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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 146

post #2176 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
Note that these new Oppo players no longer have component video outputs. But they still do retain multi-channel and 2-channel stereo analog audio output if you want to make use of it.  But they also have Cinavia circuitry (advanced anti-piracy watermarking), so just be aware of that.

 

Nevertheless, the HDMI inputs to these Oppo players seems to be the solution we've been looking for, to extend HDMI input to the Realiser to other source devices other than just a BluRay player.

 

Great news!

That's great news! However, those Oppo players are really expensive. And for me Cinavia is a total pain! You can't rip your movies to a server or hard drive if the movie has Cinavia. You have to play it from the original disc.

 

I am happy that the Dune HD Max does not have Cinavia and I know it's not as good as the Oppo's, but it is half the price...

post #2177 of 2713

The ideal solutions for the low low price of $1200 wink.gif    

But it's certainly far better than nothing at all.  At least we have the option now!

post #2178 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jand View Post

The ideal solutions for the low low price of $1200 wink.gif    

But it's certainly far better than nothing at all.  At least we have the option now!

 

What's $1200?  The BDP-103 is $500, same as was the cost of the prior BDP-93 and BDP-83?   This model provides all that is needed to support external HDMI input (from a DVR, etc.) and send LPCM via HDMI to the Realiser.  For me, that's all I require.

 

If you don't need "audiophile capability" (e.g. XLR outputs directly from the player, superior internal DAC chip, etc.) there's no need to pay $1200 for the BDP-105 (it was only $1000 for the BDP-95).  And since I have my own external DAC (for taking optical out from the Realiser, and then feeding XLR to my STAX amp/headphone) I have no need for XLR or DAC in the player.  The BDP-103 would be a perfect solution, and reasonably priced if you were going to upgrade your player anyway for 3D, 4K, etc..


Edited by dsperber - 12/13/12 at 6:06am
post #2179 of 2713

I was thinking the OP needed the optical input for some reason, as you mentioned it wasn't included with the 103.  But it seems like most applications for which you'd want to use the optical, it would likely be possible to use HDMI as well, so you're right that the 103 would probably be more than sufficient.  Does anyone own a 103 or 105 and could test this out just to have 100% confirmation?

post #2180 of 2713

BIG BIG SURPRICE!

I just got my new Harman Kardon 260 avr. I bought it because it has analog multich. outputs.

Much better! It puts out PCM on HDMI! Edit: Unfortunately the output is only 2chanel pcm (I just realised the "exit" button on the realiser remote).

I think its the only avr-reciever which is capable of that.

 

The price of a new HK 260 in Germany is very reasonable (299€ at amazon).


Edited by mirohh - 12/15/12 at 5:02am
post #2181 of 2713
So just to be clear, you're saying the receiver will take in a bitstreamed dolby digital or dts signal, decode it, and output it as multichannel lpcm?
post #2182 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirohh View Post

BIG BIG SURPRICE!

I just got my new Harman Kardon 260 avr. I bought it because it has analog multich. outputs.

Much better! It puts out PCM on HDMI!

I think its the only avr-reciever which is capable of that.

 

I've looked through the Owner's Manual PDF, and I see nothing that indicates this AVR will actually decode DD/DTS input via HDMI (say from a DVR) and deliver the output in LPCM form.

 

Now if your source BluRay player is set to deliver decoded LPCM from its HDMI output, then the AVR will of course simply pass it on through untouched and out its own HDMI outputs.  This is very different than actually doing the decoding a bitstream-form "original" (i.e. DD/DTS) still encoded digital audio stream which must be decoded in the AVR and then delivered out either in analog or digital form.

 

What page in the Owner's Manual is the description of what you say it does?  Again, decoding input DD/DTS and delivering the result is very different from accepting already decoded LPCM (from a BluRay player) and just passing it on through.

 

And besides, it only has one HDMI output, and the manual says: Connect this jack to the HDMI input on a compatible HDMI-equipped video display.  This is for video via HDMI, not really for audio via HDMI (although if it is implemented in the AVR you can "pass-through" HDMI input audio to HDMI output, to feed a downstream HDMI-connected device capable of accepting multi-channel audio input via HDMI).  I see no setting described in the manual to activate or deactivate this HDMI pass-through, which is of course critical to feeding LPCM audio out to the Realiser.

 

Finally, I mention again my own experience with several different Yamaha AVR's, all of which purported to faciliate "HDMI audio pass-through".  In fact, only the older AVR's with a single HDMI output (intended for a display device) actually truly passed-through multi-channel LPCM out (if you enabled that "HDMI pass-through" option in Settings).  The newer models, with TWO HDMI outputs (one intended for video and the other intended for audio, or perhaps to feed two zones), well these actually did NOT pass through the multi-channel LPCM but incorrectly only passed through the L/R channels (stripped out from the original multi-channel LPCM source).

 

So... I know you said it does what it does, but I'm skeptical.  Can you reference the Owner's Manual page describing this feature?

 

 

NOTE: mention of "PCM out over HDMI" is most likely a description of 2-channel PCM stereo since the one HDMI output is targeted for a display device (which almost universally cannot accept multi-channel audio input, either encoded or decoded), not multi-channel LPCM.  And certainly there is no mention in the manual of accepting DD5.1 or DTS5.1 input (via HDMI or optical or coax) and decoding it, and then delivering the decoded multi-channel LPCM out via HDMI.


Edited by dsperber - 12/14/12 at 3:27pm
post #2183 of 2713

Since the realiser has no dts etc. decoder, decoding must be done by the avr. I  have no reference in the manual, -but it works. The blurayplayer and the mediastreamer are connected by hdmi with the avr. From the avr hdmi-out the realiser is connected by a hdmi cabel. From the realiser hdmi out the beamer is connected. Surround sound and picture work that way.

My devices are - Panasonic BTD320 blurayplayer - Popcorn Hour A-400 mediastreamer - Harman Kardon 260 avr - Realiser A8 - JVC HD550 beamer.

post #2184 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirohh View Post

Since the realiser has no dts etc. decoder, decoding must be done by the avr.

 

I don't doubt that the AVR is decoding.  That what an AVR will do if you feed it DD/DTS.  But I'm suspicious it's putting out only 2-channel PCM stereo.

 

The question is what is it putting out on HDMI? And you're sure you've got the Realiser in HDMI input mode, rather than analog input mode (MENU - MODE on the remote, to pick the input)?

 

If you push the EXIT button on the Realiser's remote the display on the Realiser will change to 8-channel level meters. So you can actually see if you're getting multi-channel or only 2-channels.  If you're looking at the Realiser display in this VU-meter mode while selecting either of your two source devices into the AVR, and you're feeding "bitstream" (original format) from both of your source devices, and you've got visible action on all channels (or at least the 5.1 channels), and if you've got the Realiser in HDMI-input mode with its input obviously coming from the HDMI output of the AVR, then there's no question the AVR is decoding to LPCM and putting it out on HDMI.

 

But why wouldn't it describe any of this in the manual... since being the only AVR on the planet that does this, at least that we here know of?

post #2185 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

I don't doubt that the AVR is decoding.  That what an AVR will do if you feed it DD/DTS.  But I'm suspicious it's putting out only 2-channel PCM stereo.

 


 

Dear dsperber, I apologize. Unfortunately you are right. The avr output is 2channel stereo. I just edited my original post. It was too good to be true.

I intend to keep the Harman Kardon 260. I have connected the Realiser to the multich. analog outputs of the HK 260. This works well and the video pass-through of the realiser also works.

Is the hdmi input of the Realiser much better than the analog input? I use th Realiser only for watching film.

post #2186 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirohh View Post

Dear dsperber, I apologize. Unfortunately you are right. The avr output is 2channel stereo. I just edited my original post. It was too good to be true.

I intend to keep the Harman Kardon 260. I have connected the Realiser to the multich. analog outputs of the HK 260. This works well and the video pass-through of the realiser also works.

Is the hdmi input of the Realiser much better than the analog input? I use th Realiser only for watching film.

 

Not to rub salt into the wound, but it really "was too good to be true".  This is a very significant feature for an AVR to have had, and not to see any mention of it in the PDF owner's manual seemed impossible.  There's also no mention of "HDMI pass-through" (for multi-channel audio, from any of its HDMI inputs to its one HDMI output), so I doubt that exists either.  Video pass-through... of course (as you say you get video out the other side of the Realiser, from it's own HDMI pass-through feature).  Multi-channel digital audio pass-through on the AVR?  Not unless they built it to do that, and wrote about it in the manual.

 

Anyway, not to worry.  While I think most of us would say the Realiser sounds "marginally superior" using HDMI input vs. using analog input, the difference is honestly not dramatic.  Yes, the HDMI approach obviously does eliminate two otherwise needed conversions for the analog approach (first the digital to analog conversion in the AVR, and second the reverse analog to digital conversion in the Realiser to begin the SVS process), and that's got to be a good thing.  But if the D-to-A converter in your AVR is good or excellent, and it's already acknowledged that the A-to-D converter in the Realiser is superb, then the overall results of using HDMI vs. analog will be small, and may not even be distinguishable... depending on the quality of your headphone/amp.

 

And at the other end of the Realiser, the output D-to-A converter in the unit (which feeds the headphone outputs) is once again superb.  So even if you do decide to use the optical output instead to feed an external DAC (say, to feed your headphone/amp via XLR instead of RCA), once again the difference is minor... not dramatic.  Noticeable, probably.  Dramatic?  No.  Again, the D-to-A converter in the Realiser for its headphone output is superb.

 

Of course if you tried any A/B-comparison experiment for any of these combinations and methods, you need to be sure that you have your levels (volume) carefully adjusted so that all of the paths you're comparing sound "equally LOUD".  We all tend to rate "louder is better", no matter how hard we try not to.  It's just not possible to compare sound quality fairly when A is low and B is high.

 

In my own opinion, HDMI vs. analog on the input side provides a small improvement.  Optical/DAC vs. analog headphone output on the output side once again provides a small improvement.  I myself upgraded my Realiser to support HDMI, and also acquired a high-end external DAC... believing these surely had to provide improvements to my system.  And they both did, but minor.  The "price/performance" ratio was a bit unjustified, to be honest.

 

However where you will REALLY GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH on the equipment side is to invest in a truly superb high-end headphone/amp combination.  Having a superb headphone/amp will make EVERYTHING sound MUCH BETTER, not just from the multi-channel Realiser (assuming you have a terrific personalized PRIR you love), but also for just 2-channel music as well.  Of course high-end headphone/amp equipment is super-expensive, but it should probably also be considered a "once in a lifetime" investment, as you'll have this equipment for what... 15-20 years??  I know I spent $2500 (which I thought was super-expensive back at that time) on a Stax SR-Omega and SRM-T1S amp back in 1995 and am still using it 18 years later.  I recently splurged for a new SR-009 and SRM-007tII amp, and the improvement over what I thought was my amazing Omega setup IS HUGE!  Wouldn't have believed it possible to be that dramatic a difference, but these SR-009 headphones are astounding.  So I feel it was definitely worth the money... to finally see A DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENT IN SOUND QUALITY, FOR EVERYTHING YOU LISTEN TO.

 

Bottom line: using analog input on the Realiser (which I do 99% of the time, since I use mine 99% for HDTV via analog, and 1% for BluRay movies via HDMI) is 100% perfectly fine, and causes no obviously deficient result at all.

 

So this brings us back to the new discovery that Oppo's BDP-103/105 BluRay player external HDMI input circuitry in fact DOES go through its own internal decode->LPCM (for DD/DTS of the external HDMI input) just like a BluRay movie disc would go through, so that the audio output on HDMI2 is truly multi-channel LPCM for these external HDMI inputs just like for a BluRay movie disc.  So by upgrading your current BluRay player to one of these new Oppo's and feeding your source device (e.g. DVR) to the HDMI input of the Oppo and the decoded LPCM HDMI-2 output of the Oppo to the Realiser's HDMI input, you have thus now bought 100% HDMI input to the Realiser for BluRay as well as DVR/HDTV. And you got a fantastic BluRay player (with superb video output on HDMI-1) in the deal (for $500 retail) with two HDMI outputs (so you won't have to use the HDMI pass-through of the Realiser to feed your display device).

 

In other words, the Oppo now provides the decode->LPCM functionality we'd have preferred to see generalized in an AVR, but at least its HDMI input provides this functionality SOMEWHERE in the connection path so that we can make use of it.  And you get a terrific BluRay/universal player in the deal, for what seems to be a very reasonable price of $500.

 

I've just about sold myself on this idea (although the loss of component video output on these new Oppo players, tied to their obligation to implement Cinavia technology, does not go unnoticed).


Edited by dsperber - 12/15/12 at 11:41am
post #2187 of 2713

Can anybody comment on the Realiser from a pure stereo dac perspective-particularly againt some higher end offerings (i.e. DP1, M51, Calyx etc)? Assuming of course the Smyth can be used that way, and turning all other processing off.

 

-Daniel

post #2188 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Can anybody comment on the Realiser from a pure stereo dac perspective-particularly againt some higher end offerings (i.e. DP1, M51, Calyx etc)? Assuming of course the Smyth can be used that way, and turning all other processing off.

 

-Daniel


Interesting question. Although I am not sure why you would want to listen to music through headphones without the Realiser processing. ;-)

 

I can't answer your question, but there is a BYPASS function on the Realiser that will feed the input audio (via HDMI in your case since you asked about it being used as a DAC) and output just the two channel audio to the analog headphone/line outputs.

 

But, I am guessing based on previous posts in this thread including dsperber just above, that the Realiser might do pretty well as a simple DAC. Is it as good as other $3K DAC's on the market? Who knows. I doubt it. But having the Realiser processing AND a great DAC built-in seems like an advantage over just a DAC.

post #2189 of 2713

Well I'm mainly interested in the Realiser for 5.1/7.1 games and movies honestly. And I'm sure once I hear it, I'll love the 2-channel setup as well with the right PRIR. I was asking about the straight dac aspect mainly as I'm curious if it can compete with my DP1, though I would doubt it. I am a little confused how/why you could use an external stereo dac with the Smyth while still getting the 7.1 processing fed through a stereo dac. Much to learn I suppose, most of which will become clearer once I get my hands on one (thinking early February). Where's a good place to buy-any discounts?

 

-Daniel

post #2190 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by BournePerfect View Post

Well I'm mainly interested in the Realiser for 5.1/7.1 games and movies honestly. And I'm sure once I hear it, I'll love the 2-channel setup as well with the right PRIR. I was asking about the straight dac aspect mainly as I'm curious if it can compete with my DP1, though I would doubt it. I am a little confused how/why you could use an external stereo dac with the Smyth while still getting the 7.1 processing fed through a stereo dac. Much to learn I suppose, most of which will become clearer once I get my hands on one (thinking early February). Where's a good place to buy-any discounts?

 

-Daniel

Hi Daniel,

 

I imagine your DP1 is a better DAC than the built-in Realiser DAC. However, if you purchase a Realiser, you can use your DP1 as your DAC instead of the Realiser DAC.

 

Think of it this way, the Realiser "converts" multichannel audio into two channel audio. So you only need 2 channel playback, which any DAC will do. The Realiser is taking the sound of 2 or 6 or 8 speakers and sending the audio to your ears that your ears would hear IF you were sitting in the room with all the speakers. So you only need two channels since your ears are only two channels.

 

Make sense?

 

For gaming, I have never tried it for gaming, but you have to get the multi-channel audio into the Realiser. I know you can do it from a PS3, but I am not sure if XBox or other gaming consoles will output multi channel LPCM via HDMI for the Realiser. For PC gaming, you would have to have a sound/video card with HDMI output that can output multi channel LPCM. Or you can always go analog with a relatively cheap sound card that has analog 7.1 outputs. I think those are pretty common.

 

-Darin

 

P.S. Forgot to mention...Discounts? Never seen any. I tried with several of the Smyth Dealers and no one was willing to negotiate. But can't hurt to try.


Edited by darinf - 12/15/12 at 9:20pm
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