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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 176

post #2626 of 2720

Thanks for the recommendations.

 

I haven't heard the SR-009s but I personally wouldn't be prepared to drop that much on a pair of headphones without first seeing a number of different blind tests proving that they sound better (and choosing them myself in a blind test).

 

I wonder: could the Realiser be used not only to mimic the sound of speakers, but also of other headphones? You could potentially cut your collection down to a single headphone, plus measurements of a number of others. :)

post #2627 of 2720

check out the JAES papers linked at the start of: http://www.head-fi.org/t/612665/how-far-can-eq-really-go-towards-truly-equalizing-headphones#post_8429154


Edited by jcx - 4/20/14 at 5:09pm
post #2628 of 2720

Definitely waiting to hear HE-560 with Realiser..

post #2629 of 2720

I've decided to go with the SR-3170 system, despite its lack of "aesthetic appeal." A number of different people have said that Stax headphones work best with the Realiser (better than the HD800) and they are, of course, recommended by Smyth. I wanted to buy the HD800s but from all the reviews I suspect that there may be some technical reason why electrostatic headphones work better with the Realiser (e.g. the virtualised sound from the Smyth algorithm is more sensitive to distortion than "normal" tracks).

 

I've tried to justify buying the SR-009 to myself but I can't do it. The SR-307 uses the same driver as the SR-507 and I prefer solid state amps (the next system up comes with a tube amp). The difference in sound between the SR-3170 and the SR-009 plus a suitably overpriced amp is probably very subtle indeed (although, admittedly, I haven't tried the SR-009 yet - I will soon) - but the difference in price is equivalent to an ultra-high end 4K TV. I'm buying the TV instead. Everyone has to draw the line somewhere. :)

post #2630 of 2720
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

I've decided to go with the SR-3170 system

 

Don't forget to address the need to have your own PRIR made, rather than to try and "get by" with someone else's.  There's honestly no comparison.  If you want to get the most enjoyment you can from the Realiser and Stax system (or, if like me, you don't have your own genuine external multi-loudspeaker system and depend on your headphones 100% to listen to BluRay movies and HDTV), the PRIR is central at the core.

 

And although it's typically not free (unless you have some complimentary no-charge connection to some place with a good/great/superb sounding listening environment that will let you "measure it" for yourself), it probably will only cost the typical one-time $200-$300 or that neighborhood to arrange for a one hour "rental" arrangement.  Ideally for best possible results you should also try and enlist the assistance of someone (e.g. Lorr Kramer, from Smyth, if possible) experienced in getting things set up for the PRIR measurement and also how to insert the two calibration microphones in your ears.

 

Many/most of us long time Realiser users have arranged for a visit to AIX Studios in Los Angeles, which has been extremely generous ever since 2009 when the Realiser was first released to allow the [non-free] use of their mixing room facilities to be used for PRIR calibration measurement sessions.  Even if it meant a standalone plane trip to LA or as part of some otherwise planned trip to the area, the uniquely superb 5.1 and 7.1 sound setups in this listening room environment is just something most individuals would not be able to build or afford for themselves.  To be able to capture it in a PRIR for yourself (with your own ears hearing the sound) so as to genuinely maximize the listening enjoyment capability of the Realiser, well it's really worth the one-time cost... even if it has to be planned for sometime in the future.

 

Congratulations on your "new toys".  Hopefully you'll really enjoy the setup.

post #2631 of 2720
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post
 

 

Don't forget to address the need to have your own PRIR made, rather than to try and "get by" with someone else's.  There's honestly no comparison.  If you want to get the most enjoyment you can from the Realiser and Stax system (or, if like me, you don't have your own genuine external multi-loudspeaker system and depend on your headphones 100% to listen to BluRay movies and HDTV), the PRIR is central at the core.

 

And although it's typically not free (unless you have some complimentary no-charge connection to some place with a good/great/superb sounding listening environment that will let you "measure it" for yourself), it probably will only cost the typical one-time $200-$300 or that neighborhood to arrange for a one hour "rental" arrangement.  Ideally for best possible results you should also try and enlist the assistance of someone (e.g. Lorr Kramer, from Smyth, if possible) experienced in getting things set up for the PRIR measurement and also how to insert the two calibration microphones in your ears.

 

Many/most of us long time Realiser users have arranged for a visit to AIX Studios in Los Angeles, which has been extremely generous ever since 2009 when the Realiser was first released to allow the [non-free] use of their mixing room facilities to be used for PRIR calibration measurement sessions.  Even if it meant a standalone plane trip to LA or as part of some otherwise planned trip to the area, the uniquely superb 5.1 and 7.1 sound setups in this listening room environment is just something most individuals would not be able to build or afford for themselves.  To be able to capture it in a PRIR for yourself (with your own ears hearing the sound) so as to genuinely maximize the listening enjoyment capability of the Realiser, well it's really worth the one-time cost... even if it has to be planned for sometime in the future.

 

Congratulations on your "new toys".  Hopefully you'll really enjoy the setup.

I believe John is based in the UK. I wonder if there are any equivalent studios like AIX that can do measurements there? I wonder if Smyth research in the UK has a set up to do measurements for customers. Or I would think that they might know of places in the UK since they are there.

post #2632 of 2720

Honestly just google around and go to some local musicians forum and ask who has nice studios to rent, you will find many unique places driving distance away, pretty much no matter where you are. Music schools can be a good place too, that's where I rented my 7 x Genelec 8260A system for 4 hours / $300. You should atleast get one good reference system, then look for the "hifi" stuff..

post #2633 of 2720

Thanks for the posts everyone.

 

I'm actually quite a way down the process. Unusually, Smyth don't have a UK dealer so I've already emailed a few dealers to ask if they'd let me take measurements using their systems.

 

I found one London dealer which has an acoustically treated listening room containing a system costing something completely preposterous (north of £250,000 or $420,000). They stock the whole Stax range of headphones and are prepared to let me use their listening room for free. I've also been emailing Mike Smyth and both he and the dealer were interested in the idea of the dealer stocking the A8. The dealer suggested that Mike go down to visit at the same time that I do. I'm waiting to hear back from Mike - if he's going to make the trip from Northern Ireland to London I'll come at the same time, as he will be more competent at taking measurements than me by a factor of about a million.

 

If anyone has any thoughts on which Stax headphones to go for, they'd be welcome. I would ideally like to buy one of the latest models, which I think can be broken down as follows:

 

SR-207

 

SR-307/407/507 (all use same driver)

 

SR-009 (as per my previous post, reservations about paying this much)

 

I think it has to be Stax. Normally I'm quite suspicious about subjective headphone reviews (people are influenced by the price) but there is more than one review of the A8 where the reviewer says a Stax set works better than more expensive headphones (e.g. the HD800s), contrary to their expectations, which together with the Smyth recommendation of Stax headphones makes me suspect that there's some technical reason why Stax headphones work better with the A8 than everything else.

post #2634 of 2720

Interesting you mention Genelec speakers, Hekeli - I also emailed the music studies department of a British university near to me who have an acoustically treated 5.1 listening room with Genelec 1032 speakers, compliant with the ITU-R BS.1116 standard for listening rooms (whatever that means) I thought the (publicly funded) university would be cheaper than the private sector high-end audio dealers. In fact, the university quoted £500/hour and the private sector high-end audio dealer were prepared to let me use their listening room for free. With a speaker system which only a Russian oligarch (plenty of them in London) could afford...

 

In my emails with Mike, he mentioned that in surround systems the two stereo speakers are generally better than the others - and the Realiser can generate 7.1 virtual surround from measurements of two stereo speakers. The system I'll be using to take measurements costs a ridiculous amount even with "inferior" surround speakers - and if you were to buy 7 of the gigantic stereo speakers, with the amps needed to power them (and the Realiser can create a "virtual" system of this type from stereo measurements) I suspect the cost would be approaching seven figures in dollar terms. Will be interesting to hear what it sounds like on the Realiser. :)


Edited by John_M - 4/25/14 at 2:29pm
post #2635 of 2720
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 Will be interesting to hear what it sounds like on the Realiser. :)

When you complete a PRIR measurement done properly, the final step is normally an A-B comparison (with the headtracker active, in order to facilitate the easy on/off of sound through either the headphones or the speakers) where you first put the headphones on while listening to Realiser-generated "solo" WAV sound from each speaker individually, and then take the headphones off while tilting them down so that the headtracker mutes the headphones and sends the same sound to the real speakers.

 

This technique allows you to verify two things:

 

(1) you should have correct "virtual horizontal, vertical, and angular localization" for each virtual speaker heard through the headphones which should be essentially identical to what your ears hear and brain processes, when listening to the same sound without headphones to each speaker itself.  The virtual distance to the virtual speaker through the headphones should appear to be the same as the actual distance of each speaker to you at your seated location.

 

(2) the actual tonal sound while listening to the "solo" sound through each virtual speaker using the headphones should also duplicate the tonal sound of each of the actual speakers as you "solo" around through each speaker.

 

If you are capturing a true 5.1 or 7.1 loudspeaker sound system, then the "solo" process for A-B comparison is very easy, and also usually very startling and impressive.  In fact inevitably it's almost laughable how if the process starts with the headphones still on your head, you will almost invariably ask "Ok, am I listening to the headphones or the speakers now??".  It typically sounds so "real" that you are usually in disbelief that what you're listening to IS from the headphones and not from the actual loudspeakers themselves.  With the Stax headphones being "open" so that ambient room sound can leak in, it's easy for your brain to believe you're hearing the actual speakers coming through the headphones, whereas in fact the speakers are off and you're hearing the sound from the headphones themselves.  The sound is seemingly tonally identical, and also virtually "placed in space" by your brain exactly where the loudspeakers are arrayed around you.

 

If you are creating a simulated 5.1 or 7.1 setup with only one or two speakers (and rotating your chair position to simulate different listening angles for a surround setup) it's obviously not going to be possible to easily or impressively complete the A-B comparison test as it would be when comparing to a true surround speaker setup in the room.

 

NOTE: you must also take one HPEQ measurement to quantify the headphone equipment itself while on your ears, to complete the requirements for Realiser use no matter which one or more PRIR files (for different listening environments) you accumulate and want to listen "through".  To listen to anything it's HPEQ+PRIR(1), or HPEQ+PRIR(2), etc., with HPEQ describing THAT PARTICULAR HEADPHONE/AMP/DAC output equipment path which delivers the processed output sound from the Realiser to your ears via headphone-output path (either using the Realiser's own built-in headphone output or the Realiser's optical output to an external DAC and then on to the headphone amp).

post #2636 of 2720

I wouldn't trust myself to create proper measurements using a stereo system but I've had confirmation that Mike will be coming to London and he should be able to do it, or show me and/or the audio dealer how to do it. He says that taking measurements from a stereo system "works very well, but is slightly more tedious."

post #2637 of 2720
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post


I wonder: could the Realiser be used not only to mimic the sound of speakers, but also of other headphones? You could potentially cut your collection down to a single headphone, plus measurements of a number of others. smily_headphones1.gif

I have a huge library stored in my realiser of all headphones and amps ever used. I do my gear comparition for review with the realiser. the extreme fast switching is really helpful.
post #2638 of 2720
Quote:
Originally Posted by John_M View Post
 

He says that taking measurements from a stereo system "works very well, but is slightly more tedious."

 

I would be most interested in how well the "one speaker" (mono :D) measurement method works compared to stereo.. finding a good acoustic spot for just one speaker should be very easy task. Also in theory all the speakers would then sound exactly same?

 

But it's buggy and does not work with current firmware. :deadhorse: Mike said it works by downgrading to older firmware, but that's a very big hassle. He promised to look fixing it, but never heard back. John, say hi if you see him and ask HOW HARD IS IT TO RELEASE A NEW FIRMWARE?? :D 

post #2639 of 2720

Mike also mentioned the mono solution. He said this:

 

"The stereo measurement solution (and the mono one when we fix the bug in the firmware) is actually quite interesting."

 

Unfortunately, no comment as to *when* the firmware bug for the mono solution will be fixed. :)

 

His email also included the following slightly cryptic phrase:

 

"...we are actively working on [measurement] solutions and, when ready, these will be applicable to current Realisers also". I don't know if this is a reference to the mono/stereo measurement solutions, or to something different.

 

I won't bug the poor guy with too many email questions but I can ask about this when I see him in London.

post #2640 of 2720
Glenn Poor's Audio Video in Champaign, Illinois will be hosting a Realiser demo open house on Monday, May 5, from 5 pm to 8 pm. Lorr Kramer of Smyth Research will be conducting personalized demonstrations in the 7.1 theater and in the two-channel reference room. Snacks and drinks will be served.
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