I got my R972 about 1.5 weeks ago. Here is my initial report:
For background, all of my equipment is connected to the R972 using HDMI 1.4 rated cables for both audio and video. There is not an analog, optical or coax cable anywhere in my setup. The center of my 40" Samsund 3D TV is eactly at "ear height" when seated, so I used a high end Bogen camera tripod that has bubble levels for both the X and Y axes for the Trinnov microphone and pointed it straight forward toward the center of my screen. I calibrated and set it up for "Flat" eq and 3D mapping, and it sounds GREAT. My setup is not bass-shy in the least, so I wonder why some other R972 owners are wanting bass-boosting curves. Perhaps it's bacause I am using seven identical monopole speakers all around (no dipoles or bipoles) and a 18" bag-end subwoofer that is very flat down to 20hz (down 3db at 8hz). All of my speakers are toed-in; I pointed them so that they were exactly facing the Trinnov microphone during calibration- and left them that way. I even tipped my center front speaker upward slightly so that it is pointing dirrectly at the microphone/listening sweet spot.
Although my speakers are good sounding, only the center front is in the ideal position. The rest are wherever my room and furniture would allow me to place them. The fronts are each about 24 degrees from center. The sides are slightly behind the main listening seat. The left side is about 3 feet farther from the sweet spot than the right side. The rears are about six feet further from the sweet spot than the fronts. My room is wide open in the rear and to the right rear/side to other rooms.
The first thing I listened to was a channel identification test. Wow! I could precidely locate the "virtual" speaker locations exactly where they SHOULD be. In other words, it sounds exactly like speakers were sitting in the perfect spots- which in reality would have been impossible to physically do in my room. I walked around the room and put my ear right up to each speaker during this test, and could actually hear something coming out of all seven speakers even when the test signal was supposed to be activating only one single channel at a time. But when I sat in the sweet spot, the sound from all seven speakers somehow combined or cancelled each other causing the image to be focused like a razor on one very precise point in space for each of the seven test tones. It's clear that Trinnov is using some very clever phase trickery with all seven speaker feed channels working together to create the illusion of seven speakers that are in ideal locations- even when your actual speakers are not. I found that as I moved to the left or right of the ideal listening spot, my ability to precisely locate the spot where the virtual speaker sppeared to be located was diminished. But I had to get almost 6' away from the sweet spot before the illusion was lost altogether. Again, amazing.
Next I put the Tron 3D Blu-Ray on my Oppo BDP-93. What I heard was the most seamless presentation of a 360 degree soundfield I have ever experienced in my home. Boy am I glad I was able to get my hands on this unit for such a good price.
Next I put on a DVD-Audio (5.1) of Deadwing by Porcupine Tree. At first listen, the front soundstage seemed to be a bit narrow, and it seemed like the side images were kind of weak. But then I remembered that Trinnov offers different remapping for Movies and Music. I changed the setting to Music, and suddenly it sounded GREAT! The front image spread out further toward the sides, and the side holes disappeared. I just wish there was something in the signal that would flip the Trinnov mapping between Music and Movie modes automatically when it is appropriate to do so. Changing these settings on the R972 is kind of a pain- requiring navigating through several layers of menus.
All in all, I've got to say that, sound-wise, Trinnov is everything I hoped it would be. In fact, the only somewhat negative thing I have to say about the R972 is with audio being muted for several seconds whenever the audio or video format changes (like when going between the main menu and the movie on a BluRay disc, or changing channels on a HD TiVo). This makes you miss the first few seconds of audio after each such event- not a show-stopper, but nevertheless annoying. It is particularly maddening when starting any of the episodes on the Battlestar Gallactica BD set.
All in all, I am thankful that the commercial failure of the R972 caused it to be discontinued and blown out at such a great clearance price. It has convinced me beyond the shadow of a doubt however that I will be wanting Trinnov or equivalent 3D mapping and room eq in any future AV receiver or pre/pro that I buy- even if I have to pay full price for it. Why are there no other consumer grade Trinnov products available?