Smyth Research Realiser A16
Aug 8, 2022 at 4:55 PM Post #13,922 of 14,335

Litlgi74

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My favorite scene in FOTR...

You Shall Not Pass!
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23 Channels of Atmos awesomeness and 100w of Tactile Transducer...

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Just Incredible!
 
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Aug 10, 2022 at 1:45 PM Post #13,923 of 14,335

Maestroso

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IEM Plug-in Suite but it looks interesting at first glimpse, the RoomEncoder fascinates me ("render over 200 wall reflections", I wish it can somehow be used in combination with video-derived-hrtf like aural-ID or Mesh2HRTF to add a virtual room as a possible alternative for an in-ear PRIR/HRIR measurement).
That’s exactly what I’m doing. However, for spatialisation I prefer SPAT (or SPAT inside Panoramix). Overall, the IEM plug-ins (University of Graz, Austria) are very recommendable for any kind of Ambisonics processing (as in conversions to binaural, to stay on topic). For binaural conversion, I find the SPARTA plugins (Aalto University, Finland) more flexible. All this applies to a production setting. For mere listening, setting up a Max/MSP app with Panoramix is the most convenient.

Oh, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Mesh2HRTF.
 
Aug 10, 2022 at 3:52 PM Post #13,924 of 14,335

BeardFlakes

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Does anyone have insight into whether or not it's realistic that a new order of an A16 Realizer today, at retail prices, would ship in ~30 days?

Reading of the forum makes me think there's delays/backlogs, but most of those posts seem to be related to Kickstarter orders that were at a lower price point that current retail.
 
Aug 10, 2022 at 4:09 PM Post #13,925 of 14,335

Camano

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Aug 10, 2022 at 4:15 PM Post #13,926 of 14,335

Camano

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There are a few kickstarter orders outstanding and no preorders have been shipped. The last kickstarter shipment that I know of was December 2020.
Kickstarter fulfillment got up to somewhere around #289.

It seems I was mistaken about the "few kickstarter orders" being left. There is a recent comment on Kickstarter from backer #343. The last that was shipped was to backer #289 or thereabouts, leaving at least 50 kickstarters left before getting to the 160+ preorders.
 
Aug 12, 2022 at 2:25 AM Post #13,927 of 14,335

weijiangnan

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Does anyone have insight into whether or not it's realistic that a new order of an A16 Realizer today, at retail prices, would ship in ~30 days?

Reading of the forum makes me think there's delays/backlogs, but most of those posts seem to be related to Kickstarter orders that were at a lower price point that current retail.
Looking forward to the reply that you get from James!
 
Aug 12, 2022 at 12:30 PM Post #13,928 of 14,335

GeorgeA

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To fully enjoy your Auro-3D enabled Realiser A16 units, I dare to recommend The Spirit of Turtle site, which was referred by @Richter Di here.

There one can also buy Auro-3D music productions as downloadable files. Hint: 20% Summer discount until August the 15th. I’ve purchased Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Download) as I’ve listened to that music mainly in stereo so far. As immersive flavour, Vivaldi’s sound might be much more enjoyable.
https://spiritofturtle.com/products/vivaldi-the-four-seasons-download?_pos=2&_sid=a78b9ed3a&_ss=r

After the payment was processed and confirmed, I was allowed to download two zip archives with flac and wav files, respectively.
 
Aug 12, 2022 at 1:10 PM Post #13,929 of 14,335

esimms86

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Does anyone have insight into whether or not it's realistic that a new order of an A16 Realizer today, at retail prices, would ship in ~30 days?

Reading of the forum makes me think there's delays/backlogs, but most of those posts seem to be related to Kickstarter orders that were at a lower price point that current retail.
Pre-pandemic, full retail price orders arrived to buyers in the US routinely in less than a week. Of course, Covid has had an obvious slowing effect on shipping worldwide. However, I think the biggest question now is whether Smyth Research has any completed A16 units on hand to sell. 🤔
 
Aug 12, 2022 at 4:34 PM Post #13,930 of 14,335

Richter Di

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To fully enjoy your Auro-3D enabled Realiser A16 units, I dare to recommend The Spirit of Turtle site, which was referred by @Richter Di here.

There one can also buy Auro-3D music productions as downloadable files. Hint: 20% Summer discount until August the 15th. I’ve purchased Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (Download) as I’ve listened to that music mainly in stereo so far. As immersive flavour, Vivaldi’s sound might be much more enjoyable.
https://spiritofturtle.com/products/vivaldi-the-four-seasons-download?_pos=2&_sid=a78b9ed3a&_ss=r

After the payment was processed and confirmed, I was allowed to download two zip archives with flac and wav files, respectively.
That would also the album I would buy.
I am sorry for asking a rather obvious question. How do you play it?
I am so happy that with my Firestick (a little bit pimped with LAN connection) I can listen to Tidal (also in Dolby Atmos). But how would I play an Auro 3D file e.g. on my Windows 10 PC and make sure the A16 reads it correctly?
 
Aug 13, 2022 at 5:50 AM Post #13,931 of 14,335

GeorgeA

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...................But how would I play an Auro 3D file e.g. on my Windows 10 PC and make sure the A16 reads it correctly?
I think that if you follow the suggestions at spiritofturtle.com (attached picture #01), you’ll be able to listen to the music in Auro-3D. Particularly, the Realiser A16 is the Auro-3D AVR.

All my non-disc audio and video data are stored in mobile HDDs, which I can easily connect to my player via USB cable. The player bitstreams those files to my Realiser A16 unit, which fulfils its already known functions.

The Four Seasons (Download) flac files were played back by my player (attached picture #02) and bitstreamed to the Realiser A16. The attached picture #03 shows Realiser’s display when Auro-3d was off (pretty similar with a non-capable Auro-3D device) and in the attached picture #04, Auro-3D was on. I’m wondering how the additional information for Auro-3D is added in a flac or wav file?
 

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Aug 13, 2022 at 8:48 AM Post #13,932 of 14,335

Eich1eeF

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That would also the album I would buy.
I am sorry for asking a rather obvious question. How do you play it?
I am so happy that with my Firestick (a little bit pimped with LAN connection) I can listen to Tidal (also in Dolby Atmos). But how would I play an Auro 3D file e.g. on my Windows 10 PC and make sure the A16 reads it correctly?
It should be possible to install Kodi or VLC on the Firestick, both should work just as well on a Windows PC. In any case, configuring those to play back DTS (and therefore as an extension also Auro 3D) may not be easy.
 
Aug 13, 2022 at 10:55 AM Post #13,933 of 14,335

Eich1eeF

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The Four Seasons (Download) flac files were played back by my player (attached picture #02) and bitstreamed to the Realiser A16.
Unlikely, at least how the word "bitstream" is usually used in this context, because it would mean that FLAC was sent as such over HDMI, and I'd be very surprised if the Realiser was able to detect and decode that. It's more likely that it was decompressed and sent as PCM.
 
Aug 14, 2022 at 3:53 AM Post #13,934 of 14,335

dsperber

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Ah, fond memories of that one, I loved my C-4000; used one for many years in the 80's and early 90's.
That stuff, plus the synthesized rear channels was quite effective for the day.

Yep, those albums blew me away when played on the C-4000.

That holography is basically similar to what producers now achieve with techniques described in this SoS article: Classic Stereo-widening

Big dipole electrostats (MartinLogan), in live-end rooms, achieve a static version of that effect.

The Dolby Surround upmixer in any Atmos-certified device is the technical and spiritual descendant of technologies like these, but specifically, the Meridian TriFiled 2ch -> multichannel upmixer in the Meridian processor lineup of the 90's and 2000's. Love to use Trifield 5.1 on my Meridian 568 preamp.

Whether on speakers or via the A16, I pretty much listen to 2Ch tracks with DSU enabled.
Well, continuing somewhat off-topic with this entertaining "sonic hologram" novelty distraction (that I've suddenly become re-interested in), turns out that not only do I have a C-9 implanted in my Nakamichi Separates built-in wall-unit analog setup (utilizing a first-generation DBX 10/20 EQ which was what existed back in 1986 when I built that equipment cabinet into my dining room wall). Shown in the photo below is the Nakamichi CR-7a cassette deck and the Nakamich OMS-7a II CD player. Not shown in the photo but also further up toward the top of the cabinet are a Nakamichi ST-7 AM/FM stereo tuner, as well as a pair of two Nakamichi Stasis PA-5 100W+100W amplifiers, each bridged to 200W mono and feeding L and R speaker banks, respectively, through the active crossover shown just above the Nakamichi CA-7a Control Amplifier on the right side of the photo below. Below this primary electronic equipment cabinet is a second built-in heavy-duty pull-out drawer on which my Sota turntable sits.

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But I also own the successor toy from Carver, which was the H-9AV. The original C-9 was designed for audio-only 2-speakers, while the H-9AV was intended for more than a 2-speaker "home theater" setup that included a CENTER channel as well as possibly REAR speaker(s), for added surround effect.

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Turns out this H-9AV (serial number #0017) was currently packed away in its original carton (since the mid-2000's), from when I had acquired it back in 1994 (from Henry Radio, which used to be a very well known name in the analog equipment world) for use in a second home setup I had at the time. It was parked away down in the garage in a storage locker.

So yesterday I went down to hunt it out and found it. And I brought it out of its 15-year hibernation and installed it for current use today, in my second Realiser (A8-based) equipment node. This one makes use of Threshhold T2/T200 equipment, plus DBX 14/10 EQ, plus Oppo 203 player and Oppo Sonica DAC, and Marantz CD-11 mk2 CD player. Two Thiel CS3.6 speakers. So now I have the Carver H-9AV brought back to life and actively present in the tape loop of this wonderful sounding analog listening location. I don't have any interest in utilizing its additional H/T speaker capabilities. This is strictly for playing with the "sonic hologram" effect involving the two stereo speakers in front of me.

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Note that there is 55" LG OLED C7 sitting on top of this custom-built Billy Baggs equipment rack (again, from the 90's, but they too no longer exist), to complete the small scale viewing/listening entertainment setup. On a side note, I mention that the shelf on which the H-9AV now lives formerly was occupied by a JVC DT100 DVHS VCR which was once part of my A/V system but is now retired. Sitting on top of the H-9AV now are a Roku Ultra for internet-delivered streaming, and two Linksys DMA2100 extenders which are connected to my two Windows Media Center HTPC's (for cable and OTA/ATSC HDTV delivery). Also, on the very top shelf where my #0001 Realiser A8 currently sits to the left of my Stax SRM-007tii amp feeding the Stax SR-Omega headphones sitting on top of the right CS3.6 speaker, that shelf used to be occupied by another Nakamichi CR-7a cassette deck, for use by this second then all-analog recording/listening setup. It, too, is also now retired in deference to digital.

Remember that this whole subject was brought back into my life back a week or two when I saw that article which mentoned Jean Michelle Jarre's 1976 "Oxygene" album as a superb demonstration vehicle for Carver Sonic Holography. Well I've now bought the CD version of that album (although I really do recall buying the vinyl version originally, although I didn't want to make use of it even if I still had it). As I've mentioned before, back in the old days I used to use my Nakamichi CR-7a to make cassettes to play in my car (recorded from my turntable, from 45/33 source vinyl discs), which had been processed (in the tape-loop of my equipment), sometimes through the DBX 224 noise-reduction (when I had a car that had a corresponding after-market DBX playback processor installed in the glovebox for the custom audio system).

But most often I used to make those cassettes processed through the Carver C-9, again intended specifically for playback through my car's after-market audio system. While not the ideal listening environment or "speaker locations" for optimal reproduction of Sonic Holography produced sound, it turned out to be really terrific nevertheless! Very much like what you are surprised to hear when you play the Realiser-processed SVS "virtual surround" sound intended for delivery to your ears through headphones, but instead played back externally through ordinary stereo speakers in your room. It's surprisingly 3-dimensional (or at least not "flat 2-channel stereo").

Well, turns out the small listening space inside the car, coupled with the wonderful sound of the many speakers in the custom audio system I'd had installed in the car, well the 3-D illusion from these cassette tapes produced by recording the output of the C-9 sonic hologram process sounded great! Remarkable sound field and instrument placement (of course very much depending on the engineering and levels of the source content itself).

So, my goal now is to pick up exactly where I left off 30 years ago, to produce sonic hologram recordings for playback in my car. In some way or fashion as whatever is possible, but obviously not via cassette tapes.

But this time using my "upstairs secondary pod equipment" that now includes the Carver H-9AV for producing the sonic holgram effect on the resulting recording. Also, the source will be "Oxygene" starting from the 2014 digitally remastered CD (instead of from vinyl played on a turntable) and played using my Marantz CD-11 mk2 feeding analog output via XLR cables to my Threshhold T2 preamplifier. Analog tape loop sound will be EQ'd through the DBX 14/10 (much superior to the original DBX 10/20) using the same tonal preset I worked hard to create and perfect for the Thiel CS3.6 speakers in my actual listening enviornment. I LOVE the actual sound when listening through these speakers and equipment, to music (and movies) through this total stereo setup (if not using the Realiser A8 and Stax SRM-007tii/SR-Omega headphone setup fed from Oppo Sonica DAC via optical output from the A8).

The plan is to record the final analog output (which would normally be sent to the T200 amp and CS3.6 speakers for actual listening) on my computer, to a WAV file. I have a pretty good Creative Sound Blaster Zx PCIe 5.1 sound card in my PC that produces excellent results, supports optical digital input/output (not relevant in this case), and has an excellent ADC for producing digital WAV recordings from line-input analog source. So that will be the path... feed "final output" of sonic hologram sound from the T2 to the line-input of the Zx sound card, to be recorded to WAV format using the same wonderful Cool Edit 2000 software I've been using for 20 years to convert analog vinyl to digital, but this time it will be starting from digital-converted-to-analog.

The now digital WAV format will then be converted to FLAC for storage (on the PC, or USB stick, or portable digital music player, etc.) and eventual playback through any digital-to-analog player that supports FLAC. My actual current method of playing my 8000 track digitized music collection (consisting of 6000 best-quality MP3 for less-favorites, and 2000 FLAC for more-favorites, selectively extracted from my 2000 CDs) in my car (which does NOT itself have a direct digital input source such as SD card or USB flash drive) is through my still working perfectly Cowon J3 portable media player, purchased back in 2006. It sounds SUPERB, either played through headphones or when the headphone jack is used with a 3.5mm stereo audio cable to connect from the J3 to the AUX analog input of my car's audio system (which DOES exist).

So that will be the target "listening room environment" for my newly produced sonic hologram creations... i.e. once again my car! Just produced today with a whole new set of source, equipment, and process steps. Yes, there also are the now required A-to-D and D-to-A steps which didn't exist in the old "all analog" days. But I suspect the final audible results in my car may well be superior for the current project. We shall see.

NOTES: options

(1) I do have the option of (a) using the 30-year old vintage DAC in the Marantz CD-11 mk2 to feed analog to start the process, or (b) instead using the modern era Oppo Sonica DAC. Both have XLR output to feed the T2, so that's not the issue. The question is whether or not there will be any audible difference in the result based on which era's DAC is used. Is there actually a difference you can hear, or prefer? Or is that old Marantz CD-player really the all-around gem I feel it to be? Even without sonic holography as a consideration, I'm perfectly fine using it today even when listening to CD's through my real speakers. To my ears it actually sounds "a bit warmer" than when listening to the same CD converted to analog through the Oppo Sonica DAC (whose sound I would have to describe as "a bit harder"), and I actually do prefer CD sound when played entirely using just the Marantz player and its DAC.

(2) I do have the option of (a) using the 30-year old vintage Marantz CD-11 mk2 CD player and its mechanical transport mechanism and laser pickup to actually read the CD, or (b) instead using the modern era Oppo 203 player and its mechanical components and laser pickup. If I do use the Oppo 203 I further have the "delivery options" of (a) sending still-digital optical to the separate Oppo Sonica DAC for XLR delivery to the T2, or (b) doing the D-to-A conversion in the 203 and sending unbalanced RCA analog to the T2. My guess is that any XLR-delivered analog audio method would probably sound better at the end than RCA-delivered analog audio.

(3) I will eventually discover if the specific DBX 14/10 EQ preset (intended for ideal playback of sound through my Thiel CS3.6 speakers in that real room listening environment) will result in sound inside my car that is either (a) also good and wonderful, and perhaps similar to the sound of my CS3.6 speakers, or (b) maybe not so good. It may be necessary for me to perhaps try a "SET FLAT" EQ preset as the total opposite (as I already conceptually do when I rip CD tracks to MP3/FLAC for my CD music collection, which simply goes 100% directly from CD to FLAC with ZERO tonal adjustment of any kind), for complete elimination of any "artificial tone control" imposed on the resulting final sound product other than what is coming from the digitally present tone in the original CD master itself. Or, perhaps just a DIFFERENT EQ setup is needed, specifically to compensate for the tonal characteristics of my car's sound system (and its own near-flat tonal adjustment setup) and small listening cabin. We shall see what sounds best.

(4) Initially I will be using "Oxygene" as my source for the initial experiment. I probably will then move on to experiment with other types and genres of music, both with and without vocals. My experiences from decades ago was that the "sonic hologram illusion" effect varied greatly with the source, volume level, instruments, channel separation in the stereo mastering in the source itself, etc., as well as whether or not there was a solo singer and backing instruments (and where they had been located), etc. I suspect I will see the same type of variations this time around when I start from a digital CD source, go to analog for processing, return to digital for recording to produce a digital FLAC result, to then be played back in my car using my Cowon J3 and the AUX input of the car's sound system. Again, we shall see how this all sounds.
 
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