The official Theta Owners Thread - Page 384 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #11491 of 11504 Old 05-23-2017, 09:42 AM
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^^ You guys are hilarious. and have good taste.

Just wanted to share something I'm presently messing around with- high quality but inexpensive usb to aes / i2s digital sound card. build quality seems top notch and the components in it are well worth the under $200 price. note that for i2s it uses the hdmi format connector, not ethernet type, but that could be adapted if necessary.
https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u12-32bit-384khz-xmos-usb-digital-audio-interface.html (good pics of it here including internals)
You can get it directly from amazon too, which is safer and faster for us USA folks.
https://www.amazon.com/GUSTARD-U12-3.../dp/B00PU3R6KY

i just got it and am letting it break in before testing. i have it hooked up to a freshly built Intel-based mini fanless pc, quad core, ssd drive. I will run ASIO sound drivers and put Roon on it. My music files are stored on a large QNAP NAS. Anyway it was hard to pass up for the measly price and if it is less than I'm expecting, amazon has a good return policy...

Note this is not a DAC, it is strictly a USB input to digital output type of device. I have no interest in purchasing an outboard DAC when I'll be getting D3 cards in the near future. I have D2 right now.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 


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post #11492 of 11504 Old 05-23-2017, 09:56 AM
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here are some vids - one on the Gustard U12 usb > aes / I2S sound card, and the second one is from XMOS on overview of XMOS USB Audio 2.0 spec




A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 

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post #11493 of 11504 Old 05-23-2017, 09:14 PM
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I decided to front end the Gustard U12 with a new small fanless pc. picked up this one from amazon and it is a real good deal. I usually build my own from a barebones case but this one was such a good configuration and form factor for the price, couldn't pass it up. It works work great right out of the box, easy setup- it even comes with an RF remote. And, it dual boots to android 5.1 or windows 10- All pre configured. Very well done. And the foot print is smaller than a CD case.
https://www.amazon.com/CHUWI-HiBox-x.../dp/B01N30SSAJ

So I have the Gustard connected, ASIO drivers and USB Audio 2.0 drivers set up, and using hifi bridge software to bypass the internal windows directsound and go from source (tidal, foobar etc) direct to the Gustard XMOS USB Audio 2.0 driver. the unit is outputting 24/384 from AES, but of course I am going to have to reduce this to 192 for input to the Theta CB's AES.

I did some very basic quick listening, and even at 44.1, the Gustard U12 is very black, open and silent. Wide stage. It's a freaking ridiculous bargain of an audiophile device for less than $200. The case, display, fit and finish are top notch. The pcb is done with pride. The linear power supply is well done. I would probably upgrade the caps with something better quality but that's about it.

Tomorrow will install Roon and get the rest of things set up.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 


Last edited by k_lewis; 05-23-2017 at 09:21 PM.
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post #11494 of 11504 Old Today, 09:19 AM
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Update, did some listening last night with Tidal hi res tracks, output at 24/192 through the Gustard AES to the CB (the Gustard will output up to 384 but the CB will only accept up to 192). I about fell over. The sound quality is amazing. Much more than I expected. Massive sound stage, very detailed on vocal / instrument location, black background, a lot of air. IMO I think you'd have to spend at least several thousand to beat the output quality of the Gustard U12. What an amazing steal of a deal on a USB audio device.

For reference I did some AB listening with my trusty go-to reference source, a heavily modified older commercial TEAC VRDS transport (quality on par with any Wadia or Esoteric on the market). Also input to the CB via AES. It always beat everything hands down in comparison to playback of digital streaming devices. But not this time. Sound was equally on par and I'd give the nod to the Gustard for depth and air. Really pleased. most impressive to me was the tightness and depth of bass from the Gustard. Really, this device is no slacker at all.

Question- has anyone used Jriver with Jremote? I'm leaning towards Roon but the Jremote / Jriver option looks decent. Just wondering if anyone ha experience / feedback on the jriver / jremote combo.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 


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post #11495 of 11504 Old Today, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post
Update, did some listening last night with Tidal hi res tracks, output at 24/192 through the Gustard AES to the CB (the Gustard will output up to 384 but the CB will only accept up to 192). I about fell over. The sound quality is amazing. Much more than I expected. Massive sound stage, very detailed on vocal / instrument location, black background, a lot of air. IMO I think you'd have to spend at least several thousand to beat the output quality of the Gustard U12. What an amazing steal of a deal on a USB audio device.

For reference I did some AB listening with my trusty go-to reference source, a heavily modified older commercial TEAC VRDS transport. Also input to the CB via AES. It always beat everything hands down in comparison to playback of digital streaming devices. But not this time. Sound was equally on par and I'd give the nod to the Gustard for depth and air. Really pleased. most impressive to me was the tightness and depth of bass from the Gustard. Really, this device is no slacker at all.

Question- has anyone used Jriver with Jremote? I'm leaning towards Roon but the Jremote / Jriver option looks decent. Just wondering if anyone ha experience / feedback on the jriver / jremote combo.
Roon is better, especially if you use both a Roon Core for main processing and a separate Roon Bridge or Roon Ready device. I used JRiver for years - I know.
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You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #11496 of 11504 Old Today, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
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Roon is better, especially if you use both a Roon Core for main processing and a separate Roon Bridge or Roon Ready device. I used JRiver for years - I know.
Thank you Steve- how is the remote functionality for Roon, you like it? Would you suggest installing Roon Serve or Roon Core on my mini pc, considering I have all media files stored on my NAS (QNAP)? I don;t anticipate ever using the PC directly to play music, just access an view it all on the ios / android tablet remote.

How does Roon do with network stored bluray movie files? I see the Jriver has full capability movie playback but was not sure about Roon.

Apologies for the multiple questions but I figured you would have some good experienced answers.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 

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post #11497 of 11504 Old Today, 11:21 AM
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Question for the forum on the CBIV's source input options - Is it possible to view source on hdmi but get audio from different source, like AES? For example, on input 4, get the video from my media PC on HDMI4, but get audio from AES input? Or is that not possible.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 

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post #11498 of 11504 Old Today, 11:33 AM
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These little devices are all incredible sounding apparently.

Because of Steve Bruzonski talking about his microrendu I started doing my own research. I ended up buying the Sotm sms200. It is absolutely incredible sounding. I will have my linear power supply for it next week hopefully. I am at present running Roon fully on my I5 laptop. I don't at present have a server that I can run the core on. I am using a Western Digital My Cloud.

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JVC RS4810 projector Stewart Cima 115" 2.35 screen, ATI 523 and 528 amps
7 mirror imaged 2 way DIY monitors. All matched to within 1db. All parts matched, 1 SVS SB16 ultra subwoofer
Emotiva XMC-1 processor Marantz UD5007 Bluray player
Furman sequencer ran off of a double 50amp breaker,Furman power conditioner
All in a dedicated 15x22x8 foot dedicated home theater.
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post #11499 of 11504 Old Today, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post
Thank you Steve- how is the remote functionality for Roon, you like it? Would you suggest installing Roon Serve or Roon Core on my mini pc, considering I have all media files stored on my NAS (QNAP)? I don;t anticipate ever using the PC directly to play music, just access an view it all on the ios / android tablet remote.

How does Roon do with network stored bluray movie files? I see the Jriver has full capability movie playback but was not sure about Roon.

Apologies for the multiple questions but I figured you would have some good experienced answers.
Roon is music only, not blu rays, not movies.

You use one computer/component with Roon core for all the processing. Then another component which is Roon ready, to output the audio (whether by usb, etc) to your preamplifier or SSP.
The tablet is used as the controller. Roon is light years better than JRiver in terms of its GUI. Go to both Roon Labs and Computer Audiophile forums and do some research to learn about Roon and how to best use it. Assuming your mini pc meets the requirements, run Roon core on the mini PC and get another component as a Roon bridge/Roon Ready audio output.

You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #11500 of 11504 Old Today, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post
These little devices are all incredible sounding apparently.

Because of Steve Bruzonski talking about his microrendu I started doing my own research. I ended up buying the Sotm sms200. It is absolutely incredible sounding. I will have my linear power supply for it next week hopefully. I am at present running Roon fully on my I5 laptop. I don't at present have a server that I can run the core on. I am using a Western Digital My Cloud.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Yea, its all my fault. HA!

You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #11501 of 11504 Old Today, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post
These little devices are all incredible sounding apparently.

Because of Steve Bruzonski talking about his microrendu I started doing my own research. I ended up buying the Sotm sms200. It is absolutely incredible sounding. I will have my linear power supply for it next week hopefully. I am at present running Roon fully on my I5 laptop. I don't at present have a server that I can run the core on. I am using a Western Digital My Cloud.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Yes I looked at those devices as well- very good reviews- I chose the Gustard U12 since it has AES/EBU output, and a very nicely done linear power supply- the display on the front showing the current output data rate is nice too. I figured if the Gustard did not sound good I'd return it to amazon and get the mRendu. But from my listening so far, I think you'd be hard pressed to beat the Gustard. For the price it's a no-brainer for an all digital USB to AES output solution.

I'm bypassing the internal windows audio mapper by using VB hifi bridge/virtual cable software, sound goes direct from source (tidal etc) through the hifi bridge software, to ASIO, then direct to the USB2.0 Audio device (Gustard). This preserves the quality of the audio. the odd thing with USB 2.0 Audio is it dos not show up as an audio device in Windows sound devices- only the USB Audio 1.0 branch of it shows up, and if you use that it will restrict the sound. It took a bit of figuring out to get it working. At first it kept limiting me to 44.1/16.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 

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post #11502 of 11504 Old Today, 11:53 AM
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Yea, its all my fault. HA!
Yep I blame you too. I read your posts some time ago on Roon / Tidal / mRendu and that got me on the track to build a better pc/nas based streaming system. I had previously been using Slim Server and a logitech transporter, which wasn't bad at all and with some mods to the transporter, was pretty respectable- but certainly not ultra high end for reference 2ch listening. If the Gustard lets me down at all I'll get the mRendu. but big two thumbs up so far. I'm seriously laughing with how good it sounds.


A/V Gear: Elite 70" display, Theta CBIIIHD processor, Theta Intrepid amplifier, Oppo 95 BD, BG Radia LA800 mains, BG Radia CC400 center, four BG Radia R18i surrounds, dual 18" Bag End Infrasubs, two Fuhrman P1800PF AVRs, Synergistic Silver Reference active cables & interconnects. 

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post #11503 of 11504 Old Today, 12:07 PM
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Yes I was all lol after I bought the Sotm. I bet you are really laughing at all the possibilities at such a low cost. I know this device I have is saving me from buying the Oppo 205. I am just going to get the 203 and an upgraded power supply and save a few hundred dollars. I don't think the 205 would even come close to my setup now. I know when I owned the Oppo 105 it didn't come remotely close. On a scale of 1 to 10 the laptop USB in to dac would be a 5. The Oppo 105 a 7 this is a 9.5 even with the smps power supply. With the new linear supply I am sure it will be a 10. This is just on a scale of what I have listened to.

And yes Steve it is all your fault.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

JVC RS4810 projector Stewart Cima 115" 2.35 screen, ATI 523 and 528 amps
7 mirror imaged 2 way DIY monitors. All matched to within 1db. All parts matched, 1 SVS SB16 ultra subwoofer
Emotiva XMC-1 processor Marantz UD5007 Bluray player
Furman sequencer ran off of a double 50amp breaker,Furman power conditioner
All in a dedicated 15x22x8 foot dedicated home theater.

Last edited by rhale64L7; Today at 12:45 PM.
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post #11504 of 11504 Old Today, 05:16 PM
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Question for the forum on the CBIV's source input options - Is it possible to view source on hdmi but get audio from different source, like AES? For example, on input 4, get the video from my media PC on HDMI4, but get audio from AES input? Or is that not possible.
I believe you can do this. You might have to set Input 4 Source 1 to HDMI4 and Input 4 Source 2 to AES then select Source 1 first and then Source 2. CB IV keeps the last video selected. I'd check with John Baloff or Craig to make sure that there isn't any gotcha's in this.

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