Just a heads-up, for anybody in the Midwest area around the general vicinity of Champaign IL, which is about 2 1/2 hours straight south of Chicago.
On Monday, May 7, from 5 to 8:30 PM, Glenn Poor's Audio Video in Champaign, Illinois will be hosting an evening event with Smyth Research. It's open to the public, but advance RSVP is requested so that they can be properly prepared for whoever is and how many are going to show up.
Lorr Kramer of Smyth Research will be at Glenn Poor's that evening, conducting personalized demonstrations of the Realiser for anyone interested, using the theater room at Glenn Poor's to convince any non-believers who've not yet experienced what the Realiser can do at a previous CanJam show or other opportunity. And, there will also be wine, beer and snacks.
A standard Stax electrostatic SRS-2170 "entry level" system (which is normally included with the Realiser package) will be used for the demo. But if you're seriously curious about how the Realiser will sound with your own high-end headphone/amp, bring it along! Lorr will be glad to use your own high-end high-quality headphone equipment for your demo, if it's equal to or better than the Stax SRS-2170. Note that the Stax SRS-2170 can be omitted from the Realiser package, if you have your own SRM-007tII or SRM727II, or SR-Omega or SR-007 or SR-009, or any other high-end headphone/amp combination. These are all usable with the Realiser.
NOTE: there has been an ongoing Realiser owner's thread on Head-Fi since April 2009 when the long-awaited device (since 2004 when it was first announced) finally became available for purchase. And, I might add, I myself am the proud owner of the very first serial #0001 unit.
The Realiser is an HDMI-enabled digital sound processor that accepts either (a) discrete up to 7.1 multi-channel LPCM digital input via HDMI, or (b) discrete up to 7.1 multi-channel analog input (from preamp output of an AVR or source device) via RCA. There is no built-in decoder of any kind in the Realiser (i.e. no internal codec support for Dolby or DTS or anything). Instead, all digital or analog mulit-channel input to the Realiser is expected to be decoded upstream by the source device or processor and then delivered to the Realiser as discrete multi-channel LPCM digital (via HDMI) or discrete multi-channel analog (via RCA).
Output of the SVS-processed output is intended for listening through high-end headphones for optimal results, and is delivered to either (a) optical Toslink digital output for feeding to an external DAC and then on to your headphone/amp analog input via XLR or RCA cables, or (b) analog RCA/phone plug output produced by the built-in DAC in the Realiser. There is an HDMI output connector as well, for convenient HDMI pass-through to a downstream audio/video device (e.g. HDTV) if your AVR does not itself provide two or more HDMI outputs (one to feed the Realiser, and the other to feed the HDTV). The Realiser has a built-in digital volume control that affects the level on both Toslink and analog headphone outputs.
The purpose of the Realiser is to EXACTLY DUPLICATE the sound of ANY listening environment via headphones. Through a "PRIR measurement process" involving the user sitting in the listening environment to be "captured" with a pair of special calibration microphones one inserted into each ear, the Realiser sends out a series of sweep frequency signals individually to each speaker in the room. What is received by each microphone is the net total result of all electronics, speakers, floor/wall/ceiling treatments, baffles, speaker location (both horizontal and vertical), seating location in the room, etc. In other words, what the two microphones provide is a precise "measurement/capture" of everything about the sound of that room as heard by the particular user's ears, head physiology, hearing mechanism, etc.
The net result of such a "measurement/capture" process is a digital file named a PRIR. This PRIR represents precisely how THAT LISTENING ROOM sounded to THAT USER sitting in THAT LOCATION. Its use by the Realiser during playback of true source content is not intended for use by anybody other than that original user for whom the PRIR measurement/capture was taken (and whose specific ears and hearing system figured into the PRIR data itself). It is not intended to "optimize" the sound of your headphones, or to simulate 3D virtual surround via headphones. It is plain and simple intended to DUPLICATE the sound of the measured listening room (however good or bad it is) when used for playback.
Thus any listening environments you are lucky enough to be able to "buy your way into letting them permit you to use their room/equipment for an hour" can be "measured/captured" into a PRIR and the results saved. You can accumulate an infinite number of these PRIR measurements, storing them externally on SD flash cards or internally in the Realiser which has room for up to 64 separate PRIR files. These PRIR files then can be used at playback time for listening to any multi-channel source content through the Realiser and some selected PRIR file (along with selecting a second file named an HPEQ, which digitally measures your headphones and your ears in a similar fashion as the PRIR measures the listening room environment and your ears).
The resulting total effect of using the Realiser and selected PRIR/HPEQ for playback listening to any multi-channel content is to hear through your headphones what sounds like a duplicate of listening to that same multi-channel content in that original listening environment with its real true loudspeakers. That is the whole goal and point of the Realiser... to DUPLICATE any listening environment, so that playback of any content sounds through headphones like you were actually in that originally measured/captured room (as described by the PRIR for you and you alone in that room) listening through real speakers. Not better, not worse, not "optimized". It is simply a DUPLICATE of that room's sound to your ears... whatever it was.
The Realiser can store up to four PRIR/HPEQ combinations as "presets", so that you can conveniently "switch rooms" by pushing the remote P1-P4 preset selection buttons. There is sufficient internal memory capacity in the Realiser to support up to 64 stored PRIR files (representing captured listening rooms) and up to 64 stored HPEQ files (representing different headphone/amp equipment combinations you might own). And any number of these files can be stored externally on SD flash cards, and swapped into the Realiser through use of its SD card reader.
The Realiser also has firmware support and sufficient CPU horsepower to support TWO INDEPENDENT PRIR/HPEQ COMBINATIONS SIMULTANEOUSLY. Assuming there are two available headphone/amp output delivery equipment paths available, this allows two people to listen to one source content simultaneously, each of whom is supported by the Realiser's independent use of that person's specific PRIR/HPEQ of choice. And of course that means that each person can "be hearing the movie in a different PRIR-specific listening room" (of their own preference), while one single BluRay movie player delivers sound to the Realiser for delivery to each headphone/amp.
If you've never heard of the Realiser, or you've heard of it but have never experienced it, or if you've been using Dolby Headphone or similar device "tricks" to simulate virtual surround of multi-channel source content through headphones, you really owe it to yourself to get yourself to Champaign for that night's special demo opportunity. I can almost guarantee you will not be disappointed. And you will more than likely be startled when at the end of the "measurement" process you are then given an A/B-comparison opportunity between speakers and headphones, and your first words will almost certainly be "that was the headphones or the speakers???".
Glenn Poor's Audio-Video
1745 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign IL 61821
Edited by dsperber - 4/16/12 at 9:45pm