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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
    I thought so and of course disconnected the Bassme. Didn't help.
    Seems more like activating the Tactile ouput can cause the problem?

    My very first test with the Bassme i connected it to the HP B output jack on the front and had no such problems.
    Either it has something to do with activating the Tactile output, which I didn't before or playing around in the Listening room settings while listening to this Room at the same time. Don't know yet.
     
  2. Dixter
    Hope you didn't blow it up.... that wouldn't be cool... best of luck
     
  3. dsperber
    Just in passing, I report that during this past weekend's efforts to get my new Apple TV 4K and new Yamaha RX-A860 all cabled correctly in order to now deliver Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos via streaming Netflix to my A16 environment, I experienced probably FOUR separate "red screen" events. By this I mean the A16 was powered on and in a normal operating state at the time, although there as "no HDMI audio" presented on the speaker map for extended periods. And then all of a sudden the screen went completely red, with "Error 002" displayed in smallish font in the upper-left corner.

    At least once I pushed the UserA volume knob to turn the A16 off, and it was unresponsive. However the POWER button on the remote did work. Restarting the A16 brought everything back up again in a once again normal state.

    At the time I didn't have my DAC and headphone amp powered on, because I was only interested in looking at the A16 screen throughout all of this streamer/cable research when actually playing "The Irishman", in order to see whether the A16 selected PCM or Dolby Atmos based on the stream delivered. However my previous several experiences with the "red screen" event (those while actually using the A16 to listen, so that HDMI audio actually WAS being delivered) was that there was another loud BUZZ symptom at the same time. I don't know if the BUZZ was also present with this weekend's "red screen" occurrences with "no HDMI audio" because I didn't have the headphones powered on, but I'm speculating it well could have been.

    Just reporting.


    One other anomaly using my now-connected optical head-tracker that I observed last night as I was watching a movie (in Dolby Digital 5.1, through BDP103 and LPCM to the A16). Seemed unstable. On a number of occasions the sound field in my ears changed drastically (as if I'd turned my head 90 degrees) so that I was only getting sound from one ear, and the green lights on the ST unit would also either change dramatically or disappear! Took a bit of physically rotating my own head left/right and up/down to finally restore the normal "star" green LED presentation.

    I was watching with my head looking straight ahead at the time although obviously you will normally have occasional small body movements that slightly change the direction of your head. And this would therefore naturally cause the green lights on the ST unit to change accordingly. I've always found this very distracting, as I find myself constantly staring at the ST lights (sitting right on the top edge of the TV) instead of the picture on the TV screen, in order to be sure that the A8/A16 thinks I'm looking straight ahead. With the A16 HT/ST that now reflects vertical head motion as well as horizontal head motion, I'm finding the distraction even worse, trying to keep the "star" lights perfectly lit when my head is in a normal, comfortable, relaxed position for viewing.

    I think of my head in a "straight ahead" orientation, but apparently it doesn't take much up/down or left/right motion of the head to have an effect on the green lights. Relatively minor motion won't have too much effect on rotating the sound field, but my neck is definitely not happy when watching something for hours. Kind of like trying to sleep on an airplane while you try to hold your head upright and not flop down onto your chest as you finally fall off to sleep. Otherwise, you can't ever get to sleep because your neck is trying to hold your head upright and it's physically stressful to hold that position.

    Anyway, I find that I'm trying to reach up and adjust the left/right up/down orientation of the HT rubber-banded onto my headphone headband, to compensate and offset things even if I let my head relax "down" a bit, in order for the "star" lights on the ST to still be normal. I know I don't have any 3D overhead speakers to worry about affecting while listening through a 5.1 PCM room but that doesn't stop the green up/down lights on the ST unit from responding to my vertical head motion. Very distracting.

    But most bothersome so far is the occasional total "freak out" of the A16 HT processing, where sound disappears from one ear (either left or right) and the green lights mistakenly change as if I'd rotated my head dramatically, which hadn't happened. This is really really distracting and takes away severely from enjoying the movie.
     
  4. audiohobbit
    You know that you have to press user A or user B volume knob for aboout 3s to turn the unit off?
    This always worked when my unit was unresponsive yesterday.

    And you know that you can turn off the green lights on the set top completely? p. 41 in the manual.
    Keeping your head still just to keep the green lights in the middle doesn't make much sense. Headtracking is there so that you DON't have to keep your head straight all the time...

    And then i t seems that your head top doesn't work properly, the gyro doesn't calibrate itself, this is a known error.
    Normally when you turn the unit on with HT plugged in the LED on the head top should turn red. This is the warm up phase for the head top. it should not be moved in this phase. Afterwards it should turn green.
    If it does not light up at all, then you got the same problem as I encountered with both of my head tops.

    I'll immediately post the workaround in my other thread since I forgot to do this.

    Here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smy...s-tips-and-tricks.915293/page-2#post-15352609
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  5. J.Villain
    B*ll ***. They have had the parts sitting in their storage for well over 2 years.

    Remember this was an update from March 31, 2018. Nearly 2 years ago.

    "1. All the PCBs have now been programmed and tested with the exception of the head-tracker. There have not been any significant problems so far on any of the boards. "

    They reported to us that they were all assembled over a year ago. They then reported that they found that one resistor on one of the boards was the wrong value and needed to be replaced so they were going to delay delivery by I believe they said 6 months at the time to do that. That was long before they announced they were going to begin shipping so should already be completed. But even if it wasn't they should easily be able to desolder and solder a new one in under a half hour. My training was in electronic engineering so I know how long these things take.

    Any one that has looked at the components involved would quickly realize that assembling one of these would be much easier than assembling a PC. That is some thing I usually do in about an hour. Its a main board and a couple of daughter cards. Some one made the claim that the employees were all working of the exchange site. Where is that then? Are they even working on it? You said "the task is huge". It would be huge if all the parts arrived yesterday and they were starting from scratch. That is obviously not the case they have had years to work towards shipping.

    The bottom line is that these con men have our money and apparently zero integrity and can hide behind the protection of being a corporation and so feel no pressure to deliver the units. We haven't even gotten an update from Smyth about the status of the shipping like they promised. Is that because their staff is soooooo over whelmed that they can't type a couple of sentences?
     
  6. phoenixdogfan
    My guess is that they are working at this part time. The two brothers are older and probably put 15-20 hours per week on this tops. As for the boards being ordered, I think they were not being entirely factual. Maybe the boards were ordered, but some key components are being bought on a pay as you go basis in small quantities b/c that's all their cash flow will permit. That's why everything is being released in dribs and drabs. Otherwise, there would have been a massive shipment. Alternatively, maybe they have all the components but are releasing in dribs and drabs b//c they know this is very much a beta version of the product, and they want to keep the customer service burden at manageable levels while they work out the bugs.

    In any case, I still see the big problem with Smyth Ltd as a lack of cash flow needed to live up to the promise of the design. This is going to drag out the order fulfillment process to over 2 years, challenge them to expand the capabilities of the A16 to include all the promised features, and present significant challenges to ramping up production to make it a viable commercial product.
     
    You Gene likes this.
  7. JohnEW
    This may of little help to you at the moment but the problems you are having will also effect other users using the Bassme unit through the A16 tactile output, if not rectified.

    I wrote an E-Mail to BassMe on 18/May/2019 regarding using the tactile output of the A16 with the BassMe unit.

    Q: I will be using the tactile output of Smyth Realiser A16, Can I just use a single cable from the A16 to the "BassMe" unit and not use the bluetooth.?

    A: And for the Smyth Realizer A16, yes you can!

    I do not have my Realiser A16 yet but received my BassMe unit on Saturday. I am playing the Bassme through audio analog stereo set up from my Panasonic 820 Blu-Ray UHD DVD player and have had no problems with the Bassme. Audio is optical out to Tritton 5.1 headphones.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  8. audiohobbit
    I don't rely on what the Bassme guys say. Do they even know what The A16 is and can and can not?

    Fact is I bricked the A16 now. It stalls in the Flash screen already.
    I'm in contact with Stephen and will rely on what he says because he knows what the A16 can and can not.

    I'm not an electrical engineer but my guess would be: The tactile out of the Realiser as a line level output expects a high impedance on the other side. If not the currents get too high and damage the output. So if the input impedance of the Bassme is too low maybe that happened to me!

    So I have to put out this

    WARNING:
    Do not connect the Bassme directly to the Tactile out or any other pre out of the A16 (or other device) because I maybe bricked my A16 this way!
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  9. JohnEW
    I thank you for your warning and hope that Stephen Smyth has taken this malfunction/crash seriously and be able to rectify your A16 with firmware or send you a replacement.
     
  10. audiohobbit
    Well, if it's my fault I have to pay for it.

    Think first, then connect. Or not...
     
  11. Fox1977
    @audiohobbit I really hope your unit is not damaged and that Smyth Research will quickly find a solution to your problem. I don't get though why connecting the BassMe would have damaged it. I'm no electronics engineer at all, but electrical current is going only one way, from the A16 towards the BassMe, right ? So, if one unit was to be damaged, it should be the one that receives the current, therefore the BassMe. This is NOT an assertion, of course, i am just trying to understand why it went wrong.
    As for the Q&A from BassMe company regarding the A16, i think you are right, they may know what it is, but probably answered without know the specs, just thinking that if there is a tactile output, it should work with the BassMe.

    @J.Villain You sound a bit too harsh with Smyth Research calling them "con men". I understand your frustration and i myself was not always tender with them regarding their poor communication skills. You are right, they haven't been holding their word to keep us updated about the number of shipped unit on a weekly basis. However, unlike what you say, they did send an update (though only one in 4 months) and more importantly, they have been shipping units regularly all along since mid august, too excruciatingly slowly to my taste, but surely.
    You can't say they are conning us because so far they've been delivering units and working on firmware updates to fix bugs. By the time i get mine (#203) many versions of the firmware will have been released and many bugs fixed.
     
  12. sander99
    If you connect something with a too low impedance to an output it is a bit as if you are 'shortcutting' that output.
    Think of this extreme example: Connect the red and black output terminals of one channel of an amplifier together with a piece of wire. The piece of wire now represents the low impedance device. In fact it is a pure shortcut now. If the amplifier has no protection mechanism against this and you turn it on and play music, what do you think is gonna happen? I think smoke, possibly fire and the amp will be defective afterwards.
     
  13. audiohobbit
    Exactly, thanks for the explanation.

    Wrong. Even if it was NOT AC (which audio signals are).

    I think "circuit" comes from circle. In german it is even called "Strom-Kreis" ("Current-circle")
     
  14. dsperber
    You're right. I didn't realize that. Probably would have powered off from my "red screen" if I'd done that. I will be sure to hold it in for 3-5 seconds if/when this next occurs. But for sure it did respond right away to POWER on the remote.

    Yes I did know that. I'd already turned down the brightness on the lights so that I could make out the individual LED's from the otherwise bright glare from across the room.

    Well, I'm not sure. I do want to look straight ahead, at the screen. And I want the L/R speakers to be where they should be from my perspective.

    Unless I see the lights as my easily observed positive visual confirmation that (a) I'm centered and "perpendicular" to the ST, and (b) am not mistakenly considered to be rotated slightly so that the L/R balance is off, I have no way to detect if I'm off-center except by rotating my head left and right until it "sounds right". Can't stop doing that. And "flying blind, i.e. by sound" it's just as distracting and annoying as looking at the green lights, and again taking away from the pure enjoyment of just watching the picture on my TV screen while hearing sound properly balanced coming into both ears and not having to think about it at all.

    If the HT rubber-banded to my headphone band isn't looking perfectly straight ahead, and if the ST isn't perfectly placed so that my straight-ahead viewing position is perpendicular to the HT, then the A16 will consider me to be off-center or rotated, and will adjust the L/R balance accordingly. That's not really what I want. Add in the up/down sensitivity as well, and it's a real delicate job to affix the ST on the top of the TV and the HT on the headband just perfectly, so that I can just forget it. I understand that if I turn my head the sound field will change, and that's fine. I just don't want me to be looking straight ahead and the L/R balance is off.

    I don't follow. I'm using the ST/HT in optical mode. What does this have to do with the gyro and calibration? Was I supposed to do something special to facilitate optical mode? I didn't think so, or know that if true. I thought in optical mode it just worked, like with the A8, except that there is now the cable going from HT to the A16 instead of a rechargeable battery in the HT. Did I miss something?

    For sure, something is not right, when all of a sudden and with no head motion of any kind the lights on the ST change or disappear, and the sound field rotates 90 degrees.
     
  15. Ledimies
    Has anyone used A16 with an iPad? I wonder if my use case is even possible. I would like to watch Netflix etc. using my iPad so that the video would play from the iPad but the sound would come from A16. So the real question is that am I able to connect the iPad to Realiser A16 with Apple AV adapter so that I could watch the video from iPad but hear the audio from A16?
     
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