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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. audiohobbit
    James writes I have to put my head top into the fridge... :wink:
  2. audiohobbit
    If you play around with the shelving filters (or a better EQ) and see for example frequencies above x Hz should be elevated 3 dB then you could try a new manLOUD HPEQ and elevate thos frequencies by 3 dB.
    Of course it would be best if you made notes of all the settings for each band you made or "easier" save a pic to the SD card of every band, then you can replicate those settings and add you x dB at y Hz you found out with an EQ or so.
  3. Om ma Ni
    yes..i ve been writing them down by hand on a chart to be able to replicate or fine tune them..don t know how to save a pic on the sd card..?
  4. You Gene
    I just read a comment from a forum that is now over since 23rd August 2019. I noticed most forums ended a bit after the 1st deliveries. His comment was http://www.xtremeplace.com/yabbse/i...13aadc900d03568251557ba6b4&topic=248579.0;all :

    ...quote "yeah this manual could use a quick-start guide, specifically focusing on how to play with the A16 right out of the box.
    most folks over at head-fi are hung up on taking measurements of their existing speaker set-ups. what I would want to instead is what if you have no existing set-up to measure and replicate and you just want to experience the A16 doing its thing with the pre-installed rooms "....unquote

    I sympathize with him since I am in the same boat. I mean no disrespect to the people who are not in this situation, of course. I never could buy speakers only because of the neighbours...and I am not that keen on soundproofing my appartment.
  5. Fox1977
    If i'm not mistaken, that's the very point of this talk about this ManLOUD procedure : tweaking the EQ of a room not captured to one's ears to improve the way it sounds and get closer to what it would sound had they captured it themselves.
  6. audiohobbit
    Of course.

    Are they aware of all the videos Smyth posted on YT in this other forum?
  7. You Gene

    Yes and I am sure you are right. And I admire you all for it.

    But backpedal just a slightly little bit here. Most of you have had already the A8, most of you knew what a PRIR, HPEQ, etc were. You are not really starting from scratch. That is all right with you. You understand all that technical info, you have always swum in that pool.

    Some of us were not baptized in tech. Some of us do not follow all this talk. And it’s all right. I was just trying to reach out to those of us who still have difficulty to get beyond a certain point in the manual and in the videos too : yes, guys, we are aliens to you but we exist and we decided to buy the Realiser A16 nonetheless. Because like you we love DVD's.

    But to conclude, thanks all the same. I am just trying to get the shy ones to admit that they are also having problems and to tell them to come forward so that together we would know the right kind of questions to ask. Little questions, simple questions, to go forward.

    All on my own, I cannot do it. And that is why from time to time, I try to get the attention of those others, without much success it seems. But I am persistent.

    Anyway, thank you.
  8. Dixter
    I experimented all day yesterday with the HPEQ/ManLoud routine.. and these are my personal notes... I decided to use the HD800 headphones for the experiments...
    PROs and CONs of the A16 - when you take delivery of your A16 you will understand the pro and con statement below.. :)

    PRO - the A16 has many many options
    CON - the A16 has many many options

    I still recommend the AutoEQ HPEQ for over the ears headphones and the FlatEQ for IEMs... (per the manual,6.4.2)

    There seems to be questions about the volume setting during the routines.. considering there is no volume adjustment available during the ManLoud routine this is how I set up the volume for both AutoEQ and ManLoud...

    For the HD800 I played music with a DAP connected to the Stereo inputs (3.5mm stereo/RCA). I put the gain switch to the highest position and while playing back music I adjusted the volume knob for a volume level slightly elevated but not overly loud... around 65 on the volume display...

    During the AutoEQ routine you are presented with a display for verifying the mics and headphones are at a volume that is prefered during the automated routine... with the volume that I set up (high gain/65 volume) during the verification stage the mics will go red indicating the volume is too loud for the routine... I now just flipped the gain switch to the middle position and reran the verification and the display went perfectly green and all is now set to run the AutoEQ... with the AutoEQ routine now completed I switched over to the ManLoud Routine...

    The ManLoud Routine is a little tricky and you will find out that it takes the most time and effort to complete... the A16 comes with two different PRIR files, the BBC room and the Surrey room and because they are not our personal PRIRs they " can be " fine tuned to your headphones and your ears... this is what the ManLoud routine does... it fine tunes your headphones/ears/PRIR ...
    So now to my personal notes with the ManLoud routine..
    I completed 3 different ManLoud routines.. 1. BBC Room 2. Surrey Room 3. Magico Enigma ST
    Volume - I simply flipped the gain switch back to the high gain and left the volume knob where it was... 65 thats plenty loud enough for this routine with the HD800 headphones...
    I followed the setup exactly the way the youtube video described... For the virtual speakers I chose L+C+R

    For those that have performed the ManLound routine you know its kind of hard to discern the gain differences and to get them to match.... with this in mind I tried an experiment that I found worked out really well for me.
    when I started the routine I adjusted all of the setpoints all the way down... then I started at the lower frequency end and adjusted the setpoint by moving the gain up and matched the first setpoint to the reference... then I moved to the next setpoint and adjusted it to match the previous setpoint... I did this for the next 5 setpoints and then with the left/right arrows on the remote I swept back and fourth on those setpoints and fine tuned them and then moved to the next 5 setpoints and did the same thing... but now with the left/right arrows on the remote I swept thru 10 setpoints and fine tuned those... and so on and so on until I got all of the setpoints completed... pay close attention to the upper bands as you don't want to push them higher than what is required... (thats a note to us older guys)...
    I did this routine with all 3 PRIR files... and each ManLoud result was different as should be expected as the routine is using different virtual front speakers for each PRIR...

    Its so much easier to adjust the gains from no gain up to match gain when you start with them lowered like this...

    I wanted to add that when you perform these routines you need to pay attention that you create seperate names for these files... the names are the Headphone names... so as an example I created headphone names ... HD800BBC... HD800Surrey and HD800Magico as these files represent the three rooms... BBC...Surrey...Magico Enigma
    If you plan on utilizing more than one headphone you will need to complete the routines on the various headphones... when complete.. don't forget to copy the files over to the memory card :)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
    arnaud and Richter Di like this.
  9. audiohobbit
    AFAIK the volume setting ("volume knob") has no influence in autoHPEQ and in manLOUD HPEQ.
    In autoHPEQ when using the internal amp you got 2 options to get the volume to the green bars: The gain switch and the microphone gain setting in the measuring setup menu.
    For my LCD2 Gain swich on high was too much, on mid not enough and I'm pretty sure I tried the volume knob as well. So I put the gain switch to high and lowerd the mic gain a few dBs.

    In manLOUD I think the volume knob doesn't work either. The first band (0-500) Hz sets the overall volume, you can set this between minus 30 and plus 30 dB, so that's a huge range, and also use the gain switches. All other band gains are then relative to the first one.
    I noticed that after setting all the gains that the gain in band 1 was different than I set it up in the first place. I'm still not sure about this, but I think it somehow adapts to the overall noise level, so if you lower all the bands then the first band will also be lowered automatically. Did you notice anything similar?

    You mean as a starting point for manLOUD?
    Well for IEMs you don't have another option.

    Just as a starting point for manLOUD I would recommend also using the flat HPEQ for over ears.
    1. For convenience:
    The manLOUD curve will be added to the HPEQ you select as a starting point. No new HPEQ file will be generated.
    So if you try all 3 options of manLOUD for one room, or if you do this for another room, you always have to have a new HPEQ for this.
    So if you use autoHPEQ as a starting point you have to do the autoHPEQ process 3 times or more times.
    A flat EQ on the other hand is created by "one click", without the microphones and the grounding wrist band etc.

    2. There's no way to know if autoHPEQ is in any way better as a starting point, it could even be worse. For example if a certain frequency will be lowered 10 dB by auto HPEQ and with manLOUD you then have to elevate this frequency by 10 dB or more. I'm not sure how it's implemented, but possibly there are 2 filters cascaded (autoHPEQ -> manLOUD) then first lowering the signal and then boost again, I'm not sure if this is a good idea, for example sound-noise-ratio-wise etc.

    But mainly I'd recommend it because of my point no. 1 Convenience.

    Just to be clear: By "matched" you mean match the volumes of the two bands by listening and comparing, right?

    Of course what you do is you lower or or increase the volume of each band and compare it to the one before and do this back and forth fast, many times through the whole frequency range. I found it easier to locate the peaks by doing so, than the dips.
    And you really have to try concentrating on the volume difference, not the frequency difference.
    Richter Di likes this.
  10. audiohobbit
    I know and am aware of that. I'm not sure if the Smyths are also fully aware of that. but with the videos they did a really good thing already.
    With the A8 there were no videos, just the manual. And the UI (I don't want to call it a GUI) was horrible. This was the situation 5 years ago when I bought the A8.

    I'm an engineer myself (although mechanical) and interested in audio for a long time, so I quickly understood the principle of the Realiser. And we had good support from the ex-distributor in Germany back then. But still the A8 is a cryptic thing. If you just use it as a black box on a day-by-day routine and don't change any setups etc. you're totally lost without consulting the manual every single time you want to do anything else than switch it on, change volume or change the preset.

    The A16 on the other hand is really easy to handle, compared to the A8.

    But still trying to explain everything over the internet with many lines of text is difficult, even if it's in your native language, in english it's twice as difficult to me. And no I won't make any videos, sorry.
  11. Dixter
    @audiohobbit I wrote the AutoEQ HPEQ/ ManLoud ->HD800 post as an example from start to finish running those routines for the HD800 (Smyth Recommended Headphones) and I believe if you perform what I wrote you should get a great result... :) Obviously you can drift away from my experiment but I do know that the instructions I wrote work perfectly fine...

    I'll try to answer your questions...

    1. AFAIK the volume setting ("volume knob") has no influence in autoHPEQ and in manLOUD HPEQ.... you are correct... the volume setting I described allows you to set a volume level prior to running the routines so you can get back to that volume level after the routines are ran for you to compare the before/after to check your work...
    2. ManLoud Gain - reference gain... I have not experienced the reference starting point changing gain but I have experienced the other bands gains seem to be changing slightly... it seems while we are adjusting and matching the levels there is a routine running in the background that could be adjusting the gains while we work our way thru all of the frequencies.. its subtle and you have to listen for it...
    3. You mean as a starting point for manLOUD? - my post takes you from AutoEQ and finishes up with ManLoud... so my routine completes the full interface between the PRIR, Headphone Linearization and corrects the interaction with our ears/hearing... personally I think this should all be just one routine. The biggest potential error is not getting the mics in your ears correctly.. takes a little practice
    4. Just to be clear: By "matched" you mean match the volumes of the two bands by listening and comparing, right? And you really have to try concentrating on the volume difference, not the frequency difference.
    I found that if I adjust all of the frequency setpoints all the way down its much easier to then adjust each setpoint by increasing the gain from no gain to match gain and that way you don't get mixed up so much with frequency vs volume... try it and see if it suits you or not... (options)

    For the most part we see the same for the A16 and like I wrote...

    PRO - the A16 has many many options
    CON - the A16 has many many options

    I'd go by the premise of KISS.... Keep it simple...

    The Smyths have given us a gift by having the two PRIR files for us to use/learn from... but Studio setups tend to be neutral in sound signature and for a end user like myself those PRIR gives me ATMOS and rooms where I can take the existing A8 PRIR files and create the custom PRIR files that I bought the A16 for.... thats why I ported the Magico Enigma speakers from the A8 into the A16 format... does the Magico Enigma PRIR sound great after performing the AutoHPEQ/ManLoud routines... yep it does sound better than the stock PRIRs ....
  12. Richter Di

    A little interim report. I installed the optical stabilization today. Fortunately it was very simple. Works without any problems and there were no surprises. Well, not quite, when I put on the rubber to attach the headtracker I noticed that when I press the headband of the HD800 intensively, my fingers get black. Why is that?

    Never mind. In any case, listening to music and watching & listening to movies is a lot of fun now and only with BBC room and HPEQ manLoud.

    Waiting was worth it.

    Finally a music experience which feels completely natural.

    By the way, a little shock this morning. When starting the A16 and the FiiO M11 as a source there was no music at first. I saw the speaker diagrams moving. I tried the "Test" button. Nothing. Only when I scrolled through a few presets suddenly music came back. Has this already happened to you?
  13. sahmen
    Does anyone know whether SR is already pursuing DTS-X certification, or whether they have placed the idea itself on some shelf to rot away. indefinitely? Of course I wouldn't even have to ask such a question if the Smyths behaved as normally as most known electronics companies do.

    And why in the name of the ... is the Realiser Exchange site still as dead as a doornail, after 3 months of shipping the product to customers?
  14. Richter Di
    No idea, but DTS-HD is shown as Dolby Audio 5.1
    So they did not leave us in the rain.

    BTW. Does anyone know how to turn the display black without shutting the A16 down. Find it distracting.
  15. audiohobbit
    Not possible, only when your source converts DTS to Dolby which I find hard to believe (ok, maybe with a PC you use, but not with players). DTS has to be converted to PCM (that is what normally happens) by the source. The Realiser does nothing, it only "tells" your source (cia HDMI at least) that it can't decode DTS and the source should send something else (PCM normally).

    LCD off timer, p. 43 manual.
    turns off display after 5 mins. or more when you press no key. After a key press backlight turns on again. I don't know if it then again takes 5 min. or more to turn off, but I suppose so, everything else doesn't make much sense.
    What can be turned off completely are the LEDs of the set top of the headtracker (although in the dark you will stille see the IR LED in the middle gleaming red, so it's not fully IR)

    PS: The Realiser has an ambient light sensor, the backlight corresponds to ambient light, if bright light in the room, the backlight will be bright, if dark, backlight will be lowered also, but not fully turned off by itself.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
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