• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Trinnov Altitude 16 Review (AV Processor)

D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
For me, it's the prospect of optimizing the sound with Trinnov Room Optimizer (all the benefits of the 3D mic, flexible FIR filtering, etc), potentially improved decoding via software algorithms, earlier access to new codecs, possibly longer product life via updates and servicing options, digital outputs so I don't even need the internal dacs, high channel count (20-channels now via recent software update), excellent implementation and calibration support, number of storeable eq curves, two-way remote support, etc., etc.

Do I think it *justifies* the cost? No. But for a best effort audio implementation, I had the most confidence it wouldn't be the limiting factor, and would likely contribute to a superior result.



I didn’t mean to rain on this AVR’s parade, and if I did I apologize.

Is this units room correction on another level versus what Audyssey XT 32 can do, or is it just preference in your opinion?

Audyssey is coming out with a new room correction I understand.

This is a great looking, and functional unit there’s no doubt about that.
 

Bugal1998

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
293
Likes
397
Others have shared their subjective opinions that Trinnov Room Optimizer is superior to other available options. I won't speculate on an Audyssey product that hasn't been released.

Objectively, I'm not aware of any other optimizer that can show you direct sound from the speaker and the first reflection response and then enable calibration decisions based on that data. I also don't know of another processor that allows you to specify the length of FIR correction to dial in or out as much room interaction as you want below schroder frequency.

There are other capabilities that so far as I know are also unique to Trinnov. Does this make Trinnov audibly superior? Frankly, in my opinion yes. Substantially. But that's only an opinion.

And only if you need those capabilities and don't misuse them.
 

Bugal1998

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
293
Likes
397
I didn’t mean to rain on this AVR’s parade, and if I did I apologize.

Is this units room correction on another level versus what Audyssey XT 32 can do, or is it just preference in your opinion?

Audyssey is coming out with a new room correction I understand.

This is a great looking, and functional unit there’s no doubt about that.

If you want to justify NOT buying a Trinnov, you'll succeed. If you want to learn more to truly understand the processor's capabilities, there's good information to be found on Trinnov Room Optimizer. Just do a little research and I'm sure you'll draw your own conclusions.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
Others have shared their subjective opinions that Trinnov Room Optimizer is superior to other available options. I won't speculate on an Audyssey product that hasn't been released.

Objectively, I'm not aware of any other optimizer that can show you direct sound from the speaker and the first reflection response and then enable calibration decisions based on that data. I also don't know of another processor that allows you to specify the length of FIR correction to dial in or out as much room interaction as you want below schroder frequency.

There are other capabilities that so far as I know are also unique to Trinnov. Does this make Trinnov audibly superior? Frankly, in my opinion yes. Substantially. But that's only an opinion.

And only if you need those capabilities and don't misuse them.



I appreciate your input, helps me to understand this piece of gear. I’m still a couple years away from upgrading, I want to see how everything shakes out. Not that I base my purchases purely on measurements, I think in my price range these companies can do a lot better.

This being said, if the trend continues that’s in desktop right now into home theater, and two channel products it would be a blessing.

What I mean is you don’t have to spend more than $400 or $500 to get a DAC that performs pretty amazingly, in fact past our threshold of hearing. Back in 2013 when I bought my Marantz AV8801 Marantz actually posted specs, and reviewers followed up on that. Sadly now a lot of these companies are resting on their past achievements. But how good can we hear? It’s getting to that point, we’re going past the threshold of hearing, so with that in mind it’s got to be functionality, looks, and connectivity.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
If you want to justify NOT buying a Trinnov, you'll succeed. If you want to learn more to truly understand the processor's capabilities, there's good information to be found on Trinnov Room Optimizer. Just do a little research and I'm sure you'll draw your own conclusions.

I understand, and that’s not my intention. I really want my next pre-pro to be stellar, and last me as long as the one I have now. Although I think this is a lot of money, if I spread it out over 10 years it doesn’t look that bad.

Sound quality wise my 9 year old prepro sounds as good as the transparently measuring preamp that I just bought, and hooked up the other day.

I bought an inexpensive but stellar measuring 2-channel preamp, and when I switched them back-and-forth via an XLR switcher… There’s no difference.

I love the look of the Trinnov, and I’ll definitely be watching what happens next.

Thanks for the discussion it was enlightening.
 

Bugal1998

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
293
Likes
397
I appreciate your input, helps me to understand this piece of gear. I’m still a couple years away from upgrading, I want to see how everything shakes out. Not that I base my purchases purely on measurements, I think in my price range these companies can do a lot better.

This being said, if the trend continues that’s in desktop right now into home theater, and two channel products it would be a blessing.

What I mean is you don’t have to spend more than $400 or $500 to get a DAC that performs pretty amazingly, in fact past our threshold of hearing. Back in 2013 when I bought my Marantz AV8801 Marantz actually posted specs, and reviewers followed up on that. Sadly now a lot of these companies are resting on their past achievements. But how good can we hear? It’s getting to that point, we’re going past the threshold of hearing, so with that in mind it’s got to be functionality, looks, and connectivity.
There's lots of information on this forum about the challenges of getting top-tier SINAD in a processor (overhead for EQ and other challenges)... and I'm not using the onboard DACs, so that certainly had no bearing on my decision.

Totally agree that many companies could do better with just a bit of concern for making a quality product. Still plenty of shamefull sloppiness in their engineering QC to be found these days.
I understand, and that’s not my intention. I really want my next pre-pro to be stellar, and last me as long as the one I have now. Although I think this is a lot of money, if I spread it out over 10 years it doesn’t look that bad.

Sound quality wise my 9 year old prepro sounds as good the transparently measuring preamp that I just bought and hooked up the other day.

I bought an inexpensive but stellar measuring to channel preamp, and when I switched them back-and-forth via an XLR switcher… There’s no difference.

I love the look of the Trinnov, and I’ll definitely be watching what happens next with them.

Thanks for the discussion it was enlightening.
I didn't mean the comment in a negative way... I just meant that it was honestly hard to wrap my head own around the cost vs benefits (hence my earlier comment about it not really justifying is cost) and so I wasn't trying to convince you (or anyone else) it was worth the steep price of entry either. And if you have doubts, it will be easy to decide it's not worth it for you... And you will probably be right!
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
There's lots of information on this forum about the challenges of getting top-tier SINAD in a processor (overhead for EQ and other challenges)... and I'm not using the onboard DACs, so that certainly had no bearing on my decision.

Totally agree that many companies could do better with just a bit of concern for making a quality product. Still plenty of shamefull sloppiness in their engineering QC to be found these days.

I didn't mean the comment in a negative way... I just meant that it was honestly hard to wrap my head own around the cost vs benefits (hence my earlier comment about it not really justifying is cost) and so I wasn't trying to convince you (or anyone else) it was worth the steep price of entry either. And if you have doubts, it will be easy to decide it's not worth it for you... And you will probably be right!

Not a problem my friend you’re good! It’s my fault for not reading this whole thread LOL.

Did you purchase this Trinnov?
 

Bugal1998

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
293
Likes
397
Not a problem my friend you’re good! It’s my fault for not reading this whole thread LOL.

Did you purchase this Trinnov?
Essentially, yes. I have the JBL-SDP 75, which is a rebranded Trinnov Altitude 32 that includes model specific EQ for select JBL and Harman speakers.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
The inexpensive two channel pre-amp I bought was the Freya + and I’m pretty wowed by this sub $1000 preamp. For 2-channel anyway, this little thing will embarrass a lot of products. no display though, I can’t tell where the volume is at any given time and I don’t like it. I’m running some high powered monoblocks and I can just see my speaker cones laying on the floor. I just put a passive volume control between the preamp and the amps, that’s what I was doing at 4 AM this morning haha.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
Essentially, yes. I have the JBL-SDP 75, which is a rebranded Trinnov Altitude 32 that includes model specific EQ for select JBL and Harman speakers.

That sounds like a great set up! I have a pair of JBL studio monitors from the 80s, and I still have my set of Revel F52s that I bought on a closeout when the 208 and the 308‘s came out. I haven’t used them in a while but they do sound very good.
 

FeddyLost

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
711
Likes
506
what’s it going to cost to get a Topping D90 type SINAD ranking?
I don't know for sure (as personally I don't care about sinad itself), but i think, something like + 8*D90 at least. Because you need to synchronize these channels and isolate DA stage from noise, generated by DSP stage.
I'd say conservatively, 25K would be ok for such level of performance.
In fact, it shall be 3 units in one:
Altitude digital part
Top-notch 16 channel DA
High-performance clock with distribution
All with separated PS and most probably with galvanic isolation.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
I don't know for sure (as personally I don't care about sinad itself), but i think, something like + 8*D90 at least. Because you need to synchronize these channels and isolate DA stage from noise, generated by DSP stage.
I'd say conservatively, 25K would be ok for such level of performance.
In fact, it shall be 3 units in one:
Altitude digital part
Top-notch 16 channel DA
High-performance clock with distribution
All with separated PS and most probably with galvanic isolation.

While I appreciate the stellar measurements, just like with the Topping D 90 DAC it’s going past our threshold of hearing. As I posted above, I think it comes down to looks, functionality, connectivity, and right now there’s about to be a revolution in room correction. In my opinion they’ve been on the cusp of better room correction for a long time in home theater, but they were just never quite there. That’s what needs to be improved if i’m going to plunk down that kind of cash.

That’s not to say that the room correction that’s out there isn’t good, but if we are talking $17-$25,000 for a pre-pro it needs to be top notch and the complete package. I think we’re close.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
Thanks for the conversation guys, I will be keeping my eye on this company for sure.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,538
Likes
3,129
Back in 2013 when I bought my Marantz AV8801 Marantz actually posted specs, and reviewers followed up on that. Sadly now a lot of these companies are resting on their past achievements. But how good can we hear? It’s getting to that point, we’re going past the threshold of hearing, so with that in mind it’s got to be functionality, looks, and connectivity.

You said Marantz actually posted specs twice now and that got me really curious. I also purchased mine in 2013 and I have read just about everything I could find on the internet and I still have no idea what are those "posted specs" that aren't posted for other AV preamp processor such as the 8802 and 8805. Are you talking about something like Marantz own lab measurements?

From what I gathered, the AV8801, and by extension, the AV7701 as well, seems to be the worse 11.1 Marantz AVP in terms of bench test measurements based on those done by hometheaterhifi.com, and ASR's so I would be interested to know if there are other specs and measurements that I have not seen.
 

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,538
Likes
3,129
That’s not to say that the room correction that’s out there isn’t good, but if we are talking $17-$25,000 for a pre-pro it needs to be top notch and the complete package. I think we’re close.

Keep in mind the Topping D90 now costs more than $500 and you only get two channels. The Trinnov is no doubt much more expensive but the gap is probably a lot less than it appears when you consider one is a 2 channel DAC and the other is a full blown 16 channel AVP with the most expensive REQ.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
You said Marantz actually posted specs twice now and that got me really curious. I also purchased mine in 2013 and I have read just about everything I could find on the internet and I still have no idea what are those "posted specs" that aren't posted for other AV preamp processor such as the 8802 and 8805. Are you talking about something like Marantz own lab measurements?

From what I gathered, the AV8801, and by extension, the AV7701 as well, seems to be the worse 11.1 Marantz AVP in terms of bench test measurements based on those done by hometheaterhifi.com, and ASR's so I would be interested to know if there are other specs and measurements that I have not seen.

According to ASR, there’s about 99 worse ones so take your pic lol. I agree that no pre or AVR measures like a top-tier DAC, I just did an A/B test that’s proves to me anyway, that I cannot hear the difference between the DAC’s in my AV8801, and my Topping D90 DAC. Not blindfolded but I didn’t have to be, I had it on an XLR switcher, level matched I could barely even tell I turned switch.

Dig a little deeper because Marantz posted more specs than they do now. There are some independent measurements on the AV8801 also. Sadly other than subjective reviews, I don’t see any (or barely any) measurements of AVR’s or AVP’s except here on ASR do you?

I also have the absolutely transparent measuring Freya preamp… I also compared that running through the Marantz’s processing, and just running the Freya XLR to my monoblocks. Absolutely no difference, zero, nada, zilch.

If you live in the neighborhood I’ll invite you over and let me know if you can tell the difference. Anyway I’m not defending my Marantz product, but if Amir‘s stellar measuring Freya preamp doesn’t sound any different… which one does, which one sounds better?

My whole point is we have reached the threshold of hearing, and we’ve been there for 10 years.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

peng

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
3,538
Likes
3,129
According to ASR, there’s about 99 worse ones so take your pic lol. I agree that no pre or AVR measures like a top-tier DAC, I just did an A/B test that’s proves to me anyway, that I cannot hear the difference between the DAC’s in my AV8801, and my Topping D90 DAC. Not blindfolded but I didn’t have to be, I had it on an XLR switcher, level matched I could barely even tell I turned switch.

I am with you on this one. As I said in multiple posts, just did to your other post in another thread too, that I couldn't hear a difference (though sometimes I thought I did) between my DACs in terms of sound quality either. Yes the AV8801 is noisier, that's the only thing audible but only when I wanted to hear it.:)

Dig a little deeper because Marantz posted more specs than they do now. There are some independent measurements on the AV8801 also. Sadly other than subjective reviews, I don’t see any (or barely any) measurements of AVR’s or AVP’s except here on ASR do you?

I have also read the review/measurements of the AV8801 by hometheaterhifi and soundandvision:


The one by S&V weren't that useful but the HTHF one is quite comparable to Amir's in terms of details.

I still don't know what specs Marantz posted that I would have missed, I have the owner's manual and the product sheet, as well as the service manual.

By the way, hometheaterhifi called them out on their marketing info about the HDAM blocks in that review (note Marantz's response with an explanation):

Here’s the last question that Dr. Rich posed regarding the HDAM circuits in the AV8801.

“The marketing material for the AV8801 states that HDAM technology is used in the line driver and that the HDAM is made from discrete blocks and no opamps. Based on my analysis, the actual circuitry has no HDAM blocks and uses two opamps which ultimately define the performance of the circuit. ”

Dr. Rich also highlighted the LSI chip used for volume control (that is what the pre outs are based on) was the same one used for an entry level Yamaha AVR:


A key takeaway: circuit quality in the direct mode (stereo or 7.1) is almost always invariant to AVR prices in the range of $400 to $2,000. As examples, the $250 Yamaha RX-V367 and Marantz AV8801 ($3000) use the same Renesas LSI chip (R2A15220FP). With the LSI analog chip in these products, the sound of the direct mode is relatively constant, although a more robust power supplies, addition a quality output buffer and enhanced DC blocking capacitor quality can make small differences.

I also have the absolutely transparent measuring Freya preamp… I also compared that running through the Marantz’s processing, and just running the Freya XLR to my monoblocks. Absolutely no difference, zero, nada, zilch.

If you live in the neighborhood I’ll invite you over and let me know if you can tell the difference. Anyway I’m not defending my Marantz product, but if Amir‘s stellar measuring Freya preamp doesn’t sound any different… which one does, which one sounds better?

My whole point is we have reached the threshold of hearing, and we’ve been there for 10 years.

You don't have to convince me on that either. I didn't replace my AV8801 for "sound quality", but for Atmos and the ability to use the Editor App. That's why I kept the 8801 for use and play with in my 2 channel setups and only gave it away when I needed room for my other toys.:)
 
D

Deleted member 43441

Guest
I am with you on this one. As I said in multiple posts, just did to your other post in another thread too, that I couldn't hear a difference (though sometimes I thought I did) between my DACs in terms of sound quality either. Yes the AV8801 is noisier, that's the only thing audible but only when I wanted to hear it.:)



I have also read the review/measurements of the AV8801 by hometheaterhifi and soundandvision:


The one by S&V weren't that useful but the HTHF one is quite comparable to Amir's in terms of details.

I still don't know what specs Marantz posted that I would miss, I have the owner's manual and the product sheet, as well as the service manual.
By the way, hometheaterhifi called them out by the following findings (note Marantz's response with an explanation):



Dr. Rich also highlighted the LSI chip used for volume control (that is what the pre outs are based on) was the same one used for an entry level Yamaha AVR:






You don't have to convince me on that either. I didn't replace my AV8801 for "sound quality", but for Atmos and the ability to use the Editor App. That's why I kept the 8801 for use and play with in my 2 channel setups and only gave it away when I needed room for my other toys.:)

I think most of the measure pretty similarly, even now the specs on the new ones for any price don’t seem to be much better.

I’m going to wait a little while longer, I’m not going to do Atmos yet. I’ve got the last Panasonic plasma 1080 P TV made, or the last of the line and I’m hanging onto it lol.

Interesting discussion thanks again.
 

Matthew J Poes

Active Member
Technical Expert
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
151
Likes
499
I appreciate your input, and I know this is a bit of a dated review.

My question is… What is this actually bringing to the table? It is very attractive looking, and looks pretty functional, but as I stated in my post above I have a $400 DAC that performs better.

I also have a nine-year-old AVR that I think I could control the space station with lol. From a practicality standpoint, I think we could spend 1/4 of those cost and have a better performing and equally as functional AVP.

I do like the unit, it’s styling, and its performance… Just not for 17K
The Trinnov has way more control capability for a complex hometheater than any receiver on the market. There are use cases that this is required. Your system may not be one of them. That is what this brings to the table. The measured performance of this product show it to have inaudible distortions/noises, so these advanced control capabilities are far more important to the end theater sound quality.
 

Matthew J Poes

Active Member
Technical Expert
Reviewer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
151
Likes
499
Thank you for the review, and it’s nice to see something that tests reasonably well. Although for $17,000 I expected a lot more than a laying down panther.

My question is… If $17,000 still brings us mediocre DAC performance, at least on the SINAD scale… what’s it going to cost to get a Topping D90 type SINAD ranking?

When I say mediocre, although this may be at the top of the AVR and AVP SINAD, I have a $400 DAC that trounces it.

I’m not belittling it in anyway, I think it is a very attractive and very decent performing unit, just at this price point I expected a lot more. I guess I’ll be hanging onto my nine-year-old AVR for a little while longer.

Again thank you for the informative review.

What I've been told numerous times by the software engineers involved in coding the control software for these (and various other brands) is that the "mediocre" performance is largely coming from a balancing act they are playing. I am curious to test the SPDIF output of the Trinnov that was just activated with a SOTA DAC to see what happens. If it does what I think it will (no improvement in the measurement over factory DAC) it will show that the bottleneck is in fact in the software side of things.

The balancing act was described as a need to ensure that the DAC is operating in its most linear range over the widest range of input/output levels. Since this is a preamp/processor with DAC, it needs to perform its best when turned way down or all the way up. They have also indicated that simply including a lot of "things" in a package often negatively impacts its measured performance. Adding bluetooth, wifi, lots of computing, etc. etc. has a negative impact on performance. At least that is the claim. Is it true? I have no idea, I think we keep seeing more and more complex products that measure really well, just no surround processors.

Products are getting better every year, but no multichannel processor has yet measured the equal of a SOTA dac. The companies that design and manufacture these are aware of sites like this and have insisted such measured performance is not possible. Having said that, there certainly is a SINAD value that equals inaudible noise and distortion and 100 is about it. I would not call that mediocre. That is like calling a 3.5 second 0-60 time mediocre.
 
Top Bottom