The Official Sherwood Newcastle R-972 With Trinnov Optimizer Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1133 Old 10-08-2008, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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THE SHERWOOD NEWCASTLE R-972 WITH TRINNOV OPTIMIZER



Is this the most advanced A/V receiver on the planet? Thanks to its Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction system, the Sherwood Newcastle R-972 just may be.

This flagship receiver in the high-performance Sherwood Newcastle line-up, winner of the Innovations 2008 award at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, delivers 100 watts RMS per channel to 7 channels, provides lossless audio decoding for Blu-Ray and HD-DVD discs via dual Ti 32-bit DSP chips and is HDMI 1.3 enabled with 1080p video scaling via its Silicon Optix Reon processor.

But the reasons that the R-972 has been described as a game changer among A/V components is that it is the first consumer product to feature the $13,000 Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction system. (More on that below, after we finish the basic overview).

For video, the receiver has four HDMI 1.3 inputs and 7 analog video inputs, and is able to convert legacy analog video to HDMI. It can scale all video to resolutions up to 1080p, is capable of 36-bit Deep Color and provides a simple, one-wire hook-up to advanced video displays. It comes with a dual-mode (RF + IR) remote control, 12-volt triggers and can also be controlled from its RS-232 communications port.

The R-972 is fully equipped for whole-house audio/video. It supports 3-Zone operation with independent preamp level audio and video available for Zone 2 with audio only, available in Zone 3. The R-972 can use the rear-center surround amplifiers to fully power the speakers for Zone 2 or it can be configured in Room 2 Automatic mode. When in Automatic, the receiver changes from 7.1 operation to 5.1 plus stereo (for Zone 2) when required, preserving the complete presentation in the main room.

With an MSRP of $1799.95, the R-972 is expected to be available late this fall.

The Trinnov Optimizer: A $13,000 professional system in the home!

Described by audio professionals as one of the most significant audible enhancements we've ever encountered and a new benchmark, the R-972 with the Trinnov Optimizer performs like no other equalization system ever before. This game changer product brings the technology found in 20th Century Fox's mix rooms and other professional facilities around the world into the home for the very first time.

Conventional equalization, especially in home systems, has always been limited in its ability to improve acoustical performance. Even the latest advanced room correction systems are able only to compensate for deficiencies and errors in loudspeaker frequency response on a speaker-by-speaker basis. And at their best, these systems are unable to do anything to recreate the soundfield of the original performance or sound mix.

Like conventional equalizers, the Trinnov system flattens the frequency response of the system, providing an immediate sonic improvement. But the Optimizer goes far beyond, with an ability to adjust level, phase and time that gives users an unprecedented ability to control the soundfield. It can actually compensate for less-than-ideal speaker location and room boundaries in a way never possible before. It can literally re-position the acoustic location of each channel electronically, so that the acoustic images of a recording are correctly positioned.

This also means that a center channel image can be positioned where it belongs: at screen center, even when the actual center channel speaker is located below the screen. In fact, the Optimizer effectively creates a 360° acoustical space enveloping the listeners, with correct acoustical imaging, regardless of the location of the speakers.

At setup, using a special four-microphone acoustic probe, the Optimizer measures the system, including the physical location of each speaker and its frequency response. It then determines the necessary corrections and applies the appropriate filters to accomplish the desired correction.

Then the user can take advantage of perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the Optimizer - the ability to produce in the listening room the original acoustic waveforms at the location where the mixing engineer created the final audio mix. This is the Holy Grail of audio reproduction, but how is it possible?

The Optimizer is able to do this because of professional audio practices that are used throughout the world for multichannel mixing. Film mix facilities, whether small room or large dubbing stages, tend to configure their speakers to standard listening angles relative to the mixer's position. The Optimizer is configured for optimum surround playback in the home, based on Trinnov's research of these mixing practices, allowing it to deliver precise acoustical imaging per the original soundtrack mix.

Simply select the SMPTE Cinema setting on playback, and the Optimizer will map the sound to the correct channel locations, in any listening room, producing the sound heard by the mixer when the mix was created! For multichannel music, a standard called the ITU Standard for Surround Music specifies speaker angles for optimum music reproduction, and the Optimizer gives users this an ITU Surround playback setting for the best possible surround music.

The Optimizer can even move the entire soundfield laterally if needed, extremely useful in rooms where the speakers are not arranged symmetrically around the TV. Let's say the display is near a corner, not located between the left and right front speakers because of a fireplace. In this room, the soundfield can be effectively rotated so the center channel sound comes from the screen, with the other channels coming from the correct locations! Three separate sound stage orientations can be stored, allow listeners to switch back to a normal soundstage from the left and right speakers for two-channel music.

Within each of the spatial options, users can tune the response of their system to one of several target response curves. Any curve can be assigned to any input, allowing listeners to easily change system tuning for playback of each source according to individual preference (different settings for music than for film, for example). These choices include "Natural", very useful for music, that provides a +2 dB bump on all channels below 100 Hz and a gentle roll off above 9 kHz; Flat, perhaps more useful for studios than homes; Front for listeners with full-range left and right speakers that want the Optimizer bypassed for two-channel music, and Bass, which operates on all channels only below 300 Hz.

The result is a level of clarity and spatial accuracy rarely if ever heard in a home environment, with a 360° soundfield and sharp imaging in both the front and the back of the room. Listeners the can hear into the mix, and there is an uncanny, distinctive sense of rightness to the sound that makes listening effortless and non-fatiguing.

How It Works

The advanced mathematicians and acousticians that developed the Trinnov Optimizer set out to recreate the 3-dimensional soundfield of the original performance. In this endeavor, accurate channel-by-channel frequency response is only a starting point. Trinnov's task also required the ability to accurately measure and then relocate the apparent sound source until it was identical to the original.

Using an Acoustic Probe with four microphone capsules, the system measures the response of each speaker, the room modes, and the physical location of each speaker in 3 dimensions, with measured speaker distance accurate to ± 1 centimeter, and speaker elevation and azimuth accurate to ± 2 degrees!

Then the Optimizer calculates appropriate playback filters and uses the calculated digital IIR and FIR filters to optimize both speaker response and speaker placement. Users can then apply the target curves and room remapping settings described above.



Once the R-972 has made its system measurements, the system will document the changes it makes, along with speaker positions, and users can write stored performance data to the R-972's USB jack and even print it. Users can upload their stored data to the Trinnov website and print before-and-after graphs of their system. It's even possible to download new target curves, allowing users to match the sound of their system to alternate setups and to match specific playback material.

Key Features of the Sherwood Newcastle R-972




HDMI 1.3, capable of 36-bit Deep Color video
Lossless Audio: DTS Master Audio HD; Dolby TruHD
DTS 96/24; Neo 6 Cinema & Music
Dolby: Dolby Digital +, ProLogic IIx; Virtual Speaker; Headphone
PCM: 96 kHz Multichannel; 192 kHz Stereo
Converts analog video to HDMI
Silicon Optix Reon can scale all video to 480p; 576p; 720p;1080i;1080p
Universal Video Transcodes Composite & S-Video to component
XM Radio Connect and Play with Neural Surround
Advanced GUI On Screen Display via HDMI
Upgradeable Firmware
Bi-Directional RS-232 Serial jack/USB Input and output
12 Volt triggers
7.1 Channel Direct Analog input
24-bit A to D and D to A converters
Optical/Coaxial Digital Inputs
Optical Digital Output
Independent Room 2 A/V Output
Independent Room 3 Audio Output
On-Screen Display from HDMI and analog video outputs
Dual Mode RF + IR Preprogrammed and Learning Remote Control
A/V Synch Delay by input (0 to 200 mS)

Trinnov Optimizer

Includes 4 microphone capsule Acoustic Probe
Measures speaker location & response in 3 dimensions
Uses FIR and IIR filters to flatten speaker response
Re-Maps loudspeakers' acoustic position to recreate original soundfield
Supports ITU Surround Music and SMPTE Cinema Standards
Writes before/after curves to USB output for Internet analysis
USB input allows user to upload new target curves

Audio/Video Features

Dual Texas Instruments 32-bit DSP processors
Multiple DSP Modes
Digitally Re-Master PCM to 96 kHz/24-Bit
Pre-amp Outputs: L, C, R, LS, 2 CS, RS, Subwoofer
4 HDMI Input and 1 Output
3 Component Video Inputs and 1Output
Audio Inputs/out (including tuner): 8/2
Front Panel A/V Input /with Toslink
Front Panel Audio Input for portables
Automatic Room 2 (7.1 to 5.1 + stereo) operation
Quadruple Independent Crossovers
Built-in Biamp Capability
Installer Custom Memory
Converts Remote RF commands to IR output to operate associated units
IR in / out
Programmable Video Input Labeling
Cinema EQ

Tuner Features

4-Gang Quartz PLL Synthesized Tuning
XM Connect & Play with 30 presets
30 Station Presets (Random) with Preset Scan



Sherwood Newcastle
13101 Moore Street
Cerritos, CA 90703
Tel: (800) 962-3203
Fax: (562) 741-0968
www.sherwoodusa.com

For purpose of improvement all specifications are subject to change without notice.

Chuck Back
Noyd Communications, Inc.
chuck.back@noydcom.com
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post #2 of 1133 Old 10-23-2008, 08:01 AM
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Thank You for this thread, this AVR is one gorgeous looking bit of kit.
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post #3 of 1133 Old 10-23-2008, 08:33 AM
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Thanks, Chuck.

Questions:

1) How does Trinnov deal with 7-ch reproduction systems when the source material is 5-ch?

2) How many different target curves can be stored, and can users create their own?

3) Can correction data for more than one listening *location* be stored?

4) What is stored in “Installer Custom Memory” and is it available to "civilians"?

Noah
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post #4 of 1133 Old 10-23-2008, 08:43 AM
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What's the ETA? I hope soon.
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post #5 of 1133 Old 10-23-2008, 03:45 PM
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Nice to have fresh new thread with accurate info from the finalized brochure. The old thread (1500+ posts strong) served it's purpose well.

Krister
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post #6 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 03:57 AM
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ETA would definately be apprecaited.
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post #7 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 05:31 AM
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While the Trinnov and Silicon Optix Reon processors in one package definitively separate this from the rest of the AVR pack some still may have some questions regarding in comparison of 2 channel performance of digital audio.

The power plant while only rated at 100wpc as compared to many other AVRs whose ratings in the general class is rated at 130 to 140 is not a major concern for Sherwood is well accepted as providing outstanding power plant performance.

What is concern is that Sherwood does not seem to publish what DACs are used.
Are they using the latest and greatest Brown Burrs???

Is leaving this info out a hidden cost savings or has Sherwood used the best DACs available?
This has to make one wonder.

There is little to no doubt that Sherwood will be the best AVR for Surround Sound but when it comes to Two Channel Audio for listening to digital media from CD and Media Server sources when a receiver such as the Onkyo 876, that currently is available for as low as $1200, that uses the latest Brown Burrs ,I have to wonder why Sherwood leaves this out of published specifications.

As two channel audio still makes up 95% of my listening performance here is key.
I like the AVRs ability to BYPASS Trinnov for Two Channel Audio but hopefully all Audio and Video processing
shuts down as in some form of DIRECT MODE. Regardless DAC performance is still of concern.

I am extremely eager to hear this AVR for a very long time but as groundbreaking as it may be I do have questions regarding 2 Channel Performance.
I am not biting on an Onkyo 876 over this at this time but comparisons on price and performance will be made.
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post #8 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 06:13 AM
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A few more questions to add to the list:

Will the r972 be able to overlay volume level, DSP mode and other status information over the video image (even a 1080p HDMI source image). This is valuable as this unit will be in a cabinet which is not directly visible.

Jeff's Email Response: Frankly, I'm not sure. I'll do more work with the latest sample with this question in mind.


Can Dobly PRO Logic IIx/Dolby EX be applied to a Dobly True HD and DTS HD Master audio signal to expand a 5.1 signal to 7.1 speaker setup and still be able to apply the Trinnov optimizer processing. (This was one of the complaints of the Marantz pre/pro)


Jeff's Email Response: I was not able to do this during the Audioholics demo but will ask for its inclusion in the final version.


Have most all the features to the REON video processor been unlocked and will it pass below black and above white signal information? Also can the adjustments be made and saved per input (This was a concern and corrected complaint of the Integra 9.8)

Jeff's Email Response: So far, no. I'm not sure what the final plans are.

How will firmware updates be handled? Can they be performed by the end user or will they require the intervention of the Dealer or manufacture?

Jeff's Email Response: We have always supported consumer updates and will try to maintain that capability.

Can I shutoff or remap the use of the internal AMPs? In my case will use an external amp for my front 3 channels and possibly for my side surrounds. I would like to remap those internal amps of r972 to drive a zone 2 and/or zone 3.

Jeff's Email Response: Rear center amps can be assigned to Zone 2 permanently or temporarily.

Will zone 2 and 3 only be able to play analog sources or can I play digital sources in those zones as well?

Jeff's Email Response: Analog only

Congrats to the Sherwood team on such an undertaking. This is a very agressive release and I hope it is as successful as you have planned even in these tough economic times.

Jeff thanks to the response to the questions.


David
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post #9 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 06:41 AM
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Does anyone know if a processor version w/o amps but with balanced outputs might be in the works? DOn;t need the amplifier section and really like to have the balanced outputs.
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post #10 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PAD View Post

Does anyone know if a processor version w/o amps but with balanced outputs might be in the works? DOn;t need the amplifier section and really like to have the balanced outputs.

Yes.

A processor version will be available from Outlaw Audio, in December or January. I believe introductory pricing is about $1400.

Not sure about the balanced outputs, though...
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post #11 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 08:04 AM
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The Outlaw will have balanced outputs. See:

http://ubb.outlawaudio.com/ubb/ultim.../t/000049.html

AudioBear
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post #12 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 12:21 PM
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I'd also like to know the ETA, as well as if the Trinnov and Reon sections can be bypassed. My guess is the Zone 2 & 3 will have to be analog audio sources, but it would be really cool if they could be digital too.

Hopefully some answers will come down the "pipe" soon.
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post #13 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 12:46 PM
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A bunch of questions with no response. Sounding like the other thread. I hope this is not another vaporware.
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post #14 of 1133 Old 10-24-2008, 07:50 PM
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'Have all the features to the REON video processor been unlocked'

I've never heard of such a thing on a receiver, but we can dream.

i'd really love to be able to create custom aspect ratios.

Noah
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post #15 of 1133 Old 10-25-2008, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nedtsc View Post

A bunch of questions with no response. Sounding like the other thread. I hope this is not another vaporware.

Some of these questions were answered in the other thread.

There is a pass through mode for video.

There are three separate curves that can be recorded.

They are yet to announce which dacs but if you ask StereoJeff he should be able to give an answer to this now.

Truth
Malice may attack it
Ignorance may deride it
But at the end of the day there it is
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post #16 of 1133 Old 10-25-2008, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broke_ht_nut View Post

Some of these questions were answered in the other thread.

They are yet to announce which dacs but if you ask StereoJeff he should be able to give an answer to this now.

While StereoJeff has been ever so informative why should he have to answer what DACs are used if that could easily have been published in the final 2008 brochure. It seems to me from history Sherwood NC does not publish what specific DACs are used. What's the reason behind this I have no clue. Sherwood NC has traditionally stated bullet facts such as 192 kHz 24-bit DAC’s for all channels and Digitally Re-Masters PCM input to 96 kHz/ 24-bit24 Bit but that seems to be as far as it goes.

In the past year I have had conversations with Sherwood NC engineers and there is no need to quote them
but what I will state is "latest Brown Burr's" was not stated by an engineer in that conversation.
That could mean something/anything. Let's not speculate.

Hey I am currently using Behringer Ultramatch Pro rack mount 24bit/96khz DAC.
I have no clue what DAC chipset is used in the Behringer and I am very happy with it
for digital sources with my existing Analog amp.
That Behringer DAC was under $200 and I highly doubt I would have been much happier
with the PS Audio Digital Link III @1K.

Don't get me wrong I am hoping that this AVR will be the best thing since sliced bread.
I think the long time frame from announcement at CES 2007 and it's impending release will hopefully negate the common troubles with some other AVR mfgs that blatantly talk of Audio Video processing technology only to have many problems with seemingly no user firmware upgrades available where if it were my purchase that would be unacceptable and immediately returned for a refund.

I can only bring these things up in forum topics because all this common talk
of video processing is weighing down good old fashioned 2 channel Full Range Audio.

Here is a toast to good will for the Sherwood R972.
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post #17 of 1133 Old 10-25-2008, 01:33 PM
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I like S/N a lot and have high hopes for the R-972. Having said that, all of this is moot until the product is released. I noticed in the brochure that it can be set to output all resolution formats except 480i. Since I have a separate video processor, I was hoping the external VP could do the de-interlacing and upconversion of DVD and SAT. Granted, if the Reon is allowed to do it's job to it's full potential, then it won't matter. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Krister
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post #18 of 1133 Old 10-26-2008, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdwest View Post

How will firmware updates be handled? Can they be performed by the end user or will they require the intervention of the Dealer or manufacture?
David

If like in the past, the end user can easily update with no fuss.
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post #19 of 1133 Old 10-26-2008, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mauro View Post

If like in the past, the end user can easily update with no fuss.

Except for us early adopters of the P(R) 965, who had to ship units back to Sherwood in order to get the latest...
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post #20 of 1133 Old 10-26-2008, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMaugans View Post

Except for us early adopters of the P(R) 965, who had to ship units back to Sherwood in order to get the latest...

One has to believe that they've learned from that, and I'd bet that the new unit will have user-applied update capability, probably via USB.
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post #21 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMaugans View Post

Except for us early adopters of the P(R) 965, who had to ship units back to Sherwood in order to get the latest...

That to say the least, must of been a real nuisance. USB is now here to make things easier and used also to "input allows user to upload new target curves".


Has anybody verified what DACs are to be used in this thing?
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post #22 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 03:14 AM
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I would like to know, if the Trinnov works also for the analogue Multichannel input.
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The ETA was May of 2007.

StereoJeff is guardedly hopeful it will be available before the end of 2008, though.
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post #24 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 08:10 AM
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I'm really surprised to see no ethernet connection on a receiver like this. The input for the microphone looks like an ethernet port but I doubt they would be used for both.....the specifications don't list ethernet either. Damn.
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post #25 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 12:35 PM
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"Some of these questions were answered in the other thread....there are three separate curves that can be recorded."

Not sure if that was intended to answer my question about storing data for multiple listening positions; it doesn't.

I believe it requires a lot more resources to store another set of room data vs. applying a different set of correction curves.

Noah
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post #26 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

Thanks, Chuck.

Questions:

1) How does Trinnov deal with 7-ch reproduction systems when the source material is 5-ch?


2) How many different target curves can be stored, and can users create their own?



3) Can correction data for more than one listening *location* be stored?



4) What is stored in “Installer Custom Memory” and is it available to "civilians"?

1. The user can overlay DPL IIx or Neo 6 over most material. Last Thursday and Friday while demoing our latest prototype at the Audioholics SOTU even I was not able to overlay over 5.1 Dolby TruHD. I don't know if that was a limitation of the sample or is part of the unit's DNA. I'll find out.

2. As supplied there are 4 EQ curves: Flat, Natural (+ 2dB shelf from 100 Hz down with a gentle roll-off above 9kHz, Audiophile 1 (bass only for all channels from 300 Hz down) and Audiophile 2 (matches L and R front speakers to all channels). While we do have the ability to upload new target curves, that feature will not be available in the initial units.

3. Yes. Three locations can be stored.

4. Installer Custom Memory saves the initial set-up data. I believe this is for all modes including Trinnov but I'm not sure as the Trinnov data is stored in Flash and is not re-written when the unit is re-set. A specific series of remote control buttons presses restores the unit to this initial state. Although the sequence is secret, if you're reading this you know how to ascertain the secret.

Jeff
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post #27 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanser View Post

I would like to know, if the Trinnov works also for the analogue Multichannel input.

Trinnov is not available from the multi-channel direct input.

Jeff
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post #28 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMaugans View Post

Except for us early adopters of the P(R) 965, who had to ship units back to Sherwood in order to get the latest...

Frankly, this commentary seems unfair. Room EQ and Automatic Set-up were never part of the original feature-set of the '65 series. Thus, no owners (early adopters) had any right to expect them and none paid for them.

When we added Auto Set-up, the firmware upgrade was available at no charge and we provided a set-up microphone and external microphone preamp to all owners who requested them also at no charge!

When Cirrus finally completed the room EQ module, I learned that we would have to disassemble the unit, replace a surface mount memory chip and then upgrade the firmware. The process took roughly 3 hours. We offered the SNAP Room EQ upgrade with the memory chip and firmware upgrades and return shipping for a nominal charge of $100.00. This nominal charge did not cover our costs.

Jeff
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post #29 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stereojeff View Post

Frankly, this commentary seems unfair. Room EQ and Automatic Set-up were never part of the original feature-set of the '65 series. Thus, no owners (early adopters) had any right to expect them and none paid for them.

When we added Auto Set-up, the firmware upgrade was available at no charge and we provided a set-up microphone and external microphone preamp to all owners who requested them also at no charge!

When Cirrus finally completed the room EQ module, I learned that we would have to disassemble the unit, replace a surface mount memory chip and then upgrade the firmware. The process took roughly 3 hours. We offered the SNAP Room EQ upgrade with the memory chip and firmware upgrades and return shipping for a nominal charge of $100.00. This nominal charge did not cover our costs.

Jeff

So how was the show at SOTU in Orlando last week? Audioholics have been pretty quiet about it. On the other hand there was an article on Auddyssey in their front page.
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post #30 of 1133 Old 10-27-2008, 01:48 PM
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Jeff,

Thanks for your active participation in this thread!
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