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Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) > Trinnov Altitude
Wookii's Avatar Wookii 07:49 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast View Post
Is the Altitude expected to sound identical to the MC? I'd hope there'd be a sufficient sound upgrade commensurate with the price.
As I understand it Trinnov use the same DAC's across their entire range. I would anticipate that the implementation of those DAC's and their associated power supplies etc (all the things that might contribute to overall sound quality) would be the same also.

Whether these similarities have remained in the Altitude I don't know. I guess we have to assume that is the case until someone confirms otherwise.

I suspect what contributes to the higher price of the Altitude is all the other feature and functionality it brings to the party. As pricing has yet to be confirmed for the lower channel count models, the value of those extra features over the MC is a little hard to judge.

RUR's Avatar RUR 07:55 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
IME the very large impact of room correction and spatial remapping routines dwarfs the relatively small differences in AD/DA, etc., implementations. I'm NOT arguing that we shouldn't try to get both great room correction and great basic sound quality, (the ability to seamlessly chain a Dac VIII from a Theta is a very nice feature) just that the relative impacts are, IME, not consistent with purist audiophile conventional wisdom.
Couldn't agree more. SoTA, user configurable room correction is a revelation.
thebland's Avatar thebland 08:06 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post
FWIW, I use a Trinnov MC-8 in a 2ch dedicated music system to triamp the mains and handle subs. Before the Trinnov arrived, I was using a Berkeley Alpha DAC, which was/is excellent, but pretty quickly decided that there was nothing to choose between the Berkeley and the Trinnov DACs and so sold the Berkeley. The Trinnov DACs are excellent.


Jeff, you used the Trinnov MC in your room before you changed all the speakers and subs, no? Those confounding factors will make any comparison pretty difficult to do.
True. But I had a very nice system prior and we calibrated it completely with Trinnov room correction. The set up was not apples to apples as I ran an extra A/D and D/A - but that didn't seem a big deal as the A/D / D/As are very excellent in the MC / Altitude. I'll write more later. But I got a good feel for its impact - Particularly when switching it out and in and 3D map on and off. A better impression of both machines than most here.
Wookii's Avatar Wookii 08:09 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
IME the very large impact of room correction and spatial remapping routines dwarfs the relatively small differences in AD/DA, etc., implementations. I'm NOT arguing that we shouldn't try to get both great room correction and great basic sound quality, (the ability to seamlessly chain a Dac VIII from a Theta is a very nice feature) just that the relative impacts are, IME, not consistent with purist audiophile conventional wisdom.
I guess YMMV, and this will be largely room dependent, but from my own experience with EQ systems, whilst they do always add the final icing on the cake, they often don't provide the large step up in sound quality that people often ascribe to them. That said I have never had the pleasure of hearing the Trinnov or what its remapping can add.

For example on the Datasat RS20i, turning Dirac off and on, on the fly, does show that it tightens up the bass and creates a more seamless sound stage, but the difference is marginal, relatively speaking, particularly in a moderately treated room. I got a far bigger improvement in sound quality when I stepped up from my Anthem D2v to the Datasat, and that was the Anthem with ARC engaged versus the RS20i without any EQ.

Anyway, we digress, back to the Altitude - can anyone confirm if it can handle DSD?
Wookii's Avatar Wookii 08:10 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post
True. But I had a very nice system prior and we calibrated it completely with Trinnov room correction. The set up was not apples to apples as I ran an extra A/D and D/A - but that didn't seem a big deal as the A/D / D/As are very excellent in the MC / Altitude. I'll write more later. But I got a good feel for its impact - Particularly when switching it out and in and 3D map on and off. A better impression of both machines than most here.
. . . . so are you actually going to share that experience then Jeff?
RUR's Avatar RUR 08:22 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
Anyway, we digress, back to the Altitude - can anyone confirm if it can handle DSD?
No, the Altitude won't accept a DSD input. Remember, all the processing must be done in the PCM realm, so even if it did accept DSD, it would convert to PCM for any and all processing. What the Trinnov will do is accept whatever PCM sample rate the source provides after DSD/PCM conversion. The OPPO, for example converts to 24/88.2 and there may be others which provide, say, 24/176.4. In every case, Trinnov processes at the native input sample rate - 16/44 up to 24/192 - with no Sample Rate Conversion.
Carl_Huff's Avatar Carl_Huff 10:43 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post
... In every case, Trinnov processes at the native input sample rate - 16/44 up to 24/192 - with no Sample Rate Conversion.
Not to challenge you or 'nitpick' but I would be very, very surprised if the Trinnov does not sample rate convert internally to 24/96kHz. They have to do that or would end up supporting massive bodies of redundant code and that makes no sense. Furthermore there is no legitimate reason not sample rate convert as there is no loss in fidelity.
____________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff
BrolicBeast's Avatar BrolicBeast 11:27 AM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
As I understand it Trinnov use the same DAC's across their entire range. I would anticipate that the implementation of those DAC's and their associated power supplies etc (all the things that might contribute to overall sound quality) would be the same also.

Whether these similarities have remained in the Altitude I don't know. I guess we have to assume that is the case until someone confirms otherwise.

I suspect what contributes to the higher price of the Altitude is all the other feature and functionality it brings to the party. As pricing has yet to be confirmed for the lower channel count models, the value of those extra features over the MC is a little hard to judge.
That makes sense. When once thinks of an MC plus top-tier processor, it's easy to view the altitude as a heck of a deal. I know it sounds phenomenal. I can't wait!!
Curt_Trinnov's Avatar Curt_Trinnov 12:45 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post
Not to challenge you or 'nitpick' but I would be very, very surprised if the Trinnov does not sample rate convert internally to 24/96kHz. They have to do that or would end up supporting massive bodies of redundant code and that makes no sense. Furthermore there is no legitimate reason not sample rate convert as there is no loss in fidelity.
____________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff
I'll settle it for you Carl: Due to the benefit of the enhanced processing power of PC over DSP, there is no sample rate conversion taking place in any of the Trinnov products. I believe sample rate conversion, particularly ARSC - (asynchronous sample rate conversion) has a loss in fidelity, and this has been confirmed by clients in various installs with A/B comparisons. We are not alone in this conclusion. A quick look on the Internet regarding ARSC gave the following example quote from very highly regarded Grace Design regarding their philosophy:

"....While it is very easy (and economical) to provide “jitter free” sample clocks by routing the audio data through an ASRC (asynchronous sample rate converter), we believe that the convenience of these circuits does not outweigh the potential sonic degradation caused by additional signal processing. " http://www.gracedesign.com/about/design.html

My early experience comes from one of the most challenging areas of reproduction, minimalist direct to tracks recording. It's there where I learned the value of each element (or lack thereof) in the recording/reproducing chain, and this issue really comes to life. Here one relies on the purity of microphones, recorded direct to tracks, no mixing. The electronics in-between are relied on to convey subtle details in large orchestras to blues. It's in such recordings that every circuit detail matters and are clearly heard: nuances of the various microphone colorations, circuits, loudspeakers, rooms. One can hear the effects of a of changing a resistor or capacitor in the circuit. It's here that ARSC shows up like a form of jitter. It's also where I crossed paths with brilliant folks like Michael Grace of Grace Design.

Maybe someone wouldn't notice in their home theater, but I believe those of us participating in this group care about such nuances. We have lots of examples of Trinnov MC installs where we've removed various brands of processors (containing ARSCs) from the signal path with noticeable results.

Unlike typical HT installs, most Trinnov installations crossover as a dedicated Audiophile/Stereo listening environment. Tuning HT and Stereo rooms is no different for me then the critical tuning I perform with Trinnovs in mastering studios and the like. First step is always to insert the Trinnov with no loss in sonic resolution. Sometimes that means changing the converters or other particulars, but one can never really get past this first step if there is an ASRC inserted into the circuit, because, so far, we always hear it. Want to use your favorite DAC? Sure, one can do that (The Altitude has 16 AES channel outs, as well as Word Clock Out), but once you go through an ARSC, nothing is going to reverse that.

Bring on 3D audio at the highest level possible. Our time is now.

Cheers,
LJG's Avatar LJG 01:28 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt_Trinnov View Post
I'll settle it for you Carl: Due to the benefit of the enhanced processing power of PC over DSP, there is no sample rate conversion taking place in any of the Trinnov products. I believe sample rate conversion, particularly ARSC - (asynchronous sample rate conversion) has a loss in fidelity, and this has been confirmed by clients in various installs with A/B comparisons. We are not alone in this conclusion. A quick look on the Internet regarding ARSC gave the following example quote from very highly regarded Grace Design regarding their philosophy:

"....While it is very easy (and economical) to provide “jitter free” sample clocks by routing the audio data through an ASRC (asynchronous sample rate converter), we believe that the convenience of these circuits does not outweigh the potential sonic degradation caused by additional signal processing. " http://www.gracedesign.com/about/design.html

My early experience comes from one of the most challenging areas of reproduction, minimalist direct to tracks recording. It's there where I learned the value of each element (or lack thereof) in the recording/reproducing chain, and this issue really comes to life. Here one relies on the purity of microphones, recorded direct to tracks, no mixing. The electronics in-between are relied on to convey subtle details in large orchestras to blues. It's in such recordings that every circuit detail matters and are clearly heard: nuances of the various microphone colorations, circuits, loudspeakers, rooms. One can hear the effects of a of changing a resistor or capacitor in the circuit. It's here that ARSC shows up like a form of jitter. It's also where I crossed paths with brilliant folks like Michael Grace of Grace Design.

Maybe someone wouldn't notice in their home theater, but I believe those of us participating in this group care about such nuances. We have lots of examples of Trinnov MC installs where we've removed various brands of processors (containing ARSCs) from the signal path with noticeable results.

Unlike typical HT installs, most Trinnov installations crossover as a dedicated Audiophile/Stereo listening environment. Tuning HT and Stereo rooms is no different for me then the critical tuning I perform with Trinnovs in mastering studios and the like. First step is always to insert the Trinnov with no loss in sonic resolution. Sometimes that means changing the converters or other particulars, but one can never really get past this first step if there is an ASRC inserted into the circuit, because, so far, we always hear it. Want to use your favorite DAC? Sure, one can do that (The Altitude has 16 AES channel outs, as well as Word Clock Out), but once you go through an ARSC, nothing is going to reverse that.

Bring on 3D audio at the highest level possible. Our time is now.

Cheers,
Tou·ché Curt, tou·ché
CINERAMAX's Avatar CINERAMAX 01:33 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
. . . . so are you actually going to share that experience then Jeff?
Even though I am proposing Trinnov Altitude on a couple of systems I feel the Datasat sound out of the box is better, more well rounded and less clinical, hard to match IMHO.

I'm trusting Dr. Hoyt in blind faith but the ADA Cinema Reference experience left room for improvement. Let's see....
Curt_Trinnov's Avatar Curt_Trinnov 04:34 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post
Was that with or without "herbal" enhancement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post
Even though I am proposing Trinnov Altitude on a couple of systems I feel the Datasat sound out of the box is better, more well rounded and less clinical, hard to match IMHO.

I'm trusting Dr. Hoyt in blind faith but the ADA Cinema Reference experience left room for improvement. Let's see....
The ADA Cinema Reference is a hybrid chassis- ADA Processor (with DSP and ASRCs) digitally interfaced to a Trinnov MC.

By customer request, ADA has an upgrade to the Cinema Reference (back panel and i/o) that provides for direct digital input into the Trinnov to bypass the ASRCs.

The Altitude is a completely different animal in that regard, so Peter, you have something to look forward to.

Cheers,
CINERAMAX's Avatar CINERAMAX 04:50 PM 09-25-2014
Thanks!
Bulldogger's Avatar Bulldogger 06:48 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
I've noticed zero squashed dynamics, and with horn speakers I would have.



IME the very large impact of room correction and spatial remapping routines dwarfs the relatively small differences in AD/DA, etc., implementations. I'm NOT arguing that we shouldn't try to get both great room correction and great basic sound quality, (the ability to seamlessly chain a Dac VIII from a Theta is a very nice feature) just that the relative impacts are, IME, not consistent with purist audiophile conventional wisdom.
While in theory that may be true, I saw this argument made for years. It proved a massive blunder. In the end, many of the room correction implementations did not fare well in Sean Olives study. Everything does matters. Let's not follow room correction so blindly as has happened in the last decade. I don't think many had a clue that the test would show how poorly some of the approaches would fare. Yet, most believed in them ABSOLUTELY. When blind tested, I think a "bomb was dropped." It's one of the most pronounced cases of expectation effect, the absolute belief in some of the room correction techniques, that I have witnessed in audio.


I am not anti-room correction. I love the ideas too. For years, though, I said on this forum that hardware matter too and sometimes more. I was proved right when some of room correction, in the blind test, made the sound worse. Again, the true believers never saw it coming. I knew it all along because I bothered to compare the processors in my home with an open mind. Get both right, hardware and room correction and the ultimate solution will be realized.
Brucemck2's Avatar Brucemck2 06:57 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post
While in theory that may be true, I saw this argument made for years. It proved a massive blunder. In the end, many of the room correction implementations did not fare well in Sean Olives study. Everything does matters. Let's not follow room correction so blindly as has happened in the last decade. I don't think many had a clue that the test would show how poorly some of the approaches would fare. Yet, most believed in them ABSOLUTELY. When blind tested, I think a "bomb was dropped." It's one of the most pronounced cases of expectation effect, the absolute belief in some of the room correction techniques, that I have witnessed in audio.


I am not anti-room correction. I love the ideas too. For years, though, I said on this forum that hardware matter too and sometimes more. I was proved right when some of room correction, in the blind test, made the sound worse. Again, the true believers never saw it coming. I knew it all along because I bothered to compare the processors in my home with an open mind. Get both right, hardware and room correction and the ultimate solution will be realized.
I think what Sean really proved was that lousy and/or thought-free fully automated target curves make for lousy sound.

Given a lousy target curve the Trinnov will sound horrible, and given a great target curve (great conceptually, and for the room, and for the speakers in the room) the Trinnov will sound great.
Bulldogger's Avatar Bulldogger 07:09 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt_Trinnov View Post
I'll settle it for you Carl: Due to the benefit of the enhanced processing power of PC over DSP, there is no sample rate conversion taking place in any of the Trinnov products. I believe sample rate conversion, particularly ARSC - (asynchronous sample rate conversion) has a loss in fidelity, and this has been confirmed by clients in various installs with A/B comparisons. We are not alone in this conclusion. A quick look on the Internet regarding ARSC gave the following example quote from very highly regarded Grace Design regarding their philosophy:

"....While it is very easy (and economical) to provide “jitter free” sample clocks by routing the audio data through an ASRC (asynchronous sample rate converter), we believe that the convenience of these circuits does not outweigh the potential sonic degradation caused by additional signal processing. " http://www.gracedesign.com/about/design.html
I can accept that your product proved better sounding to the clients in many installs. I like you, but I can't accept that you can narrow it down to a single variable without some serious testing. I remember that some have preferred the Meridian processors. The argument there was that it was because of the apodizing filters. For a brief period, apodizing filters, used and touted by many were something that many considered required for good sound. In both cases, it seemed logical but who knows why many actually prefer the sound of these processors.
Bulldogger's Avatar Bulldogger 07:12 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
I think what Sean really proved was that lousy and/or thought-free fully automated target curves make for lousy sound.

Given a lousy target curve the Trinnov will sound horrible, and given a great target curve (great conceptually, and for the room, and for the speakers in the room) the Trinnov will sound great.
But it was these curves that were accepted as improving the sound. No one knew the why. What ever the "formula," that formula was blindly followed for at least a decade. The first time I heard the lyngdorf correction, a more modern approach, was the first time, that I heard good room correction.


Room correction , with those curves was the "holy gail," and you were a dinosaur if you did not accept this. I am just saying, consider everything, every component, before you fall in love with a concept. Some blind testing, might have helped too.
RUR's Avatar RUR 09:44 PM 09-25-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post
While in theory that may be true, I saw this argument made for years. It proved a massive blunder. In the end, many of the room correction implementations did not fare well in Sean Olives study.

Let's not follow room correction so blindly as has happened in the last decade.
What Olive’s study demonstrated was that RC products which produced certain FR characteristics – smooth, downward sloping response with extended bass – were generally preferred to no correction. Yes, some of the RC products didn’t fare well because they didn’t meet those criteria. So.....choose an RC product which does meet the criteria.

Both Dirac and Trinnov do this handily, and users aren't blindly following anything. In fact, both products have features and benefits well beyond anything available at the time of Olive's study, especially user-defined target curves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post
I am just saying, consider everything, every component, before you fall in love with a concept.
Sure, but it's IMHO foolish to ignore the effects of spectral distortion resulting from uncontrolled speaker/room interaction. This distortion can and generally does dwarf the sort of tiny differences found between well made amps and DACs.
sipester's Avatar sipester 08:17 AM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Yes, it supports 24/192 all the way through, even to the digital outputs if the source is music files or analog inputs. But when Blu-ray is the source, PCM outputs are restricted to 16/48. At least that's the requirement of HDCP. I am just presuming that the Altitude complies.

Perfect! Thanks.
But if the Blu-Ray source is this: http://www.msbtech.com/products/universal.php or an HTPC with rips of Blu-Rays, then I don't think the outputs are restricted to 16/48.
djnickuk's Avatar djnickuk 08:20 AM 09-26-2014
Yes any blu ray with HDCP protection will be stripped down to 16-48. But this of course can be defeated by some of the HDMI splitters and also by using a vanity digi out board.
Wookii's Avatar Wookii 08:44 AM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by djnickuk View Post
Yes any blu ray with HDCP protection will be stripped down to 16-48. But this of course can be defeated by some of the HDMI splitters and also by using a vanity digi out board.
I think what Sipester is saying is the MSB UMT actually strips out the HDCP. I know it does this on all its digital audio outputs, so I can only assume it also does it on HDMI too.
djnickuk's Avatar djnickuk 08:58 AM 09-26-2014
I would be shocked if it stripped hdcp from HDMI bit stream as that would be well and truly against hdcp protocol. But if it does then I may have to invest.
Wookii's Avatar Wookii 09:09 AM 09-26-2014
I will check with the guy I have been speaking to at MSB and let you know Nick. It does DSD from an SACD on all of its digital outputs too!
edorr's Avatar edorr 03:03 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by djnickuk View Post
I would be shocked if it stripped hdcp from HDMI bit stream as that would be well and truly against hdcp protocol. But if it does then I may have to invest.
I considered getting the UMT+ at some point and inquired about its specs. The UMT+ will output full resolution MCH digital on the digital outputs, including from hdcp encrypted sources. Technically, there is no HDMI bitstream, because it is just the digital output signal when you spin a BR disc. The signal is never send over HDMI.

However, more than likely if you feed the UMT+ an hdcp signal into the HDMI input, it will also decrypt and send out full resolution audio on the digi outputs.

This is precisely what the vanity103HD board does, for a lot less $$$ of course.
edorr's Avatar edorr 03:05 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
I will check with the guy I have been speaking to at MSB and let you know Nick. It does DSD from an SACD on all of its digital outputs too!
This is news to me for the UMT+. The latest version of the Vanity103HD board outputs MCH DoP from SACD sources in 5.1 over the S/PDIF outputs. You can run this into a stack of 3 DoP capable DACs.
Back_to_the_Sound 04:33 PM 09-26-2014
Looks like Trinnov Altitude 32, according to what i read has everything to match Datasat.
If it's better or worst, at this level point is up to our minds and ears.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 04:58 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back_to_the_Sound View Post
Looks like Trinnov Altitude 32, according to what i read has everything to match Datasat.
But not the other way 'round.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back_to_the_Sound View Post
If it's better or worst, at this level point is up to our minds and ears.
That only applies to subjective things, like "sound quality". Objectively, the Altitude32 has features like positional rendering, speaker remapping, Atmos decoding, capability for 32 independent channels, etc., that the Datasat doesn't have (yet).
Back_to_the_Sound 05:02 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
But not the other way 'round. That only applies to subjective things, like "sound quality". Objectively, the Altitude32 has features like positional rendering, speaker remapping, Atmos decoding, capability for 32 independent channels, etc., that the Datasat doesn't have (yet).
Why not the other way 'round? In what is the Datasat inferior?

Don't forget Datasat is the Reference in Cinema Sound, actually they create sound, don't underestimate them.

Trinnov is something very special from what i can see and read but seems a different machine. For better? Let's see...
Bulldogger's Avatar Bulldogger 05:07 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post
Both Dirac and Trinnov do this handily, and users aren't blindly following anything. In fact, both products have features and benefits well beyond anything available at the time of Olive's study, especially user-defined target curves.


Sure, but it's IMHO foolish to ignore the effects of spectral distortion resulting from uncontrolled speaker/room interaction. This distortion can and generally does dwarf the sort of tiny differences found between well made amps and DACs.
You do not refute my points. There were room corrections that did not fare well. Sure with the benefit of the study, I'm sure everyone is using those curves. Some of those room correction strategies were followed blindly for years, yet proved no better than any correction and in one case worse!


The argument that differences in distortion between electronics are greater is a "straw man," argument. It was not addressed in the study. I would take the converse position. Room correction can have a much more dramatic effect on sound quality. The poor techniques used by some had a much more DETERMENTAL effect. In one case, the sound quality was worsened. With modern electronics, it would be almost impossible to worsen the sound to such a perceptible degree.


Prior to the study, those corrections were blindly followed. Much of this stuff is just accepted. Most did not have a clue and never met a room correction system they did not like.


As soon as I heard the new techniques, I posted about it. Finally, room correction was worthwhile. I like many others knew, because I took the time to listen.


Electronics still matter. Everything matters. The best systems are superior in all regards. Software is just one aspect. Granted a powerful one, but not the only one.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 05:11 PM 09-26-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Back_to_the_Sound View Post
Why not the other way 'round? In what is the Datasat inferior?
From my post you quoted: "...the Altitude32 has features like positional rendering, speaker remapping, Atmos decoding, capability for 32 independent channels, etc., that the Datasat doesn't have (yet)."
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