Trinnov Aims High with Surround Processor

The Trinnov preamp-processor definitely falls into the "if you have to ask" category. But as long as you're asking, $17,000 will get you a version with 8 outputs and $21,000 will give you 16.

Are we being critical to note that 8 channels is 2 short of what you'll need for 5.1.4 Atmos and 16 is 3 more than enough for 7.4.2? You can even get up to 32—for $29,000. Of course, you'll have to add $2500 for the Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D package.

Still this is one appealing and clearly professional-grade surround-sound package that's unlikely to be rendered obsolete in three or four years. In addition to sales under the Trinnov brand, the processor is now part of JBL's Synthesis system (equipped there with JBLs own room compensation scheme). The number of channels and other features can be upgraded at a later date. >

Among its appealing high tech characteristics is one that's uncommon but not that complex: steps of 0.1dB in the critical region of the volume control. I've found that 0.2 or 0.3dB can make an audible difference in the overall quality of the sound, sometimes locking onto that sweet spot for a given source (that sweet spot will, of course, vary with the listener). Subtle, certainly, but worthwhile. Why can't we get this in more affordable pre-pros and even high-end AVRs?