EXCLUSIVE: StormAudio Is Poised to Release Entry-Level ISP Core 16 Pre/Pro and Innovative StormXT Processing

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(September 3, 2021) During a recent interview with StormAudio’s Gary Blouse, National Sales Manager - US and Canada, AV NIRVANA was given the green light to discuss several of the company’s exciting new products. The headliner is a new entry-level processor called the ISP Core 16. Core 16 is destined to be a boon to enthusiasts that want true high-end technologies but are gun shy when it comes to gear that costs more than $15,000 or $16,000. Unlike some manufacturers that spruce up lower-end gear to insert a product in the $9,000 to $11,000 category, Storm’s ISP Core 16 is the beneficiary of impressive trickle-down technologies found in its elite ISP MK2 line (read a full review of Storm's ISP 32 MK2 Processor, here)

Tagged with an MSRP of $11,999, Core 16 is a 16-channel processor loaded with 16 XLR outputs and 16 unique channels of processing for Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D immersive arrangements. It also carries a “core” subset of MK2 features. Those include Dirac Live, ROON, PEQs, active crossovers, multi-zone audio/video with separate calibrations in all zones, channel-based digital delays, and others. As a trade-off for its more affordable price, Core 16 reserves features such as Dirac Bass Control, Storm’s proprietary Expert Bass Management with Flexible Bass Routing, and the brand’s HDMI video matrix feature as optional upgrades for a fee.

Unlike Storm’s fully upgradeable ISP MK2 platform, Core 16 will only offer access to video upgrades. While not as versatile as the 16 channel ISP MK2 model, this still presents owners with impressive future-proofing capabilities, especially considering that video hardware advancements roll out far more frequently than those associated with audio. Conversely, Core 16 will carry a brand-new color display. Unlike the display found on MK2 models, the Core 16’s display can show graphics and important functionality information previously accessible only through Storm’s web-based user interface; this feature will streamline quick, on-the-spot troubleshooting performed by installers and enthusiasts, alike.

Another exciting development is StormAudio’s new Channel Ambiance Expander or StormXT. This feature allows a system to take advantage of all speakers deployed in a theater room. For example, owners with a high channel count, such as 13.1.10 tailored to satisfy Dolby Atmos content, will get a wider number of speakers used when playing Auro-3D content, natively limited to a 7.1.4 channel rendering. StormXT will be offered as a paid license to Core 16 buyers and a free upgrade to MK1/MK2 owners.

Blouse says that StormAudio’s sales have been exceptionally strong in recent quarters, and the company has remained relatively unscathed by parts shortages. Storm is actively tooling a new France-based factory to manufacture Core 16. The processor currently exists as an operational prototype, so we don’t have pictures to share (we’ll update this article as soon as images are released). Shipping is expected to begin sometime during Q4 of 2021, however, pre-orders can be placed now.
 
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NBPK402

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Will it be able to act a crossover too...if so how many of the outputs can be used for crossovers? I am looking for 5 biamp channels plus 4 heights and 1 sub. Also how many adjustment per speaker channel?
 

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I believe so… this should be able to handle what you’re looking to do.
 

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They're really excited about this product launch and already have pre-orders lining up. I think this is going to be a good one for them. It's filling a market gap from the high-end down, which is exciting.
 

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FWIW - I think $12k for a home theater processor is still way too expensive, especially when competitors are offering similar channel counts for a fraction of the price. Granted, I'm sure this unit will work better and be more flexible, but is it worth 2x-3x the price? Not worth it to me.
 

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One feature this has is that it is upgradable for the video board which is something that keeps getting changed almost yearly now as HDMI keeps changing. If you look at spending $3k and up every year or two for a new AVP...it becomes much more affordable, plus you do not need to sell your old one. For me it is worth it as after a few years of use it will cost about the same and you just replace the video board. In addition for me it reduces the number of components needed by having Dirac and crossovers builtin. The feature of moving the sound to a location other than where your speaker as far as I know is not offered in any AVP other than Trinnov which is also over $10k. Storm Audio and Trinnov also are designed as a PC...so they can update different audio processing types as they come out via firmware instead of having to get a new chip, which means a new AVP.

I look at this as a end of game AVP.
 
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Will it be able to act a crossover too...if so how many of the outputs can be used for crossovers? I am looking for 5 biamp channels plus 4 heights and 1 sub. Also how many adjustment per speaker channel?
Yes, and you can use all outputs anyway you want.
 

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StormAudio requested that I alter information pertaining to StormXT. It now reads as follows:

"Another exciting development is StormAudio’s new Channel Ambiance Expander or StormXT. This feature allows a system to take advantage of all speakers deployed in a theater room. For example, owners with a high channel count, such as 13.1.10 tailored to satisfy Dolby Atmos content, will get a wider number of speakers used when playing Auro-3D content, natively limited to a 7.1.4 channel rendering. StormXT will be offered as a paid license to Core 16 buyers and a free upgrade to MK1/MK2 owners."
 

NBPK402

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StormAudio requested that I alter information pertaining to StormXT. It now reads as follows:

"Another exciting development is StormAudio’s new Channel Ambiance Expander or StormXT. This feature allows a system to take advantage of all speakers deployed in a theater room. For example, owners with a high channel count, such as 13.1.10 tailored to satisfy Dolby Atmos content, will get a wider number of speakers used when playing Auro-3D content, natively limited to a 7.1.4 channel rendering. StormXT will be offered as a paid license to Core 16 buyers and a free upgrade to MK1/MK2 owners."
Is this a seperate box that you add to it for the increased channel count?
 

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No, it’s a software upgrade… for the Core 16, it would only manage within the 16 channels it natively offers
 

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No, it’s a software upgrade… for the Core 16, it would only manage within the 16 channels it natively offers
Oh, I was hoping it was a add on box. It must be Trinnov that has a addon box for people that already have the 16 channel unit. Is Storm going to offer a 24 channel version of this unit?
 

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As of right now, this 16 channel model is the only Core product... If you want 24 channels, you'll need to step up to the ISP 24 MK2.
 
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Here are some pictures:
StormAudio Core 16 Front.jpg


StormAudio Core 16 Back.jpg


Core 16 Features.jpg
 

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Interesting to note: Core 16 will come with a physical remote... also, Storm is going to launch a remote app for iOS and Android phones in a matter of days.

Sounds like Core 16's color display will become available for MKII owners.

Still no timeline on the HDMI 2.1 card release. Likely coming in early to mid 2022.
 
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Very nice... wonder if it will be that much better cost wise than the HTP-1... might be hard to justify the upgrade, but it's still very nice.
 

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Very nice... wonder if it will be that much better cost wise than the HTP-1... might be hard to justify the upgrade, but it's still very nice.
I would say it depends on what you want to do. The upgradable HDMI board is a huge one in my book (no need to buy a new preamp every year or two to get the latest HDMI.), plus that you can configure all the channels as crossovers....not to mention the feature that moves the sound to correct for not symetrical speakers.
 

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Big question...you have 4 triggers, can they be individually controlled? I am interested in being able to turn on with one trigger a stereo amp, another the center channel, another surrounds, and lastly height channels. It would be great if there was a way to have this happen automatically depending on the audio mode selected.
 

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Big question...you have 4 triggers, can they be individually controlled? I am interested in being able to turn on with one trigger a stereo amp, another the center channel, another surrounds, and lastly height channels. It would be great if there was a way to have this happen automatically depending on the audio mode selected.
If it's anything like the IPS Mk1 or Mk2 then you have a variety of choices on the behaviour of each trigger.

45014
 

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If it's anything like the IPS Mk1 or Mk2 then you have a variety of choices on the behaviour of each trigger.

View attachment 45014
Thanks, i see now, but what are the inputs, and presets options? Can you select to turn on amp a when a stereo source is desired, amp a and b when 3 channels required, etc? I ask this as I as well as others sometimes are trying to have a low carbon footprint and being able to only have the amps desired on is a nice use of the triggers.
 

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Thanks, i see now, but what are the inputs, and presets options? Can you select to turn on amp a when a stereo source is desired, amp a and b when 3 channels required, etc? I ask this as I as well as others sometimes are trying to have a low carbon footprint and being able to only have the amps desired on is a nice use of the triggers.
I personally don't use the triggers, Inputs are you sources that you configure like hdmi 1, what preset & default upmixer is used with that source and what combination of triggers etc. You can have multiple inputs using the same source ( e.g. hdmi 1) but with different combinations of presets, upmixer and triggers.

Presests are combinations of what "Theater", profile, triggers and upmixer should be used.

Probably your best bet is to download their use manual and read through it as there is a lot of flexibility and Configuration options available.
 

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I personally don't use the triggers, Inputs are you sources that you configure like hdmi 1, what preset & default upmixer is used with that source and what combination of triggers etc. You can have multiple inputs using the same source ( e.g. hdmi 1) but with different combinations of presets, upmixer and triggers.

Presests are combinations of what "Theater", profile, triggers and upmixer should be used.

Probably your best bet is to download their use manual and read through it as there is a lot of flexibility and Configuration options available.
I guess you could trigger a stereo amp for say Roon, and do multichannel for other sources.
 
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