StormAudio I.ISP 3D.16.12 16-Channel Integrated AV Processor Hands-On - Page 22 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #631 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Bigmoviefan View Post
If you do not know what steering is in a PrePro, you need to educate yourself on this subject. Or just not comment on things you know nothing about .
I know exactly what you are claiming "steering" is, and it's wrong. The idea that somehow one processor using Dolby or DTS decoders will magically move sounds to different channels "better" than other products using the same decoders. If a sound is flagged for a channel, it will go to that channel or it will fail Dolby and DTS certification. Every product goes through the same testing and has to meet the same standards. There's no massaging or "custom written code" of the decoder to get a better result. It's pass/fail, there are no letter grades.

The only appropriate use of "steering" is when discussing/comparing the different up-mixers and formats. There is real and non-imaginary difference between them and how they steer sounds to the different channels.

None of the above has anything to do with how the unit sounds. That's an entirely different discussion and there are a number of other reasons that can make one product sound different from another.

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post #632 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 07:10 AM
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DSP chips are the same, codecs are the same, everything should sound the same. Amps sound the same, receivers the same as separates, and so on. Electrical and software engineers coming up w/different designs and implementations are just spinning their wheels to meet a price point and keep their jobs because it doesn't really matter.

Yet in so many cases, they don't sound the same whether or not they should. And it's demonstrable, though I would not try this w/cables

Put excellent processors into the same system and they often sound different. The Storm, as an example, sounds obviously better than either the AVM60 or Marantz 8802/5 (both of which I like, but for different reasons) and Datasat, and this is clear (to audiophiles and 'civilians' alike) from moment one. It's not something you have try to listen for.

It'd be great if an inexpensive receiver or processor sounded the same as a good high end prepro and amp. Some stuff is stupidly over-priced and lousy value. But there are a lot of great products out there, and the awful truth is, by and large, you get what you pay for.

As the above post notes, processors are complex. We can try to isolate reasons why this or that sounds better (or doesn't), but few, if any of us, are hardcore hardware or software engineers w/the background and experience to dissect in this way. And it's never just one thing or the other, it's implementation and how it all works together, like any other complex product or system. Maybe all those electronic/software guts that engineers sweat over actually add up to something. Storm, as an example, loads/unloads codecs on the 6 DSPs in a particular way they believe improves the presentation. You can't look at a spec sheet or REW graph (which has value) and really know how something sounds. Which is why I find it odd at best when people speak authoritatively about products they haven't heard and certainly haven't compared side by side. And that's my final point with regard to these forums, and it seems rather obvious to me anyway -- don't comment on how something sounds if you haven't heard it.
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post #633 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by duckymomo View Post
I know exactly what you are claiming "steering" is, and it's wrong. The idea that somehow one processor using Dolby or DTS decoders will magically move sounds to different channels "better" than other products using the same decoders. If a sound is flagged for a channel, it will go to that channel or it will fail Dolby and DTS certification. Every product goes through the same testing and has to meet the same standards. There's no massaging or "custom written code" of the decoder to get a better result. It's pass/fail, there are no letter grades.
And yet compare the presentation of an 8802/5 vs. an AVM60 and you will find the 60 does a noticeably better job of precise placement and tracking of discrete effects. Maybe it's a verbiage thing as we're trying to use words to describe sound, but 'steering' works for me.
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post #634 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 07:36 AM
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Storm, as an example, loads/unloads codecs on the 6 DSPs in a particular way they believe improves the presentation.
Please define "load" and "presentation" for us Rob. How does Storm "load" codecs differently than other processors and how does Storm objectively improve "presentation"?
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post #635 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 07:45 AM
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It will only load one codec at a time. Meaning, if you choose Auro, it will offload Dolby or whatever codec was on the DSP and replace it w/Auro, so only one thing at a time is on the DSP. Engineers there will tell you this is an advantage. How this exactly influences the sound, I cannot tell you. It would be impossible (for me anyway) to separate that out from other elements affecting the sound.

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post #636 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Apgood View Post
For Dirac the correction filters are calculated in you computer so assuming you are using the same version of Dirac with the same feature set enabled the correction filter should be pretty much the same regardless of the processor...

Seems to me that the RC is likely the biggest contributor to variable results, given the infinite possibilities for mic placement.



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Storm, as an example, loads/unloads codecs on the 6 DSPs in a particular way they believe improves the presentation.

Well that's a head-scratcher, as it implies that the s/w is executed differently.

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post #637 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rblnr View Post
It will only load one codec at a time. Meaning, if you choose Auro, it will offload Dolby or whatever codec was on the DSP and replace it w/Auro, so only one thing at a time is on the DSP. Engineers there will tell you this is an advantage.
How is it an advantage, Rob i.e. what's the objective improvement?

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How this exactly influences the sound, I cannot tell you
You don't know what Storm means when they claim better "presentation"?
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post #638 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 10:55 AM
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I'm not interested in the technical details as a consumer, I just like the sound. I was able to test Arcam / NAD / Datasat and Trinnov 16, the Storm was the best sounding processor for me.
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post #639 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I'm not interested in the technical details as a consumer, I just like the sound. I was able to test Arcam / NAD / Datasat and Trinnov 16, the Storm was the best sounding processor for me.
You did well to find a dealer with all five processors in the same room who could switch them quick enough to A-B, well done.
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You did well to find a dealer with all five processors in the same room who could switch them quick enough to A-B, well done.
Yup, that would be something to hear: a level matched A/B setup using the same speaker gear and content.

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post #641 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 11:19 AM
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How is it an advantage, Rob i.e. what's the objective improvement?


You don't know what Storm means when they claim better "presentation"?
As noted above , I can't tell you exactly how that particular bit of methodology translates into this or that specific improvement. I'll ask an engineer next time I'm in conversation w/one.

As for better presentation, I can tell you that what you get over several other processors in (very) short; more dimensionality (a denser surroundfield that's feels more immersive and engaging), a sense of speed and ease, and more resolution across the board but particularly in low level details.

I know some of you seem to want a 'this translates to that', so-called objective answer, I'm sure the engineers can give you some of that but the bottom line is how it sounds and like many things it is more than the sum of its parts.

I will drop further down the esteem level of some: I've owned processors (as well as other components) since the B&K AVP2000 back in the stone age. Brands owned include ADA, Marantz, Anthem, Classe, Theta, et al., many long before I was a dealer (it's a second job that's fun, usually ) Throughout the years I've come across some components that have some real magic -- they break down the illusion of reproduction and transport somehow -- it's uncommon and a reason to pursue the hobby. Sure, there are engineering reasons why, but there's an art to it too that separates some from others. Examples: the Epos ES14 speakers, White Audio A series and Trinity amps going back, some Audio Research stuff and others more in the present. The Storm is one of these; I can break it down w/adjectives as above -- we're trying to describe sound here and there's no other way -- but it just ups the engagement level versus a lot of competitors, and justifies its price for this and other reasons.

Background info, I've participated in a few hundred sound mixes in my real job and consider myself a highly critical person, self- and otherwise. I make a point to always A/B stuff I talk about. I really don't care what sounds better and would be f-ing thrilled if $500 receiver was as good. Or a $5000 one. If/when I find that, I'll post here on AVS when I'm in a masochistic moment!
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post #642 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wookii View Post
You did well to find a dealer with all five processors in the same room who could switch them quick enough to A-B, well done.

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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
Yup, that would be something to hear: a level matched A/B setup using the same speaker gear and content.

Yes, if that's actually what happened, which I doubt; all [email protected] said was that he heard them all.

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post #643 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 12:03 PM
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Yes, if that's actually what happened, which I doubt; all [email protected] said was that he heard them all.
Of course it didn’t happen, that’s the point I was making, since listening to the same content, on the same speaker system, in the same room, with a very short duration in between, would be the only physically possible way to make any kind of assessment as to which processor is:

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. . . the best sounding processor . . .
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The A / B test I have only done with Datasat and Storm, Arcam and NAD have no chance against the two.
I have all heard in a room and with the same speakers.
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post #645 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 01:21 PM
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I know some of you seem to want a 'this translates to that', so-called objective answer.....
Yes, we would. Absent objective data, or a proper blind test, such claims hold no value and are apt to be construed as marketing, not fact.

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I'm sure the engineers can give you some of that
That would be nice, if you can arrange it.
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post #646 of 874 Old 04-01-2019, 01:30 PM
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Of course it didn’t happen, that’s the point I was making, since listening to the same content, on the same speaker system, in the same room, with a very short duration in between, would be the only physically possible way to make any kind of assessment as to which processor is:

Ah, so I fell into the sarchasm.

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It will only load one codec at a time. Meaning, if you choose Auro, it will offload Dolby or whatever codec was on the DSP and replace it w/Auro, so only one thing at a time is on the DSP. Engineers there will tell you this is an advantage. How this exactly influences the sound, I cannot tell you. It would be impossible (for me anyway) to separate that out from other elements affecting the sound.
This is a point you need much more clarification on. Storm is using a MDS/TI decoder board which I doubt is proprietary to Storm. When it switches codecs, I highly doubt it operates any differently than any other DSP based system.

At Starke Sound we have experienced some glitches switching between Dolby Atmos (True HD) and DTS-HD MA. A few seconds delay to lock on the new signal and produce sound is excusable. But we did experience no codec lock and no sound on at least one occassion. We had to switch to a different input then back to resolve. Source is an Oppo UDP-203.

Have any other users experienced this?
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post #648 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 07:54 AM
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It will only load one codec at a time. Meaning, if you choose Auro, it will offload Dolby or whatever codec was on the DSP and replace it w/Auro, so only one thing at a time is on the DSP. Engineers there will tell you this is an advantage. How this exactly influences the sound, I cannot tell you. It would be impossible (for me anyway) to separate that out from other elements affecting the sound.
IIRC, this is a very common way to do it. That's why there's a 1-2 second on some processors when you switch codecs. This delay is much longer than the look ahead delay which is measured in tens of milliseconds.

Acurus advertises no delay when switching codecs, so presumably they're all loaded into the memory and the default latency is long enough for all the codecs.

If Storm is gonna make the bold claim that only loading one codec is some sort of sound-enhancing feature, the burden of proof is on them to prove it.

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And yet compare the presentation of an 8802/5 vs. an AVM60 and you will find the 60 does a noticeably better job of precise placement and tracking of discrete effects. Maybe it's a verbiage thing as we're trying to use words to describe sound, but 'steering' works for me.
I compared them blind with as small a delay as possible, but still pretty long. I preferred the Anthem due to the difference in RC, which was very audible in my room. There were no steering or other perceived differences.
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post #649 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 08:38 AM
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Yup, that would be something to hear: a level matched A/B setup using the same speaker gear and content.
I've done and do this w/a bunch of the processors in two channel and 5.1.

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post #650 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 08:40 AM
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[QUOTE=duckymomo;57842596}


I compared them blind with as small a delay as possible, but still pretty long. I preferred the Anthem due to the difference in RC, which was very audible in my room. There were no steering or other perceived differences.[/QUOTE]

Did the same for both two channel music and 5.1 and our findings were different.

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post #651 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I'm not interested in the technical details as a consumer, I just like the sound. I was able to test Arcam / NAD / Datasat and Trinnov 16, the Storm was the best sounding processor for me.
Cool. If you go with the Storm, I'm confident you'll be very happy with it.

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post #652 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 12:41 PM
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Acurus advertises no delay when switching codecs, so presumably they're all loaded into the memory and the default latency is long enough for all the codecs.
Last I checked (CEDIA 2016), Acurus was using separate DSP chips (on separate daughter cards) for Dolby and DTS codecs. With each codec suite having its own dedicated DSP, there was no loading/unloading of codecs, allowing them to advertise no delay when switching codecs. The downside with separate Dolby and DTS signal paths was that they couldn't do cross-codec upmixing (even when it was allowed).
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Another Storm clone {from Focal}:
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Storm ISP 3D.16.12 ELITE



Focal ASTRAL 16

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post #654 of 874 Old 04-02-2019, 01:41 PM
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Last I checked (CEDIA 2016), Acurus was using separate DSP chips (on separate daughter cards) for Dolby and DTS codecs. With each codec suite having its own dedicated DSP, there was no loading/unloading of codecs, allowing them to advertise no delay when switching codecs. The downside with separate Dolby and DTS signal paths was that they couldn't do cross-codec upmixing (even when it was allowed).
That is very interesting. I'd love to understand the pros & cons. Does the Acurus or Storm support Dolby Pro-logic II? Yamaha CX-A5x00 uses a TI/MDS solution and supports PLII.

The Lyngdorf/McIntosh has 8 ADI SHARCs (4th gen) [which seems like a lot] so I wonder if they are doing the same. Both DTS Neural X and DTS Neo X are supported. We tried to get Pro-logic II added/activated but ADI indicated that they did not already have code with PLII and Dolby Surround both running (nor was it a trivial task). Storm is using 4th gen SHARCs for other DSP functions like Dirac.
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Does the Acurus or Storm support Dolby Pro-logic II?
Not that I know of (it's an additional licensing cost).
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Yamaha CX-A5x00 uses a TI/MDS solution and supports PLII.
They already had PLII and Neo. When Yamaha did the DTS:X update, the new upmixers were added, but the ones that were already in there weren't removed. Later products from Yamaha never had the old upmixers, so they came to market with just the new ones (DSU and Neural).

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The Focal sure is prettier.

IMO the Storm looks like industrial lab equipment of decades gone by.
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post #657 of 874 Old 04-03-2019, 11:47 AM
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The Storm does not do PLII. For myself anyway, I'm not sure what a use case would be. If I'm upmixing a movie I'd use Dolby Surround, and for music, hands down Auro.

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post #658 of 874 Old 04-03-2019, 12:17 PM
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Looks like JTR will be using a StormAudio Processor for their room at Axpona.

https://www.avnirvana.com/threads/jo...ona-2019.4354/
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Originally Posted by rblnr View Post
The Storm does not do PLII. For myself anyway, I'm not sure what a use case would be. If I'm upmixing a movie I'd use Dolby Surround, and for music, hands down Auro.
What Auro settings do you use for music?

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[QUOTE=duckymomo;57849748]
Quote:
Originally Posted by rblnr View Post

What Auro settings do you use for music?
Depends on the recording. Strength goes from 1-15; for electronica I might go up to 15, a blues club recording likely lower as examples. I’ll also mix a bit to taste, for example upping the surrounds for electronica.

HT/Music Atmos setup with Scaena line arrays and Storm Audio processor

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