I’m selling my SHD. It’s the full version – not the SHD studio - so includes analog inputs and outputs as well as digital inputs, crossover filters, PEQ filters and Dirac Room Correction software.
I’m not setting it because I don’t like it - think it’s the best audio product I have ever bought - I think of it as being the Swiss Army knife of DAC / processor devices. The flexibility and range of filters, crossovers and outputs - together with Dirac - make it unbeatable. It’s just that medical stuff means that I might not be around for ages and, whilst the SHD is great, it does need some technical knowledge and experience to set up and use and my partner wouldn’t be interested in doing that – so I’ve simplified the system so that it will be easy for her to use and operate in the future).
You can do things like set crossovers (I was using it in a 2.2 system with main speakers and subwoofers but it could just as easily be used to drive an active 2 ways speaker (you would need power amps in addition of course!). You can do anything from just setting crossover and then letting Dirac do the rest (or not if you don’t want to use Dirac) through to setting crossover (choices of 3 types of filter, slope and frequency can be set for each) then using PEQ filters (up to 12 per channel) with REW software to ensure that the acoustic output of each speaker actually matches the specified crossover slopes and then applying Dirac. Made a small but worthwhile improvement – and quite fun to do.
Digital inputs are LAN (used for Roon or Volumio), SPDIF, AES, Toslink. Analog inputs are XLR and RCA. All inputs are separately selectable.
There are 4 analog outputs (XLR or RCA - the XLR RCA sockets output the same channel (in pairs of course so 4 pairs). They can both be used at the same time if necessary. Also 4 digital outputs (SPDIF).
In terms of using with Roon I use the LAN inout with Roon switched on in settings. However, about a year ago, Roon made the decision - driven by a number of manufacturers advertising products as Roon Ready - to switch off support for products that had not yet been fully tested and approved by Roon. Because I bought the SHD before this happened I was granted developer status so that it would continue to work in Roon Ready mode.
miniDSP have finalised their ‘Roon Ready’ implementation and submitted it to Roon. It is awaiting final approval.
In the meantime, until this is done, there are two other ways of using SHD with Roon. Volumio has a RoonBridge plugin that uses Roon’s oficial RoonBridge software. Whilst this works perfectly well for me there have been some comments on internet about it not liking hi bitrate inputs (if you upsample in Roon for example). Another would be to use a streamer to connect to one of the SPDIF / TOSLINK or USB inputs. I can include a HiFiBerry DigiOne / Raspberry Pi / PSU for an additional £25 if this would help.
The quality of the DAC conversion is up there with the best. The analogue input is very useful and high quality. I previously used a Benchmark DAC3 – very highly rated but I couldn’t afford a second one to bi-amp the speakers so got the SHD. Before selling the Benchmark I did a test – 20 tracks that we both knew well. I knew which DAC was playing (varies the order of DACs randomly) but she didn’t – she has a very good ear for music but no interest at all in the technical side. Of the 20 tracks we agreed (in terms of which sounded best) on 12, couldn’t tall any difference on 4 and disagreed on 4. Of the 12 tracs where we agreed, for 7 we thought the SHD better, for 5 we thought the benchmark better. Where we disagreed, it was 3 for the Benchmark and 1 for the SHD. So, overall, things were even – and differences were relatively small for all tracks.
I found that the computer to UMIK 1 cable was not long enough (you program the SHD by connecting wither a Mac or Windows PC / Portable) because my speakers are about 6 metres from the listening position) so I bought a 4m USB extension cable which I’m also including.
In original packaging with all cables and code to download software from miniDSP site. Manuals (SHD and Dirac) are electronic - also downloadable - but I can email if necessary.
The SHD was purchased about 18 months ago and looks like new. Sound Imports currently sell the SHD for £1367 and the UMIK1 for £98. I’m looking for around £850 plus postage (I’d estimate about £25 in UK but would need to check outside UK).