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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 175

post #2611 of 2688

Hey guys,

 

Just wanted to share that I have a Smyth Realiser I'm looking to let go off, to give someone else the opportunity of experiencing it. 

It's a fantastic piece of equipment, but alas, I have not the time to fully learn how to maximize it being in a startup. 

 

My post can be found here, and I'm open to offers. 

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/714460/smyth-research-realiser-a8

post #2612 of 2688

Stupid question about the Realiser.

 

John-LF's sales post refers to "dual headphone emulation". Does this mean you can listen to two headphones at once e.g. with two head trackers?

 

Would quite like to watch films w/ my GF. Not too much to ask for the price. ;)

post #2613 of 2688
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

Stupid question about the Realiser.

 

John-LF's sales post refers to "dual headphone emulation". Does this mean you can listen to two headphones at once e.g. with two head trackers?

 

Would quite like to watch films w/ my GF. Not too much to ask for the price. ;)

Yes, you can use two different PRIR's or measurements at once for two person listening.

 

If you have a 2nd head tracker, you can have each person with their own head tracking too.

 

The instructions are on page 83 of the A8 manual.

 

It's a pretty cool feature. I have never used it, but it's a great feature for two person use.

post #2614 of 2688

Thanks for the reply - I'm seriously considering a purchase now!

 

Another question. I often play movies from my computer on my widescreen TV. I'm thinking about whether/ how I could use the Realiser for sound. My computer can output Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 over optical. However, optical only has enough bandwidth for lossy 5.1 sound, not lossless 7.1 or even lossless 5.1. For that, you need HDMI - and my laptop has no HDMI out.

 

This might be a bit of a long shot - can you link the Realiser to a PC via USB and make it play movie soundtracks in lossless 7.1? I must admit I'm not sure what my soundcard can do with DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD tracks but assume for now that it can handle them.

post #2615 of 2688
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

Thanks for the reply - I'm seriously considering a purchase now!

 

Another question. I often play movies from my computer on my widescreen TV. I'm thinking about whether/ how I could use the Realiser for sound. My computer can output Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 over optical. However, optical only has enough bandwidth for lossy 5.1 sound, not lossless 7.1 or even lossless 5.1. For that, you need HDMI - and my laptop has no HDMI out.

 

This might be a bit of a long shot - can you link the Realiser to a PC via USB and make it play movie soundtracks in lossless 7.1? I must admit I'm not sure what my soundcard can do with DTS-HD Master Audio or Dolby TrueHD tracks but assume for now that it can handle them.

Hi John,

 

Unfortunately, the ONLY way to get digital audio into the Realiser is via HDMI. Your computer will not work unless you can add a video card with an HDMI output that also will output decoded 7.1 audio via the HDMI output.

 

Or you could buy a player or computer that can output decoded (LPCM) 7.1 or 5.1 audio. You cannot pass encoded digital audio like TrueHD or DTS-HD to the Realiser either. Generally most new Windows or Mac computers can do this via HDMI or display port to HDMI adapters. Also the Oppo players can do it too.

post #2616 of 2688
Quote:
Or you could buy a player or computer that can output decoded (LPCM) 7.1 or 5.1 audio. You cannot pass encoded digital audio like TrueHD or DTS-HD to the Realiser either 

 

 

Thanks Darin - please ignore my PM as you've already answered the question I asked, in this post.

 

The Realiser is an amazing product but this has to be said: the fact that it can't decode TrueHD or DTS-HD isn't good. My AV receiver, which is about 1/3 the price, can decode either. I need to think about how I'm going to get this to work if I'm going to buy an A8.

 

Edit: I've just been playing around with some of the stuff I own and it seems that my PS4 can decode DTS-HD and output 7.1 LPCM although my Blu-ray player cannot. Presumably it can do the same with Dolby TrueHD.


Edited by John_M - 4/15/14 at 10:35am
post #2617 of 2688
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

 

 

Thanks Darin - please ignore my PM as you've already answered the question I asked, in this post.

 

The Realiser is an amazing product but this has to be said: the fact that it can't decode TrueHD or DTS-HD isn't good. My AV receiver, which is about 1/3 the price, can decode either. I need to think about how I'm going to get this to work if I'm going to buy an A8.

 

Edit: I've just been playing around with some of the stuff I own and it seems that my PS4 can decode DTS-HD and output 7.1 LPCM although my Blu-ray player cannot. Presumably it can do the same with Dolby TrueHD.

I do not have one, but I think there are several Realiser owners who use PS3's as their source. I imagine a PS4 will work also. With the Blu-Ray players, it is hit or miss. I have been able to find some relatively inexpensive Blu-Ray players that work, but I don't know about the current models.

 

I use a Dune HD Max and it works really well. I use it to play back ripped Blu-Ray movies from hard drives or a media server. But the lower end Dune players will not output decoded LPCM.

 

I believe the Oppo 105 will take an incoming DTS-HD or TrueHD HDMI signal and decode it to LPCM on it's HDMI outputs. That's a pretty cool function for Realiser owners. But the Oppo 105 is not cheap. Hopefully someone who owns an Oppo 105 will correct me if I am wrong since I don't own one.

post #2618 of 2688
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by John_M View Post

 

The Realiser is an amazing product but this has to be said: the fact that it can't decode TrueHD or DTS-HD isn't good. My AV receiver, which is about 1/3 the price, can decode either. I need to think about how I'm going to get this to work if I'm going to buy an A8.

 

The Realiser has NEVER included ANY decoding capability, not lossy, and not lossless.  It is engineered to simply assume that you feed it already-decoded discrete multi-channel input, either through its discrete channel 7.1 analog inputs or through its HDMI input (as decoded discrete multi-channel digital LPCM).

 

This makes the unit "immune" to any concerns whatsoever about decoding capability (including worrying about keeping it current for the next codec that comes along), not to mention avoiding paying licensing fees to the codec providers.  It's just not concerned about this, preferring to accept already decoded analog input input (say from the analog preamp outputs of an AVR where the identical decoding can be done), or already decoded digital input via HDMI (say from an Oppo or other BluRay player which can decode anything to discrete multi-channel LPCM and put it out via HDMI, which is exactly what the Realiser was designed to accept through its HDMI input).

 

The Realiser is not an AVR and is not concerned with decoding audio. There are many ways to feed it already-decoded audio from your AVR or BluRay player, either analog or digital.  Personally, I don't consider this a drawback, or a negative, or have any "hostility" towards the price of the product for exactly what it delivers.  I bought an Oppo BDP-103 specifically for its external HDMI inputs (e.g. from my DVR, which delivers DD5.1 lossy audio to the Oppo where it gets decoded to LPCM for delivery via HDMI output of the Oppo to the Realiser).  Coupled with the Oppo's ability do the same thing for lossy/lossless audio from BluRay discs, this allows me to use the HDMI input on my Realiser for ALL of my source content.

 

NOTE: Oppo-103 is $500, and Oppo-105 is $1200.  The difference is in the superior DAC's and analog output capability in the 105, if you want to feed your analog audio system with super-quality source. But this has nothing to do with the digital capabilities of both units, which are identical.  BOTH Oppo players can decode any lossy/lossless codec to LPCM and put it out over HDMI to feed the Realiser.

 

Note that NO AVR that's ever been mentioned on this thread can do this... i.e. accept encoded audio source and decode to LPCM for delivery out HDMI (e.g. to the Realiser).  That doesn't mean I'm negative toward my particular Yamaha RX-V867, since it's inability to deliver decoded LPCM out via its own dual-HDMi outputs is apparently nothing unique among AVR's.  But that IS what makes the Oppo players so unique... and a perfect match for the Realiser's HDMI input, serving as that critical upstream decoder-to-LPCM device which the Realiser requires.

 

Finally, it really must be restated that to get the maximum enjoyment out of the device, it must really be used the way it was intended to be used: you need to get your own personal PRIR created, for YOUR OWN EARS.  Doesn't matter what default factory-provided generic PRIR comes with the unit, or what you find on the PRIR exchange thread... it will NEVER SOUND AS GOOD AS A PRIR PRODUCED FOR YOUR OWN EARS (and, for your GF's ears, if you use it in two-PRIR mode with two separate output feeds to two separate headphone/amps).  The Realiser is built to "duplicate" the sound of ANY listening environment as it sounded to YOUR EARS.  So bring yourself (and GF, if you plan to use it in dual-listening mode) to a decent or good or superb sound studio if you can, and get your own (and GF's) PRIR measured.  Believe me, THIS is how the unit should be used.


Edited by dsperber - 4/16/14 at 11:14pm
post #2619 of 2688

The lack of decoding capabilities is a "drawback" in the sense that it potentially adds $500 - $1,200 to the sale price. However, my humble PS4 can decode DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD and output LPCM 7.1, so this isn't an issue for me.

 

Another question - are there any other headphones, apart from the recommended Stax ones, which are thought to work well with the Realiser? Maybe the AKG K701/ K702/ Q701 range?

 

I'll be honest about what my issue is here - I am horribly superficial and find the Stax SRS-2170 to be extremely ugly. :)

post #2620 of 2688

009 then?

 

I suspect the Realizer's EQ, your amp may have problems with cans that have big notches in the frequency response, bumps wouldn't be good but attenuation is not as big a problem as pouring on power to fill a notch

 

voice coil/rigid diaphragm dynamic headphones may have more issues with possible cone breakup modes which may not be stationary in frequency vs level and may not be minimum phase

post #2621 of 2688

Thanks for the reply. The 009s are more aesthetically pleasing but I'm not convinced that there will be a great deal of extra performance over the 2170s for the extra thousands and thousands of cash.

 

Another question on PRIRs, which is going to expose my ignorance of the subject. As I understand it, a PRIR is a combination of the listener's head-related transfer function and the sound produced by a set of speakers. The head-related transfer function is personal to the listener.

 

Is there any way that other users' PRIRs from high-end systems, where the HRTF of the user in question is known, could be recalibrated to my own personal HRTF without me needing to make a trip to a high-end listening room?

post #2622 of 2688

No, if you want the best performance you definitely want to use own measurements taken from a really good setup. That is the whole point of it, basically.

 

These a few headphones which listed to work as "very good" with the Realiser (taken from a German distributor's site)

  • Sennheiser HD 800
  • AUDEZ‘E LCD-2
  • Stax SR-202
  • Stax SR-303
  • Stax SR-404
  • Stax 4070
  • Stax SR-007II

 

So you might get a HD800 as well instead (or maybe a used SR007 as well) as the LCD-2 is something that might not be that good for long periods of listening.

post #2623 of 2688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

The 009s are more aesthetically pleasing but I'm not convinced that there will be a great deal of extra performance over the 2170s for the extra thousands and thousands of cash.

 

Have you heard the SR-009's powered by a high-end amp (e.g. SRM-007tII for tubes, or SRM-727 for solid state, or other high-end electrostatic amps?)?

 

Unless you've heard the SR-009 powered properly, you can't imagine just how spectacular they sound especially with a super PRIR.

 

Yes, that is LOTS of money, but I figure this headphone/amp will last me 20 years like my earlier top-of-the-line Stax setup did.  While I was at it I also added an external Audio-GD NFB9 DAC fed by the Realiser's optical output, to feed the headphone amp via XLR.  Feeding the Realiser via HDMI/LPCM from my Oppo player, with this superb output path high-end headphone system out of the Realiser, well it really doesn't sound like the packaged 2170 system.

 

The SR-009 is honestly a truly different world of listening.

post #2624 of 2688

I would also recommend the HiFiMan HE-6 with EF-6 Amp, especially if you are primarily going to be listening to movies.  This combo has the airiness and transparency of electrostats, but has more viseral punch in highs and lows. 

 

The SR-009 is quite nice, but too poorly built (coughBrokenHeadBandcough) to justify it's mega price tag.  Not to mention the cost of a suitable amp.  But I still prefer orthodynamics for my SVS listening pleasure.

post #2625 of 2688
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

The lack of decoding capabilities is a "drawback" in the sense that it potentially adds $500 - $1,200 to the sale price. However, my humble PS4 can decode DTS-HD or Dolby TrueHD and output LPCM 7.1, so this isn't an issue for me.

 

Another question - are there any other headphones, apart from the recommended Stax ones, which are thought to work well with the Realiser? Maybe the AKG K701/ K702/ Q701 range?

 

I'll be honest about what my issue is here - I am horribly superficial and find the Stax SRS-2170 to be extremely ugly. :)

I have listened to the Realiser on lots of different headphones and DAC's and amps.

 

Here's an incomplete list:

 

Stax 2170 system

Stax 407 w/ Stax 323A

Stax 009 w/ Vostok Sound amp/DAC

Stax 009 w/ Cavalli Liquid Lightning

Audeze LCD 3, 2, XC, X w/ Cavalli Liquid Gold and Vostok Sound amp

Senn HD800 w/ Cavalli LAu, Schiit Vali

Koss ESP-950 with E-90 amp and Vostok Sound amp

AKG 701 w/ Carver amp

Koss Porta Pro direct from Realiser

Monoprice 8323 direct and with Vali

Noble IEM's: N6

Noble CIEM: K10

Etymotic ER-4S

Apple Ear Pods

 

I am sure there are more, I can't seem to think of them all at the moment.

 

OK, after all that, and my preference for Stax or electrostats, I have to say that I agree. The Stax 009 with a high end amp is, in my opinion, the best sound. But I admittedly have a bias towards the Stax sound even without the Realiser. The realiser really works best with something that has a lot of high end detail and speed. 

 

But that's not to say that none of the other headphones work. In fact I am surprised how well the localization of the sound source works. Even the in-ears and the Apple Ear Pods work.

 

If you happen to prefer a darker more subdued high end in headphones, that may not be the best for the Realiser. 

 

With regard to your question about AKG's. The 701's were OK. They do have a lot of detail for a dynamic headphone, as do the HD800's. But to me they don't have that ultra detailed, smooth sound of the Stax.

 

For watching action movies, I think the Stax lack  some low end punch and power. I think the Audeze's handle that better, but I find them to be too uncomfortable to sit through a whole movie with my big head.

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