Reviews

MiniDSP DDRC-88A Dirac Live Processor Official AVS Forum Review


"When I listen to the system with Dirac Live and then switch to MCACC Pro, I'm reminded of why my first encounter with Dirac was so memorable. It elevates the whole system, much more so than any other $1000 investment I can think of—as long as you've already got some good gear. The effect of a room is an overwhelming element in any system. The degree to which Dirac Live takes the room out of the equation sets it apart from any room-correction system I've heard in the past. I consider it a must-have.

Now, I know some of you are going to ask how Dirac Live compares to Audyssey MultEQ XT32, and I do not currently have an answer. I know both systems are capable of highly accurate correction, and both methods use clustered measurements to create a correction profile that works within a particular pre-defined zone—an expanded sweet-spot, so to speak. If I can get my hands on such a system, I'll reference this review when I write about it.

I am far from done exploring Dirac. The ability to tweak the curve and select the frequency range to be processed offers near-limitless possibilities. For 2-channel speaker reviews, it lets me run speakers full range while only correcting for room modes, so the "character" of the speaker doesn't get EQ'd away—a frequent criticism of room correction is that it tends to make all speakers sound alike.

As awesome as the DDRC-88A is, I do have a few gripes. With only eight channels, the DDRC-88A can handle up to a 7.1 system. I have 5.1.4 Atmos capability, and I would have liked to use Dirac Live to correct all 9.1 channels. Also, Dirac Live desperately needs the ability to handle more than one subwoofer channel. If you have a system with multiple subs and more than seven speakers, one DDRC-88A simply isn't enough. I'd love to see a 16-channel version in one chassis.

Now that I've gotten my hands dirty with Dirac, you'll find me in the same place as any AVS member who has discovered the magic box known as the DDCR-88A: The miniDSP DDRC-88A Official Thread. As I measure speakers for reviews, I'll share my pre and post Dirac charts. Unless something better comes along, it is going to remain an integral part of my system—it's that good."


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