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Trinnov Altitude 16 Review (AV Processor)

Fidji

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Feb 17, 2019
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4.2.16 software version for the Altitude 16.

Do the relocate features and pull down menus so one must re-learn how to operate the processor periodically:facepalm:?
I think super cool geeky 3D object viewer is a good trade-off ;-)
 

SamR

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1KHz sine With all those harmonic distortions for trinnov, £17k daylight robbery. The denon avc-x8500h only a little better and I can matrix additional channels for 25 channels out of the 13.

I had a Denon 8500H and the Altitude just destroys it. You honestly have not heard surround sound until you've heard it through a Trinnov.
 

zorax2

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I had a Denon 8500H and the Altitude just destroys it. You honestly have not heard surround sound until you've heard it through a Trinnov.

You got that right! The Altitude is leagues beyond what any of the Denon or Marantz products can sound like by comparison for multichannel sound.

While I was happy with my Denon and Marantz products when I had them (and I spent a LOT of time trying to optimize them), my recollection was that they sounded dull and lifeless compared to my first and earliest listening experiences with the Trinnov after running the Trinnov Optimizer with no tweaking. To me, it was a clear night and day difference that I didn't think my setup was capable of producing.
 

jhenderson0107

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I use a Trinnov Altitude 16 in my theater. I am satisfied with the unit and believe that it provides high quality, many useful features and some innovative, unique room calibration features. I had my theater professionally calibrated.

But phrases like "night and day difference" and "destroys the competition" are excessive hyperbole. A well mastered recording/movie, high quality, well-positioned speakers and reasonable room acoustics are far, far more influential than devices in the electronics chain. It's not uncommon for a room to induce 10-20 dB peaks and nulls; Speakers often exhibit 1% distortion and all sorts of dispersion irregularities. By contrast, modern electronics (preprocessors, dacs, amplifiers) are audibly transparent.

I like and recommend the Trinnov. I'd buy it again. But it isn't a magic bullet.
 

Unground

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I use a Trinnov Altitude 16 in my theater. I am satisfied with the unit and believe that it provides high quality, many useful features and some innovative, unique room calibration features. I had my theater professionally calibrated.

But phrases like "night and day difference" and "destroys the competition" are excessive hyperbole. A well mastered recording/movie, high quality, well-positioned speakers and reasonable room acoustics are far, far more influential than devices in the electronics chain. It's not uncommon for a room to induce 10-20 dB peaks and nulls; Speakers often exhibit 1% distortion and all sorts of dispersion irregularities. By contrast, modern electronics (preprocessors, dacs, amplifiers) are audibly transparent.

I like and recommend the Trinnov. I'd buy it again. But it isn't a magic bullet.
Yes all true, but isn't the point of the opinions expressed above that (it is claimed) the Trinnov corrects for the variances from a target for the room, speakers and speaker position better and easier than other devices?

If this is true, then surely it follows that the Trinnov could deliver a meaningful improvement vs other devices. This is not the same as a piece of electronics being audibly transparent (sorry if that is not what you meant, it is how I read it).

Whether or not Trinnov's correction makes a night and day difference to any individual I couldn't say. So far (I think) we have opinions rather than measurements, with all the confounding factor stuff that goes along with that. I am sufficiently convinced to consider a Trinnov as my next processor, but I would like to see some actual comparative measurements.
 

peng

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Whether or not Trinnov's correction makes a night and day difference to any individual I couldn't say. So far (I think) we have opinions rather than measurements, with all the confounding factor stuff that goes along with that. I am sufficiently convinced to consider a Trinnov as my next processor, but I would like to see some actual comparative measurements.

Exactly, we need to see apples to apples comparisons for the differences in frequency response, distortions, impulse response, phase response, decay, RTA etc., at least whatever the experts told us we should measure, in order to determine the effectiveness of each, in resolving the so called room issues. Without that, anyone can buy anything and claim sonic improvements, night and day difference or whatever they want to describe the differences.
 

zorax2

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I use a Trinnov Altitude 16 in my theater. I am satisfied with the unit and believe that it provides high quality, many useful features and some innovative, unique room calibration features. I had my theater professionally calibrated.

But phrases like "night and day difference" and "destroys the competition" are excessive hyperbole. A well mastered recording/movie, high quality, well-positioned speakers and reasonable room acoustics are far, far more influential than devices in the electronics chain. It's not uncommon for a room to induce 10-20 dB peaks and nulls; Speakers often exhibit 1% distortion and all sorts of dispersion irregularities. By contrast, modern electronics (preprocessors, dacs, amplifiers) are audibly transparent.

I like and recommend the Trinnov. I'd buy it again. But it isn't a magic bullet.

A number of years back, I participated in blind testing between a number of AVRs and pre-pros (Marantz 8802a, Marantz 7704, Denon 4300 and others). We had the opportunity to instantly A/B between any two devices at a time. In stereo direct mode with no processing, I could not hear any difference between any no matter how hard I tried. I was shocked at the time. I'm sure if I added the Trinnov to the mix without room correction, I wouldn't be able to hear the difference now either.

However, for me, everything changed with Audyssey vs. the Trinnov Optimizer. I had done everything I could possibly do with the Audyssey setup - fully treated room, used MSO, spent hours and hours with REW, used Denon app, etc. Yet when I used the Trinnov Optimizer without any tweaking, I had substantially (I'm trying here to not use more superlative adjectives) better stereo and ATMOS surround sound. The magnitude of improvement, again - to me, was very significant and noticeable with only the pre-pro having been changed within the system.

I had a full, professional calibration done recently. Unfortunately, I didn't save my original non-tweaked, optimizer only presets to compare to the professional calibration. Audio memory is tough with that one but I think the pro calibration squeezed a bit more cohesiveness but I don't recall it as being a significant improvement.

I'd love to do a blind A/B between a DIRAC based system and the Optimizer with an ATMOS setup with neither having been tweaked and using only the standard calibration performed. Now that would be fabulous.

All that being said, I can't imagine my room sounding better. I often have to check the input/output VU meters for each channel to confirm I'm listening to music in stereo vs. upmix to a multi-channel format. There is often, but not always, a three-dimensional effect with stereo music that I had never previously experienced in my room. The cohesion of the ATMOS sound bubble is substantially improved as well.

I wouldn't expect the Trinnov to be a miracle worker in an untreated room (though perhaps it is) but it made a very substantial difference in my well treated room.
 

jhenderson0107

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I used MSO to optimize my three subs then subsequently the Trinnov Optimizer to calibrate my room. The post-optimizer response curves provided in the Trinnov UI showed substantially improved frequency response flatness, impulse response etc. It sounded very good.

Even though I've been an engineer for 40 years, an audiophile for as many years and have built and measured many speakers and audio systems - I am not an experienced audio design professional. I wondered how much further improvement might be obtained via professional calibration. So I engaged a calibrator and following a two-day calibration session, my system did sound noticeably better. I've been critically listening to the system for several weeks now and do not believe it's just confirmation bias.

The calibrator took many measurements using SMAART and multiple microphones concurrently to amend the Trinnov post-optimizer responses. The Trinnov supports separate parametric, graphic and FIR filters for each speaker within each preset. Different presets were developed for different listening use cases. The filter adjustments were vetted using many reference tracks and movies with which the calibrator was intimately familiar. He incorporated EQ tweaks derived from measurements and critical listening based on extensive experience with many rooms and systems.

The Trinnov has a very novel 3D microphone, very substantial EQ configurability and a blizzard of programmable acoustic adjustments including unusual speaker remapping features. I believe that some of these capabilities are essential to extracting optimal system performance and experiencing the best immersion possible.

I suspect that a seasoned calibrator could achieve similar results with other modern, high-quality preprocessors so long as the system provided a means of trimming EQ and amplitude levels for each individual speaker based on independent measurements, listening tests and knowledge. While analog signal paths of most modern high-quality processors are transparent, the ancillary features like interactive network accessible UI with extensive EQ, phase alignment, level trims, 3D sound source localization, well implemented preset scheme and many other features provide justification for additional expense.

Based on my experience, the overall system acoustic performance provided by merely running the automatic Trinnov room EQ wizard is suboptimal. Perhaps it's better or worse than what's achievable by other systems such as Audyssey or Room Perfect out of the box. But I am convinced that my system performance, and perhaps other comparable systems are limited by lack of expertise in calibration, EQ and system configuration, not by a single metric like SINAD.
 
Last edited:

Adi777

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You recommend Trinnov Altitude 16 for person, who have LCR with JBL M2, and JBL 705P/708P - I think about these speakers for rear and back, for Atmos propably traditional in-ceiling Atmos speakers, also from JBL.
Propably 7.4.4 system.
 
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Madhuski

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You recommend Trinnov Altitude 16 for person, who have LCR with JBL M2, and JBL 705P/708P - I think about these speakers for rear and back, for Atmos propably traditional in-ceiling Atmos speakers, also from JBL.
Propably 7.4.4 system.

For a JBL M2 system, it may be worthwhile to look at the SDP-75 in addition to the Altitude
 

zorax2

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You recommend Trinnov Altitude 16 for person, who have LCR with JBL M2, and JBL 705P/708P - I think about these speakers for rear and back, for Atmos propably traditional in-ceiling Atmos speakers, also from JBL.
Propably 7.4.4 system.
With a full JBL setup, I think most people would recommend the JBL version of the processor to get the special calibration files for those speakers. I think you can do everything with the Trinnov as well - just more work.
 

Adi777

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For a JBL M2 system, it may be worthwhile to look at the SDP-75 in addition to the Altitude
Thanks, but why SDP-75, not SDP-55, if I have JBL M2? In 75 are some special profits?
PS What about amplifiers?
If I good understand, I need amplifiers only for JBL M2, yes? So, maybe 3 good amps in D class?
 

Unground

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I used MSO to optimize my three subs then subsequently the Trinnov Optimizer to calibrate my room. The post-optimizer response curves provided in the Trinnov UI showed substantially improved frequency response flatness, impulse response etc. It sounded very good.

Even though I've been an engineer for 40 years, an audiophile for as many years and have built and measured many speakers and audio systems - I am not an experienced audio design professional. I wondered how much further improvement might be obtained via professional calibration. So I engaged a calibrator and following a two-day calibration session, my system did sound noticeably better. I've been critically listening to the system for several weeks now and do not believe it's just confirmation bias.

The calibrator took many measurements using SMAART and multiple microphones concurrently to amend the Trinnov post-optimizer responses. The Trinnov supports separate parametric, graphic and FIR filters for each speaker within each preset. Different presets were developed for different listening use cases. The filter adjustments were vetted using many reference tracks and movies with which the calibrator was intimately familiar. He incorporated EQ tweaks derived from measurements and critical listening based on extensive experience with many rooms and systems.

The Trinnov has a very novel 3D microphone, very substantial EQ configurability and a blizzard of programmable acoustic adjustments including unusual speaker remapping features. I believe that some of these capabilities are essential to extracting optimal system performance and experiencing the best immersion possible.

I suspect that a seasoned calibrator could achieve similar results with other modern, high-quality preprocessors so long as the system provided a means of trimming EQ and amplitude levels for each individual speaker based on independent measurements, listening tests and knowledge. While analog signal paths of most modern high-quality processors are transparent, the ancillary features like interactive network accessible UI with extensive EQ, phase alignment, level trims, 3D sound source localization, well implemented preset scheme and many other features provide justification for additional expense.

Based on my experience, the overall system acoustic performance provided by merely running the automatic Trinnov room EQ wizard is suboptimal. Perhaps it's better or worse than what's achievable by other systems such as Audyssey or Room Perfect out of the box. But I am convinced that my system performance, and perhaps other comparable systems are limited by lack of expertise in calibration, EQ and system configuration, not by a single metric like SINAD.
I'll definitely be trying one when I gulp hard enough and upgrade my system. Should be pretty simple for a calibrator to show measurement differences from my current AVR.
 

Madhuski

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Thanks, but why SDP-75, not SDP-55, if I have JBL M2? In 75 are some special profits?
PS What about amplifiers?
If I good understand, I need amplifiers only for JBL M2, yes? So, maybe 3 good amps in D class?


the SDP-75 is based on the trinnov altitude platform (it’s a jbl badged and modified Altitude 32) where’s as the SDP-55 is based on the arcam av-40.
 

zorax2

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I can't imagine paying $17k for a pc-based audio component.
The only negative that I've experienced with the Trinnov being PC rather than hardware based is that it takes longer to lock onto an ATMOS signal coming from another signal type like stereo. It can be as much as a 5 to 9 second delay. For example, if listening to Apple Music, there is sometimes a gap where you don't hear the beginning of the song. It is bothersome at times. I never really notice it with movies as there is usually a trailer of some sort to start a movie.

I think Trinnov believes they can reduce the lock to signal time in the future but not eliminate it the delay given its system design.

I have no qualms about PC based. You can fully refresh to virtually new everything at 5 years with a new program Trinnov offers. No worries about new HDMI solutions as you can simply add it at any time. Need a new CODEC - no problem - they're usually first to integrate it. Well worth it to me. The modularity is a nice feature in my mind.

Additionally, no more upgrading, no more screwing around with calibrations, etc. Keep in mind, there are ways to buy an Altitude for less including picking up previously owned ones. Also, the Altitude 16 is capable of 20 channels now.
 

peng

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The back to back post#807 and 808 just show another case of how little subjective reviews mean, yet so many people continual to rely on such.. To be clear, subjective reviews are not useless, but imo choices of hardware and even RC software such as DL vs Aud vs Trinnov vs Anthem ARC should not rely on them too much if perceived "sound quality" is the criteria.
 

zorax2

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The back to back post#807 and 808 just show another case of how little subjective reviews mean, yet so many people continual to rely on such.. To be clear, subjective reviews are not useless, but imo choices of hardware and even RC software such as DL vs Aud vs Trinnov vs Anthem ARC should not rely on them too much if perceived "sound quality" is the criteria.

I get what you're saying but how does anyone measure the quality of a number of different methodologies (Audyssey, DIRAC, Trinnov Optimizer, etc)?

We have Amir's measurements here but I'm not aware of any other way to compare the Trinnov to other products. The cost of the Trinnov puts it out of reach for most people and I don't think there are many dealers to the public that have them on display for demonstration.

I was heavily influenced by reviews and user feedback about the Trinnov just as I was long ago with my Pioneer 49TXi, then Denon, then Marantz, etc. I don't recall hearing a lot of difference between those three but I had different rooms, speaker types, speaker locations, etc. This time moving from Denon to Trinnov everything was the same except the processor and I clearly found differences in terms of improved audio performance.

I don't recall having seen any negative reviews on Trinnov's sound quality though there are a number of improvement / fixes that people ask for and Trinnov appears to be trying to take care of. Overwhelmingly, people moving from any product to the Trinnov have stated the Trinnov has sounded better in their rooms than anything they've previously owned with no changes to their system other than adding the Trinnov. Yes, there is bias for all of us for new purchases but the consensus of improvement from slight to substantial audio performance increase seems incredibly high for such a product.

As a rhetorical question, how would you analyze the Trinnov vs. other processors or how would you recommend people go about it? I don't have any idea myself as multi-channel blind testing would be tough and perhaps implausible due to the great expense. Thank goodness speakers are relatively easy to measure by comparison.
 

peng

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I get what you're saying but how does anyone measure the quality of a number of different methodologies (Audyssey, DIRAC, Trinnov Optimizer, etc)?

We have Amir's measurements here but I'm not aware of any other way to compare the Trinnov to other products. The cost of the Trinnov puts it out of reach for most people and I don't think there are many dealers to the public that have them on display for demonstration.

I was heavily influenced by reviews and user feedback about the Trinnov just as I was long ago with my Pioneer 49TXi, then Denon, then Marantz, etc. I don't recall hearing a lot of difference between those three but I had different rooms, speaker types, speaker locations, etc. This time moving from Denon to Trinnov everything was the same except the processor and I clearly found differences in terms of improved audio performance.

I don't recall having seen any negative reviews on Trinnov's sound quality though there are a number of improvement / fixes that people ask for and Trinnov appears to be trying to take care of. Overwhelmingly, people moving from any product to the Trinnov have stated the Trinnov has sounded better in their rooms than anything they've previously owned with no changes to their system other than adding the Trinnov. Yes, there is bias for all of us for new purchases but the consensus of improvement from slight to substantial audio performance increase seems incredibly high for such a product.

As a rhetorical question, how would you analyze the Trinnov vs. other processors or how would you recommend people go about it? I don't have any idea myself as multi-channel blind testing would be tough and perhaps implausible due to the great expense. Thank goodness speakers are relatively easy to measure by comparison.

I agree with you, and to me I will rely on measurements only. If say, everything that software can measure, Trinnov's result best DL, then I would assume Trinnov would be my choice.
 

Dimifoot

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Measurements won’t help.

There’s only one way to compare room eq software/processors:
Group of trained listeners preference, in DBT. As @Sean Olive did, years ago, preferably with more participants.

A variation of rooms will be added value to the test (ie treated, not treated etc), a variation of speakers/ number of subs also. Let’s say 3 different rooms, 2-3 different speaker/subs layouts. Maybe 9 different scenarios.

Companies will be responsible for calibrating their product.

I don’t expect it to happen
 
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