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The official "Theta" thread - Page 164

post #4891 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

It is Linux based - not Windows.

Exactly!! biggrin.gif

Anything Windows-based is going to crash or require regular rebooting. Wrong platform for a 'utility' type of application. Plus you really don't need a power-hungry PC for simply running a music library application that's left on 24/7. Back when I was running a customized PC server (Win7) for home automation, media serving, etc, I had the best luck with JRiver for the music library- was pretty solid, sounded quite good, audio card was a Lynx AES-16.

I have since moved to a Vera 3 for home automation, QNAP 6tb RAID5 NAS for movie / music library (played back via Oppo95), and a G_Box Midnight Android box for music running XBMC for library access (whole home audio access via iphone / ipads running XBMC Remote application).
Vera 3 uses about 5 watts, G-Box Midnight uses 3 watts, QNAP uses about 45watts, goes into sleep mode when not in use. I would not use the G-Box for reference audio playback, but it is excellent for general purpose playback in a whole-home audio type of use scenario. Ref: http://www.boxtoptheater.com/products/g-box-midnight-android-tv-box-mini-pc
Edited by k_lewis - 2/27/13 at 9:00am
post #4892 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

It is Linux based - not Windows.
Ahhh, yeah. That's my point in asking. Windows based servers crash. Does the Bryston? IF not that is a considerable plus.
Edited by Bulldogger - 2/27/13 at 10:22am
post #4893 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by ehlarson View Post

I think HDMI is likely to become increasingly important for audio.
I first bought a prepro for use with multichannel music in 2000. The plan was for high resolution playback to be enabled as soon as some type of standard had been decided. At the time, Firewire was supposedly going to be the next standard. Every company I asked told me that they were waiting for a standard to be set. At least, at least, HDMI did that and progress was made. I agree HDMI is becoming increasingly important for audio. Without HDMI, we would be stuck with only Dolby Digital and DTS legacy formats.
post #4894 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

Exactly!! biggrin.gif

Anything Windows-based is going to crash or require regular rebooting. Wrong platform for a 'utility' type of application. Plus you really don't need a power-hungry PC for simply running a music library application that's left on 24/7. Back when I was running a customized PC server (Win7) for home automation, media serving, etc, I had the best luck with JRiver for the music library- was pretty solid, sounded quite good, audio card was a Lynx AES-16.

I have since moved to a Vera 3 for home automation, QNAP 6tb RAID5 NAS for movie / music library (played back via Oppo95), and a G_Box Midnight Android box for music running XBMC for library access (whole home audio access via iphone / ipads running XBMC Remote application).
Vera 3 uses about 5 watts, G-Box Midnight uses 3 watts, QNAP uses about 45watts, goes into sleep mode when not in use. I would not use the G-Box for reference audio playback, but it is excellent for general purpose playback in a whole-home audio type of use scenario. Ref: http://www.boxtoptheater.com/products/g-box-midnight-android-tv-box-mini-pc
Oh, I see you are entirely correct. It seems the Bryston BDP-1 was created exactly because James Tanner grew tired of the crashes. "James Tanner, VP of marketing at Bryston Ltd., was frustrated. He'd borrowed a Music Vault 4000 music server to play high-resolution digital music files at Bryston's exhibit at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Most of the time, the server delivered some of the best sound at that event. The rest of the time, there were dropouts and crashes. Tanner later experienced similar dropouts and crashes when he streamed hi-rez digital files over his home network to a Bryston BDA-1 digital-to-analog converter (see my review in the February 2010 issue).
I found a more relaxed Tanner at the 2010 CES. This time, he'd borrowed an Auraliti L-1000 digital file server ($3000 at www.auraliti.com), a box with no front-panel controls, no display, no hard drive, no fans, and no CD drive. Instead of a Windows operating system, the L-1000 ran a stripped-down version of the Linux open-source operating system. Its simplicity of design solved the reliability problems Tanner had encountered the year before.

Then and there, Tanner decided to ask Auraliti to help Bryston create a simple digital music file player. The result is the BDP-1." http://www.stereophile.com/content/bryston-bdp-1-digital-audio-player
post #4895 of 6787
^^ and there you have it biggrin.gif

It's all about using the right tool for the job, or in this case, the right OS.
post #4896 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

You know it may be because I was previously running v4.14 on the unit (suggested by Theta because I had a mix of newer Xtreme / Premium DACs with the older single-ended 12ch digi card). Given that v4.14 is not optimized for the higher res DACs, v4.30 may just have eliminated the non-optimization of running 4.14.
The fact that the older dacs worked, almost certainy meant that Theta was not running 24 bits. The older cards are 20 bit for the original Superior and 18 bit for the Standard cards. I always felt that 24 bits adds more "body" to the music. 16 bit music always sound "thinner" in comparison. Have you experience that effect? If so, do you notice that now? It's always, to my ears anyway, and indication that the bit depth has increased.
post #4897 of 6787
I'm trying to apply the update to my CBIII HD, but I'm having difficulty getting my Windows 7 notebook to recognize the CBIII HD's USB input.

I follow the steps from Theta but when I get to " 4. Connect a USB cable to the Casablanca. The computer should acknowledge the connection. If the connection is not established you must use the computer’s Device Manager to identify and select the appropriate port. Select that same port in TDD." things go awry. The CB is shown in "Devices and Printers" under "Unspecified" as FT232R USB UART. Nothing I have yet tried has allowed the TDD software to successfully connect with the CBIII and get the upgrade done....

Grateful for any help and advice

Sean

redface.gif
post #4898 of 6787
I once tried to connect a USB sound card to my Win7 laptop without success. It turns out that the laptop has three USB ports, two are 2.0 and one is 3.0. The sound card could connect to the 2.0 but not the 3.0.
post #4899 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

I'm trying to apply the update to my CBIII HD, but I'm having difficulty getting my Windows 7 notebook to recognize the CBIII HD's USB input.

I follow the steps from Theta but when I get to " 4. Connect a USB cable to the Casablanca. The computer should acknowledge the connection. If the connection is not established you must use the computer’s Device Manager to identify and select the appropriate port. Select that same port in TDD." things go awry. The CB is shown in "Devices and Printers" under "Unspecified" as FT232R USB UART. Nothing I have yet tried has allowed the TDD software to successfully connect with the CBIII and get the upgrade done....

Grateful for any help and advice

Sean

redface.gif

I'm not surprised and there is no easy answer. Windows 7 drivers are tricky and need a specific chipset on the other end to work properly. I always, always use a quality USB-to-RS232 converter from my laptop and connect up to RS232 on the CBIII, as well as my other RS232-configurable equipment. That's just the easiest path. https://www.usconverters.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=67&products_id=325
post #4900 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

The fact that the older dacs worked, almost certainy meant that Theta was not running 24 bits. The older cards are 20 bit for the original Superior and 18 bit for the Standard cards. I always felt that 24 bits adds more "body" to the music. 16 bit music always sound "thinner" in comparison. Have you experience that effect? If so, do you notice that now? It's always, to my ears anyway, and indication that the bit depth has increased.

Interesting -could very well be the case. I bought this CBIII-HD new from Theta (not an upgrade unit), so the Xtreme and Premium cards plus everything else in it are new. Odd though that the 12ch digi (older) card was included (I did not specify it on my order, it just came that way, along with v4.14 installed). Yes more depth, spacial representation and nuance. You probably nailed it. I've never used the digi card so it will probably go on A-Gon once I get my GenVIII and new balanced digi card.

On a completely separate note.. I have been running two Channel Islands Audio D200 monoblock amps for my L/R BGRadia 800's for the past few months. I got the amps cheap and couldn't pass em up, figured they would end up in my office system, they are so small and slick looking.. damn these things ROCK. Even at full retail price, they really represent an excellent value.
post #4901 of 6787
Is there any news regarding the new processor? Features, dacs, upgradability, limitations compared to CB3, processing power. ..

Stieger
post #4902 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

^^ and there you have it biggrin.gif

It's all about using the right tool for the job, or in this case, the right OS.

It's just a shame an interface like JRiver isn't available for Linux, AP Linux or its various stripped-down forms. However, my bet is that the overriding decision by Bryston to use Linux was cost-based in the same way that they did not implement some of the physical architecture advantages of the Auraliti (e.g. independent linear power to the Juli@ card or even the XTe version of that card).
post #4903 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

I once tried to connect a USB sound card to my Win7 laptop without success. It turns out that the laptop has three USB ports, two are 2.0 and one is 3.0. The sound card could connect to the 2.0 but not the 3.0.
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

I'm not surprised and there is no easy answer. Windows 7 drivers are tricky and need a specific chipset on the other end to work properly. I always, always use a quality USB-to-RS232 converter from my laptop and connect up to RS232 on the CBIII, as well as my other RS232-configurable equipment. That's just the easiest path. https://www.usconverters.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=67&products_id=325

Thanks for the replies. I have a USB to serial converter so I'll try that tomorrow. If that doesn't work then I will have to contact Theta or dig out an old copy of Windows XP. Will try another laptop too.

Thanks,

Sean
post #4904 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post


Thanks for the replies. I have a USB to serial converter so I'll try that tomorrow. If that doesn't work then I will have to contact Theta or dig out an old copy of Windows XP. Will try another laptop too.

Thanks,

Sean

I had the same situation. I don't know which utility in Windows sets the serial port for the USB to serial conversion but I tried selecting different serial ports from TDD until I found that my Windows had assigned serial port 3. I suggest that you just try different ports from TDD until you find the one that works.

Before I found the above solution I tried to use the CB's serial port to do the upgrade; it didn't work. TDD would just hang after seeming to upload the firmware. If you use the USB port as above you will be OK.

Good Luck.
post #4905 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post

I had the same situation. I don't know which utility in Windows sets the serial port for the USB to serial conversion but I tried selecting different serial ports from TDD until I found that my Windows had assigned serial port 3. I suggest that you just try different ports from TDD until you find the one that works.

Before I found the above solution I tried to use the CB's serial port to do the upgrade; it didn't work. TDD would just hang after seeming to upload the firmware. If you use the USB port as above you will be OK.

Good Luck.

When you add a USB to serial adapter it will show up as a COM port in the Windows Device Manager, and it will show the assigned port. Edit the properties of the COM port and be sure to set the proper baud rate to match the CBIII's baud rate setting in Global Config > RS232 menu, for example, 9600. - Incorrect settings will cause the above behavior. Also be sure to use a straight-through serial cable, not a null modem cable.

If you are using the 'Front panel recovery' method to upgrade, you must set your baud rate on the COM port to the highest setting (116,200 I think), since the CBIII automatically uses it's highest setting in that specific upgrade mode. It's in the instructions on the Theta website.


If you want to do an easy test before upgrade, use the TDD to save your CBIII settings. If that works, then you're all set to upgrade. You should always back up your settings anyway.
post #4906 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Steve, how stable is the Bryston? I see a lot of reports about Window's based music servers crashing. Has Bryston conquered those types of issues?

100$ stable for me!!

However, if one has an upgrade of either MPAD or the Bryston firmware, you delete the BDP-1 as the server, and then reenter it in MPAD. You write down the MPAD settings for the BDP-1 and reenter them. And presto, everything works 100% again. AGAIN, this is using MPAD with an Ipad AND the BDP-1. Couldn't be happier.
post #4907 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Ahhh, yeah. That's my point in asking. Windows based servers crash. Does the Bryston? IF not that is a considerable plus.

For me, the Bryston doesn't crash - it simply plays and performs!
post #4908 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

Hi Steve- Don't know, have not tried SPDIF since the upgrade. I was always dissapointed with 2ch SPDIF performance from the Oppo95, and conversing with Oppo tech confirmed they don't care to do much with that section of the unit beyond basic implementation / improving it would drive the cost of the unit way up. After doing quite a bit of testing with the 95's SPDIF vs other more costly digital transports on a mega-reference-system (which I posted about some pages back), I still would not expect it to be as good as digital over HDMI or the analog output.

Careful there. I had an Oppo 93 - and the Compli Blu, based on the Oppo 93, sounded great over digital coaxial whereas the Oppo 93 sucked!
post #4909 of 6787
Used the serial to USB converter and the software upgrade was smooth! Casablanca III HD now running v.430. Tried on a total of 3 difference machines to get the upgrade done through USB only, but could never get the Windows 7 OS to see the CBIII HD. Perhaps I have a bad USB cable but no matter!

While I have no high expectations, I am interested to see if anything in the upgrade has helped the CBIII HD play better with my Xbox 360. I only ever get 2 channel audio over HDMI or optical from the Xbox.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Sean
post #4910 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Careful there. I had an Oppo 93 - and the Compli Blu, based on the Oppo 93, sounded great over digital coaxial whereas the Oppo 93 sucked!

Hi Steve- Compli sounds excellent over coax because Theta works their magic on the power supply, digital section and other critical components. Oppo does not. I also had a 93 before returning it and getting the 95. When I had the same dismal experience on the 95 coax as with the 93, I called Oppo, and they filled me in. I think I posted all of this here a bit ago. Coax on the 95 is the exact same as what's used on the 93, and Oppo said I should use either HDMI for audio or the enahanced analog output of the 95.

Care to explain the 'careful' comment? wink.gif
post #4911 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

Used the serial to USB converter and the software upgrade was smooth! Casablanca III HD now running v.430. Tried on a total of 3 difference machines to get the upgrade done through USB only, but could never get the Windows 7 OS to see the CBIII HD. Perhaps I have a bad USB cable but no matter!

While I have no high expectations, I am interested to see if anything in the upgrade has helped the CBIII HD play better with my Xbox 360. I only ever get 2 channel audio over HDMI or optical from the Xbox.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Sean

Glad that worked. Reason USB did not work was more than likely due to the chip in the CBIII not being compatible with Win7, or your specific computer USB chipset. It're really not surprising, Win7 requires hardware vendors to use specific chips and most don't bother with it. I'm sure if you used WinXP it would work fine. Stick with the RS232 converter you have and you'll be GTG for anything that needs a serial connection.

For the XBOX, did you check settings to make sure it is not outputting PCM over HDMI / Optical?
post #4912 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by k_lewis View Post

Hi Steve- Don't know, have not tried SPDIF since the upgrade. I was always dissapointed with 2ch SPDIF performance from the Oppo95, and conversing with Oppo tech confirmed they don't care to do much with that section of the unit beyond basic implementation / improving it would drive the cost of the unit way up. After doing quite a bit of testing with the 95's SPDIF vs other more costly digital transports on a mega-reference-system (which I posted about some pages back), I still would not expect it to be as good as digital over HDMI or the analog output.

"Careful" I think was my reading in reverse your above post thinking when you were criticizing the two channel digital coaxial out of the Compli Blu but ahaaaa you were only criticizing the Oppo. HA! Be "careful" what I say!
post #4913 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

"Careful" I think was my reading in reverse your above post thinking when you were criticizing the two channel digital coaxial out of the Compli Blu but ahaaaa you were only criticizing the Oppo. HA! Be "careful" what I say!

Roger that- I would have picked up the Compli over the 93/95, but I wanted the networking and media features of the Oppo (which is no longer an issue with the new Compli). Have you purchased or demod the new Compli?

I'm a bit torn right now on looking into either the new Compli to replace the 95, or, get a separate high end transport (Esoteric / Wadia) for CD, Bryston for music files, and leave the Oppo 95 for BD. The 95 does not do Dolby Digital from Netflix which is a bit of a bummer, but I've been using my Elite 70" built in Netflix which does support Dolby Netflix. Only the newer Oppo 103 / 105 supports Dolby Netflix but that's not enough of a justification to upgrade..
post #4914 of 6787
I've had the new Compli Blu 3D since later December and love it!

Need to sell my "old" Compli Blu - anyone interested PM me!
post #4915 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I've had the new Compli Blu 3D since later December and love it!

Need to sell my "old" Compli Blu - anyone interested PM me!

Steve- have you tried Netflix on the Compli 3D, and does the app support Netflix DD / DD+ audio?
post #4916 of 6787
Sorry, haven't tried Netflix.
post #4917 of 6787
Thx- family uses that service a lot. Guess I'll ping John B and see what's up. Oppo's official position is they would not be updating the 93/95 platform with the newer netflix app that supports DD / DD+ streams, but will do so on the 103/105.
post #4918 of 6787
Ok for some reason, while my Casablanca III HD has 2 Xtreme DACs it has firmware version 4.14 not 4.20. Given my DAC configuration, can I just load v4.30 or am I, by virtue of starting with v4.14, constrained to ver 4.20. Theta's instructions are not clear in this regard. I really don't want to brick this thing!

k_lewis, it sounds like you went from v4.14 to v4.30, correct?

(FYI the instructions on Theta's website for checking the version number have an error. Button 6 has the version, not button 4.)
post #4919 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

Ok for some reason, while my Casablanca III HD has 2 Xtreme DACs it has firmware version 4.14 not 4.20. Given my DAC configuration, can I just load v4.30 or am I, by virtue of starting with v4.14, constrained to ver 4.20. Theta's instructions are not clear in this regard. I really don't want to brick this thing!

k_lewis, it sounds like you went from v4.14 to v4.30, correct?

(FYI the instructions on Theta's website for checking the version number have an error. Button 6 has the version, not button 4.)

Yep went from 4.14 to 4.30, using the 'Front Panel Recovery' instructions on Theta site. You'd want to use 4.30 with newer Xtreme cards, if you have any older cards such as the single ended 12 ch digi card, that specific card may not work with 4.30. I don;t know because I don't use my digi card. If 4.30 causes issue, you can always re-install 4.14 or 4.16 by using the "upgrade" option on the TDD software.
post #4920 of 6787
OK I gave it a go via a borrowed laptop running Windows 7 Pro. I am having the same problem as SierraAlphaHotel. I tried every single COM available. Do I really have to buy a cable to upgrade this thing? It should be able to upgrade off a USB flash card!

(I only have 2x Xtreme DACs. No other DACs. I do have the older digital out card but I do not use it.)
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