Theta Casablanca 2: Initial Setup!!! - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Tweaks and Do-It-Yourself > Theta Casablanca 2: Initial Setup!!!
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 01:20 PM 04-11-2001
You get your Theta Casablanca 2. You are afraid to read that long instruction manual and you don't know where to start, so you can hear music or something. So here's what you do.

(Sorry - When I get home tonight, at my system, I'll use the remote and onscreen and write down the specifics, and then I'll post here to this thread. You will have to wait a bit!!!!)

Also, how about if folks post their initial setup questions and setup ideas and answers here in this thread.

FIRST: Plug it in, and turn on from back switch.

SECOND: Turn on front power.

THIRD: Read next post I write tonight! HA!

Steve Bruzonsky

Leroy_Haynes's Avatar Leroy_Haynes 03:20 PM 04-11-2001
That's awesome Steve!! I can't wait to read your writeup. Do you know where I could find the Pronto codes to any Theta products? I thought this might help me with setup once I get my Cassablanca.

To Infinity and Beyond!!!
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 03:52 PM 04-11-2001
Sorry, I haven't done the Pronto yet! You do it so when I probably decide to get a Pronto, you can help me!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
stacy11's Avatar stacy11 03:54 PM 04-11-2001
Thanks Steve...I'm waiting with enthusiasm...!
Gogetter's Avatar Gogetter 07:10 PM 04-11-2001
Hey Guys,

I set my Pronto up to control my Theta Casablanca II - nothing fancy, but it works great. If my memory serves if runs off of the standard IR codes. If you want Email me and I'll try to send off the CCF file. As an aside, my advice is to read the manual. I went so far as to use a highlighter. In the long run the more you understand how the processor works the better your experience will be. Once you get a handle on it, it is quick and easy if you want to experiment with different settings, and because you understand how it works your not worried you're going to "mess it up"

Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 09:48 PM 04-11-2001
OK. You've just got your Casablanca 2. But all those on screen setup pages leave you perplexed and bewildered and you don't have any sound. What do you do?

Easy. Follow the below procedure and think just a bit and you'll have it down easy!!!

At the start, now that you have connected all of your cables to the back of the Casablanca 2, if you want, you can relabel the jacks. Or you can come back to this later if you're in a hurry to get your sound up! Press "Setup" on the remote. Then press #2 "Global Settings". Then press #2 "Jack Names". Then relabel your jacks, usually you do this to match the audio/video sources. E.G., say for "Input 1", my Theta Voyager, I have relabeled Glass 3, AES/EBU 1, and S-Video 1 to "Voyager" for my Theta Voyager DVD/CD/LD player. ANd be sure to label both audio and video jacks
if you have a video card).

1. First, on the remote, hit the "Input 1" button. You will now be programming whatever source you decide to use for Input 1 on the remote. Lets say you use DVD for this source. So turn on your DVD player and just let it play. At some point, believe it or not, you will have sound. HA!

2. Next, press the "Setup" button near bottom of the remote. This will bring up the first page of the setup menu for that input - at top of page it will say "Setup Input Page 1".

3. Press #1 "Active Input Settings".

4. Press #1 "Speaker Configuration". (You will now set your system for your speakers and digital crossovers for frequency in Hz and slope in dB, as well as type of crossover.)

5. As an example, once you are in the "Speaker Configuration" menu,
press #1 for "Left/Right" (front) speakers.

Choose the crossover type you want to use by pressing #2, 3 or 4. Each speaker is designed with a crossover type in mind, so you may want to consult your speaker's manufacturer
on advice on where to start. However, this would just be a starting place, as every speaker may act differently in every room, so experimentation is key, and the changes you make in this speaker menu are LIVE, so as you're making the changes you can listen to live music and determine for yourself what sounds best in your setup. As a quick way to get your sound up, since I like #4 "Butterworth" in my system because you can independently set high and low pass digital crossover slopes by this, press #4 to humor me to use the "Butterworth" crossovers. Then press in the values for the high pass filter (frequencies above the crossover are filtered from the speakers), in Hz and dB; and do the same for the low pass filter (frequencies below the crossover are filtered to be sent out the subwoofer outputs of the CB2). When you're done, press the "Setup" button on the remote to get back to the "Speaker Configuration" menu.

Then repeat this procedure for each set of speakers on the list of the "Speaker Configuration" menu. And when you get to "Subwoofers", set to the number of subwoofer outputs that you have subwoofers actually connected to the subwoofer outputs of the CB2. One sub is front left and right channels combined, also gets all low passed filtered bass (if you use the Butterworth crossover) from other channels crossed over, and also gets LFE. Two subs are one for front left, one for front right, each gets its own corresponding speaker's low bass filtered bass, and each of two subs gets one-half of LFE. For three subs, add to front left and front right a surround sub (surround left and right combined), and each of 3 subs gets 1/3 of the LFE signal. (That's what I have, three Aerial SW12 subwoofers). For four subs, add to front left, front right, left surround and right surround, and each of 4 subs gets 1/4 of the LFE signal.

Each subwoofer, in the Casablanca menu, has the choice of "Full Range" or "Crossover". It is preferable to use the "Crossover" setting, Casablanca's digital crossover and not to use the subwoofer's crossover. (For example, my Aerial SW12 subwoofer has a "Direct" setting which totally bypasses its subwoofer crossover.) If your subwoofer doesn't have a "Direct" or similar setting, then set its low pass crossover to 120 Hz or higher to effectively defeat the crossover. Only if you can't bypass or defeat the subwoofer's own low pass crossover would you set the Casablanca's subwoofer to "Full Range".

Done with speaker setup. Great. Now press the "setup" button on remote to get back to the page "Setup Input Page 1".

6. Now to set speaker levels. Get out your trusty analog Radio Shack meter. You better know the drill by now. Press #2 "Speaker Levels" and then press the "A-D" button to toggle between "Source", "Noise All" and "Noise One". I normally choose "Noise One", choose the first speaker, use the Right and Left Pie buttons to bring to volume level to about 80 dB. Then, sitting in the main listening position with the meter at ear level facing straight forward (basically an extension of your nose) toggle between the front three speakers, adjusting their levels with the up and down pie buttons, until all read the same dB level. For the right side and/or surround, change the direction of the meter to the right, leaving it at ear level (so it hears what your ear hears). Repeat for left side and/or surround. For sub level, keep meter facing forward. I generally use this menu to rough in the sub, and then fine-tune the sub by ear on each input select button, depending on its purpose, such as whether music, movie, tv, etc.

7. Next, to set speaker delay. Press "setup" on the remote to get back to "Setup Input Page 1". Then press #3 "Speaker Delays" and set appropriate delays for your speakers. You will need to hit the "A-D" button if you need to go to the 2nd page for more speakers, too. Use the chart in the manual. In a multichannel home theater setup with a center speaker, you should experiment with the center speaker delay. It is usually preferable for the center channel to be delayed from 2 to 4 milliseconds (combination of physical and digital delay) vs the main front left and right speakers. Experiment with center channel delay to determine when vocals and dialogue sounds at its best.

8. Press "setup" on the remote to get back to "Setup Input Page 1". Now, to set the mode (E.G., Circle Surround, Dolby Digital, DTS, etc.) that upon turn-on, your CB2 will default to for that input source.

9. Now, you are ready to go to page 2 of the setup menu, "Setup Input Page 2". Press "setup" to get back to page 1, and then press "A-D" to go to Page 2.

10. Now you are ready to get some sound. HA! You are next going to program which audio and video input jacks are to be used for this input. You are in "Setup Input Page 2", right? Press #2 "Source". Then press #1 and use the up/down button to select the correct source.

Since I use Theta Single Mode, which is Glass 3, that's what I select. Then press "setup" to get back to. My backup is AES/EBU digital, so I press #2 and select that. For #3 on, I simply set to "off". Then when you use the CB2, you simply hit the "A-D" button to toggle between the digital (this feature allows you to route up to 6 sources to each input select button - any mix of analog and digital) sources that you've programmed. And the default digital source upon turn-on is the one you've selected for #1.

Next, to program your video inputs if you have a video card, from the audio portion of the source menu, press "A-D" to go to the next page, the video sources, and program them in. (I only use my video switcher with one outgoing composite video cable from the Main Out, for a small 13" tv under my screen for my on screen display, as I don't like the logjam behind my CB2 with video cables crossing all over - I use a Dwin Transcanner 2 and Extron S-VHS switcher for video switching and thereby keep the video cables away from the CB2.)

11. Next, press "setup" and get back to "Setup Input Page 2". Now, you're going to set characteristics peculiar to Dolby Digital, by pressing #3 "Dolby Digital". Then go in the menu and enter the appropriate settings. Here you can make adjustments to the speaker delay for when you're in Dolby Digital. [Since my center front listening position is equidistant from four front and surround Aerial 10T speakers, I enter -15 ms here, which deducted from the 15 ms delay entered in the main speaker level menu results in 0 delay for surrounds in dolby digital. Also, in this menu you can set the default listening mode to translate Dolby Digital 2.0. For DVD, I set this to CSCN (Circle Cinema). For CD, I set this to CSNE (Circle Non-Encoded)].

The settings in these sub-menus for Dolby Digital, DTS, and Circle Surround OVERLAY the settings we already established in the levels and delays menus. Also, the Dolby Digital 2.0 option has two choices, "encoded" and "non-encoded" DD 2.0. "Encoded" is for stereo signals in which the mastering engineer put in a flag to "apply Pro Logic". "Non-encoded" is for signal in which no flag is inserted, or the flag is "play in stereo". You may choose from any installed mode to play Dolby Digital 2.0. (In my system, with equal speakers and electronics at each vector, I find Circle Cinema sounds best for movies and tv programs, and Circle Non-Encoded sounds best if its a video concert.)

12. Press "setup" as necessary, get back to "Setup Input Page 2" and press #4 "DTS" and program it accordingly, and set speaker delays identical to what you did for discrete Dolby Digital.

13. Press "setup" as necessary, get back to "Setup Input Page 2" and press #5 "Circle Surround" and program for Circle Surround.

(Don't worry now about #6 "Post Processes" under "Setup Input Page 2" - once you're done with everything and have a bit of extra time, you can go experiment there.)

14. Press "setup" as necessary and get back to "Setup Input Page 2". Then press "A-D" to get to page 3 of the setup menu, "Setup Input
Page 3. WOW! Page 3. You're getting there.

To enter your input source name on the CB2 front panel and on the on screen display (your video monitor), press #1 "Name" and press the "A-D" button to toggle between the CB2 face display and the video on screen display, and enter the input source name. Since the example source is DVD, enter "DVD".


15. Press "Setup" a few times as necesssary to totally exit the Menu.

Then press Setup and again your at "Setup Input Page 1". Press #3 "Macros". Press #1 "Copy All Input Parameters". Press #2 "All Inputs". And follow the instructions. You will now have entered your speaker configurations, speaker delays, DD & DTS & CS programming, etc. from Input #1 (DVD in the example) to all other input sources, saving you massive amounts of programming time.

16. Now you just need to enter a few settings for each additonal input source that you have.

Press "setup" as many times as needed to fully exit the menu. Then press input #2 on the remote. NOw you'll enter some specific settings for input #2. Lets say input #2 is DirecTV.

17. Press setup to enter the "Setup Menu Page 1". Press #4 "Mode" and enter the correct audio mode (DD, DTS, CS, etc.). Then press "setup" and from page 1, press "A-D" to go to page 2 of setup menu, "Setup Menu Page 2". Then press #2 "Source" and enter the audio sources, then the video sources if any, for this input. Then press "setup" to go back to page 2, then press "A-D" to go to Page 3 "Setup Menu Page 3". Then Press #1 "Miscellaneous", and press #1 "Name" and using the "D-A" button to toggle between the CB2 face display and the video on screen display, enter the input name (I entered "DTV" on CB2 face and "DirecTV" on video on screen display).

18. Repeat steps above #15-17 for the rest of your input sources! You can keep your input sources simple, E.G., in my case, DirecTV, DISH, CD, SACD,DVD, LD, VCR. Or you can name your input by the make/model of the input component. Also, you can get fancy, say you want to watch satellite and change channels while listening to your AM-FM tuner stock quotes - in which case you label the input "Stock" and you set the audio source to the appropriate jack for the tuner, and you set the video source to the appropriate jack for the satellite receiver (see paragraph 10 above for details on setting your sources).

19. Last, but not least, for each analog input source, press the input number on the remote; press "setup" to enter first page of setup menu; press #2 "Global Settings"; and press #1 "Analog Levels" and set analog level so the analog indicator on the front, which flashes green lights, gets as close as possible without ever entering the red.


You can later play with other features in menu. This gets you up and running.

**Copyright 2001 by Steven J. Bruzonsky, Attorney-At-Law, volunteer Moderator of Audio Video Improvement and AVS Special Guests forums at , AV Science on the web.

***You may republish this with my permission, which you have so long as you include these last two paragraphs so folks know I spent MANY hours to write this to help you!!!

[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited 06-02-2001).]
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 10:47 PM 04-11-2001
Theta luvers, please e-mail this thread to all Theta owners for their info. Tell them that the web address of this thread is


All Theta luvers who read this thread, how about posting that you've read it.

All Theta CB2 owners who are going to use this thread to help them program their CB2, please note this, too.

**I am still working on getting Theta as a Special Guest. Please indicate the above and in doing so, we are showing Theta how much we want them as a Special Guest. Thanks.

Steve Bruzonsky

[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited 04-12-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited 04-12-2001).]
stacy11's Avatar stacy11 11:13 PM 04-11-2001
Hi Steve, I've read it, AND AM THRILLED! Thanks SO MUCH for taking the time to post this for others, IT REALLY WILL HELP! (I say, WILL help, because my CB2 is BACK at Theta, due to a mix up! I ordered it with 1 3 channel superior dac board, and 1 3 channel std dac board. When it arrived, it only had 1 board: the 3 channel superior board! Oh well....I live in LA, so I called and dropped it there on Tuesday...I should have it back by weeks end, and will let you know how it went!

Thanks again! Stacy
Leroy_Haynes's Avatar Leroy_Haynes 07:05 AM 04-12-2001

I was talking to my dealer yesterday about you and I told him this forum and your informative posts were the main reasons that I'm taking the Theta plunge. I cannot wait to get my equip. so I can try out your tips. I hope Theta is reading this forum because you are doing them a tremendous service especially considering how long you have to wait for their products. Keep up the good work!!

To Infinity and Beyond!!!
rsh's Avatar rsh 04:45 PM 04-12-2001

Great thread!
I am on my way to get my own Casablanca II, and cannot wait to use knowledge you share with all of us. Keep it up.
I hope some day I can be as helpful, as you are.

I also think that Theta should consider you as a part time marketing/technical support source.


[This message has been edited by rsh (edited 04-12-2001).]
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 09:00 PM 04-12-2001
Wait until you use my setup instructions and determine if my English
and steps make sense!!! HA!!!

If anyone actually uses my instructions and they work, please tell us!!!???

Steve Bruzonsky
jstrossner's Avatar jstrossner 10:07 PM 04-12-2001
Excellent thread and posts! This forum and your input resulted in my purchase of a CB2. I think we would all benefit by having Theta as a special guest to the forum. I'll definitely be watching for tweaking tips and suggestions.

Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 11:05 AM 04-14-2001
I'm just movin' this up a notch as part of my three part Theta Digital threads this week!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 11:59 AM 04-15-2001
I had the Casablanca 1 for three years. Upon getting the upgrade, I got it home and felt so frustrated, no sound and the menu seemed so much more complex than the Casablanca 1. I only had an hour or so after picking it up, and I had to leave for Mary Cardas' seminar on the Casablanca 2 at Esoteric Audio in Scottsdale. I felt much better after the seminar, but still took me a few hours of diddling to become more familiar with the new menu. But my instructions I think should make it easy for anyone to get up and running with sound quickly!!! I don't want you to feel "overwhelmed" like I initially felt. And there's no need to - the menu is actually easy to program and totally intuitive, but like anything else in life, it takes a bit of playing with it to get there. I am hopeful my plain English setup instructions, as opposed to the very techy instructions that come with the Casablanca 2, will show folks how easy it really is!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
JhnZ33's Avatar JhnZ33 10:41 PM 04-15-2001
Blast doors.....check, solid rocket boosters..... check, warp drive....check. Sorry, but I couldn't resist.

Just goes to show perfection takes time. I haven't had the pleasure of auditioning Theta myself, but would love to one day.
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 07:30 AM 04-26-2001
Has anyone had a chance to use my initial CB2 setup instructions yet?

Steve Bruzonsky
Leroy_Haynes's Avatar Leroy_Haynes 09:23 AM 04-26-2001
Still waiting for my CBII. On another topic Steve, have you ever used any of the Theta amps in your system? How do they compare with your Bryston setup (I believe that's what you have)? Have you seen the new Citadel's? Thanks!!

To Infinity and Beyond!!!
Leroy_Haynes's Avatar Leroy_Haynes 04:54 PM 04-30-2001
I'm bumping this thread up in hope that Steve B. can reply. Thanks!!

To Infinity and Beyond!!!
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 07:06 PM 04-30-2001
I'm afraid that the stock market has taken its toll!!!! Actually, I haven't done too bad. Frankly, my Bryston 7B amplifiers with the Bybee internal devices are fantastic performers. I'm setup for mono amps at each speaker so the Theta Dreadnaught doesn't make sense for me - but I have heard the Dreadnaught several times, including Theta's room at CES 2000 with Aerial speakers, and I can't say enough good things about the Dreadnaught!!
The Theta Citadels - WOOPS! Sure, I'll be glad to trade my Bryston 7Bs even up for them. Otherwise - I'm afraid that I must set some limits and my spending addictions! But those Theta mono Citadel amps are definitely nifty and great sounding!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
nerbe's Avatar nerbe 12:10 PM 05-04-2001

Thanks SO much for the CB2 setup info. My Casablanca was upgraded, programmed by my dealer in Dallas (AudioConcepts), installed in my house, had problems (possible bad DAC & ?), so I'm awaiting it's return at present.

After reading the BOOK a few times, it's easy to understand the difficulty in initial setup and I'm sure everyone will benefit from your efforts. Little things like setting the front speakers to Full/LP, given the correct LCR speakers/sub/crossover/source make a big difference. Looking forward to getting my unit back to see what other tweaks can be made.

I agree with others here that it would be nice to see Theta as a Special Guest. Good luck.

stacy11's Avatar stacy11 10:44 PM 05-04-2001
Hi Steve - I sent you a private Email. THANKS!
stacy11's Avatar stacy11 05:02 PM 05-08-2001
First off, I want to thank Steve, for service "above and beyond!" THANKS STEVE! So here is the saga of my CB2 set up etc.

I first ordered my CB2 on Jan 12'th. Was told "4-6 weeks." It arrived 8 weeks later, and with great anticipation, (having LONG BEFORE sold my Angstrom), I unboxed my gorgeous looking, Platinum faced unit....only to find: due to a misunderstanding that was NOBODIES fault, my unit came misconfigured: It had ONLY 3 channels: 1 3 channel superior DAC board for Fronts and Ctr, NOTHING for surrounds and sub. BUMMER!!!! I called my dealer, AND Theta, being local in Los Angeles. Mary Cardas at Theta returned my call immediately, and said I could drop the unit off the next day. That was April 10. Mary said they would need it for "a day or 2". They got to working on it immediately, added the 3 channel standard DAC board for Surrounds and Sub. Unfortunately, they found some problems when re-testing the unit, but did not notify me of this.

After waiting a week, I called, and was told my unit was in "burn in."
The next week, it "failed the listening test." I was very frustrated and unhappy. Finally, after almost 2 1/2 weeks, Mary called to explain that she had tracked down the unit, and told me what the problem was. (They had indeed discovered some defects during sound testing). However, the way they handled keeping me informed etc left a little to be desired. HOWEVER, a week after Mary called, the unit was fixed and ready for Pick up.

I picked it up, plugged it in, sat down with Steve's instrusctions. I had read the manual while the unit was back at Theta, but was still completely confused. I started in following Steve's steps, and all worked fine, until the Speaker Level Test. I COULD NOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME GET ANY SOUND. So, I referred to the Theta Manual, following some of their initial steps to set up, and was able to get SOUND VIA MY DVD PLAYER! I honestly have no idea how.

I then, basically, followed the on-screen menus for sound set-up. After initially getting my DCT-100 and Camelot Roundtable DVD player hooked up, and having some type of sound, I then went back to Steve's step-by-step instructions, where I found his advice to use the Macro to COPY all info to ALL Inputs INCREDIBLY VALUABLE. I took up where I left off, (the step after setting speaker levels) and followed his instructions step-by-step and they worked great! As I went along, everything sort of jelled, and begin to make more and more sense...I actually started having FUN!

I guess, to sum this up: It is far more comfusing when you are thinking about doing it, reading about doing it, then actually doing it with remote in hand. Once you UNDERSTAND their lingo, and and how the remote works, and what all the names etc mean, it is really simply and intuitive.

I can say that AT FIRST, the Unit seemed to still be broken, and I think I can safely recommend that: if possible, assign only 1 source to EACH INPUT. And LEAVE AUTO-SEARCH OFF! I had 3 problems at first:

the unit was switching sources all by itself. (fixed, see above recomm.)
the unit was switching MODES all by itself. (fixed, no idea how)
the unit would NOT hold a DD signal - there would be sound, then nothing, even thos LOCKED LITE was still on. A few power/down/power/ups SEEMINGLY solved this problem. All seems to be working flawlessly now...and it sounds magnificient! I have yet to play much with the crossovers etc, but will post my findings when I do.

Again, I want to thank Steve publically for all the privately emailed help and support! He nursed me thru a very frustrating first weekend....


Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 06:24 PM 05-08-2001
Stacy, in view of your initial inability to get sound with my instructions, I went back over my initial setup instructions to see if I should revise them. Initially, I was going to put the speaker level setup instructions down further, but then I realized that when you first attempted to setup speaker level, it should have worked fine. The Casablanca internal speaker level test tones work regardless of input source, as the tones don't come from the source, but from the Casablanca itself. I suspect that your unit had some RF noise or something, as we previously discussed, which was causing it initially to do some funny things!

But if anyone using the setup instructions can give me any concrete examples of how to improve them, I'll of course be glad to. And Stacy, its great that you're up and running and things are working and sounding GREAT!

Steve Bruzonsky
dave in gva's Avatar dave in gva 08:58 AM 05-11-2001
Hi there,

I'm interested in following this thread both because I think I'll be in the position of going through the CB II's learning curve one day, but more importantly because the people that are following this are probably CB II owners.

I am really giving serious thought to buying this unit and hope some of you Theta folks don't mind helping me out with a few questions.

First of all, I'm thinking of a dual use system that I will be using probably 50/50 for music/HT. I hope to have Martin Logan Aerius i fronts, a Martin Logan Cinema center, PSB Image 10 S surrounds (bipolar), Martin Logan Scripts for rears, and a Velodyne HGS-10 sub.

Source for DVD will be an HTPC outputting to a front projector.

My questions are:

1. There seems no doubt the CB II is superlative for music (although I'd welcome anyone coming in if they have a contrary view), however I'd also like to hear some comments about how well the CB II handles some of the 'newer' HT encoding formats.....THX EX, DTS ES and DTS 6.1 discrete? I know Theta is not a THX licensee but still there are films I enjoy that use these encoding formats on their DVDs and I'd like peoples impressions of the job their CB II has been doing in re-creating a cinema environment with these kind of DVDs.

2. I'd appreciate some ideas on appropriate amplification for the system I describe above. As I'm going over budget on the electronics already by springing for the CB II, I'd like to go with the best quality/value amplification chain that will allow still allow the Theta and the Martin Logans to sing. Keep in mind that the Martin Logans are electrostatics and impedance across the speakers here is nominal 4 or 6 ohms, and can go to 1.7 ohms for the Aerius i at 20 kHz. Anybody running Martin Logans with the CB II or heard an audition of a good combination?

3. Last but not least astute readers may have noticed that I haven't identified a CD or SACD source above. I guess I'll probably try and luck out like Steve on a good SACD unit, but I'm kind of seeing that taking place in a little while's time.......but given the CB II's jitter reduction capabilities I'm wondering about something that probably sounds a little crazy. What do people think about my music source also being my HTPC? I can imagine this being done in 2 ways. The first is simply playing CDs or CDRs off the DVD-ROM drive on my HTPC, or perhaps a second dedicated CD-ROM drive. The second is configuring the HTPC with mass storage capacity (e.g. a big RAID array) and using software playback (MusicMatch or something else if someone has an alternative recommendation) of the CDs with digital output from an audiophile soundcard like the M Audio 24/96 card? Is this crazy to be going so high end with the processor, amp and speakers and then hooking it all up to a PC??? I guess I have confidence in the jitter reduction capacities of the's probably the potential for sound artifacts from a HTPC power supply creeping into the signal that I'm not so sure about....

Any and all comments (from Theta owners and otherwise welcome.

Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 12:08 PM 05-11-2001
Re the EX formats and how well the Casablanca 2 does on them, I can only say that the Aerial room at last CES sounded great and I believe some cuts were in ES. I don't have my system setup to use this so I can't personally say. But knowing Theta, the ES will be very quality oriented!
I suggest you post this question in a new separate thread here, and that you ask any specific questions you have in regard to how the Casablanca 2 works with ES formats, and I will then e-mail your question to Evelyn Sinclair of Theta for her to reply.

I'm afraid re amplifiers for use of CB2 with Martin Logans, I have no practical experience. I recommend you post this again as a new separate thread here at this forum, and also at the Audio forum, and you will get then the best responses. I don't think its a question of amp to use with CB2, any good amp will do. Its a question of amp to use with your speakers! And its a question of how much you want to spend - surely the new Theta monoblock amps, not cheap, would make anything sing!!!

HTPC for audio??? Sorry, but inherent high frequency noise, vibration, etc. - a HTPC won't compare to say my Theta Voyager or the Sony SCD 777ES SACD/CD player. I say get one of the latter Sony players!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
stacy11's Avatar stacy11 05:39 PM 05-15-2001
Hello ALL! I want to update everybody currently in Casablanca bliss, and those who are anxiously waiting for delivery...Let me tell you, if you are still waiting: the wait is WELL worth it! Just the Circle Surround Mode itself, is worth the price of the whole unit!!! I used to HATE DD 2 channel, to the point of NOT watching HD-HBO, but NOT anymore!

At any rate, I also need some advice from those more in the know regarding my speaker set-up - specifically, WHAT crossover settings to use, start with, or, are recommended. I've never had any experience setting crossovers, so I am in a state of total confusion - everything else is set up and sounding GREAT! I can probably even help others who are confused with the initial set up on the CB2.

Here are my crossover questions:

1.I have no idea what "slope" means, or what setting to use?

2.Why is there a "high pass frequency?" What is a normal setting? (if there is such a thing as normal) I know what the lo pass freq cut off is, but why a high pass???

Let's assume I'm going to use the Butterworth Crossovers.
Here is my system equipment:

The room is approx. 12x15, or slightly larger.
Fronts are FULL RANGE, 3-WAY JM LAB, 913.1'S (25hz to 25khz)

Center: 2 way, (2x5.25" woofers, 1 1" tweeter JM Lab
Centris, not full range) (50hz to 23khz)

Rear Surr: JM Labs Chorus surrounds. 2 way, NOT full range
(do not have exact specs) I believe down to 100hz.

1 SUB: Kinergetics, SW-150, powered, down-firing 15". The SUB AMP does have a SURROUND INPUT, allowing for internal crossover bypass.

Power amps

1 Parasound 1206, (120wpc) used as STEREO AMP FOR FRONTS ONLY. Bridged. Fronts are bi-wired.

1 Parasound 2003, 3 channels: ctr and surrounds (200 wpc)

Vans Evers Clean Line power conditioner
Illuminati digital interconnects
Wire world eclipse silver analog interconnects
Nordost Flatline speaker cables
Runco DTV-5800 display
Camelot Tech Roundtalbe Progressive scan DVD
RCA DTC-100 HDTV receiver.

So..there you have it! I just learned, pulling out the manual for my sub, that it is connected incorrectly! I need to use the surround input with the CB2.

At any rate, any help on where to even START with the xover settings, and what they MEAN, would be greatly appreciated...STeve? Anybody????

thanks as always, S

[This message has been edited by stacy11 (edited 05-15-2001).]
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 06:10 PM 05-15-2001
First, a brief discussion on crossovers and slopes, in terms of my own system. I have the high pass digital crossover set at 50 Hz. This means that the audio signal going out the Casablanca via interconnects to the amplifier(s) has a cutoff, going from higher to lower freqencies, at 50 Hz. My high pass slope is set at 6 dB. This means that starting at 50 Hz, as you go gradually down one octave (one octave is one-half of the starting frequency, in this case 25 Hz), you end up down 6 dB at 25 Hz. Then, as you go down one more octave from 25 Hz (to 12.5 Hz, which is one half of 25 Hz), by the time you get to 12.5 Hz (if your speakers go that low), you are down 12 dB total.

Lets say that instead, you use 80 Hz. Then one octave downward is at 40 Hz, and the second octave downward is at 20 Hz. And lets say you pick a slope of 12 dB. Then by 40 Hz you are down 12 dB, and by 20 Hz you are down 24 dB.

If you have full-range speakers which say go down to 30 Hz or less -3 dB, then often a high pass of 50 Hz, maybe 40 Hz, will sound best. Because your main speakers can produce fairly low bass and still image the best.

With excellent and low bass full range speakers, especially if they're musical, I find the 6 dB slope sounds the best, the most musical, yet doesn't seem to lack any slam with my subwoofers, either.

Stacy, first experiment using the "Phase Perfect" crossover, which has one unified both high pass and low pass crossover.
We'll go onto other crossover types later. And first experiment with the different frequencies for crossover, and different slopes, playing stereo music with solid bass using only the front left and right speakers. Lets set the high pass digital crossover first only for the front left and right speakers.

So lets say we're using "Phase Perfect", and we've experimented at different frequencies for the front left and right speakers of 40, 50, 63 and 80 Hz and different slopes of 6, 12, 18 and 24 dB and find that 50 Hz 6 dB sounds the best (in my system) for the front left and right speakers. The same 50 Hz frequency and 6 dB slope also applies to the low pass crossover, using "Phase Perfect", meaning that the Casablanca takes the low pass filtered bass, which has been filtered from the main left and right speakers, and passes only that bass (the bass filtered below 50 Hz at 6 dB slope per octave) to the subwoofer(s) connected to the subwoofer(s) output(s) of the Casablanca 2.
Also, if you have just one subwoofer connected to the CB2, it also gets the entire LFE channel. If you have two subwoofers, then each gets half the LFE. If three subwoofers, then each gets one-third the LFE. And so on.

Stacy, try the above with your front left and right speakers only and report back what settings you like and what differences you hear. Then we'll go onto you entire home theater speakers system using the "Phase Perfect" crossover.

[This message has been edited by Steve Bruzonsky (edited 05-15-2001).]
stacy11's Avatar stacy11 06:14 PM 05-15-2001

Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 10:17 PM 05-15-2001
Stacy, for how many subwoofer outputs is your Casablanca 2 configured? The Casablanca 2 manual notes that one subwoofer output is front left and right combined, plus LFE; two subwoofer outputs are front left, front right, and each gets one-half LFE; three subwoofers outputs (which I use for my three Aerial subwoofers) are front left, front right, surrounds - combined, and each gets one-third LFE.

Steve Bruzonsky
Steve Bruzonsky's Avatar Steve Bruzonsky 10:22 PM 05-15-2001
Once you're done experimenting with the "Phase Perfect" crossover, let's try experimenting with the "Butterworth" crossover, which lets you independently set the high pass to the main speakers and the low pass to the subwoofer(s).
Sometimes it can be beneficial for a system to have these crossovers, high pass and low pass, set a bit differently, to smoothen out room nodes/bumps.

You can also experiment setting your front left and right speakers to Full Range With Low Pass, meaning no high pass filter to main speakers, but you still have low pass to subwoofer (in addition to LFE to subwoofer).

There is one other crossover option for bass which frankly I haven't experimented with yet! You do it and advise us!!!

Steve Bruzonsky
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