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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 149

post #2221 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aston View Post

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!


Yes, the Headphone X technology is very interesting. Seems like a copy of the Realiser. I am pretty sure that Smyth Research was not part of the development of Headphone X, but that's just a guess. I have no actual knowledge, but I assume the acquisition of SRS had something to do with it.

 

But judging by the response from the CES demo, I think it probably works as well as the Realiser when using non-personalized measurements and no head tracking.

 

As I posted on the AVS Forum thread, their biggest problem is that you have to buy all new content and new hardware. I am guessing it's going to be a while before we can buy a Headphone X Blu-Ray. Or maybe not if they have already licensed it to the movie studios and Blu-Ray's are being encoded with it already.

 

Yes, it would be great to have a lower cost way to have the Realiser sound without having to spend $3K. So far, nothing exists as far as I know.

post #2222 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aston View Post

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!

 

 

That DTS Headphone:X seems to rely on standard HRTF algorithm. I was not there at CES, but according to the descriptions such demo included only a female voice, probably in the mid-range ("typical adult male will have a fundamental frequency of from 85 to 155 Hz; typical adult female from 165 to 255 Hz"), which might be easier to emulate with a standard HRTF. There was no music demo.
 
My intuition says it is not going to be like the Realiser, which has a personalized HRTF algorithm...
 
I would only say it is “right up there with Smyth Research's Realizer” if I had listened to a music demo, with high frequency content.
 
Just a female voice seems to be like emulating a matchbox shaking around your head. I suspect it is not so easy with the whole frequency range…
post #2223 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgazal View Post

 

 

That DTS Headphone:X seems to rely on standard HRTF algorithm. I was not there at CES, but according to the descriptions such demo included only a female voice, probably in the mid-range ("typical adult male will have a fundamental frequency of from 85 to 155 Hz; typical adult female from 165 to 255 Hz"), which might be easier to emulate with a standard HRTF. There was no music demo.
 
My intuition says it is not going to be like the Realiser, which has a personalized HRTF algorithm...
 
I would only say it is “right up there with Smyth Research's Realizer” if I had listened to a music demo, with high frequency content.
 
Just a female voice seems to be like emulating a matchbox shaking around your head. I suspect it is not so easy with the whole frequency range…


Hi jgazal,

 

Judging by your post, I assume you have never heard the Realiser using a measurement with someone else's ears. (non-personalized HRTF)

 

If you had, you would see that the virtual speaker effect works remarkably well with full frequency range content. Sure it's not as good as doing a measurement on your ears, but it still works really well.

 

So I don't think it's hard to do. It may just not be as perfect as the Realiser with a personalize measurement.

post #2224 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post


Hi jgazal,

 

Judging by your post, I assume you have never heard the Realiser using a measurement with someone else's ears. (non-personalized HRTF)

 

If you had, you would see that the virtual speaker effect works remarkably well with full frequency range content. Sure it's not as good as doing a measurement on your ears, but it still works really well.

 

So I don't think it's hard to do. It may just not be as perfect as the Realiser with a personalize measurement.

 

 

Yep, you are right, never heard the Realiser on the fly using a measurement with someone else's ears.
 
I have just listened to a digital stream recorded from the Realiser optical output. It did not recreate the 3d sound field to me.
 
Let’s wait.
post #2225 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post

 

So I don't think it's hard to do. It may just not be as perfect as the Realiser with a personalize measurement.

 

If it's just a single HRTF profile, it's probably not worth a lot of money. I don't understand how emulating a room makes it that special, many products do that.

 

I tried the DSpeaker HeadSpeaker which actually has ~40 or so HRTF profiles. There atleast you can find the profile that works best for you. If HeadphoneX has something similar then it's something to consider. Well atleast they do take in account different headphone EQs, so maybe there is hope..

post #2226 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgazal View Post

 

 

Yep, you are right, never heard the Realiser on the fly using a measurement with someone else's ears.
 
I have just listened to a digital stream recorded from the Realiser optical output. It did not recreate the 3d sound field to me.
 
Let’s wait.


Were you listening to the downloadable demos I posted earlier in this thread? If you were listening to those and you did not get any localization of the virtual speakers out of your head, then I am afraid my pinna are just too different from yours. But for most people, the demo files I posted work fairly well for localization, from what little feedback I have gotten.

post #2227 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post

 

If it's just a single HRTF profile, it's probably not worth a lot of money. I don't understand how emulating a room makes it that special, many products do that.

 

Really? Are there many products that emulate 8 speakers in a room accurately? Other than the Dspeaker Headspeaker I'd love to know what products those are. Not saying there aren't, I just don't know of any.

 

Has anyone ever heard the DSpeaker Headspeaker? How does it compare to the Realiser?

post #2228 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by darinf View Post


Were you listening to the downloadable demos I posted earlier in this thread? If you were listening to those and you did not get any localization of the virtual speakers out of your head, then I am afraid my pinna are just too different from yours. But for most people, the demo files I posted work fairly well for localization, from what little feedback I have gotten.

 

 

Yes I listened to your wav files. 
 
Listening to "Realiser_Speaker_Demo_7.0_no_HPEQ" file I perceive the speaker's localization, but all of them seem to be in the very near field, as if them were centimeters from the headphones. It seems easy to identify the localization since the periodic tune comes always from only one speaker/channel.
 
Then when I listen to the movie tracks and music tracks the 3D sound field collapses inside my head. The down mix between all channels makes it hard to me.
 
That voice coming from each channel/speaker in the DTS demo is very similar to the "Realiser_Speaker_Demo_7.0_no_HPEQ" track. I would like to see people talking about convolved music tracks.
post #2229 of 2713

Sorry for bringing up old posts but I am not sure a full discussion ensued:

 

Quote from post 1376:
Originally Posted by HDMan View Post

 

I have noticed recently, and this is something many already know, to get the proper soundstage while watching movies you must be seated the same distance from the screen as you were when you did your PRIR. I found this not only true for the front soundstage, but also for the rear soundstage.

 

Previously my room was set up so I was hard up against the back walll, not ideal but the front soundstage was all there. Then I notice one time as I walked towards the screen, the rear soundstage increased in depth and the Lb/Rb really came alive.

 

So now I have rearanged my room so that I have equal distance between the front and back of my seating position to the wall. I have to say it now sounds complete in surround sound, wow.

 

The brain must have it's own subconcious calculations always going on, so that if you here sounds in your headphones coming from the rear but your up against a wall, or to close, the brain dismisses it as fake, and the illusion of the Realiser is counteracted. This is true for the front stage as well, try sitting close to your screen, and you will find that the soundstage dissapears, sit back at the proper distance as was the original calibration and bang, there it is.

 

Something I did when calibrating my recent PRIR's, was to measure the distance to the front speaker, and wrote it down for records, very important. Essentially I was doing 8.0 out of 2 speakers, so the distance to the front speaker was in between the front 2 speakers. So my front speaker distance is alo my rear speaker distance. So I recommend anyone that is doing there PRIR's, to measure the distance to ALL the speakers, and try and find a room of equal size or bigger.

 

Quote from post 1377:
Originally Posted by googleli View Post

I don't have that problem, I just close my eyes and imagine I am there for half a minute then when I open my eyes I just focus on the screen. For two channel music it is easier, you just close your eyes and imagine the room then listen to music. If you have to sit in the room where you made the PRIR that really defeats the purpose of the Realiser, you don't want to go to AIX every time you want to use the AIX PRIR, for example. 

 

Quote from post 1378:
Originally Posted by HDMan View Post


No, you don't need the exact room like AIX, just the width of the speakers, at least for the front soundstage. So for example, if you measured speakers with a width of 4 metres and 5 metres from the centre channel, then you would want at least that distance in your room to properly experience the depth of the calibration.

 

The Realiser replicates the exact distance of the speakers, so to trick your mind you need that distance to see the music manifesting from that position.

 

I am going to build some fake speakers, with the tweeters and midrange in the same locations as the Excaliburs for enhanced realism, so you can really locate were the sound is coming from.

 

For example, when you do your PRIR, your supposed to A/B, speakers from the headphones to confirm correct calibration. My experience was that, you can actually see the music coming from the speaker with a good PRIR, this is done by seating yourself in the exact location as was the calibration.

 

So to take it home, you need to replicate that exact position again, distance, angle etc.

 

 

Do you guys agree with the above discussion?  I.e. do you feel like you need to replicate the dimensions of the room in which your PRIR was conducted in order to fully enjoy your blu rays at home?  And if so did you measure the distances between yourself and the speakers in the room you captured while doing your PRIR (say at AIX) to be able to reproduce this at home, or did you move the speakers at AIX to copy the distances you have at home?  I certainly hope none of this complication is required to enjoy a movie in a smaller environment!  This is because my own plans at home are for a much smaller screen and therefore seating distance than (I imagine since I haven't been there yet) at AIX (either their 5.1/7.1 room or their THX room).

 

I am especially concerned with dialogues.  Ideally they should emanate from behind the screen (something the Realiser makes possible even with a flat screen).  But they should be coming from a speaker placed relatively close to the screen otherwise wouldn't the brain think the dialogue comes from far away introducing some lip synching issues?

 

Hopefully your real experiences reassure me.  Thank you.

post #2230 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aston View Post

Sorry for bringing up old posts but I am not sure a full discussion ensued:

 

 

 

 

Do you guys agree with the above discussion?  I.e. do you feel like you need to replicate the dimensions of the room in which your PRIR was conducted in order to fully enjoy your blu rays at home?  And if so did you measure the distances between yourself and the speakers in the room you captured while doing your PRIR (say at AIX) to be able to reproduce this at home, or did you move the speakers at AIX to copy the distances you have at home?  I certainly hope none of this complication is required to enjoy a movie in a smaller environment!  This is because my own plans at home are for a much smaller screen and therefore seating distance than (I imagine since I haven't been there yet) at AIX (either their 5.1/7.1 room or their THX room).

 

I am especially concerned with dialogues.  Ideally they should emanate from behind the screen (something the Realiser makes possible even with a flat screen).  But they should be coming from a speaker placed relatively close to the screen otherwise wouldn't the brain think the dialogue comes from far away introducing some lip synching issues?

 

Hopefully your real experiences reassure me.  Thank you.


Aston,

 

If you download a copy of the A8 manual from the Smyth website, check the "Delay" section on page 56 of the manual and page 57 about "Proximity".

 

Here's what Lorr wrote about the subject:

 

Quote:

"Regarding your concern that you were too close to the speakers for the surround measurement, remember that the Realiser normalizes both level and delay so that all five virtual speakers are on a circle.  So there will be no problem of level or delay precedence for the surround channels.  Yes, the direct-to-reverberant ratio will be slightly different.  You can in fact adjust that ratio using the PROXIMITY control individually for those channels."

 

That doesn't seem to make sense to me because you could certainly be measuring a room where all the speakers are not equidistant from your listening position. I always thought that the Realiser would replicate the exact distance of each speaker, but apparently not.

 

Fortunately you can adjust the distance of each speaker by adjusting the Delay on each channel independently on each preset. I have not tried it, but in theory you could "move" the speakers to match closer to your room size.


Edited by darinf - 1/25/13 at 11:57pm
post #2231 of 2713

That is a good find and great news to me Darin! The circular positioning of the speakers is ideal if, as I believe, this is what Dolby, DTS (see figures at http://www.dts.com/consumers/sound-technology/home-surround-sound/hook-it-up.aspx#efd33dc39ca6481b90de82cf08510166), THX, etc. base their technologies on.  The reference room used to review movies at Wide Screen Review is also using a circle AFAIK.  I wouldn't be surprised if speakers are arranged in a circular fashion at AIX (although I can't know for sure since I haven't been there) just as is recommended by Genelec at http://www.genelec-ht.com/learning-center/faq/multichannel/loudspeaker-positioning/.

 

The type of rectangular positioning we usually see is possibly a result of the fact home theaters are most of the time rectangular themselves and do not allow for ideal circular positioning, especially when the owner wishes to hide the speakers from view.  Of course I am no expert but as long as the Realiser allows to virtually move speakers closer to the listener then there is a  much greater likelihood that the environment of the studio where the PRIR measurement was conducted ends up matching that of the end user (that is assuming the end user does not have as large a listening/viwing space as a monitoring/mastering studio does).  I am impressed and pleased that the Realiser affords that kind of flexibility.

post #2232 of 2713

I just "stumbled" on this thread as it was in the Head-Fi Subscription Update email I got.  I have (lazily) not digested much of the thread, but I'll ask anyway, in a couple of paragraphs.

 

I find the transient fidelity of Stax 009s superior to *any* loudspeaker-based system I have heard.  Top-of-the-line Wilson's get close, but still do not match it.  By "transient fidelity" I mean the ability to, on the one hand, hear the "action" of sources of music from multiple bows on multiple strings to vocal cords being excited by air from well-tensioned lungs, and on the other hand, to not hear boxes with thin diaphragms in them sitting in a small room (compared to a concert hall).

 

The 009s tend to bring me into the recording venue, particularly with a well miked recording, e.g., something done by Wilkinson, and do a fair but not perfect job of that.  I would definitely like to have an even better illusion of being put into the recording venue.  The goal of surround sound, with loudspeakers, is to bring the music into your venue, which I do not want: no room anyone has matches any of the venues I have on recordings in my collection.  I have swallowed the headphone gospel hook line and sinker: Beam me in, Staxie.

 

Does the SVS try to match the whole impulse response of the loudspeaker system used to calibrate the headphone system, or does it "merely" try to match time delays of signals reaching my ear canals?  I would not want the impulse responses of my Stax degraded by matching any loudspeakers in a room.  The IR sensor for head position seems particularly promising in this regard, I suspect it supplies a key degree of freedom lost in listening through headphones: motion of the head/ears in the sound field.

post #2233 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aston View Post
...

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!


Unfortunately, at this time, plans for such a unit have been canned (they have prototypes with pure AES i/o in-house, I've been waiting with finger on the trigger). However, even that unit still required the analog out for test signals and kept the analog inputs, no discussion I had with Smyth indicated any plans for a purely digital unit. They are working on other stuff, I am still hoping for some version of the former, or better yet the latter, at some point in the future.

post #2234 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by statfi View Post

I just "stumbled" on this thread as it was in the Head-Fi Subscription Update email I got.  I have (lazily) not digested much of the thread, but I'll ask anyway, in a couple of paragraphs.

 

I find the transient fidelity of Stax 009s superior to *any* loudspeaker-based system I have heard.  Top-of-the-line Wilson's get close, but still do not match it.  By "transient fidelity" I mean the ability to, on the one hand, hear the "action" of sources of music from multiple bows on multiple strings to vocal cords being excited by air from well-tensioned lungs, and on the other hand, to not hear boxes with thin diaphragms in them sitting in a small room (compared to a concert hall).

 

The 009s tend to bring me into the recording venue, particularly with a well miked recording, e.g., something done by Wilkinson, and do a fair but not perfect job of that.  I would definitely like to have an even better illusion of being put into the recording venue.  The goal of surround sound, with loudspeakers, is to bring the music into your venue, which I do not want: no room anyone has matches any of the venues I have on recordings in my collection.  I have swallowed the headphone gospel hook line and sinker: Beam me in, Staxie.

 

Does the SVS try to match the whole impulse response of the loudspeaker system used to calibrate the headphone system, or does it "merely" try to match time delays of signals reaching my ear canals?  I would not want the impulse responses of my Stax degraded by matching any loudspeakers in a room.  The IR sensor for head position seems particularly promising in this regard, I suspect it supplies a key degree of freedom lost in listening through headphones: motion of the head/ears in the sound field.


Hi Statfi,

 

I do understand what you are saying about the difference between headphones like the 009's vs. a high end speaker system.

 

I think what you really want are well made binaural recordings. This would recreate the sound of the actual venue where the performance was recorded and be reproduced very accurately on your Stax 009's.  No speakers can do that as well as a high end pair of headphones.

 

However, the reality is that you are then very limited in terms of content. (Too bad Wilkinson didn't make binaural recordings...) So what are your options? Listening to conventional stereo music.

 

To me, headphone listening on well recorded music can deliver detail and accuracy, but it can't even come close to reproducing the sound that one would have heard if you were listening to the performance live. Why? Because the imaging on headphones with standard stereo recordings stays completely within my head between my ears. To me, the is very unnatural sounding. Sure you can hear lots of detail and great speed and frequency response, but the sound is all in my head. (I don't really understand when people talk about how well a pair of headphones images. I guess it works for some people.)

 

So, with speakers, at least you can get the sound coming from in front of you rather than in your head. To me, that sounds closer to a live performance. Sure, it's not perfect, but on a very high end system set up well in a great room, the sound can seem much more like a live performance than headphones could ever give me.

 

The Realiser when done properly will VERY accurately reproduce the sound of a speaker system and room. It's not "matching" anything or synthesizing anything. It's taking the measured speaker sound and room acoustics and applying that to the sound source. So, with a good measurement and a pair of Stax 009, you would probably find it hard to tell the difference between sound being played back from the speakers vs. the sound from the Realiser and headphones. "What You Heard is What You Get" in terms of sound. (except for bass energy)

 

So, if you don't like the sound of the speakers measured, then you won't like it through the Realiser either since they will be the same. However, if you think the Wilson Alexandria XLF's come close to the sound you're looking for, then you can measure a pair of XLF's and then you would "have" the sound of the XLF's without buying a pair. (At $250,000 a pair though, the owner/store may charge you a lot to "steal" the sound of their speakers!)

 

If you are so satisfied with the sound from your Stax, then why any interest in the Realiser? I think even for people who love headphone listening, after hearing the Realiser, they are really interested in getting the sound out of their head and out in front of them.

 

For me I never really liked headphone listening, but loved the convenience and flexibility of headphones. The Realiser has given me the best of both worlds.

post #2235 of 2713

Very well put, Darin.

 

I've been used to headphone listening, especially high end heapdhones, but the Realiser just puts it on another level with proper source material.

 

It's a shame SACD's and other multichannel is pretty much done for.

 

Hopefully Blu-Ray will pick up more multichannel music.  I know AIX Records does a few.

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