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Smyth Research Realiser A16

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by jgazal, May 7, 2016.
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  1. sander99
    I am wondering if the A16 can not be "fooled" into doing a PRIR measurement the following way:
    Instead of playing the sweeps from the analog outputs of the A16 over the receiver and speakers, only use the first sweep (that would be on channel 1 I expect) to trigger another device to send the sweeps as an atmos encoded bitstream - or simply as 7.1 LPCM in case of a 7.1 system - over HDMI to the receiver. A minimal delay between the original A16 sweep and the triggered HDMI sweeps should not be a problem because it is normal that there is some latency in the system that is measured, for example already in the form of delay settings for various speakers.
    First we would need to create a (suitable type of) file containing exacly the same sweeps either as Dolby Atmos encoded bitstream for 7.1.4 or 9.1.6 (if that is possible?) or 7.1 LPCM for 7.1. (Easiest starting point would be: ask Smyth to mail a digital version of the sweeps!)
    Next: what sort of device could play such a file with a quick response time to the trigger? A standalone Mediaplayer? A pc? And of course we need something that responds to the first A16 sweep and triggers the device that plays the sweeps over HDMI. If we use a pc it could be programmed to react to the first A16 sweep coming in over an analog input. (Only one channel - the one with the first sweep - needs to be conncted between the A16 and the pc.)
  2. Richter Di
    Oh wow. Did not know this and obviously overlooked your statemet.

    This is frightening!

    Great idea. So we could at least do 7.1.
    Regarding a second convertier:
    I have no idea how you feed two AES/EBU coming from two different units into on stream.[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  3. sander99
    AES/EBU is usually one connection per 2 channels I think, it's just a symmetrical version of a stereo SPDIF signal. So one such a converter has 8 channels analog in and 4 stereo AES/EBU out. 2 such boxes would together just be 16 channels analog in and 8 stereo AES/EBU out. I assume MSM symply has s seperate AES/EBU input for each pair of channels. Is that correct @Eich1eeF?
    Richter Di likes this.
  4. Eich1eeF
    You don't merge them. Each 8 channel A/D has 4 independent "stereo" AES/EBU outputs with 2 channel PCM data, just like the SP/DIF or TOSLINK connectors on consumer devices. I kind of expect any studio to be able to handle that. Alternatively, they may be able to handle ADAT, which is just 8 channels via one TOSLINK like optical connection, that would make things even easier.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  5. Eich1eeF
    That's at least what I assume, I haven't asked them.
  6. sander99
    Most modern AV Receivers have some form of auto eq, 20 years ago only the more expensive models had. Whether it is usefull or not depends on the speakers and the room I suppose. I don't doubt that it also can cause problems or deteriorate the sound. In my case it really seems to help, but my loudspeakers are not very neutral and I had a big room resonance around 60 Hz and Yamaha YPOA seems to have fixed that. But if indeed room eq does more harm than good in the mids and highs, and the A16's direct bass option circumvents all problems in the lows maybe indeed we are better off with a raw measurement without eq.
  7. audiohobbit
    I think this is the crucial point!
    1. I don't think you can do it with consumer-software, which means affordable.
    2. Atmos works with sound objects not single speaker channels. So an object has to be placed exactly where one speaker is, and even then I don't know if the sound will be played by ONLY this one speaker.
    Maybe that's a problem also for the Smyths at the moment?
  8. Richter Di
    @KaiSc can you comment on this?
  9. sahmen
    hmmm: So many questions, so many unknowns, sooo much confusion, sooo much head-scratching, soo much talk, and yet so little real information!

    I'm trying to understand what the A-16 can do out of the box, in its present state, by reading these recent postings, but all the reading is doing is making me feel as if Frantz Kafka's head is trying to do a break dance on top of my neck :


    I want to think that much of this confusion might have been averted if the Smyths had released a well-written user manual before the product itself, as opposed to the present approach, which seems to amount to another version of "placing the cart before the horse," (or more accurately, attempting to race a carriage without the horse or driver)


    I understand that the product itself is still not quite ready for prime-time, or performing to anywhere near its full specs as they were initially envisaged, but an honest and well-written user-manual could, at least, make clear, what has been accomplished in the present release, what the user can realistically expect to have for the future, and what the user can no longer expect to be fulfilled... This sort of clarity can be immensely helpful.

    Is that too much to ask?

    Ironically, the present situation is almost making me feel lucky to find myself at the wrong end of the Smyths' trickle-down shipping plan, but I am not buying that either, since any kind of 'trickle-down" process in the present economy is a potential dead-end.

    At this point, though, I unfortunately have no choice, but to wait and watch this hapless--sorry--spectacle unfold, quite helplessly too, because it can't, apparently, be avoided. Still, there is some slight-to-fair chance that, with time and the inevitable waiting, several of the present inadequacies and potential bugs would be worked out, and that, by the time it is shipped to my door, the A-16 would be a more accomplished and "complete" version of itself.

    It is the only excuse that is making all this ordeal of 3+ years seem worthwhile at the moment.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  10. hadron70
    I agree, what we have at the moment is a total mess.

    Next week we might become wiser. When the first owners realise (never gets old) that they cannot measure their own PRIR and even cannot go to a studio, Smyth Resarch Ltd hopefully will address this issue, in whatever way that might be.
  11. esimms86
    Count your blessings. For most of us the hard part will be finding a superb sounding surround room we want to capture and then paying the owner a couple hundred bucks or more for the privilege. You’ve already got that part worked out.
  12. Got the Shakes
    It’s a good enough sounding room to get me by for now. The bigger hindrance for me is going to be the sweeps over analog only issue. If I could do it over HDMI or using a disc I could probably have at least a few good rooms with 7.1 setups captured in the next few weeks. Unfortunately as it looks I’ll be stuck using the preloaded room for a bit until I buy a used receiver with 6 channel analog inputs to capture the 5.1 setup I have easy access to. I’m hoping (but not banking on) that if there is a requirement to use analog for the sweeps that either it’s only if trying to capture a setup greater than 7.1 or there’s a way I could capture something doing more work but using maybe the stereo input analog input of a receiver and basically capturing the fronts, then doing a 180° turn and using the fronts to act like rears. Not sure if that is possible at all and also not sure what I would do about a center channel. Hopefully the thing has a well written paper manual in the box, but I’m not even 100% confident that will be the case.
  13. esimms86
    I’m not at all pissed at @Got the Shakes and every day I get less pissed that the Smyths set up a scenario whereby one could jump the line for $3995. At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, the early recipients of the A16 will be super beta testers and, if you think the Smyths don’t answer your questions now, just consider that (1)right now they’re not getting back to a customer who just gave them $3995 and (2)there will be even more questions, an explosion of questions coming their way for them to answer and/or ignore when 10-20 A16s start showing up in the wild on a weekly basis. I’m starting to see the upside of my being Kickstarter backer #174. Hopefully, at least some of the issues will have been worked out, with a manual available online, tips posted in the forum, maybe even a firmware update, etc. by the time the A16 arrives on my doorstep.
    jgazal and Evshrug like this.
  14. Got the Shakes
    I often feel like a beta tester with how early I buy into new products and I know that going in. I’m fine with some bugs and finding work arounds to get things to work the way I want to to and in this case that’s what I’m probably going to have to do to get a PRIR captured. It’s going to take a little more time then planned and the purchase of a used receiver with 6 or 8 channel analog inputs, which I’m not happy about but I’ll figure it out.

    Where things are going to start to fall apart is if the Smyths are as unresponsive with us going forward as they currently are. If and when I and others find bugs or need help getting through the setup process or measuring a room, will they be helpful? Will they even respond? I worry that as we are finding issues with the A16 firmware that our reports and questions are going to continue to fall on deaf ears. Like when I asked about taking measurement sweeps, I got no response. I’m assuming is because the answer to my question is one they know I’m not going to like. But I’m literally 2 days away from receiving my unit. Do they really think I’m going to be less unhappy if I learn through trial and error that I can’t take HDMI sweeps instead of them just telling me? I may be one of the first people to get a unit, but I assume in the next week or two more are going to be shipped. This information is going to get out there. I can understand the secrecy a bit more when they were months away from finalizing the firmware and features (although they still should have communicated better then), but why the radio silence when users are going to begin receiving their units? It’s becoming more and more worrisome.
  15. phoenixdogfan
    How were PRIRs done when they did it for people at the shows?
    LajostheHun and Evshrug like this.
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