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The automatically generated presets provided fine results already. They also represented a good example of what the Trinnov Optimizer can do. Having a look at the advanced settings panels, it's easy to understand what the differences are between the five digital presets on sonic impact. The natural preset for instance gives priority to acoustic phase and early reflections but doesn't correct amplitude versus frequency except for the bass. It provides a tonal balance very close to the natural response of your loudspeakers. Conversely the monitoring preset gives priority to detail and works on a perfectly flat amplitude target. Both are interesting proposals completely valid from a critical listening point of view but as such quite different.

Taking into account the tests I conducted with three different speakers, the best results for amplitude versus frequency came from a customized target curve as a kind of intermediary setting between natural and monitoring presets. The target curve seems the easiest fine-tuning tool within the advanced settings to adjust the automatic calibration and achieve a suitable tonal balance.

Another important parameter is the setting of maximum boost/attenuation to avoid over correction. Excessive amplitude boost can cause distortion and eventual speaker damage and should be avoided unless the system has sufficient headroom (apparently the case for me). As the measurement of each speaker in my room did not highlight big variances over bandwidth (the sole exception being the 30-50Hz region for both Magnepan & Lawrence Audio speakers), it was possible to play with rather elevated maximum boost to finally impact only the low frequencies.

The most important sonic benefit I reaped optimizing both Lawrence Audio and Magnepan speakers came from the remapping function. This creates a perfect virtual equilateral triangle between the two speakers and your listening position (i.e. where the calibration microphone was previously positioned). The sonic result was not only a more precise and focused soundstage but a more liquid presentation with faster transients. I was utterly amazed by the efficiency of Trinnov’s speaker remapping and can’t remember such improvements with the ST2-HiFi in my previous setup. This time I principally relied on the automatic routing setting which invariably was very convincing and undoubtedly the best balance between scale, focus and depth.

Thanks to the Amethyst corrections, the Magnepan 20.7 revealed a very wide coherent soundstage, great bass reach and slam I would not have imagined in my wildest dreams. I am sure most of us couldn’t imagine such bass authority from a planar speaker. What was fantastic was their ability to highlight the smaller variations of settings. I didn't experience such precise responsiveness with the Vivid or Lawrence Audio. I thus consider the Magnepans and Amethyst a nearly ideal association and showcase of this technology’s capabilities.

But whatever speaker I used, I’d describe the Amethyst as excellent therapy against runaway cable spending. In fact having correctly set up the Amethyst, it becomes plain idiocy to insert any expensive cables. Most cable enthusiasts use expensive cable to modify tonal balance and impulse response. And sometimes it really works. Why do you think a own a few precious meter of costly High Fidelity speaker cables? That said, these results could be had far more directly and efficiently with the Trinnov. In a certain way I’d actually suggest getting an Amethyst just to escape the madness of spending big on cables. Obviously this reflects a merely partial understanding of what the Trinnov is ultimately capable of.