StormAudio ISP MK2 24CH AV Processor Review & Support Thread

gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
Folks;

As many of you know, I spent the last year testing and evaluating the StormAudio ISP MK2 24CH AV Processor. My beginning journey revealed some performance issues that I worked closely with the engineers at StormAudio to improve upon and they did so quite excellently.

When I set out to build the new AH SmartHome, I wanted to create a state of the art home theater room showcasing some of the very best equipment in the industry. The StormAudio ISP MK2 24CH Atmos/DTS:X processor is at the heart of this system thanks to its incredibly advanced processing, bass management and routing and being one of the only AV processors on the market with digital outputs to interface directly with active speakers for the best possible fidelity. After all this time bench testing and analyzing the capabilities of the Storm ISP MK2, how did it perform under our scrutiny? Read the review to find out.

stormaudio.jpg


Read: StormAudio ISP MK2 AV Processor Review

 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Storm MK-II THD+N is 0.002%?

Denon X3700 is 0.001%, Denon X8500 and DatSat LS10 are 0.0007%.

Again, all are completely inaudible, but for nerds who will be comparing numbers. :D
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I scanned the review only for now so please someone tell me what was wrong with the SNR for ch 4? I don't that can't be a defect or anything bad otherwise Gene would have said something.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
It is very obvious to me manufacturers really don't believe the DAC ICs would make any audible difference because most high end gear even 2 channel stuff don't seem to bother using the top tier ICs, yet they would all try to convince people why their gear would sound better than their competitors. That's really silly on their part because for the buyers they target on, they could have put the flagship ones such as the AK4499, ES9038 Pro onboard and highlight that fact in their marketing material. No it won't be "audible" by humans but to golden ears and people fixated on numbers, they will gobble it up and therefore would shut up and pay up.:D

As it is now, Storm Audio appears to be forced to upgrade the DAC section after members on ASR expressed their disappointment and now I know Gene has been working with them on improvements as well.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
It is very obvious to me manufacturers really don't believe the DAC ICs would make any audible difference because most high end gear even 2 channel stuff don't seem to bother using the top tier ICs, yet they would all try to convince people why their gear would sound better than their competitors. That's really silly on their part because for the buyers they target on, they could have put the flagship ones such as the AK4499, ES9038 Pro onboard and highlight that fact in their marketing material. No it won't be "audible" by humans but to golden ears and people fixated on numbers, they will gobble it up and therefore would shut up and pay up.:D

As it is now, Storm Audio appears to be forced to upgrade the DAC section after members on ASR expressed their disappointment and now I know Gene has been working with them on improvements as well.
They are upgrading the DAC because they are unhappy with THD+N of 0.002%?

What was the SNR on Ch4?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
They are upgrading the DAC because they are unhappy with THD+N of 0.002%?

What was the SNR on Ch4?
On the DAC redesign, Gene said:

I observed some out of band noise at 30kHz (-70dB) and 50kHz (-55dB) with bass management engaged. Although this is inaudible, it is good housekeeping to clean this up. StormAudio told me this will be addressed with the new DAC design.
I don't think Amir mentioned anything about that and I might have mixed it up with another super expensive AVP review (ASR) that mentioned re-working the DAC.

Found it, it was the $17,000 Trinnov not the StormAudio that Amir mentioned that was supposedly working on the DAC thing. So now we have two expensive AVPs that seem committed to improve on the DAC measurements that have no audible effects.:D

On the ch4 SNR, I asked the same question.
 
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M

Movie2099

Audioholic Chief
Do not tell Sparechange that you think the StormAudio is better......I'm pretty sure he would risk his life for his Trinnov. He will go to his grave making sure everybody knows he has a Trinnov and it's the greatest AV processer alive and on the market. Nothing will ever touch it. NOTHING! :D
 
Replicant 7

Replicant 7

Audioholic General
Do not tell Sparechange that you think the StormAudio is better......I'm pretty sure he would risk his life for his Trinnov. He will go to his grave making sure everybody knows he has a Trinnov and it's the greatest AV processer alive and on the market. Nothing will ever touch it. NOTHING! :D
Lmao!! ( sparechange) Lolo.
 
flyboylr45

flyboylr45

Full Audioholic
The only thing that attracts me to one of these processors is the flexibility with subwoofers. Having the same speakers as Gene and 2 additional subs in the back of the room, I'd like to be able to play the LFE signal out of my front channels as well. As of now, I don't think any AVR has the ability to do that. Measurements wise, audible or not, plenty of AVRs measure better than these megabuck processors. I'd expect better for the $$$$$ whether audible or not.
 
G

Golfx

Audioholic
The only thing that attracts me to one of these processors is the flexibility with subwoofers. Having the same speakers as Gene and 2 additional subs in the back of the room, I'd like to be able to play the LFE signal out of my front channels as well. As of now, I don't think any AVR has the ability to do that. Measurements wise, audible or not, plenty of AVRs measure better than these megabuck processors. I'd expect better for the $$$$$ whether audible or not.
Aha, now you are reflecting one of the best reasons to purchase either the trinnov or the storm. Most of us on this forum have a costly addiction to upgrading our gear. It is a slow and gradual lifelong hobby. Near the end of that journey you have these “home theaters” rooms with multiple channels and speakers. Along the way you had to solve problems regarding choices and setup issues which helped you learn. THAT learning process also becomes an almost necessary addiction. One that I would miss greatly if I quit or learned “enough.” The trinnov and storm (to a slightly lesser extent) offer a rich complexity to demand you learn more and orchestrate the presentation of your home theater.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Do not tell Sparechange that you think the StormAudio is better......I'm pretty sure he would risk his life for his Trinnov. He will go to his grave making sure everybody knows he has a Trinnov and it's the greatest AV processer alive and on the market. Nothing will ever touch it. NOTHING! :D
Yeah, but what's the THD+N on the Trinnov? :D

Especially at 96kHz for those Hi-Def Audio. :D
 
G

Golfx

Audioholic
Yeah, but what's the THD+N on the Trinnov? :D
From ASR it is 100. So yes the Denon AVR 8500 is 103. But the latter has to downsample hi-res music to 48hz when it uses its room correction software. The trinnov doesn’t. So when you chase mathematical purity of bench measurements they both win.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
D

Danzilla31

Audioholic Ninja
It is very obvious to me manufacturers really don't believe the DAC ICs would make any audible difference because most high end gear even 2 channel stuff don't seem to bother using the top tier ICs, yet they would all try to convince people why their gear would sound better than their competitors. That's really silly on their part because for the buyers they target on, they could have put the flagship ones such as the AK4499, ES9038 Pro onboard and highlight that fact in their marketing material. No it won't be "audible" by humans but to golden ears and people fixated on numbers, they will gobble it up and therefore would shut up and pay up.:D

As it is now, Storm Audio appears to be forced to upgrade the DAC section after members on ASR expressed their disappointment and now I know Gene has been working with them on improvements as well.
Super cool that two audio sites could actually impact these companies and help make changes for us
 
flyboylr45

flyboylr45

Full Audioholic
Super cool that two audio sites could actually impact these companies and help make changes for us
Mind you, only reason they’re making these changes is because the cat’s out of the bag. If I still had my Mac amps, I would’ve sent them to Amir or driven them to Gene to test them. I bet their measurements wouldn’t have been any better than some of the well regarded, less expensive amps we all mention here. Still, it’s great to have these gents keeping these manufacturers honest.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
From ASR it is 100. So yes the Denon AVR 8500 is 103. But the latter has to downsample hi-res music to 48hz when it uses its room correction software. The trinnov doesn’t. So when you chase mathematical purity of bench measurements they both win.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
So Audyssey and Dirac down-sample to 48 kHz, Trinnov down-sample to 96kHz, and YPAO doesn't down-sample at all at 192kHz/24 bit.

Hey @Replicant 7, does that mean Yamaha YPAO is the best? :D

Oh, wait, I forgot that the HUMAN HEARING down-sample to BELOW 20 kHZ. :D




So looks like DataSat LS10 and Denon X8500 have the best THD+N/SINAD, while the Denon X3700 has better THD+N/SINAD than Storm, Trinnov, and Emo.
 
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flyboylr45

flyboylr45

Full Audioholic
So Audyssey and Dirac down-sample to 48 kHz, Trinnov down-sample to 96kHz, and YPAO doesn't down-sample at all at 192kHz/24 bit.

Hey @Replicant 7, does that mean Yamaha YPAO is the best? :D

Oh, wait, I forgot that the HUMAN HEARING down-sample to BELOW 20 kHZ. :D
And the older we get, the more down sampling we do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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