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About Tony_J

Personal Info

  • Location
  • Real Name
    Tony J

Wigwam Info

  • Turn Table
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
  • SUT / Phono Stage
  • Digital Source 1
  • Digital Source 2
  • Integrated Amp
    Audiolab 8000A
  • Pre-Amp
  • Power Amp/s
    Xkitz 2x125W Class D
  • My Speakers
    DIY Lowther actives
  • Headphones
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

Recent Profile Visitors

2,821 profile views
  1. Tony_J

    What are you listening to right now?

    Tangerine Dream - Force Majeure
  2. Dave - If you click on the person's forum name, you will bring up their profile page; there is a blue "message" button - click that. The forum should notify you of any responses, depending on how you have set your notification preferences. Any private arrangement you may come to re buying/selling isn't a problem as far as the forum is concerned.
  3. Tony_J

    What are you listening to right now?

    @Millennium - what is confusing you about this...?
  4. Tony_J


    Are you talking about the Audio Innovations Alto, or something else?
  5. Tony_J

    What are you listening to right now?

    Weather Report - Mysterious Traveller
  6. A couple of donations for you Barry - to be sold off for the Dogs Trust: and
  7. Tony_J

    What are you listening to right now?

    Weather Report - Heavy Weather
  8. I will be playing my usual mix of Jazz (Miles Davis, Billy Cobham, Weather Report, Dave Brubeck...), Blues (Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker...), Prog (Genesis, Pink Floyd, King Crimson...) electronic (Yello...), folk (Caprecaillie, Fairport...) plus any other random stuff that springs to mind at the time. I will have a CD drive attached to the PC, so should be able to play those at a push too.
  9. I haven't found the miniDSP 2X4HD DAC to be a problem, but then, it is pretty much impossible to do any kind of direct comparison with other DACs. There are other miniDSP products that are pure digital in/digital out if you think it matters, but you do pay a premium for them. REW can only generate parametric equalisation filters - a series of "biquads" that define the filter frequency, Q factor, etc. The 2X4HD/DDRC-24 supports FIR filters as well, which can correct for phase as well as amlitude. The DDRC-24 Dirac software makes use of the FIR filter capability to correct timing/phase errors as well as simply fixing the levels. There are apps out there that can be used to generate FIR taps from an REW measurement curve, but it isn't trivial - using the Dirac software is very simple indeed.
  10. Tony_J

    Tannoy 8" Dual Concentric active build

    Hi Des - the miniDSP devices are pretty versatile, and there is much more that can be done with them than I have attempted so far, so I will try and give you a flavour of what I have used them for. As Andrew has said in his post above, all we can really do is describe how we have used these devices and our perceptions of the changes; as always, YMMV, so please don't take any of this as a "you should do X" suggestion - much as I would like to spend your money, that is entirely up to you! The first time I made use of DSP was at the Harrogate show (2017?) when Ed Howarth and I had a rather mis-shapen room and had to make sense out of it with what we had brought. My speakers were Lowther Bicor 200 cabs fitted with Lowther PM2C drive units - single full-range driver so no crossover, but also, as is often the case with small horn-loaded speakers, not a lot of bass. So we used Ed's subwoofer and integrated this with the Lowthers by using his DSPeaker Antimode Dual Core room correction box. Essentially, we cranked the sub up a bit too high and then relied on the DSP to reduce the LF signal appropriately. The result was actually pretty decent, considering the crazy room shape and the fact that we were attempting this for the first time - and for me, it was a demonstration of what Lowthers could sound like if they had proper bass. So this prompted me to investigate other means of achieving the same result - hence my interest in miniDSP. The first miniDSP configuration used a 2X4HD to provide crossover and equalisation for a pair of home-built cabs - the mid/high was provided by the same Lowther PM2C drive units as before, but in a 13L sealed box sitting atop a ported box with a TangBand 8" woofer. Amplification was via a pair of integrated amps - a Denon and an Audio Innovations Alto. Ed and I showed this system at last year's Kegworth show, using his Behringer amps in place of my two integrated amps, but otherwise essentially the same system. The equalisation was achieved using REW to measure the in-room response and to get the balance right between the two drivers (no mean feat in itself as the Tang Bands are sub-90 dB/w and the Lotwthers something like 98dB/w) and then to get it reasonably flat. This sounded pretty decent also, but one of the things that concerned me was the need to reduce the HF output so much in the DSP just to get the balance right, and also I wanted to attach the amps to the backs of the speakers like "proper" actives, hence: The next incarnation used a miniDSP 2X4 HD just as a means of adding equalisation filters. Power was a pair of 2X125W plate amps, fed from an analogue active crossover, with the filter settings again determined using a measuring mic and REW software. The DSP has 4 outputs, so I was using only 2 of them in this configuration. So in your setup, this would be equivalent to inserting the miniDSP somewhere between your signal source and your amp and using it to correct the frequency response curve as measured in the room. I found that using REW can be very hit-and-miss - you can spend a lot of time generating endless configurations of filters that sound anywhere from slightly better than the uncorrected speaker to a lot worse, and hitting the "sweet spot" where the whole thing seems to come into focus doesn't happen as often as you would like. When it does, however, the improvement in the overall sound is considerable (but bear in mind - I am takling here about DIY speakers, not something that has been bought in a state where it ought to sound good to start with). As a result of Andrew taking the plunge and upgrading his miniDSP 2X4 HD to a DDRC-24 (essentially adding Dirac Live capability to the 2X4HD) and him raving about the difference, I also went that route. Adding the Dirac filters to the Lowther/Tang Band speakers was a massive improvement over the config I had with the standard 2X4HD. I'm sure part of this is down to the Dirac measurement software doing a better job of the EQ, but also, Dirac goes into phase/timing corrections as well as just fixing levels, and this plays a significant part. I would express the difference as bringing more clarity and focus to the sound and to the sound stage. At the time I was also completing the Tannoy DC speakers that are the subject of this thread, and comparing the two sets of speakers, I preferred the treble produced by the Tannoys and the bass produced by the Tang Band subs, so decided to pension off the Lowther drivers for something that would give a better top end. So those cabs now have Alpair 10.3 drivers fitted in place of the Lowthers, and I have thrown out the analogue crossovers to use the miniDSP crossover capability now. Interestingly, although there is a noticeable difference in the bass output (in favour of the Tang Band subs, not surprisingly), the overall character of the two speakers is quite similar, because I have used the Dirac correction with the same "target curve". Which highlights one of the neat tricks that the 2X4HD/DDRC-24 has - it can be loaded with 4 different filter sets, so you can (for example) set them using different target curves having made the room measurements, and select them using the miniDSP remote. At some point, I may experiment with a 3-way, using the Tannoys plus a sub, but I haven't done that yet. This is a little tricky with a DSP that has only 2 output channels, but there are ways - for example, I can bring the old analogue 2-way crossover back into service to split off the sub from the LF channel. But that is for some future project. What might well be useful for you in evaluating how much use any of this stuff might be in your setup would be to buy (or borrow) a miniDSP UMIK-1 microphone and download the Dirac Live demo software (free evaluation for 2 weeks IIRC). The software runs in a PC, and generates a set of filters that are applied to that PC's USB output, so you would need a USB-capable DAC as well. That would at least give you a flavour for what Dirac might do even without messing with the speaker/crossover/amps. If you decide you don't like it, you should be able to re-sell the UMIK-1 without too much of a loss. It is worth using the UMIK-1 rather than other mic options (unless you happen to have a measuring mic to hand) because the miniDSP DDRC-24 won't work with other mics.
  11. Tony_J

    Tannoy 8" Dual Concentric active build

    That's an impossible question to answer, given that I have no knowledge of either the Bastinis or Trilogy amps.
  12. Tony_J

    A laughable improvement

    Ah - fair 'nuff. I would entirely agree with that. One of the few areas left where you really can make an improvement without busting the bank.