miniDSP success?


Feb 25, 2023
Hello, All. I've spent the past few months configuring a modest (by WBF standards!) two-channel system that I've been "tweaking" in an attempt to achieve its maximum potential. I'm never going to have a six-figure system, but I've been enjoying thoughtfully-developed systems for more than 40 years now and I can be very happy approaching a nine-tenths home audio package.
Here's what I currently have:
-Rega P1 TT with the following upgrades: glass platter; Achromat; GrooveTracer Reference subplatter; Little Belter drive belt; RB330 tonearm; Michael Lin top and bottom plinth braces; Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood cartridge (on IsoAcoustics zaZen platform);
-NAD Masters Series M50.2 digital player/vault;
-Simaudio Moon 110LP preamp with external Teddy Pardo power supply;
-NAD Masters Series M32 digital integrated amp with DAC;
-Custom CSS Criton 2TD-X tower speakers (handmade from solid mahogany with birch ply bracing, inner baffles, NoRez lining, upgraded crossover components, solid silver & copper wiring, terminals, etc.);
-TakeT Live supertweeters and WHDPure "woofer high-definitioners";
-Hapa Audio Aerogel Cu digital interconnects;
-Audioquest Coffee analogue interconnects;
-miniDSP SHD Dirac processor.
I purchased the miniDSP SHD earlier this year because I thought that Dirac was likely to be the simplest approach to addressing the impact of my room on the overall sound presentation. However, I've never been able to achieve a sound at my listening position with the miniDSP that's as satisfying as without the miniDSP. I focused on getting the Dirac measurements right first, but recently I've been carefully listening to music with the miniDSP in the chain but with Dirac bypassed and comparing it with the same music without the miniDSP connected (digital player and phono stage connected directly to the amp).
The bottom line is that music sounds far better to me without the miniDSP in the chain. Imaging is especially more realistic and compelling without the miniDSP, and this goes for both FLACs and vinyl.
Have any of you had better success with a miniDSP, or can you make any suggestions? At this point I've mostly given up on room correction via Dirac because of the apparent negative impact the miniDSP has on my basic uncorrected sound.

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