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Long awaited Smyth SVS Realiser NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE - Page 7

post #91 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
So I could get my (1) room/ears done with someone else's gear (borrow or visit), and combine my (2) headphones/amp/ears with it, and discard my own room/ears portion to integrate their better room?
Absolutely.

In fact, you don't need to do both parts of the calibration process all the time. You can just do one, and save the file for future use in multiple preset combinations. Then whenever you want you can combine that (or any) file of one type with any one file of the other type to produce a new preset.

And yes, that is the whole idea... to do your own headphone/amp/ear calibration (which does NOT use any loudspeakers or room acoustics completely separate from any room/ear calibrations. You only have the binaural microphones inserted in your ears and then you put on your headphones over the ears/mics, and then you perform the quick headphone/amp/ear EQ measurement). All that is measured is those components... not the room or loudspeakers.

Then you combine this one headphone/amp/ear file (assuming you only have one) with any number of room/ear calibrations done at other people's home or studio or store, to produce presets that reflect your headphone/amp equipment, your ears, and each of those other room/ear listening environments.


Quote:
I am assuming that using someone else's room/ears or headphone/ears profile will sound wrong, but just how wrong will it sound?
It sounds wrong. Think prescription eyeglasses, and trying to borrow someone else's because yours broke. You squint, you turn your head, you try to eke out some portion of the ground glass that just might improve your vision while looking through it... but all in all it's really a failure because those glasses were ground from that other persons' calibrated optical measurements, not yours.

I did this "use someone else's file" experiment back last year, and it was bizarre. With my files sound was directional, properly elevated and left/right oriented, etc., whereas with the other person's files the whole directionality got skewed. Not just elevated or rotated, but even "diagonally distorted". I know this seems hard to believe, but that's what happened.

There's clearly more to the SVS processing than a standard DSP hardware chip from TI.
post #92 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by scootermafia View Post
I'm sure it's a cool effect that messes with the headstage so that it sounds like speakers, but as MBD said, speakers are more than just placement of sounds, they have power that can't be felt with headphones. I think that while this Smyth DSP is pretty advanced and sounds better than any other DSP, it's not natural. I definitely wouldn't pay $3000 for it, if it were a switch on my amp like the Meier crossfeed it'd be okay - I suppose if you're bored and rich you may as well buy one and screw around with it. It's a novelty and I bet with some headphones it ruins the qualities of them that people love. Would people use this with R10s, K1000s willingly?
Did you listen to it? No doubt some people will not like it just as some people do not like the in the head imaging of headphones. To the extent that doesn't bother you, then this piece is probably not for you. What I don't get is why some people care so much about dismissing it. I mean I think messing around with super expensive cords and wires is a waste but I don't go to those threads and start dissing everyone. To each his own and if it makes a difference that people can hear, that's great. It is expensive but so is the HD800 and amps built by hand, etc., etc. I mean if mainstream looked at the money people have invested in headphone set-ups here, they would think they should be committed. It is really a matter of what interest you so to make statements about the price really seems pretty ironic. Color me confused.
post #93 of 2713
I'm definitely going to get an SVS Realiser.

Talking with Mike, Steve, and Steve at CanJam, we should definitely organize a mini meet at Smyth Research in Camarillo. I think we should definitely get a list of seriously interested buyers. We could then have personalizations done there along with profiling our own headphones. (I don't plan on using the Headphone profiling file).

An AIX trip would be great as well. I'm definitely interested.

Smyth Research said they could handle a group of about 10-12 people on a weekend, like a Saturday. We could do it sometime this summer, or perhaps as late as early fall.

So, who's interested? <raises hand>

I'll post a thread in the Meets forum if there is enough interest.

-Ed
post #94 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsperber View Post

It sounds wrong. Think prescription eyeglasses, and trying to borrow someone else's because yours broke. You squint, you turn your head, you try to eke out some portion of the ground glass that just might improve your vision while looking through it... but all in all it's really a failure because those glasses were ground from that other persons' calibrated optical measurements, not yours.

I did this "use someone else's file" experiment back last year, and it was bizarre. With my files sound was directional, properly elevated and left/right oriented, etc., whereas with the other person's files the whole directionality got skewed. Not just elevated or rotated, but even "diagonally distorted". I know this seems hard to believe, but that's what happened.

There's clearly more to the SVS processing than a standard DSP hardware chip from TI.
I was skeptical about this one, so I tested this one out at CanJam. Loaded up my personalization file from the San Lorenzo B room where Smyth Research had their main set up. Took the SD card to the other room where they had their smaller set up (with the PS3 hooked up.). Loaded up my file. Then switched back and forth between the other profiles from other people saved on the SVS Realiser.

Wow, they were all completely different sounding. Not even subtle. No one questions that Custom IEM's won't fit well if at all with other people's ears, and it's pretty much the same with SVS Personalizations.

-Ed
post #95 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
So, who's interested? <raises hand>
I'd be interested, depending on the timing. Not something I'd make a dedicated trip for, but I really should have taken them up on the offer to get some calibrations done at their friend's studio (sorry, I forget the guy's name, but there was a flyer about it in Smyth's room). Essentially, if you agreed to buy $100 of the music recorded in this studio, they would do measurements for you and you could take both the music AND the room it was recorded in, sitting in the producer's chair and hearing it as he did, with you!

Anyway, I digress. The point is that I'd love to come back and spend more time hanging out with Steven and Michael, both of whom are great guys, and getting my SVS Realizer more fine tuned. Being the technophobe that I am, I'd also like to be able to watch them go through the entire setup several times with other people so that I could become "trained" on the best of practice techniques that will allow me to make better use of my SVS once I start sharing it with friends and bringing it to meets.

I'm expecting to be passing though California, coming down from North to South in late August. In the meantime, I'll just use the measurements they took in the demo room. Not a bad starting point. Not bad at all, and that's a huge understatement as anyone who has been measured can tell you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
Wow, they were all completely different sounding. Not even subtle. No one questions that Custom IEM's won't fit well if at all with other people's ears, and it's pretty much the same with SVS Personalizations.

-Ed
Steven mentioned that it's really luck of the draw in this regard. It's a normal distribution, so if your personalizations are on the left tail and another person's are on the right tail, listening with that person's measurements will be totally whacked. But if both of your personalizations are near center (in the hump of the bell shaped curve, near the mean if you will), then the differences won't be so dramatic.

I suppose (my conjecture here) that this is probably true of custom IEMs as well. Depending on how "normal" your ear canals are shaped, you may be able to wear other people's customs IEMs without too much discomfort and without degrading the sound too much relative to what you would optimally hear with your own custom pair. But of course the point is, these products are designed to be personalized because nobody has the exact same shape and depth of ear canals nor do any two people have the same HRTFs.
post #96 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
I'd be interested, depending on the timing. .....

I'm expecting to be passing though California, coming down from North to South in late August. In the meantime, I'll just use the measurements they took in the demo room. Not a bad starting point. Not bad at all, and that's a huge understatement as anyone who has been measured can tell you.
Either way, sounds like Late August would be a good time for a big SoCal meet possibly?

-Ed
post #97 of 2713
Thread Starter 
One other interesting observation in my new ongoing listening A/B-comparison of the Smyth room vs. the AIX room, as they both get tried for assorted HDTV shows.

Turns out that while the two "virtual rooms" are sonically quite different, what's interesting is that one or the other actually seems more preferable for each given source content. And the "winner" is not always the AIX room simply because "it has better speakers and acoustics".

In other words, while early on I had preferred the AIX room for a movie I had watched, and for "Rescue Me", turns out I prefer the Smyth room for "Poker After Dark" and "So You Think You Can Dance". Then, catching up on the final episodes of "Lost" I was back to preferring the AIX room.

In theory all of these were DD5.1 audio but I suspect the actual mix may possibly have been 2-channel stereo, or maybe just not very good DD5.1, or maybe badly EQ'd tonal quality, or something else... and it was these other factors which together actually made it more "pleasant and comfortable" to listen through the Smyth room preset (which has less bass and more mid-range) rather than the AIX room (which has a stronger low-end but which because of that can sound overwhelming with the wrong source content). The two rooms are sonically dramatically different and listening through headphones only makes that very very obvious.

I find this very interesting, that a given "room" can sound terrific for one source content/mix/EQ but not so good for some other source content. Maybe that other content requires at least an alternative counter-balancing EQ tonal adjustment curve to compensate (like different skis and goggles for different snow and lighting conditions), and then its inherently superior speakers will once again emerge "victorious". But it's more than that. It's the whole spatial effect that is also different, virtualizing speaker placement, sound field apparent elevation, etc.

Anyway, this is really quite fascinating... that I actually found myself choosing the Smyth room preset instead of the AIX room preset yesterday, to watch certain content. And vice versa.


I communicated these thoughts to Mike Smyth and his response is as follows:

"Yes, we've noticed the same thing here. Our demo room can sound quite nice - it just depends on the material.

"Tends to make you believe that the ideal system/room may not actually exist, or perhaps that the source material may not have been mixed appropriately or monitored correctly.

"It's hard to believe but I believe that we're moving into territory that no-one has really explored too well - or perhaps has discussed publicly. How does material translate between different listening environments?

"Up to now it's required a major commitment in time and effort to do this - and the final comparison has invariably been made between two or more rooms/speakers over a period of minutes/hours or even days. Now it can be done instantly, and the results I think will surprise a lot of people.

"You're really at the leading edge of this discussion."
post #98 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwood View Post
I'm definitely going to get an SVS Realiser.

Talking with Mike, Steve, and Steve at CanJam, we should definitely organize a mini meet at Smyth Research in Camarillo. I think we should definitely get a list of seriously interested buyers. We could then have personalizations done there along with profiling our own headphones. (I don't plan on using the Headphone profiling file).

An AIX trip would be great as well. I'm definitely interested.

Smyth Research said they could handle a group of about 10-12 people on a weekend, like a Saturday. We could do it sometime this summer, or perhaps as late as early fall.

So, who's interested? <raises hand>

I'll post a thread in the Meets forum if there is enough interest.

-Ed
How much is a flight from Pittsburgh, PA to Camarillo, CA?

If the sound system and room are top notch gear, I would definitely consider it.
post #99 of 2713
Which pre-amps are you guys planning on using with this? it sounds incredible!
post #100 of 2713
I didn't get a copy of my "Smyth Room" because they said they save them, and I figured I could get it if I order later. I want to make sure that is correct?
post #101 of 2713
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I didn't get a copy of my "Smyth Room" because they said they save them, and I figured I could get it if I order later. I want to make sure that is correct?
Well, that would depend on whether they remember the name they saved it for you under.

There are 30 available memory locations on the box for room/ear settings, and 30 available memory locations for headphone/amp/ear settings. These can be combined in any "one of each" group and saved into any of the four presets directly accessible from the remote.

Furthermore, the SD flash card can be written to hold any number of both types of settings files (copied from the box to the flash card via Menu function). And then any of these card-resident settings files can be later pulled back in through the card reader and used to store one of the four presets, or simply to come back into one of the 30+30 memory locations for more convenient future use.

So... as long as they didn't overlay your memory location, and/or if they annotated your file so that they can now locate it, and/or if they wrote it to SD flash card so that they can retrieve it... they can provide it to you on the SD card they send to you with your unit and then you can load it into the box yourself, to build your own preset from once you do your own headphone/amp/ear calibration with your own equipment.
post #102 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledge View Post
How much is a flight from Pittsburgh, PA to Camarillo, CA?

If the sound system and room are top notch gear, I would definitely consider it.
I don't know that they have top notch gear and a well treated room, but I'd be surprised if it isn't at least decent. Plus, they're pretty good at doing the measurements and personalizations. It's their friend (the one I mentioned in one of my posts above) who has a recording studio. That's where I want to get mine done. I wish I would have taken one of those flyers!
post #103 of 2713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
I don't know that they have top notch gear and a well treated room, but I'd be surprised if it isn't at least decent. Plus, they're pretty good at doing the measurements and personalizations. It's their friend (the one I mentioned in one of my posts above) who has a recording studio. That's where I want to get mine done. I wish I would have taken one of those flyers!
The AIX guy? Well if he's willing...
post #104 of 2713
Please forgive me if the following questions are obvious or have already been answered but I am still a bit confused about this technology even though I have been following it here, and elsewhere, since it was first debuted:

Can I still use this unit with my Edition 9's and not the stax unit?
Can I still use my main headphone amp?
Do you have to face this unit AFTER calibration in order for it to still work?
Do you need to keep the tracking devise attached to your headband AFTER calibration has been completed?

Main Question:

I have access to a very high end multi million dollar recording studio through my profession. Would I be able to reproduce the room, two channel speaker/monitors etc. on this devise and then be able to derive some similar listening experience with my Edition 9's on my home rig? I don't really care about surround sound for home theater, I have a very nice system and don't need to listen to it on headphones. Does this improve headphone listening to music if calibrated only to a very high end 2 channel system like in this recording studio?

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide for these questions.
post #105 of 2713
My comments are in red below:


Please forgive me if the following questions are obvious or have already been answered but I am still a bit confused about this technology even though I have been following it here, and elsewhere, since it was first debuted:

Can I still use this unit with my Edition 9's and not the stax unit? Yes
Can I still use my main headphone amp? Yes
Do you have to face this unit AFTER calibration in order for it to still work? Not the box, but you do have to face the head tracker if you want the full effect.
Do you need to keep the tracking devise attached to your headband AFTER calibration has been completed? Yes, if you want the full experience.

Main Question:

I have access to a very high end multi million dollar recording studio through my profession. Would I be able to reproduce the room, two channel speaker/monitors etc. on this devise and then be able to derive some similar listening experience with my Edition 9's on my home rig? I don't really care about surround sound for home theater, I have a very nice system and don't need to listen to it on headphones. Does this improve headphone listening to music if calibrated only to a very high end 2 channel system like in this recording studio?
Yes, they mentioned that the system does a great job with just two channel stereo as well for replicating a traditional stereo speaker listening experience.
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