Originally Posted by blubliss
dsperber, sorry I missed you at CanJam.
Actually, I was only there on Saturday afternoon. This being my first show I didn't know anybody and only wandered into exhibitors that I had some interest in... like Benchmark and Neko DAC, and the Ray Samuels room. Meeting Mark Waldrep was sort of random, since I spied a Realiser on his table as I walked by (along with a pre-release Oppo BDP-83 which one of his discs will be bundled with as provided demonstration material) and came back to introduce myself (as "serial #0001 purchaser') and talk.
|The brothers said I would have my unit in about 3 weeks.
On Monday they said they're almost ready with their second production batch, of 100 units.
|They brought an extra one over to my setup at CanJam and let me listen through my amp and Omega1. It was very cool, but the sound of their room at CanJam was too live and it came through clearly in my system. I can't wait to go over to the AIX place.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to really listen closely to the two different virtualizations I now have (Smyth room and AIX room) on the same content ("The Girlfriend Experience", a movie recorded from HDNet on DVR last week). I was specifically interested in trying various combinations of files, and the sound on this movie was absolutely A+++ superb and made for a wonderful test case.
Specifically, I had two separate SR-Omega headphone/amp files created at both the Smyth room and the AIX room and I was curious to see if there was any audible difference between the two when applied to the same room file. Turns out not (and not surprisingly as it should be, given what it's meant to define)! Turns out that the two separate calibrations based on the one headphone/amp were audibly identical when applied to the same room file. This was reassuring.
However what was ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE was the dramatic difference in the two listening room environments (i.e. combined room+headphone/amp files) between the Smyth room and the AIX room. I mean just astonishing (with the AIX room result being a "wins by 20 lengths" champion).
Not to belittle the Smyth room, and maybe it was because the AIX calibration went through an averaging of 4 sweeps per speaker rather than the 1 sweep we used at the Smyth room back in April, or maybe it was because of the huge difference in room acoustics and equipment and speaker placement in place at the AIX room, but by A/B-comparison the Smyth room sounds boomy and distant whereas the AIX room sounds precise and intimate.
The whole AIX room tonal result was night and day different from the Smyth room tonal result, with the AIX environment being pure and accurate through the headphones (exactly as I recall the room sounding on Monday, as best as that can be recollected days later). No tonal irregularities... just smooth and clean from bass to treble. I mean it was like going to the Landmark Theater (in West LA) "living room" screening room, with its high-quality multi-channel sound in a very small intimate room producing a very very enjoyable multi-channel listening experience.
When I would then go to the Smyth room preset, by comparison it almost sounded echoey, boomy and "invented". A completely different tonal signature and "EQ curve" which is obviously the accurately captured result of the different speakers, electronics, room, baffles, and overall listening environment in their room. It's just true... by contrast the Smyth room cannot compare to the AIX room.
This HDNet movie (from Steven Soderbergh) really had fantastically detailed and up-close intimate sound. Just amazing. And listening through the AIX room preset I thought these people were right there in front of (or around) me. Through the Smyth room it was almost unpleasantly artificial.
As a second test program I also watched an episode of "Rescue Me" (from FX HD), again alternating between the two listening room presets. And again, it was night and day... with the Smyth room booming and the AIX room precisely gorgeous and intimate. People talking with natural full-tonal levels, and with no "hollowness" or "Dolby Headphone effect" or artificial skewed tonal emphasis. Even the multi-channel spatial cues (i.e. "surround 3D virtualization") were much more pronounced and realistic and clearly more enjoyable in the AIX room as compared to the Smyth room.
Bottom line: I AM THRILLED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CAPTURE THE AIX ROOM!
|dsperber, are you in Los Angeles? If so, we should coordinate going to places to get new measurements. I already have one two channel room lined up and have another in mind.
Yes, I'm in Marina Del Rey.
And I would love to be able to do this same kind of thing again... elsewhere.
To be honest, however, I'm not sure I have yet developed an interest or fondness for listening to 2-channel CD audio sources through SVS. Quite frankly, I much prefer listening to the delicate detail of "pure 2-channel SR-Omega/SRM-T1S sound" possible by all-analog connections and no DSP effects.
In other words, if I use headphones for CD audio I want to be able to hear everything... precisely. That's why I would put the headphones on instead of listening through speakers. Two different experiences, each with its own unique enjoyment factors. Sure, listening Otis Redding's "White Christmas" through a zillion dollar 2-channel loudspeaker and Mac amp environment is going to be different to listening through a Ray Samuels A-10 headphone amp and SR-Omega or Orpheus headphones, but they both will make you cry from joy... just for different reasons, and rightly so.
In fact, I've taken to turning the Realiser to "standby" when I want to listen to 2-channel CD audio through my headphones. This facilitates "analog pass-through", permitting the headphone experience to be just as it should be, with no DSP. Now I may end up changing my mind if I can capture a fantastic 2-channel sound room and listening through that preset can really recreate that environment (speakers in front of me, instead of earphones on the sides of my head) and its unique enjoyment. I'm certainly willing to add such a 2-channel room to my "preset collection", if you can line one up. I'm in.