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StormAudio ISP MK2 24-ch processor (Review by Audioholics)

Dj7675

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Fair points all. I did notably forget about/omit HTP-1's odd VOG handling and lack of center height. As to the last one I don't know offhand, either. As for remote, has Storm finally sorted out IR control? When I had the Bryston SP4 it did not play well with our Harmony remote. That's why I never inquired about buying the review sample. Other than that it was the most capable SSP I had ever used.



Great point! That's possibly the best unique feature of HTP-1 and a feature with extremely high real world relevance regardless of system configuration.
I don't know if that has been fixed or not in regards to the remote. Not sure what issue you had with a remote, but I did have an issue with a URC MRX 880 IR remote where it would reboot the Storm once in a while if I tried to increase the volume to quickly. I ended up switching to a control4 based system and no issues. Control4 like some of there other supported systems is IP based. I had a similar issue with my JVC projector rebooting so I am guessing neither the storm or the jvc liked the way the ir code was sent. Since I switched to control4 no issues at all.
 

jhaider

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I don't know if that has been fixed or not in regards to the remote. Not sure what issue you had with a remote,

If memory serves, the SP4 would turn on with the remote but no matter what I or Harmony support tried it would only intermittently select the input that was part of that "Activity." Now I guess I would notice that issue less, as 95% of our A/V entertainment (and everything anyone else in the house would use) goes through the AppleTV. But back then there was a cable set-box box as well as the AppleTV for streaming video/2ch music, and back then more disk spinning because all of our multichannel audio program was on disks back then, along with the odd record (now vinyl is in a different system).
 

apgood

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I don't know if that has been fixed or not in regards to the remote. Not sure what issue you had with a remote, but I did have an issue with a URC MRX 880 IR remote where it would reboot the Storm once in a while if I tried to increase the volume to quickly. I ended up switching to a control4 based system and no issues. Control4 like some of there other supported systems is IP based. I had a similar issue with my JVC projector rebooting so I am guessing neither the storm or the jvc liked the way the ir code was sent. Since I switched to control4 no issues at all.
IR control on my StormAudio works fine with both Harmony & Sofabaton
 

Dj7675

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What is the voltage this was taken at? I tried to find it but couldn’t see it. One of the other measurements was taken at 8V. Was the one below taken at 8V?

View attachment 171666
For those interested, I asked Amir about this measurement he explained in great detail why it is not of a concern and was a measurement issue. Rather than quote or summarize why this measurement is not correct, refer to the full explanation by @amirm.
 

wseroyer

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Gene DellaSala (from Audioholics) just posted the review of the StormAudio ISP MK2 24-ch processor:

image

image_large2

Retails for US$24,000.

Specs (taken from audioholics):


Full measurements are on the website.

Gene's Conclusion:


Discuss!
I don't see why you'd buy this over a Trinnov for around the same price.
 

apgood

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I don't see why you'd buy this over a Trinnov for around the same price.
Because you want 32 Channel Digital Out, Audio Over IP 32in/32out (AES67) or have a use case for multi zone, are some examples why. It always comes down to your use case what is best fit.
 

peng

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For those interested, I asked Amir about this measurement he explained in great detail why it is not of a concern and was a measurement issue. Rather than quote or summarize why this measurement is not correct, refer to the full explanation by @amirm.

I just took another look of Gene's review/measurements and noted the following:

He said "It’s also still at 0.05% THD+N at 20kHz so still relatively low."

So I think we should ask Gene why the the AP labelled the axis THD when Gene was clearing talking about THD+N. It seems to me, Gene isn't technically incorrect but could have used clearer verbiage.
 

Dj7675

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I just took another look of Gene's review/measurements and noted the following:

He said "It’s also still at 0.05% THD+N at 20kHz so still relatively low."

So I think we should ask Gene why the the AP labelled the axis THD when Gene was clearing talking about THD+N. It seems to me, Gene isn't technically incorrect but could have used clearer verbiage.
I don’t know enough about what is technically correct or incorrect. But as I read the explanation the measurement shows an issue that actually isn’t really there. The purpose of measurements would be to show an actual issue in the audible band, and my understanding is there actually isn’t one.
 

peng

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I don’t know enough about what is technically correct or incorrect. But as I read the explanation the measurement shows an issue that actually isn’t really there. The purpose of measurements would be to show an actual issue in the audible band, and my understanding is there actually isn’t one.

Gene never said it was an issue either, and he listed the Storm audio AVP as the best AV Processor for 2021. He wouldn't have done it if he thought it was an issue. To be fair, don't they (including Amir) measured and show issues that aren't there, in terms of audibility? He measure it with an AP and it showed the result, okay he used 192 kHz in this case, Amir had done that too many times, to show the ultrasonics noise. These guys are engineers, and I understand many engineers are very curious about things so if you give them the gear such as the AP and a masterpiece such as Stormaudio AVP, they will play.:D I just found it a little harsh to say the measurement was not correct (without caveats), and I think Amir's point is more about what the graph actually shows, not that the measurement is incorrect.

I made my point, we agreed on many things but I guess in this case we can agree to disagree on our interpretation of the matter.:)
 

Dj7675

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Gene never said it was an issue either, and he listed the Storm audio AVP as the best AV Processor for 2021. He wouldn't have done it if he thought it was an issue. To be fair, don't they (including Amir) measured and show issues that aren't there, in terms of audibility? He measure it with an AP and it showed the result, okay he used 192 kHz in this case, Amir had done that too many times, to show the ultrasonics noise. These guys are engineers, and I understand many engineers are very curious about things so if you give them the gear such as the AP and a masterpiece such as Stormaudio AVP, they will play.:D I just found it a little harsh to say the measurement was not correct (without caveats), and I think Amir's point is more about what the graph actually shows, not that the measurement is incorrect.

I made my point, we agreed on many things but I guess in this case we can agree to disagree on our interpretation of the matter.:)
I guess the impression is left that it is an issue when states SINAD of 66 in the higher frequencies. Some reading may see this as a big issue when it isn't. Below is Gene's comment on the results. He says he would like to see better results here and then talks about the DAC chip upgrade. My understanding is this isn't a DAC chip issue per se but an out of band frequency issue showing up in the measurement that aren't an issue in the audible band. He also mentions it won't be audible in most situations. My understanding is it isn't a scenario that will show up at all with real content. If it isn't an issue at all with real content due to it being out of band noise, then it just needs to be made more clear. And it calls into question the value of that particular measurement and what it shows, IMO. For example Amir would say this it is only a "measurement hygiene" issue only and is not audible. Better explanation of what is being shown would go along way for sure, but once explained the value of that measurement and its explanation as is, is questionable it seems to me.

"The above sweep shows frequency response vs distortion which is exceedingly low at 0.002% THD+N (or 94dB SINAD). The distortion spikes above 5kHz are likely so pronounced due to the high input sampling rate and the StormAudio ISP MK2 downsampling to 48Khz and not having usable output above 22kHz. I didn't see this many spikes when sampling at 48kHz. It’s also still at 0.05% THD+N at 20kHz so still relatively low. I’d like to see better results here but an improvement may likely NOT be audible in most scenarios for even those audiophiles with the best of hearing. I suspect the distortion behavior is a function of the DAC chip StormAudio is currently using combined with the downsampling but they have informed me an upgrade is in the works slated for sometime in the near future with a possible higher sampling rate offered too. I will be revisiting these measurements once I get the upgrade module installed."
 

peng

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I guess the impression is left that it is an issue when states SINAD of 66 in the higher frequencies. Some reading may see this as a big issue when it isn't. Below is Gene's comment on the results. He says he would like to see better results here and then talks about the DAC chip upgrade. My understanding is this isn't a DAC chip issue per se but an out of band frequency issue showing up in the measurement that aren't an issue in the audible band. He also mentions it won't be audible in most situations. My understanding is it isn't a scenario that will show up at all with real content. If it isn't an issue at all with real content due to it being out of band noise, then it just needs to be made more clear. And it calls into question the value of that particular measurement and what it shows, IMO. For example Amir would say this it is only a "measurement hygiene" issue only and is not audible. Better explanation of what is being shown would go along way for sure, but once explained the value of that measurement and its explanation as is, is questionable it seems to me.

"The above sweep shows frequency response vs distortion which is exceedingly low at 0.002% THD+N (or 94dB SINAD). The distortion spikes above 5kHz are likely so pronounced due to the high input sampling rate and the StormAudio ISP MK2 downsampling to 48Khz and not having usable output above 22kHz. I didn't see this many spikes when sampling at 48kHz. It’s also still at 0.05% THD+N at 20kHz so still relatively low. I’d like to see better results here but an improvement may likely NOT be audible in most scenarios for even those audiophiles with the best of hearing. I suspect the distortion behavior is a function of the DAC chip StormAudio is currently using combined with the downsampling but they have informed me an upgrade is in the works slated for sometime in the near future with a possible higher sampling rate offered too. I will be revisiting these measurements once I get the upgrade module installed."

Yes, I fully agreed with you on that, and that's why I said "Gene isn't technically incorrect but could have used clearer verbiage." Note: Again, I still don't understand why his Y axis label says THD ration, missing the +N. I think I am going to ask him about that.

Remember some confusion the following has generated on ASR too in the beginning, it did confuse me initially for sure. In that case it had to do with the reconstruction filter, but the nature of issue is similar (that it could confuse some readers).

Amir has been making the cause of the apparent SINAD deterioration due to what happens in the ultrasonic range much clearer nowadays. Hopefully Gene will do that too next time.

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pedrob

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I'm perfectly content with Left, Center, Right, Front Wides, Surrounds, Rear Surrounds and Atmos for my home theater experience. I'll accept that a cinema could do with more channels.
 
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