One of us (JD) heard a demo of the A8 Realiser in Germany several years ago. The demo made quite an impression but due to other ongoing projects, follow-up was filed under ‘when I next have some time to spare’. While preparing for the 2013 October series of audio events (Burning Amp, Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, Audio Engineering Society convention) the Realiser came back to the fore as an interesting piece of equipment to demonstrate and discuss at these shows. Those demos would also provide user opinions that could be integrated into a review. Smyth Research gracefully agreed to provide a unit with matching headphones several weeks ahead of the first event. This was important – the Realiser is a very unusual piece of equipment so getting familiar with it and its operational possibilities requires some time.