The official "Theta" thread - Page 277 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #8281 of 8308 Old 05-23-2015, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post
?..All I do really care about is the resulting sound.
Same here.

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post #8282 of 8308 Old 05-24-2015, 10:32 AM
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...... All I do really care about is the resulting sound. My Krell Chorus amp was the only amp I had that was truly balanced from input to output. So I have no predestination for such a design. ......
Great way of looking at it. Like anything else in technology, you can have a very good unbalanced design and a crappy balanced design. The mere fact of a balanced amplifier technology does not automatically equate to a superior design.

My personal preference is an unbalanced design. Less complexity for the same achievable performance.

*Note that this has nothing to do with a balanced input stage (XLR connection). That is a different issue.

Also consider that any bridged amp is a balanced amp. So most "thumpers" (car stereos) are balanced amps!

The old "Ampzilla" circa 1974 was a balanced design, and a rather good one for those days.

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post #8283 of 8308 Old 05-24-2015, 10:44 AM
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Balanced class D?

I doubt there are any balanced class D amps out there.

Yes it could be done, two PWM chains each acting on positive and negative portions of the input signal. But the resulting timing problems would be a challenge to resolve. Remember that a class D amp core operates in the hundreds of khz. And I can see no performance gain for all that extra cost and work.

Now if you operated two class D amps in a bridge mode, that would technically be a balanced amp. But as class D amps are capable of very high power at excellent efficiency, why would you need a bridged configuration in the first place?
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post #8284 of 8308 Old 05-24-2015, 11:04 AM
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I doubt there are any balanced class D amps out there.

Yes it could be done, two PWM chains each acting on positive and negative portions of the input signal. But the resulting timing problems would be a challenge to resolve. Remember that a class D amp core operates in the hundreds of khz. And I can see no performance gain for all that extra cost and work.

Now if you operated two class D amps in a bridge mode, that would technically be a balanced amp. But as class D amps are capable of very high power at excellent efficiency, why would you need a bridged configuration in the first place?
Thank you! This is the simple yet definitive Rick-Steves type answer I was looking for.

I was just curious as Jeff/Theta's answer appears to imply as much: there is no such animal as balanced class D amp. Really was not looking to comment on sonic quality or anything like that.

FWIW, I have many various components with balanced vs single ended outputs over the years. I do use balanced connections if there is a choice, but don't tend to hear any difference either.

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post #8285 of 8308 Old 05-24-2015, 11:57 AM
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This is all good to know. Thanks people for easing my mind until the Dreadnaught D gets here. Then I will be able to listen for myself.
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post #8286 of 8308 Old 05-24-2015, 12:01 PM
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the Ncore based design does not benefit any further from being "fully balanced" in the classic sense since the ncore design inherently rejects noise. This is how I understand it... You could email Bruno and I'm sure he would fill you in.

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post #8287 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 12:49 PM
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Just recognise that Class D inherently has very low PSRR while the inherent PSRR potential of Class A (or AB) is very high (and why they can run on unregulated supply rails and alleviate the potential problem of supply sag). So a Class D amplifier has to 'battle this inherent weakness', so to speak. The nCore do this very well due to their feedback network and high loop gain. (Remember, there's no such thing as too much feedback.) Bruno has commented that the waveform of a switch-mode power supply is easier for the nCore modules to deal with (as both are switch-mode devices).

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post #8288 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post
I doubt there are any balanced class D amps out there.

Yes it could be done, two PWM chains each acting on positive and negative portions of the input signal. But the resulting timing problems would be a challenge to resolve. Remember that a class D amp core operates in the hundreds of khz. And I can see no performance gain for all that extra cost and work.

Now if you operated two class D amps in a bridge mode, that would technically be a balanced amp. But as class D amps are capable of very high power at excellent efficiency, why would you need a bridged configuration in the first place?
In doing some casual research, there are some reference designs that show a bridged configuration.

A dead give away is if the negative speaker terminal is grounded. If the manual states not to allow the speaker ground connection to be grounded to the system ground, then you do have a bridged amp.

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post #8289 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 02:11 PM
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The Dreadnaught D says that in the manual. At least from what I remember
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post #8290 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 02:34 PM
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The Dreadnaught D says that in the manual. At least from what I remember
Says what? Not to ground the negative speaker connection?

If that's the case, then it is likely to be a bridged design in which case is also balanced. I stand corrected then.

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post #8291 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 02:36 PM
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Yes almost positive it says that in the manual. . I will reread it later and post up what it says.
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post #8292 of 8308 Old 05-25-2015, 04:18 PM
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It says warning each channel is a balance bridged amp. Thus the negative speaker terminal is not a ground.
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post #8293 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 12:57 PM
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I just have a quick question.

I have a higher end Onkyo with all the bells and whistles. It has Audyssey XT32 and is Ultra 2.

It broke and It will cost me $500 to get it fixed.

I have the chance to get a Casablanca I for $300 (which I could one day upgrade).

Forget the bells and whistles, but sound quality-wise, will the Casablanca hold up or still win? Or do receivers these days with Audyssey, DTS-HD, etc. beat the old Casablancas?

I have the Klipsch Ultra THX Speakers setup.
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post #8294 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 02:14 PM
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I just have a quick question.

I have a higher end Onkyo with all the bells and whistles. It has Audyssey XT32 and is Ultra 2.

It broke and It will cost me $500 to get it fixed.

I have the chance to get a Casablanca I for $300 (which I could one day upgrade).

Forget the bells and whistles, but sound quality-wise, will the Casablanca hold up or still win? Or do receivers these days with Audyssey, DTS-HD, etc. beat the old Casablancas?

I have the Klipsch Ultra THX Speakers setup.
Great question! I don't have the answer, but I would sure like to experience the answer. I've recently owned high end processors from Krell and McIntosh, but the Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac Live is sure a nice processor and the one I'm keeping for now.

Anyone want to loan me a CB3HD or CB4, so that I can compare? Seriously, I'll pay shipping both ways (full insurance included), and I'll even pay a rental fee for the time I have it :-)

Dave
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post #8295 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 02:34 PM
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CBIVA with Extreme D-3,DAC demo in a few days:

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...bstory_index=0

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post #8296 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 02:48 PM
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Great question! I don't have the answer, but I would sure like to experience the answer. I've recently owned high end processors from Krell and McIntosh, but the Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac Live is sure a nice processor and the one I'm keeping for now.

Anyone want to loan me a CB3HD or CB4, so that I can compare? Seriously, I'll pay shipping both ways (full insurance included), and I'll even pay a rental fee for the time I have it :-)

Dave
I would love the XMC-1, but right now it's a budget issue. So I'm just curious how the Casablanca with standard DACS holds up to todays preamps with Audyssey, DTS-HD etc.

I imagine one day I could upgrade to a IV, but at $12k for the upgrade (without new DACs even) is crazy and my wife would kill me. But since that's an option just wondering how much clarity and quality of sound I'm missing with standard Casablanca DACs compared to a newer model with Audyssey.
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post #8297 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 02:55 PM
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...I have the chance to get a Casablanca I for $300 (which I could one day upgrade).
BTW, CBI does not have hdmi.

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post #8298 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 03:01 PM
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CB2 & 3 also do not have HDMI. HDMI started with CB3HD in 2011!

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.

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Quote:
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Great question! I don't have the answer, but I would sure like to experience the answer. I've recently owned high end processors from Krell and McIntosh, but the Emotiva XMC-1 with Dirac Live is sure a nice processor and the one I'm keeping for now.

Anyone want to loan me a CB3HD or CB4, so that I can compare? Seriously, I'll pay shipping both ways (full insurance included), and I'll even pay a rental fee for the time I have it :-)

Dave
I agree 100%. XMC-1 is amazing. I also had Krell Foundation and kept the XMC-1.
I just read the Marantz av8802 review by Sound&Vision and the THD+N measurements of XMC-1 is much better.
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post #8300 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 03:26 PM
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I agree 100%. XMC-1 is amazing. I also had Krell Foundation and kept the XMC-1.
I just read the Marantz av8802 review by Sound&Vision and the THD+N measurements of XMC-1 is much better.
Yeah, I have a feeling folks who want Atmos, etc will go for the AV8802, whereas, folks who want even better sonics, but just 7.1 for now, will go for the XMC-1.

Is the Casablanca IV better than the XMC-1? The XMC-1 sounds really good, even without Dirac Live. I won't know until I can get a Casablanca in my system. For the price of a Casablanca, I would think it should be way better. If it is way better, I'd be willing to get one.

I don't think there's too many folks who have had experience with both a newer Casablanca and the newer processors. Most folks here have had their Casablanca's for a while...

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post #8301 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 05:26 PM
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BTW, CBI does not have hdmi.

Dave
Quote:
Forget the bells and whistles, but sound quality-wise, will the Casablanca hold up or still win?
As stated, sound quality for film and music, not bells and whistles.
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I don't think there's too many folks who have had experience with both a newer Casablanca and the newer processors. Most folks here have had their Casablanca's for a while...

Dave
Oh but I have!!@@@

Years ago, my then CB2 was in for a repair, and a friend lent my a Bryston SP1. It was decent, but no match for the CB2 overall.

2008 to 2011, I had my CB3 with Six Shooter multi-channel analog bypass/preamp. I used the then top line Integra SSP for blu ray decoding
(lossless blu ray) from Integra SSP into CB3's Six Shooter.

2011, upgraded to the new CB3HD, sold Integra and discontinued using Six Shooter. Substantial sonic improvement, night and day, no longer would often fiddle with volume control to get it "right", on blu ray lossless codecs/audio, no question about it. CB4 in 2014 some additional sonic improvement as well.

The CB1 I had, prior to upgrade to the CB2, during 1997 to 2002. At that time its "Superior" DACS were industry best for an SSP. Had too many pops and clicks mostly on DirecTV satellite, still somewhat an issue until 2006 - 2007 or so when this was finally 99% alleviated with firmware upgrades to my then CB3.

I think that a recent Integra SSP with lossless decoding for blu rays will overall sound better than using an old CB1 which uses only lossy Dolby Digital or DTS decoding for blu rays. Even though I am a Theta luver, I can't recommend you go back to the best in 1997 which is now far below the best.

How much is that Emotiva SSP? Did I seen an ad with an introductory price of $1999 or is my mind playing tricks?

The CB1 is only worth it to you to use to save some $$ on an upgrade to the latest CB model. Not for anything else in my opinion.

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.

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post #8303 of 8308 Old Yesterday, 07:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post
the Ncore based design does not benefit any further from being "fully balanced" in the classic sense since the ncore design inherently rejects noise. This is how I understand it... You could email Bruno and I'm sure he would fill you in.
Aside from whether the Ncore design can be fully balanced or not:

What counts is how it sounds!

I had a pair of Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks. They were rated by some, like Richard Hardesty, as the best monoblocks out there in the early to mid 20002. Yet the Theta Prometheus monoblocks easily best them in every way sonically as far as I can tell, at half the weight and hardly any heat in comparison to the Class A Citadels. Time and technology march on. Back with the Citadels, at the time their being truly balanced was a sonic positive. Now it may no longer be a meaningful objective technical spec whether a nCore based amplifier is "truly balanced" or not.

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^ Thank you Steve. Now if I could just get the darned thing.
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Oh but I have!!@@@

Years ago, my then CB2 was in for a repair, and a friend lent my a Bryston SP1. It was decent, but no match for the CB2 overall.

2008 to 2011, I had my CB3 with Six Shooter multi-channel analog bypass/preamp. I used the then top line Integra SSP for blu ray decoding
(lossless blu ray) from Integra SSP into CB3's Six Shooter.

2011, upgraded to the new CB3HD, sold Integra and discontinued using Six Shooter. Substantial sonic improvement, night and day, no longer would often fiddle with volume control to get it "right", on blu ray lossless codecs/audio, no question about it. CB4 in 2014 some additional sonic improvement as well.

The CB1 I had, prior to upgrade to the CB2, during 1997 to 2002. At that time its "Superior" DACS were industry best for an SSP. Had too many pops and clicks mostly on DirecTV satellite, still somewhat an issue until 2006 - 2007 or so when this was finally 99% alleviated with firmware upgrades to my then CB3.

I think that a recent Integra SSP with lossless decoding for blu rays will overall sound better than using an old CB1 which uses only lossy Dolby Digital or DTS decoding for blu rays. Even though I am a Theta luver, I can't recommend you go back to the best in 1997 which is now far below the best.

How much is that Emotiva SSP? Did I seen an ad with an introductory price of $1999 or is my mind playing tricks?

The CB1 is only worth it to you to use to save some $$ on an upgrade to the latest CB model. Not for anything else in my opinion.
Thanks, Steve. This is what I was looking for.

Cheers!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Oh but I have!!@@@

Years ago, my then CB2 was in for a repair, and a friend lent my a Bryston SP1. It was decent, but no match for the CB2 overall.

2008 to 2011, I had my CB3 with Six Shooter multi-channel analog bypass/preamp. I used the then top line Integra SSP for blu ray decoding
(lossless blu ray) from Integra SSP into CB3's Six Shooter.

2011, upgraded to the new CB3HD, sold Integra and discontinued using Six Shooter. Substantial sonic improvement, night and day, no longer would often fiddle with volume control to get it "right", on blu ray lossless codecs/audio, no question about it. CB4 in 2014 some additional sonic improvement as well.

The CB1 I had, prior to upgrade to the CB2, during 1997 to 2002. At that time its "Superior" DACS were industry best for an SSP. Had too many pops and clicks mostly on DirecTV satellite, still somewhat an issue until 2006 - 2007 or so when this was finally 99% alleviated with firmware upgrades to my then CB3.

I think that a recent Integra SSP with lossless decoding for blu rays will overall sound better than using an old CB1 which uses only lossy Dolby Digital or DTS decoding for blu rays. Even though I am a Theta luver, I can't recommend you go back to the best in 1997 which is now far below the best.

How much is that Emotiva SSP? Did I seen an ad with an introductory price of $1999 or is my mind playing tricks?

The CB1 is only worth it to you to use to save some $$ on an upgrade to the latest CB model. Not for anything else in my opinion.
Thanks as usual Steve - great info! However, the Bryston SP1 is now today the SP3. I heard the Integra in your system, and the Casablanca is definitely better!!

I would not want to try a CBI,II, or III. I'd like to try a CBIIIHD or newer. Yes, the Emotiva XMC-1 "had" an intro price of $1999 ($1799, after a 10% discount for joining E-Club), but now the price is $2499.

I've recently had an upgraded Onkyo PR-SC5508, a Krell S1200U 3D, and a McIntosh MX-151, and I'm keeping the XMC-1. It has Dirac Live too. I am very impressed with the sound - both with and without Dirac applied.

Considering that the CBIV is about 10X the price of the XMC-1, I would hope it to be better. Of course, it's silly to want it to be 10 times better. For me though, if I was able to get a Casablanca into my system to try for a couple of weeks, and, if it was substantially better than the XMC-1, I would try to work out a purchase of a CBIV. There's no longer any dealers to work with in Phoenix, so I'm doubting that it will ever happen (unless someone wants to loan me one - again, I'll pay shipping and a loaner fee :-)

Dave
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Thanks as usual Steve - great info! However, the Bryston SP1 is now today the SP3. I heard the Integra in your system, and the Casablanca is definitely better!!

I would not want to try a CBI,II, or III. I'd like to try a CBIIIHD or newer. Yes, the Emotiva XMC-1 "had" an intro price of $1999 ($1799, after a 10% discount for joining E-Club), but now the price is $2499.

I've recently had an upgraded Onkyo PR-SC5508, a Krell S1200U 3D, and a McIntosh MX-151, and I'm keeping the XMC-1. It has Dirac Live too. I am very impressed with the sound - both with and without Dirac applied.

Considering that the CBIV is about 10X the price of the XMC-1, I would hope it to be better. Of course, it's silly to want it to be 10 times better. For me though, if I was able to get a Casablanca into my system to try for a couple of weeks, and, if it was substantially better than the XMC-1, I would try to work out a purchase of a CBIV. There's no longer any dealers to work with in Phoenix, so I'm doubting that it will ever happen (unless someone wants to loan me one - again, I'll pay shipping and a loaner fee :-)

Dave

And this is what the review said about Krell S1200U:
Under the neatly-milled aluminium hood, the S-1200U is a little different from most processors and AVRs. Rather than use standard op-amps and integrated circuits, every channel runs on a discrete Class A circuit that Krell claims offers the greatest signal purity and the highest bandwidth.

The DSP engine is at the leading edge of the field (also grafted from the Evolution 707), based on a pair of 32bit Cirrus chipsets that feed very sexy 24bit ESS Sabre DACs.
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IMHO, the minimum Theta to buy is CBIII HD. The switch from lossy to lossless codec (Dolby True HD) is historically the most significant improvement in home movie sound; it doesn't seem right to take a step backwards now. If you could manage a used CBIII HD for say maybe $7000-8000, that would be a steal and the best introduction to what the Theta sound is about.

Also don't forget the rule of third: 1/3 of fund for preamp, 1/3 for amp, 1/3 for speakers. I am using this "rule of third" term only because it sounds catchy, all I really mean is if possible don't match the $15k CB IV to $2k speakers for example. If you want to see the "full" benefit, prepare to spend appropriate funds for speakers and power amps.

It's a whole system approach; Casablanca is useless if matched with so so amp and so so speakers. There is no law that says that the above should be the case, but in my experience it always tends to be.

Regards, Can
Theta: Stunning 3D soundstage, sublime details, unlimited dynamics and low end response - the processor for music lovers. My system & CBIII HD review & setup help - Post # 3913 and Diagrams & Surround Speaker Rec. Here
Give vinyl and tube preamp a try - the sound from heaven! :-)
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