Smyth Research Realiser A16
Oct 28, 2021 at 9:23 AM Post #12,691 of 14,324

GeorgeA

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............................
The only alternatives I have here are the Meze 99 Classics and Ultrasone HFI-780 which are both closed. Would those be better choices? I sure hope not and kind of doubt it, but am willing to try :)
I’ve tried Meze 99 Classics headphones with my Realiser A16 and the out-of-head experience was quite poor despite the remarkably open-wide stage for a closed design.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 9:47 AM Post #12,693 of 14,324

castleofargh

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@infernix: first try to make your own PRIR and HPEQ, then think about maybe switching headphones. Using some other headphones is not going to fix the real issue.
+1.

Technically the Empyrean is an open back :) I could try switching to the velour pads but that seems like a stretch for it to make any difference.

The only alternatives I have here are the Meze 99 Classics and Ultrasone HFI-780 which are both closed. Would those be better choices? I sure hope not and kind of doubt it, but am willing to try :)
Natural spatial simulation starts with proper measurements at your own ears. Which means, you'll have to work and do it yourself with the in ear microphones. Watching the Smyth's videos and getting a quiet and patient friend to help, will dramatically reduce the number of times you'll end up redoing something. Of course the manual is a must. and the eternal concern must be to not move the mics during the entire process.
I would suggest to start by just trying to create a stereo room with your own speakers. Just to find out how effective the simulation is. And if it's not, work on what you're doing wrong before you start wasting entire days with multichannel measurements.
Then you can try other headphones and see if you can improve things further or if you're fine with what you have. On one hand, I believe we can have very decent results with most headphones. On the other hand, I personally ran away from both your headphones(then again I qualify as an Ultrasone hater).
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 9:52 AM Post #12,694 of 14,324

arnaud

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Yes. Forgot to mention I also tested whether the test button would produce sound, and I saw the exact same thing as you. When the no sound issue happens the test button also does not produce sound.
Actually, I always hear the speakers with the test button, my issue is solely with getting a16 to effectively switch input.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 10:40 AM Post #12,695 of 14,324

VandyMan

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I disagree with those saying just use whatever headphones you have. Yes, you need to create a good HPEQ, but some headphones are just never going to sound good with the A-16. This is a 4000$ + device; the headphones are not the place to economize. As far as the Empyrean, I recall them sounding rather rolled off when I tried them a few years ago. I'm not sure if that is an issue or not, honestly. I think of the headphones you own, it is the best choice.
 
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Oct 28, 2021 at 12:03 PM Post #12,697 of 14,324

sander99

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I disagree with those saying just use whatever headphones you have. Yes, you need to create a good HPEQ, but some headphones are just never going to sound good with the A-16.
I agree that some headphones work less good, I just mean that changing headphones - and especially buying new (expensive) headphones - before you make your own PRIR and HPEQ is not the most logical way to go forward. Even if you tried a specific pair of headphones that are better suited, maybe without a proper PRIR and HPEQ you would not notice and draw the wrong conclusion...
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 12:11 PM Post #12,698 of 14,324

infernix

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I would suggest to start by just trying to create a stereo room with your own speakers. Just to find out how effective the simulation is. And if it's not, work on what you're doing wrong before you start wasting entire days with multichannel measurements.
OK, I see what you're saying.

Now how would I correctly measure its effectiveness if it's just a stereo PRIR? Use the headtracker and turn my head so that the stereo speakers are behind me?
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 12:19 PM Post #12,699 of 14,324

sander99

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OK, I see what you're saying.

Now how would I correctly measure its effectiveness if it's just a stereo PRIR? Use the headtracker and turn my head so that the stereo speakers are behind me?
With a stereo PRIR you would hear a stereo pair of speakers in front of you, the same distance as your real speakers.
With the solo function you can play sound over one single virtual (or real) speaker. If it works, you will clearly hear the virtual speaker at the same position as the real speaker.
About turning the head: depends what set of lookangles you used. I would start simple with 3 lookangles, center, 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right (probably this is the default setting). Then headtracking only works in the horizontal and up to 30 degrees left and right.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 1:53 PM Post #12,700 of 14,324

castleofargh

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I disagree with those saying just use whatever headphones you have. Yes, you need to create a good HPEQ, but some headphones are just never going to sound good with the A-16. This is a 4000$ + device; the headphones are not the place to economize. As far as the Empyrean, I recall them sounding rather rolled off when I tried them a few years ago. I'm not sure if that is an issue or not, honestly. I think of the headphones you own, it is the best choice.
The point wasn't to say that any headphone is going to give the same experience. I think most of us here have confirmed that for one reason or another, differences will appear.
As for any transducer, they're usually going to end up being the weak link of our playback chain, so they do deserve our attention and probably a bunch of our money if we're concerned with anything related to fidelity and accuracy.
I think we're all in agreement here. We were simply concerned with the priority list. @infernix has issues with distance perception, and we can only really start to diagnose that after he's made some decent PRIR.

OK, I see what you're saying.

Now how would I correctly measure its effectiveness if it's just a stereo PRIR? Use the headtracker and turn my head so that the stereo speakers are behind me?
What @sander99 (my spiritual nerd twin) said. You have your speakers in front of you and depending on how you handle the wiring on the A16, you can rapidly switch between speaker sound and headphone sound. Plus, with the remote you can select just one of the speakers to output sound, giving you the very best in term of direct comparison. If all goes well, even without tactile bass, you should really feel like the sound is coming from the speakers(distance and direction). It's good practice and the fastest way for you to confirm that you didn't waste your money on the A16.
If that still doesn't give you satisfaction in term of imaging, it will then be time to look for other probable causes, including the headphones.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 3:21 PM Post #12,701 of 14,324

phoenixdogfan

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+1.


Natural spatial simulation starts with proper measurements at your own ears. Which means, you'll have to work and do it yourself with the in ear microphones. Watching the Smyth's videos and getting a quiet and patient friend to help, will dramatically reduce the number of times you'll end up redoing something. Of course the manual is a must. and the eternal concern must be to not move the mics during the entire process.
I would suggest to start by just trying to create a stereo room with your own speakers. Just to find out how effective the simulation is. And if it's not, work on what you're doing wrong before you start wasting entire days with multichannel measurements.
Then you can try other headphones and see if you can improve things further or if you're fine with what you have. On one hand, I believe we can have very decent results with most headphones. On the other hand, I personally ran away from both your headphones(then again I qualify as an Ultrasone hater).
I get good results with both my LCD Xs and my HD800s. I do find that a manLOUD helps even with the PRIRs. I think it helps take care of the ear canal resonance which is actually very important. Also getting the in ear mics properly seated and situated is important. I would definitely advise using the Dekoni tips rather than the yellow foam ones. Sitting yourself done in one fixed spot and getting the angles right if you're using the Audiohobbit method is also very important. Always check your speaker levels to be sure you're not under or oversaturating. Check the quality after by pressing test before saving to be certain S/N is acceptable and you've actually captured both channels.
Finally, be sure to configure your listening room. I use LFE, but not use normalize volume levels if the levels were the same on the level check of the speakers going in. Also, if you find one side is louder than the other, the A16 allows you
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 3:26 PM Post #12,702 of 14,324

phoenixdogfan

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The point wasn't to say that any headphone is going to give the same experience. I think most of us here have confirmed that for one reason or another, differences will appear.
As for any transducer, they're usually going to end up being the weak link of our playback chain, so they do deserve our attention and probably a bunch of our money if we're concerned with anything related to fidelity and accuracy.
I think we're all in agreement here. We were simply concerned with the priority list. @infernix has issues with distance perception, and we can only really start to diagnose that after he's made some decent PRIR.


What @sander99 (my spiritual nerd twin) said. You have your speakers in front of you and depending on how you handle the wiring on the A16, you can rapidly switch between speaker sound and headphone sound. Plus, with the remote you can select just one of the speakers to output sound, giving you the very best in term of direct comparison. If all goes well, even without tactile bass, you should really feel like the sound is coming from the speakers(distance and direction). It's good practice and the fastest way for you to confirm that you didn't waste your money on the A16.
If that still doesn't give you satisfaction in term of imaging, it will then be time to look for other probable causes, including the headphones.
The thing that is most affected by the "P" in the PRIR is the Out of Your Head impression. I found the chief difference between a Darrin Fong BRIR and my personally made PRIR was precisely that my own PRIR put the speakers at in-room distances while the BRIR put them around my head.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 3:31 PM Post #12,703 of 14,324

phoenixdogfan

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With a stereo PRIR you would hear a stereo pair of speakers in front of you, the same distance as your real speakers.
With the solo function you can play sound over one single virtual (or real) speaker. If it works, you will clearly hear the virtual speaker at the same position as the real speaker.
About turning the head: depends what set of lookangles you used. I would start simple with 3 lookangles, center, 30 degrees left and 30 degrees right (probably this is the default setting). Then headtracking only works in the horizontal and up to 30 degrees left and right.
Unless you're a gamer, you really only need three look angles. I tried doing PRIRs with 15 degree look angles and 30 degree one, and I noticed absolutely no difference other than the fact it took twice and long to do the 15 degree angles, and I wound up with a stiff neck from the exertion. It is crucial however to not use overlap. Let the Realiser capture each speaker separately for best quality.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 7:12 PM Post #12,704 of 14,324

Camano

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My problems keep getting worse - now I lose sound when pausing or FF/REW my Tivo and can't get it back without power cycling the A16 - changing presets works sometimes, but not always - and now when changing presets works it's preset 3, not 16!

I reinstalled firmware 2.05 to try to fix this and was surprised that DTS was still enabled, even though the permissions file wasn't on the SD card. So don't' try DTS planning to roll back to vanilla 2.05.

The reinstall didn't fix anything - considering rolling back to 2.0.

To follow up, on 2.05 I was able to 100% reproduce that whenever my Tivo paused for 2 minutes, the sound would be lost. Switching inputs restored the sound. Once after resuming from a pause, I actually had sound but everything else was frozen - no speaker map activity and no response to any remote buttons but on/off.

I just sent James a long email about the 2.05 problems I was having, starting with a fresh install of 2.05.

I've now reverted to 2.0 firmware and the pause problem is fixed, but I probably still have the initial "silent preset" problem.
 
Oct 28, 2021 at 8:08 PM Post #12,705 of 14,324

esimms86

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To follow up, on 2.05 I was able to 100% reproduce that whenever my Tivo paused for 2 minutes, the sound would be lost. Switching inputs restored the sound. Once after resuming from a pause, I actually had sound but everything else was frozen - no speaker map activity and no response to any remote buttons but on/off.

I just sent James a long email about the 2.05 problems I was having, starting with a fresh install of 2.05.

I've now reverted to 2.0 firmware and the pause problem is fixed, but I probably still have the initial "silent preset" problem.
And, I assume, you no longer have access to DTS: X? 🤔
 

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