Dan, thanks for providing the through evaluation and great work getting the TEQ going. You've done an outstanding job of grasping many of the TEQ's features. Also thanks to Richard, Albert at ADA who have worked hard to bring the TEQ to market.
I'm going to sidebar here, and address some of the more general thoughts and questions here :
Many of you have asked about the TEQ connection to Trinnov's pro line. They are essentially the same, with ADA adding some interfacing enhancements specific to HT. The TEQ shares the same hardware and software that is now installed professional installations under both the Trinnov and Doremi brands, including over 400 commercial digital theaters conforming to Hollywood's DCI spec. (Doremi is the world's largest cinema server co). The software runs under Linux, with full 64bit processing of all audio. The calibration, computation and runtime modules all reside in one box, with no external laptops required, all calibrating and subsequent tuning is always ready to go. Also available is the VNC access via the local network (iPad, Mac, PC) or Internet with the benefit of being able to have virtual collaboration on installs. Remote connecting has allowed us to bypass the common limitations of needing to have the on site expert to get things done. Since inception, remote access has accelerated the development and enhancement of our system by sharing acoustic data and experiences with hundreds of our professional users, who in turn have benefited from software update opportunities.
On the hardware side, we are using a proprietary design with the focus on scalability, modular I/O, low jitter, converter performance. Someone asked, re converter chips > Burr Brown. For those of you looking for more insight into performance, there is a December review at 6moons.com of the Trinnov ST2-hifi, which shares software and hardware in common with the TEQ. We're looking for more very positive feedback as time passes.
As you may have gathered by my comments above, some of the best work with the Trinnov has been collaborative. On the one hand, calibration, measurement, and subsequent tuning can be objective, while listening preferences are not. Our goal with the TEQ is ultimate customer satisfaction, and we find the best way to achieve that is by listening to both the integrator and customer, helping to define the most efficient way to move forward, and then providing assistance where necessary. Usually it starts with listener preferences, room design, spatial considerations, hardware integration. It gets real interesting as the channel count goes up (I've got a pending project with 31 channels- 11 bi-amped, plus 9 subs.) Before the TEQ was shipped, Dan and I VNC'd to a system so he could visualize the possibilities, and give some thought to system optimization. I was able to get some data on his speakers, configuration, etc so that I could point to TEQ tools we could use and think through some of the variables. Roger's comment about another system having preset data on speaker configs- here we do it based on what you have, and the more we know, the better we'll be able to optimize performance for the speaker/room combination. Consider this telling the computation algorithm where to look, what to focus on. When TEQ showed up at Dan's, we both had a good idea how it would play in the mix.
Next, we identified some initial mic/cal locations to see what is going on in the room, along with an initial target curve to get the listening process going. Based on what we see and hear, this is an iterative process of sorts. Sometimes, the information we gather suggests changes in the variables on the TEQ, other times, it may suggest if elements in the room are free standing, moving things around- for speaker alignment or room mode tuning. Also, listening begins. This can take time and can change as the listener becomes accustomed to the new room. Example- you know that killer bass thump you had in action movies- now you find out it was a hot room mode, and now that's gone, so the question becomes do you still want more bass?! Or another one: smoothness in the mid-highs is making things more intelligible- so can you now go for more tilt toward the SMPTE curve? Quick, real time listening changes can be done with 1/3 octave or FIR trim EQs on the output channels. Then there is remapping to correct speaker placement errors or projecting the spatial image into the space to better match listener likes.
The point- We know changes take a bit of time to adjust to- me, I like several movies over a week or so to dial in a system. Maybe make a few presets with gradual choices, what one likes and what is known to work. See what happens over time. The emphasis I'm making is that we because we can collaborate easily, the process is given more time to evolve to where you want to be long term. No need to get it done one shot, which is usually the process with most installs. We got the cals done. Initial tuning done. More listening done. Some changes. More will come, we'll see. Usually this settles, and you then don't find yourself wanting to change anything. Dan's on his way.
I'm glad to see the strong interest in automated EQ systems for HT and to participate in this comparison. Everyone is going to come away with a bit more knowledge about automated EQ, the system evaluation, and the level of Dan's commitment and knowledge when it comes to HT.
Ok, I've got to run. I'm doing some tuning work today in Newport Beach, California and in Greenwich, Connecticut. Long commute!
3D Audio Consultant