Smyth Virtual Surround - finally!
Feb 27, 2006 at 11:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

banjo

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of interest for those who seek the best headphone surround experience available. See:

http://emusician.com/mag/emusic_head_2/

and

http://www.ultimateavmag.com/feature...s2/index3.html


The product is aimed for the proffesional marked. The price is 3000$.

Hopefully someone on headfi can afford it for themselves or for their work, and provide the rest of us with feedback.

The product has been a long time in comming to the market, as you can tell by looking at the date of my original post:

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...&highlight=svs

Here you can also find all the info I was able to google in the past.


Enjoy.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 4:53 AM Post #2 of 22

Wmcmanus

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Thanks for the links. I've been following your posts about this with interest, and it's nice to see that they've decided to come out with a commercial unit but it sure is hush, hush. They never seem to get much press, and it's hard to get much of a feel for exactly how good/revolutionary this product will really be. In other words, it's all in the implimentation. A great idea backed by some awesome technology and brilliant people can result in a truly amazing "to die for" product, but will it? I guess we'll know more once a couple of serious reviews from credible sources are published... and sooner rather than later, let's hope! It sure is an exciting concept.

I've had similar feelings about the D-Box motion simulators for home theater applications. See www.d-box.com They are as interesting as can be but they are also mighty expensive, especially if you're trying to add motion to existing seating with an "Odyssee" system rather than buying their integrated "Quest" chairs. My curiousity eventually got the best of me and I did an audition in one of the Sound Advice outlets in South Florida. They are most definitely "cool" but were still unconvincing. Getting thousands of motion effects synchronized to match individual movies is a Herculean task! They're done quite well with over 500 titles, but my guess is that this technology is still another 5 years away from being "perfected" to the point that the average person can suspend his/her imagination and "buy into" the motion effects to the point that they seldom become distracting. It's funny, because just as I was getting into it, my mind told me, "Nah, it's too fake..." and then another sequence would arrive that was done more convincingly and it would seem real again, and it was "on" again and "off" again in terms of how my mind was processing the whole experience. I suppose once the novelty wore off (i.e., if you installed a system and lived with it for a while), then you might become less sensitized to its peculiar little quirks and imprefections, and just enjoy it for what it does well. But it's a lot of money to drop on the "chance" that it might tickle your fancy.

For some reason, this is the kind of reaction that I suspect I'd have to the SVS apparatus. In other words, it would blow me away at times, and then suddenly I'd get an odd sensation that I'm in some strange futuristic movie just moments later (or perhaps, that wierd sensation that you get in your brain when you turn your head quickly while you are disoriented, either through low blood sugar, high blood pressure, etc.) And then another "wow" moment would arrive which would bring a smile to your face, and on it would go. Whether the SVS would become an indispensible listening tool or, ultimately, an annoying gimmick, is impossible to know. But I'm definitely rooting for them and wish them all the success in the world. It takes these kinds of innovators and a just a small sample of anxious customers who are looking for the latest and greatest to truly make a difference (years later) in what will one day (hopefully) become a standard that we all come to expect. At one point there wer no air bags in cars, and at a much earlier point they were started with cranks. Think of all of the new video formats that we now have, and at one point it was only 2 channel stereo, and much earlier they were all silent movies. Who would have expected motion to be added to the home theater experience, or head transfer effects to headphone listening?!?!

Hmm... how interesting that HT could become with a D-Box system and an SVS system! Now that could really be special...
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:08 AM Post #3 of 22

banjo

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..well, I was thinking that one of these bass shakers e.g. butkicker might give one a good taste of motion effects in a cheap way and provide a nice supplement for the SVS system.

I only wish the svs system was cheaper. I am hoping the proffesional svs system will make it easier to showcase the system so that it might get more attention.

I wonder how much of the relatively large box and what amount of the price that has gone into the personal calibration system (electronics, microphones etc.) If smyth virtual technologies could make a smaller (and more importantly cheaper) version that only allow for playback using a pre-recorded setting and not the calibration, then it might be possible for people to share the cost of the bigger unit or for a company to do calibrations for people at a cost. Of course the smaller unit would have to be a lot cheaper to make it worth while.

Maybe its the head motion tracking unit that is the most expensive. Perhaps they could make the small system in two versions: one with and one without. I think I can more or less manage to keep my head still for the duration of a movie if need be, but I am not sure to what extent the illusion of surround might suffer from the lack of a motion tracking system.

If you have read my other thread you will know that I am hoping for this technology to provide the means for people with limited funds to experience a full surround sound on a budget. Apart from buying a crappy HTIB system I don´t see any other way, but of course the price has to be a lot lower than 3000$.


Hopefully smyth will consider the idea of making smaller cheaper "playback only" versions (avec/sans tracking system) to make it more affordable for the general public. If they can produce one type of unit they ought to be able to produce it in one or two more simple variations - C´mon... please

I am looking forward to hearing from any head-fiers who will buy a system and review it - sorry for your wallet.

cheers
 
May 16, 2006 at 10:39 PM Post #7 of 22

banjo

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Nice info Erik - I'll be looking forward to the review. The SVS system looks very cool indeed.

rad0A2CA.jpg


I wonder how long it takes before we see a review from one of us head-fiers. I was once told by a company representative that people were very welcome for a demonstration at the company headquarters in california - but nobody seems to have taken up the offer so far.
 
Aug 9, 2006 at 12:32 PM Post #10 of 22

banjo

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what a shame. Today I checked the smyth website but it's still under construction! I wonder if we will ever see a final product in the stores. Also these threads dont seem to generate as much attention as I was hoping for - in the beginning I felt certain that headfiers would appreciate such a system and that it would'nt take long for someone to buy the product and review it here on headfi - hopefully starting a new buzz.
Judging from the people who have tried it it really is something extraordinary, and surely someone here on headfi has the money.

Do you think its all because I haven't posted it in one of the more popular/visited sections such as the amplifier or headphone section, or is it simply because none knows about it or bothers to search for smyth surround.

It may be that the website is down, but there is an email address, and one could always just ask the company if they would be willing to sell a unit.

Cheers
 
Aug 9, 2006 at 12:49 PM Post #11 of 22

philodox

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Still interested in this, if only for the name.

- Jason Smyth
340smile.gif
 
Aug 12, 2006 at 2:29 PM Post #12 of 22

Carl

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Quote:

Originally Posted by banjo
what a shame. Today I checked the smyth website but it's still under construction! I wonder if we will ever see a final product in the stores. Also these threads dont seem to generate as much attention as I was hoping for - in the beginning I felt certain that headfiers would appreciate such a system and that it would'nt take long for someone to buy the product and review it here on headfi - hopefully starting a new buzz.
Judging from the people who have tried it it really is something extraordinary, and surely someone here on headfi has the money.

Do you think its all because I haven't posted it in one of the more popular/visited sections such as the amplifier or headphone section, or is it simply because none knows about it or bothers to search for smyth surround.

It may be that the website is down, but there is an email address, and one could always just ask the company if they would be willing to sell a unit.

Cheers



I definately want to hear SVS, I just don't want to pay $3000+ for it, considering DH can be had for a few hundred these days.
 
Dec 12, 2006 at 4:32 PM Post #13 of 22

Erik Garci

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Erik Garci /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There will be a review of the SVS system in an upcoming issue of Mix Magazine, according to this page.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Erik Garci /img/forum/go_quote.gif
SVS is no longer mentioned on that page. Perhaps the review has been cancelled.
frown.gif



Good news! Barry Rudolph posted his review on his web site.
icon10.gif


http://www.barryrudolph.com/utilities/smyth.html

The web page is dated August 9, 2006, by the way.
 
Dec 12, 2006 at 4:53 PM Post #14 of 22

Wmcmanus

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Thanks for digging up that review, Erik. This is something I've been trying to follow for some time (like a lot of us, I guess). Maybe I'll pay them a visit in April when I'm in California for the national meet!
 

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