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Any Smyth Realiser Owners Out There Who Love Electronic Music?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm a big fan of both music itself and great headphones. I've played and recorded for many years - mostly earlier in my life. My musical tastes have evolved over the years through rock, funk, disco, classical, soul, pop, world, etc. I love many styles of music, but modern electronic is now my favorite. 

 

Current rig is Headroom Max w/Alps into HD800. I like this specific combo so much that I own two sets of each (headphone and amp) for two different places. The power of this amp makes the HD800s work right. I've owned HD650, LCD3, and various others, but the HD800s are, to my ears, the bomb.

 

I've continued to expand my musical interests to the point where several years ago I started diving deeper into the directions that electronic music were evolving. It took awhile, but I was able to pick up the taste, and I'm now a serious fan of "the good stuff." As I mentioned, I'm also a musician (and a bit of a tinkerer), so I love to both listen to music as a gestalt, I also sometimes listen deep into the music and to and mentally figure out how different sounds and effects are created.

 

I feel like the HD800s are divine gifts, honestly. It's really engaging to track the directions and vectors of evolution of this new style of music, and it's fun for me to keep tabs on it. This rig feels like it opens up the music into the room, and brings it to life. As you can probably tell, I think that the imaging capability of this headphone "instrument" is transcendent.

 

Now that I've raved like a lunatic about these phones, I'd love to get some advice from the real world...

 

I've basically assumed that for the type of music I listen to most frequently, this HD800 rig is the pinnacle of imaging. Someone in another forum recommended that I check out the Smyth Realiser, as it promises to take the imaging experience to another level. After a little bit of research, this piece of gear sounds like a bit of a time investment - in terms of traveling to the required perfectly-tuned rooms and audio systems required to calibrate them.

 

But, being a self-proclaimed audio addict, I'm willing to make it happen if it gives me access to the next level! Anyone with experience that can give me some feedback on my current irrational dilemma?

 

Thanks, I really appreciate your time and thoughts.

post #2 of 8

As a Realiser owner, I have said before that I really don't understand what "imaging" means when talking about headphones. To me, without the Realiser, there is no imaging with headphones. I know reviews and users often speak of imaging with headphones and comparing how well one rig will image when compared with another. Maybe I don't have enough experience with a lot of different headphones, but for me, the image using headphones is strictly contained in my head between my ears. Unless you are talking about binaural recordings, which is a whole different subject, regular two channel audio does not provide any imaging in the sense that we talk about imaging with speakers.

 

Maybe there is a tiny bit of "imaging" going on with respect to headphones, but I don't hear it. So when people talk about the Realiser taking "imaging to the next level", to me it's more like the Realiser enables imaging where there was none before. To me it's like having a speaker with only one tweeter and then saying that adding a woofer takes the bass to the "next level". Well, I guess you could say that, but it sounds as if you were saying there was any bass to begin with.

 

With that said, the best way to explain the Realiser is simple. When using it, you are hearing the sound from real speakers. Yes, you are not listening to actual physical speakers sitting in front of you, but for the most part, what you hear is the sound you would hear coming from speakers sitting in the room with you.  If you like listening to speakers, then you will like listening to the Realiser.

 

It's that simple. And it really works. People who have never heard the Realiser will ask, "What does it sound like?" Well, sit down in a room with speakers and listen to music or a movie and that's exactly what the Realiser sounds like. It matches the sound of the speakers in a room. The better the speakers and room that you measure, the better the sound you hear. In theory, you don't "hear" the Realiser. You hear the speakers and room that you measured.

 

Is it 100% perfect? No. But given a great speaker system, a great room, AND a great measurement, it can be amazingly close. For me it's a lot closer than nothing. Meaning, the speakers and rooms that I listen to on my Realiser I could never afford to own, so even if the Realiser is 98% accurate, it's still way better sounding than any system I could ever afford to have in my home. I don't even have a home theater set up in my home, but I regularly watch movies while listening to a $250,000 home theater system in my living room.

 

So back to your question about a Realiser being good for electronic music? To answer your question, just ask yourself are speakers good for electronic music? OK, the only factor is low end frequency response. Obviously with headphones only, you can't get the same "punch in your chest, pant leg waving" bass that you can get with speakers. But, the Realiser also has a tactile/subwoofer output which can be used with a subwoofer or tactile transducers to give you that extra ground shaking bass. When added to the headphones, you can get a pretty good simulation of low frequency reproduction.

 

The cool thing is that you can change "speakers" based on the type of content you are listening to. Assuming you can do measurements at multiple locations with multiple types of speakers, you can use the speakers that are best suited for the content. You can put on a jazz trio and pick the electrostatic speakers. Then you can watch a 7.1 surround movie and select the giant dynamic speakers with mega watt amps, etc. You get the idea. It's something that no one has really been able to do before with speakers unless you have multiple listening rooms in your home. It's like the freedom of being able to pick which headphones/amps you want to use based on the music you are listening to, but with speakers.

 

As you can tell, I love my Realiser. I can't listen to headphones without it.

post #3 of 8
Wonderfully said, and I concur.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

darinf: Thanks for this. It's just the kind of push I need...

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalPhoenix View Post

I'm a big fan of both music itself and great headphones. I've played and recorded for many years - mostly earlier in my life. My musical tastes have evolved over the years through rock, funk, disco, classical, soul, pop, world, etc. I love many styles of music, but modern electronic is now my favorite. 

 

Current rig is Headroom Max w/Alps into HD800. I like this specific combo so much that I own two sets of each (headphone and amp) for two different places. The power of this amp makes the HD800s work right. I've owned HD650, LCD3, and various others, but the HD800s are, to my ears, the bomb.

 

I've continued to expand my musical interests to the point where several years ago I started diving deeper into the directions that electronic music were evolving. It took awhile, but I was able to pick up the taste, and I'm now a serious fan of "the good stuff." As I mentioned, I'm also a musician (and a bit of a tinkerer), so I love to both listen to music as a gestalt, I also sometimes listen deep into the music and to and mentally figure out how different sounds and effects are created.

 

I feel like the HD800s are divine gifts, honestly. It's really engaging to track the directions and vectors of evolution of this new style of music, and it's fun for me to keep tabs on it. This rig feels like it opens up the music into the room, and brings it to life. As you can probably tell, I think that the imaging capability of this headphone "instrument" is transcendent.

 

Now that I've raved like a lunatic about these phones, I'd love to get some advice from the real world...

 

I've basically assumed that for the type of music I listen to most frequently, this HD800 rig is the pinnacle of imaging. Someone in another forum recommended that I check out the Smyth Realiser, as it promises to take the imaging experience to another level. After a little bit of research, this piece of gear sounds like a bit of a time investment - in terms of traveling to the required perfectly-tuned rooms and audio systems required to calibrate them.

 

But, being a self-proclaimed audio addict, I'm willing to make it happen if it gives me access to the next level! Anyone with experience that can give me some feedback on my current irrational dilemma?

 

Thanks, I really appreciate your time and thoughts.

I would think that particularly with your musical tastes, a Realiser would add enormously to your experience.  Imagine a genuine 5.1 experience from a pair of headphones (assuming you have 5.1 source material).  Imagine being in a small room and feeling as though you are listening to an array of very costly speakers, amps, etc. through your headphones.  Good PRIR essential though

post #6 of 8

+1 on Darin's post. 

There's no way you can go back to listening without the Realiser once you've tried it.

I have the HD800s myself and they are divine with it. 

However, I think it benefits greatly from good recordings (24 bit from labels who know how to record).

I listen almost exclusively to classical, so I can find quite a few of these. 

I don't know how it is with electronic music.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

As I look at the Realiser, I'm seeing that it has an output that can be used for a sub, or for a "tactile transducer"... which I've never used. Has anyone actually bought these "shakers" and bolted it to their couch - and used it with the Realiser?

 

Or even with just headphones alone?

 

Thanks again, guys.

post #8 of 8
Yes, I use it all the time. It helps with the realism, but is not a make or break requirement. It is very easy to over due the levels so be conservative.
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