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StormAudio ISP 16 MK2 Review (AV Processor)

Sancus

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#21
Honestly as someone who has experience with both if you’re using DLBC for bass management and not running active speakers directly from the AVP or with digitally-connected controllers it’s hard to argue the value added here over HTP-1.
Even then it seems pretty hard to justify $11,000 to remove a likely inaudible ADC.... as much as I would like digital outputs to my Genelecs I can't imagine paying that much extra for them lol. If the SDP-55's software wasn't such a mess, the $2000 there(for Dante) would be an easier sell.
 
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#22
How much noise does the fan provides when it kicks in?
The vast array of outputs, 1-... is confusing. Reminds some Japanese remotes with lots of buttons so hard to find in that array.
Some order, names over numbers, maybe a geometry. There is more than plenty space on that large back panel.
 

TimoJ

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#23
Looks like if you have a power amp with typical around 2V input sensitivity, SINAD isn't so great. So would adding in-line signal attenuators help? I'm also wondering how quiet this unit is i.e. signal idle noise/hissing (noisefloor) if used with 2V sensitivity power amp.
And that fan, how loud it is? Most of those size fans (and all Sunon fans I have tested) have very annoying noise profile.
 

beatelund

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#24
It has been too long. :) One was the filter for the DAC I remember. Dynamic range was lower as well.
Can you ask Storm how the measurement looks like on the AES outputs?
Interesting to see if a Oktodac8 pro would improve this or if the internal dsp and signal path before the dac is a limitation.
 

Tks

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#26
For 15K, the look leaves a lot to be desired.. Stamped metal sheets aren't to my taste, seems like corner cutting for optional configurations without creating entirely new hardware dimension dedicated SKU's.

For 15K, I'd want this sort of ordeal as seen on the Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro DAC's housing. I want an entire block milled out, and not some sort of design that you just add or remove parts of a stammped back panel for optional I/O. If this is too much, then at least fix up the front. It's as flat and dead and barren looking as can be. There doesn't even seem to be beveling on the edges of where the display is housed...

matrix-audio-x-sabre-pro-da-wandler-43335.jpg
 
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#30
How many seconds does it take when switching from one video mode to the next how long does it take for video to appear and how many more seconds for sound to be audible.

Lacks DB25 which would take up far less space on back panel and DB25 does the same as XLR.
What was the Dolby DSU like on it and tested with the following. VHS, Laserdisc never mind 4k, what is it like with other formats does it have any sound issues with typical centre leakage into all other channels? I mean if one is simply gonna spend £15 grand.
For cinema type applications it has the 32 Channel AES/EBU Digital output module. I use this to connect it to a QSC Q-sys Core. Means only 4 RJ45 Ethernet cables needed.

There is also a 16 Channel Digital input module that's targeted at screen rooms, recording studios, etc...

Sometime in Q2 2021 there is supposed to be a 32in/32out AES67 module coming too.
 
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#31
Looks like if you have a power amp with typical around 2V input sensitivity, SINAD isn't so great. So would adding in-line signal attenuators help? I'm also wondering how quiet this unit is i.e. signal idle noise/hissing (noisefloor) if used with 2V sensitivity power amp.
And that fan, how loud it is? Most of those size fans (and all Sunon fans I have tested) have very annoying noise profile.
The fan either never comes on or is so quiet I can't hear it and I've used it on 32C days. Think the fan is there for when it's stuffed in a tight enclosed space.
 

peng

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#32
Wow Amir, thank you for yet another detailed review on a very sophisticated processor/preamp and that's a lot of work for sure!!

If I read it right, this processor/preamplifier is best paired with power amps like the Purifi, Hypex and Benchmark AHB2, that is, the lower the gain the better. Otherwise at low to moderate listening level with average sensitivity speakers, SINAD won't be much better 90 dB, may go lower at below 1 V, by the look of it, but not really sure because of the scale used for the horizontal axis.

Those who are keen on the below 1 W performance may want to look for alternatives. Even for 5 W into 8 Ohms, for 26 dB gain power amp, the preamp output would be only about 0.32 V so SINAD would be 90 dB or less(?) To me, 90 dB is still fantastic at such low level but I wonder if that's good enough for @RichB;).
 

Count Arthur

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#33
The fan either never comes on or is so quiet I can't hear it and I've used it on 32C days. Think the fan is there for when it's stuffed in a tight enclosed space.
I wonder why anyone would use such small fans in audio and domestic equipment. Smaller 40, 60 and 80mm fans still have their uses in slim 1, 1.5 and 2u servers where anything larger won't fit, and that are going to be tucked away in server rooms where noise doesn't matter much anyway. But for PCs and workstations to be used in the home or office, larger 120 and 140mm fans are now pretty much the standard.

Larger fans obviously move more air for a given RPM, so you can run them slower for the same cooling effect and be quieter overall, but the sound they make is also far less intrusive, more of a wooshing noise than the high pitched wine of small high speed fans.
 

RichB

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#34
Wow Amir, thank you for yet another detailed review on a very sophisticated processor/preamp and that's a lot of work for sure!!

If I read it right, this processor/preamplifier is best paired with power amps like the Purifi, Hypex and Benchmark AHB2, that is, the lower the gain the better. Otherwise at low to moderate listening level with average sensitivity speakers, SINAD won't be much better 90 dB, may go lower at below 1 V, by the look of it, but not really sure because of the scale used for the horizontal axis.

Those who are keen on the below 1 W performance may want to look for alternatives. Even for 5 W into 8 Ohms, for 26 dB gain power amp, the preamp output would be only about 0.32 V so SINAD would be 90 dB or less(?) To me, 90 dB is still fantastic at such low level but I wonder if that's good enough for @RichB;).
You woke me up again :p

It is a good point, but honestly, the RMC-1 has similar SINAD and performance at at 5 W.

I am quite happy using REW and the RMC-1 filter import for room modes and subwoofer optimization.
Someday, I'll try Dirac again but everything is lovely so I hesitate to bother. I have also take note of the many Dirac releases and watched as others have diligently loaded each version and retested. I wonder where they find the time to listen. I'll be spending on a new 83" OLED which will provide a much greater bang for the buck than lateral AVP performance with a nice UI.

With streaming, I am amazed at how many 2.0 shows we are watching. The Dolby upmixer on the RMC-1 is amazing. Unlike prior mixers, the bass is preserved and dialog in the center channel is clear. I'd have liked to see the center channel performance measured because that is the critical to the performance of an AVR/AVP. Thus far, I underwhelmed by the Denon 3700 upmixer in preamp mode but will be testing that again in May with a new ATI AT525NC amp replacing the aging Sunfire.

- Rich
 

RichB

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#35
I wonder why anyone would use such small fans in audio and domestic equipment. Smaller 40, 60 and 80mm fans still have their uses in slim 1, 1.5 and 2u servers where anything larger won't fit, and that are going to be tucked away in server rooms where noise doesn't matter much anyway. But for PCs and workstations to be used in the home or office, larger 120 and 140mm fans are now pretty much the standard.

Larger fans obviously move more air for a given RPM, so you can run them slower for the same cooling effect and be quieter overall, but the sound they make is also far less intrusive, more of a wooshing noise than the high pitched wine of small high speed fans.
It looks like a PC power supply. There are fanless options but the unit may be relying on the fan if things get warm.

- Rich
 
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#38
So, I'll ask a stupid question (not really knowing the AVP world). Why do AVP/AVRs units costing thousands of dollars have audio measurements that are noticeably below those of a cheap DAC? e.g A Topping D10S has better measurements than this unit.....let alone something like a D70.

Yes, there is a vast differentiation of features but is it asking too much to expect audio performance of an 15K AVP to be able to beat the audio measurements of a $100 DAC? There just seems to be a large gap in this marketplace waiting for someone to put out an AVP that produces objective audio measurements equal to what we are seeing in the current DAC marketplace.

Honestly, what am I missing?
 
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