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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 188

post #2806 of 2816
Quote:
Originally Posted by bias View Post
 

Hey Bruce,

 

It's important to understand that the headphones themselves are by far the biggest factor here in whether or not the Realiser will live up to its potential.

 

I've come to understand that the physical comfort, imaging capabilities, dynamic capabilities, and a wide bandwidth are the most important qualities.  Neutrality is also important so that the headphones don't impart too much of their own coloration to the emulation.

 

Talking to the people at Smyth, it was my impression that they choose to bundle the Stax headphones primarily due to their lightweight and comfort.  

 

IMHO, the Realiser comes pretty close, but does not perfectly clone a speaker system.  To my ears there's always an added high frequency emphasis (which, however, could be corrected for with eq) and the phantom center in stereo is not as solid and precise as speaker playback.  Thus, a headphone that doesn't already have too much HF emphasis might be preferable to something like an HD800. Open headphones, which generally have more natural stereo presentation or ones that use angled drivers to create a better stereo impression also should be considered.  Likewise it stands to reason that Harmon's eq curve that led to their "Room Feel" thing might do well as these headphones (NAD Viso HP50 and PSB m4u) are already tuned to sound like speakers in a nicely acoustically treated living room.

 

To answer your specific question, the headphones when used with the Realiser will no longer act like sonic microscopes and an amount of detail loss similar to when you listen to speakers should be expected.  

 

For a general idea of what to expect, try Darin Fong's Out Of Your Head software to hear what I'm talking about.

bias.

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

The H-03 are extremely comfortable for me, lightweight, don't put my head in a vice, and don't make me "sweat like a pig".  They are open back style electrostats.

 

Of course when it comes to imaging, dynamics, and bandwidth, everything affects everything, and if the speakers/cans don't have the capabilities much of what is done upstream won't have much of an effect..  

 

I started assembling/visualizing this headphone system in my head based on my 40+ years of speaker based audio systems.  Other than my PC server, some actively shielded interconnects, and assorted power cords I have the advantage of starting at ground zero.

 

Everything with the exception of my new DAC (should be here late today) has arrived a piece at a time allowing me to lock in on differences and improvements, or not.

 

By the way, pretty close will be close enough, once I get my big rig sampled.  The added HF emphasis is not a problem for these old ears.  They don't hear past 10kHz.

 

We will ultimate find out, but my big rig images so tightly that a little loss in the center precision will probably be adapted for very quickly by my acoustic interface/brain.

 

Before we moved and there was not longer a place for my big rig, I thought I had the speakers that would never be changed.  Over a period of almost 9 years every change I made up stream was immediately audible.  Speakers I brought in to replace them were never as revealing.  So, I was set.

 

The H-03 and amp arrived first.  So far every addition change has been immediately audible in a large way.  Huge DIY power cords that were an integral part of my big rig destroyed the highs(that I can hear), detail, and delicacy that was apparent prior to their substitution.  As each piece has been added the system has continued to improve.  So I have had the advantage of hearing my cans sans the A8.  I have had the A8 for two days now and even with just the factory sample I can tell I am on the right track.

 

I have a general question that I will put in the next post of this thread so it isn't lost in all this verbiage.

 

Again thank you for responding to my query.

 

Bruce

post #2807 of 2816

I am bypassing the A to D and D to A of the A8.

 

Because my computer does not have HDMI out I am using a USB to HDMI converter.  I have three in house.  They all use the same video driver, which is totally unimportant to me.

 

However, they don't have equal digital audio capabilities.  Two will only send 16/48 to the HDMI, so they up convert 16/44.1.  The third, which I am currently using can output 16/44.1 and 16/48.  I have not yet evaluated for audible differences between the adapters yet.

 

Are any of you aware of a USB to HDMI adapter that can pass through the maximum 24/96 that the A8 will accept?

 

Thanks for any replies.

 

Bruce

post #2808 of 2816

I've never seen a USB to HDMI adapter that does multi-channel audio, let alone 24/96.  

 

If you have the available PCI slot, best bet is to buy an inexpensive graphics card with HDMI out, like a Radeon 68xx series.

 

I may stand corrected: this claims to output 192khz 7.1 audio.  And there are actually plenty that claim to output 5.1, but only at 48khz here.


Edited by bias - 7/10/15 at 11:30am
post #2809 of 2816

Well darn bias, 192 and 7.1,   You had me all excited, for a moment.  

 

I had already investigate this type of adapters.  They are designed for use from MHL "enabled" smart phone and tablets, etc.  What is sent out of a computer would not work.  However, if MHL can send the high sample rate why can't others.

 

Any way it turns out to be a moot point.  I have learned that our A8 takes whatever input it receives (16/44.1 thru 24/96) works its magic and sends out 24/48 over the optical Toslink.  :o  :( =  :blink:   (that is mixed emotions) 

 

Thanks for looking though.

 

Bruce

post #2810 of 2816
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBAW View Post
 

Any way it turns out to be a moot point.  I have learned that our A8 takes whatever input it receives (16/44.1 thru 24/96) works its magic and sends out 24/48 over the optical Toslink.  :o  :( =  :blink:   (that is mixed emotions) 

 

Realiser internally resamples everything to 48khz before it works its magic. So it doesn't make any sense to send other than 48khz through HDMI, unless your audio/video player resampling algorithm is crap.

 

Obviously this results in sending 48khz though Toslink as resampling output yet again would be silly..

post #2811 of 2816
Quote:
Originally Posted by hekeli View Post
 

 

Realiser internally resamples everything to 48khz before it works its magic. So it doesn't make any sense to send other than 48khz through HDMI, unless your audio/video player resampling algorithm is crap.

 

Obviously this results in sending 48khz though Toslink as resampling output yet again would be silly..

That has been my concern.  

 

That the audio resamplers in the USB to HDMI adapters ARE crap.  The adapters are relatively inexpensive and two can only be powered by the "noisiy" 5V USB supply, potentially increasing jitter.  Given the rounding in the math to get 44.1 to 48 I would want a very good chip doing the work.  The first two below can only put out 48 kHz, and are the USB only powered.

 

Cirago USB HDMI Display Adapter (UDA2000)  $40

C2G / Cables To Go 30547 USB 2.0 to HDMI Audio and Video Adapter External Video Card $60

Aluratek USB To HDMI 1080P Adapter (AUH200F) $59

 

The Aluratek of course does 48 kHz, but can also pass 44.1 straight through and let the superior capabilities of the A8 handle the conversion.  Additionally there is a switch to disconnect from the computer USB power and use an external (potentially better) 5V supply.  I have not gotten around to comparing the sound of the three yet.  I am using the Aluratek and passing 44.1 to the A8.  

 

For those of us with A8's we can save money on high res downloads since they would be resampled down to 24/48 anyway.

post #2812 of 2816
Quote:
Originally Posted by bias View Post
 

I've never seen a USB to HDMI adapter that does multi-channel audio, let alone 24/96.  

 

If you have the available PCI slot, best bet is to buy an inexpensive graphics card with HDMI out, like a Radeon 68xx series.

 

I may stand corrected: this claims to output 192khz 7.1 audio.  And there are actually plenty that claim to output 5.1, but only at 48khz here.

 

My music server is an HP all in one touch screen.  No availability of a PCI slot.   :(  That would be a great solution with a desktop.

 

I have a laptop WITH HDMI out.  It is my main work computer so not as convenient as a computer that is dedicated to the audio system.

 

However,  I will be testing it soon to see if taking the USB to HDMI adapter and additional cable out of the chain gives any improvement in audio quality.

post #2813 of 2816

Would I enjoy/notice a better amp in my current setup?

 

I have a decent source that I run through my Smyth to an SRM-600 amp to the 009 headphones.  I can't tell a difference between running RCAs directly from the Smyth to the amp and running a toslink out of the Smyth to a Cambridge DAC to the balanced inputs of the Smyth (the SRM-600 makes it incredibly easy to A/B, and I can't even tell I'm A/B-ing).  Depending on the source and so on, sometime I have the Smyth volume as high as -5db and the SRM-600 at 3 o'clock.  I can of course crank everything loud enough that the 009s distort, but I have no desire to do that.

 

I frequently hear about more powerful electrostatic amps crushing/destroying/mutilating STAX amps, especially the lesser 600, so I'm curious as to whether I could get more detail/better SQ/etc with a more powerful amp (say, KGSSHV, or the carbon, or BHSE, or whatever).  My inclination is that the Smyth minimizes those differences, given how good the 009s are, and that if I'm satisfied with my current amp, it probably isn't worth exploring a new one.  But the itch continues.  Does anyone have experience with this?

post #2814 of 2816
Quote:
Originally Posted by West726 View Post
 

Would I enjoy/notice a better amp in my current setup?

 

I have a decent source that I run through my Smyth to an SRM-600 amp to the 009 headphones.  I can't tell a difference between running RCAs directly from the Smyth to the amp and running a toslink out of the Smyth to a Cambridge DAC to the balanced inputs of the Smyth (the SRM-600 makes it incredibly easy to A/B, and I can't even tell I'm A/B-ing).  Depending on the source and so on, sometime I have the Smyth volume as high as -5db and the SRM-600 at 3 o'clock.  I can of course crank everything loud enough that the 009s distort, but I have no desire to do that.

 

I frequently hear about more powerful electrostatic amps crushing/destroying/mutilating STAX amps, especially the lesser 600, so I'm curious as to whether I could get more detail/better SQ/etc with a more powerful amp (say, KGSSHV, or the carbon, or BHSE, or whatever).  My inclination is that the Smyth minimizes those differences, given how good the 009s are, and that if I'm satisfied with my current amp, it probably isn't worth exploring a new one.  But the itch continues.  Does anyone have experience with this?


Follow-up in response to a PM I received:  I'm interested only in how the Realiser will affect the choice of the amp, not the amp in the abstract.  Thanks.

post #2815 of 2816

in theory if the amp doesn't have annoying nonlinear distortion, then noise and peak output are really the only considerations after the Realizer's headphone calibration through the amp and headphone, correcting frequency response, phase, channel balance...

post #2816 of 2816
hi, im planning to buy this for my modded closed hd800 and geek pulse as a source. do I need another amp downstream of the smyth or they work as an amp as well?how good is the amp section?
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