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(June 4, 2024) Today's story takes us a 90-minute drive from the top of the Bronx, New York City's northernmost borough, to a small Connecticut town named East Hampton. There, we find Trinnov's new American foothold and its first official US Headquarters. While not as grand as its 48,000-square-foot research, development, and corporate facility currently under construction in France, Trinnov's new East Hampton HQ is regionally significant. Not only is it a distribution hub for products, but it also serves as a centralized location for tech demos and training. If not for the pandemic and resulting home theater boom, it would have opened several years ago. But, as Trinnov's co-founder and CEO Arnaud Laborie explained, those events, mixed with a breakneck pace of travel for Trinnov's brain trust and industry partners, forced an unwanted delay.

While technically a New England town, East Hampton straddles an imaginary buffer that separates the Mid-Atlantic from cultural New England areas (think Rhode Island and eastern Massachusets). I guess it's best to say that it falls somewhere in Northeastern territory, which is more of a grey area that draws on the charm of places like Hartford, Providence, and Boston but feels as if it orbits around the grandiosity of New York City.

Because of its close but not-so-convenient distance from the Big Apple, you're probably wondering: Why didn't Trinnov choose a location closer to NYC?

After all, New York City is an epicenter, if not the epicenter, of US metropolitan economy.

The answer to that question is pragmatic: East Hampton is home to Trinnov's own Jon Herron (General Manager, USA).

Simple enough, right?

To be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect as I entered Trinnov's Connecticut coordinates into Waze. Weeks before my trip, I'd pegged East Hampton as a New York suburb, thinking it would land me 30 or 45 minutes (max) away from my next destination in Scarsdale, NY. But Waze's suggested route quickly shattered my poorly informed assumption, ultimately taking me on a journey to a lovely town and Trinnov's new digs.

The facility is nestled within what we Americans call an industrial park. I've grappled with whether or not I should report it as such simply because industrial parks can be quite drab. Here, in the DC metro area, my favorite mechanic operates in an industrial park that looks like a budding Superfund site. Its parking lot is coated in oil, and refuse is strewn about.

That's one kind of industrial park – i.e., the not-so-attractive kind.

Trinnov's location falls on the other end of the spectrum. Yes, it has long rows of businesses housed in buildings that feature unusually tall glass garage doors, but it's clean and attractive, much like what you'd expect from a proper office park.

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Trinnov's space is functional and nicely appointed. The front end features a conference/training space, a small room stocked with shipping supplies, and office access. This part of the facility is drenched in natural light cascading through a massive garage door, making it bright and inviting. The back, however, is where you get the home theater feels. It's darker and more sheltered. There, you find a stock room loaded with boxes containing Trinnov's elite processors and amps, and a world-class home theater demo space crafted in cooperation with key industry players.

My time at the facility was part of a press event organized by Trinnov's US PR firm, Caster Communications. Several familiar media faces were present, as were leadership elements from Trinnov and its partners. On-site, we had access to Officina Acustica's Peter Aylett, Trinnov's Arnaud Laborie, Kaleidescape's Andre Floyd, Ascendo Immersive Audio's Geoffrey Heinzel, and Sutherland AV Marketing's Todd Sutherland. Yes, quite a cast of characters. Each is incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about AV, and, most importantly, genuinely nice folk.

The day was frontloaded with educational sessions led by industry partners, starting with Peter Aylett. Aylett wears several hats, professionally speaking, including serving as a partner at Officina Acustica and Chair of the CEDIA/CTA R10 Standards Committee... but he's more than that. His X (Twitter) bio best sums it up: Dad. Friend. Partner@Officina Acustica. CEDIA/CTA R10 Standards Chair. Cinema Designer. Design Thinker. Cyclist. Life's too short to wear boring shirts. And believe me, Aylett's choice of shirts is fabulous, mixing perfectly with his British accent and quick wit.

Officina Acustica is an Italian firm that specializes in building acoustically treated interiors for home theaters, screening rooms, mastering studios, music practice rooms, and media spaces. But they do it differently than you might expect. Rather than constructing and treating rooms on-site, they craft turnkey solutions in their Italian factory and ship them to locations where they are installed. To do so, Officina Acustica taps the expertise of Aylett and Founder Peter Maurizi Conti.

As mentioned, Aylett also Chairs a CEDIA/CTA committee that establishes guidelines, such as RP22 "Immersive Audio Design Recommended Practice," launched at CEDIA 2023. RP22 is a milestone document that took nearly 6 years to develop, and Aylett spent much of his allotted time talking about its purpose – being a set of recommendations for the design of a home theater room – and forthcoming documents that cover measurement and verification of audio systems and the provision of objective performance tests. A key point is that each of these guidelines spotlights audio equipment that's verified by consistent and revealing performance data. As Aylett described, the documents help guide installers away from selling customers specific products, replacing that tactic with selling customers a "consistent user experience."

To sell an experience, you need a set of guidelines to follow – something akin to a cookbook – which is what the CEDIA/CTA RP documents provide. You also need the correct ingredients, which are products that deliver verified levels of output. And tying all of it together is a cinema designer, or as Aylett describes it, "the chef."

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Ultimately, Aylett and his colleagues want manufacturers to publish detailed performance data – a practice most shy away from – and for installers to have a knowledge base capable of interpreting it.

One company currently publishing said data is Ascendo Immersive Audio, a German manufacturer armed with a catalog of killer subwoofers, infrasonic subwoofers, and a range of high-level home theater speakers. You've likely seen Ascendo's mammoth infrasonic models on social media (we've covered them at CEDIA). They're certainly jaw-dropping from a physical perspective – performance-wise, they're equal to the task. In fact, as part of its partnership with our YouTube show "Bass Hunters," Ascendo has supplied an SMS G32 32" infrasonic that's integrated into my home theater, and the results are spectacular (as in WOW, spectacular). The G32 digs deep and punches quickly. It's something special.

Ascendo's Geoffrey Heinzel and its North American distribution partner, Todd Sutherland at Sutherland AV Marketing, spent roughly 40 minutes discussing Ascendo's origins and migration from 2-channel stereo to high-performance home theater speakers.

Heinzel says off-axis performance is paramount when considering a home theater speaker, which he contends is why most companies shy away from sharing full, detailed data. Ascendo's chosen weapon is a point source coaxial design that largely eliminates interference between drivers on a speaker, lending to time and phase alignment and matching dispersion patterns on both horizontal and vertical axes. Heinzel believes that point source speakers are also highly adept at circumnavigating ear fatigue by creating married, unified impulse responses that don't require added interpretation by your brain. In essence, fewer calculations by your brain equals less fatigue.

As you'll see in a moment, Ascendo's Black Swan loudspeakers are deployed in the front end of Trinnov's US HQ demo room. This particular model doesn't look like a traditional point source speaker because the horn-loaded tweeter sits on top of the cabinet. Still, its performance, by physical design, allows for time-coherent linear phase output that measures the same as a tweeter nested within a woofer. And, as Heinzel and Sutherland point out, they have measurements to back it up.

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All of Ascendo's speaker measurements are performed by an independent third-party lab in Italy and published on its website, which is exactly why the manufacturer partners with firms like Officina Acustica and brands like Trinnov—and will continue to do so. Of course, it goes without saying that they also sound fantastic.

Next to the podium was Andre Floyd/Kaleidescape, which – unfortunately – I missed. Due to time constraints, Trinnov used that time slot to duck me into the facility's demo space. We've covered and reviewed Kaleidescape extensively here on the forum, so if you have an interest in more specific information, I suggest you visit our Video Display and Video Equipment Reviews section and our YouTube channel, where you'll find detailed reviews and in-person interviews with Kaleidescape.

Kaleidescape remains the best home theater source on the planet, delivering bit-for-bit lossless audio quality and video encodes averaging 65 megabits per second (nearly eight times more than streaming and roughly 15mbps more than disc). Plus, when you purchase a Kaleidescape movie, you actually own it. There are many other advantages as well—including the user experience—with the only downside being the cost of entry.

The day's educational sessions ended with Trinnov's Arnaud Laborie discussing the science behind WaveForming, a low-frequency corrective technology that Trinnov first launched in early 2023. WaveForming currently comes in two versions: Cylindrical and Planar, with the former being the most recent version to drop. Laborie told me we should expect more improvements and features to land over the next five years.

The top-line take-home message about WaveForming is that it's the single biggest advancement we've seen from Trinnov to date, and it's incredibly impactful. The first version (Planar) requires multiple subs placed on both horizontal and vertical planes, making it costly and difficult to accommodate. It's the most effective version, though. The more recent Cylindrical version is more installer-friendly, requiring less space and fewer subwoofers, and eliminates the need for subwoofers positioned on a vertical plane. It's also effective, just a little less so.

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If you'd like to read more about WaveForming, check out these articles we've published over the last year:
WaveForming is actually the perfect transition to the HQ's new demo room, which features... drumroll... WaveForming!

The room itself is grand on a performance level, offering six seats (two rows of three). The interior is designed and treated by Officina Acustica. Using the room's dimensions, the firm sourced speakers from Ascendo to craft an 11.9.8 immersive audio experience. The room was built in Italy, deconstructed, shipped to East Hampton, and reconstructed within the allotted space, and the results are magnificent. Visually speaking, it's comfortable and attractive. Sonically speaking, it's a marvel.

Here's a list of equipment:

Sources
  • One Kaleidescape Terra C
  • One Kaleidescape Strato C
  • One Roon Core
  • One Sony BluRay player
  • One Sony PS5
Preamp & Power Amps
  1. One Trinnov Altitude32
  2. One Trinnov Amplitude16
  3. One Trinnov Amplitude8
  4. Five Ascendo 10kW amps (for the passive subwoofers)
Video Playback
  • One madVR Envy Extreme
  • One Barco Freya
  • One Seymour Screen Excellence Enlightor 4k Neo (TAM)
Speakers
  • Three Ascendo Black Swans Be
  • Eight Ascendo The 10 Pro-Passive
  • Eight Ascendo The 6 Passive
  • Eight Ascendo The 21 Sub Pro-Passive Sealed
  • One Ascendo The 32 Sub Pro-Passive Sealed Active

Trinnov's Jon Herron and Chuck Back showed off the system's capabilities with a curated Kaleidescape demo script that included clips of Sting: Live in Berlin and A Quiet Place. The resulting sound was spacious and airy, with tight and punchy bass. Honestly, it's everything you could possibly want from a home theater experience and some.

Very, very impressive.

The session ended with a WaveForming demonstration. Jon Herron showed me exactly where nulls existed in the room and then played a 50Hz tone, asking me to walk around. Sure enough, as I moved in and out of room modes, the 50Hz tone literally seemed to disappear—that was without WaveForming engaged. Next, WaveForming was turned on, and the nulls completely disappeared. From front to back, side to side, and corner to corner, the 50Hz tone was evenly dispersed.

Peter Aylett told me the first time he heard the demo, he pulled out an SPL meter to measure decible levels as he roamed around the room. According to Aylett, the response was so uniform that he thought the SPL meter was broken!

While Aylett's story might sound a tad embellished, it perfectly describes the experience WaveForming creates: even, perfectly dispersed bass within a room.

It's spectacular, to be frank, and exciting. It's the kind of technology that makes me excited about home theater all over again. Folks, we're entering uncharted waters and I love it.


Related Reading:
 
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Robert Zohn

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Todd, thank you fro this great coverage of Trinnov's new US HQ!

We're big Trinnov fans. We have Trinnov's Altitude 16 paired with Trinnov's AMP 16 in our 20 Channel Cinema Demo Room that also features Perlisten speakers and we now also upgraded this beautiful theater demo room with JVC's new NZ800 8K Laser Projector.

You need to put us back on your calendar for another visit soon!
 

Todd Anderson

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Thanks @VJM and @Robert Zohn - wanted to capture the pulse of what’s happening at Trinnov’s new digs.

It sure feels like home theater is getting pushed in a great direction - it’s awesome to have passionate folks at the helm.

@Robert Zohn I remember that room! I could spend hours in there! Look forward to seeing it later in the summer.
 

Sonnie

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Wow... cool stuff there, Todd. I had no idea Trinnov did not have a US presence already.
 
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