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The official "Theta" thread - Page 9

post #241 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Thanks for the great pics! Now I understand why shipping back to Theta was a last resort.

Yup! Apart from the distance it travels and the abuse the box gets along the way, customs stops it EVERY TIME on the way into the country and opens the box and puts their grubby mitts all over it! Argh!

Anyways, all sorted now. :-)

Ken
post #242 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenlong69 View Post

Hi again all,

I am getting a really loud crack/pop in my rear left (surround left) speaker each time the CB3HD changes to a new sound mode. i.e from Matrix to Dolby Digital and back.

Is anyone else getting this?

I saw it mentioned earlier in regards to DirectTV but I am using an HTPC connected via HDMI cable.

UPDATE! - SO let me qualify "really loud" - I am listening at reference level so the click/pop seems louder than it actually is. After a quick chat with Craig, I have changed my default mode from Matrix and the pops have stopped! Thanks mate!!!!

Cheers,
Ken


Ken, This is excellent news!

Play with the configs and dial it in just the way you want it and dont forget its going to sound better and better over the next few weeks as well.

Have fun !
Craig
post #243 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenlong69 View Post

So I spoke to Craig today and he talked me through opening my case up to check on my faulty DAC. It turns out that it had come loose in the shipping of my unit. It did after all come all the way from California to Qatar!

After re-seating the DAC chips, it is working perfectly, even better than before! Both subs are working and are packing quite a punch!

So I am now reporting an issue free CB3HD upgrade! It is purring along perfectly. I am having guests over tonight for a movie night to show it off. Toy story 3 with DTS-Master 7.1 will be in full effect.

Also, since I havd the case open - I decided to take some pictures for those who may be interested. I could not get clear pics of the HDMI card as it was hidden and I didn't really feel like popping it out, sorry!

I got close ups of the new Power Supply and the processing board fo rthe HDMI inputs...

Cheers,
Ken

Nice pics Ken !!!
post #244 of 6787
Ken, thanks for posting those pictures, and great news on getting your CB3HD working well --- shipping it halfway around the world would have been a nightmare!

I thought there were several interesting things about the pictures, but just a summary of what they are and some comments:

121: transformer to turn wall voltage into a smaller voltage for the voltage regulators.

122 & 123: linear voltage regulators (because of the heatsinks) to create the various voltages internally needed by various circuits. The plastic plugs are either input voltages from the transformer circuit in 121, or output to the rest of the system.

126: looks like the subsystem of a digital computer, probably the DSPs in 127. The top chip with "Spansion" on it is a flash device used to store the code that runs on the DSPs, while the Samsung chip in the lower part is DRAM or memory used by the DSPs. To the left of the two chips is a switching power supply.

127: TI TMS32 DSPs used for ???. Note the Burr-Brown SRC4192 asynchronous sample rate converters, which are more visible in 129. You can see each DSP has its own set of flash and DRAM memories.

128: Another switching power supply used to make the voltages probably for the DSPs. Are these on the same board as 127 and 126?

129: The SRC4192s mentioned in 127. Interesting. I wonder what they use these for. Normally SRCs feeding DSPs would not be in the pathway of bitstreamed data, because SRCs alter data, so are they feeding the DSPs decoded PCM for some kind of signal processing? It doesn't look like those TI DSPs in 127 would be used for bitstream decoding.

What does Theta call the board in 127?

edit: perhaps the SRCs are upconverting the output of the DSPs (which decode the bitstreams) to whatever internal PCM rate the CS3HD uses, and looking more closely at the pictures, it appears all but the 1st 3 pictures are from a 2-board stack that goes into one of the expansion slots.

--Andre
post #245 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

127: TI TMS32 DSPs used for ???. Note the Burr-Brown SRC4192 asynchronous sample rate converters, which are more visible in 129. You can see each DSP has its own set of flash and DRAM memories.

What does Theta call the board in 127?
--Andre

127 is the Dual Processing board designed by Momentum Data Systems and does piggyback with another MDS designed board.

http://www.mds.com/products/ProductP...AE77_rev1a.pdf
post #246 of 6787
Actually, in the top portion of 126, you can see the lower board, with a portion the board from 127 in the lower section of that picture.
post #247 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

127: TI TMS32 DSPs used for ???.

The first one decodes the codecs, DD, DTS, lossy, lossless. The second one does post-processing like Neo:6, PLIIx surround processing, and possibly bass management, if Theta migrated their crossover filter designs to that board. Not sure if they did that or are still using the original DSP for that. Is it still in there?

Quote:


128: Another switching power supply used to make the voltages probably for the DSPs. Are these on the same board as 127 and 126?

No, they are on the mother board that the MDS module sits on.

Quote:


Note the Burr-Brown SRC4192 asynchronous sample rate converters, which are more visible in 129.

edit: perhaps the SRCs are upconverting the output of the DSPs (which decode the bitstreams) to whatever internal PCM rate the CS3HD uses

The SRCs sit between the two DSPs, and convert/reclock the PCM data at 96 kHz. Reduces jitter and unifies all post-processing to a single sample rate.
post #248 of 6787
Thanks. I forgot that MDS made those boards. According to the datasheet, the SRCs are between the two DSPs. The first DSP does indeed do the the bitstream decoding to PCM, and hands it off to the 2nd DSP for any processing it may need. The SRC is placed between the two DSPs, and does downconversion of 192 kHz material (like from BluRay) for the 2nd DSP so it doesn't have to work as hard at things like room correction. It looks like it probably downconverts to 96 kHz.

DSP algorithms' complexity often increase faster than the sampling rate increase. For example, a 2x sample rate increase from 96 kHz to 192 kHz may require far more than 2x the computation power to do the same kinds of calculations.

They also say that they use the SRCs for jitter reduction by driving the output DACs from its regenerated clock. I wonder how this feature is used (if at all) since Theta presumably has their own proprietary way of reducing jitter already.

--Andre

edit: this was in response to bb52 before I saw Roger's post.
post #249 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The SRCs sit between the two DSPs, and convert/reclock the PCM data at 96 kHz. Reduces jitter and unifies all post-processing to a single sample rate.

Do they always convert to 96 kHz, or only material higher than 96? Or perhaps it's configurable since they seem to talk a lot about customizing the firmware for individual clients.

Another surround processor whose name shall not be mentioned in this thread always processes at the input signal's native rate.

--Andre
post #250 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The first one decodes the codecs, DD, DTS, lossy, lossless. The second one does post-processing like Neo:6, PLIIx surround processing, and possibly bass management, if Theta migrated their crossover filter designs to that board. Not sure if they did that or are still using the original DSP for that. Is it still in there?

A small side-note Roger, It's still in there!

So, the first one "CAN" decode everything just like you say, but in the case of the Theta CB-IIIHD, it's not used for any of the lossy codecs, it's strictly a processor used for the new audio codecs.

The CB-IIIHD continues to use the processor that was originally designed into the CB-III for regular lossy Dolby Digital and DTS and continues to use it's Jitter Jail technology for these audio codecs.
post #251 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

Thanks. I forgot that MDS made those boards.

Well, we know MDS designed those boards for sure, as to whether or not they actually make the boards for Theta, I didn't think that they did.

I was under the impression that Theta takes their design and manufactures these boards on their own.

I'm sure alot of companies do not have the same capabilities as Theta and actually use MDS boards that are directly off the shelf.
post #252 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

Do they always convert to 96 kHz, or only material higher than 96? Or perhaps it's configurable since they seem to talk a lot about customizing the firmware for individual clients.

Another surround processor whose name shall not be mentioned in this thread always processes at the input signal's native rate.

--Andre

You might want to check the Momentum Data Systems site. From what I read, the board converts data above 192 to 96 for post processing. It is really irrelevant for the Casablanca as the dacs are 24/96 and that would have to be done anyway. Are there any 7.1 @24/192 disk where this would even apply? I think this is a feature for future consideration as sampling rates increase. Personally, I think it will be years before there would be much 7.1@ 24/192 for this feature to be employed. Hell, I think it may be years before you see many movies that are even 7.1@ 24/96.

Benchmark uses ASRC and makes a distinction between ASRC and SRC. Momentum uses ASRC. Here's Benchmark's postion. http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/discus...d-asrc-devices
post #253 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

You might want to check the Momentum Data Systems site. From what I read, the board converts data above 192 to 96 for post processing. It is really irrelevant for the Casablanca as the dacs are 24/96 and that would have to be done anyway. Are there any 7.1 @24/192 disk where this would even apply? I think this is a feature for future consideration as sampling rates increase. Personally, I think it will be years before there would be much 7.1@ 24/192 for this feature to be employed. Hell, I think it may be years before you see many movies that are even 7.1@ 24/96.

In the CB-IIIHD display, Master and Commander, Star Trek And U-571 for example, all indicate 192.0 in the display under "srate"
post #254 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

Do they always convert to 96 kHz, or only material higher than 96? Or perhaps it's configurable since they seem to talk a lot about customizing the firmware for individual clients.

Good question. Not sure why they would avoid upsampling 44.1 or 48 kHz, though, as it brings certain subtle benefits. Plus, it's really a nice thing to run all post-processing at a single rate. Simplifies things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

A small side-note Roger, It's still in there!

So, the first one "CAN" decode everything just like you say, but in the case of the Theta CB-IIIHD, it's not used for any of the lossy codecs, it's strictly a processor used for the new audio codecs.

The CB-IIIHD continues to use the processor that was originally designed into the CB-III for regular lossy Dolby Digital and DTS and continues to use it's Jitter Jail technology for these audio codecs.

Wow, that means they have an entire TI DSP sitting there for future growth. Nice!

Then I wonder why Circle Surround went away--is it not part of the same original DSP?

Could this also explain why the PLIIx rear channels are still glued together as Ash reported?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

Well, we know MDS designed those boards for sure, as to whether or not they actually make the boards for Theta, I didn't think that they did.

I'm certain MDS makes the boards. They even have the same kind of handwritten model/serial numbers as the Classe boards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

In the CB-IIIHD display, Master and Commander, Star Trek And U-571 for example, all indicate 192.0 in the display under "srate"

Is that supposed to be reading sample rate for the incoming source? Those are 48 kHz titles. It would not make much sense to upsample 48k to 192k, then downsample to 96k into the DACs.
post #255 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I'm certain MDS makes the boards. They even have the same kind of handwritten model/serial numbers as the Classe boards..

It's possible but That was my feeling, I don't remember why I had this notion, someone might check with Theta to confirm or deny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Is that supposed to be reading sample rate for the incoming source? Those are 48 kHz titles. It would not make much sense to upsample 48k to 192k, then downsample to 96k into the DACs.

Again Roger, I could not say with any certainty, I thought it was the incoming signal.
The LPCM version of 3:10 to Yuma on the other hand, reads 48 under this same heading!

And yes, at this point in time, Theta has a ton of unused processing power that we hope they will find some good use for.
post #256 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post


Then I wonder why Circle Surround went away--is it not part of the same original DSP?.

I thought it was on a separate board. After looking at the manual, I do not know how it went away.
post #257 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post
It is really irrelevant for the Casablanca as the dacs are 24/96 and that would have to be done anyway.
Perhaps. DACs can be run at different sampling rates. For example, when you input 44.1 kHz via SPDIF, is it converted to 96 kHz?

Quote:
Benchmark uses ASRC and makes a distinction between ASRC and SRC. Momentum uses ASRC. Here's Benchmark's postion. http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/discus...d-asrc-devices
Yes, and I wonder what the performance of the 4192 is like. The specs seem very good, but Benchmark doesn't like it as they say in that link:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benchmark
Some ASRC devices (such as the AD1896) have excellent jitter attenuation while others (such as the SRC4192) have very little jitter attenuation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
I'm certain MDS makes the boards. They even have the same kind of handwritten model/serial numbers as the Classe boards.
They may be manufactured under contract from Theta. Or MDS could just give them the Gerber files, BOM, and other various things you need to make a board and stuff it, and Theta could contract an outside manufacturer (perhaps even the same one MDS uses since they're both in SoCal) to do it.

With contract manufacturing these days, it really doesn't matter who makes it. Some files are sent, some money exchanged, and a few weeks later, boards show up!

The layout certainly looks the same as on the MDS datasheet.

--Andre
post #258 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew

Perhaps. DACs can be run at different sampling rates. For example, when you input 44.1 kHz via SPDIF, is it converted to 96 kHz?

Theta could contract an outside manufacturer (perhaps even the same one MDS uses since they're both in SoCal) to do it.

--Andre
I am wondering about upsampling myself. If it were the case the digital outs might show 24/96 regardless of input.

As for the second part, I believe ATI, may be capable of that. I also believe ATI has manufactured several high-end CD players and various parts of the Casablanca. I believe they were already manufacturing a lot of the parts and thus were a logical buyer for Theta's assets.
post #259 of 6787
With quite a few CBIII HD units in the field, I am wondering if anyone has been able to check the resolution of the digi out card with high rez HDMI sources. All it takes is the card and a DAC that shows sample rate (Perfectwave or otherwise).
post #260 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I am wondering about upsampling myself. If it were the case the digital outs might show 24/96 regardless of input.

If they do it like they did in the past, they oversample with their proprietary DSP code before the DACs.

--Andre
post #261 of 6787
My CB3HD is on order with 2 Extreme DACs. This is a significant jump as I currently have a CB2 with one Superior and one 6 channel Basic DAC. My setup is currently 5.2 with 2 identical JL Audio subs, each one between the L/R main speaker and room corner. Room is dedicated and symmetrical. Other than the obvious of having discrete controls for each sub, what is the benefit of using separate DAC channels for each versus daisy-chaining the subs? It appears the CB3 does not pair/crossover each sub to a given speaker. For example: sub 1 with left speaker(s) and sub 2 with right speaker(s). Is that correct? I'm asking this as I'm considering adding the rear channels for 7.x so my options are have another DAC installed before the CB3 ships (hopefully soon) and go 7.2 or go 7.1 with the 2 Extremes.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Sam
post #262 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I'm certain MDS makes the boards. They even have the same kind of handwritten model/serial numbers as the Classe boards.

Isn't the MDS DAE-77 a system that is made up of more then a single board?
Where the DAE-7D Dual Processing card is just one card in that system that piggybacks and plugs into the card below it, which is also an MDS designed board.
If this is the case, that lower card is what indicates and leads me to believe that Theta manufactures their own MDS designed cards.

That lower card is emblazoned with the Theta Digital logo and the designation "Theta Digital CB_DAE7SSC1R2" is etched right into the card.
post #263 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreYew View Post

They may be manufactured under contract from Theta. Or MDS could just give them the Gerber files, BOM, and other various things you need to make a board .

With contract manufacturing these days, it really doesn't matter who makes it. Some files are sent, some money exchanged, and a few weeks later, boards show up!

The layout certainly looks the same as on the MDS datasheet.

--Andre

Although the design and layout may be quite similar, I think sometimes it does make a differance who makes it.

For example, Theta's Compli-blu was basically the Oppo 83, aside from the obvious power supply redesign and swap-out, and the repositioning of the actual drive and display, for what they believed would yield superior results there were other less obvious improvements made.

Although this particular piece of information was not listed by Theta in the upgrades performed to the Compli-blu on their website, I've learned from a review that Theta also claims that the PCB tracks on the other boards were doubled in thickness.
This might be a good example of why it does make a differance who it is that you contract to make what is seemingly the same part!
Although I'm sure you'll find those who will argue whether it makes a difference or not, that isn't the point.

Anything can be made higher quality and of a superior standard, if someone is determined to do so!
post #264 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamKVA View Post

My CB3HD is on order with 2 Extreme DACs. This is a significant jump as I currently have a CB2 with one Superior and one 6 channel Basic DAC. My setup is currently 5.2 with 2 identical JL Audio subs, each one between the L/R main speaker and room corner. Room is dedicated and symmetrical. Other than the obvious of having discrete controls for each sub, what is the benefit of using separate DAC channels for each versus daisy-chaining the subs? It appears the CB3 does not pair/crossover each sub to a given speaker. For example: sub 1 with left speaker(s) and sub 2 with right speaker(s). Is that correct? I'm asking this as I'm considering adding the rear channels for 7.x so my options are have another DAC installed before the CB3 ships (hopefully soon) and go 7.2 or go 7.1 with the 2 Extremes.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Sam

I would be surprised if the CBIII HD did not map L/R bass to discrete channels. Otherwise what is the point of using multiple DACs? All bass information on each sub channel would be identical. I'm sure others can comment.

Especially in a 5.2 setup I strongly suggest you get yourself an SVS (or audyssey) bass equalizer. This is s fully discrete 2 channel equalizer that will give you absolutely flat response on both your subs. Hugely beneficial in most rooms.
post #265 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

Although this particular piece of information was not listed by Theta in the upgrades performed to the Compli-blu on their website, I've learned from a review that Theta also claims that the PCB tracks on the other boards were doubled in thickness.

Absent of any other information, that would be bad for fast digital circuits as you are increasing the parasitic inductance of the PCB traces by increasing their thickness. The main reason to do this to reduce resistivity if you're carrying high-current signals or delivering lots of power.

Just to clarify, I believe it's the board carrying the DSPs that's either OEMed from MDS or manufactured by Theta from MDS's plans. The lower board with the Theta marking is obviously custom-designed for Theta, and you can also see part of the CS3's expansion connector on it in 128.

More generally speaking, if for whatever reason having thicker traces is important, that's an easy thing to do: just check off the right box when you order your boards. There are so many options, some quite exotic, available that's not been mentioned by audiophile marketing literature from any electronics manufacturer.

Electrically speaking, audio circuits are on the low-end of manufacturing sophistication. The important thing is not attaching as many bells and whistles as possible to your design, but to pick and choose the features and design choices that let you realize your design as well as possible. Some of those choices may be quite prosaic absent knowledge of the total system design, which why it's especially irritating when a single feature is held up as discriminating factor on the quality of a device.

--Andre
post #266 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

Isn't the MDS DAE-77 a system that is made up of more then a single board?

No. Just one, as described here.

Quote:


Where the DAE-7D Dual Processing card is just one card in that system that piggybacks and plugs into the card below it, which is also an MDS designed board.

Why do you say the lower board is an MDS design? It looks to me much the same case as in the Classe, where they make their own mother board, as in the attached.

Just as an aside, the square QC marking in the upper left of the DSP board in the SSP also appears on the board from VGI's CB3 (just below the Theta "T"). Further supports the idea that both were made by MDS, as if that matters. The board shown at the MDS website (linked above) has the same marking, too.
LL
LL
post #267 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamKVA View Post

My CB3HD is on order with 2 Extreme DACs. This is a significant jump as I currently have a CB2 with one Superior and one 6 channel Basic DAC. My setup is currently 5.2 with 2 identical JL Audio subs, each one between the L/R main speaker and room corner. Room is dedicated and symmetrical. Other than the obvious of having discrete controls for each sub, what is the benefit of using separate DAC channels for each versus daisy-chaining the subs? It appears the CB3 does not pair/crossover each sub to a given speaker. For example: sub 1 with left speaker(s) and sub 2 with right speaker(s). Is that correct? I'm asking this as I'm considering adding the rear channels for 7.x so my options are have another DAC installed before the CB3 ships (hopefully soon) and go 7.2 or go 7.1 with the 2 Extremes.

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Sam

I believe your assumption are correct. The subs are not paired with discrete speakers . How they are paired depends on how many subs you select. The Premium dac would be my choice for subs. Going to 7.1 was great for me and I highly recommend it. A lot depends on the size of the room. You should read the manual for the CB3 for the possible sub configurations. It is just too long to briefly summarize. Page 85 , I believe.
post #268 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I believe your assumption are correct. The subs are not paired with discrete speakers . How they are paired depends on how many subs you select. The Premium dac would be my choice for subs. Going to 7.1 was great for me and I highly recommend it. A lot depends on the size of the room. You should read the manual for the CB3 for the possible sub configurations. It is just too long to briefly summarize. Page 85 , I believe.

Thanks Bulldogger! I read the CB3 manual (several times) and that's why I posted my questions. A Premium DAC for subs is fine but if I don't need it and can do 7.1 with daisy-chained subs with the 2 Extremes, why add the 3rd DAC? Understand the room makes a big difference but I'm trying to understand the benefits of using multiple DAC channels for the subs other than in rooms that require different settings for each sub.

Thanks!
Sam
post #269 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Wow, that means they have an entire TI DSP sitting there for future growth. Nice!

A couple of years ago+, when Theta said to me that the Casablanca had been in production for almost 13 years, and that they didn't see any reason why there wouldn't be any other upgrades available in the future, I can see now that they were not just trying to sell me the new company line!

I basically conducted a fairly lengthy interview with Theta, which I actually "published" as part of the first post in my now deleted "Theta Digital Casablanca To Have HDMI" thread. I was attempting to accumulate as much information as possible for the forum as so little was known about what they were attempting to do.
At the time, amongst other things, I was asking if Dolby Volume and the new height channels that were starting to become so popular in the AVR world, would ever become an option for the Casablanca, when the HDMI project is over and done.

Of course I completly shyed away from asking about a Room Correction option, for fear of having the great dialog we had going cut short or turning the interview into something I was not prepared to deal with!
And since that question had already been asked of them by other people, from what I had gathered, they didn't seem the least bit interested in even entertaining that concept.
I tried to think of and inquire about just about anything else that they might consider as a worthy addition to their Casablanca design.
They did not give up much when asked any of these questions though.

At the time of that "interview", they already knew that they would be using a DSP card from Momentum and their plan from the very beginning was just to add this additional processor to the Casablanca's existing processor.
There was always to be enough processing power available within the Casablanca, to add just about any feature imaginable, short of maybe some pretty powerful Room Correction.
Of course now with the advent of Momentums Dual Processor, which Theta choose to use, from what I understand, even that could be accomplished.
But the powers to be would need to change their minds or reconsider their philosophical stance for why it does not belong in the Casablanca, even though it already has most of the features requirements, sitting in place...idle.
post #270 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

No. Just one, as described here.

Why do you say the lower board is an MDS design? It looks to me much the same case as in the Classe, where they make their own mother board, as in the attached.


I did not mean to say it IS an MDS design, I posed it as a question but with those lines pulled apart and a second question mark lacking, I suppose it could read that way.

I myself would still not read it that way since the next line begins with, "if this is the case".
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