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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 147

post #2191 of 2712
Thread Starter 
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

 

Yes... "much to learn".

 

The input to the Realiser is where the multi-channel comes in.  The SVS processing then processes this multi-channel input "convolving it" with the PRIR "filter", which is actually a measurement of some sound room listening environment as heard by your own actual ears (based on small microphones inserted into both of your ears while sweep signals are sent individually, one at a time, to each of the speakers in the room).  The "capture" of what those microphones heard inside your ears (which is a function of the room, baffles, carpets, walls, ceilings, electronics, speakers, speaker placements, etc.) is digitally processed, with the results producing a PRIR file "filter".

 

When that PRIR "filter" is used (in reverse, you might say) to then listen to any arbitrary sound source (with any number of channels up to 8), this playback functionality converts the multi-channel input to be listened to through 2-channel stereo headphones.  It is a "virtual surround", with a simulation of the multi-channel input as heard through the magic of the DSP inside the Realiser... through headphones which are obviously only 2-channel devices.  That's what SVS is ("Smyth Virtual Surround"), and that's what the Realiser does.

 

So, you first find some listening environment that has fantastic sound.  Million dollars worth of electronics, speakers, treatments, etc.  Then you pay them some money to let you come there and take a PRIR measurement (doesn't take but an hour top, given setup/breakdown and the sweep measurement itself), which gets recorded onto the Realiser's internal memory and also onto an SD flash card for you to take home (through the SD card reader in the Realiser).  Then you also take one HPEQ measurement with whatever headphone/amp you own, which provides a second piece of information for the Realiser's EQ/DSP circuitry to be used during playback.  Then you combine the PRIR and HPEQ into a "preset" (for convenience), and use it while still in that million dollar sound environment to perform an A/B-comparison, of the real speakers vs. how it sounds in your headphones.  You will be astonished at how precise is the DUPLICATION of the exact sound/placement of those real speakers vs. what your brain thinks it's hearing when you have the headphones on.  You probably won't be able to tell the difference, and will likely ask "are the headphones on yet??  Is this the speakers??".

 

 

There are two DAC's in the Realiser: (1) one on the input side to support converting the 8-channel analog input to 8-channel digital form for DSP processing, and (2) one on the output side to support converting the 2-channel digital output of the SVS processing into analog for feeding the 2-channel stereo headphones.  It is this latter 2-channel DAC where the option exists to feed the digital output via optical to an external DAC, for feeding the 2-channel stereo headphones.  And of course if you have a discrete multi-channel LPCM source (e.g. output from a BluRay player) you can feed the HDMI input to the Realiser and avoid the input DAC process completely, with the 8-channel digital signal arriving directly for SVS processing.

 

But the output of the Realiser is always 2-channel stereo for headphones, but when you listen to it you'll swear you are in that original listening room modeled by the PRIR you're using for playback.  You will believe you're hearing multiple speakers all around you, exactly as it was in that room.  Not better than that room, not worse, but a DUPLICATE of THAT PARTICULAR ROOM.  That's the purpose of this Realiser device... TO DUPLICATE THE SOUND OF ANY GIVEN MULTI-CHANNEL LISTENING ENVIRONMENT, via 2-channel headphones.

 

So if you measure a crummy room that PRIR will sound equally crummy when you use it for playback.  Hence my suggestion to try and find a million dollar studio willing to rent an hour out to you for a PRIR measurement.

 

Oh... no discounts on price.  The only option is to leave out the entry-level Stax headphone/amp which is bundled with the Realiser, which saves the retail price of that item (Smyth doesn't make any money on the Stax headphone/amp they provide).


Edited by dsperber - 12/15/12 at 10:28pm
post #2192 of 2712

To echo what dsperber is saying, I have numerous PRIRs made by others, and 8 or so calibrated to my own ears.  The experience of listening by way of my personal PRIRs is orders of magnitude superior to listening to those made to measure other peoples' ears.

 

Even within the personalized ones, there is quite a bit of variability.  One thing I noticed is that mixing room acoustics may be great for mixing, but to my ears do not lead to  the most satisfying audiophile listening.  My PRIR made at AIX, for example, has very good localization in the sound stage, but the overall effect is rather dead (despite the fact that the end results of their mixing, namely, their 5-1 records, is excellent).  My PRIR made in a listening room at Acoustic Zen with Robert Lee's Crescendo speakers ($16,000 pr) is totally different and leads to an absorbing musical experience with all audio sources every time.

 

So if you buy a realiser, to do it justice as a music lover, try to find a wonderful listening room with great gear in it.

 

Stewart

post #2193 of 2712

It is the best thing since sliced bread for gaming. As far as DAC quality, you'll be pleased. You can keep things completely in the digital domain if you desire via using the HDMI for input (and a converter if needed, e.g., I have an AES to HDMI unit, since sadly Smyth canned plans to produce a unit with native AES I/O), and the S/PDIF for output. If you find yourself in the SF area, feel free to PM me, you can have a listen to it and compare its dac to the Antelope Eclipse 384 and Grace 906 I have in my gaming system with Genelec 8260/7271 as the surround loudspeakers. Do note, you will need, at least temporarily, some analog integration: the test signals are only on the analog outputs of the Smyth, meaning if you are using digital input only loudspeakers you'll need either an 8 channel ADC, or a simpler DAC and use a segmented setup procedure.

post #2194 of 2712

Hello All,

 

I am having a lot of difficulty trying to buy a pair of STAX 407's.  First I tried Amazon.  They said it would take 30 days from Japan.  After 30 days they cancelled the offer, saying that their policy is that if they don't have a response from a seller within 30 days they cancel.  This is alarming.  Does Stax still exist, I wondered?  So I searched online and found what looks like the American dealership.  When I tried to order,  I was told that they have no 407's (or 507's) in stock.  They would need to be back ordered.  After my experience with Amazon, which I assume was a back order, I have no confidence that these headphones are even being made any more.  Does anyone know?  If so, can you point me to a source?

 

Many thanks in advance,

 

kiritz

post #2195 of 2712
Hello kiritz, the german distributor has SR 407 in stock, the 507 is sold out. http://www.christophzingel.de/stax-kopfhoerer/stax-shop/kopfhoerer/ Look yourself. You can also try hifiaktiv.at - an Austrian dealer Good luck. Carell
post #2196 of 2712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carell View Post

Hello kiritz, the german distributor has SR 407 in stock, the 507 is sold out. http://www.christophzingel.de/stax-kopfhoerer/stax-shop/kopfhoerer/ Look yourself. You can also try hifiaktiv.at - an Austrian dealer Good luck. Carell

Thank you very much.  Checking the price, it is selling in Germany for 40% more than it is listed for in the USA dealership website!  I think I will try to find it elsewhere first.  But I appreciate your suggestion.

post #2197 of 2712

Was it staxusa.com that told you they were on backorder?  Wooaudio.com also sells them it appears.

post #2198 of 2712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiritz View Post

Thank you very much.  Checking the price, it is selling in Germany for 40% more than it is listed for in the USA dealership website!  I think I will try to find it elsewhere first.  But I appreciate your suggestion.

 

Also, don't forget about European/Japanese voltages vs. US 120vAC, on any electrical equipment you order overseas.  If they're not built for US import they will likely have the wrong voltage.

 

Also, devices intended for US sale have warranties that apply to US sale.  If you buy a European model and have it shipped here, just be aware of whatever the warranty implications are in case you ever do need repair.  You may be obligated to send it back to the European dealer for warranty service.

 

And Yama's (in Gardena, here in the LA area) IS the US importer and in the end the sole source for Stax products in the US.

post #2199 of 2712

Thank you.  This is very helpful!

post #2200 of 2712
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiritz View Post

Thank you very much.  Checking the price, it is selling in Germany for 40% more than it is listed for in the USA dealership website!  I think I will try to find it elsewhere first.  But I appreciate your suggestion.

 

It's more like 25% after you take in account shipping, VAT/customs and credit card fees.

 

Of course it might be even lower if you actually try to email for a better price. :-)


Edited by hekeli - 12/19/12 at 11:23pm
post #2201 of 2712

I've been trying Fostex TH900's with Realiser for a while now. Quite good, but the open LCD-3 are just better by nature. For music TH900's are fun, I'm torn on what to keep.

post #2202 of 2712

I took some simple RMAA measurements from Realiser (phones out in mixdown mode), specs look as promised. There is a small treble rolloff (I think this is common in some DACs). Related to that or something else, compared to ODAC the treble does seem slightly smoother (less harsh/bright, this is apparent on TH900's).

 

I could not get measurements from Bypass-mode, the output was too low (-14dB) and relating to that or something else the measurement always failed. No reason to assume it would be any worse or better though.


Edited by hekeli - 12/20/12 at 1:13am
post #2203 of 2712

Hi,

I am looking for a closed, around-the-ear, portable headphone, to listen to SACD and DVDA processed with the Realizer, and played back on Iphone/ipad, for a kind of on-the-go solution.

I have tried a Sennheiser  424 (closed)  and a lo-fi Fender Headphones (over the ear) with pretty good spatial reproduction. On the other hand, got underwhelming results with several IEMs (no HPEQ loaded); with the Unique Melody IEM being the worst offender, go figure!.

 

 I had considered the Stax SR-001 MK2, but I really need a headphone with great isolation and minimum leakage.

What would you guys recommend as a transportable solution, rather than portable;  say, around $300?

Maybe the Mad dogs?

Thanks in advance

Jose

post #2204 of 2712

From what I've gathered, diffuse-field equalized headphones (such as most Staxes) tend to work well with the Realiser.


So you could try a Sennheiser HD 250 Linear II if you can find one since it is long time discontinued.

This is also a full-sized headphone that is diffuse-field equalized. It is a bit bulky but isolates really well and I found it to be pretty ok with movies even in stereo, hopefully I can try it one day with a Realiser as well.

post #2205 of 2712

Is it possible to connect small active speakers (e.g. Audioengine2) to the realiser outputs?

Sometimes (seldom) i want to watch digital TV without headphones. I have the Audioengines2 connected to a logitech squeezebox, -perfect sound.

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