Originally Posted by The Bogg
Molon, I'm curious what you decide to go with too. You have very nice ancillary gear so it can certainly justify the purchase of a top rated unit. I would suggest you look at something like the NAD prepros with Dirac etc... I would have considered suggesting the Emotiva prepros but I've had recurrent headaches from mine (which is only now used in the family room). Still, they offer a lot of sound quality and value for the money. I assume you changed your mind after hearing about the limitations recently discussed (regarding the silence of many speakers beyond the 7.1.4 basic layout)
There's a LOT more to the Altitude than just high channel count, namely the toolkit of the Optimizer (which deserves its own paragraph but I'll save that for another time), PEQ that can be used before acoustic correction or layered on top if done carefully, flexible three-way bass management and SOTA crossover slope setting, the target curve editor's flexibility, the choice of FIR post-Optimizer EQ or graphic EQ for fine-tuning at a channel level, and the flexibility of n-way crossovers for level and delay sensitive settings. That's leaving 3D remapping out of it.
And I'd disagree that those speakers are as a rule "silent"; it depends on the content to be honest, meaning what you watch or listen to, and your configuration. And even then there's some workarounds for specific upmixers and codecs (copying inputs and attenuating level/delay) . You can even have a "native" preset and a "copy so everything is playing" preset with Atmos, Auro, or DTS:X if you absolutely need that. There's a price for accuracy, but it's possible. Or simply compare a "basic" 7.1.4 layout to one that uses the extra channels and hear differences in sonic resolution when the speakers for the presence channels are natively more active (see Godzilla and Hunger-Killer for examples of just how often that can happen on my recent purchases).
Just my $0.02....everyone has to have their own price/value proposition. If it's set and forget as good as you can get with a minimum of fuss, and you're either not going to tweak yourself or hire an Adam or Curt (or at least have a dealer or Jon assist you remotely), I suppose it's a different equation.
Not saying this specifically about Molon, just a more general counterpoint to your own post.
Good luck to him; if he's happy with Dirac and Lexicon because he doesn't see the value for him of the overall Trinnov kit, that's his judgment call.