Smyth Research Realiser A16
Jun 12, 2022 at 2:04 AM Post #13,591 of 14,309

Richter Di

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It would be a shame if Smythe took another hit for the time spent developing Auro if they weren't able to license it.
But customers still may not buy it if it's dead-end technology like HD-DVD.
I am willing to buy it for the upmixer and I am also willing to make the Auro 3D measurements.
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 2:43 AM Post #13,592 of 14,309

shmau

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Way too early to say what will happen to Auro. Hard for us to know what their obligations are. Companies can emerge healthier out of restructuring. Certainly no light at the end of the tunnel given the continued component shortages and the looming recession but tough to say much. I'll buy it once it becomes available (and Dirac too if they have any plans to make it available).
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 8:41 AM Post #13,593 of 14,309

jk6661

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What music servers/streamers do people use with the A16? I have a Bluesound Node, and while I'm generally happy with it, my A16 only recognizes it through the analog inputs. In other words, I have to use analog out from the Node to analog in on the A16, which necessitates two D/A conversions by the time the signal gets to my headphones. Not ideal. However, none of the digital outs from the Node seem to work with the A16 -- SPDIF/Coax, optical, or HDMI. The Node's HDMI out is eArc, which lots of people have been having trouble with on the A16, so I guess I'm not surprised that doesn't work. I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to fix this or another music server/streamer to try. I don't need one that's MQA capable because I don't use Tidal, but I do need one that's Roon ready. My chain is Roon Nucleus -- Bluesound Node -- A16 -- XI Audio Formula S/Powerman -- Abyss 1266.
 
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Jun 12, 2022 at 9:17 AM Post #13,594 of 14,309

Litlgi74

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Have you tried 16 channel mode for the coax and toslink?
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 9:30 AM Post #13,595 of 14,309

sander99

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However, none of the digital outs from the Node seem to work with the A16 -- SPDIF/Coax, optical, ...
That is strange. Is it possible (and did you try) to choose different sample rates for the digital output of the Node?

Something else, one thing I noticed with the A16's optical input:
I tried to use a passive optical splitter once, to send an optical signal to the A16 and an AV Receiver. The A16 didn't pick up the optical signal (the AVR did), which makes me think that the A16 needs a strong light signal (a passive optical splitter just divides the light over the 2 outputs). I don't think it is very likely but just maybe the coax input also needs a strong signal and the Node's optical and coax outputs are a little bit on the weak side?
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 9:42 AM Post #13,596 of 14,309

shmau

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What music servers/streamers do people use with the A16? I have a Bluesound Node, and while I'm generally happy with it, my A16 only recognizes it through the analog inputs. In other words, I have to use analog out from the Node to analog in on the A16, which necessitates two D/A conversions by the time the signal gets to my headphones. Not ideal. However, none of the digital outs from the Node seem to work with the A16 -- SPDIF/Coax, optical, or HDMI. The Node's HDMI out is eArc, which lots of people have been having trouble with on the A16, so I guess I'm not surprised that doesn't work. I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to fix this or another music server/streamer to try. I don't need one that's MQA capable because I don't use Tidal, but I do need one that's Roon ready. My chain is Roon Nucleus -- Bluesound Node -- A16 -- XI Audio Formula S/Powerman -- Abyss 1266.
eARC does not work like that. The port is an output port, yes. But eARC audio actually goes the reverse direction (from display/sink to source). So even though your Node may technically be the source device, it's actually expecting to receive audio, and won't be sending any. So, not the A16's fault.
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 10:23 AM Post #13,597 of 14,309

Eich1eeF

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What music servers/streamers do people use with the A16? I have a Bluesound Node, and while I'm generally happy with it, my A16 only recognizes it through the analog inputs. In other words, I have to use analog out from the Node to analog in on the A16, which necessitates two D/A conversions by the time the signal gets to my headphones. Not ideal. However, none of the digital outs from the Node seem to work with the A16 -- SPDIF/Coax, optical, or HDMI. The Node's HDMI out is eArc, which lots of people have been having trouble with on the A16, so I guess I'm not surprised that doesn't work. I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to fix this or another music server/streamer to try. I don't need one that's MQA capable because I don't use Tidal, but I do need one that's Roon ready. My chain is Roon Nucleus -- Bluesound Node -- A16 -- XI Audio Formula S/Powerman -- Abyss 1266.
Have you considered a Raspberry Pi with Volumio (+ Roon plugin) or Ropieee?
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 12:17 PM Post #13,598 of 14,309

Camano

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I have a Bluesound Node, and while ..., my A16 only recognizes it through the analog inputs. In other words, I have to use analog out from the Node to analog in on the A16, ... My chain is Roon Nucleus -- Bluesound Node -- A16 -- XI Audio Formula S/Powerman -- Abyss 1266.

The A16 optical and coaxial digital inputs won't accept any digital signal over 48kHz. You can use Roon to resample everything to 48kHz and then use a digital connection to the A16.
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 12:43 PM Post #13,599 of 14,309

jk6661

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eARC does not work like that. The port is an output port, yes. But eARC audio actually goes the reverse direction (from display/sink to source). So even though your Node may technically be the source device, it's actually expecting to receive audio, and won't be sending any. So, not the A16's fault.
Thanks, good to know.
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 12:46 PM Post #13,600 of 14,309

jk6661

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The A16 optical and coaxial digital inputs won't accept any digital signal over 48kHz. You can use Roon to resample everything to 48kHz and then use a digital connection to the A16.
I'm just getting into Roon and haven't figured everything out yet. So the software in the Nucleus can resample before outputting to the Node, or would I have to bypass the Node and connect the Nucleus directly to the A16? Also, shouldn't 16/44 files work on the A16's coaxial input at least?
 
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Jun 12, 2022 at 1:28 PM Post #13,601 of 14,309

Camano

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I'm just getting into Roon and haven't figured everything out yet. So the software in the Nucleus can resample before outputting to the Node, or would I have to bypass the Node and connect the Nucleus directly to the A16? Also, shouldn't 16/44 files work on the A16's coaxial input at least?

The Roon Nucleus configures the digital data, passes it to the NODE, which serves as a passthrough for the data to the A16. For Roon DSP configuration you can start at https://help.roonlabs.com/portal/en/kb/articles/dsp-engine and look for "Sample Rate Conversion" on the DSP menu. Yes, 16/44 files should work with the A16.

I have the same setup (Roon/Node 2i/A16). When I first connected the Node I used the coaxial connection and was able to play 16/44 material until I got to a 96k recording then a couple of pops and dead silence. Experimentation showed the 48k limit, which I posted about here previously (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smyth-research-realiser-a16.807459/page-822#post-16597583).
 
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Jun 12, 2022 at 1:47 PM Post #13,602 of 14,309

Richter Di

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B) Still not able to play hires tracks beyond 44.1 16 bit or 24 bit. So no 88.2 or 96 Hz. Manual says “SPDIF inputs (coaxial and optical): 2ch LPCM (24bit@48/96/192kHz) and Dolby Digital bitstream”
I have the same setup (Roon/Node 2i/A16). When I first connected the Node I used the coaxial connection and was able to play 16/44 material until I got to a 96k recording then a couple of pops and dead silence. Experimentation showed the 48k limit, which I posted about here previously (https://www.head-fi.org/threads/smyth-research-realiser-a16.807459/page-822#post-16597583).
I just checked once more the latest A16 manual:

SVS loudspeaker virtualisation with integrated headtracking (16ch 32bit floating-point processing@48kHz sampling rate, processing latency 32ms, maximum reverb length 750ms). All source signals above a sampling rate of 48kHz are down sampled to 48kHz.
Virtualisation sources:
1. HDMI inputs (1-4): Dolby Atmos, DD+, DD, DTS*, DTS-X*, 8ch LPCM (24bit@48/96/192kHz) 2. SPDIF input (coaxial or optical): Dolby Digital, DTS*, 2ch LPCM (24bit@48/96/192kHz)
3. USB 2.0 input: 16ch LPCM (24bit@96kHz)**
So with SVS on 48 kHz is the limit, but the A16 should still accept up to 192 kHz and the downsample it.

I am not so sure what that means in the manual:
When enabled PCM audio input over HDMI (4) can be routed directly to the SVS processing, bypassing the APM89L/110 decoder board entirely. The PCM audio latency in this mode is fixed at 30ms. Supported layouts are PCM 2ch, 5.1ch and 7.1ch (24-bits, 44.1 to 192kHz). Please note that the EDID tables within the A16 have not been altered in this mode and still advertise all Dolby decode capability to upstream devices as well as PCM. Hence for Dolby/DTS content it may be necessary to configure the source player to decode locally to ensure PCM is sent over HDMI. The A16 will keep the audio mute if it receives anything other than PCM. To use this mode first ensure the active user A Preset configuration under PCM Audio management, HDMI up mixer is set to Direct.
 
Jun 12, 2022 at 2:05 PM Post #13,604 of 14,309

phoenixdogfan

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I was considering Auro 3D just for the Dolby 5.1 upmixer. The company is still in business and the A16's are existing hardware, so it's no skin off Auro to go ahead and license the software for A16s. On the other hand, licenses for (maybe) a few dozen A16s aren't going to save the company.

It would be a shame if Smythe took another hit for the time spent developing Auro if they weren't able to license it.
But customers still may not buy it if it's dead-end technology like HD-DVD.
Only reason I would want it is for the upmixer as well. Have not done the upgrade to DTS-X and won't unless I need it to get Auro 3D, and I won't do Auro unless it's viable. I also, therefore, feel no need to upgrade the firmware from 2.08 and won't (because it just works) unless I need it to get Auro or some other features (PEQ for AVR, Dirac Live, Web interface, wireless headtracking, etc). Right now I am just sitting tight.
 
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