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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. Richter Di
    Kickstarter 98
    I asked kindly via email as backer 96 already received its unit.
  2. AppleheadMay
    Great you had a reply.
    I sent them a mail as well but didn't get a reply.
    I have a preorder though.
  3. Richter Di
    Please do not get frustrated. This wasn’t my first email to them. But it was my first response.
    I wrote them because there was a backer 88 who wrote in the Kickstarter comments on October 28: “Backer 88 here. No news”
    While backer 94 not only got the email but also received the A16. So I thought, before they forget my I write to them.
  4. You Gene
    There is the glass half empty or the glass half full...and there is also Monty Python for those who remember with "always look on the bright side of life". That was fun!!!

    I always tell myself - having ordered last October 2018 - that most of the bugs might have been solved by the time I receive it.
  5. AppleheadMay
    Hi @Richter Di and @You Gene

    I'm not frustrated guys, was just tying to get some info on how things stand from James and you guys here.
    Never complained in this thread and haven't sent a mail to James in over 2 years, my mails then were to know more about the Realiser and what it could do in my system.

    You Gene, it looks as if you read my mind about the bugs, that was my first thought when I heard us preorder guys would have to wait longer.
    I ordered in October 2016. I'll quote Monty when you get yours sometime around 2040. :wink:
    You Gene likes this.
  6. You Gene
    It's a deal.
    But by the time I reach that old age, I won't even remember what Monty Python is. Yet I will still remember that I am owed a Realiser 16...!!!!!!!!
  7. krismusic Contributor
    Does anyone have a phone number for Smyth?
  8. audiohobbit
    In case no one noticed
  9. phoenixdogfan
    I do, but if I gave it to you I'd have to kill you.
    krismusic likes this.
  10. krismusic Contributor
    At least then I would need able to haunt the Smyth's!
  11. Eich1eeF
    Well google does. Just google "smyth research bangor" and the info box on the right displays a phone number. No Idea if that one is correct at all.
  12. dsperber
    I'm finally back home and have now had a chance to upgrade the firmware in my A16 to 1.75.

    Regarding the functionality changes which affect me directly and how I use the device, I'm pleased to report that the MDS-provided firmware fix to deal with the "stutter" symptom when playing CD audio via HDMI does indeed appear to have been successful. Navigation to new tracks and inter-track does now happen silently and without any associated audio artifact. I do detect a very slight silence period before the sound begins again (might that be the 50 ms? or is it my imagination?), but this is not a problem for my listening. The solution to the "stutter" artifcact is really the good news. I didn't test playing CD audio any other inputs (e.g. optical, etc.) since I'm only using HDMI from Oppo player to the A16.

    Also, I'm very happy with the new ability to store INPUT in the presets (i.e. preset-driven INPUT), coupled with the new ability to directly select presets P1-P9 using the 1-9 numeric keys. Tremendous improvement in usability.

    However I want to report a new "very brief explosive quick 2-part crack-crack" (heard through the headphones) that now occurs when selecting a preset using the new direct selection method. When using this functionality, when pressing 1-9 the screen shows "wait" and probably audio outputs are shut down momentarily until the new preset gets fully loaded. About 5 seconds later the loading of the new preset completes, the "wait" disappears, and the new speaker map is presented and audio outputs are re-enabled. This is when this short explosive crack-crack is heard, like a 2-syllable electrical discharge.

    Furthermore, the volume of the crack-crack is NOT DEPENDENT on the current volume setting of the A16. It's just always loud and explosive (similar to the infamous now-fixed "buzz" sound bug from initial firmware).

    Note that I do not use the built-in DAC and amp of the A16 to feed my amp/headphones. I use optical output to feed my external DAC and then amp/headphones.

    Anybody else confirm this new artifact (obviously stemming from the newly implemented direct-selection of preset via 1-9)?
  13. dsperber
    I have a user question. I would think this is something that should be possible, but don't know how to do it and can't find it in the manual.

    Is there a way to bypass SVS processing (say for 2-channel CD audio input via HDMI) so that the untouched unprocessed 2-channel PCM audio (i.e. coming from the CD itself) can be fed directly to the headphones as if the A16 were not present?

    I'm not trying to accomplish "HDMI audio bypass" to feed sound to a downstream TV or external speakers. I'm wanting to be able to do an A/B comparison of listening to 2-channel CD audio both with and without SVS, but with headphones as the output device.

    The "with SVS" produces the sound of say my AIX room through headphones, exactly as the A16 device is intended to provide, giving me "out-of-the-head" sound as if I were in that room listening to 2-channel CD audio coming from the two L/R speakers in front of me. The "without SVS" would produce the ordinary sound of my Stax amp/headphones connected directly to my CD player, i.e. giving me "normal inside-the-head sound sensation normally produced from listening through ordinary headphones".

    In other words I just want to toggle SVS processing on/off while listening to 2-channel CD audio through my headphones, with everything else identical. I want "SVS bypass" (i.e. enable/disable), which would obviously only be appropriate for ordinary 2-channel stereo CD audio source.

    (1) "with SVS"

    CD player -> 2-channel audio via HDMI to A16 -> SVS processing with AIX PRIR -> optical to DAC -> XLR to Stax amp/headphones

    (2) "without SVS"

    CD player -> 2-channel audio via HDMI to A16 -> NO SVS, complete bypass -> optical to DAC -> XLR to Stax amp/headphones

    Is this supported? Did I miss it in the manual? Can I do this with A8 as well?

    If so, what key(s) on the remote do I press to accomplish the with/without toggle for genuine A/B comparison of listening through headphones both with and without the SVS illusion through PRIR/HPEQ?

    NOTE: this is a feature that is typically available with the old Dolby Headphone processors. There were three degrees of "illusion" possible, and then there was also an OFF state which simply bypassed Dolby Headphone processing completely. So you could compare the un-processed source vs. how it sounded as a result of Dolby Headphone. Or, maybe you just wanted to listen to 2-channel CD audio as simple unprocessed original 2-channel stereo. Again, only really appropriate for 2-channel stereo source which doesn't really benefit from Dolby Headphone (which is designed like SVS, to simulate multi-channel audio via 2-channel stereo headphones).
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  14. audiohobbit
    I'm really surprised that you, as a long time user of the A8, seem to don't know anything about the (stereo) mix-down functionality.
    See p. 89 in A16 manual. That's what you want (I hope).
    The A8 got the same functionality.
  15. krismusic Contributor
    I did Google and nothing came up. Another member kindly PM'd me the number. Just spoke to James. No dramas. All good. A little more patience required!
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