Smyth Research Realiser A16 - Issues, Questions, Feature Requests, Tips and Tricks

Most important missing features (you have three votes)


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Feb 3, 2020 at 6:37 AM Post #31 of 62

audiohobbit

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Guys, this thread was not intended for discussions, there is the other long A16 thread for: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smyth-research-realiser-a16.807459/page-533
I try and see if those postings can be moved to the other thread.

The reason why I posted no updates here is because I have some serious private matters to attend to.

First off, the UI is the absolute worst I have encountered in decades.
So you never got or even saw an A8...
Compared to the A8 the usability of the A16 is like heaven.
With the A8 you couldn't do anything without the manual besides turning on/off, changing preset and volume.
 
Feb 4, 2020 at 10:32 AM Post #32 of 62

Edwood

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Guys, this thread was not intended for discussions, there is the other long A16 thread for: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smyth-research-realiser-a16.807459/page-533
I try and see if those postings can be moved to the other thread.

The reason why I posted no updates here is because I have some serious private matters to attend to.
Noted. Will discuss there.


So you never got or even saw an A8...
Compared to the A8 the usability of the A16 is like heaven.
With the A8 you couldn't do anything without the manual besides turning on/off, changing preset and volume.


I bought (and still have) one of the very first Realiser A8. Realiser A16 being release in late 2019 is in dire need of a UI overhaul, or at the very least a Computer/Phone App for more direct control.

I think it's an entirely relevant and important discussion to have about the UI of the Realiser to be easier to use, so that this amazing device can be accessible to more than just the extreme hardcore fan and engineers.
 
Feb 9, 2020 at 3:32 PM Post #33 of 62

castleofargh

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Not sure if anybody else has this or not, but I seem to have figured out some patterns so here I go:

the bug is that when I turn off the A16, sometimes instead of the LED going from green to red, it just turns off and the A16 becomes unresponsive to power ON requests(remote or volume knob click). That state does not evolve over time and the only fix is to unplug replug the power at the back.

When it seems to happen: when I use the A16 for several hours and I trun it off after a long period of doing nothing to it(no volume level change, no navigating the menu, just letting it do its job for). No apparent issue with the A16 during that time, and it's not like the A16 stops being responsive before I turn it off. It's clearly the OFF action that leads to an abnormal condition. That issue is repeatable for me.

The fix: no clue why, but if I just change the volume before turning the A16 off, then it shuts down normally, the LED goes from green to red and stays that way, the A16 will respond to power ON request. So lately I've been pressing the volume button on the remote once, and then I turn off the A16... No idea why but that does the trick and that too is repeatable and consistent.


Context just in case:
FW V1.81 optical tracking.
HDMI input from my computer, with Windows10's output set as a 7.1 and the A16"seeing" 8channels just fine. The PC sees the A16 as a third monitor on my graphic card.
The room doesn't seem to matter, I've used the 7.1 BBC room for a while as a diagnostic idea just in case, instead of my own settings. and the behavior remains the same. I have no µSD in it, no USB or other analog inputs, and a Sennheiser HD650 plugged into the HP out on low gain for user1.
I've set the screen to turn off after 5mn(if it had 1mn I'd use that as it's in my field of view). I wonder if somehow that might be linked? Because changing the volume or pressing on the "menu" button doesn't do a lot beside waking up the screen.
 
Feb 14, 2020 at 3:20 AM Post #34 of 62

castleofargh

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Not sure if anybody else has this or not, but I seem to have figured out some patterns so here I go:

the bug is that when I turn off the A16, sometimes instead of the LED going from green to red, it just turns off and the A16 becomes unresponsive to power ON requests(remote or volume knob click). That state does not evolve over time and the only fix is to unplug replug the power at the back.

When it seems to happen: when I use the A16 for several hours and I trun it off after a long period of doing nothing to it(no volume level change, no navigating the menu, just letting it do its job for). No apparent issue with the A16 during that time, and it's not like the A16 stops being responsive before I turn it off. It's clearly the OFF action that leads to an abnormal condition. That issue is repeatable for me.

The fix: no clue why, but if I just change the volume before turning the A16 off, then it shuts down normally, the LED goes from green to red and stays that way, the A16 will respond to power ON request. So lately I've been pressing the volume button on the remote once, and then I turn off the A16... No idea why but that does the trick and that too is repeatable and consistent.


Context just in case:
FW V1.81 optical tracking.
HDMI input from my computer, with Windows10's output set as a 7.1 and the A16"seeing" 8channels just fine. The PC sees the A16 as a third monitor on my graphic card.
The room doesn't seem to matter, I've used the 7.1 BBC room for a while as a diagnostic idea just in case, instead of my own settings. and the behavior remains the same. I have no µSD in it, no USB or other analog inputs, and a Sennheiser HD650 plugged into the HP out on low gain for user1.
I've set the screen to turn off after 5mn(if it had 1mn I'd use that as it's in my field of view). I wonder if somehow that might be linked? Because changing the volume or pressing on the "menu" button doesn't do a lot beside waking up the screen.
Going with my guess, I've set the screen to remain ON all the time and haven't experienced the issue(or any issue) since. Less than a week isn't enough to completely rule out pure luck, but so far things strangely do seem to point toward the screen's "sleep mode".
 
Feb 29, 2020 at 11:27 PM Post #35 of 62

castleofargh

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Ending my own little adventure. All is confirmed now. If the screen turns off for a long time while the A16 is in use, and I then shut down the A16 with the remote without doing anything to "wake up" the screen, then the A16 shuts down completely(no red led and won't turn back ON). I can only get it to turn back ON after unplugging/re-plugging the power supply to get the red led back and a responsive A16.
If I do anything to bring back the screen before shutting down the A16(change volume, press menu button, etc) then the A16 shuts down normally.

Easily repeatable behavior.
 
Mar 3, 2020 at 8:10 AM Post #36 of 62

audiohobbit

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You could try to reinstall FW1.81 and see if that solves it. This is not an official workaround though.
However, I asked Stephen if you can (temporarily) downgrade to an earlier FW. I asked because when measuring PRIRs with HT Assist the new HT Assist method since FW1.8 is too complicated and maybe we'll downgrade teporarily to 1.75 for that.

He said:
You can move up and down FW revisions. You just need to run a factory restore each time you change.
 
Mar 3, 2020 at 9:28 AM Post #37 of 62

castleofargh

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You could try to reinstall FW1.81 and see if that solves it. This is not an official workaround though.
However, I asked Stephen if you can (temporarily) downgrade to an earlier FW. I asked because when measuring PRIRs with HT Assist the new HT Assist method since FW1.8 is too complicated and maybe we'll downgrade teporarily to 1.75 for that.

He said:
thanks. At this point I find it more troublesome to reinstall the A16 than to live like this^_^. The fix of hitting any key on the remote before pressing the power button doesn't even take me a full second, so... And I need to do that only if I let the A16 run for hours without touching it or even changing the volume at all, which is relatively rare.
I mostly bothered documenting the issue here and making sure to test various situations in case it would help someone else to stop panicking over not much.

I think it doesn't like wasapi "event" in exclusive mode with foobar. I don't even think this counts as a bug because not that many DACs work well with "event" and most are much happier with "push" anyway.
If I'm being honest, I'm kind of surprised by how hard it is to crash the A16. Since I started paying more attention to how I create my rooms(they warn us in the manual), that machine has been remarkably stable for me. :v:
I still wish I could completely get rid of the second user part of the UI, and any useless processing from it. But that's just the desire of a maniac as it changes nothing when operating the device.
 
Apr 13, 2020 at 5:08 AM Post #40 of 62

GeorgeA

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I posted the following text at Smyth Research Realiser A16 thread earlier. Actually, I should’ve posted here as it’s a question that needs an answer from Smyth Research.

By looking at the second figure under 2) HSR41T HDMI repeater in the Update #59 at kickstarter site, where the Realiser A16 is connected to a Smart TV via HDMI/eARC, I wondered if the eARC capable Realiser A16 was connected to an eARC capable AV receiver, instead the Smart TV, would it be possible to run measuring PRIRs by the Synchronous (ALL) method?

In other words, would it be possible that the sine wave sweeps that are used to measure the individual loudspeakers to be conveyed under eARC protocol with no connections between the 16-ch analogue output connectors and analogue input connectors of an AV receiver?
 
May 8, 2020 at 9:34 AM Post #41 of 62

GeorgeA

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If anyone else is interested in knowing the answer to the above question, @audiohobbit has posted the following information as part of the post#8.804 in the Smyth Research Realiser A16 thread

“As someone demanded: Sending of the measuring sweeps via HDMI will still not be possible, even with the new boards, this is a limitation of the MDS chip set.”
 
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May 8, 2020 at 11:09 AM Post #42 of 62

John_M

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Hopefully this is the right thread to ask... I have a question on portability of PRIRs.

I have an A8 with a nice 7.1 PRIR taken in a good listening room. I wouldn't want an A16 unless I can get a 16 channel PRIR of similar quality. So my questions are:

1. Can you create a 16 channel PRIR from two 8 channel PRIRs recorded on the A8? If so, could I take one of the existing PRIRs and move the virtual speakers around (including upwards) to create an extra 8 channels? Will the virtual surround be as good as with a 16 channel recorded PRIR?

2. If (1) doesn't work then does anyone know if Surrey Uni would allow me to record a PRIR? I live in Guildford about 10 mins' drive from them.

Thanks!
 
May 8, 2020 at 11:47 AM Post #43 of 62

castleofargh

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Hopefully this is the right thread to ask... I have a question on portability of PRIRs.

I have an A8 with a nice 7.1 PRIR taken in a good listening room. I wouldn't want an A16 unless I can get a 16 channel PRIR of similar quality. So my questions are:

1. Can you create a 16 channel PRIR from two 8 channel PRIRs recorded on the A8? If so, could I take one of the existing PRIRs and move the virtual speakers around (including upwards) to create an extra 8 channels? Will the virtual surround be as good as with a 16 channel recorded PRIR?

2. If (1) doesn't work then does anyone know if Surrey Uni would allow me to record a PRIR? I live in Guildford about 10 mins' drive from them.

Thanks!
Short answer: no you can't use 2*7.1 that way on the A16.

On the other hand what the A16 allows is to go measure speakers for the remaining positions in a 16channel config(that you could just fake with a pair of speakers you'd place at various positions). And then create a 16channel room by selecting those speakers + the ones from your previous 7.1 room. If the room reverb isn't too different, that should sound fine.
Or you could just use your 7.1 and add the remaining speakers from the BBC room loaded by default on the A16. They won't be exactly for your head but as extras for your already existing room, they'll give you the elevation sense just fine at the very least.
I'd warn you that there is some work and a learning curve to using the A16, but if you're an A8 user, you have probably known much worse.
 
May 8, 2020 at 1:05 PM Post #44 of 62

audiohobbit

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Can you create a 16 channel PRIR from two 8 channel PRIRs recorded on the A8?
Theoretically yes. Two 8 channel PRIRS could be converted to the A16 and with the A16 a listening room can be populated with speakers from different PRIRs.
BUT: The A16 works with speaker designators: If you want to create a listening room and add a left top front speaker for example, then the designator is Ltf and it has to be recorded in the PRIR as Ltf. With the A16 no problem: You can even create 16 PRIRs, for each speaker one, but with the A8 I don't know at the moment if the A8 offers all the speaker designators that the A16 needs for a 9.1.6 room for example. If so, then maybe this could work. This would mean you have your normal 7.1 speaker PRIR with L,C,R,SW,Lss,Rss,Lb,Rb and then you would have to place your speakers to the missing positions like the wides (Lw, Rw) and the tops (Ltf, Rtf, Ltm, Rtm, and so on) and record a 8ch PRIR with these speaker positions and the correct speaker designators, IF the A8 does offer those.
So you would have a second PRIR with Lw,Rw,Ltf,Rtf, etc. and both PRIRs would then be ported to the A16 and you could populate a 9.1.6 room with all the speakers from those two PRIRs. But I think the A8 does not offer all the necessary speaker designators. And even if so I don't know if this would really work.
-> Manual p.27: https://smyth-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/A8manual_08_2011.pdf
So, wouldn't work because there are not the necessary speaker designators.
I think however, that the Smyth could change the speaker designators, but this would be a special individual service.

If so, could I take one of the existing PRIRs and move the virtual speakers around (including upwards) to create an extra 8 channels? Will the virtual surround be as good as with a 16 channel recorded PRIR?
I don't understand the question. What existing PRIR?
A "virtual speaker" can not be moved spatially afterwards. If I understand this correctly, you think you can record for example a left front speaker at ear height and then do some "magic" inside the realiser and this gets a left top front, or right top mid or etc...?
No this doesn't work. A speaker HAS to be recorded in the correct position relative to your ears. So if a left top front speaker will be recorded it has to be at the left top front physical position if you sit upright and look forward.
Note that I said relative position!
You could then turn around 180 degrees so that this speaker would then be a right top rear speaker.
For example a couple of guys and I recorded each one 8 PRIRs, using just two stereo speakers at ear height and two top speakers. By rotating the listener relative to these speakers we recorded 12 positions at ear height (L,C,R,Lw,Rw,Ls,Rs,Lss,Rss,Lb,Rb+SW) and 4 top spakers (Ltf,Rtf,Ltr,Rtr).

If (1) doesn't work then does anyone know if Surrey Uni would allow me to record a PRIR?
Well, I think the Surrey Uni would know best...
Why not ask them?
I think this could be the right link: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/centre-vision-speech-signal-processing
 
May 8, 2020 at 1:09 PM Post #45 of 62

John_M

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I don't understand the question. What existing PRIR?
A "virtual speaker" can not be moved spatially afterwards. If I understand this correctly, you think you can record for example a left front speaker at ear height and then do some "magic" inside the realiser and this gets a left top front, or right top mid or etc...?
No this doesn't work. A speaker HAS to be recorded in the correct position relative to your ears. So if a left top front speaker will be recorded it has to be at the left top front physical position if you sit upright and look forward.

Are you sure about this? I think there is an option on the A8 to move the location of the virtual speakers (may be getting this wrong...!)
 

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