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ADA Cinema Reference Mach IV - Page 6

post #151 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

So you're the guy Curt was visiting!

Just what I was thinking.

Last week Curt was helping me to get up and running with the used Optimizer I got, until he left for your place.

I realize it could reach novelesque proportions, but it would be really interesting to hear at least a summary of what Curt and Remi did, in particular if there was something in particular that resulted in a sizeable step up in SQ (though I suspect it's more a matter of just hammering on it little by little).
post #152 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

I realize it could reach novelesque proportions, but it would be really interesting to hear at least a summary of what Curt and Remi did, in particular if there was something in particular that resulted in a sizable step up in SQ

Pretty systematic process: (1) test and measure each speaker without any correction from multiple seats, (2) "fix" gross errors, (3) take multiple measures around the various listening positions (looking for anomalies), (4) create first pass correction curves, (5) critical listening, (6) refine correction curves, and (7) create a range of preference curves. Remi also did a general noise measurement for the environment, which helped me to identify a door that wasn't properly sealed.

In steps 1 and 2 they/we discovered a wiring error where several of the subs weren't firing: each of the five subs tested fine from amp to sub, but a loop circuit wasn't wired correctly for the system of five subs. We discovered a phase issue that improved both mid/high driver integration across the fronts and speaker localization for the spatial location routines. And, they found a way to increase the amount of "direct" energy for the fronts at higher frequencies, which helped the spatial location routines perform better, which we later removed in the correction processes.

In steps 3 and 4 they established six measurement spots for the sweet spot location, which was my overwhelming emphasis, and confirmed that it was largely ok for the other primary seats. They were also able to determine that what appeared to be a broad lower midrange depression was in fact a collection of narrow and deep dips that were getting "smoothed" by the 1/3rd octave user interface display. (Those were a result of constructive interference path length differences off of a nearby bar transition area that I've since ordered some acoustic products to address.) Curt also adjusted the target curves to eliminate correction at the low end where effects speakers didn't have adequate output, and, above 150hz or so on the subs. In effect, he used the target curve editor to "suck the energy out of the speakers" in the ranges where they were likely to be distressed.

In steps 5 and 6 we were playing with 1db tilts in the high and low ends. In step 7 we added some additional "oomph" and "tilt" to those. I ended up using 2db down at the high end and 3db up in the bass as my music setting, with movies being another 2db down and 3db up, respectively.

It sounds very nice.

And, it's pretty cool to watch the input and output meters when they show the center, two sides, two heights, and four rears all firing when Stereo is playing on the inputs and Stereo is selected as the listening mode. I no longer covet Trifield as a surround synthesis mode.
post #153 of 296
Thanks for the summary!
post #154 of 296
Over the weekend Curt / Trinnov installed a software update that markedly improved the sonics of this already stellar unit.

The update allows a digital input to go directly to the upper half of the ADA Trinnov unit, bypassing the ADA section entirely.

I send two channel music from my music server (J River -> USB --> Empirical Audio Offramp IV --> AES to db25 cable --> Trinnov direct digital input). I could also send multichannel from a modded Oppo, which I plan on doing later.

The update bypasses all ADA processing, and feeds the digital section of the Trinnov directly. I still get spatial remapping, PEQ, subwoofer management, volume control, and D/A. The only thing I don't get via this route is surround synthesis from PL2x (etc.) variants, which given Trinnov's spatial remapping, I really don't need.

There is a seamless switching between 44.1, 88.2, and 96k material. No pops or clicks or delays of any kind.

The sonics are stunning: a layer of "glare" that I hadn't noticed before is gone. And, there's a level of "calm" and "easy going" that I didn't know this unit was capable of.

Very nice Richard/ADA and Curt/Trinnov.
post #155 of 296
OOH! very cool! I'll have to ask about that.

thanks for the report.

Dan
post #156 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Over the weekend Curt / Trinnov installed a software update that markedly improved the sonics of this already stellar unit.

The update allows a digital input to go directly to the upper half of the ADA Trinnov unit, bypassing the ADA section entirely.

I send two channel music from my music server (J River -> USB --> Empirical Audio Offramp IV --> AES to db25 cable --> Trinnov direct digital input). I could also send multichannel from a modded Oppo, which I plan on doing later.

The update bypasses all ADA processing, and feeds the digital section of the Trinnov directly. I still get spatial remapping, PEQ, subwoofer management, volume control, and D/A. The only thing I don't get via this route is surround synthesis from PL2x (etc.) variants, which given Trinnov's spatial remapping, I really don't need.

There is a seamless switching between 44.1, 88.2, and 96k material. No pops or clicks or delays of any kind.

The sonics are stunning: a layer of "glare" that I hadn't noticed before is gone. And, there's a level of "calm" and "easy going" that I didn't know this unit was capable of.

Very nice Richard/ADA and Curt/Trinnov.

Very nice, but If I understand correctly, in this setup all the ADA hardware does is convert the HDMI input to a digital signal that feeds directly into an MC16. A modded Oppo straight into a MC16 if going to sound even better than this, because digital out of from the modded Oppo is better than HDMI, because of the reclocking the Oppo digi out board does.

So an ADA reference with "ADA bypass" feature enables, is in fact a $25K method to bypass the HDMI licencing restiction and provide input switching. Note that when the new Oppo105 digi out board becomes available, you can use the Oppo105 effectively as an HDMI input switch.
Edited by edorr - 6/3/13 at 1:30pm
post #157 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Very nice, but If I understand correctly, in this setup all the ADA hardware does is convert the HDMI input to a digital signal that feeds directly into an MC16. A modded Oppo straight into a MC16 if going to sound even better than this, because digital out of from the modded Oppo is better than HDMI, because of the reclocking the Oppo digi out board does.

So an ADA reference with "ADA bypass" feature enables, is in fact a $25K method to bypass the HDMI licencing restiction and provide input switching. Note that when the new Oppo105 digi out board becomes available, you can use the Oppo105 effectively as an HDMI input switch.

Not quite. In my setup I am going directly from two channel digital AES into the Trinnov. If/when I add an Oppo it will have the digital audio output board for audio that will also go directly into the Trinnov section, and, and its HDMI video feed will go into the ADA section for video switching purposes.

So, my two primary "audiophile" sources will go digital directly to the Trinnov and all my other sources, like my K, my Apple TV, and my DirecTV, will go to the ADA section of the Reference via HDMI for both audio and video switching/processing.
post #158 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Not quite. In my setup I am going directly from two channel digital AES into the Trinnov. If/when I add an Oppo it will have the digital audio output board for audio that will also go directly into the Trinnov section, and, and its HDMI video feed will go into the ADA section for video switching purposes.

So, my two primary "audiophile" sources will go digital directly to the Trinnov and all my other sources, like my K, my Apple TV, and my DirecTV, will go to the ADA section of the Reference via HDMI for both audio and video switching/processing.

This setup effectively achieves what I suggested a long time ago as the most cost effective path to MC and 2 Channel audio nirvanna; Get an MC16 (or MC12 or MC8 depending on # channels needed), run a modded Oppo into the digital inputs for critical multi channel listening, and a 2 channel stereo digital source for critical 2 channel listening.

Then get a modest (say $2500 Onkyo or Marantz) for all non critical sources (your apple TV and DirectTC), and run this analog into the Trinnov's A/D converters (for non ciritcal source you will loose little if anything against going all digital over HDMI using the ADA reference). The $2500 SSP will do effectively the same as the ADA section of your ADA reference (as an incremental cost of $20-$25k over the MC12 - MC16).

One question though; how do you get the modded Oppo digitally into the ADA Reference? this requires the DB25 interface. This would be a hardware configuration change, no?
post #159 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

One question though; how do you get the modded Oppo digitally into the ADA Reference? this requires the DB25 interface. This would be a hardware configuration change, no?

Curt added a DB25 connection to my unit. My understanding is that newer units will ship with it already installed.
post #160 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Curt added a DB25 connection to my unit. My understanding is that newer units will ship with it already installed.

Why use a sexy $40K box to do what the boring $15K box is capable off out of the box? In fact, if you are looking for no compromise performance, the boring $15K box offers a lot more potential because the ADA reference will never be the final word in 2 channel (because you are limited to the Trinnov DAC), while with an MC16 you can go all out with an audiophile DAC connected to the digital outs for mains. If you want to get real adventurous you can also get an external word clock on the MC16 which should take things up a few notches more.
post #161 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Why use a sexy $40K box to do what the boring $15K box is capable off out of the box? In fact, if you are looking for no compromise performance, the boring $15K box offers a lot more potential because the ADA reference will never be the final word in 2 channel (because you are limited to the Trinnov DAC), while with an MC16 you can go all out with an audiophile DAC connected to the digital outs for mains.

I like the Reference, a lot, for my primary AV processor. It works great under rs232 control, sounds great, and has terrific source and video switching.

I've found the Trinnov dacs to sound pretty impressive (at least on a par with the Meridian 861v6 it replaced) particularly given that spatial remapping leads to all 11.5 speakers firing even with a two channel input.

I'm pretty extreme, but won't be getting sixteen channels of external dacs, and, know that the benefits of spatial remapping beat going back to purist two channel.
Edited by Brucemck2 - 6/3/13 at 5:28pm
post #162 of 296
Thread Starter 
has the microphone sold with the Reference a red led?
mine has only a painted red point...
post #163 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grifo View Post

has the microphone sold with the Reference a red led?
mine has only a painted red point...
No, the ADA mics have a different configuration, without the LED. For Trinnov units, the mics have an internal battery. The LED was added to version 8 mics along with an internal preamp. The LED both marks the front and indicates the battery is good. In the case of the Reference, there is no need for a battery, as both the preamp and mic power are in the Reference, so no LED.
post #164 of 296
Thread Starter 
understand.
thank you very much Curt.
post #165 of 296
In short, it is a beast!

No manual. The MachIV is the manual because it is the same ADA product inside (make initial setup a pain). So you won't find much paperwork on the ADA REF. You can in fact upgrade in the field both firmware and hardware as I recently found out. We wanted a complete bypassed digital input so ADA made a new back plate, some new parts and they fit right in. Curt from Trinnov was onsite and did the swap but I would have had I been there that day.

This thread is long. I assume Curt jumped in and answered most of the question. I would be conflicted about buying a processor and outboard Trinnov because of the reasons you mentioned. But I have installed a Reference and not having those extra connections nice and knowing they are completely digital and the geniuses at Trinnov did the work makes it better for me.

The ADA is amazing.
post #166 of 296
smile.gif FYI a complete manual for the Reference is on the way- I'm reviewing the preliminary version now.

Cheers,
post #167 of 296
Curt


Can Dan get a copy to proof?

Jim
post #168 of 296
What kind of external word clock is suitable for use with MC ? Anyone try this now ?

Just installed my AES input card , pretty easy as everything is supplied , connected to Trinnov Audio Server and update from France takes @15 minutes , all presets untouched , very good support indeed and I will start soldering my own SPDIF to SubD25 cable , 1 meter length , just still not very sure if I should get a converter to do it right , suggested better one costs @ USD 1000.00 . Not counting in extra cables .

Also wish Curt _Trinnov can kindly tell on the right way to make this cable . There are options on how to make this cable and I am sure that it is better for me to follow Curt's way .

Larry
post #169 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ng View Post

What kind of external word clock is suitable for use with MC ? Anyone try this now ?

Just installed my AES input card , pretty easy as everything is supplied , connected to Trinnov Audio Server and update from France takes @15 minutes , all presets untouched , very good support indeed and I will start soldering my own SPDIF to SubD25 cable , 1 meter length , just still not very sure if I should get a converter to do it right , suggested better one costs @ USD 1000.00 . Not counting in extra cables .

Also wish Curt _Trinnov can kindly tell on the right way to make this cable . There are options on how to make this cable and I am sure that it is better for me to follow Curt's way .

Larry

One would expect the clock circuits in this caliber of equipment are excellent. Why would you want to fool around with external clock sources in an HT application?

Personally as discussed before I am not a fan of this SPDIF into balanced AES by just forcing the balanced input to unbalanced. However the Trinnov seems to have enough of a window for it to work and at 1 meter it should be fine. Yes, follow what the manufacture recommends. And also remember there is no "analog" style sonic penalty for this lower cost conversion. If there are no dropouts, clicks or pops, the interface is good and going to a "proper' conversion is not going to make any difference in audio quality.
post #170 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ng View Post

What kind of external word clock is suitable for use with MC ? Anyone try this now ?

Just installed my AES input card , pretty easy as everything is supplied , connected to Trinnov Audio Server and update from France takes @15 minutes , all presets untouched , very good support indeed and I will start soldering my own SPDIF to SubD25 cable , 1 meter length , just still not very sure if I should get a converter to do it right , suggested better one costs @ USD 1000.00 . Not counting in extra cables .

Also wish Curt _Trinnov can kindly tell on the right way to make this cable . There are options on how to make this cable and I am sure that it is better for me to follow Curt's way .

Larry

Larry, AES cable should be at least 1.5M long, made to the TASCAM AES standard. Length avoids having any impedance mismatches due to cable connections from occurring near the zero cross points. The benefit is reduced jitter- just from using correct cable length. Connect what would be XLR pins 1-3 to ground, pin 2 is SPDIF center conductor.

Email me if you want pinout connections, and I'll send you a pdf.

Have fun and happy listening!

Cheers,
post #171 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

One would expect the clock circuits in this caliber of equipment are excellent. Why would you want to fool around with external clock sources in an HT application?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

One would expect the clock circuits in this caliber of equipment are excellent. Why would you want to fool around with external clock sources in an HT application?

Agreed. No need to use the WC (word clock) input. If you want improvement here, suggest you look at improving the clock in the source component. As an example, there are clock upgrades for the Oppo. You can go to an external clock generator, but only if, as an absolute minimum, the source component has WC in. Ideally, all components in the chain would have WC in.

A note: One cannot use an external WC source independent of using a digital source component- because the clocks aren't sync'ed. It doesn't work to connect an Oppo player digitally for playback, then run WC from a separate clock source. The Oppo would need WC input as well. We run into this in video production, where combining video and audio from separate sources- to make it all work, must have WC in on all slave devices - running off of only one clock. It's the reason separate word clocks were first brought to market. Then they got better and better...

Hope this helps. WC can get complicated real fast. PM me if you need consulting.

Cheers,
post #172 of 296
Thanks Curt & Glimmie for their advices , I now understand better the use of WC , not for us HT really . As MC also has an WC output , I Think it is connected to any source device with WC input , but is there any BD player with such input ? Not as I am aware of . Maybe some CD players .

The sound quality of MC is astonishing good and it is from analogue in only , I will report on my initial experience by the next few day , the difference between OPPO 93Vanity
direct-in MC AES , by passing my ADA Suite HD 1.4 . A little sad as it makes my ADA useless !

For those with MC , the latest stable software is from Oct 2012 , maybe worthwhile to contact Curt for an update from previous version , even at a cost . Update can be done at home and real easy .

Larry
post #173 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Ng View Post

Thanks Curt & Glimmie for their advices , I now understand better the use of WC , not for us HT really . As MC also has an WC output , I Think it is connected to any source device with WC input , but is there any BD player with such input ? Not as I am aware of . Maybe some CD players .

The sound quality of MC is astonishing good and it is from analogue in only , I will report on my initial experience by the next few day , the difference between OPPO 93Vanity
direct-in MC AES , by passing my ADA Suite HD 1.4 . A little sad as it makes my ADA useless !

For those with MC , the latest stable software is from Oct 2012 , maybe worthwhile to contact Curt for an update from previous version , even at a cost . Update can be done at home and real easy .

Larry

Since the Trinnov inputs are synchronous, there would be benefits using a wordclock on an upstream digital source, since this source provides the masterclock to the Trinnov. One source I can think of that would allow you do this is the Lynx AES16 card that would be installed in a music server, but no actual disc spinners come to mind that can do this.

If you're interested in going the HTPC route this clocking ability may give the HTPC the edge over the Oppo Vanity93 source. I will soon have both (HTPC with Lynx card and Oppo with Vanity93 board), and may acquire an external clock for the lynx card at some point to tell for myself.
post #174 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Since the Trinnov inputs are synchronous, there would be benefits using a wordclock on an upstream digital source, since this source provides the masterclock to the Trinnov. One source I can think of that would allow you do this is the Lynx AES16 card that would be installed in a music server, but no actual disc spinners come to mind that can do this.
Eric, when I looked into this with a mind to find out if there was any non-subtle difference, the only spinners I could find with word clock I/O were professional TEAC's (cheap, but hard-wired remote) and their very expensive cousins, made by Esoteric.
post #175 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Eric, when I looked into this with a mind to find out if there was any non-subtle difference, the only spinners I could find with word clock I/O were professional TEAC's (cheap, but hard-wired remote) and their very expensive cousins, made by Esoteric.

But these transports would only be usable with the Trinnov on two channel. For multi channel, I cannot think of anything else but the Lynx card. Of course, audiopraise could decide to put a clock input on a new version of the Oppo digi out board, but I don't think they have any plans to do this.
post #176 of 296
Sorry, Eric. I'm always viewing the world through my own peculiar 2ch paradigm.
post #177 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Sorry, Eric. I'm always viewing the world through my own peculiar 2ch paradigm.

The dCS Scarlatti and Chord Blu CD transport also have word clock inputs. I believe Wadia as well....
post #178 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

The dCS Scarlatti and Chord Blu CD transport also have word clock inputs. I believe Wadia as well....
I appreciate that, Eric, but I'm unwilling to pay several kilobucks simply for an experiment. Ideally, someone with a Lynx and a Trinnov could try this and report back, but I'd be surprised if there was any audible difference.
post #179 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

I appreciate that, Eric, but I'm unwilling to pay several kilobucks simply for an experiment. Ideally, someone with a Lynx and a Trinnov could try this and report back, but I'd be surprised if there was any audible difference.

Once the dust has settled and I have my SACDs ripped, I'll probably try a clock with the lynx card. However, I may no longer have the Trinnov by then, because I am experimenting with Dirac live on the server as a low cost alternative with shorter signal path.

I would expect a better clock for the source component to materially improve SQ.
post #180 of 296
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Once the dust has settled and I have my SACDs ripped, I'll probably try a clock with the lynx card. However, I may no longer have the Trinnov by then, because I am experimenting with Dirac live on the server as a low cost alternative with shorter signal path.

I would expect a better clock for the source component to materially improve SQ.

Perhaps further qualifying is in order:

"I would expect a materially better clock for the source component to materially improve SQ."

There is no doubt the importance the word clock makes, and a corollary to this is maintaining low jitter in the WC path(s). Otherwise, what gains may be made by a great clock are often lost. Hence the popularity of SRCs (sample rate converters), which should be avoided.
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