Smyth Realiser 8, 500k system affordable for all? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 51 Old 12-06-2010, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Upgrade itch has started and while researching I stumbled upon the Smyth Realiser 8. http://smyth-research.com/technology.html

In a nutshell, microphones are placed in your ears and measurements are made with any system that you want to profile. This measurement is customized to your anatomy. A pair of Stax headphones are used to accurately reproduce the sonic signature of any system.

It was recently reviewed by Kal in Stereophile: http://stereophile.com/content/music-round-45. I read this and other reviews linked on the Smyth web page plus 60+ pages of posts at head-fi. Users have visited mastering centers such as AIX and recreated their state of the art systems with the Realiser. Posts from those that have tried the system have been amazingly positive.

I'm wondering if folks used to a true high end system will be as satisfied with the sonic experience. It would appear that if you combine a good sub with the headphone system that you could have a million dollar theater in any home. Could this be the answer to creating a truly reference HT experience for us all?
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post #2 of 51 Old 12-06-2010, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post
Could this be the answer to creating a truly reference HT experience for us all?
Yes if you can stand wearing headphones. I can't.

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post #3 of 51 Old 12-06-2010, 07:29 PM
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Thats the idea I had were I could sell a Smyth with several high end systems( Helene, Prometheus and Skoll) programmed into it. Unfortunately the monkey wrench is the ir head tracker system is taken down by 3D Ir systems.
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post #4 of 51 Old 12-06-2010, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Thats the idea I had were I could sell a Smyth with several high end systems( Helene, Prometheus and Skoll) programmed into it. Unfortunately the monkey wrench is the ir head tracker system is taken down by 3D Ir systems.

I usually defeated the IR tracker anyway. I found it too distracting.

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post #5 of 51 Old 12-06-2010, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Thats the idea I had were I could sell a Smyth with several high end systems( Helene, Prometheus and Skoll) programmed into it. Unfortunately the monkey wrench is the ir head tracker system is taken down by 3D Ir systems.

Did you sell any of those Sim2/Dolby set-ups into those new appartments, BTW...
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post #6 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post
Thats the idea I had were I could sell a Smyth with several high end systems( Helene, Prometheus and Skoll) programmed into it. Unfortunately the monkey wrench is the ir head tracker system is taken down by 3D Ir systems.
Peter,

Have you ever demoed the system? Did it perform as advertised?

Dave
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post #7 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Kal,

You mention in your review about the physical sensation of your subs being absent. Do you think that it can be effectively restored by integrating the subs and the headphones via the sub out channel?

Dave
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post #8 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveN View Post

Kal,

You mention in your review about the physical sensation of your subs being absent. Do you think that it can be effectively restored by integrating the subs and the headphones via the sub out channel?

Dave

Yes. Certainly.

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post #9 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 01:26 PM
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post #10 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 01:53 PM
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Are you able to share/download "profiles" from another user? For example, if I had a Realiser, would I be able to load Kal's "system" into it? If so, could it be done via email or something? I'm very interested in this! Or does my HRTF actually have to be measured in that room for it to work?
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post #11 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Or better yet D-Box.

Spare me from that.

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post #12 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenificent1 View Post

Are you able to share/download "profiles" from another user?

Officially, no because the system and HRTF are measured together. However, my wife thought that the sound with my calibration worked very well for her and that was without any tweaking.

Quote:
For example, if I had a Realiser, would I be able to load Kal's "system" into it?

It will cost you.

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post #13 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Yes if you can stand wearing headphones. I can't.

Back when I once had Koss Electrostatic headphones (circa 1974 - 1980), I always laid down listening to music. HA!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #14 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Officially, no because the system and HRTF are measured together. However, my wife thought that the sound with my calibration worked very well for her and that was without any tweaking.

It will cost you.

Hmm, that wouldn't be a bad business for you, but if I'm going to pay, I think I'd ask Harry first lol sorry. At least for 2 channel, I'd pay for your multichannel setup
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post #15 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 05:06 PM
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Gary Reber of Widescreen Review was certainly impressed with it. There was an extensive article on it last November or December issue.
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post #16 of 51 Old 12-07-2010, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Back when I once had Koss Electrostatic headphones (circa 1974 - 1980), I always laid down listening to music. HA!

But the Smyth head-tracker only works in the horizontal plane. HA!

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post #17 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 01:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

Thats the idea I had were I could sell a Smyth with several high end systems( Helene, Prometheus and Skoll) programmed into it. Unfortunately the monkey wrench is the ir head tracker system is taken down by 3D Ir systems.

Peter, Ive exchanged with a few contacts who work in post, including 2 currently at Todd AO, who have tried this unit. All stated that it was absolutely NOT capable of delivering a result that they would deem acceptable. "An interesting novelty" was how it was described by one.

I did mention that it had been reviewed, and had garnered positive feedback, in some "audiophile" circles. The forthcoming reply was, perhaps understandably, derisory to say the least. I can PM you more detail if required.

I will have an opportunity to test this unit before Christmas, and will drop you the skinny.

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post #18 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 05:44 AM
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I actually have one here, to be honest I do not see how it can withstand the dynamics of very loud music. I still haven't gotten around to sticking microphones in my ear yet.

As it comes off the box it is programmed for a smaller theater setting, playing a midi file, the out of the head effect is great on the surround channels but as the smaple comes around to the center channel I STILL CAN'T SEPARATE the center channel out of my forehead. Someone from the competing German surround company said my ears may not be ideal for such separation.
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post #19 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

I actually have one here, to be honest I do not see how it can withstand the dynamics of very loud music. I still haven't gotten around to sticking microphones in my ear yet.

As it comes off the box it is programmed for a smaller theater setting, playing a midi file, the out of the head effect is great on the surround channels but as the smaple comes around to the center channel I STILL CAN'T SEPARATE the center channel out of my forehead. Someone from the competing German surround company said my ears may not be ideal for such separation.

I have plowed through a few hundred pages reading up on the product and the one point that is repeatedly made is that you absolutely must make the measurements in your ears for this to work. They send a sample file just so folks can get some sound out of the system.

The people that are most enthusiastic have traveled to CA to personalize their systems at two mastering studios and a large theater. It appears that a basic setup of measurements can be made in under 15 minutes.
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post #20 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

I actually have one here, to be honest I do not see how it can withstand the dynamics of very loud music. I still haven't gotten around to sticking microphones in my ear yet.

As it comes off the box it is programmed for a smaller theater setting, playing a midi file, the out of the head effect is great on the surround channels but as the smaple comes around to the center channel I STILL CAN'T SEPARATE the center channel out of my forehead. Someone from the competing German surround company said my ears may not be ideal for such separation.

What would you expect if you didn't even bother to do the HRTF measurements yet? That's the whole point of the box.
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post #21 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

Peter, Ive exchanged with a few contacts who work in post, including 2 currently at Todd AO, who have tried this unit. All stated that it was absolutely NOT capable of delivering a result that they would deem acceptable. "An interesting novelty" was how it was described by one.

I did mention that it had been reviewed, and had garnered positive feedback, in some "audiophile" circles. The forthcoming reply was, perhaps understandably, derisory to say the least. I can PM you more detail if required.

I will have an opportunity to test this unit before Christmas, and will drop you the skinny.

Would you happen to know if they ran it with a sub or tactile transducer? If not, there's no way the dynamics could be replicated with just the headphones.
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post #22 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 08:32 AM
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I have the Realiser and I love it. I calibrated from a pair of Definitive Technology Pro Tower 400's which have powered subwoofers built in. One of the advantages of the Realiser is that you are not necessarily constrained by the dimensions of your room. Normally my listening position is against the back wall of a small to medium sized room, but by moving around during calibration I can have the rear/surround speakers well behind me now. Also I can use a vertical tower speaker as my centre channel rather than a horizontal one and all my speakers are therefore identical. The sense of surround sound is complete providing you calibrate.

I also use the Audeze LCD-2 planar magnetic headphone which does not distort at high volume (the Stax did on occasion) and has wonderful deep impactful tuneful bass. I'm not a complete bass head so I don't miss the visceral impact of a subwoofer that much.

In relation to the centre channel I use the head tracking at the start of every session. By moving my head left and right dialog is still firmly planted in front of me in the middle of the screen and this tells my brain that the sounds are coming from outside my head. The Smyths have said in interviews that if you don't have headtracking and do move your head about a lot, then the sound moves with you and your brain cannot accept any longer that it is coming from a fixed outside source, and the illusion can effectively be corrupted as the sound collapses back inside your head. (I'm paraphrasing and simplifying what they said)

I'd love to go to a high end setup for a calibration (nothing like that available in Ireland), but for now I can have have two channel music or multi channel movies/music as loud as I like without disturbing the family or neighbours. My speakers were put away when the kids arrived and my receiver sold. (I use the analog outputs of my panny Blu ray direct to the Realiser which has bass/LFE controls) I still have surround sound, only now with 100% WAF

Any detailed reviews have been extremely complimentary and not one buyer that I know of on the thread in head-fi has felt disappointed or complained about the system performance. (and that doesn't happen very often on head-fi !)
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post #23 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I usually defeated the IR tracker anyway. I found it too distracting.

Curious how much of the soundstage collapsed into your head when this was done.

--Andre
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post #24 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikenificent1 View Post

Would you happen to know if they ran it with a sub or tactile transducer? If not, there's no way the dynamics could be replicated with just the headphones.

Mike, Im not sure if you are joking or just didnt understand my post.

Either way, yes, the equipment was employed correctly.

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post #25 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 12:33 PM
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Mike, Im not sure if you are joking or just didnt understand my post.

Either way, yes, the equipment was employed correctly.

lol I was not joking. You didn't mention the specifics of the setup, nor weather a sub/transducer was employed or not. You can have it without a sub and it can still be "employed correctly", it's not required and is more of a preference.
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post #26 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikenificent1 View Post

You didn't mention the specifics of the setup, nor weather a sub/transducer was employed or not.

I actually did. Peter would have understood my answer fully.

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post #27 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

Curious how much of the soundstage collapsed into your head when this was done.

--Andre

None of it. All it did was permit some horizontal swing of the soundstage and, as long as I faced forward, that change was minimal. Of course, one of the reasons I am not comfortable with any headphones, including these, is that I rarely sit up facing forward for very long.

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post #28 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by coldmachine View Post

I actually did. Peter would have understood my answer fully.

NO you did not, and Peter wasn't the one asking the question. If you didn't want to answer the question, or god forbid you didn't know the answer, then you should of have just left it that. No where in your comment below do you mention ANY system specifics or weather a sub/transducer was employed. Or did you write it in invisible ink and Peter is the only one with the decoding glasses? I'm just trying to get info on the box, I'm not asking for any bank account or SS #'s lol.

Quote:


Peter, Ive exchanged with a few contacts who work in post, including 2 currently at Todd AO, who have tried this unit. All stated that it was absolutely NOT capable of delivering a result that they would deem acceptable. "An interesting novelty" was how it was described by one.

I did mention that it had been reviewed, and had garnered positive feedback, in some "audiophile" circles. The forthcoming reply was, perhaps understandably, derisory to say the least. I can PM you more detail if required.

I will have an opportunity to test this unit before Christmas, and will drop you the skinny.

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post #29 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

None of it. All it did was permit some horizontal swing of the soundstage and, as long as I faced forward, that change was minimal. Of course, one of the reasons I am not comfortable with any headphones, including these, is that I rarely sit up facing forward for very long.

Thanks. Does the device externalize sounds that are coming from directly in front, or do you get that funny u-shaped soundstage that you hear with binaural recordings?

--Andre
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post #30 of 51 Old 12-08-2010, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

Thanks. Does the device externalize sounds that are coming from directly in front, or do you get that funny u-shaped soundstage that you hear with binaural recordings?

--Andre

The former and well.

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