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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 180

post #2686 of 2701

Are there any online sources where I can purchase or download audiophile-grade multichannel audio albums?

post #2687 of 2701
Thread Starter 

Dr. Mark Waldrep (of AIX Studios) runs an online company named iTrax which sells the type of audio files you're probably looking for.

 

AIX itself also has a subsidiary named AIX Records, which sells disc versions of HD audio.

 

You can check these both out, to see if they satisfy your needs.

post #2688 of 2701

Hi guys,

 

i have owned a realizer for about 1.5 years now.  I use it for work as a sound effects editor.  About the reverb you hear.  One of the rooms I was impulsed in ( Im lucky and get impulsed in some of the best dub stages in the world) had a loose sound panel in the rear right side.  This would translate into a extended reverb tail on that channel only.  The illusion is only broken with lots of start stops.   I would chalk it up with room problems not a problem with the realizer.  I have other rooms that are very tight sounding.

 

i also dont use the head tracked.  It IS amazing and is a very cool trick but I believe what I hear and dont need any more convincing.

 

As for the capturing of the spaces.  I dont do them myself as Lorr will come and do them but I can imagine if I did them on my own that I would make a mistake ;)  If your room doesnt sound right do it again.  Also make sure you do the long sweeps.

 

****

forgot to add from what I have seen you need a laser level with degrees so you can enter the correct speaker orientation. 


Edited by jst0rm - 7/15/14 at 3:41pm
post #2689 of 2701

I'm very interested in buying the Realiser.  I've even started schmoozing it up, calling up old friends who work at or own post production rooms or dub stages to try to get the best bang for the (lots of) bucks.  

 

Over the years, I've downloaded various software written to create the illusion of spaciousness when listening to headphones.  None of these worked very well at all except for Darin's Out Of Your Head.  In my experience, on stereo material, the Focal Scala recording renders a 100% convincing stereo speaker image, provided the following criteria are met:

 

1.  I'm sitting in my living room, facing my own speakers that are more or less in a similar lateral plane as the Focal recording. 

 

2.  I'm wearing a pair of AKG 501 headphones.

 

Of course, Darin's program also works when I'm sitting at my desk facing a wall, just not as convincingly.  I guess this is because of the visual/aural mismatch.  I supposed if I closed my eyes, the illusion could be replicated anywhere.

 

However, I've tried the Darin's software with many different headphones such as Senn HD 600, Etymotic ER4, KRK sealed cans, and only the HD 600 came anywhere close to the AKG's illusion.  All of the headphones, even though wildly eq'd through the software, retained their intrinsic sonic flavor.  The frequency response from the HD 600 was probably more accurate to Darin's recordings than the AKG 501's, it having a much wider bandwidth through the audible spectrum, although the eq in the software really was able to bring out prodigious bass and shimmering, though ragged, treble from the notoriously bass/treble shy AKGs.

 

My question (and apologies if it was already answered in this thread) is this, is the efficacy of the Realiser also, to some extent, headphone dependent?  If so, is there any consensus on what cans are working better than others?  Especially in the sealed category?

 

Also, if anyone lives in Los Angeles and wants to donate their amazing stereo (or surround) home or work systems for a quick measurement, I'd happily take you up on the offer, and bring over a #19 sandwich from Langers or a Godmother from Bay Cities if that's more your thing ... ;-)

 

Thanks for the advice and input!

 

-Mike

post #2690 of 2701
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by bias View Post

 

My question (and apologies if it was already answered in this thread) is this, is the efficacy of the Realiser also, to some extent, headphone dependent?  If so, is there any consensus on what cans are working better than others?  Especially in the sealed category?

 

Also, if anyone lives in Los Angeles and wants to donate their amazing stereo (or surround) home or work systems for a quick measurement, I'd happily take you up on the offer, and bring over a #19 sandwich from Langers or a Godmother from Bay Cities if that's more your thing ... ;-)

 

First off... your suggestions for "audiophiles bringing gifts" gratuities are definitely terrific.  Myself, I go for a #11 with lettuce and tomato and thousand island dressing at Langer's (along with a bowl of chicken noodle soup).  And at Bay Cities I request a custom sandwich: Genoa salami and Parma prosciutto with provolone, "the works" but NO MUSTARD, mild peppers and some extra red wine vinegar though I don't fault those that request a Godmother.

 

As far as how to acquire a terrific Realiser measurement, consider your living in LA to be very lucky... in that you can just drive over to AIX.  Really special multi-speaker 5.1/7.1 and also THX if you want it.  If you do buy a Realiser, I'm sure you can arrange with Lorr to meet you at AIX to "conduct" a perfect calibration.  You won't be sorry.

 

I'm still using the very first calibration I ever had done, at AIX by Lorr... after running into Mark Waldrep (of AIX) at the 2009 CanJam show at LAX.  I have both 5.1 and 7.1 PRIR's, but use 5.1 99.999% of the time (as it works for HDTV as well as most BluRay movies that commonly come with 5.1 DTS-HDMA).  I've acquired maybe four other PRIR's (though nothing recently), but honestly they're really just novelties compared to the AIX "sound" which is (for me, anyway) "simply perfection".  No reverb or echo which I've found typical of other "rooms" and "theaters".  Just perfect surround-sound, just like the room itself was

 

As far as the question about whether differences in the headphone/amp make any difference in the quality of the surround-sound illusion from the Realiser, I'd have to say absolutely.  But my only experience is with Stax headphones and amps, which are "open" and electrostatic in nature.  No experience at all with any other equipment, so I can't justifiably make related comments.

 

What is also true is that while I initially felt that the DAC built into the Realiser was genuinely high-quality and perfectly adequate to produce excellent sound results through headphones fed via RCA cables, I have now changed my position.  Using a high-quality external DAC fed via optical from the Realiser, and feeding the headphone amp via XLR, produces a recognizably superior sound.

 

So, using the same AIX PRIR as my standard of reference but with different headphone/amp setups with corresponding unique HPEQ's, the relative rankings of the various combinations are consistent with price/specs just as you'd expect.  And not surprisingly the entry level Stax equipment that is normally included with the Realiser is at the bottom.  Just very "entry level", as they are when listening to standard 2-channel stereo music through them.

 

I've also used my 1995-vintage Stax SR-Omega headphones with matching SRM-T1S amp, along with my older SR-Lambda Pro headphones with the same amp.  The Omega's were a joy to listen to (not to mention with improved comfort on the ears) and certainly provided superior sound (and virtual surround) over the Lambda's.  In fact, the Omega/SRM-T1S was my equipment right up through early 2013, so I really do know exactly how they sound for lots of different source programs.

 

In late 2012 I decided to make some major new investments in equipment... all types.  I view this as another once-every-20-years type of investment, so mentally I could "amortize" it that way.  My old equipment was "re-purposed" to a second viewing/listening location.  HDTV went from Sony 34XBR960 (CRT) to Panny 65VT50, calibrated by D-Nice... and is SPECTACULAR.  Having something much larger and really gorgeous to look at makes the entire viewing/listening experience just that much more theatrical.

 

My Realiser went from serial #0001 (analog) unit to a second new HDMI-enabled unit.  To feed the HDMI input to the Realiser I upgraded to an dual-HDMI-output Oppo BDP-103 (one of which goes direct to the Realiser's HDMI input) which also has two external HDMI inputs, one of which is now fed from my TWC/LA cable TV.  This allows use of the Realiser with HDMI input for both BluRay movies as well as cable HDTV.

 

I also invested in an Audio-GD NFB-9 external DAC, fed optically from the new Realiser and feeding my new headphone amp via XLR.  After about a year and a half of use, I have come to really LOVE the sound this produces.  I now realize it is DEFINITELY superior to the built-in DAC in the Realiser, and produces fabulous results for anything I listen to (including 2-channel stereo CD-audio).

 

But to address your question again, it was my upgrade to a Stax SR-009 and SRM-007tII amp which really took Realiser listening to a new level.  Using the same PRIR from AIX, and doing A/B/C comparisons with my three different headphones and two different amps (and corresponding HPEQ's) it's really just a different world from the SR-009.  And the SR-Omega/SRM-T1S is superb, but can't compare to the SR-009/SRM-007tII.  Really seems you're not wearing headphones and the virtual speaker surround sound has placed you in the AIX room.  The sound of the SR-009 is just way outside of your head and is a remarkable experience.

 

I don't have any real loudspeakers in my house, so the Realiser and related equipment is (and will always be) as close as I can get to experiencing a listening environment like AIX.  Hence how I've justified to myself the related one-time expense.  My recommendation is not to try and save money by cutting corners, when the whole purpose of this investment is to provide long-term pleasure.  In lieu of truly having loudspeakers, this is as close as I will ever be... and was worth it.


Edited by dsperber - 8/10/14 at 6:47pm
post #2691 of 2701
I am yet to bite the bullet with the purchase of the realiser but I already made some headway there by getting some prirs and hpeq recorded while I was in SoCal recently.

Darin (Darin Fong Audio) took me to both audio revelations (magico speaker rig) and acoustic zen. I also did AIX studio the following day but the crescendo speakers at acoustic zen sounded quite a bit better than the rest (haven't tried the B&W speakers at AIX in stereo mode however and not with my music so not a very rigorous comparison).

For surround however, I would echo dsperber's preference for the AIX setup. Not sure if it was the recording process (had Lorr on the phone during the whole sequence and mark checking mics insertion and such) but it was the most convincing virtualization for the surround channels / most solid speaker placement with tracking on.
Note that for Audio rev. and Ac. Zen, it was a 2.0 setup and I moved / turned around to get the surround channels. I could not make good use of the tracking either because the receiver was set too far from the phones (then very easy to loose tracking / get weird reset).

I liked very much the fact the AIX room is quite dry sounding because my overall feeling of the realiser is that it slightly accentuates reverberation effect / levels in the presence region (regardless of the phone, I used a Stax SR009 + Darin proto stat amp for arev/Azen and stock pm1/leather pads out of the realiser at AIX).

From discussion with Lorr, this slight perceived difference in the upper mids may be because HPEQ is performed with closed ear canal while you get ear canal resonances when listening through the realiser. That's certainly a plausible explanation as these canal resonances should occur anywhere between 5k and 7kHz depending on individual and that's the region where I seemed to hear differences.
Anyhow, Lorr's suggestion was to do manual adjustment of the HPEQ if that's necessary, I am overall really impressed by the level of thinking that went through the design of the product.

In the end, jury still open about using it for stereo listening but, for surround / movies, it's just a marvel (absolutely no front/back confusion, rock solid 7.1 speakers placement from the 2 phones I tried).

Arnaud




Cheers,
Arnaud
post #2692 of 2701

Wow, I really want to get one some time. How is it with hd800?

 

I am scared off because you actually need to find good speaker systems for the measurements, though.

post #2693 of 2701

The rooms... Yes this is the most important thing.  The one room I have always been infatuated with because of its complete attention to build is Amsterdam mastering.  I have no idea if Darius would allow people to use his room in this way but check this place out:

 

http://www.amsterdammastering.com/

 

click studio/construction if you want to comprehend this place as a audio nerd.  If you havent bothered to click yet feast on this:

 

 

I will say i did enjoy downloading all of the rooms in the drop box (well not all but some) and I think I cans say that unless you are getting your own impulses done it will be rare to find one that is "correct".  My impulses sound much better then all of the ones I listened too.  I had issues with the center channel the most and the verb in the spaces seemed off a lot.  The one room I was impulsed in has virtually no reflections and runs a Meyer Acheron tuned system.  This room is the easiest to listen to in my house as I'm not hearing a space that's larger then I'm in.  However I am going to be getting another small room in the next month or 2:

 

 

 

 

 

I would recommend people staying away from spaces like the Egyptian theater as

 

1. those places are designed to sound a certain way with bodies in the seats.  when getting impulsed there will be nobody in there with you.

 

2. its too big for practical uses.

 

If I need to work on a large space I will load it up and work.  The first room I had impulsed is the now gone stage 3 todd ao hollywood.  It certainly feels like a big room but I got used to working in it however nothing beats the smaller rooms.

post #2694 of 2701
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Wow, I really want to get one some time. How is it with hd800?

I am scared off because you actually need to find good speaker systems for the measurements, though.

your Stax t1 and signature will work much better with thr realizer than the HD800. Even though it is the best of thedynamic breed it sounds grainier than with the E-Stats. The place in the Room is definitly more firm with the esats while the HD800 makes that a bit fuzzy. I guess the reason are partial vibration of the driver.
post #2695 of 2701
Quote:
Originally Posted by jst0rm View Post

  The one room I was impulsed in has virtually no reflections and runs a Meyer Acheron tuned system.

 

As I recall E has JBLs not Acherons.  Or are you getting sweeped in E?  It's an excellent tight room and a very good reference.

post #2696 of 2701

Yeah I'm getting E along with the room (not to be named) that has acherons.  Sorry that was confusing.

post #2697 of 2701

Well if it's on the same lot there is only one with Acherons.  Last I checked.

post #2698 of 2701

its not dub6 ;)  Its not really a secret I just like being private on public forums.  I dont want to get triangulated!

post #2699 of 2701
Thanks for the great infor dsperber! If I do jump on the Realiser, I'll make an appointment with the good people at AIX.

Arnaud, the canal resonances are bothersome and it makes sense that if there's a tipped up treble especially around 7 or 8 khz it would be due to the fact that there is something going on there with the microphone being at the entrance to the ear and not nearer the ear drum. To this point, regarding the Etymotic's ER4 iem's eq peak at 7.5 khz, Sigfried Linkwitz had this to say:

"The 7.5 kHz peak is due to the acoustic impedance mismatch between transducer, ear canal and ear drum causing a half wavelength resonance in the canal."

He designed an notch filter (with a pretty narrow Q) of -8 db to account for this peak. (Which, btw, I duplicated with a software eq and found that it works wonders with the ER4)

If Linkwitz found the ER4s have an 8db peak at 7.5khz when using the 3-flange tips, wouldn't a redesign of the microphones for insertion into the ears canals at approximately the same depth as the 3-flange negate, or at least smooth out that peak? Or does taking measurements from inside the ear present other, more difficult problems? Is anyone finding that severe an eq error in the 7 to 8 khz area?

Another question about the choice of headphones. I'm unclear as to exactly why Stax are recommended so uniformly as a brand. From what I've gathered there's a lot of personal preference for the Stax sound, but no other concrete reasons why these headphones would "work" better with the Realiser. For instance, are electrostatic transducers less prone to eq artifacts? Is the house Stax sound more intrinsically speaker like in some way that would reduce the amount of eq needed? As I mentioned earlier, using Darin's software I've found that the AKG k501 headphones (which are known for their sense of innate sense of spaciousness) were much, much better at realizing an out of the head phenonena than any of the other headphones I tried. Frankly, both duplicating as close as possible in headphones the freq response of the measured speakers and the measured psychoacoustic impression of the room are equally important to me.

Also, for me a prerequisite is that the headphones be sealed as the room I'll mostly use the Realiser in doesn't have quite a low enough noise floor for my tastes. From what I've been reading about sealed cans, it looks like the AKG K550s have the most spaciousness and are neutral enough to use in the way I'll need. Anyone have experience using them with the Realiser?

Thanks for the input!
post #2700 of 2701

Edited by bias - Yesterday at 9:14 pm
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