Smyth Research Realiser A16
May 15, 2022 at 12:08 PM Post #13,501 of 13,632

Litlgi74

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May 15, 2022 at 3:57 PM Post #13,502 of 13,632

mithuid0

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Has anyone received an A16 recently? I have been waiting since I pre-ordered in April of 2017 and still no sign of one. I've been emailing James at Smyth approximately annually, but no response from the last email back in March of this year. Anyone know if they're still in business or have quietly closed up shop?
 
May 15, 2022 at 4:20 PM Post #13,503 of 13,632

Camano

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Has anyone received an A16 recently? I have been waiting since I pre-ordered in April of 2017 and still no sign of one. I've been emailing James at Smyth approximately annually, but no response from the last email back in March of this year. Anyone know if they're still in business or have quietly closed up shop?

Yes, they're still in business - they just released new firmware. But no kickstarter or preorders have shipped since 12/2020 due to supply constraints and financial considerations. You can upgrade your preorder to full price and get one in a couple of weeks (which is what I did last fall). Otherwise I wouldn't hold my breath.
 
May 15, 2022 at 4:32 PM Post #13,504 of 13,632

mithuid0

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Yes, they're still in business - they just released new firmware. But no kickstarter or preorders have shipped since 12/2020 due to supply constraints and financial considerations. You can upgrade your preorder to full price and get one in a couple of weeks (which is what I did last fall). Otherwise I wouldn't hold my breath.
More than doubling the price of the unit, it seems. While I understand the financial impact, I'm very disappointed in the company for not honoring their pre-order commitments, and doubly so for not responding to communications to even make clear that that's an option. At this point I suspect I wouldn't be able to get a refund for the money I've already put down, but I think that's the next step to try. I'm not going to spend $4k on a headphone DSP.
 
May 15, 2022 at 11:15 PM Post #13,505 of 13,632

DenverW

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More than doubling the price of the unit, it seems. While I understand the financial impact, I'm very disappointed in the company for not honoring their pre-order commitments, and doubly so for not responding to communications to even make clear that that's an option. At this point I suspect I wouldn't be able to get a refund for the money I've already put down, but I think that's the next step to try. I'm not going to spend $4k on a headphone DSP.
I’m not sure any preorder units have been sent. It is a tough situation; I sympathize with a business that needs revenue to stay afloat yet I also find it a bait and switch for preorder backers to have to buy a full price unit in order to get one after years of waiting. It will be interesting if there is any movement on this in the next year once the parts become more available again. I’d love to know where they are on the preorder list.
 
May 16, 2022 at 1:04 AM Post #13,506 of 13,632

Richter Di

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Yes, they're still in business - they just released new firmware. But no kickstarter or preorders have shipped since 12/2020 due to supply constraints and financial considerations. You can upgrade your preorder to full price and get one in a couple of weeks (which is what I did last fall). Otherwise I wouldn't hold my breath.
I had to look it up again, but alone the switching of HDMI repeater and the audio decoder meant a lot of work for them: https://www.kickstarter.com/project...al-3d-audio-headphone-processor/posts/2781725

More than doubling the price of the unit, it seems. While I understand the financial impact, I'm very disappointed in the company for not honoring their pre-order commitments, and doubly so for not responding to communications to even make clear that that's an option. At this point I suspect I wouldn't be able to get a refund for the money I've already put down, but I think that's the next step to try. I'm not going to spend $4k on a headphone DSP.
I fully understand your situation. I am one of the lucky Kickstarter supporters who got his A16. Maybe it helps: The A16 is worth its price to reach immersive audio heaven, if loudspeakers are not the way you can go.
 
May 16, 2022 at 1:18 AM Post #13,507 of 13,632

shmau

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More than doubling the price of the unit, it seems. While I understand the financial impact, I'm very disappointed in the company for not honoring their pre-order commitments, and doubly so for not responding to communications to even make clear that that's an option. At this point I suspect I wouldn't be able to get a refund for the money I've already put down, but I think that's the next step to try. I'm not going to spend $4k on a headphone DSP.
They screwed up the preorder (and especially the backer) pricing, that's all. The backer units were almost certainly sold at a terrible loss. The preorder units I suppose could have been OK originally, before the component crisis. And let's not forget actual labor. Who knows how many man hours they've had to spend on certification work alone? More than they originally thought for sure.

I suspect part of the increased pricing is that they're trying to recover some of the funds lost on the backer units. Otherwise it could probably be a little cheaper.

I get that you want your thing, but if that results in the company going out of business then what good is that for anyone? Your unit would never get any updates and if it broke it'd be a brick.

You do also have the option to sell your spot to someone. I'm not sure how well they're selling currently but some trades have happened in the past.
 
May 16, 2022 at 2:36 AM Post #13,508 of 13,632

mithuid0

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They screwed up the preorder (and especially the backer) pricing, that's all. The backer units were almost certainly sold at a terrible loss. The preorder units I suppose could have been OK originally, before the component crisis. And let's not forget actual labor. Who knows how many man hours they've had to spend on certification work alone? More than they originally thought for sure.

I suspect part of the increased pricing is that they're trying to recover some of the funds lost on the backer units. Otherwise it could probably be a little cheaper.

I get that you want your thing, but if that results in the company going out of business then what good is that for anyone? Your unit would never get any updates and if it broke it'd be a brick.

You do also have the option to sell your spot to someone. I'm not sure how well they're selling currently but some trades have happened in the past.
Kickstarter backers know they're taking a risk. Pre-orders are a whole different kettle of fish. A pre-order is an order placed by a customer and accepted by a company. If at some point the company cannot fulfill those orders at the price they initially accepted, they should communicate that fact and present their customers with options, whether those are refunds or options to buy the product at an updated price. Ignoring the customer and hoping they'll go away is simply ethically wrong.

Honestly, I don't particularly want the thing at this point. It would be a neat thing to have, but there are lots of things in the world. I do want businesses to take responsibility for their obligations.
 
May 17, 2022 at 10:48 PM Post #13,509 of 13,632

Ayodej

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Hi guys. been a while since posting on here but I'm having an issue that I have tried to find the answer to before posting but can't. Anyone else having a problem with their MacBook M1 not outputting anything more than 2ch stereo through hdmi? It's attached to the a16 through a usb-c to hdmi hub, and the a16 is also on the latest firmware (have had the same issue since past firmwares). And my PCM and Atmos rooms are at 16 channel configurations. My guess is that the Mac is not correctly reading that the a16 is a multichannel device somehow... or can M1 not output more than stereo? not sure.

Attached is a pic of the Mac's MIDI of the a16.

If you are successfully using a MacBook, what kind?
 

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May 18, 2022 at 2:06 AM Post #13,510 of 13,632

Richter Di

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Kickstarter backers know they're taking a risk. Pre-orders are a whole different kettle of fish. A pre-order is an order placed by a customer and accepted by a company. If at some point the company cannot fulfill those orders at the price they initially accepted, they should communicate that fact and present their customers with options, whether those are refunds or options to buy the product at an updated price. Ignoring the customer and hoping they'll go away is simply ethically wrong.

Honestly, I don't particularly want the thing at this point. It would be a neat thing to have, but there are lots of things in the world. I do want businesses to take responsibility for their obligations.
@mithuid0 I have backed 20 Kickstarter campaigns since 2012. One did not reach its funding goal. Three are relatively new and still in the making (Nov 2019 e.g. for a tea machine). This leaves 16 Kickstarter campaigns. Out of these 16 (including the Smyth Realiser) I received from 14 the promised product (book, film, machine).

One of my most epic fails was Ossic X and while I did not hand in my law suit paperwork, others did and they are all receiving their money at the moment. OSSIC X Class Action Lawsuit 3.4 k members

B2455342-9A42-4FCC-84F0-752D5CDD611D.jpeg

So I do not see supporting a campaign at Kickstarter as that risky compared to so many fails I have on a daily base when buying products from e.g. amazon.
The same is BTW true for Indiegogo and there I had no fail at all.

I think the situation of Smyth is special that they completely miscalculated the costs to create their new generation of A16 plus did not source (as promised) all necessary material to build all ordered A16. I know it is easy for me, as I have an A16 at home. I feel extremely sorry for every backer and pre-order customer who has not received his A16. I truly hope that Smyth Research is able to keep their business afloat and that every backer and pre-order customer gets its A16.
 
May 18, 2022 at 2:22 AM Post #13,511 of 13,632

shmau

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Hi guys. been a while since posting on here but I'm having an issue that I have tried to find the answer to before posting but can't. Anyone else having a problem with their MacBook M1 not outputting anything more than 2ch stereo through hdmi? It's attached to the a16 through a usb-c to hdmi hub, and the a16 is also on the latest firmware (have had the same issue since past firmwares). And my PCM and Atmos rooms are at 16 channel configurations. My guess is that the Mac is not correctly reading that the a16 is a multichannel device somehow... or can M1 not output more than stereo? not sure.

Attached is a pic of the Mac's MIDI of the a16.

If you are successfully using a MacBook, what kind?
It could be your adapter. Usually adapters focus on video and audio is a second thought. Maybe it modifies the EDID (or worse, has a fixed EDID) before passing it on to the M1. Mac mini M1 at least can do 8ch over HDMI.
 
May 18, 2022 at 12:33 PM Post #13,512 of 13,632

batfier

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@mithuid0 I have backed 20 Kickstarter campaigns since 2012. One did not reach its funding goal. Three are relatively new and still in the making (Nov 2019 e.g. for a tea machine). This leaves 16 Kickstarter campaigns. Out of these 16 (including the Smyth Realiser) I received from 14 the promised product (book, film, machine).
....
So I do not see supporting a campaign at Kickstarter as that risky compared to so many fails I have on a daily base when buying products from e.g. amazon.
The same is BTW true for Indiegogo and there I had no fail at all.

I think the situation of Smyth is special that they completely miscalculated the costs to create their new generation of A16 plus did not source (as promised) all necessary material to build all ordered A16. I know it is easy for me, as I have an A16 at home. I feel extremely sorry for every backer and pre-order customer who has not received his A16. I truly hope that Smyth Research is able to keep their business afloat and that every backer and pre-order customer gets its A16.

mithuid0's addressed a different point:

"Kickstarter backers know they're taking a risk. Pre-orders are a whole different kettle of fish. A pre-order is an order placed by a customer and accepted by a company."

How many Kickstarter campaigns fail, dones't matter, we talking about a different legal situation of pre-order customers.

Being a Kickstarter backer you have accepted different terms, including loss.

A pre-order is an order, no matter how special the company situation is. Unless the orders and payments were accepted without the intention of delivery, which is a criminal offence.

I'm sure, if I would get a product from Symth without fullfilling my part of the contract (paying) I would hear from their lawyer. It's just the opposite situation we have here. Pre-Order people fulfilled their part 6 years ago... Nothing was received back beside of total ignorance
 
May 18, 2022 at 1:31 PM Post #13,513 of 13,632

DenverW

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I sympathise with the issues Smyth is having staying solvent in the COVID world, and the difficulty providing the remaining Kickstarter and preorder items.

The main thing I would like to see different is communication. It takes 5 minutes once every 30 days to provide an email with updates, even if there are no updates. Most likely, he does not wish to receive numerous replies that would come from this email. I’m sure there are quite a few, “where is my order! “ emails already. However, taking care of his existing customers would create a culture that would foster future business.
 
May 18, 2022 at 4:50 PM Post #13,514 of 13,632

Richter Di

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After a very friendly phone call with Wilfried van Baelen from Auro 3D/Galaxy studios I got his okay to communicate the pricing for a PRIR measurement in the Galaxy studios in Belgium.
We know Smyth very well, we work already many years very close together with them in order to deliver the best immersive sound experience on a headphone.

We know as well the amazing investments being done by Galaxy Studios to get a linear acoustic or a perfect non-linear acoustic, the Academic X-curve for digital cinema in which the AuroTorium at Galaxy Studios is a worldwide top reference.

We are happy to support the request so that people who have a Smyth system, can enjoy it in the optimum result with personal HRTF recorded in Galaxy Studios.
The price we ask to support that service is 450 Euro (excl BTW) for which you can chose 3 rooms (e.g. Control Room, Studio 1, AuroTorium), so you would have the ideal results for music as well for reproduction of film.

For each room extra of personalized HRTF, it is 150 Euro (excl BTW) with a maximum of 5 rooms.
These HRTF recordings are only for your personal use, you are not allowed to distribute them to others.
In case there is more than person, Wilfried is willing to add e.g. another room.
I think its a great deal and the minute Smyth offers the Auro 3D upgrade I will try to book my measurement with him. So excited.
 
May 18, 2022 at 4:52 PM Post #13,515 of 13,632

DenverW

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After a very friendly phone call with Wilfried van Baelen from Auro 3D/Galaxy studios I got his okay to communicate the pricing for a PRIR measurement in the Galaxy studios in Belgium.

In case there is more than person, Wilfried is willing to add e.g. another room.
I think its a great deal and the minute Smyth offers the Auro 3D upgrade I will try to book my measurement with him. So excited.
That seems really reasonable!
 

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