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Trinnov Altitude 16 Review (AV Processor)

Lsc

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Well, Maybe the AVM 90 will be better than my AVM70. I bought the 70 because my dealer assured me that it would be "Roon Ready" after just a while. It never certified. for that. I would be surprised if the 90 ever will be either. If you have an outboard Roon target you could get what you're looking for if the pre-amp can pass an un processed analogue signal. Also I have been thouroughly unimpressed with Antherm processors after having owned 2. The 70 was buggy and more than once required rebooting or factory reset to get it to behave.
Dang I had high hopes for Anthem and AVM90. I was planning on replacing my Emotiva XMC2 who never got DLBC.
 
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I REALLY didn't want to/don't want to get into the REW/MSO/off-board DSP rabbit hole. Honestly, I don't have the time to want to do any of that again.
I may just stick with the single sub and let the mains help with the null the way Antoine tweaked my results.
In my experience, using REW to measure each of the three subs attached to my Altitude 16 at three positions takes less than an hour from collecting the laptop, USB sound card and cables to the point MSO is performing optimizations. A Raspberry PI running minidsp-rs is used to remotely load correction filters via the network. Consequent Trinnov corrections are minimal:

1649076676768.png
 

Mars2k

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Be sure to read the contributions from Mitch (@mitchco ) and wade through the pix and commentary on the settings in that thread. Mitch's book is also a good read to gain some background on what and why of all the processing.

There is also a very active thread on AVS (though I have not been there in quite a while).
Does Mitches book have a name?
Dang I had high hopes for Anthem and AVM90. I was planning on replacing my Emotiva XMC2 who never got DLBC.
I never expect an AV processor to do anything well other than function as a pre-amp/switching hub to analogue sources and occasionally decode surround formats for movies, and more and more surround audio only. That means I’m not looking for great DAC performance in an AV proc. I need it to pass a pure analogue signal relatively quietly and not do any digital processing for analogue. I have often resorted to using a good analogue pre-amp as a primary system with the surround processors as just one of the input sources passing through the pre-amp.

Also I never buy a product just because of the hyper analytic opinions offered on this site. The numbers offered here are a great starting place to point me a certain direction but what sounds good to my ear is what I am after with functionality and build integrity come in after. Lots of things getting raves on this site have proven to be less than wonderful when tried out in my system at home. The reverse is true as well…almost every AV processor here gets panned because it fails to match the numbers found in some bargain 2 channel DAC found elsewhere. As mentiond above the primary purpose of an AV processor is media hub.

I have a fully modded Modwright Oppo UDP 205 which has 7.1 analogue out so….I needed multichannel analogue in on the pre-amp. Marantz AV8805A has that and is relatively quiet. Anthem does not offer that. It’s weird the ins and outs what a unit can and cannot do really shape your experience. For instance Anthem procs do not support any streaming services and only Roon capable via Apple Airplay (sucky) and Chromecast.. the best way to get streaming is adding Apple TV which will support Tidal Atmos among other things. I’d like to see an Apple TV review here if possible because to my ear that’s a great hi quality sources for that. So much so that I never used the 8805A for streaming multichannel music which Roon cannot do so you have to default to Apple TV.

Holy cow I'm wandering here. I could go on and on about this but it gets very “Perils of Pauline”. Its like navigating a minefield of gotcha’s. Maybe I should write a book "whiny musings of a Non Engineer"
 

Buckeye Amps

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In my experience, using REW to measure each of the three subs attached to my Altitude 16 at three positions takes less than an hour from collecting the laptop, USB sound card and cables to the point MSO is performing optimizations. A Raspberry PI running minidsp-rs is used to remotely load correction filters via the network. Consequent Trinnov corrections are minimal:
So a quick guide: I would still have each sub connected to it's own channel, then before running the Optimizer I would use the Active Crossover page and then on Sub1 set an x-way crossover. Example, if using three subs I would use a 3-way crossover on Sub1 then input the delays and trims of each sub (having previously measured them together using REW) under the appropriate crossover. Then re-run Optimizer which will now measure all three subs together using the correct delays/trims and EQ them as a combined response?
 

DonH56

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So a quick guide...?
Configure Alt 16 to use a single bass channel, attached to Minidsp input ch 1. USB sound card out ch 1 to Minidsp input ch 2, sound card out ch 2 looped back to sound card in ch 2 (timing reference), sound card in ch 1 to mic. Via the Minidsp plugin, sequentially enable each Minidsp subwoofer output and record an 80 dBA, 5-200Hz sweep @ using REW at each microphone position (i.e., 9 measurements for 3 subs). Use MSO import wizard to assign each REW measurement to a subwoofer channel and measurement position, configure and run the optimizer. Export resultant MSO correction filters in Minidsp format as disk files (i.e. 3 files for 3 subs), then import the correction biquad filters via the Minidsp plugin for each sub channel. Finally, perform Trinnov speaker calibration using the wizard.
 
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Kegger

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Well, Maybe the AVM 90 will be better than my AVM70. I bought the 70 because my dealer assured me that it would be "Roon Ready" after just a while. It never certified. for that. I would be surprised if the 90 ever will be either. If you have an outboard Roon target you could get what you're looking for if the pre-amp can pass an un processed analogue signal. Also I have been thouroughly unimpressed with Antherm processors after having owned 2. The 70 was buggy and more than once required rebooting or factory reset to get it to behave.
I started reading all the ongoing customer reviews and feedback about the 70, and that was enough to scare me away. I hope the 90 does a lot better job and isn’t as buggy as the 70.
 

Golfx

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I started reading all the ongoing customer reviews and feedback about the 70, and that was enough to scare me away. I hope the 90 does a lot better job and isn’t as buggy as the 70.
Me too! And I really was going to buy the 90 but it just repeatedly never made it to the market. When i commented on the owners’ website about the buggy roll out, two of the loyalists actually blamed lack of understanding on the part of the new owners trying to set it up. Really, if so I wonder why Anthem can not write and publish more comprehensive user manuals? Denon and Marantz user manuals are usually over 350 pages while Anthem’s never break 100. Why leave tips and potential setup problems out of a user’s hands? For the industry‘s sake, I want the 90 to be a success.
 

Buckeye Amps

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Configure Alt 16 to use a single bass channel, attached to Minidsp input ch 1. USB sound card out ch 1 to Minidsp input ch 2, sound card out ch 2 looped back to sound card in ch 2 (timing reference), sound card in ch 1 to mic. Via the Minidsp plugin, sequentially enable each Minidsp subwoofer output and record an 80 dBA, 5-200Hz sweep @ using REW at each microphone position (i.e., 9 measurements for 3 subs). Use MSO import wizard to assign each REW measurement to a subwoofer channel and measurement position, configure and run the optimizer. Export resultant MSO correction filters in Minidsp format as disk files (i.e. 3 files for 3 subs), then import the correction biquad filters via the Minidsp plugin for each sub channel. Finally, perform Trinnov speaker calibration using the wizard.
Thanks.
For now, I am only going to do the quick and dirty approach outlined by Berland on AVS (using the delay and trims of each individual subwoofer as a single speaker with multiple woofer outputs in the Active Xover page). I just don't have the desire to get my hands too much into REW or getting the equipment for it.
 

Mars2k

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So a quick guide: I would still have each sub connected to it's own channel, then before running the Optimizer I would use the Active Crossover page and then on Sub1 set an x-way crossover. Example, if using three subs I would use a 3-way crossover on Sub1 then input the delays and trims of each sub (having previously measured them together using REW) under the appropriate crossover. Then re-run Optimizer which will now measure all three subs together using the correct delays/trims and EQ them as a combined response?
Thanks so much for the mentorship. I am not a systems calibrator or engineer however my career is in technology. I can speak technical but the science around this is not in my wheelhouse. I've been looking over the graphs and researching the whys and wherefores but still early on the learning curve.
 

Mars2k

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Dang I had high hopes for Anthem and AVM90. I was planning on replacing my Emotiva XMC2 who never got DLBC.
Don't get me started on Anthem. :mad: I have sort of come to the point that buying the lowest price/performance AV proc and moving as much offboard as possible works best for me. One of the best combos I've experienced recently was a Marantz AV7705 proc with a Lumen D2 for 2 channel streaming. Also I have found an AppleTV device to be a great way to get Tidal Atmos if you want multi channel audio.
 

hwest

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BTW I mispoke in that prious post. I didn't do my math correctly. I will be using 2 x E30s iinstead of 1.
Well yes you may be missing something. We were talking about Trinnov Altitude-16's new +4 feature. Trinnov has an intersing method of adding additional channel outputs. I couldn't tell if you have a Trinnov now or are thinking of buying one. The Trinnov Altitude 16 has 16 balanced out to begin with. So they certainly would have your 7.1 covered, However, with a new software upgrade they have added 4 more speaker channel outputs or what they call +4. Using the Altitude's digital outputs, ,coax SPDIF and optical Toslink, you can feed 2 simple external stereo DACS for 4 extra channels or 16 + 4 = 20 speaker channel outputs. Hence "+4". Thats where the Topping E30s comes in. You could use almost any external DAC so if those DACs had balanced out that would work too. Amazon has several in the $25 range. I'm using my +4 with 2 x E30s (stereo RCA unbalanced)) to drive 4 subwoofers that are not equipped with balanced inputs so I'm not too worried about distortion from unbalanced v balanced. I'm using balanced on the other 16 channels. Basically 16 main and surround speakers using 16 balanced outputs of the Altitude 16 along with 4 powered subwoofers utilizing Altitude's +4 feature using 2 x E30s ( 1 each on coax and optical)
You can drive 20 speakers total in any combination. All of these channels are assignable and can be configured in a variety of ways, position, EQ etc. The Altitude is smart enough to adapt whatever speaker topology (within reason) you have configured, say Atmos, or DTS, or Auro 3D and correct that on the fly to play any of the other formats you want. So lets say I have Atmos as a physical speaker set up. Altitude can recognize a DTS playback format and correct for the Atmos physical configuration to simulate the DTS or Auro.
Due to pricing and the specific features I'm looking for like HDMI 2.1 and the ESS Pro 9028 DAC I'm leaning towards the new JBL Synthesis SDP 58
 

Sam Ash

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Anyone with any experience with the new StormAudio ISP Elite MK3? - Not sure if it is already released into the market.

Has anyone been able to compare or has had the privilege of using both the Trinnov Altitude 16/32 and the Acurus Muse 16 or ACT4?
 

apgood

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Anyone with any experience with the new StormAudio ISP Elite MK3? - Not sure if it is already released into the market.

Has anyone been able to compare or has had the privilege of using both the Trinnov Altitude 16/32 and the Acurus Muse 16 or ACT4?
The StormAudio ISP Elite Mk3 is basically the same as the Mk2. Only differences are:
1. Appearance of faceplate
2. New colour display that can display some extra things like channel utilisation.
3. An Optical Zone 2 Stereo Downmix output instead of the analogue one on Mk1 & Mk2.

Therefore if you have heard the Mk2 then the experience should be very much the same other than some extra information on the graphical display.
 

Sam Ash

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The StormAudio ISP Elite Mk3 is basically the same as the Mk2. Only differences are:
1. Appearance of faceplate
2. New colour display that can display some extra things like channel utilisation.
3. An Optical Zone 2 Stereo Downmix output instead of the analogue one on Mk1 & Mk2.

Therefore if you have heard the Mk2 then the experience should be very much the same other than some extra information on the graphical display.

Thanks for that useful input, have you had the opportunity to test / demo the various higher end processors including the Muse/ACT4?
 

apgood

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Thanks for that useful input, have you had the opportunity to test / demo the various higher end processors including the Muse/ACT4?
Just the Trinnov a few time and I own the StormAudio. The others never interested me as for my use they never added anything that something like a Denon could provide.
 

Sam Ash

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Just the Trinnov a few time and I own the StormAudio. The others never interested me as for my use they never added anything that something like a Denon could provide.

Any personal views in terms of the difference between Trinnov and Storm?

I'm told the Muse and ACT4 are very good too.

Obviously Trinnov is the benchmark processor, love their interface and level of control.
 

apgood

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Any personal views in terms of the difference between Trinnov and Storm?

I'm told the Muse and ACT4 are very good too.

Obviously Trinnov is the benchmark processor, love their interface and level of control.
They are both great. I really comes down to your personal use case / important to you and which you can get a better deal for. Also they both keep adding features about every 6 months, so in as time goes on the comparison will change. Some of the differences apart from Trinnov doing the codec decoding in software while StormAudio does it in a chip like most other Processors are:

  • Both provide ongoing feature updates. Due to Trinnov's software architecture need for a hardware change less likely other than HDMI boards. I'd give it the edge here. Since software updates for both have traditionally been free for both even when adding new features you are less likely to have to spend any money to get a new feature as less likely to need hardware upgrade, should you want that feature.
  • Trinnov supports all the Atmos (24.x.10) & DTS:X (30.2) speaker locations vs StormAudio (13.x.10) & DTS:X (24 channels) - for my use case up to 24 channel decoding is enough so non-issue.
  • Trinnov allows 16 channels digital out AES/EBU vs StormAudio allows 32 channels digital out (if buy the AES/EDU digital out module) or 32 digital AoIP channels in/out (if you but the AoIP module) - probably non-issue for most but for me it was important as I have a QSC Core that does my active crossovers etc and is what my Power Amps are connected to. Also saves me running a lot of long balanced cables between the 2 as my QSC Core and Power Amp are in another room from to keep the noise & heat down.
  • Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction is probably the best there is if you know how to set it up properly vs StormAudio uses a good implementation of Dirac Live including DLBC (I say good as not all vendors have implemented it well in their products in the past).
  • Trinnov is designed to be a single room device vs StormAudio has a good multizone implementation where you can choose between 2 different sources across the different zones (if you want greater flexibility then a dedicated multi zone system or some thing like QSCQ-sys core still a better option). - This one is really use case dependent.
  • Trinnov needs to be restarted periodically (once a week or month is the recommendation I think) vs StromAudio can be left on all the time if you want. Remember a user in France saying his was constantly on for 6 months no issue. It only gets turned off / restarted when there is a firmware update. - This may be a factor if you was using it in a mulit zone use case. For single room use can't see turning off and on being a big issue.
  • Setup / Configuration screens: Trinnov has made big improvements with it's setup wizard in learning curve but still much easier to mess things up compared to StormAudio that is highly regarded for having a very logical and easy to use interface. - Can be a factor if doing it yourself, not and issue if you pay someone else that knows what they are doing. Having said that over time I've seen some comments by experienced calibrators that they have come across few non-optimally setup Trinnov's by Installers that didn't have the depth of knowledge to get what you are paying for with a Trinnov. I'm sure that same could be said for someone messing up a Dirac Live based install, but likely easier to find someone that is properly experienced with Dirac since it is more common and less complex.
  • Device Control (e.g. IR, IP, 3rd Party control systems): I don't have direct experience on this with Trinnov but I always see a bit of discussion about need to use Wake on LAN or triggers to turn on Trinnov and something about an issue with the IR sensor because it is behind glass or something. From a WAF factor this would cause me grief unless I had a well setup 3rd Party Control system vs StormAudio that has a very easy TCP/IP API (I managed to write my own controls for Q-SYS UCI using their API doco and I'm not a programmer) and also now that they have an IR remote also 3rd party control is not a must for StormAudio. Closer experience to what you have with other vendors I think.
  • HDMI function is same for both (solid with current gen boards), but HDMI matrix function software update is imminent for StormAudio, which could be a big thing for some same as the fact that StormAudio has a basic OSD.
    StormAudio shoudl be coming out with a new HDMI 2.1 board next month (announcement at ISE), not sure when Trinnov's is coming out. They both partner with Cypress for their HDMI boards so both shoudl be good implementations.
  • Trinnov has a speaker remapping feature that is great if you need it and use it within its use case. StormAudio has something similar coming but still a year away.
  • Trinnov 32 can process in 24bit 192kHz (24bit 48kHz if using the 48 channel extender), Trinnov 16 can process in 24bit 96kHz vs StormAudio that can accept input up to 24bit 192kHz but processes in 24bit 48kHz. Think they do calculations in floating point at 40bits or something like that which is supposed to negates issues related to rounding errors in processing calculations etc.. - for me not an issue either way as I mainly listen to movies not high res music and my Q-Sys Core is 24bit 48kHz too.
  • Both support Roon. Trinnov's implementation is better. Multichannel & up to 24bit 192kHz. StormAudio is stereo and 24bit 48kHz.
  • Trinnov object viewer is pretty cool. Let's you see what objects are active in an Atmos soundtrack. Problem is you miss half the movie as you are pretty busy watching the objects to make sure you are getting your money's worth for all those speakers you bought.
  • Other stuff I've forgotten because I'm tired :)
 

Sam Ash

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What a fantastic analysis and comparison.
They are both great. I really comes down to your personal use case / important to you and which you can get a better deal for. Also they both keep adding features about every 6 months, so in as time goes on the comparison will change. Some of the differences apart from Trinnov doing the codec decoding in software while StormAudio does it in a chip like most other Processors are:

  • Both provide ongoing feature updates. Due to Trinnov's software architecture need for a hardware change less likely other than HDMI boards. I'd give it the edge here. Since software updates for both have traditionally been free for both even when adding new features you are less likely to have to spend any money to get a new feature as less likely to need hardware upgrade, should you want that feature.
  • Trinnov supports all the Atmos (24.x.10) & DTS:X (30.2) speaker locations vs StormAudio (13.x.10) & DTS:X (24 channels) - for my use case up to 24 channel decoding is enough so non-issue.
  • Trinnov allows 16 channels digital out AES/EBU vs StormAudio allows 32 channels digital out (if buy the AES/EDU digital out module) or 32 digital AoIP channels in/out (if you but the AoIP module) - probably non-issue for most but for me it was important as I have a QSC Core that does my active crossovers etc and is what my Power Amps are connected to. Also saves me running a lot of long balanced cables between the 2 as my QSC Core and Power Amp are in another room from to keep the noise & heat down.
  • Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction is probably the best there is if you know how to set it up properly vs StormAudio uses a good implementation of Dirac Live including DLBC (I say good as not all vendors have implemented it well in their products in the past).
  • Trinnov is designed to be a single room device vs StormAudio has a good multizone implementation where you can choose between 2 different sources across the different zones (if you want greater flexibility then a dedicated multi zone system or some thing like QSCQ-sys core still a better option). - This one is really use case dependent.
  • Trinnov needs to be restarted periodically (once a week or month is the recommendation I think) vs StromAudio can be left on all the time if you want. Remember a user in France saying his was constantly on for 6 months no issue. It only gets turned off / restarted when there is a firmware update. - This may be a factor if you was using it in a mulit zone use case. For single room use can't see turning off and on being a big issue.
  • Setup / Configuration screens: Trinnov has made big improvements with it's setup wizard in learning curve but still much easier to mess things up compared to StormAudio that is highly regarded for having a very logical and easy to use interface. - Can be a factor if doing it yourself, not and issue if you pay someone else that knows what they are doing. Having said that over time I've seen some comments by experienced calibrators that they have come across few non-optimally setup Trinnov's by Installers that didn't have the depth of knowledge to get what you are paying for with a Trinnov. I'm sure that same could be said for someone messing up a Dirac Live based install, but likely easier to find someone that is properly experienced with Dirac since it is more common and less complex.
  • Device Control (e.g. IR, IP, 3rd Party control systems): I don't have direct experience on this with Trinnov but I always see a bit of discussion about need to use Wake on LAN or triggers to turn on Trinnov and something about an issue with the IR sensor because it is behind glass or something. From a WAF factor this would cause me grief unless I had a well setup 3rd Party Control system vs StormAudio that has a very easy TCP/IP API (I managed to write my own controls for Q-SYS UCI using their API doco and I'm not a programmer) and also now that they have an IR remote also 3rd party control is not a must for StormAudio. Closer experience to what you have with other vendors I think.
  • HDMI function is same for both (solid with current gen boards), but HDMI matrix function software update is imminent for StormAudio, which could be a big thing for some same as the fact that StormAudio has a basic OSD.
    StormAudio shoudl be coming out with a new HDMI 2.1 board next month (announcement at ISE), not sure when Trinnov's is coming out. They both partner with Cypress for their HDMI boards so both shoudl be good implementations.
  • Trinnov has a speaker remapping feature that is great if you need it and use it within its use case. StormAudio has something similar coming but still a year away.
  • Trinnov 32 can process in 24bit 192kHz (24bit 48kHz if using the 48 channel extender), Trinnov 16 can process in 24bit 96kHz vs StormAudio that can accept input up to 24bit 192kHz but processes in 24bit 48kHz. Think they do calculations in floating point at 40bits or something like that which is supposed to negates issues related to rounding errors in processing calculations etc.. - for me not an issue either way as I mainly listen to movies not high res music and my Q-Sys Core is 24bit 48kHz too.
  • Both support Roon. Trinnov's implementation is better. Multichannel & up to 24bit 192kHz. StormAudio is stereo and 24bit 48kHz.
  • Trinnov object viewer is pretty cool. Let's you see what objects are active in an Atmos soundtrack. Problem is you miss half the movie as you are pretty busy watching the objects to make sure you are getting your money's worth for all those speakers you bought.
  • Other stuff I've forgotten because I'm tired :)

Thank you very much indeed @apgood, a very useful and informative comparison. One of the things you mentioned about Trinnov that I appreciate is the fact that it is more software oriented which does help in terms of upgradeability. Apart from the Optimizer and remapping features, I suppose fidelity is a match.

What’s the difference between decoding and processing when it comes to channels?
 
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