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Smyth SVS Realiser Virtual Surround Technology for Headphones

post #1 of 334
Thread Starter 
*Update 7-11-2009 Smyth Research has a proper website up, with ordering information and pricing as well.
Smyth Research

Will be posting more info about the Crowson Tactile Transducers when I get them. They are basically the "subwoofer" for the SVS Realiser.
Crowson Technology - TES-100 Stereo

*Update 7-19-2009 Pics of Crowson Tactile Transducer system posted below.
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Smyth Research's Smyth Virtual Surround Technology really stole the show for me at CanJam. I think it deserves it's own thread. Since it's a convergence product, involving headphones, video, home theater audio, and video games, I think Member's Lounge is a good place for this discussion.

Meet the Smyth SVS Realiser



Smyth Research's Demo Set Up at CanJam 2008

*Images stolen from Vince

Unboxing Pics here:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/5848571-post206.html

Video from CanJam 2008.
Smyth Research on Vimeo


Crowson A200 Amp


Crowson TES100 Tactile Transducer. One of the two I'm using pictured.





Because of past abyssmal and less than stellar attempts at surround sound headphones, I was initially skeptical of Smyth's SVS technology. You have to experience it to believe it. I was completely blown away. The best part is the technology works with virtually any headphone and amp. Yes, that's right. Smyth Research allowed me to bring my own headphones and amp to hook up to their full demonstration rig in their room at CanJam. I had the system working with my K1000's, UE Triple.Fi, and Grace m902 amp. I will start a new thread dedicated to this incredible and exciting new tech soon. It is revolutionary and will change the way many of us will listen to headphones.

I talked to both Drs. Stephen and Michael Smyth at CanJam at great length. It looks like they are planning on releasing an initial product for sale. They are shooting for fall of 2008. It will probably consist of the "Black Box" and a Stax 2050 system bundled with it. When I asked them why sell as a bundle only, they said that they wanted a consistent out of the box experience for the first release. They do have plans to release a system without headphones and amp bundled so you can use your own headphones. Of course, even the bundled version will work with other headphones.

I'll keep this thread updated with whatever info I can gather, along with everyone else's posts here to discuss this exciting new technology.

-Ed
post #2 of 334
Thread Starter 
Oh, and Smyth Research is also located in Camarillo, CA just north of Los Angeles as well as Ireland. So I will be definitely be rounding up some SoCal Head-fiers for a field trip.

Perhaps Ireland Head-fiers can arrange a field trip as well?

-Ed
post #3 of 334
This is certainly the most exciting news I've heard out of the CanJam posts. Was there any indication, however rough, of a price point?
post #4 of 334
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blessingx View Post
This is certainly the most exciting news I've heard out of the CanJam posts. Was there any indication, however rough, of a price point?
Anywhere from $2000 to $3000 which includes the Stax 2050 system.

I'm hoping for $2000, we can hope, right?

-Ed
post #5 of 334
Yea, if I remember correctly, the black box with the headphone bundle ran $3000, but their main goal is to license the technology to AV companies as an OEM. You are not alone, Ed, this sytem blew my mind and if I had the cash lying around, there would be an order placed immediately.

These guys deserve all the hype one can muster. Award winning material, IMO.

I'll have to update my post in the CanJam impressions thread though... I had presupposed that IEMs/Buds wouldn't work!
post #6 of 334
This system impressed me the most at Can Jam.
I got to audition the speaker setup as well,as the computer setup.

To say I was impressed is a understatement.
The demo process was long as the sytem was calibrated to the person who was listening, but once set,it holds your information.

Music Videos where used.While the videos where playing listening to the headphones first ,speakers are silent,Take the headphones off & tilting them down the speaker system turn on,put the headphones back on kills the speakers.
This made it very easy to compare the speaker system directly to the headphones. I gotta tell you I could not hear the differance between the two,they sounded exactly the same,I did this a few times.
Granted long term listening you might pick out some differances,but short term no way.

I will be buying this when it becomes available
post #7 of 334
A little more info over at StereoMojo.
post #8 of 334
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlendaleViper View Post
Yea, if I remember correctly, the black box with the headphone bundle ran $3000, but their main goal is to license the technology to AV companies as an OEM. You are not alone, Ed, this sytem blew my mind and if I had the cash lying around, there would be an order placed immediately.
My fear is that their technology was bought out entirely by a single company and became a proprietary technology. But we're talking about the company that invented DTS, so I'm really hoping SVS becomes a standard that is included in just about every piece of hardware out there. I can envision the next XBox or Playstation, Home Theater Receivers, and Computer Sound Cards having SVS included.


Quote:
These guys deserve all the hype one can muster. Award winning material, IMO.

I'll have to update my post in the CanJam impressions thread though... I had presupposed that IEMs/Buds wouldn't work!
Yeah, the head tracking works with IEM's, but you need to still wear it. Either a headband/hairband type thing will be required. In this case, I had it rubber banded to my K1000's. When I tried it with my Triple.Fi's, I kept the K1000's on, rotated the ear speakers out all the way, which left plenty of room for the Triple.Fi's.


-Ed
post #9 of 334
The Smyth brothers are not accepting orders now, not even reservations or a wait list. I hounded them for 15 minutes to no avail.

This technology goes beyond mere audio delight: you can store each of your profiles on an SD card, and swap them in to someone else's SVS unit (your profiles and those of your regular listening companions for your reference speaker system(s) or concert hall(s) -- whatever they may be, as long as you can get measured listening to them -- will be stored on your home unit as well as on your SD cards).

So imagine that a network of measurment rooms has been set up. Famous recording studios, famous concert halls, with high end speakers or even LIVE source. After all, if your ears hear it, those tiny mikes record it, and then the math kicks in, reproducing almost exactly the room acoustics and the sound of the source!!

It works up until the physics of the actual headphones let you down, and with STAX that is outside the hearing range (and the transient response of electrostatics is of course wonderful).

So -- for the cost of going to measurement rooms -- tourist attractions of the next decade -- you can own (OK, not own, but listen to all the time) every high end speaker system you have ever wanted, and attend concerts whenever you want at the venue you visited (your choice of music, you just borrowed the acoustics).

The high-end audiophile game just changed forever. It's over for high-end speaker manufacturers (already was with DIY at-home room-correction DSP, like Lyngdorf, just too expensive still).

We will be carrying our SVS SD cards to CanJam 2011. And let's hope Apple introduces the SVS SD card reader on the iPod sooner than that.
post #10 of 334
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I hounded them for two days.

-Ed
post #11 of 334
Count me in for a visit.
post #12 of 334
This was the technology of the show, without a doubt. Anyone that missed this made a huge mistake. I first tried the xbox 360 set up in the main room first and was blown away. I kept looking over my shoulder for a speaker behind me. I went for the full demo early Sunday and left even more impressed. If the were taking orders, I would line up behind the rest of you. It was that good. I think I went up to anyone that would listen trying to convince them to do the demo.
post #13 of 334
Should we try a group buy, of just the black box and in-ear mikes, no Stax gear? If we got 10 orders together, maybe they would change their minds and let us be the first adopters?

The Stax 2050 system is like $625 retail, so maybe they pay $350 and if we subtract that off perhaps we can get $2650 or a tad lower as our price.

I would hold off buying my system and use the money for that. Would they really turn down 10 orders from enthusiasts who would spread the word, and give them feedback?
post #14 of 334
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I will certainly talk to them about a group buy or some kind of Head-Fi special.

Just out of curiosity, who contacted them originally to have them come to CanJam?

-Ed
post #15 of 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
Yeah, I will certainly talk to them about a group buy or some kind of Head-Fi special.

Just out of curiosity, who contacted them originally to have them come to CanJam?

-Ed
Ed, if I recall correctly, Mike Smyth contacted me first about attending. He and I went back and forth with emails and spoke on the phone a couple of times. There were logistic issues relative to getting a decent surround sound speaker system for their demo. They finally figured all that out and the rest is history.
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