Smyth Research Realiser A16
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You Gene

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I have an A16, a headphone and an old - but reliable - HD ready TV set in an ordinary room. No Home Cinema room, no physical speakers, no measurement done in another location to make a personalised PRIR, no nothing ! Just me, my headphone and my TV.
In my mind I can only do :
1) BBC and Surrey rooms autoEQs ;
2) BBC and Surrey rooms manLOUDs ;
3) wait for the "realiser exchange" to sample more rooms.

Or can I go any further, apart from switching a speaker from the Surrey room to the BBC room and vice versa? A lot of the manual seems to cover more parameters but - am I right ? - related to physical speakers measurements...

Thanks
 
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Hi everyone,
I have been having some issues with my A16. Two of which could be me doing something wrong or having missed something. Before I write James I was hoping that someone here had the same problems and found a way to fix them.

The first issue is that I cannot save any files on the SD card. Updating the FW works so the slot seems to be fine. Do I have to create a folder or something like with the FW update. It shows me that there is space for 999 files and when I press copy file to SD Card the process (bar loading) starts too, but there is nothing on the card afterwards. Reading files from the card doesn't work either.

Another issue is with the driver for mac. If I try to install it a message comes saying that Apple cannot check the file for any virus and that I would need a newer version and have to contact the manufacturer.

The following problems startet when I created a 5.1 room and tried to load it. I got an error message with red screen. It was either Error 2 or Error 3. Maybe because I assigned Lss and Rss speakers from a PRIR I made to the Ls and Rs speakers of the 5.1 setup. The realiser then only responded to the Power button on the remote. Turning the it back on after sometime and changing the preset helped to not get the error. But after that I couldn't solo speakers anymore when in Speaker Map. This started working again after sometime and then again it didn't. Since then it hasn't been working. Restore Factory setup and full factory restore didn't help. Also certain things are slower than before like saving a room. The level indicators of the speakers in Speaker Map are delayed to on the display (sound is not affected, just takes longer till I hear something after changing the preset). This wasn't like that before either. I have updated to the newest FW (1.81).

I really hope someone here has a solution for this or that these issues are just software related and can be fixed without me having to send the realiser back. But atleast I can still use it.
 
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You Gene

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Hi everyone,
I have been having some issues with my A16. Two of which could be me doing something wrong or having missed something. Before I write James I was hoping that someone here had the same problems and found a way to fix them.

The first issue is that I cannot save any files on the SD card. Updating the FW works so the slot seems to be fine. Do I have to create a folder or something like with the FW update. It shows me that there is space for 999 files and when I press copy file to SD Card the process (bar loading) starts too, but there is nothing on the card afterwards. Reading files from the card doesn't work either.

Another issue is with the driver for mac. If I try to install it a message comes saying that Apple cannot check the file for any virus and that I would need a newer version and have to contact the manufacturer.

The following problems startet when I created a 5.1 room and tried to load it. I got an error message with red screen. It was either Error 2 or Error 3. Maybe because I assigned Lss and Rss speakers from a PRIR I made to the Ls and Rs speakers of the 5.1 setup. The realiser then only responded to the Power button on the remote. Turning the it back on after sometime and changing the preset helped to not get the error. But after that I couldn't solo speakers anymore when in Speaker Map. This started working again after sometime and then again it didn't. Since then it hasn't been working. Restore Factory setup and full factory restore didn't help. Also certain things are slower than before like saving a room. The level indicators of the speakers in Speaker Map are delayed to on the display (sound is not affected, just takes longer till I hear something after changing the preset). This wasn't like that before either. I have updated to the newest FW (1.81).

I really hope someone here has a solution for this or that these issues are just software related and can be fixed without me having to send the realiser back. But atleast I can still use it.
You could also revert to the prior firmware to see whether it has to do with the new firmware or not ?
(1.76 or 1.75)
 
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sander99

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The first issue is that I cannot save any files on the SD card. Updating the FW works so the slot seems to be fine. Do I have to create a folder or something like with the FW update. It shows me that there is space for 999 files and when I press copy file to SD Card the process (bar loading) starts too, but there is nothing on the card afterwards. Reading files from the card doesn't work either.
In the realiser folder on the sd card you should create 2 folders 'PRIRS' and 'HPEQS' (this was not mentioned in the manual, but it was in one of the instruction video's on youtube).
 
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I currently have a borrowed A16 in my home. The owner borrowed it to me so I can get familiar with it before I help him to make one or more PRIRs in his home.

@Rene Lou: I did a small variation of your 'recepe' to measure a 9.1.6 PRIR with 2 loudspeakers. (The variation is that I do all measurements while sitting in the sweetspot, and because of that I sometimes had to split a step in 2 steps doing one speaker at a time.)
But you forgot to mention one important thing. (At least it turned out to be important in my case, but if you are lucky you could have certain settings right by coincidence. When I measured speakers 3&4 and onwards, the sweeps where much to soft because of unsuitable gain settings.)

After the calibrate speakers step, you should look what the lowest resulting gain setting of speaker 1 and 2 is, and copy that value to all other speakers.
(A vaguely remebered, and checked, it was also mentioned in one of the Smyth youtube instruction videos.)
I added it (more detailed) in the quote below, underlined in bold.

What I did to create a 9.1.6ch PRIR with just two stereo speakers (as of today with current firmware 1.75):

This will be a VERY long post.....

I copied the 'multiply speakers' approach of my A8 to create virtual side and rear speakers (by looking backwards). For doing this with the A16, I had to swap the rear and side R+L channels in the PRIR sound room of the A16.

In detail:

The speaker label assignments have to be done in Settings -> PRIR Sound Rooms -> PRIR room 1 (or 2) speaker setup. I used PRIR sound room 2 for this measurement and kept PRIR sound room 1 as a reference. I swapped channels 5<->6 and 7<->8 compared to PRIR sound room 1, so my PRIR sound room 2 looks like this:
  • channel 1: Spk = L, Size = L
  • channel 2: Spk = R, Size = L
  • channel 3: Spk = C, Size = L
  • channel 4: Spk = SW, Size = L
  • channel 5: Spk = Rss, Size = L
  • channel 6: Spk = Lss, Size = L
  • channel 7: Spk = Rb, Size = L
  • channel 8: Spk = Lb, Size = L
  • channel 9: Spk = Lw, Size = L
  • channel 10: Spk = Rw, Size = L
  • channel 11: Spk = Ltf, Size = L
  • channel 12: Spk = Rtf, Size = L
  • channel 13: Spk = Ltm, Size = L
  • channel 14: Spk = Rtm, Size = L
  • channel 15: Spk = Ltr, Size = L
  • channel 16: Spk = Rtr, Size = L
After creating PRIR sound room 2:
  1. connect the 16-ch Line Output connector 1-2 with a 3.5mm to RCA cable to your stereo system (Poweramp/Preamp/active speakers - make sure to power off your amp before connecting) - Red connector goes to the right speaker and white connector goes to the left speaker. Power on your amp.
  2. Go to Apps and
    -> "Subject" and select your user
    -> "Room" and select the PRIR sound room 2
    -> "Phones" and select your headphone
  3. Connect the blue grounding wrist-strap to the A16 and ground yourself
  4. put the microphones in your ears, connect the mics to the A16 and sit in your listening position
  5. Go to Apps -> Calibrate speakers (CAL) -> Speaker select and switch channel 1 (L) and 2 (R) on (green), all the other speakers to off (white)
  6. press BACK, go to CAL PRIR Gains and press ENTER, press CAL and then speaker level calibration begins (see manual if the bars are never green or are sometimes red to correct the speaker level)
After level calibration has been done:
  1. press BACK and go to PRIR measurements (SPK) in the Apps menu
  2. go to Speaker select to check if channels 1 and 2 are still selected and all the others are off
  3. while still in the speaker select menu, check the gain settings for speakers 1 and 2, pick the lowest value of those two and use that value to overwrite the gain of each of the other speakers, so all 16 speakers have that same gain, press BACK
  4. go to Config look angles and configure the required angles (see manual for configuration options, for me Look azi (+/-30 deg x 1) was ok), rest is switched off, Look angles is fixed, press BACK
    (the procedure below is valid if you measure +/-30 degrees as well, otherwise you will have to adapt)
  5. Mode is set to All, Sweep type is set to 12sec overlap
Now we are ready to begin with the PRIR measurement:
  1. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements (eg: 'look center' -> look center (0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (typically face your left front speaker) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (typically face your right front speaker) and keep still
  2. After the 1st measurement (channels 1+2 = L+R) has been done, press BACK

  3. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 1+2 and switch on channel 3 and 4 (center and subwoofer), press BACK
  4. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 3-4 and switch your amp on again
  5. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, but this time at 'look center' -> look 30 degrees to the left (face your left speaker - this will become your virtual center speaker) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 60 degrees and keep still -> 'look right' -> look center 0 degrees (straight ahead) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created a virtual center speaker which will sounds exactly as your left front speaker, but in front of you; your right front speaker will become the virtual subwoofer).
  6. After the 2nd measurement has been done, press BACK

  7. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 3+4 and switch on channel 5 and 6 (Rss and Lss), press BACK
  8. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 5-6 and switch your amp on again
  9. Take a chair and sit between your front speakers, facing backwards (180 degrees, looking away from your screen/TV)
  10. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, this time at 'look center' -> look 180 degrees backwards and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (approx. where a right rear speaker would be) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (approx. where a left rear speaker would be) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual side speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the side of you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual right side speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual left side speaker)
  11. After the 3rd measurement has been done, press BACK

  12. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 5+6 and switch on channel 7 and 8 (Rb and Lb), press BACK
  13. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 7-8 and switch your amp on again
  14. sit on your primary seating postion, but facing backwards (180 degrees, looking away from your screen/TV; I have a couch and was just kneeling on it looking backwards)
  15. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look 180 degrees backwards and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (approx. where a right rear speaker would be) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (approx. where a left rear speaker would be) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual rear speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the rear position. Your left front speaker will become the virtual right rear speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual left rear speaker)
  16. After the 4th measurement has been done, press BACK

  17. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 7+8 and switch on channel 9 and 10 (Lw and Rw), press BACK
  18. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 9-10 and switch your amp on again
  19. Starting from your primary listening position, move somewhat closer to the screen/TV, so that your front speakers will be at approx. +/- 60 degrees from you (and will become wide speakers - take a chair again)
  20. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual wide speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the wide position. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left wide speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right wide speaker)
  21. After the 5th measurement has been done, press BACK

  22. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 9+10 and switch on channel 11 and 12 (Ltf and Rtf), press BACK
  23. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 11-12 and switch your amp on again
  24. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head (tilt it downwards looking towards the floor) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 45 degrees "above" your head (and will become top front speakers)
  25. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (still looking downwards to the floor, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still towards the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still towards the floor) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual top front speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top front position approx. 45 degrees upwards. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top front speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top front speaker)
  26. After the 6th measurement has been done, press BACK

  27. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 11+12 and switch on channel 13 and 14 (Ltm and Rtm), press BACK
  28. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 13-14 and switch your amp on again
  29. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head even more (tilt it downwards 90 degrees, looking to the floor) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 90 degrees "above" you (and will become top middle speakers)
  30. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (but still down to the floor, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual top middle speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top middle position approx. 90 degrees above you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top middle speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top middle speaker)
  31. After the 7th measurement has been done, press BACK

  32. go to Speaker select, deselect channel 13+14 and switch on channel 15 and 16 (Ltr and Rtr), press BACK
  33. Power off your amp, connect the 3.5mm plug to the 16-ch Line Output connector 15-16 and switch your amp on again
  34. Sit on your primary listening position and lower your head even more (tilt it further downwards, looking to the floor below and behind of you) so that your front speakers will be at approx. 45 degrees "above and behind" of you and will become top rear speakers (I have to say this is a quite uncomfortable position - lucky nobody else sees you when you are doing this....)
  35. go to SPK and press SPK button -> follow the announcements, at 'look center' -> look center (but still down to the floor behind of you, 0 degrees) and keep still -> 'look left' -> look left 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still -> 'look right' -> look right 30 degrees (still to the floor) and keep still
    (by doing this, you just created virtual top rear speakers which will sounds exactly as your front speakers, but on the top rear position approx. 45 degrees behind and above you. Your left front speaker will become the virtual left top rear speaker and the right front speaker will become the virtual right top rear speaker)
  36. After the 8th measurement has been done, press ENTER to save your 9.1.6ch PRIR !
  • With the microphones still in the ear canal, do a proper HPEQ (autoEQ)
  • Do not forget to copy the PRIR and HPEQ files from the circular recycle buffers to the permanent storage and/or SD card
  • Remove the microphones and - if you can - do a HPEQ (manSPK) and compare the L+R speakers with the virtual L+R speakers
With this procedure, your head movement will be always the same - looking center and then 30 degrees to the left and 30 degrees to the right (30 degrees being relative to the position you where looking at the 'look center' position - be it backwards or towards the floor).
 
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In the realiser folder on the sd card you should create 2 folders 'PRIRS' and 'HPEQS' (this was not mentioned in the manual, but it was in one of the instruction video's on youtube).
Oh ok didn’t watch all the videos. I had tried that, but I had named them „prir“ and „hpeq“ instead of „prirs“ and „hpeqs“. It works now so thanks for that info :)
 
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AppleheadMay

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I guess current Realisers are shipped with HDMI 2.0b?
Any chance there will be an update to HDMI 2.1 for later shipping dates and an upgrade for those who already have one?
 
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Richter Di

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I currently have a borrowed A16 in my home. The owner borrowed it to me so I can get familiar with it before I help him to make one or more PRIRs in his home.

@Rene Lou: I did a small variation of your 'recepe' to measure a 9.1.6 PRIR with 2 loudspeakers. (The variation is that I do all measurements while sitting in the sweetspot, and because of that I sometimes had to split a step in 2 steps doing one speaker at a time.)
But you forgot to mention one important thing. (At least it turned out to be important in my case, but if you are lucky you could have certain settings right by coincidence. When I measured speakers 3&4 and onwards, the sweeps where much to soft because of unsuitable gain settings.)

After the calibrate speakers step, you should look what the lowest resulting gain setting of speaker 1 and 2 is, and copy that value to all other speakers.
(A vaguely remebered, and checked, it was also mentioned in one of the Smyth youtube instruction videos.)
I added it (more detailed) in the quote below, underlined in bold.
Hi Sander99, that is really impressive.
How long does it take you to make this full 9.1.6 measurement in this way? How convincing are the results?
BTW Did you have a chance to try out the the 2.0 measurement we did in my studio? Do you still like it?
 
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Now that I have the A16 in hand with all it's accoutrements, it occurs to me that the head tracker could be very easily swapped among my stable of phones if multiple units of the little plastic bracket that mounts the tracker to the headband were available. And it also seems to me this one little plasic part screams for duplication on a 3-D printer. Is anyone working on duplicating this bracket on a 3-d printer. Or will such a copy degrade the sound quality of the whole, entire setup?
 
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GeorgeA

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I guess current Realisers are shipped with HDMI 2.0b? Any chance there will be an update to HDMI 2.1 for later shipping dates and an upgrade for those who already have one?
If I remember correctly, there were a question and answer with respect to this matter at kickstarter.com, comments section. Those modules that deal with HDMI connections might be upgraded by owners without the need for servicing elsewhere.
 
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If I remember correctly, there were a question and answer with respect to this matter at kickstarter.com, comments section. Those modules that deal with HDMI connections might be upgraded by owners without the need for servicing elsewhere.

Thanks! Found that post.

Stephen SmythCollaboratorover 3 years ago
@Jian H - We use an HDMI repeater board from MDS in California and they tell us every customer is asking for the same thing. The issue at the moment is the lack of HDMI chips that support 2.1 - in other words it will take time for the IC manufacturers to catch up. However MDS are presently working on a 2.0a board that is a drop-in replacement for the board we use and they see a 2.1 board in the pipeline immediately following that. So in time the A16 will be able to support what you ask. The HDMI board inside the A16 can be easily disconnected from the motherboard, so it should be possible for owners to retrofit themselves, or have it done at the distributor.
MDS doesn't have HDMI 2.1 boards yet though, the newest they have is: http://www.mds.com/products/hdmivideo/5th-gen-hdmi/ .

So it's just plugging in a different board, no firmware updates needed to support HDMI 2.1 functions like eARC and VRR?

Sounds promising if we can upgrade it, without HDMI 2.1 the Realizer would soon be outdated for passing through video. New consoles (both Xbox and PS), TVs (LG) and receivers (Yamaha) with HDMI 2.1 were already announced for release later this year.
 
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Got the Shakes

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Thanks! Found that post.



MDS doesn't have HDMI 2.1 boards yet though, the newest they have is: http://www.mds.com/products/hdmivideo/5th-gen-hdmi/ .

So it's just plugging in a different board, no firmware updates needed to support HDMI 2.1 functions like eARC and VRR?

Sounds promising if we can upgrade it, without HDMI 2.1 the Realizer would soon be outdated for passing through video. New consoles (both Xbox and PS), TVs (LG) and receivers (Yamaha) with HDMI 2.1 were already announced for release later this year.
While it will be technically outdated once HDMI 2.1 capable products start shipping, it practically it will be fine for awhile for most use cases. You can do VRR over HDMI 2.0b just fine, where 2.1 is helpful is pushing 4K at 120hz which neither console will likely be able to do unless they have settings to turn down the graphics settings to the lowest textures. If you game on PC though that might be a different story since I’d guess the new Nvidia cards this year, especially the 3080 Ti will be able to push really frame rates at 4K. With HDMI 2.0b you can still do 120hz and VRR at resolutions of 1440p and lower.

Don’t get me wrong, if and when there’s the opportunity to upgrade the board to the HDMI 2.1 spec whether it’s through Smyth or doing it myself, I will likely do it. If there was a way to get eARC functioning on the A16 that would simplify my setup for sure. I’m just not sure it will be a necessary upgrade by the end of this year even with the new consoles launching. I may change my tune though if I consider upgrading my PC to a 3080 Ti whenever that launches and then upgrade to one of the OLEDs that can do 120hz and have HDMI 2.1.
 
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