Flagship AVR vs Datasat or Trinnov Pre/Pro - help me understand the difference - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-02-2016, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Flagship AVR vs Datasat or Trinnov Pre/Pro - can you hear the difference?

Hey guys,

Now that I have a flagship AVR - Denon 7200WA - of course I am wondering what the difference is at the "next level." Can someone help me understand? Let's assume all else is equal in two scenarios where the only difference in a system is the AVR vs the Pre/Pro. So, assume both rooms:

1 - Have a competent professional acoustician to place speakers, acoustic treatments and calibrate the hardware.
2 - Have equal quality speakers and amplifiers, appropriate to the room.
3 - Assume in the system which uses an AVR it is using pre-outs feeding to the same amplifiers which would be used by the Datasat or Trinnov system.
4 - Take Trinnov's 3D speaker remapping capabilities out of the equation for the sake of discussion so it's a more even comparison between the sound quality and capabilities of Datasat, Trinnov and a flagship AVR running Audyssey XT32 or Dirac Live (either built in or perhaps through a MiniDSP).
6 - The technician doing the final calibration has access to Audyssey Pro Kit if using the AVR to be able to customize parameters as much as possible.
7 - Assume we run the same number of channels on the Datasat or Altitude which the AVR is capable of running - no more.
8 - Finally, assume the room is the same, and has reasonable dimensions. Perhaps it's not the *ideal* room but it isn't a square - it's a sealed off rectangular room with a flat ceiling and reasonable dimension. And limit its size to one which doesn't need a huge array of side, overhead and rear speakers to evenly disperse sound to the audience - thus its not a room with a burning need to process more channels of audio than a typical flagship AVR can handle.

What at this point would the difference in sound be, between the two systems which vary in hardware only in the capabilities of the pre/pro and its price point - ie $3,000 for a flagship AVR doing the audio processing vs $20-$30K for the Datasat or Trinnov Altitude?

I'm asking not to justify what I own - but because I'm wondering what benefit I could get at the next level if I were to choose to spend the money.

In the world of video the differences between projectors seem much more quantifiable - lumens, lens quality, ANSI and on-off contrast ratios, color accuracy, motion resolution, still resolution etc etc.

But in the world of audio processing the adjectives used to describe differences between systems seem - how do I put this - more subjective, perhaps?
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post #2 of 12 Old 03-02-2016, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Another question - has anyone conducted a "blind as possible" comparison test with two carefully calibrated systems in the same room - with the only variable being the audio processing device - an AVR vs high end dedicated pre/pro - volume matched, variety of material, etc?
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"Don't forget that a significant contribution made by the use of high-end cabling is emotional. Knowing that you have the best available causes the listening and viewing to be that much more enjoyable. Observable improvements make it even better."

-From a post on the audio video improvements forum
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-02-2016, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Another question - has anyone conducted a "blind as possible" comparison test with two carefully calibrated systems in the same room - with the only variable being the audio processing device - an AVR vs high end dedicated pre/pro - volume matched, variety of material, etc?

Audioguy did - between the Datasat and another unit but can't remember what the unit was or on what thread it was posted (perhaps the RS20i thread). Not a real significant difference without EQ but a noticeable benefit of Dirac over Audyssey IIRC. Datasat was still good enough overall to warrant audioguy getting one.


The Altitude does appear to be offering more than even the RS20i.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-06-2016, 03:13 PM
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Besides the biggest difference in number of channels (up to 32 in the case of the Trinnov), I would say the comparison of Audyssey XT32 with Trinnov or Dirac room correction would yield the biggest difference. I had a Denon pre-pro with XT32 (pro kit), and it didn't come anywhere close to Trinnov or Dirac Live (I have both in different implementations).

However, if your room has good acoustics and doesn't need room correction (the ideal situation), and you don't need more than the 11.2 processing capability of the Denon, then if I were you I would stick with what you got, which is definitely good enough!

As far as Datasat vs Trinnov, I wager it would be very difficult if not impossible for anyone to tell the difference between a well set up example of either!
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-19-2016, 08:35 AM
 
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Iv heard both processors on the same set of speakers, 2 demos were conducted by friends of mines in Singapore and in the UK whilst I was travelling on a business trip. Overall both processors sounded good but was it worth the 20 grand ++ only you can answer that question and if you have the cash hanging about then by all means go for either. To me the Datasat sounded better with all room correction turned off when compared to Trinnov (Room correct off too) The trinnov setup no only looked very complicated but it was packed with a ton off features. Does this make the unit sound better???


In terms of sound quality alone between both processors, I would say the Datasat edges the Trinnov. however when both units are setup correctly by a qualified technician the differences gets a lot smaller but the datasat to me still sounds better, more fatter, more involving and smoother overall. Both units are excellent but be prepared to spend more and lose more eventually once you decide to upgrade the processor in the future.

You would yield better results in your theatre room using the best quality speakers/amplification you can afford and spending the rest on room acoustic. Most small to mid size rooms are suitable for 11 channels. Going up to 16 or 24 channels is more ideal for very large theatre rooms where the Tinnov or Datasat can be easily justified. Both units are high end consumer market so support and regular updates for bug fixes will not follow through as fast as the commercial type units made in japan.


Technology moves so fast, spending 20-30 grand on a processor for me is absurd, the same applies to high end DACs which sell over 10,000 dollars in general anything higher becomes a matter of taste rather then moving up the SQ ladder. You can easily match the same level of quality if your room is done right and your using a good set of speakers and amplifiers.


Recently I heard the Flagship Yamaha processor and was very impressed with unit and how it was directing sound around the room. The Yamaha was priced at 3000 dollars. It would cost you nearly this much to add all the decoding updates to Trinnov.


To me Trinnov is basically a computer with a ton of features but in terms of pure sonic quality it cant match Datasat and Theta Digital. Anthem are very good processor for the money. There are tons of things you can do to make your system sound better with incremental improvements with out spending 2-30 grand down for a processor. Unless you got millions put away with a high interest bank account I would not bother.

Rather then focusing on processor alone assuming you will get much better sound. My suggestion is to focus on Speakers, Room-accoustics, Subwoofers and a good power conditioner.
Have Dirac room correction units with HDMI in and output (Allowing EQ Correction in Digital Domain). This way help you, to configure your system better with out spending all the extra money on a processor which still has glitches and bugs to iron out. Not to say these processors have a set of their own problems and setting them up is also not a easy task. One would have to either setup the processor themselves or pay someone to do so.

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-22-2016, 05:52 AM
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I can't speak about the Trinnov but I can say absolutely that the Datasat is waaaaay better than the more traditional pre-pros. And the differences were much more profound, obvious and important than the differences a DAC would make. But only you get to decide if you are willing to spend the $ to get the sound. And I would take strong exception to the statement that room treatment diminishes the need for a pre-pro with room correction. My room has extensive room treatment and every processor with room correction made a significant improvement. And yes, it was Dirac that made up most of the difference.

The Datasat creats a far more 3D immersive environment, brought out sounds that were previously hidden and made the speakers totally disappear.

For a lot less money but probably 95% of the sound (but not flexibility), Datasat has released the LS10. Still a lot of money. In a few years, someone will have a product that costs a lot less and be excellent - but it won't have Audyssey as the room correction product.

If you are happy with what you have, just don't go listen to (or watch) something that is better - and then you won't be tempted to spend more money!!!!
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 07:42 PM
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I currently own a Marantz 8802A paired with miniDSP 88A (Dirac Live) as I did not want to use Audyssey. Overall , I am content with this set up. Would a LS10 or Trinnov Alt 16 result in a meaningful leap in SQ?
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 08:45 PM
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You can learn a lot about Trinnov SSPs and their custom software and upgradability and features vs other SSPs by watching the various Trinnov seminars, particularly these two:

Part 1: Immersive Audio Unmasked https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL
Part 2: The Optimizer https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL

Pray for all of our healthcare providers, food manufacturing and delivery workers, all of whom are doing their best at great risk to help us survive the current Covid-19 virus crisis.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
You can learn a lot about Trinnov SSPs and their custom software and upgradability and features vs other SSPs by watching the various Trinnov seminars, particularly these two:

Part 1: Immersive Audio Unmasked https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL
Part 2: The Optimizer https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL
Thanks but I cannot view these links as they appear truncated.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-22-2020, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
You can learn a lot about Trinnov SSPs and their custom software and upgradability and features vs other SSPs by watching the various Trinnov seminars, particularly these two:

Part 1: Immersive Audio Unmasked https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL
Part 2: The Optimizer https://www.gotostage.com/channel/c7...source=CHANNEL
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack724 View Post
Thanks but I cannot view these links as they appear truncated.
Go to the links at the second post in the below thread. I just checked and they work at least for me:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ul...avpro-etc.html
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post #11 of 12 Old 06-03-2020, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisreeves View Post
Hey guys,

Now that I have a flagship AVR - Denon 7200WA - of course I am wondering what the difference is at the "next level." Can someone help me understand? Let's assume all else is equal in two scenarios where the only difference in a system is the AVR vs the Pre/Pro. . . .
You ask a great question. Here are some differences:
Balanced output - All high end processors use balanced outputs to the amplifiers. This results in a lower noise signal, but more importantly, higher output voltage.
Higher output voltage - The higher the output voltage, the more headroom the signal has without being clipped. The SMPTE standard is +24 dBu (12.28 Vrms). The Denon X8500 does +3.8 dBu (1.2 Vrms) except on the subwoofer output which is higher. My minimum requirement is that a processor should do at least +20 dBu. The higher output voltage also lets one use a lower gain amplifier. This results in an overall lower noise floor.
Better Volume Control - A higher end processor may use a higher bit depth for volume adjustments and then dither for output. Some now also have a hybrid volume control that combines the best of analog and digital volume controls.
Lower noise DAC section - Getting a hiss or noise with consumer receivers and processors is something I hate and shows up with high sensitivity speakers. A high end processor may use a dual or quad DAC output section, like a high end DAC, to lower the noise floor.
Better 4K HDMI input/outputs - A high end processor should have quicker switching of HDMI sources and no dropouts or handshake issues. You can also use combine audio and video inputs separately. Want to listen to music while watching a football game? - no problem.
Lip Sync - You need different lip sync for 24p vs 60p. A higher end processor can give more lip sync settings for those that desire to make it perfect. You can have both global lip sync and lip sync on a per input basis.
Extensive bass management - A high end processor will give one more options for bass management including 1st-4th order crossovers of various kinds. This allows one to better integrate the mains with the subs. There may also be options such as routing the LFE to any speaker, routing redirected bass to any subwoofer, grouping/ungrouping subwoofers, and outputting to more than just two subwoofers
Bass and main speaker integration - Audyssey and all other "room correction" software run after the processor's crossovers have been set. Both Trinnov's room correction and now Dirac Live Bass Control handle the crossover between the speaker and subwoofer for tighter integration and better time and phase alignment. I'm not aware of any thing else that will do this.
Active crossovers - Most high end processors have the capability to group channels for active crossovers
Channel rerouting - A receiver locks you in to their channel routing. A high end processor lets you reroute channels. This is helpful for not only measuring, but also for creating different setups based on stereo vs multi-channel sources. It is just another tool for optimizing the system depending on content. You can even route differently for Atmos, DTX:X, and Auro:3D depending on what layout you might want to use.
Presets - Yamaha is the most flexible consumer processor regarding presets, but it is still minimal compared to a high end processor. By preset I mean the ability to save decoding, layout, levels, delays, routing, EQ and switch on the fly either automatically depending on content or manually.
Zones - Some high end processors let you use excess channels for mono, stereo, and even multi-channel zones. You can use the processor for a two channel room and a high end home theater, two home theaters, whole house audio, etc.
EQ - You don't have to rely on a miniDSP. With a high end processor you get extensive EQ capability and can sometimes import EQ settings from REW or other software.
Higher Precision - The precision of a room correction filter is dependent on the number of taps. A high end processor will use a higher number of taps for the ability to correct the bass frequencies without high latency FIR filters.
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post #12 of 12 Old 06-04-2020, 01:34 AM
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Great post Michael 👍


Regards,
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