Evaluation of different revisions of DSP-C

We have been testing different revisions of DSP-C after we discovered that C00044 sounds so much different from the newer revisions, which are sounding dull by comparison. Not only Trifield is affected, all sound appears to go through DSP-C. In general it seems that the newer the revision, the more processing is going on. Especially the highs get filtered more and more. The latest revision C00055 is a special case. It seems tailored for the apodizing filter, as if to compensate or mask the negative effects of the apodizing filter. The old linear filter and the new Revelation filter do not sound good with them, you can clearly hear there is something wrong.

It is amazing that DSP-C has so much influence on the total sound quality. Most parameters have considerable less effect. At least with this knowledge you can choose yourself the best sounding revision of DSP-C for your system. If you find C00044 sounding too bright, you can always try a higher revision that filters the highs a bit. But you have to remember that our brain works in mysterious ways. We are used to the sound of our system because our brain can adapt to certain extends by filtering, compensating and even filling in missing pieces. I was used to the heavily filtered C00052, so I found C00044 bright at first. It took a few days to get used to it, but now I enjoy the much bigger soundstage without finding it sounding bright.

This also explains some things people are proclaiming for years on the Meridian Unplugged forum:
– The 568.2 is found to be superior than G and even 800 series. Some people that had upgraded sold their gear again and bought back a 568. Now we know the reason: C00049 that comes with the v2.5b9 beta software sounds very close to C00044.
– Connecting sources directly to DSP speakers sounds better than through a processor, even in direct mode. By direct connection the sound is not modified by DSP-C.

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4 Responses to Evaluation of different revisions of DSP-C

  1. I agree. My G68 sounds more open with C00044 in comparison to C00052. Openness of the sounds depends crucially on low-level high-frequency information, so your analysis is, I believe, correct.

  2. jimkmbca says:

    My experience confirms the stunning sound quality using C00044 with the latest firmware for the 861v4. But I can’t confirm the final observation that connecting sources direct to DSP speakers sounds better than through a processor. I have a simple stereo pair of D5Ks. Processor is 861v4. Source is the Squeezebox Touch which sounds thin and un-involving when fed directly to the DSPs. Through the 861 with the C00044, the sound quality is very similar to that of the 808.2 (which I no longer have). In other words, using the older DSPC file is an unexpectedly large boost for me and I look forward to reading more about your filter options.

  3. Bryon Cunningham says:

    I too changed the DSP-C in my G68 to C00044. I immediately noticed two improvements: more realistic instrument timbres and better dynamics, both micro and macro. Very happy with the results.

  4. Josep says:

    Maybe a bit late here… but today I took the time to ‘play’ with this. And yes, the C00044 file makes my 568.2mm sound more open on top and more dynamic specially on bass (this via analog out, Pass power amp and B&W 802D speakers). Going back (well it is supposed to be forward it is’nt?) to C00055 confirmed this, the sound ‘softens’ a bit, this may be helpful on some setups but I prefer the more direct (and may I say transparent) sound of the older DSP. And Tri Width working, off course (C00049 has it broken as is well known so I did not consider it). Cheers!

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