Smyth Research Realiser A16
Feb 14, 2022 at 4:59 PM Post #13,156 of 14,335

makan

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2015
Posts
869
Likes
413
Can you please provide several examples of source content delivered from ATV4K -> A16 that you say is not arriving as Atmos? And by that I assume you mean the display screen of the A16 doesn't show Dolby Atmos, but rather PCM. YUP What streaming source provider app, and then what program/movie from that app? APPLE TV AND DISNEY +

I've never had a failure to see DV+DA for the three standard movies from Netflix that I use as my standard test bed. I realize there are many other streaming sources, but my own situation is mostly from Netflix and these three movies are 100% reliable test data, from my three streaming devices Roku Ultra 2020, ATV4K 2019, and Shield Tube 2019 (all three of which feed the A16 directly). But if your story is from other than Netflix I'd like to see if I have the same erratic results as you do.

Also, can you outline your complete source->target cabling path into and out from the A16. Does it go to an AVR, or to a TV? APPLE TV TO A16 TO TV TO START WITHOUT SPLITTER Where is the splitter placed? WITH SPLITTER, TRIED BEFORE THE A16 AS WELL AS AFTER As I've reported in my own earlier posts, I tried and discarded the splitter for various reasons. All streamers go directly into my A16. And my A16 HDMI-out goes directly into my AVR, and then its HDMI-out from the AVR directly to the TV.
Thanks for your response. see my response italicized. It works intermittently..I would say 5% of the time, 80% PCE and 15% no sound.
 
Feb 14, 2022 at 6:36 PM Post #13,157 of 14,335

dsperber

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Posts
746
Likes
262
Thanks for your response. see my response italicized.
APPLE TV AND DISNEY +
APPLE TV TO A16 TO TV TO START WITHOUT SPLITTER. WITH SPLITTER, TRIED BEFORE THE A16 AS WELL AS AFTER.
Naturally I don't subscribe to either. So I can't duplicate your experience exactly.

But I can say that using Netflix on my ATV4K 2019, with ATV4K -> A16 -> LG OLED C9 (audio output set to HDMI-ARC, not that it should be relevant) I show DV+DA on the Netflix poster page for the movies. And when I play them, the A16 starts off briefly showing PCM but then changes to Dolby Atmos. And I'm definitely getting getting Atmos audio.

I did power up the A16 first, and selected my preset for ATV4K with 15.1.8 Atmos Audio listening room. Then I powered on the ATV4K, which also caused the TV to power on (because of HDMI-CEC being active on all my devices). Then navigated to Netflix on ATV4K, selected a movie known to have DV+DA (and both showed on the info poster), pushed PLAY, and shortly thereafter the A16 display screen showed audio being received, first as PCM briefly but then it changed to Dolby Atmos. TV audio is still at "HDMI-ARC" as it should be (not that this is relevant).

Back on the ATV4K video settings, my video format is "4K Dolby Vision 60 (59.94hz)". Match Content items are both ON (Match Dynamic Range, Match Frame Rate).

And my ATV4K "audio output" setting is "Default audio output -> TV speakers", not that I use them since sound is coming through the A16 and headphones and no audio is actually coming out of the A16, only video. And besides my LG C9 is currently set to HDMI-ARC so its speakers are not really activated anyway.

ATV4K "audio format" shows as "Auto, Atmos Available". Settings are "Change format -> OFF" (so as NOT to get LPCM) and Immersive Audio -> Dolby Atmos -> ON".

That's about the best I can offer, not having the two streaming source apps you're fighting with.
 
Last edited:
Feb 14, 2022 at 9:45 PM Post #13,159 of 14,335

phoenixdogfan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
1,112
Likes
412
The A16 is driving me nuts. Got the Apple tv4k…it is mainly outputting by PCM and not Dolby atmos…it is hit and miss and I can’t see a pattern where I can reliably know that atmos will be showing up on the A16….mainly it is PCM.

Got a hdmi splitter from Amazon that a few of you have and it is not able to output atmos as the 4k7.1 setting which has the atmos is not able to output the video to my tv, but the 4k5.1 which does not have atmos can! Tried the update function too!

https://www.amazon.ca/HDMI-Splitter...ocphy=9000982&hvtargid=pla-831832789422&psc=1

Any tricks to make either work?
Yeah, ditch the Apple TV4K and get an NVIDIA shield. It delivers the Atmos goods first time, every time. My path is Nvidia--->A16---->TV for video and Nvidia----A16-----Octo Dac 8 (via spdif)----->THX 789----->Headphones for audio. Not certain why anyone needs to use a splitter. I'm pretty sure they introduce major interfacing and compatibility issues. My A16 is exclusively a headphone system, I don't have it interacting in any way with my speaker based stereo/multichannel home theater system. The only place where they cross paths at all is they share the Octo DAC, with six channels reserved for the home theater, and two for the headphone based system. The TV has the A16/Nvidia feed on one HDMI input, and the Windows based home theater server running JRiver accesses a second different HDMI input on the TV.

I treat the speaker based system and the headphone based system as two discrete systems and use the A16 exclusively for headphones, so I never have to worry about using a splitter.
 
Last edited:
Feb 15, 2022 at 6:41 AM Post #13,161 of 14,335

audiohobbit

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Posts
804
Likes
273
Location
Munich, Germany
well if you want to watch movies with more than 2 persons you'd need speakers...
and even with only 2 people with 2 PRIRs watching a movie and both have the headphones on this would be a very uncommunicative (is this an english word...?) experience.
I mean at least occasionally you want to say something to your fellow viewers.

keeping speaker and Realiser systems separately without using any splitter or alternatively replugging stuff won't be so easy. Just think of devices with only one HDMI out (e.g. the Fire Stick, or not so expensive disc players) for example.
 
Feb 15, 2022 at 10:15 AM Post #13,162 of 14,335

VandyMan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Posts
1,449
Likes
1,078
Location
Brooklyn
Looks like after I restarted the Apple TV, it looks like it is now consistently doing atmos for Disney + and apple tv.

That is all you can do. It is not cables or splitters. It happened with the older A-16 HDMI card and the it happens with the newer one. I recommend the following:

- Turn Apple TV navigation sounds off because they cause loud pops (in my system anyway).
- Wait until the A-16 reaches the speaker screen before starting your Apple TV.
- If the A-16 is not showing Atmos (for Atmos content, of course), reboot the Apple TV.
- If the A-16 is not playing sound, you can try reloading your preset. If that does not work, reboot your Apple TV.
- If you are losing the center channel from time to time, install the latest firmware on the A-16. That solved that issue for me.

There is nothing wrong with your setup. Hope that helps.

Edit: If you are in the market to replace your Apple TV, I agree that the Nvidia shield is a good option. However, once you get used to the correct startup sequence, I think you will have a lot fewer issues.
 
Last edited:
Feb 15, 2022 at 1:30 PM Post #13,163 of 14,335

phoenixdogfan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
1,112
Likes
412
well if you want to watch movies with more than 2 persons you'd need speakers...
and even with only 2 people with 2 PRIRs watching a movie and both have the headphones on this would be a very uncommunicative (is this an english word...?) experience.
I mean at least occasionally you want to say something to your fellow viewers.

keeping speaker and Realiser systems separately without using any splitter or alternatively replugging stuff won't be so easy. Just think of devices with only one HDMI out (e.g. the Fire Stick, or not so expensive disc players) for example.
I agree using the A16 as a solely dedicated headphone processor would make sharing the experience problematical, so maybe not the best suggestion on my part--especially for guys with families and friends they share their theater experience with, and especially if they can't afford two discrete systems. either logistically or financially.

Fortunately Vandyman comes to the rescue with a decent work around on the Apple. The problem does seem isolated to the A16 and ATV4k not being the best of playmates. While the NVidia is not super cheap, it is a reasonable cost and completely fixes the problem if anyone finds its feature set a good fit, and can live with its less than extensive catalog of apps.

John, you didn't have to take down the joke. :)
 
Feb 16, 2022 at 8:11 PM Post #13,164 of 14,335

Dr. Strangelove

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Posts
469
Likes
25
Backer #354 here. Still no word from James/Smyth. Are there still plans to fulfill the KS orders?
 
Feb 16, 2022 at 8:14 PM Post #13,165 of 14,335

Camano

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Posts
110
Likes
53
Location
WA, USA
Backer #354 here. Still no word from James/Smyth. Are there still plans to fulfill the KS orders?

James has said that they intent to fill all KS and preorders, but haven't shipped any since Dec 2020, and unlikely to ship any in 2022 due to parts shortages and the need for full-price sales to keep the doors open. You can upgrade your order to full price and probably get one in short order.
 
Feb 17, 2022 at 7:42 PM Post #13,166 of 14,335

jk6661

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Posts
114
Likes
42
Has anyone used the A16 with a subwoofer -- not for measurements, but for listening? I'm wondering how it would work. I use my A16 with a Subpac, but it only approximates a good subwoofer. Since deep base frequencies are non-directional and felt rather than heard, would the fact that you're wearing headphones make a difference?
 
Feb 17, 2022 at 9:42 PM Post #13,167 of 14,335

phoenixdogfan

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 26, 2015
Posts
1,112
Likes
412
Has anyone used the A16 with a subwoofer -- not for measurements, but for listening? I'm wondering how it would work. I use my A16 with a Subpac, but it only approximates a good subwoofer. Since deep base frequencies are non-directional and felt rather than heard, would the fact that you're wearing headphones make a difference?
Probably would not be exactly the same. I have a sub for my speaker based system (SB2000 with LS 50 Metas) and a Subpac S2 for the headphone based Smyth system. If you wanted to power your sub with the A16, I think it's easily enough done b/c they do have 2 line level outputs for a tactile sub and those outputs should also be able to drive a powered sub, I would think. Smyth has extensive bass management features associated with each of the codecs which should help you tailor what goes to the sub if you want.

For me, the Subpac fills most of my need for tactile bass, though obviously it's not quite as much a whole body experience as comes from the SB2000, but it's still pretty good IMHO.
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2022 at 11:49 PM Post #13,169 of 14,335

Litlgi74

Member of the Trade: 3D Sound Shop
Joined
Nov 5, 2018
Posts
1,021
Likes
1,146
Location
USA
Has anyone used the A16 with a subwoofer -- not for measurements, but for listening? I'm wondering how it would work. I use my A16 with a Subpac, but it only approximates a good subwoofer. Since deep base frequencies are non-directional and felt rather than heard, would the fact that you're wearing headphones make a difference?
As good as an HPEQ can be for extracting all the bass from your headphones... I still "feel" you're missing something in the frequency response. I'm using Abyss 1266 TCs... aka the king of bass... But still find the need to supplement the LFE with a transducer.

I have used both subwoofer and a tactile transducer... I prefer the transducer. I am using a clark synthesis platinum transducer hooked up to a behringer nx1000d. I chose the nx1000d because it has dsp.. and will let me control the high and low frequency cut off. The A16 is limited to 60hz. I've asked the Smyths if they could drop it to 40.. but it doesn't seem possible.

Like most.. I want to feel the LFE.. not necessarily hear it. With the Clark Synthesis mounted to my bed frame along with the appropriate isolation... The LFE is focused to where the transducer is mounted... right under my body. This has a major advantage over using a subwoofer.. which would shake my entire room/house.

I've noticed that some films (American Assassin, Batman Returns, etc) have bass that goes below audible levels. When using the A16 without a transducer or subwoofer.. that portion of the film is silent.

Adding a subwoofer or transducer definitely adds to the immersion level of the listening experience. They both work well.. but if you're using the A16 specifically for a private listening experience.. I would definitely recommend a transducer with the appropriate isolation.

I have used both the subpac and all versions of the woojer. IMO, The Clark Synthesis Platinum it's by far the most realistic I've experienced.

PS. I also use the transducr (even in traditional stereo) to supplement the LFE or sub-bass frequencies that my Raal SR1a is missing.

PPS. Depending on your headphone and subwoofer combo.. you may have a problem with timing.. some subwoofers may not be able to keep up with the speed of your headphone driver.
 
Last edited:
Feb 19, 2022 at 5:37 PM Post #13,170 of 14,335

jk6661

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 13, 2011
Posts
114
Likes
42
Another topic I haven't seen discussed here: Once you get to a certain level of headphone quality, can listening through the A16 and a given HPEQ reduce perceived differences between headphones? I ask because I recently tried a pair of AB 1266 Phi TCs, and honestly they didn't sound as different from my LCD3s through my A16 and HPEQ as I expected. I didn't try them straight out of the amp without the A16 because I don't listen to headphones that way. Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top