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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
    So the implementation cost nothing?

    An 8 channel solution (Mini DSP) cost between 600 and 1200 euro, and you expect a 16 ch version nearly for free...

    The Storm Audio Preamp with the same decoder and 16ch Dirac live costs 11.000-13.000 euro.

    As a kickstarter we paid under 1000 euros for the A16!

    Sometimes I really don't understand what you're thinking guys...
  2. phoenixdogfan
    ds, before trying the velcro tape enhancement.[/QUOTE]
    You would only need a 16 channel Dirac system if you had a 16 channel speaker setup. If you have that, you don;t really need an A16, you need a true AV receiver with ATMOS/DTS-X and 16 channel Dirac.

    You don;t need DL for headphones at all, so it probably makes more sense for a 7.1 channel Dirac on either the A16 or you computer (if thats your source for most material).
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  3. sander99
    If I am not mistaken Dirac Live is the sort of processing that can not be captured with a PRIR measurement(?), not be "baked in" to a PRIR so to speak. That means that it can be usefull to do 16 channel Dirac Live processing and feed the result to 16 virtual "raw" loudspeakers over headphones. Of course that means that it should be implemented in such a way that the A16 can perform Dirac Live and SVS processing (for 2 users ideally) at the same time. And you need to calibrate Dirac Live with the same real room/system where the PRIR was made, you can not do it afterwards with only the PRIR.

    (And maybe one day Jriver and Dirac Live can do 16 channels on a pc also, and send the 16 channel result over USB to the A16...)

    On the other hand: If you just manage to have a PRIR measured of a room/system combination that sounds excellent without Dirac Live then you don't need it at all. So instead of paying 1000 Euro for Dirac Live I think it would make more sense to just find such a good room/system that doesn't need it.
  4. phoenixdogfan
    I don't see why a PRIR would not capture the results of Dirac Live processing. After all, the PRIR measures the sound in the room as it arrives at the listener's ears. By the time of capture, that sound is analog and has been processed by the DL correction mechanism. You would of course need to have a way to get the DL mechnism to process the analog signal generated by the A16.

    Something like the miniDSP SHD (which is my next acquisition after an A16) has stereo analog inputs which takes the analog re-digitizes it, and allows further processing--including Dirac Live processing, eq, electronic crossover for subs, etc.

    If you combine the output of the A16 with the input of the SHD and use the two channels to capture 16 methodology detailed a few pages back, you get a 16 channel PRIR of a system which uses Dirac Live for room and speaker correction.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  5. audiohobbit
    Dirac Live works in frequency and time domain, and afaik measures and corrects an impulse (correct me if I'm wrong here) just like the Realiser, so I also think capturing the Dirac-corrected impulse would work and the PRIR benefits from it.

    I think so too and this is what we plan to do here in Germany. One user has a decent room with 3 Neuman KH310 in the front plus 2 KH120 as surrounds and 4 tops (don't know which one at the moment), so a 5.1.4 system Dirac-corrected by his Arcam AVR.
    Since we can not feed more than 2 channels analogue to the Arcam my plan is to capture only the 2 front L and R 6 times, by rotating the listener, to get 12 speakers in 30 deg. increments, and all of them would be Neumann KH310 Dirac corrected (+ Subwoofer as Double Bass array).
    Plus 2 tops, also Dirac corrected, two times, so we get 2 to the right and 2 to the left.

    I think what also could be done if 16ch Dirac would be implemented, to record PRIRs of the raw speakers and apply Dirac to the 16 virtual channels before SVS processing. But only in theory, since you would need to measure every real speaker with the Dirac system beforehand.
  6. audiohobbit
    mini DSP DDRC24 would suffice, I think, and is not so expensive.
  7. phoenixdogfan
    Of course if they had asynchronous PRIR measurement activated, and gave everyone a measurement DVD, the entire process would be trivial and any number of Dirac equipped AVS receivers could be used for the capture.
  8. Eich1eeF
    You seem to think that the MiniDSP hardware is for free. People these days...

    The Storm Audio costs as much as it does because the market for those high end AVPs is small and that's the price the market will bear, not because making another instance of anything of it, least of all the software, is expensive for the manufacturer.
  9. bpinnell
    I usually use my computer as a source. In my treated listening room I used Dirac to make an impulse response which definitely improved things. I use the Dirac Live VST/AU plugin to apply the room correction to whatever my computer is playing because the Dirac processor software itself was not working for me. I usually don't use my A8 anymore now that I have my listening room, but I did do a PRIR of my listening room a few months ago to compare with what the A16 will hopefully measure soon. When I use the Dirac plug-in on audio being fed to the A8, it is the same improvement as if I were applying the Dirac plug-in to audio being fed to my speakers. This is great because I was not able to feed the tones used by the A8 through the Dirac processing during the PRIR measurement process.
  10. Rene Lou
    Typical atmos top speakers are limited in their frequency response. By measuring the ground speakers you will just make a copy of them, including all room reflections. Your top speakers will sound identical as your L+R, but just above you (or where they were positioned relatively to your head at the time you did the PRIR measurements). In terms of homogeneous sound signature of all the front/surround/top/rear/side/wide speakers, such a virtual multichannel system can even sound better then a real speaker system ever can (based on my personal experience with the A8).

    To your second question: Absolutely yes !!!! It is an exact copy of my large front speakers - and the resulting virtual multichannel system is phenomenal ! Front steering of the L+R copy of my speakers, positioning of instruments in the room and overall impact is simply a perfect copy when listening to stereo music (!).

    What I have copied are my large JMlab Focal Nova Utopia BE speakers, currently installed in my living room (with no room treatment, but at least some bass correction done with a Lexicon MC-12 HD EQ V1.25 with it's Room EQ in automatic mode and manual correction of the EQ parameters):


    In the virtual multichannel system and the A16, I'm listening to a 9.1.6ch system build with 16 of those speakers - performance of movies is simply unbelievable - center, side, rear, top - you name it, do sound exactly as if I have those speakers around me - more then a metric ton of speakers :).

    But there is an important note: It seems (at least for my ears) that variations of the microphone placement in your ear of the new A16 microphones has a bigger influence then the A8 microphone placement had. I will cover my experience in regards of optimal A16 microphone placement in a separate posting - and how I was able to make an exact copy of my front speakers with the A16. I needed to do some testing with different microphone positions and orientations to get an optimal PRIR. With my current A16 PRIR - and after doing a proper manSPK HPEQ by comparing the real stereo speakers with the virtual L+R channels - Classical, Jazz and Pop music in stereo simply sound identical with my HD800, as if I am playing the music over my speakers.

    I've uploaded my PRIR and HPEQ file to the shared A16 folder on Google drive. Please feel free to try it out, but be not disappointed if it's just mediocre to you - you will most likely not have similar ear shapes then I do, so final result will vary. You should do at least a manLOUD HPEQ with my PRIR loaded and your own personal HPEQ of your headphones. See my footer with the link to Google drive if you are interested.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
    sm0rf likes this.
  11. Richter Di
    Very interesting! @sander99 and I did some measurements today and it especially finding an optimal seat of the microphones in the ears was difficult with the provided yellow foams.
    There must be a better solution.


    I am thinking about something like these foam tips I bought for my Etymotic ER4S. A stable middle tube to prohibit the gliding of the microphones in the foam.
    Sander99 were looking for a middle position of the microphones in relation to the ear canal.
    Smyth says to get it flush with the ear canal, but with the way the microphones are formed, I think this almost impossible.
    Very much looking forward to your comments.
  12. Richter Di
    Via HDMI, Windows displays for the Realiser A16-C, bit depths 16 and 24 bit, as well as 44.1, 48, 96 and 192 kHz.
    Via Qobuz I can also download a track in HiRes, e.g. "The Girl from Ipanema" in 24 bit and 192 kHz and it plays it. The same is true for the playback with Foobar.

    About the FiiO M11 still only crackling. Same song(s). So is the digital via SPDIF Coax limited?
  13. Om ma Ni
    Wow.. i am already convinced by what you said regarding the A16 acoustic replicating capabilities..! So it sounds that we will be able to create our dream virtual HomeCinema sound system by capturing only pairs of top end stereo speakers?! Even the center channel ?
    I will wait impatiently your feedback or even detailed tutorial regarding the optimal PRIR capture with the mic etc...
    So So exited
  14. Richter Di
    After yesterday‘s issues with the foamies from Smyth, I searched my drawers and found these from my Westone 3. They give an immediate secure fit and not this constant moving around like @sander99 and I had yesterday.
    jgazal likes this.
  15. blubliss Contributor
    Maybe it has to do with what the wrapper is on the output. If I use wasapi on the PC, the higher resolutions don't work, but they do with ASIO.
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