StormAudio Drops the Immersive Bomb, Reveals All-New Mark2 Processor and Amp Lineup

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(September 6, 2019) What an incredible day in the world of elite audio. First, we pulled back the curtain on Polk Audio’s stunning Legend Series of speakers, and now we’re getting a first look at StormAudio’s ridiculously gorgeous 2020 processors and amps.

StormAudio has emerged as one of the industry’s most heralded immersive sound giants, and it's poised to take charge at CEDIA 2019 with four new processor models and 8- and 16-channel amplifiers. The entire gang of gear is branded as part of the Mark2 series and is expected to be available in early 2020. All four Mk2 processors carry the company’s newly released 7+2 eARC HDMI card which delivers improved switching, full HDMI 2.0b/HDCP 2.2 support, eARC, and more (click to learn more), in addition to support for DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos, and Auro-3D Version 2 immersive sound. Additionally, Dirac Live room correction with support for Dirac's new Bass Management Module is included.

Each processor possesses the ability to decode up to a whopping 24-channels, which translates to immersive sound systems as large as 13.1.10, while also offering owners access to an array of connectivity options for a fantastic home theater experience.

The company’s new amps are also impressive (almost frightening), sporting Class D amplification in 8 x 200 watt and 16 x 200 watt configurations.

StormAudio will have a significant presence at CEDIA 2019, with static displays planned for booth #4237 and active demos in conjunction with Seymour-Screen Excellence/Audio Excellence (SR-10) and Alcons Audio (SR-13). For all the details, read the company's official press release below.

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StormAudio Debuts 2020 Immersive Audio Hardware Line at 2019 CEDIA Expo

The preamp/processors and amps boast a new industrial design and logo as part of company’s brand refreshing effort in-step with global expansion. Performance enhancements includeeARC HDMI, DTS:X Pro & IMAX Enhanced,13.1.10 decoding, rapid codec switching and improved bass management including Dirac.

See the new preamp / processor models at StormAudio’s booth #4327 and hear their current line in home theater demos at Seymour-Screen Excellence/Audio Excellence (SR-10) and Alcons Audio (SR-13)

Nantes, France – September 6, 2019 – At 2019 CEDIA Expo luxury home theater hardware brand StormAudiowill debut its 2ndgeneration immersive audio line-up comprised of 16-, 20- and 32-channel analog preamp/processors, a digital AES 32-channel version, and 8- and 16-channel amps. Designated “Mark2”and slated to hit the market in early 2020,the new models boast a fresh industrial design and many performance enhancements.

Adding to the existing line’s built-in compatibility with Dolby Atmos®, DTS :X™, Auro-3D®,and Dirac Live® Room Calibration along with StormAudio’s proprietary web-based remote monitoring tool StormMonitoring™, new is eARC HDMI, DTS:X Pro and IMAX Enhanced, 13.1.10 decoding, rapid codec switching, and improved bass management including the new Dirac Live Bass Management tool.

The processors incorporate StormAudio’s new proprietary 7+2 eARC HDMI card which makes for faster and more robust switching with full HDMI2.0b/HDCP2.2 support. Designed by StormAudio, the card delivers 4K,18 Gigabytes per second bandwidth on all input and output ports, solid DolbyVision and HDR10 is also supported. The integrated eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), a feature of HDMI 2.1, provides a big boost in bandwidth and speed, sending the high-quality audio from the 8K TV to the processor, and on to the amps and speakers.

The brand’s new Mark2 platform can decode up to 24-channels (Dolby Atmos 13.1.10) and features ultra-fast codec switching time and substantially reduced latency (50% reduction). With respect to immersive audio formats, the processors are ready to support both DTS:X Pro and IMAX Enhanced.Also incorporated is Auro-3D Version 2 which enables use of back speakers in a 13.1 layout with a 9.1 or 11.1 Auro-3D stream. Auro-3D V2 also brings improved center channel dialogue when upmixing from stereo.

The processors featureStormAudio’s updated Bass Management system which allows for multiple bass zones (customizable selective redirection). As a major Dirac supporter the processors are ready for Dirac Live Bass Management support which launches at Expo. This premium license supports phase and time alignment of multiple subwoofers within a theater. It is provided at no charge to StormAudio dealers and customers.

StormAudio’s 2020 lineup of immersive sound preamp/processors consists of the following models:
ISP.16 Analog Mk2 16-channel
ISP.20 Analog Mk2 20-channel
ISP.32 Analog Mk2 32-channel
ISP.32 Digital AES Mk2 32-channel

The Mark2 line’s modular approach, same as with the current preamp/processor line, will bring options such as Digital In, Audio Video Bridging and RCA out, with even more card options planned for 2020.

StormAudio’s 2020 line-up of power amplifiers consists of the following models:
PA.8 Ultra Mk2, Class D, 8-channels x 200-watts; 4-channels x 800-watts bridged mode
PA.16 Mk2, Class D, 16-channel x 200 watts (8 ohms)

2020 Brand Refresh: New Industrial Design and Logo
Mark2 represents an updated new hardware look and also incorporates the brand’s refreshed logo. “This past 18-months StormAudio has grown from a small adventure to a technical and commercial success, thanks to the dedication of its team and partners,” says StormAudio CEO Olivier Thumerel. “To reflect this change and initiate a new era for our company, we felt it was time to simplify and modernize our image. We are excited to present ‘the new StormAudio’ to the industry at 2019 CEDIA Expo.”

Continuation of Advanced Feature Sets and CapabilitiesStormAudio’s philosophy is that luxury immersive hardware doesn’t need to be complex and time-consuming to setup. Today’s integrators have enough to deal with. The brand’s web-based user interface still remains the fastest, most intuitive GUI in the channel. Literally in minutes, from a laptop, the installer can have the system up and running, including engaging advanced control options and use of StormMonitoring Web-Based Remote Monitoring.

The processors can be customized and upgraded at time of order, or in the future by way of their scalable, modular platform. For example stepped-up to fully support 32-channel outputs (digital) over AES/EBU or Audio over IP, or support a DCI server/player 16-channel AES/EBU interface.

2019 CEDIA Expo DemosThe new processors can be seen at StormAudio’s booth #4327. The brand’s current, multiple award-winning processors outfitted with the eARC HDMI card can be experienced in high-profile theater demos by Seymour-Screen Excellence/Audio Excellence (SR-10) and Alcons Audio (SR-13).


Numerous Product Awards
This year StormAudio’s ISP 3D.16 Elite preamp/processor and PA 16 Elite amplifier are the recipients of Japan’s HiVi MagazineBronze award. In 2018, AVS Forum awarded the StormAudio / Alcons Audio immersive home theater demonstration Best of CEDIA Expo Show. In 2017 the I.ISP 3D.16.12 Elite AVR was hailed both a Top Choice and Best of CEDIA by AVS Forum, and ISE Best of Show by Residential Systems Magazine. That same year the ISP 3D.32 Elite Reference Edition preamp/processor earned a CES Innovations Award, and an ISE Best of Show Award. In 2016 the ISP 3D.32 Elite earned Residential Systems Magazine’sCEDIA Best of Show Award.

 
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Todd Anderson

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I inquired about pricing but didn't get an answer, so they're obviously not set yet. But, the last crop of models wasn't cheap. I think their old 8-channel amp was in the $6.9K range... and the 32-channel processor was closer to $20K.
 

Todd Anderson

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My AV System  
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Denon X8500H
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Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Just to note, StormAudio has a new logo... you can see it on the case photo, above.
 

ReTrO

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I wonder if there will be an upgrade path for existing owners of Storm Audio, Focal Astral 16 or Bryston SP4 processors?
The unit looks to be 1U taller to accommodate the additional outputs required.
 

Todd Anderson

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Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Hey there @ReTrO, I've not heard any indication that there will be an upgrade path. The new proprietary HDMI card will be offered as an upgrade for previously manufactured 4U StormAudio processors. That's the only info we have at this time.
 

ReTrO

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Same. I guess my best hope for a very recent Bryaton client of mine is that the new main board fits in the old chassis so we can get the new processing available. Oh and then hope the extra output expansion connections will then support discrete channels with Dirac each rather than duplicating or being matrixes out.
 

Todd Anderson

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Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
Have you ever retrofitted something like that before? I guess it's possible, but I'd be surprised if they didn't add a few design tweaks to keep that from happening.
 

Davy Manley

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I wonder if there will be an upgrade path for existing owners of Storm Audio, Focal Astral 16 or Bryston SP4 processors?
The unit looks to be 1U taller to accommodate the additional outputs required.
I just received an answer from Storm Audio customer support that can answer your question
Whenever the mk2 comes to life in early Q1 2020, a new firmware release V4.0 will be out. This firmware will be compatible
with any ISP, including the existing mk1 . This will bring almost all the features of mk2 to a mk1 ISP apart from the decoding
which requires a hardware upgrade ( so still limited to 16 channels, no DTS:X Pro nor IMAX Enhanced )
The Dirac Live Bass Management will be possible but a new licence will have to be bought to activate the Bass management
feature. Discussions are ongoing, but we expect this to cost around 400€.
So far the answer I received this morning from the Storm Audio Support Team , I hope this answers a lot of questions that
existing owners of the mk1 ISP might have.
 

ReTrO

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Thanks Davy. I guess that makes sense! I'm not remotely bothered by the IMAX Enhanced, yet to be impressed by it and the demo disc is woeful. The dts Pro isn't so bad given the 'low' channel count of the current processing either.
So a new HDMI board and new firmware and we're good to go.
 

Davy Manley

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Oppo udp-205
Front Speakers
GamuT L5
Center Channel Speaker
GamuT L5c
Surround Speakers
GamuT L3
Subwoofers
Velodyne DD15+
Other Speakers or Equipment
Pioneer BDP-LX 91 bluray player
Video Display Device
Pioneer KRP-500M Monitor
Hi ReTro, 16 decoding channels is probably all I ever need . I will also install the new eARC HDMI board ( probably next year ) . I am also interested in the Dirac Live Bass management tool but I will first try to find out if it can better integrate the subwoofers in my system . At the moment I only have a 5.2 system and it will take me at
least another year to know where I will go from here ( I know I am doing it slow but mostly I don't regret my decisions afterwards )
Making it possible to expand the 16 decoding channels of the MK1 ISP to the 24 decoding channels of the MK2 ISP would probably have been very expensive .
The back panel of the MK2 is different and the main board would have to be replaced by the new one. when I look at the back panel of the MK2 I don't think the unit is larger but that is just my opinion . Anyway I am very happy with the MK1 ISP processor and with Storm Audio. Whenever you contact their support they always respond very quickly even in the week-ends.
 

ReTrO

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The system I'm working on is running 9.1.6 with dual subs off the .1 output. It would be nice to add extra dedicated discrete outputs with their own Dirac for the Procella subs (or even adding more) but it works well.
 

Davy Manley

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Storm Audio ISP 3D.16 ELITE Processor
Main Amp
Arcam P777 Amp
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Oppo udp-205
Front Speakers
GamuT L5
Center Channel Speaker
GamuT L5c
Surround Speakers
GamuT L3
Subwoofers
Velodyne DD15+
Other Speakers or Equipment
Pioneer BDP-LX 91 bluray player
Video Display Device
Pioneer KRP-500M Monitor
The system I'm working on is running 9.1.6 with dual subs off the .1 output. It would be nice to add extra dedicated discrete outputs with their own Dirac for the Procella subs (or even adding more) but it works well.
The German Distributor of Stormaudio posted a video on youtube about the ISP MK2 and the upgrading of the ISP MK1 ( CEDIA 2019: Stormaudio ISP MK2 + eARC Panasonic HDMI Board )
First he shows the MK2 and says the price will be a little higher than the MK1 and that the signal to noise ratio on all channels is better compared to the Mk1. There will also come a new app for MK1 and MK2
Next he shows the MK2 with the new HDMI Board already build in.
He explains in the video that it will be possible later on to replace the old main board and decoder board by the new MK2 boards.
Further he says that the Dirac live Bassmanagement tool will come at an extra cost ( around 400€ ) for the MK1 and the MK2.
The answer I received from the Stormaudio support earlier on mentioned that the decoding would require a hardware update .
I guess it could be that they meant replacing the main board and the decoding boards.
I probably will go to the Xfi hifi show in the Netherlands at the end of the month , the Benelux Distributor of Stormaudio will be there to .
I will ask them if they can confirm this.
 

ReTrO

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I'm not sure they're the distributor, but they do some good content (which I try to understand with my limited school level German!)

 

ReTrO

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I stand corrected by myself!


They confused me by having a different company name to their YouTube channel.
 
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