ToneWinner, via their initial North American distributor Summit Hi-Fi, introduced their budget-friendly AT-300 13.1-channel pre-amp/processor not long ago. ToneWinner appears to be an OEM supplier for other known electronics brands as well.
The GUI is a bit on the rudimentary side, but functional, and it takes a bit of time to decipher the ToneWinner "speak" as their manual leaves something to be desired in the skimpy translations from Chinese to English. Once you get past the initial growing pains, the AT-300 is no slouch in the sound department and the fit 'n' finish is fairly solid (except for the light plastic front knobs) when considering its present under $1,400 (USD) price-point and its capabilities versus all other competitors on the market thus far. Like most manufacturer overstatements, ToneWinner does advertise this as a "16 Channel" processor. A bit disingenuous since it actually supports 13.1-channel immersive audio with two additional sub outputs containing the same managed low frequency content.
One issue that I and others have noted is that the subwoofer outputs do run on the "hot" side and adjustments need to be made on the subwoofer trims from the start to set them to a more standard and appropriate reference level. Depending on the subwoofers you own and how sensitive their inputs are, you may have a bit of fidding to do to get the levels adjusted just right. Perhaps that can be addressed with a future firmware patch if enough customers let them know. Speaking of patches, ToneWinner does appear to keep the unit up-to-date with fairly frequent firmware updates, which can be found on Summit's website. It does have its share of small quirks, but considering how many top dollar receiver and pre-amp models have been pushed out the door recently with hair-pulling, truly half-baked software (including Emotiva, Anthem, JBL Synthesis, and others to name names), one can live with the few noted (so far) on other theater forums, for the most part.
ToneWinner AT-300 @ Summit Hi-Fi (link)
Quick spec highlights:
Up to 9.1.4 or 7.1.6 Dolby Atmos processing
Up to 7.1.4 DTS: X processing (see below)
Dolby Surround upmixer
DTS Neural: X upmixer (see below)
Three subwoofer outputs (combo of XLR and RCA plugs) with separate delay and volume settings.
ToneWinner's in-house calibration and PEQ software
*Summit Hi-Fi sends an updated "pro" calibration mic kit when purchased through them, at no additional cost.
Six HDMI 2.0 ports with 2.2 HDCP (supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 - haven't tested for HDR10+ or HLG compatibility as I don't have a display with those features).
Two HDMI outputs
ARC and eARC support
Bluetooth control and audio input
Smartphone control app
RS232 control port, IR input, and trigger out
Firmware and cal mic update via USB stick (FAT32)
DSP Chipset: Analog Devices ADSP-21573
DAC Chip: Cirrus Logic CS42528 (24 bit/192 kHz) - no native DSD decoding that I can tell in the specs, so any DSD sources will need to be pre-converted to PCM at the player.
I received a reply from a ToneWinner representative from China early this morning that they are currently in discussions with DTS about adding DTS: X Pro (which includes an updated Neural: X upmixer and DTS: X decoder without the current 11.1 limit) to the processor in no small part due to various requests they have gotten about including the new format. They stated they will let me know of any updates on this front. That type of polite e-mail campaigning might work for getting the updated Dolby Surround upmixer version, which includes Front Wide speaker support. Contact: [email protected]
Since Summit Hi-Fi is located in Canada, they are currently having ToneWinner drop ship product directly to customers in the U.S. from TW's Chinese warehouse to limit customs delays. That said, it may still take about a week or two to receive a U.S. shipment when stock is available. Like everything else, ToneWinner has been hit by the microprocessor shortages plaguing the world's economy.