys.

https://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-S1100S...%2Bas3000&th=1

It is actually rated a little lower than my current amp Power is secondary to some degree though. This type of equipment sounds smooth, warm and "natural" not at all harsh and tinny. That is what the few that buy this kind of focused stripped down and decidedly not feature rich equipment are paying for.

Nerd alert! The attached pic is sexy. Oh my, look at the size of those caps and power supply, and that sweet crisp uncluttered layout...
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Last edited by Duken4evr; 02-03-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-03-2019, 05:51 PM   #5
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Beauty!
Historically, my favorite amplifiers have always weighed at least 30lbs.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:29 PM   #6
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Hey Duken - did you look at the MiniDSP as well? Having Dirac built into the DDRC-24 interests me.

I'm running Parasound gear, and my amp, the A21, looks like this with it's top off.



250 watts at 8ohm x 2
400 watts @ 4ohm x 2

cool speakers, by the way. I'd love to try some DIY stuff at some point
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:44 PM   #7
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Oh ya! What a clean, accurate and beautiful beast by John Curl, who most definitely knows amplifier design.
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Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


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Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
Oh ya! What a clean, accurate and beautiful beast by John Curl, who most definitely knows amplifier design.
Yes to all of that. I saved a bit of money for a lot of years, to finally make the purchase. Love it. Got a Parasound preamp to go with it (P-5), and have been thinking about the miniDSP for a long time.

Skipped the miniDSP for now, and ended up with a huge sub, that I absolutely love.

Cheers.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:48 PM   #9
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It's good to see real copper wire-wound transformers and quality caps with plenty of design margin. Some serious heat sinks in those photos as well!

I've listened to Yamaha gear since the 1970's..
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:38 PM   #10
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This is my now just shy 40 year old Yamaha A700 integrated amp getting the soft bristle pant brush and compressed air, plus Deoxit treatment. Sharp eyes will detect the "DAD" button. CD's had not been named CD's yet, they were "digital audio discs" back then. That was cutting edge stuff in 1980 when the amp was made

From what I have read, it should need new capacitors at it's age, but it does not display any of the issues associated with that - no hiss, no shortage of punch and power at elevated volume levels, all the caps look fine, no swelling or leaking. I just keep running it. I did find a local business that can test and restore old equipment. Then the decision becomes to recap it or buy a new one.

Life is short. I am inclined to use it until I hear problems, then buy a similarly sweet new one, which should last me until I am dead at this rate. I sure as Hell don't have another 40 years left!
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File Type: jpg Amp 2.jpg (44.7 KB, 99 views)
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With experience of a tortured youth, we turn up the music and go in search of the truth.

Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nr...1_Map_Pack.zip

Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:49 AM   #11
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Very cool Duken. Have you ever built any of your own amps?

If I ever get the balls to do it myself, I've heard all sorts of good things about Hypex NCore based DIY amps.

My first audio purchase was a Yamaha AVR, woefully underpowered, but worked well for a small surround sound for many years. I'm thinking it'll work just fine in a budget projector setup downstairs. Thanks for sharing, btw.
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
T...

From what I have read, it should need new capacitors at it's age, but it does not display any of the issues associated with that - no hiss, no shortage of punch and power at elevated volume levels, all the caps look fine, no swelling or leaking. ...
With my understanding of electrolytic caps and environmental factors that influence performance degradation and how they age, you're good to go! Why fix what isn't broken?
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:22 PM   #13
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With my understanding of electrolytic caps and environmental factors that influence performance degradation and how they age, you're good to go! Why fix what isn't broken?
My thoughts exactly. It sounds clean, still rattles the windows after all these years, so That amp may just outlive me.
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With experience of a tortured youth, we turn up the music and go in search of the truth.

Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nr...1_Map_Pack.zip

Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:40 PM   #14
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I always liked Yamaha gear. I finally pulled my Yamaha P-2200 out of my stack after several decades of faithful service. 1 channel has become noisy, so it's time to join the queue at the bench. Until recently, it was studio clean power.

When I was upgrading my X-overs, these links were among the most useful I found, so I thought I'd share them here for anyone interested in how various capacitors influence sound quality... since you guys were on the subject:

http://conradhoffman.com/cap_measurements_100606.html

http://web.archive.org/web/200504041...rs/pickcap.htm

http://www.troelsgravesen.dk/super-caps.htm

In the end, I decided to go with a Datasat that can be configured as an active X-over. I went that way so that I could get convenient control over the time domain between channels. What I learned is that very small changes(some as small as 1ms) in phase alignment between channels has some of the greatest influence on the sonic image and sound stage. If I was setting up a stereo system, I would definitely spend the time to mess around with the free REW software and move my speakers around a bit to get things in synch as best I could... right after I did what I could to improve the room itself. A few well placed batts of glass wool or some carpet here or there can make a huge difference in what you hear from your system. Suddenly lots of detail that was covered up(cancelled by the room) will become audible. It's cool when that happens ) They say that the room is ~40% of what you hear from your system - believe it. It's usually much cheaper than buying or upgrading your system and might make the most dramatic improvement.
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Old 02-10-2019, 09:36 AM   #15
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Interesting Longeze. I will probably pick up the inexpensive ($91) MiniDSP test microphone and download REW and play with it. Winter is still here, so I need something to play with!

Have played with delay on my DSP and it definitely nudges the sound stage around. The way our setup is, the exact center between the speakers is occupied by cupholders, so I sit slightly left. I biased it to my chair of course
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Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nr...1_Map_Pack.zip

Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:14 AM   #16
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Duken4evr: I noticed that your speakers were placed to 1 side in your room(Beautiful speakers BTW). I'm somewhat in the same boat in so far as my MLP is off center. FWIW, if there's anything you can do to maybe turn things 90deg. so your speakers sit along the long wall that might help. One issue I noticed was that you have only 1 speaker sitting in a corner and your speakers are kinda close together. If you play pink noise through them, I'm guessing you'll hear that they sound very different from each other. Also, your geometry is probably smearing your stereo image - if you care about such things. I read an impressively systematic study from a guy in a similar situation as your own who got great results just putting some fiberboard behind both speakers and moving them a little bit off the wall to help with boundary interference and all that. You'd probably want the damping material to extend at least 6" outside the speaker profile on 3 sides. 20" would likely be better. You might lose a bit of the bass you're getting from room reinforcement, but I'd expect you'll hear an improvement overall enough to make it worth kicking up your eq 2-3db on the bottom end if even that. Playing with some thick fiberglass batts for a few minutes should be enough to give you the idea of what might be possible before spending "real" money on the good stuff.

Someone was selling those mics ~$15 cheaper than that a few months back. If it's worth your time to do it, you might want to shop around a bit. For measuring time of flight, I didn't use a mic - just loopback in & out of the soundcard. For room mapping, I picked up a cheap Radio-Shack analog sound meter & ran the mic output into my soundcard for input into REW. This method is very well supported by that community and there's compensation tables for it that you can load into REW to normalize it's response curve.

I noticed someone mentioned using a miniDSP. If anyone has any experience using them for Dirac, I'd be really interested to hear your impression of the results you got with it. I've used Audessey & MCACC but haven't heard Dirac. The Datasat has it onboard, but since I bought it used off ebay(sold as parts for repair) and without the mic, Datasat wants $2500 to let me play with it. Maybe in my next life...

Last edited by longeze; 02-10-2019 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:01 PM   #17
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Yes, the speaker on the left puts out more bass than the right as it is in a corner. The room is laid out about the only way it can be. It is cool with the EQ to at least tune them individually. I angled the speaker in from the corner, which seems to help some. Bass is not a problem with the speakers. They hit hard with a good crisp drum kicks and solid lows down to 30 Hz. They may not be the last word in audiophile response, but they were great during our parties!

I did replace the tweeters recently, the new ones are not as bright as the old, but much smoother. Without 50 people packed in the room to soak up the highs, they do not need the efficiency that the old tweeters had

To be honest, I am not super serious about audio, but more than casually interested, and have had a lot of fun tuning in the system by ear with the EQ. Good info - thank you!
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With experience of a tortured youth, we turn up the music and go in search of the truth.

Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nr...1_Map_Pack.zip

Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duken4evr View Post
...They may not be the last word in audiophile response, but they were great during our parties!

...To be honest, I am not super serious about audio, but more than casually interested, and have had a lot of fun tuning in the system by ear with the EQ. Good info - thank you!
That about sums up where I'm at with this stuff as well. I fell into it somewhat by accident - much like modding my Gen1. You tweak the shocks for a while, then the next thing you know you're pulling the forks to install Traxxion valves ) I started out fixing a projector and ended up with speakers staring back at me from every direction and all manner of audio gear strewn across my living room floor that I can't turn on without a computer - lol. I enjoyed reading about your system, thx for posting.
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:01 AM   #19
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Interesting articles in the links longeze.

Room acoustics... the never ending black hole. A personal residence is about as bad as it can get, especially for those with tile floors and mini-blinds. Acoustic measurements will be interesting to acquire and analyze. Besides the obvious of measurements at varying locations, you might try acquiring data at a fixed location (your favorite chair) and vary the sound level.

In the end it's all your personal taste for what you listen to, where you are, how loud it is, and how many beers you've had My hearing is so abused that I have significant organic filtering that's different for each ear. What works for me, works for me, and no one else.

If all else fails, use headphones!
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:49 AM   #20
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longeze is right about the speaker placement, but they have to be where they are due to the room's narrow rectangular layout, with a hallway down the far end, and the other stuff we have in it.

Speakers are 7 feet apart (tweeter to tweeter) and the listener's ear while sitting in the chairs is 11 feet, which works out to be right in the sweet spot for stereo imaging. The chairs are close enough to be appropriate for the size of the TV, which happily seems to be a good distance for the sound, minimizing the room's many issues. The "sweet spot" is small, but the chairs are definitely "in the "bubble". I notice that the imaging and tonal balance quickly goes to Hell as I go to the far end of the room away from the speakers, the room is an acoustical nightmare. Sitting in the chair, there is a sweet detailed stereo image and the bass is thumpin' and clean, can physically feel it hit when it is cranked. Listened to James Taylor live "Steamroller" at a healthy volume level the other day. Never fully appreciated how cool James Taylor can be

The thing I have always loved about the system is the sound is not fatiguing on the ear at fuller volume levels. The EQ helps with that too, with careful setting around the 4.5K band. As is seemingly a Colorado tradition, the room is in my finished basement, which is great, as I can close the door and crank it and not bother anyone. The wife laughs as the whole house buzzes sometimes. And to think the original layout had another cabinet of similar design with twin 12's in it, was running 4 Cerwin Vega 12s back then. Definitely put that amp through it's low impedance high current paces back in the party days!

Will never forget the maiden test voyage back in 1988 with all four 12's running. Cranked it up just shy of clipping, saw ripples in my beer and knew I was onto something. It really is fairly remarkable I still have good hearing.
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With experience of a tortured youth, we turn up the music and go in search of the truth.

Wise man said - "Don't go bagger too soon".


Get your FI maps right here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/nr...1_Map_Pack.zip

Akra full exhaust mindless stationary rev out Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5UNYBqHd7M

Last edited by Duken4evr; 02-11-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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