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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 148

post #2206 of 2687
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirohh View Post

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.

 

Depends on your setup, but in my case I have the L/R main outputs of the Realiser going to the L/R inputs of a 2.1 Altec-Lansing speaker system for just exactly this same purpose.  And you also need to be using analog inputs (specifically L/R) for this usage rather than HDMI input (since the Realiser must be powered off to make use of this approach).

 

You need to power off the Realiser, which activates "analog bypass mode", where the L/R analog inputs are simply shunted on through to the L/R analog outputs (like via a straight wire, which is actually true, as you can hear the relay inside click when you power off the unit).

 

That's all there is to it.  Assuming your source (e.g. AVR) is putting out decoded 2-channel stereo on the L/R line (or preamp) outputs feeding the L/R inputs of the Realiser, when you power off the Realiser (which you'd do anyway if you didn't need to listen to headphones) you will then pass that same 2-channel stereo input on through to the L/R main Realiser outputs and on to your powered speakers for listening that way.

 

That's exactly what I do.  Actually... in my own case I send the L/R output through an external EQ for tone control before reaching the speakers, but conceptually it's simply L/R main outputs of the Realiser to L/R inputs of your powered speakers with the Realiser powered off.  Note there is ZERO amplification done by the Realiser in this powered-off "analog bypass mode", which is why volume is affected by your source/AVR volume levels and also your powered speakers volume control.

post #2207 of 2687
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

Depends on your setup, but in my case I have the L/R main outputs of the Realiser going to the L/R inputs of a 2.1 Altec-Lansing speaker system for just exactly this same purpose.  And you also need to be using analog inputs (specifically L/R) for this usage rather than HDMI input (since the Realiser must be powered off to make use of this approach).

 

There's no need to shut down Realiser (in fact I never do, it's a hassle). Doesn't matter if you are using HDMI or analog, simply use the Bypass button. It will output the same stuff in main L/R regardless.

post #2208 of 2687
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post

 

There's no need to shut down Realiser (in fact I never do, it's a hassle). Doesn't matter if you are using HDMI or analog, simply use the Bypass button. It will output the same stuff in main L/R regardless.


If you don't power the Realiser off then you're not using "analog bypass mode", which is L/R-input shunted to L/R-output with zero internal processing.

 

If you leave the Realiser on and you are using HDMI input, you obviously must be going through a D-to-A conversion in order to put out analog on L/R-output.  This is not the same as "analog bypass" which does nothing.  Also, in "active bypass" mode the Realiser applies attenuation of analog input to the output, and its volume control is active.  This is not the same as "analog bypass" which does nothing.

 

You are describing "active bypass".

 

Personally, I leave my Realiser off/standby when not in use.  So if I want to listen to TV through speakers I just turn on the TV and source, and power on my external speakers.  No need to fool with the Realiser in any way at all, except when I want to listen through headphones.

 

=============================================================

 

The Realiser has an active analogue bypass function when the unit is on via the PASS key and TILT
function, to allow for speaker/headphone comparisons. The active bypass applies 6 dB of attenuation
between analogue input and analogue output when the volume control is set to 0 dB.

 

When the Realiser is off or in standby, a relay connects the analogue inputs directly to the analogue
outputs and all circuitry is out of the loop -- a fully passive bypass with no attenuation. This allows the
Realiser to remain in the analogue chain without detriment to sound quality, if that is the most
convenient wiring for the system.

post #2209 of 2687
Quote:
Originally Posted by padam View Post

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.

thanks Padam, I will try to find one of those.

Have any one else tried a closed back headphone with the Realizer that makes the trick?

thanks,

Jose

post #2210 of 2687

Quote (where the heck is the quote-button?):

Depends on your setup, but in my case I have the L/R main outputs of the Realiser going to the L/R inputs of a 2.1 Altec-Lansing speaker system for just exactly this same purpose.  And you also need to be using analog inputs (specifically L/R) for this usage rather than HDMI input (since the Realiser must be powered off to make use of this approach).

 

Thank you, -you have exactly the same setup as mine. I have connected my realiser analog to the avr (Harman Kardon 260, has analog multichannel inputs and outputs). For  TV I will use the Audioengine2.

post #2211 of 2687
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post


If you don't power the Realiser off then you're not using "analog bypass mode", which is L/R-input shunted to L/R-output with zero internal processing.

 

Right.. though some relay does click even with that, so it's confusing.

 

I guess if you actually use analog inputs for Realiser processing, then go for it.

post #2212 of 2687

Hi Everyone,

 

I just upgraded to the STAX 407 from the entry level I got with the Realiser purchase.  Now I am looking for a better amp to go with the better phones.  So if anyone has one for sale that is superior to the entry level amp, please let me know.  BTW, the 407s are definitely superior to the originals.  I like them a lot.

 

Stewart

post #2213 of 2687
Thread Starter 

I'm still in the "early learning" stage of getting used to my new equipment: (a) delivered but still-to-be-installed Panny 65VT50, (b) new Oppo BDP-103 which has external HDMI inputs replacing my BDP-93 which gets re-purposed at a second location, and (c) dual-HDMI Yamaha RX-V867 swapped with my single-HDMI RX-V863, in order to feed video to both the 65VT50 as well as my Sony 34XBR960.

 

As part of the project, I finally have connected a pair of nice B&W speakers to the L/R speaker outputs of the V867, to actually have decent sound from stereo speakers if I don't want to use headphones.  Previously I had an Altec-Lansing 2.1 speakers system connected to the line-out of my Stax amp, fed through the Realiser in analog bypass mode (i.e with it powered off)... and actually I'd love to still have that capability (which depends on an analog connection from AVR to the Realiser, not HDMI).

 

My plan was to take advantage of the HDMI input capability of the BDP-103, putting out decoded LPCM over HDMI for that external HDMI input just as it does for BluRay discs.  And this would allow me to use the Realiser with HDMI input for my other non-BluRay sources (i.e. Linksys DMA2100 Media Center Extender from my HTPC, and JVC DT100U DVHS VCR).  That really was the goal, to get to an all-HDMI environment for the Realiser no matter what the source.

 

 

Well, things aren't working out quite the way I'd hoped.  A number of specific problems have surfaced:

 

(1) Connecting the DMA2100 to HDMI-1-in of the BDP-103 which then has HDMI-1-out of the BDP-103 going to HDMI-1-in of the V867 which then has HDMI-2-out of the V867 going to my Sony XBR960 (again, the 65VT50 has not yet been installed, but it will be connected to HDMI01 out of the V867) is very unstable.  The HDMI handshakes involved in this 4-device HDMI chain are really problematic, and sometimes it takes 10 minutes to fool around until I finally manage to "coax" things to behave as intended and actually have video and sound.

 

(2) There's no way to turn off the B&W speakers now fed from L/R outputs of the V867, while still retaining analog output from the preamp outputs of the V867 to feed the Realiser via analog (if I want to).  There is no "selective MUTE for the speakers only" while leaving the preamp outputs unaffected and still controlled by VOLUME.

 

(3) When the B&W speakers are active, the VOLUME level of the V867 is very low (to achieve normal listening volume from the speakers), which unfortunately also makes the preamp output levels very low.  In other words normal sound volume from the speakers actually corresponds to about the 50% volume setting on the V867, which feeds the Realiser analog at what really is too low a level.  I guess when I had no speakers I had no problem turning the VOLUME up on my V863 much higher than 50%, and saw proper levels arriving analog at the Realiser for correct headphone and/or Altec-Lansing volume.

 

(4) Active bypass mode on the Realiser really is not good, because of the attenuation applied by the Realiser to the L/R main outputs going to speakers. This aggravates the volume issue even more than it is already problematic.  There's no attenuation in analog bypass mode, but I didn't want to have sound coming out both the B&W speakers as well as the Altec-Lansing speakers (connected to the Stax headphone amp)... however there's no way I can figure out to MUTE the speakers only.

 

(5) With the BDP-103's HDMI-2 connected to the HDMI input of the Realiser (so that I can feed decoded LPCM to the Realiser for BluRay movies as well as for the external HDMI inputs to the BDP-103), there's no way to produce 2-channel stereo to either set of speakers.  While the V867 can do that, the Oppo cannot.  The Oppo simply delivers true multi-channel LPCM to the Realiser through HDMI-2 out.  So there's really no way to listen to 2-channel stereo through either set of speakers when the source (i.e. BluRay disc or DD5.1 HDTV from the DMA2100 through external HDMI-1 in to the BDP-103) is multi-channel, since it is the BDP-103 who's in charge of feeding audio to the Realiser through HDMI-2 out.

 

 

I guess in worst case I can just pull out the four speaker wires from the back of the V867 when I want to listen through headphones, or want to listen through the Altec-Lansing speakers (so that I can turn up the VOLUME on the V867 feeding the Realiser analog with the Realiser powered off).  And then put them back in if/when I really want to listen through the B&W speakers.

 

I only wish there was a way to selectively MUTE the speakers with a button-push, while keeping the preamp outputs unaffected.  I'd probably even consider getting a different AVR if that capability were available.

 

But really, the problem with using the BDP-103 as a "decoder that puts out LPCM over HDMI" is that it doesn't offer a 2-channel stereo option from multi-channel source of any kind.  So there's no way to get 2-channel sound out of speakers, as I used to when decoding through the AVR and feeding the Realiser with analog, and choosing 2-channel stereo instead of STRAIGHT and having the Realiser in analog bypass mode.. 

 

Anyway, things are definitely not stable yet.  And I would hardly call any alternate configuration I've tried "production".  None are acceptable so far.

 

Of course the real thrill will come when I finally get the 65VT50 up and running (and calibrated), but for now I'm just struggling with the audio/video "wiring diagram" trying to find some arrangement that gives me most of what I wanted.  I didn't need a BDP-103 if I change my mind about routing the DMA2100 through it and instead revert to the way I used to have it with the V863, namely the DMA2100 and DT100U both going through the AVR which feeds the Realiser via analog, with only the BluRay player feeding the Realiser via HDMI.

 

 

Quite a battle so far.


Edited by dsperber - 1/5/13 at 7:00pm
post #2214 of 2687
Thread Starter 

Ok.  Took some playing around to figure out just what I really could and could not do, but I think I understand the situation now.

 

If the Realiser is powered on, connected to HDMI-2 out of the BDP-103, then the  "split A/V" setting of the BDP-103 applies.  This sends only video out HDMI-1 and only audio out HDMI-2.  HDMI-1 out of the BDP-103 goes to the AVR, where it is then relayed on to the two HDTVs (via HDMI-1 and HDMI-2 of the AVR).  And HDMI-2 out of the BDP-103 goes to the Realiser.  In this state, there is no audio reaching the AVR, but only LPCM audio reaching the Realiser for listening through headphones.  NO sound will come out of the B&W speakers connected to L/R out of the AVR, since no sound is going into the AVR through that HDMI connection from the BDP-103's HDMI-1 out.

 

However if the Realiser is powered off, now the "split A/V" setting DOES NOT APPLY since only one (HDMI-1) of the two HDMI outputs of the BDP-103 is in use.  In this case that one active HDMI connection from BDP-103's HDMI-1 to HDMI-1 input to the AVR will carry BOTH audio (decoded multi-channel LPCM) and video.  So the video once again gets relayed on to the HDTV's, but the audio is now seen by the AVR and can be handled by the AVR.  So you can choose "2-channel stereo" instead of "straight", and that 2-channel audio will go to the B&W speakers connected to L/R output of the AVR.

 

At the same time as the two B&W speakers are in use for 2-channel stereo, the L/R preamp outputs are also active and are feeding the L/R main inputs of the Realiser which is powered off and thus in "analog bypass mode".  Unfortunately, because of the low-ish VOLUME setting on the AVR to produce a comfortable listening level from the B&W speakers, the preamp output level going to the Realiser is equally low.  And that means the Altec-Lansing speakers which are on the other side of the line-in/line-out of the Stax headphone amp (connected to the L/R main outputs of the Realiser which become active in "analog bypass mode") are barely heard, at least not without really cranking up their volume.

 

But even if I could hear the Altec-Lansing speakers better (if I wanted to use them, because they are located properly for my XBR960 whereas the B&W speakers are located properly for the 65VT50... whenever it finally gets installed), I wouldn't want BOTH the Altec-Lansing speakers putting out sound as well as the B&W speakers.

 

So although I've now figured out that I really CAN get the 2-channel stereo I want out of either pair of speakers, I'm really right back where I started in that there is no built-in way to actually MUTE the B&W speakers other than simply pulling the speaker wires out of the AVR.  That truly is the only way I can limit speaker sound to the Altec-Lansing speakers.  And not having sound come from the B&W speakers also allows me to turn the VOLUME up on the AVR so that I don't have to turn the volume up on the powered Altec-Lansing speakers.

 

Looks like I'm just going to have to manually pull out the speaker wires and put them back in, depending on whether or not I want to hear sound from the B&W speakers (from the AVR) or from the Altec-Lansing speakers (through "analog bypass mode" of the Realiser, feeding line-in/line-out of the Stax headphone amp).

 

Or... I could just forget about using the Altec-Lansing speakers entirely and simply get used to now listening to the B&W speakers all the time even when watching on the XBR960, even if they're not really physically at the L/R of the XBR960 as the Altec-Lansing speakers are.

 

Hmmm.  There's still the "stability" problem, where the DMA2100 performs MUCH better (in terms of HDMI stability) when connected directly to its own HDMI input on the AVR, rather than going through the external HDMI-1 input on the BDP-103.  The latter setup allows me to listen to HDTV via HDMI to the Realiser (as decoded to LPCM by the BDP-103), while the former setup does not (since the decoding is by the AVR and output is preamp analog to the Realiser).  But it's really a matter of stability vs. flakiness.  Also, using the BDP-103 requires that it be powered on along with the DMA2100 when I'm watching HDTV, whereas going straight to the AVR lets the BDP-103 be powered off when I'm watching HDTV,

 

All this just to feed the Realiser all-HDMI.  I'm not sure it's really worth all the new troubles at this point, as the analog input to the Realiser still sounds superb... virtually indistinguishable from HDMI, really.

 

I'll just have to keep using it, to finally decide what I want to end up with.  But it does look like I'm going to be pulling out speaker wires when I don't want to hear the B&W speakers.


Edited by dsperber - 1/5/13 at 9:34pm
post #2215 of 2687

Just as an FYI - if it's HDMI protocol (as opposed to using HDMI connectors for some non-standard use), there must be video. It is usually just "black" signal in setups like your example, but it is there. Smyth confusingly says something like "...video if present..." in the manual, but I'm sure they just dumbed it down meaning "if there's a movin' pitcher showin'"... 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

If the Realiser is powered on, connected to HDMI-2 out of the BDP-103, then the  "split A/V" setting of the BDP-103 applies.  This sends only video out HDMI-1 and only audio out HDMI-2.  

post #2216 of 2687
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

 

  But it does look like I'm going to be pulling out speaker wires when I don't want to hear the B&W speakers.

I have the same problem with my Harman Kardon 260, -no selective mute.

I got a simple cheap speaker switch.

 

Now I can manually switch the stereo speakers off when I listen to the realiser (analog connected).

post #2217 of 2687
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirohh View Post

I have the same problem with my Harman Kardon 260, -no selective mute.

I got a simple cheap speaker switch.

 

Now I can manually switch the stereo speakers off when I listen to the realiser (analog connected).

 

Excellent idea.  I've taken your suggestion and ordered a similar speaker switch:

 

 

I only have 1 pair of speakers, but this inexpensive switch which can support 2 pairs should work fine for my needs.  It provides a load to the amp even when the speakers are OFF on the switch, which is good since I will have the volume on the AVR up higher when wanting to use the Altec-Lansing speakers out of the Realiser (in analog bypass mode).

 

It's small (7" wide by 4" deep, and 2" tall at the back sloped downward toward the front).  Should fit fine on one side of the top of one of my components.

 

I'll just need to prepare two sets of speaker wires to connect the pair of speakers from AVR to the switch, and then from switch to the speakers.  No support for banana plugs at the switch, but I can live with push-in open wire connections here.

 

 

PERFECT!  One more gizmo to solve a particular need, but it seems like the perfect workaround for the problem.  "There's a right tool for everything."

 

Note that I had some "false-hope" when I thought I might be able to use Zone2 (extra pair of L/R speaker outputs) from the Yamaha AVR, instead of the primary main zone L/R outputs as I currently have it connected.  Zone2 can be managed separately from the AVR and can be activated or deactivated, as I really want to do currently with the main zone speakers if I only could (although I'm only using L/R from that main zone).

 

Unfortunately that idea failed because Zone2 is simply for a second audio-only use, and its available choice of input sources is limited to the audio-only inputs to the AVR.  You cannot just duplicate the L/R audio output from the HDMI1-6 inputs, sending that L/R audio from HDMI1-6 over to the Zone2 L/R output... no, that would have been too convenient and perfect an option to think of!  So Zone2 is for audio-only, with no "duplicate main zone L/R" option available.

 

Given all of these other obstacles, it certainly seems more reasonable to have an ON/OFF switch for the always-connected speakers (while still keeping an 8ohm load visible to the AVR's amp) than going around back to pull/insert speaker banana plugs in the AVR's L/R speaker terminals.

 

Thanks VERY MUCH for this idea.

 

 

Also, I've gotten more adept at turning on the four devices (in the HDMI relay chain from DMA2100 through BDP-103 through V867 to XBR960) in proper sequence in order to get video out of the HDTV and audio either (a) from the Realiser when it is powered on, so that the BDP-103 "A/V Split" option activates so that HDMI-1 provides video-only to the V867 and HDMI-2 provides LPCM audio-only to the Realiser, or (b) from either B&W speakers from the V867, or Altec-Lansing speakers through the powered-off Realiser via analog preamp outputs of the V867.  The "HDMI delicacy" of this setup is certainly a bit of a nuisance.

 

So it's not just on/off or push-a-switch easy, but it's not horrible either.  I can live with it, given the HDMI complexity of this multi-device relay and the notorious fragility of HDMI handshakes when more than just two devices are involved.  And besides, once I get it stable and running fine as long as I don't need to turn off the source device or change sources or change outputs, it will remain stable and running fine.

 

Mostly this allows me to now use HDMI input to the Realiser (when I do want to listen through headphones) for ALL of my sources, not just BluRay but now also HDTV.  This was, after all, the sole reason I invested in the BDP-103.  And (so I argued to myself, to convince myself it was worth the money) this has to be "better" than analog input to the Realiser (which of course I know is really virtually identical in sound quality to HDMI input, because of the excellent A-to-D circuitry in the Realiser).

 

So... it's done.

 

 

Note that I don't have your particular problem with my setup, because all audio output from all of my sources is now coming from the BDP-103 via HDMI, since all digital sources now plug into the BDP-103's external HDMI inputs, rather than going to the HDMI inputs of my AVR.  So all audio decoding for all sources to LPCM output via HDMI is done by the BDP-103.  And the decision of whether to deliver that LPCM audio out over either HDMI-1 or HDMI-2 (but not both) is controlled by the "A/V Split" feature of the BDP-103.

 

The LPCM audio output from the BDP-103 is delivered ONLY out of just via HDMI-2 (along with no video on HDMI-2) if the Realiser is powered on (because I want to listen through headphones), with NO AUDIO going out over HDMI-1 (which is thus carrying only video in this situation) to the AVR.  So when listening through Realiser and headphones there is no speaker problem from the AVR to contend with, because there is no LPCM audio getting to the AVR via HDMI-1 out from the BDP-103.  Only video is going out over HDMI-1 to the AVR.  This happens automatically, because of the "A/V Split" feature of the BDP-103 and controlled by whether I have the Realiser powered on or not.

 

So it's only when the Realiser is powered off that my own speaker problem arises.  In this case the LCPM audio output from the BDP-103 is delivered along with video out over HDMI-1 to the AVR, where it now can be converted to 2-channel stereo by the AVR and simultaneously (a) sent out over the preamp outputs going to the analog inputs of the Realiser (which is powered off) and on to the Altec-Lansing speakers, as well as (b) sent out to the B&W speakers now connected to L/R out of the AVR but soon to go through this new ON/OFF switch as well.

 

So in speaker mode, I can suppress the B&W speakers from the new ON/OFF switch if I want to use the Altec-Lansing speakers.  And I can suppress the Altec-Lansing speakers by simply powering them off if I want to use the B&W speakers.  In both speaker situations (which requires that be Realiser be powered off), I can designate 2-channel stereo on the AVR and use its VOLUME control (although the powered Altec-Lansing speakers also have their own additional volume control if needed, although their standard setting is generally acceptable).


Edited by dsperber - 1/6/13 at 3:37pm
post #2218 of 2687
Thread Starter 

Well, with the assistance of someone on the "867 Owner's Thread" over on AVS, I have discovered the TRULY PERFECT SOLUTION.  And it avoids the use of the external speaker switch.

 

Instead, it relies on the "party mode" feature of the V867, which duplicates audio sent to the primary outputs over to the Zone2 L/R speakers (down-mixing multi-channel if necessary to 2-channel stereo for feeding the two Zone2 speakers).

 

Normally, Zone2 is a totally independent listening component of the AVR, where you can choose one of the four or five audio-only input sources and send that to the L/R Zone2 speakers as 2-channel stereo, completely separate from the source and listening mode that is going on in the main Zone1 listening area.  That means the primary audio/video input sources (e.g. HDMI1-6 and the analog A/V inputs) are normally NOT available to be an audio source for Zone2.

 

But that's exactly what "party mode" does... it peels off the audio only from a primary A/V source (e.g. HDMI1-6) and sends it to the Zone2 speakers, down-mixing it to 2-channel stereo if necessary.  So the Zone2 speakers are playing a duplicate of the audio coming out of the primary speakers (or preamp outputs).  And you toggle the use of the Zone2 speakers on/off by simply pushing the "party mode" button on the remote.  And there is a "Zone2 Volume" control, so I can adjust its volume theoretically completely independent of the volume form primary Zone1 (although I really don't have any Zone1 speakers in this new setup).

 

So this is EXACTLY what I have been looking for: (a) preamp outputs are untouched and are active 100% of the time, to feed L/R stereo to the Realiser which when powered off will pass through the L/R input to its L/R output and the Altec-Lansing speakers through the Stax amp, and (b) B&W speakers connected to the 867 which can be toggled on/off at my whim with a push of a button, in this case the "party mode" button on the remote rather than the ON/OFF switch I'd expected to push on the external speaker switch I just ordered.

 

 

I will just let the order for that switch get fulfilled, as you can never tell when just such a gizmo might be useful.  Can't tell you how many A/B-switches of all types that I have up on the shelf of my "parts graveyard closet".  I've got composite+L/R as well as S-video+L/R, as well as L/R-audio-only, as well as 1-in/4-out A/V switch, 4-in/1-out Zektor component video switch including optical/coax digital audio with transcoding, etc., etc.  These all represent points in my past A/V history when they were actually useful in solving some problem I had.

 

So now I'll just add an unopened never-used "speaker switch" to that collection, since the TRULY PERFECT solution is already built into my AVR: "party mode" and Zone2.

 

 

One more "good" to add to the "already terrific" of this discovery of "party mode" and how it works with the Zone2 speakers, the 867 has TWO INDEPENDENT VOLUME CONTROLS (both with memory), one for primary Zone1 speakers/preamp-outputs and a second for Zone2 speakers.

 

So I can use the Zone1 (i.e. Altec-Lansing speakers) volume level and set it as it needs to be (about -4db) to get proper volume out of the Altec-Lansing speakers, and I can use Zone2 volume level and set it as it needs to be (about -20db) to get proper volume out of the B&W speakers. That makes it even easier and less work to use either set of speakers whenever I want.

 

It just keeps getting better.


Edited by dsperber - 1/6/13 at 10:50pm
post #2219 of 2687
Thread Starter 

Finally had my first opportunity to actually watch HDTV (last night's "Justified" premiere) using the new DMA2100 -> BDP-103 -> Realiser via HDMI (HDTV decoded to LPCM by the 103), and noticed something different... which took a bit of getting used to:  I'm missing the VOLUME control on the AVR, which I used to have available to compensate for low/high levels from every different HDTV program when I was using the analog feed to the Realiser.

 

Previously the VOLUME on the AVR controlled the analog level of the preamp output feeding the Realiser, and this was a highly visible and perfectly convenient and intuitive IR-based place to do that job.  This particular analog volume control into the Realiser is now out of the picture when HDMI is being used.

 

There is no volume control on the source device (DMA2100 or BDP-103), but there are volume controls on all the other equipment: (a) Realiser, (b) Stax amp, (c) DAC, and (d) AVR.  Before now I had each one of them set at a reasonable level so that I could use just the AVR's volume control as appropriate.  But now I'm down to just three available places to adjust volume as desired.

 

I really don't want to touch the DAC volume (which is IR-enabled, but I like it at 46 out of 47 feeding the Stax XLR input), and I really don't want to touch the Stax amp (which not IR-enabled but is happily set at 2PM and I don't want to change it either).  So that means the only place to actually IR-adjust the volume now is on the Realiser itself, starting with its previously established default level of -10db (which worked just fine when I was using analog and had the AVR volume control available as well).

 

So that's what I had to do last night, as volume on pretty much all FOX-family channels and the programming they carry is lower than average.  Had to increase the Realiser from -10db to -7db to compensate.  Still perfectly clean and clear in the headphones, but I needed this increase to make the program as loud as I wanted to hear it (given all of the other components in the chain and where they were set).  With the AVR's volume available I haven't had to change the Realiser's volume from -10db in four years, but starting now I guess I'll have to use it as appropriate.

 

Interesting how you get used to something for all these years (like watching HDTV and using the AVR's volume control for loudness), and suddenly have to adjust your approach to use a different volume control.  Muscle memory has to be retrained (i.e. to finger different buttons at a different location on a different remote in the dark).  I guess I'll get used to it quickly.

post #2220 of 2687

Hi, newbie here.

 

Very interested in the Realiser for Home Theater application.  However, hanging out at AVS saw this: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1453299/dts-headphone-x-home-theater-in-pocket.  Looks like DTS might be using a Realiser-like device or perhaps a Realiser or two to capture their own reference room and encode the result for Headphone:X delivery directly in the bitstream.  Looks like Headphone:X would not apply to non-encoded content, i.e. would have limited applicability compared to Realiser.  What do you think?

 

Wish Smyth-Research would come out with a HDMI/digital only Realiser (i.e. without ADC and DAC) to reduce overall cost of the device.  Heck even one without all the extras needed for room customization would be nice if less expensive.  Any news on that front, i.e. of a stripped down version for broader appeal?

 

Very nice thread!

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