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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. Vantskruv
    I preordered the A16 in april 2018. Anyone preordered about the same time, and knows their que-number?
    I have not sent any PM to James at Smyth to ask the question, I guess their mailbox is full, but maybe I will do it. I am just curious when to expect to receive the amp. My current guess somewhere around summer, or even autumn next year...
  2. sander99
    @Vantskruv: Only kickstarter backers know their que-number. Preorderers didn't get a number (although of course one or more people could have asked for their number(?)).
    We know their must be between 313 and 376 (I guess close to 370) A16s for backers. I preordered in june 2017 and know of an email somewhere before that that had 98 (by accident not bcc-d) e-mail addresses of preorderers so I know there must be at least 98 preorderers before me, but it could be much more. We think around 100 A16s have been delivered now. It coul be more, some sold for full price, some preorders via the French importer, maybe some to others we don't know about. (It could be less too, we don't know for sure they didn't skip some backer numbers below 100.) If Smyth doesn't speed up a bit it will probably be another year at least.
    arnaud and Vantskruv like this.
  3. Vantskruv
    So atleast 100 "preorderers" before you, and you preordered 1 year earlier than I. So maybe it is about 200-300 total before me (excluding backers). I guess I have to wait for atleast 2 more years. :deadhorse: :floatsmile:
  4. You Gene
    From what I gathered on almost all the other forums only 51 persons acknowledged the receipt of their Realiser A16 : i.e. kickstarter backers + French importer + full price buyers. And no. 98 was the last one to my knowledge.

    Can we draw the conclusion that +- 40 people did not make themselves known to forums with a machine in their hands that is not in top working condition? I tend to believe accordingly that they were not 98 Realiser A16 delivered physically.

    Looking backwards and not being emotionally involved (no offense meant, it is just that I have not yet received mine), I came to the tentative conclusion that Stephen Smyth never meant to ship so soon. He might have been pushed into it because of a strong pressure from Heavenly Sound, the Kickstarters themselves, etc. I believe he wanted to pursue the beta phase for some time. At least it would explain the situation we find ourselves in.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  5. Fox1977
    A certain amount of people ordered the A16 via KS or preorder and don't participate to this forum or the french one. They may simply read, or may not even be aware of their existence. Some may not want to talk about it and it's their absolute right. Some may speak neither english nor french and therefore cannot communicate here.
    Smyth Research seems to send units according to the KS rank. So one can be confident that if #98 received his unit, the 97 previous ones also did. A few more units have been shipped for those who paid full price, plus i read on the french forum that the preorder #35 (or around that number) who went via Gilles Gérin also got his unit. However, Gilles is sending unit following the order of the customers who paid fully their unit, so it doesn't necessarily mean that 35 units were sent (but since this customer announced that his unit was shipped, a few more weeks passed, so it's likely that more units were sent in the meantime).
    I'd say that i estimate that roughly around 140 units were shipped since mid-august.
  6. You Gene
    You are absolutely right and so are a myriad of other possibilities. But what you say is very convincing nonetheless.

    By the way, last August 2019 James posted the following on Kickstarter ; can anyone tell me where I can find this weekly update?

    Kickstarter Update August 2019
    James SmythCollaborateur
    12 août 2019

    We will begin shipping Realiser A16 units this week, and this will continue over the next several months. Since the testing procedure is quite involved we’re only expecting to ship around 10 to 20 units per week. We’ll be posting weekly updates on the numbers that have been shipped, which is intended to give backers some indication of our progress.
  7. Fox1977
    Unless it was a sarcasm, Smyth Research never sent any of the promised weekly update, neither any other update, since the August update.
    If you started following these threads only recently, just know that Smyth Research's communication skills are terrible (and it's a euphemism !)
  8. audiohobbit
    Yes unfortunately. I mentioned James' "promise" (well he just said "we will" which is more or less "we intend to", so no real promise that they really do it) in one mail to Stephen, but Stephen answers only to specific questions he wants to answer. And I don't want to press him, because I think they are already under a lot of pressure.
    So we have to take it as it is.

    There are many people who are not on this or the other or any forums at all. Or other forums, there are many others as well we maybe don't know about. avforums? avs-forum (I searched there but didn't find much about the A16).
    There are some on german hifi forum who don't post here.
    And there are some (semi-)professionals who got one who are knowledgeable enough to not needing support from a forum or they communicate directly with Smyths etc.

    Because "the situation we find ourselves in" as not as bad as You Gene might suggest here. This sounds like the A16 is not working and not usable at the moment but this is absolutely not the case!
    There are only some minor bugs here and there and some features missing. They have a stable firmware and I think they just had to wait for at least one certification, which was Dolby, which is most important, otherwise without any certification they knew they couldn't ship to non-professional customers.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  9. Om ma Ni
    Hi Everyone, please find my conversation in pm with audiohobbit lately..he of course gave me his consent to post it to everyone..All your help is welcome!
    " Hi Christian,
    i have been following the A16 thread for ages now....And you are so far the most complete and advanced person regarding the A16 functionalities etc...Respect..
    YES!...i received my A16 today...couldn t resist longer so needed to complete the remaining balance to have it as full price instead of waiting in the darkness as a pre order customer etc...

    My A16 is the #104 and it has the latest firmware 1.76..which i have no clue what has been fixed or not already...
    But yes.....i am actually struggling to really unlock my A16.. and use it just "normally"...even with the manual etc..
    I want to start to play with the 2 preset rooms included in first so been optimizing my HD800 and ears for it..

    I am actually exploring the famous ManLoud HPEQ..and its so hard for me to adjust loudness between different range of frequencies...I have good sensitive ears..the high freq sound so strong and loud etc..
    Do you have any detailled tutorial or good advices for me to take out the best from this mode of EQ bc i feel that i m not doing it right atm..
    When comparing with autoeq and manLoud with Headphone A/B switch mode on Test, ManLoud sounds more silky and low mid freq based compared to the AutoEq which sounds harsher and brighter..So i am really not sure if my manual EQ with manLoud was done properly..I am using the BCC room atm.."
    Audiohobbit answered:
    I plan to write a tutorial but don't have time. Few pages back in the thread I wrote some things aboout manLOUD which could qualify as a quick tutorial, together with the very good video of course. Please search.
    Contrary to the video I would recommend to start with a flat HPEQ. It's easily created. And you have to create a new flat HPEQ for every manLOUD HPEQ you plan to do because the manLOUD part ist stored together with the HPEQ it's based on, no new HPEQ file will be generated.
    What I also recommend is store a picture of every sub-band setting that you finally set and save those 32 pictures then together with the HPEQ on your PC. Otherwise its a total black box afterwards, you don't know what you've been doing. I also wrote this in my quick tutorial.
    I think dsperber wrote it somewhere how storing of pictures on SD card has to be activated.

    And then you have 3 possibilities which loudspeakers from the PRIR you want to "personalise" you choose for the manLOUD process. L+R, C, or L+C+R.
    For one of my headphones I used L+R and am fine with it. For another one I did the same but wasn't satisified, so I made 2 other manLOUD HPEQs with C and LCR. These two are relatively identical in the result and I'm more happy with that.
    So if you'r not satisfied you have to try all options.
    Maybe start with LCR, but I'm not sure if I can recommend this for all headphones.

    The comparison of loudness is difficult, I agree. With the Equal-L-80 curve as target as recommended the base band (0-500 Hz) should be 80 dB. You can not measure this so you have to guess. 80 dB noise is quite loud I think.
    For me the jump from the base band to the next band is the most difficult in loudness perception. And again the high bands beyond 8 kHz. But they are not so important. Most important is the range from 500 Hz to 6-8 kHz I'd say.
    With the right and left arrow key you can quickly run through the bands upwards or downwards. This makes it sometimes easier to recognise loudness peaks in between. i think lowering peaks is more important than elevate dips.
    You have to go several times back and forth quickly through the bands. Its a bit difficult to describe.
    Maybe close your eyes. You have to somehow concentrate on the loudness, not the frequency.
    What could help: I set the loudness of the base band so that it nearly starts to "hurt" a little bit (although I also don't know how 80 dB sounds, maybe I already have 90 dB then or more), then you can hear if another band "hurts" even more and lower it to a level where it's just acceptable.
    You can for example do the whole process 2 times to see how good you can reproduce the results you get (only if you save the pictures of course and compare them).
    I didn't do this, but as I said I did once for the C only and for LCR, and the results are quite comparable.
    If there are 3 or 5 dB difference in a band I'd still call it comparable because sometimes you have to lower some bands by 10 dB or even much more!

    I also did an auto HPEQ at first and listened with it to the Surrey Room. Localisation was good but sound was horrible, same as you perceive, very harsh in the mids, way too loud there. After doing manLOUD i saw that I always had to lower the 500 Hz to 3 kHz bands by 10 dB or even more.
    It shouldn't sound too harsh but also not too dull. A bit dull is more pleasant than too harsh I'd say, in case of doubt.
    I'd recommend listen to voices, especially recordings you know, then you can hear if they sound pleasant or heavily colored.

    If you made the 32 screenshots of all your settings you can recreate them afterwards and change some values in some bands that you think need a change after extensive listening to music etc. But it needs a lot of experience to roughly guess which frequencies are involved with specific instruments, voices etc.
    Most unexperienced people tend to mistake the mids for the highs for example.
  10. Om ma Ni
    then my reply :
    Many Many thanks for these precious info Mate!

    From what i have so far on the log file of my A16 is: firmware rev. 1.76 Oct 21 2019, Apm Firmware rev 2.2.5 Jul 2019, HDMI Firmware rev Nothing just blank, HT firmware rev: 1.10 Aug 13 2019, FPGA firmware rev:0.25 Oct 15 2019

    Couple of questions:
    is flatEQ for in ear heaphones only? I started with the autoEQ with binaural micro on my hd800..Than combined it with the manLoud
    so should I do the flatEQ instead of the autoEQ?
    Could you send me the link regarding your tutorial to capture and store the picture of every 32 sub-band settings together with the HPEQ on your PC..? Do you use your A16 connected to your PC?

    Now regarding the "torturing" manLoud process: with your "hurting" trick with the base band loudness, i noticed that if i elevate the volume at the beginning, there is no way i can cope with the loudness and hurting of the next band specially the higher frequencies! Will it damage my hearing and also my headphones? why does it need to be set around 80db?
    Instead of going louder, could we go lower? i mean the main purpose of this EQ mode is to equalise the loudness of all the frequency bands according with our own hearing right? So we just need to "detect" the difference and fluctuation of volume between the frequency bands (like with your back and forth trick)?

    one "stupid" question: what is the fastest way to choose the Surrey Room instead of the BBC..i am still on the preset 1 with the BBC room in 9.1.6..Do we need to build a new room of just switch to the Surrey one? asking bc i was focusing mainly on my headphone EQ once received my A16.. i know i know shame on me ...
  11. esimms86
    If you look at the comments section on the A16 Kickstarter page you will note that 10 days ago backer #94 acknowledged receipt of his A16. On the same day backer #88 stated that he had yet to receive any emails from SR regarding address verification and shipping. Backer #88 has, thus far, not made any follow up posts/updates to the comments section.

    Further, backer #59 had contacted SR on October 4th and did not receive a reply from SR until 6 days ago. Then, as of 2 days ago, he finally received his email shipping confirmation.

    Lastly, backer #98(@Di Richter) received his confirmation AFTER taking the initiative to send a reminder/query email to SR.

    So, no, it is not at all clear as to how many KS backers, for whatever reason(s), might have been passed over in the shipping queue between backers 1 and 98.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
  12. sander99
    If I were you I would never risk damage to my hearing, what is too loud for you is too loud for you, so be carefull!
    By the way, could there be a misunderstanding about dB's and values in the volume screen? Audiohobbit would not have meant to put the A16 volume indicator at 80 I assume? If you have a more sensitive headphone you would get a higher volume so that wouldn't make sense.
  13. Catweazle1959
    Yesterday my 2 realizers arrived here. backer number 87+93
    jgazal likes this.
  14. dsperber
    I've now had a chance to run tests not feeding A16 optical output to my external DAC (with its own amp volume set at 46 out of 47) and XLR to my Stax amp (set at volume 2 o'clock), but rather using the A16's built-in DAC/amp and RCA headphone output (thus acting as a "preamp") to feed RCA input to my Stax amp.

    And I can report VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS as contrasted with the previous list based on optical output and my external DAC.

    Turns out NONE of the previoulsy reported noises (i.e. Crack1 - Crack6) occurs when using internal DAC/amp and RCA headphone output. Most importantly, there is NO Crack5/Crack6 when either directly selecting a preset via 1-9 or sequentially selecting a preset via +/- ADJ. And there is no Crack4 at power-off. And there is no Crack2/Crack3 when "active" displays on the Home Menu screen for UserA and UserB presets. And there is no Crack1 when "wait" appears on the Home Menu screen for UserA preset.

    But... regarding using internal DAC/amp and RCA headphone outputs... there are instead three new minor "pop" sounds which occur during power-on:

    (a) Pop1 occurs IMMEDIATELY and INSTANTLY on power-on when the Smyth logo is presented brightly. Probably from powering up the headphone amp.

    (b) about 15-seconds later, right when the Smyth logo goes dimmer, two short minor pops Pop2 and Pop3 occur, one right after the other

    (c) no more pops or cracks or sounds of any kind, including when "active" appears on UserA and UserB presets of Home Menu screen, including at power-off, and including when selecting a preset either directly or sequentially. So the rest of normal full operation has NO ANOMALOUS SOUNDS WHEN USING RCA HEADPHONE OUTPUT. Totally "silent" operation right through power-off.

    It seems clear that the previously reported anomalous crack sounds are directly tied to whatever the A16 is doing driving its optical output to feed an external DAC. I have reported this second set of test results to James, so that they can resolve the overall issue completely.

    From James: "Good news, Stephen has come across the same problem and says it will be fixed in time for the next update which is due next week."
    sander99 likes this.
  15. sander99
    2? Can you borrow me one until I have mine? :ksc75smile: I'm hoping it will be only for 4- 6 weeks. :ksc75smile: Or maybe 'a couple of months'. :ksc75smile:
    jgazal likes this.
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