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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 129

post #1921 of 2741

hey guys quick question - is there a way to set the default mode on login to hdmi instead of analog?

 

also, when using an external amp with the smyth, I presume I should be using the external amp as volume control. in that case, what level volume should I put on the smyth?


Edited by athenaesword - 8/8/12 at 5:55am
post #1922 of 2741
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post
when using an external amp with the smyth, I presume I should be using the external amp as volume control. in that case, what level volume should I put on the smyth?

 

Typically you would probably have MULTIPLE devices along the chain which would have a volume control present.  So you just need to experiment with EACH one, to decide where to put it so that you're (a) happy with the final result, and (b) satisfied to use one or more to adjust levels whenever you need to.

 

For example, my source devices (BluRay player, DVR, etc.) do NOT have their own volume control.  But they all go through my Yamaha AVR, which DOES have a volume control that I like to think of as my "system volume control".  So I set that at 0, which allows me to make +/- adjustments intuitively. This is the one and only "system volume" adjustment I use, with my other downstream volume controls adjusted accordingly so that the AVR volume control is all I ever play with if necessary.

 

The 8 analog preamp outputs from the AVR go to the [non-HDMI] Realiser.  I felt the -19 default factory level on the Realiser was unacceptably low, and I increased that to -10.  I never further adjust the Realiser's volume, with -10 built into each of my presets.

 

The optical output from the Realiser goes to my Audio-GD NFB9 external DAC, where I've set its volume control almost to "maximum" (i.e. 46 out of 47).  Never adjust it further.

 

The XLR output from the DAC goes to the XLR inputs of my Stax SRM-007tII/SR-009.  I have the amp's volume control set at 2 o'clock, and I never adjust it further.  In fact, that's how I came to set the DAC's volume control to 46, because with each of the other upstream volume controls where I described them, and the Stax amp's volume control at 2 o'clock, I was satisfied for average source content when the DAC was at 46.

 

So I now only use the AVR to adjust "master volume", with typical content requiring volume from 0-7 to satisfy me.

 

And in that system, the Realiser has been set at -10, which seems to work great for me.

post #1923 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post

hey guys quick question - is there a way to set the default mode on login to hdmi instead of analog?

 

First change the input to HDMI by pressing Menu and then Mode. Then select input and change it to HDMI.

 

Once that's done, press the "!" key and select "Save System Config". This will save the current configuration including the input you just set. From that point on, when you power the unit on, it will be set to the saved configuration.

 

You always have to save the configuration to write the settings into the non-volatile memory.

 

See page 25 of the manual about setting the input.

 

-Darin

post #1924 of 2741
Quote:

Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

So I now only use the AVR to adjust "master volume", with typical content requiring volume from 0-7 to satisfy me.

 

Just curious, if you are adjusting the volume on your AVR before the analog audio goes into the Realiser, when the volume is turned down on your AVR, doesn't that feed a lower signal to the Realiser which then has to convert from A to D using a low level signal? If the Realiser is converting to a 24bit signal, if the volume it is being fed is low, you would only be using the lower bits rather than all 24-bits.

 

I would think you would always want to feed the A/D converters in the Realiser a constant, full volume line level signal so the A/D converters on the Realiser can have a full range signal to digitize.

 

For example, if you have your AVR output set to 1 and then turned your headphone amp all the way up and compared it to turning your AVR up to 7 and then turning your headphone amp down to match the output level in both cases, I would think the sound would be much different when the AVR is turned down to 1.

 

Then, once the signal is digitized in the Realiser, the Realiser can control the output volume. Or, even better, control the volume with your external DAC if it has an analog volume control. I would think the best place to control the volume is with your headphone amp that way your digital path through the Realiser and to the DAC is able to use all the bits for the S/N and dynamic range.

 

Maybe you have a better reason for doing it the way you do. Just a thought.

 

-Darin

post #1925 of 2741
Thread Starter 

You are probably correct.

 

In fact I even argue this same point when discussing volume settings involved with playing my portable music player (Cowon J3) through my car's audio system AUX input (from the headphone-output of the J3).  I actually have the J3's volume set at near-maximum (37-39 out of 40), feeding "maximum signal" to the AUX input.  This output level is what I feel to be kind of close to "line-level", since my J3 doesn't actually have L/R-RCA "line-level" outputs.

 

And I then only use the car's audio system volume control (i.e. "last in line") to be set as needed to control volume from the audio system as heard in the car.  This is equivalent to using the headphone amp's volume control as the "master volume" since it's "last in line", rather than any of the earlier possible volume controls and especially not feeding a lower-level signal from AVR into the Realiser to start the whole process with a signal that is below "functional line-level".

 

So you're probably right, that you probably should adjust each node along the way to "near maximum" or at least "pretty loud", including the AVR feeding the Realiser since the AVR's volume control also affects the level of its preamp outputs.

 

Now the real world side of this is that my AVR's volume is adjustable through its remote (or actually through my multi-device remote), whereas the Stax amp doesn't have a remotely-controlled volume adjustment.  So I'd actually have to get up and turn the volume control manually if I needed to... heaven forbid!  Remotely-controlled volume is a great convenience.

 

Also, when I bypass the headphone system and actually listen to TV through external speakers (also fed from the AVR), obviously using the AVR's volume control and again its remote control is a great convenience.

 

But in theory I would definitely have to agree with you, that I shouldn't be using the AVR's volume control and that it should really probably always be sitting at +6 or so.  I should really be using the Stax amp's volume control if I'm actually listening through headphones and the Realiser, for maximum sound quality result.  Seems like a minor inconvenience, given the fact that sound quality is the objective criteria.

 

You're right.

post #1926 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

 

First change the input to HDMI by pressing Menu and then Mode. Then select input and change it to HDMI.

 

Once that's done, press the "!" key and select "Save System Config". This will save the current configuration including the input you just set. From that point on, when you power the unit on, it will be set to the saved configuration.

 

You always have to save the configuration to write the settings into the non-volatile memory.

 

See page 25 of the manual about setting the input.

 

-Darin

 

thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

Typically you would probably have MULTIPLE devices along the chain which would have a volume control present.  So you just need to experiment with EACH one, to decide where to put it so that you're (a) happy with the final result, and (b) satisfied to use one or more to adjust levels whenever you need to.

 

For example, my source devices (BluRay player, DVR, etc.) do NOT have their own volume control.  But they all go through my Yamaha AVR, which DOES have a volume control that I like to think of as my "system volume control".  So I set that at 0, which allows me to make +/- adjustments intuitively. This is the one and only "system volume" adjustment I use, with my other downstream volume controls adjusted accordingly so that the AVR volume control is all I ever play with if necessary.

 

The 8 analog preamp outputs from the AVR go to the [non-HDMI] Realiser.  I felt the -19 default factory level on the Realiser was unacceptably low, and I increased that to -10.  I never further adjust the Realiser's volume, with -10 built into each of my presets.

 

The optical output from the Realiser goes to my Audio-GD NFB9 external DAC, where I've set its volume control almost to "maximum" (i.e. 46 out of 47).  Never adjust it further.

 

The XLR output from the DAC goes to the XLR inputs of my Stax SRM-007tII/SR-009.  I have the amp's volume control set at 2 o'clock, and I never adjust it further.  In fact, that's how I came to set the DAC's volume control to 46, because with each of the other upstream volume controls where I described them, and the Stax amp's volume control at 2 o'clock, I was satisfied for average source content when the DAC was at 46.

 

So I now only use the AVR to adjust "master volume", with typical content requiring volume from 0-7 to satisfy me.

 

And in that system, the Realiser has been set at -10, which seems to work great for me.

 

ah i made the mistake of setting it to 0 on the realizer, thinking that that would be the default (as opposed to the -19 you described). that was clearly what was causing all the nasty phones clipping that i was experiencing throughout the last 3 hour movie I watched. now with the amp turned up much higher and the realizer turned down, I don't get that issue anymore, although I suppose it will take awhile to choose the "correct" setting, seeing as it seems to be by trial and error and there isn't a recommended volume on the realizer.

 

edit:

it does sound odd that there isn't a recommended line level for the realizer though. does anyone know what it is? -19 as you said? I want to use my headphone amp to control the volume, but I don't know what to set the realizer to in order to achieve the best result. max vol is obviously not the way to go since even 0 was causing alot of clipping.


Edited by athenaesword - 8/8/12 at 9:40am
post #1927 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

You are probably correct.

 

In fact I even argue this same point when discussing volume settings involved with playing my portable music player (Cowon J3) through my car's audio system AUX input (from the headphone-output of the J3).  I actually have the J3's volume set at near-maximum (37-39 out of 40), feeding "maximum signal" to the AUX input.  This output level is what I feel to be kind of close to "line-level", since my J3 doesn't actually have L/R-RCA "line-level" outputs.

 

And I then only use the car's audio system volume control (i.e. "last in line") to be set as needed to control volume from the audio system as heard in the car.  This is equivalent to using the headphone amp's volume control as the "master volume" since it's "last in line", rather than any of the earlier possible volume controls and especially not feeding a lower-level signal from AVR into the Realiser to start the whole process with a signal that is below "functional line-level".

 

So you're probably right, that you probably should adjust each node along the way to "near maximum" or at least "pretty loud", including the AVR feeding the Realiser since the AVR's volume control also affects the level of its preamp outputs.

 

Now the real world side of this is that my AVR's volume is adjustable through its remote (or actually through my multi-device remote), whereas the Stax amp doesn't have a remotely-controlled volume adjustment.  So I'd actually have to get up and turn the volume control manually if I needed to... heaven forbid!  Remotely-controlled volume is a great convenience.

 

Also, when I bypass the headphone system and actually listen to TV through external speakers (also fed from the AVR), obviously using the AVR's volume control and again its remote control is a great convenience.

 

But in theory I would definitely have to agree with you, that I shouldn't be using the AVR's volume control and that it should really probably always be sitting at +6 or so.  I should really be using the Stax amp's volume control if I'm actually listening through headphones and the Realiser, for maximum sound quality result.  Seems like a minor inconvenience, given the fact that sound quality is the objective criteria.

 

You're right.


Ahh yes, I totally forgot about remote control. I see your point about convenience.

 

But even adjusting the volume via the Realiser would be better than adjusting the volume via the AVR. For your speakers, you could still adjust the volume using the Realiser in bypass mode. I am not sure how good the volume control is on the Realiser in the analog domain though.

 

I know all about that. My listening system has a Cello Palette Preamp. Basically it's a preamp with a very high quality EQ. The thing is, it does not have remote control. All the adjustments are made through an series of knobs/pots. So, Levinson had a preamp "caddy" or cart on wheels which you would put the preamp on and then you could roll the preamp to your listening position to adjust the EQ. Of course, then all your interconnect cables from all your gear and amps had to be long enough to reach to your listening position into and out of the preamp! I think it was just a scheme for Levinson to sell a ton more expensive interconnect cables...

post #1928 of 2741

I am not using an amp or preamp, just Oppo 95 as source.  I adjust the volume level using the Realiser remote and it works fine.

post #1929 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by athenaesword View Post

ah i made the mistake of setting it to 0 on the realizer, thinking that that would be the default (as opposed to the -19 you described). that was clearly what was causing all the nasty phones clipping that i was experiencing throughout the last 3 hour movie I watched. now with the amp turned up much higher and the realizer turned down, I don't get that issue anymore, although I suppose it will take awhile to choose the "correct" setting, seeing as it seems to be by trial and error and there isn't a recommended volume on the realizer.

 

I had the same really nasty clipping issues at +0db.  I run mine at -10db, which avoids the clipping issues.

post #1930 of 2741
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

For your speakers, you could still adjust the volume using the Realiser in bypass mode. I am not sure how good the volume control is on the Realiser in the analog domain though.

 

When using external speakers (e.g. just watching TV with "casual sound" in the background) instead of serious watching/listening to BluRay movies or HDTV, I have the Realiser turned OFF.  That is what enables "analog bypass" mode with the analog inputs simply "wired direct" to the analog outputs (with the L/R outputs going to the line-inputs of my DBX 14/10 EQ, whose line-output then feeds the line-input of my powered Altec-Lansing 2.1 speaker system, which has its own volume control).

 

In "analog bypass" (i.e. OFF) mode the Realiser's digital volume control (and in fact the entire Realiser electronics) is non-functional.  It has no separate analog amp or volume control.


Edited by dsperber - 8/8/12 at 2:11pm
post #1931 of 2741

Couple of questions guys: 

When I measure the HPEQ it gives me a message "gain too low", how do I raise it ? 

Is there a way to do a reset to all the configurations ?

Is it normal that when I choose any other channel than L and R with the 7.1 default preset i get no sound.

post #1932 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieWoogie View Post

Couple of questions guys: 

When I measure the HPEQ it gives me a message "gain too low", how do I raise it ? 

Is there a way to do a reset to all the configurations ?

Is it normal that when I choose any other channel than L and R with the 7.1 default preset i get no sound.

 

Make sure everything is plug-in, turn up the volume on your amp.

I don't think so.

Yes if you are using something other than 7.1ch source material.

post #1933 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieWoogie View Post

Couple of questions guys: 

When I measure the HPEQ it gives me a message "gain too low", how do I raise it ? 

Is there a way to do a reset to all the configurations ?

Is it normal that when I choose any other channel than L and R with the 7.1 default preset i get no sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

 

Make sure everything is plug-in, turn up the volume on your amp.

I don't think so.

Yes if you are using something other than 7.1ch source material.

 


Just to clarify if it's not clear, I think SillySally means turn up the volume on your headphone amp. The Realiser is saying that the output level of the headphones is too low for it to get an accurate measurement. Basically the same idea as doing the speaker "CAL" process.

 

When doing a PRIR or HPEQ, the initial level calibrations are done at full volume output from the Realiser. The pulses you hear will start off lower and progressively get louder. The Realiser "listens" to the pulses via the microphones in real-time and stops outputting pulse tones when it measures a high enough level.

 

You can tell how high or low your gain is based on the number of pulses. Only one or two pulses will result in a "gain too high" error. A lot of pulses may end up with the error "gain too low". Just keep doing the "CAL" or HPEQ process until you adjust the gain so you get maybe 5 to 8 chirps.

 

 

The problem with not hearing anything but L and R even if you are using a 7.1 PRIR and 7.1 source material is that your source is not outputting 8 channels of LPCM audio via the HDMI connector. I searched everywhere to find sources that will output 8 channels of LPCM via HDMI.

 

I can tell you that I did not find ANY media players like the Dune or PopcornHour or Western Digital WDTV that could do it. As far as I know all of them can output LPCM, but they downmix everything to 2.0 channels of LPCM. I am not sure if this is a limitation of the processor/video chip used in these boxes or what.

 

If you want 7.1 audio via HDMI, the two devices I know can do it are:

 

  1. Oppo Blu-Ray players: I am not sure if all of them can do it, but the 83,93, and 95 players can
  2. I have a $139 Panasonic BDT320 which will decode 7.1 content and send it to the Realiser as multi channel LPCM via HDMI.

 

I am sure there are other Blu-Ray players that will work. Lorr couldn't even remember what type of Blu-Ray they use for their demos but seemed to think most of them work. I think you should look to higher end models. I bought a lower end model Panasonic and it couldn't do it. Everything was 2.0 channels.

 

Let me know if you find any media players that can output 8 channels of LPCM audio.

 

I use the BDT320 as my media player since it supports USB hard drives and network playback. It just doesn't have nearly the file format support that something like a Dune or PopcornHour supports.

 

-Darin

post #1934 of 2741

Thanks Darinf. I use a laptop so no need for those type of media players.

post #1935 of 2741
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoogieWoogie View Post

Thanks Darinf. I use a laptop so no need for those type of media players.

 

Your laptop will output 8 channels of LPCM via the HDMI out? What make and model is it? I wish my laptop's HDMI could do that. All I get is 2.0 LPCM channels via HDMI on my HP laptop.

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