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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 127

post #1891 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by madbull View Post

 

If that works, that's probably what I'll be using too (I don't have a home theater also). Please keep us informed... :)

 

I really would rather buy a Dune HD Smart media player, but before I spend the money, I want to see if the WDTV Live will work.

 

My Realiser won't show up until 7/20 or later. I'll let you know as soon as I have a chance to test it.

post #1892 of 2764

Thank you, darinf. I can't imagine how awesome must be this combo, WDTV and Realiser. "HT in a Box" redefined... normal_smile%20.gif
 

post #1893 of 2764

Sounds like HDMAN's gear for sale.

post #1894 of 2764

Did he ever sell his KGSSHV? I saw the for sale post and then it vanished....

post #1895 of 2764

Who knows?

He was offering a DIY rig for twice what it cost him to build it. Big No-No right there.

Also being a total n00b, his build / soldering skills were questionable at best.

In another thread he did post about the amp's issues, which I doubt that he got sorted, and didn't mention any of this in his for sale post.

I'm glad the admins shut him down.

post #1896 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonyfirst View Post

I am a bit late in the thread. What external dac's have been compared against it? What dac chip does it use?


I am wondering also. For now I will just use the Raliser DAC. But I wonder what external DAC would be considered an upgrade from the built-in DAC. I know there are lot higher priced DACs that would sound better, but would even a Cambridge DacMagic or a PS Audio Digital Link III or Arcam rDac be worth using? Since the Stax 323 amp doesn't have balanced inputs, I don't really have the option of taking advantage of balanced audio out of an external DAC.

 

Has anyone compared the lower end DACs with the built-in DAC of the Realiser?

post #1897 of 2764

Well, I received my Smyth Realiser today...Just a slight learning curve!biggrin.gif

 

Anyway, since I only have a two channel system and limited time today, I was able to do a PRIR and HPEQ with my Cello system.

 

WOW!! This thing really works. While I was listening at night after my family was asleep, I kept having to double check myself to make sure the speakers weren't actually on and waking everyone up. Finally I turned off the Cello amps just to make sure I wasn't in Bypass or something and pumping sound out of the speakers. I could not tell if the speakers were on or not.

 

One big problem at this point is my sources. I tried a WDTV Live and for some reason almost everything it's outputting via HDMI is received by the Realiser as 2 channel only. Even if I use the factory PRIR, Almost all the files I try to play will just give me left and right, no center, surround, etc.

 

The weird thing is that I downloaded some DTS and Dolby surround sample DVD files that are .VOB files. These files are being played back as 5.1! This happens only on these files without changing any settings on the WDTV.

 

Back to the question I asked before, what are people using as sources for the Realiser? Is anyone using a media player or is everyone using a Oppo Blu-ray or similar?

 

I also tried playing movies from my laptop via it's HDMI output and it does the same thing as my media players, only 2 channel output. If anyone is using an HTPC, what software are you running to output multi channel PCM?

 

If I need to buy a source player, I can do that, but I would really rather not go with Blu-Ray only since I have all my Blu-Rays ripped to hard drives on my PC.

 

Any idea what could be wrong or recommendations on source players that work?

 

Thanks,

 

-Darin

post #1898 of 2764
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by darinf View Post

 

One big problem at this point is my sources. I tried a WDTV Live and for some reason almost everything it's outputting via HDMI is received by the Realiser as 2 channel only. Even if I use the factory PRIR, Almost all the files I try to play will just give me left and right, no center, surround, etc.

 

The weird thing is that I downloaded some DTS and Dolby surround sample DVD files that are .VOB files. These files are being played back as 5.1! This happens only on these files without changing any settings on the WDTV.


I also tried playing movies from my laptop via it's HDMI output and it does the same thing as my media players, only 2 channel output. If anyone is using an HTPC, what software are you running to output multi channel PCM?

 

Any idea what could be wrong or recommendations on source players that work?

 

 

Very often, when the source device is delivering digital audio over HDMI, the HDMI handshake between source-destination devices determines whether or not the receiving device can actually accept encoded multi-channel sound.  Or, is it capable of only accepting 2-channel decoded PCM stereo.  This is typical of DVR's delivering digital audio to a connected AVR (which generally signals back that it CAN accept encoded DD5.1 sound) or to an HDTV (which typically signals it can only accept 2-channel decoded PCM stereo, since it only has 2 speakers).

 

You don't get this type of issue if you deliver the digital audio from DVR to AVR via optical, where the DVR always delivers the native DD5.1 digital audio in the program content.  That's why many people use optical connections from DVR to AVR, since it's only DD5.1 on broadcast TV anyway and optical is perfectly capable of delivering DD5.1 (whereas it could not deliver lossless audio such as DTS-MAHD as with BluRay).

 

You can also see this if you have an "HDMI relay" (i.e HDMI from DVR to AVR, and then HDMI from AVR to HDTV) and you set your AVR to "HDMI pass-through", so that it is the actually the HDMI-connected HDTV which is really responding to the source DVR HDMI handshake question regarding audio capabilities.  In this case the delivered audio will now be 2-channel PCM stereo since the AVR is "out of the picture".

 

Anyway, I'm speculating that the WDTV source device is conducting an HDMI handshake with the Realiser, and is not getting the expected response.  Remember that the Realiser is not expecting encoded DD5.1 to be delivered.  It is expecting decoded discrete multi-channel LPCM to be delivered, simply using HDMI as the delivery path.  It was not built to respond to an HDMI handshake.

 

If there is a WDTV setting to FORCE discrete multi-channel LPCM that should be what you use.  I think it is the WDTV source device itself which is not delivering all of the multi-channels.

 

Just a guess.

post #1899 of 2764

Thanks for the thorough response!

 

I think you may be onto something, however, the only problem is that I do have some short demo .vob files from a DTS demo disc which do deliver 5.1 PCM audio to the Realiser. If handshaking was in issue, then I would think that nothing would work. I assume that the HDMI handshaking is done only once, or is it done each time a new signal is being sent. I would think the WDTV does it's handshake once and then doesn't do it again until it's powered off or the monitor is powered off.

 

The WDTV does have a menu for setting the HDMI digital audio out. Basically you tell it to output digital audio via HDMI and then there is a check list of all the formats of audio. You check which formats your AV receiver can accept. So I uncheck everything except LPCM. This prevents the WDTV from passing through and encoded surround audio. However, clearly the WDTV is sending 2 channel PCM most of the time.

 

I had also read that there might be bandwidth issues? I am not sure about that, but someone wrote that if there isn't enough bandwidth on the HDMI, that devices will revert to 2 channel.

 

I think I am just going to have to try some blu-ray players or other media players until I find one that works.

 

I currently don't have and AV receiver and was hoping I wouldn't need one.

 

Do you know of any AV preamps that will decode the surround audio and then output it as multi-channel PCM on it's HDMI out? Do you think is has to be high end? Or since I am not using the analog side, can I get away with a basic home theater receiver?

 

I was hoping not to have to buy an AV receiver, or a Blu-Ray player.

 

I originally asked Lorr about sources that work with the Realiser and all he really knew about were some of the Blu-Ray players. Beyond that he had no idea about media players, computers, etc. as sources.

 

-Darin

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

Very often, when the source device is delivering digital audio over HDMI, the HDMI handshake between source-destination devices determines whether or not the receiving device can actually accept encoded multi-channel sound.  Or, is it capable of only accepting 2-channel decoded PCM stereo.  This is typical of DVR's delivering digital audio to a connected AVR (which generally signals back that it CAN accept encoded DD5.1 sound) or to an HDTV (which typically signals it can only accept 2-channel decoded PCM stereo, since it only has 2 speakers).

 

You don't get this type of issue if you deliver the digital audio from DVR to AVR via optical, where the DVR always delivers the native DD5.1 digital audio in the program content.  That's why many people use optical connections from DVR to AVR, since it's only DD5.1 on broadcast TV anyway and optical is perfectly capable of delivering DD5.1 (whereas it could not deliver lossless audio such as DTS-MAHD as with BluRay).

 

You can also see this if you have an "HDMI relay" (i.e HDMI from DVR to AVR, and then HDMI from AVR to HDTV) and you set your AVR to "HDMI pass-through", so that it is the actually the HDMI-connected HDTV which is really responding to the source DVR HDMI handshake question regarding audio capabilities.  In this case the delivered audio will now be 2-channel PCM stereo since the AVR is "out of the picture".

 

Anyway, I'm speculating that the WDTV source device is conducting an HDMI handshake with the Realiser, and is not getting the expected response.  Remember that the Realiser is not expecting encoded DD5.1 to be delivered.  It is expecting decoded discrete multi-channel LPCM to be delivered, simply using HDMI as the delivery path.  It was not built to respond to an HDMI handshake.

 

If there is a WDTV setting to FORCE discrete multi-channel LPCM that should be what you use.  I think it is the WDTV source device itself which is not delivering all of the multi-channels.

 

Just a guess.

post #1900 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

Thanks for the thorough response!

 

I think you may be onto something, however, the only problem is that I do have some short demo .vob files from a DTS demo disc which do deliver 5.1 PCM audio to the Realiser. If handshaking was in issue, then I would think that nothing would work. I assume that the HDMI handshaking is done only once, or is it done each time a new signal is being sent. I would think the WDTV does it's handshake once and then doesn't do it again until it's powered off or the monitor is powered off.

 

The WDTV does have a menu for setting the HDMI digital audio out. Basically you tell it to output digital audio via HDMI and then there is a check list of all the formats of audio. You check which formats your AV receiver can accept. So I uncheck everything except LPCM. This prevents the WDTV from passing through and encoded surround audio. However, clearly the WDTV is sending 2 channel PCM most of the time.

 

I had also read that there might be bandwidth issues? I am not sure about that, but someone wrote that if there isn't enough bandwidth on the HDMI, that devices will revert to 2 channel.

 

I think I am just going to have to try some blu-ray players or other media players until I find one that works.

 

I currently don't have and AV receiver and was hoping I wouldn't need one.

 

Do you know of any AV preamps that will decode the surround audio and then output it as multi-channel PCM on it's HDMI out? Do you think is has to be high end? Or since I am not using the analog side, can I get away with a basic home theater receiver?

 

I was hoping not to have to buy an AV receiver, or a Blu-Ray player.

 

I originally asked Lorr about sources that work with the Realiser and all he really knew about were some of the Blu-Ray players. Beyond that he had no idea about media players, computers, etc. as sources.

 

-Darin

 

 

We use a couple HiMedia H900b media players (they're cheap ~100-150) or the Micca version which is identical.  We just hook it up to a hard drive or to a NAS to feed it video.  It can force output LPCM audio format, but I haven't tested it with the Realiser (have only used it with the Oppo so far).  I will try to test it at some point soon and will let you know if it works as a movie source (we use ISO files ripped from our BluRay collection, sometimes use MKV format).

post #1901 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

Thanks for the thorough response!

 

I think you may be onto something, however, the only problem is that I do have some short demo .vob files from a DTS demo disc which do deliver 5.1 PCM audio to the Realiser. If handshaking was in issue, then I would think that nothing would work. I assume that the HDMI handshaking is done only once, or is it done each time a new signal is being sent. I would think the WDTV does it's handshake once and then doesn't do it again until it's powered off or the monitor is powered off.

 

The WDTV does have a menu for setting the HDMI digital audio out. Basically you tell it to output digital audio via HDMI and then there is a check list of all the formats of audio. You check which formats your AV receiver can accept. So I uncheck everything except LPCM. This prevents the WDTV from passing through and encoded surround audio. However, clearly the WDTV is sending 2 channel PCM most of the time.

 

I had also read that there might be bandwidth issues? I am not sure about that, but someone wrote that if there isn't enough bandwidth on the HDMI, that devices will revert to 2 channel.

 

I think I am just going to have to try some blu-ray players or other media players until I find one that works.

 

I currently don't have and AV receiver and was hoping I wouldn't need one.

 

Do you know of any AV preamps that will decode the surround audio and then output it as multi-channel PCM on it's HDMI out? Do you think is has to be high end? Or since I am not using the analog side, can I get away with a basic home theater receiver?

 

I was hoping not to have to buy an AV receiver, or a Blu-Ray player.

 

I originally asked Lorr about sources that work with the Realiser and all he really knew about were some of the Blu-Ray players. Beyond that he had no idea about media players, computers, etc. as sources.

 

-Darin

 

 

You can get it to work with your computer.  I'm assuming you're using EAC3TO rips and MPC-HC. 

 

If you had it set up to convert Lossless audio like DTS HD-MA and TrueHD to FLAC tracks, it will be outputting Multichannel PCM anyways.  You'll then need a video card that supports HDMI audio output (no need for bitstreaming, as you'll just be outputting Multichannel PCM).

 

This set up is far simpler than involving an external decoder / receiver to decode lossless audio.  It's simply not necessary since you've already done most of the work.  Launching an MKV file is sooooo much more convenient than using a Blu-Ray player.  ;)

 

-Ed

post #1902 of 2764
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

P.P.S. - I was talking with Lorr about something I'd read somewhere about the Eagles' live recording of "Hotel California" on their "Hell Freezes Over" DVD being a stunning demonstration track for both Realiser and SR-009, in particular the lead-in intro where there is a very large conga drum played beautifully and producing wonderful bass notes and tones.  He asked me if I had the "first release" of that DVD, which was produced with a DTS 5.1 soundtrack, or a later reissue which had a Dolby soundtrack.  I actually had the original version, with DTS sound.

 

Well, he then proudly stated that he was at DTS at the time that DVD was produced, and he was on the engineering team that produced the sound for it.  Why am I not surprised, then, that the sound on that "live performance" DVD is truly stunning?

 

He also mentioned that there was a special "audio-only bonus track" on that original DTS DVD, of "Seven Bridges Road", with each Eagle recorded individually onto their own individual channel.  So if you "solo" each channel with the Realiser while playing this track, you will be able to hear each Eagle individually singing out of his own one of five physically distinct channels "arrayed around you".  Perfect demonstration and reference track for both the Realiser, your PRIR, your headphones/amp/DAC, etc..

 

It's been a while since I picked up my SR-009, but I was away for 3 weeks and hadn't yet completed the probably 250 hours of break-in I devoted to it.

 

So last night I finally brought it down to the Realiser location and did an HPEQ measurement (through optical to my Audio-GD NFB9 DAC, feeding XLR to my SRM-007tii).  I then built a preset from the same AIX 5.1 PRIR I've been using for years, and stored it separately so that I could A/B-contrast it with the preset I'd been using based around the HPEQ for my SR-Omega headphones (through the same DAC and amp, and with the same AIX PRIR).

 

Reference material was the above-mentioned DTS version of the "Hell Freezes Over" DVD, listening to specific songs which are stunningly performed both musically and vocally, and stunningly recorded: Hotel California, Love Will Keep Us Alive, Pretty Maids All In A Row, Desperado, and the audio-only Seven Bridges Road bonus track.

 

I have to admit, I was not prepared for the "night and day" difference comparing the sound of the SR-009 vs. my long-loved SR-Omega, with everything else in the equation being identical.  STUNNINGLY BETTER!!

 

It's like they moved the microphones 6 inches closer to each singer's mouth.  It's like I was sitting in the first row instead of the 20th row.  It's like they had a direct line from the instruments (especially Timothy B. Schmidt's bass and Don Henley's snare drum) directly into its own sound track.  It was like I was on stage with the Eagles, it was that real.

 

IT WAS AMAZING!  The presence and detail and clarity and BASS coming out of the SR-009 was simply remarkable.  I ended up listening and re-listening to these tracks over and over, because it was so hauntingly beautiful (especially Pretty Maids All In A Row).  I have not ever heard this music sound so good.  I did not realize this music could sound so good.

 

It reminded me of the experience of hearing a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, where there is not a bad seat in the house no matter where you're sitting.  And there is no sound system... it's all acoustic.  And yet, you can hear each instrument, and pick out each struck string, and know where on the stage it is located.  Well that's what I was reminded of listening to these songs from this DVD, recorded in DTS.  It did not sound like 5 speakers... it sounded like I was on stage with them and the sound was all around me.

 

Just astonishing.  And everytime I would go back to the other preset for the SR-Omega headphones (just to convince myself I wasn't imagining things) I couldn't believe how "close-in" and "suppressed" was the sound, which I'd always thought was fantastic until I now heard the sound of the SR-009 as a contrast.  The whole sound field that the Realiser presents through these headphones is so much more wide open, really making you feel much more immersed in the total surround sound sensation.

 

Genuinely night and day.  Fantastic.

 

THIS DTS version of "Hell Freezes Over" is definitely THE reference disc everyone should have, if you want to hear what the Realiser and SR-009 should sound like.

 

 

Next, for a different experience I watched some HDTV... this week's "So You Think You Can Dance".  Once again, I bounced back and forth between listening through the SR-009 vs. SR-Omega.

 

And once again, it was like the three judges were talking through different microphones!  They were so much more "present" and close-in via the SR-009 while the whole studio sound was far more realistic and transparent, with the SR-Omega sound kind of like playing with a whole different sound system... seemingly less sensitive microphones.

 

 

To say I'm thrilled with my new life-investment is an understatement.


Edited by dsperber - 7/21/12 at 8:05am
post #1903 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post

 

You can get it to work with your computer.  I'm assuming you're using EAC3TO rips and MPC-HC. 

 

If you had it set up to convert Lossless audio like DTS HD-MA and TrueHD to FLAC tracks, it will be outputting Multichannel PCM anyways.  You'll then need a video card that supports HDMI audio output (no need for bitstreaming, as you'll just be outputting Multichannel PCM).

 

This set up is far simpler than involving an external decoder / receiver to decode lossless audio.  It's simply not necessary since you've already done most of the work.  Launching an MKV file is sooooo much more convenient than using a Blu-Ray player.  ;)

 

-Ed


Hi Ed,

 

Thanks for the tip. I will have to investigate further. I have not heard of EAC3TO and MPC-HC.

 

So I am not sure I understand. I convert the audio from a movie to FLAC tracks? Can FLAC tracks be MUXed into an MKV file or do they end up ad separate audio files? If they are separate files, then how do you play them with the video? I guess I need to figure out EAC3TO to see how to convert the audio to a format that I can play back on my PC.

 

So not all video cards support audio via HDMI? I was using my laptop which can output audio from the HDMI port, but when playing back through VLC, it only output 2 channel audio through the HDMI port. SO if I can get audio out of the HDMI, does that mean it will support multi-channel PCM output too? Is it possible even though it can output2 channel the port cannot output multi-channel?

 

I guess I will to try it and see what happens.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

-Darin

post #1904 of 2764
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

It's been a while since I picked up my SR-009, but I was away for 3 weeks and hadn't yet completed the probably 250 hours of break-in I devoted to it.

....

 

I have to admit, I was not prepared for the "night and day" difference comparing the sound of the SR-009 vs. my long-loved SR-Omega, with everything else in the equation being identical.  STUNNINGLY BETTER!!

....

 

 

To say I'm thrilled with my new life-investment is an understatement.

Sounds wonderful.  I think I'll have to wait a while.  I'm still paying for kids' college and hoping to survive my retirement funds.

post #1905 of 2764

I know this was mentioned early on in this thread, but I just bought some replacement foam tips for the microphones.

 

Here's what I got:

 

http://www.earplugstore.com/lafotifore2e.html

 

I got one set of small and one set of medium. As stated before, the mediums are about the same size as the large Smyth tips and the smalls are about the same size as the medium Smyth tips.

 

Since these foam tips are for the Shure E2 IEM's, they have a rigid plastic inner sleeve which is a pretty tight fit onto the microphones. It's not hard to slide them on, but be careful getting them off. It requires enough force that you could potentially break the microphone molding. I think maybe pushing the microphone assembly from the back using a small stick or screwdriver might work.

 

Anyway, I wanted to get extras since I promised a few people some demos so I would have to use up a pair of tips every time I do a demo. At about $2 a pop, that's not too bad.

 

-Darin

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