or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › The official "Theta" thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The official "Theta" thread - Page 168

post #5011 of 6787
It's safe to say nearly all movies are 24/48 or 24/44.1 which is why like Steve I believe this is a non-issue, unless of course you have a considerable amount of 24/96 music concert BDs. I have been considering the Gen VIII more than ever now and selling my Ayre K-1xe to a friend...although the Ayre has such a great analogue section and phono preamp. I've been spinning more vinyl lately than anything else. A strange transition in this digital world, but true. I think I just might pick up a Gen. VIII just to compare and then sell off the one I don't want or just put it in another room. It's the only way I'll ever know! I thought I read a few posts back the the digital out card on the Casablanca just puts out 16/44 to the Gen. VIII...? But Steve, you are saying that it does send out maximum 24/48, right?

Thought: If I buy a Casablanca with single digital out card on it (four XLR connections for a total of 8 channels), and don't put any DACs in it, can I use a Gen. VIII for the front two channels and a few other outboard DACs I have here for the other few channels? I guess my question is, "how would I control the volume of each channel?" The master volume would be controlled by the Casablanca, but would each channel's trim also be controlled by the Casablanca? Or would the Gen VIII be controlling the two front channels' levels (left and right trims), and the other channels with the other DACs that do not have individual trim settings be set using the trims in the Casablanca? I guess my end goal would be to put an Extreme in there...but not yet.
post #5012 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

It's safe to say nearly all movies are 24/48 or 24/44.1 which is why like Steve I believe this is a non-issue, unless of course you have a considerable amount of 24/96 music concert BDs. I have been considering the Gen VIII more than ever now and selling my Ayre K-1xe to a friend...although the Ayre has such a great analogue section and phono preamp. I've been spinning more vinyl lately than anything else. A strange transition in this digital world, but true. I think I just might pick up a Gen. VIII just to compare and then sell off the one I don't want or just put it in another room. It's the only way I'll ever know! I thought I read a few posts back the the digital out card on the Casablanca just puts out 16/44 to the Gen. VIII...? But Steve, you are saying that it does send out maximum 24/48, right?

Thought: If I buy a Casablanca with single digital out card on it (four XLR connections for a total of 8 channels), and don't put any DACs in it, can I use a Gen. VIII for the front two channels and a few other outboard DACs I have here for the other few channels? I guess my question is, "how would I control the volume of each channel?" The master volume would be controlled by the Casablanca, but would each channel's trim also be controlled by the Casablanca? Or would the Gen VIII be controlling the two front channels' levels (left and right trims), and the other channels with the other DACs that do not have individual trim settings be set using the trims in the Casablanca? I guess my end goal would be to put an Extreme in there...but not yet.

My memory ain't what it used to be! I think when HDMI sources go into the Gen VIII and then out even the new digital out card they are downsampled to 48-16. I wish it were 48-24 but if my memory is any good the HDMI licensing requires 48-16. I can tell you the Gen VIII Series 3 DAC sounds so good on blu rays, and clearly better than the Xtreme DACs, that again, the downsampling is a non-issue for movies and tv.

What about blu ray concerts. I can only say downsampled or whatever, they sound great!

Now using coaxial or bnc into the CB3 HD, not HDMI, there is no downampling out the CB3 HD into the Gen VIII - for MUSIC!!!
Although in my setup, with my best sonics at front left and right due to the Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks and Gen VIII Series 3 DAC
(center and surrounds "only" have Theta Enterprise monoblocks and use CB3 HD's Extreme DACs I find myself more and more listening to my Bryston BDP-1 Media player, whether playing redbook or all way up to 192-24, straight from the Bryston into the Gen VIII - pristine, unaldulterated stereo!!!

Using external DACs other than those built-in to the CB3 HD, or the Gen VIII externally, is a problem/pain in the ass because you would need an external volume control, or your fingers, to manually match the volume! Not practical!
post #5013 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

Thought: If I buy a Casablanca with single digital out card on it (four XLR connections for a total of 8 channels), and don't put any DACs in it, can I use a Gen. VIII for the front two channels and a few other outboard DACs I have here for the other few channels? I guess my question is, "how would I control the volume of each channel?" The master volume would be controlled by the Casablanca, but would each channel's trim also be controlled by the Casablanca? Or would the Gen VIII be controlling the two front channels' levels (left and right trims), and the other channels with the other DACs that do not have individual trim settings be set using the trims in the Casablanca? I guess my end goal would be to put an Extreme in there...but not yet.

There are three ways to control volume in a MCH setup using the digi out card and all external DACs:

1. Get 3 GenVIIIs.

2. Try to get you hands on an old external Theta analog volume control box - I sold mine to Bulldogger a while ago - may be he still has it wants to offload it.

3. Integrate external DACs using macros in iRule. This works best when your DACs have RS232 control, which are very hard to find. However, there is one DAC right in the sweetspot - the $2000 NAD M51. This is a very current design, and two of these will set you back the same amount of $$$ as an Extreme card, and chances are you will get significantly better sound. You would progam a macro in iRule that sends a 1dB volume up/down command to the CBIII and the two outboard DACs and you're in business. I bought a NAD m51 myself for my surround channels for precisely the same pupose (i.e. integrate volume control using RS232). In the interest of full disclosure be aware I am not currently using the RS232 because my IP to RS232 network adaptor does support the baud rate required for the NAD, so I use Infrared instead. However, if you get the right hardware, this approach should allow you to flawlessly integrate the external NAD51 DAC with the GenVIII.
post #5014 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post


My Bryston BDP-1 Media player connects via digital coaxial to the Gen VIII.

You connect the BDP directly to the Gen VIII rather than the CB? Interesting. I wonder if you will continue to do so when you get Dirac Live LOL.
Edited by stevekale - 4/29/13 at 5:07am
post #5015 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

You connect the BDP directly to the Gen VIII rather than the CB? Interesting. I wonder if you will continue to do so when you get Dirac Live LOL.

I connect it both ways. Digital BNC from Bryston BDP-1 direct to Gen VIII Series 3 DAC. And digital AES/EBU from Bryston to CB3 HD.
(CB3 HD is connected digital AES/EBU to Gen VIII).
post #5016 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Yes the Premium is a newer design but not nearly as good as the Xtreme dac. I would buy at least one Xtreme card. Take a look at Cannga's take on post 2572 and 2590 of this thread. That may help you.

BD you have memory of an elephant!

stieger, I have one Premium and one Extreme card in my Theta III HD and was able to compare Premium to Extreme with 2 channel music. The comparison was done with levels matched, and on the fly (I assigned main channels to both of my Premium Card and Extreme card and switched them instantly by assigning them to different inputs IIRC), so difference could be heard quite clearly. While Premium is already more full bodied than my old Krell HTS, the Extreme is in another league altogether. Much more transparent, more "air" in soundfield, and singers/instruments are more "present" in the room with you. This is no "cable shootout" where you sit there wondering, "better," or just "different." The improvement of Extreme over Premium is significant, easily noticeable and reproducible.

The 1 Extreme + 1 Premium configuration works out very well for a 7.1 system and this is another reason not to consider 3 channel card. Extreme takes care of the critical channels (Main L, Main R, Center, Bass), whereas Premium takes care of the "cheaper" channels: Side L, Side R, Rear L, Rear R. I have 2 subwoofers and just y split the bass out.

The Theta, like my Conrad Johnson tube pre-amp and phono stage combination, is a "hobby killer." tongue.gif Once I've bought them, the "fun" of searching for new toy/equipment is gone because I have owned/listened to enough components over the years to know when something is nearly impossible to be bettered. Partly why I don't post here as much. Go for it - the hype is not hype, this Casablance thing is for real.
Edited by cannga - 4/29/13 at 2:21pm
post #5017 of 6787
ah man, you guys are killing me. I'm so much closer to pulling the trigger. Thanks Steve and Edorr for the clarification re: Casablanca & Gen. VIII. I'm ready to advance beyond my Integra DTC-9.8...I want the next level!! (ugghhh...it's either a Casablanca and a Gen VIII or a BMW Z4 this year...I can't make up my mind...I've wanted to drive around all summer with the top down!) Although it also pains me to think I'm feeding 7 Enterprises with an Integra. Hmmm...

Steve - I'm also thinking about the Bryston. I think it's about time I move to the 21st Century. ...impressive pieces...but I think I'll need to hire a student to convert my CD collection. I just don't have the time for that!
Edited by Michael Osadciw - 4/29/13 at 4:40pm
post #5018 of 6787
A
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

BD you have memory of an elephant!

stieger, I have one Premium and one Extreme card in my Theta III HD and was able to compare Premium to Extreme with 2 channel music. The comparison was done with levels matched, and on the fly (I assigned main channels to both of my Premium Card and Extreme card and switched them instantly by assigning them to different inputs IIRC), so difference could be heard quite clearly. While Premium is already more full bodied than my old Krell HTS, the Extreme is in another league altogether. Much more transparent, more "air" in soundfield, and singers/instruments are more "present" in the room with you. This is no "cable shootout" where you sit there wondering, "better," or just "different." The improvement of Extreme over Premium is significant, easily noticeable and reproducible.

The 1 Extreme + 1 Premium configuration works out very well for a 7.1 system and this is another reason not to consider 3 channel card. Extreme takes care of the critical channels (Main L, Main R, Center, Bass), whereas Premium takes care of the "cheaper" channels: Side L, Side R, Rear L, Rear R. I have 2 subwoofers and just y split the bass out.

The Theta, like my Conrad Johnson tube pre-amp and phono stage combination, is a "hobby killer." tongue.gif Once I've bought them, the "fun" of searching for new toy/equipment is gone because I have owned/listened to enough components over the years to know when something is nearly impossible to be bettered. Partly why I don't post here as much. Go for it - the hype is not hype, this Casablance thing is for real.
. Awesome, thank you!
post #5019 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

ah man, you guys are killing me. I'm so much closer to pulling the trigger. Thanks Steve and Edorr for the clarification re: Casablanca & Gen. VIII. I'm ready to advance beyond my Integra DTC-9.8...I want the next level!! (ugghhh...it's either a Casablanca and a Gen VIII or a BMW Z4 this year...I can't make up my mind...I've wanted to drive around all summer with the top down!) Although it also pains me to think I'm feeding 7 Enterprises with an Integra. Hmmm...

Steve - I'm also thinking about the Bryston. I think it's about time I move to the 21st Century. ...impressive pieces...but I think I'll need to hire a student to convert my CD collection. I just don't have the time for that!

I used the Integra 9.8 for a year for the purpose of HDMI blu ray decoding into the Theta CB3 Six Shooter. TheTheta CB3 HD upgrade, not using the Six Shooter, is an enormous sonic improvement!!@@@ (Given the "right" audio pieces so that you can hear the difference of course).biggrin.gif:D
post #5020 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

ah man, you guys are killing me. I'm so much closer to pulling the trigger. Thanks Steve and Edorr for the clarification re: Casablanca & Gen. VIII. I'm ready to advance beyond my Integra DTC-9.8...I want the next level!! (ugghhh...it's either a Casablanca and a Gen VIII or a BMW Z4 this year...I can't make up my mind...I've wanted to drive around all summer with the top down!) Although it also pains me to think I'm feeding 7 Enterprises with an Integra. Hmmm...

I'm sure the Theta with all of the bells and whistles will be an amazing product, particularly with DiracLive. If I were in your shoes, however,I would wait on the Theta, let everyone else work out the bugs, buy the BMW (PERFECT time of year), and get the Theta when your next bonus comes in ... but that's just me!!

Even though you have your less than ideal SSP, you don't have any version of your BMW. Enjoy the ride!!
post #5021 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

ah man, you guys are killing me. I'm so much closer to pulling the trigger. Thanks Steve and Edorr for the clarification re: Casablanca & Gen. VIII. I'm ready to advance beyond my Integra DTC-9.8...I want the next level!! (ugghhh...it's either a Casablanca and a Gen VIII or a BMW Z4 this year...I can't make up my mind...I've wanted to drive around all summer with the top down!) Although it also pains me to think I'm feeding 7 Enterprises with an Integra. Hmmm...

Steve - I'm also thinking about the Bryston. I think it's about time I move to the 21st Century. ...impressive pieces...but I think I'll need to hire a student to convert my CD collection. I just don't have the time for that!

Be the couch potato you've always wanted to be and forget the BMW!! You know the Z4 just isn't the level of convertible you want it to be... The Bryston BDP could have been so much better also with just a few extra PSU rails added to the mix.
post #5022 of 6787
I vote for the couch spud factor too.

If you wanted to recreate what Theta is doing with the datasat and dcs dacs you would need a control system coordinating all those volumes at the same time with 10 separate dacs or so this could get complicated. Kudos to Theta for integrating this most highest end architecture. ust hop them VIII's sound good compared to DCS.
post #5023 of 6787
Hmm wouldn't it be nice if DataSat had their own synced external DACS...
post #5024 of 6787
Hmm indeed Neil! That would save me from buying a gen v8!
post #5025 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

I vote for the couch spud factor too.

If you wanted to recreate what Theta is doing with the datasat and dcs dacs you would need a control system coordinating all those volumes at the same time with 10 separate dacs or so this could get complicated. Kudos to Theta for integrating this most highest end architecture. ust hop them VIII's sound good compared to DCS.
I'm sure the Gen VIII compares well against any dacs around it's price point. I'ts not like you can not get as good or better digital to analog conversion or as good or better preamp. In my experience it's just going to cost you more and you will have to use two boxes.

Before I got the series 3 upgrade, I primarily compared the Gen VIII against other dacs using a stand alone preamp. Now, that I can use just the Gen VIII as the preamp for other dacs as well as my Marantz SA7s1, I have come to realize that part of the "magic" of the Gen VIII is really the analog section and not so much the digital to analog conversion. Now when I use the Marantz, the difference is not nearly as great as before when I used an outboard preamp to do comparisons. The Marantz played thought the Gen VIII will deliver a lot of the power and dynamics as when the Gen VIII is used alone. The Gen 8 is still better and still more dynamic.

When the Gen 8 series 3 is inserted into other systems with separate preamps with it only being used as a dac, the sound still retains the power and dynamics of the Gen 8.It's almost like the Gen 8 takes control over the outboard preamp. I've never experience another product where this effect is so pronounced. When one of my friends used it with his preamp his comments were that it was almost like his preamp had been 80% replaced. How much you value what the Gen 8 delivers will as always depend on personal preference, application, and the type of music you primarily enjoy. I do feel that because of the slam and bass extension, it is likely well suit to double for home theater duties a lot more so than other audiophile dacs that may be more lighter and airy sounding which may be better suited for classical music. However, make no mistake this is a very musical and transparent dac that will do all types of music well.. Most external dacs, in contrast, were not designed with any consideration that they might serve linked to a prepro for home theater use to reproduce movies sound tracks.
post #5026 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I have come to realize that part of the "magic" of the Gen VIII is really the analog section and not so much the digital to analog conversion.

Sure and I would also like to add that analog output stage, and hefty power supply, are Theta hallmarks of not just Gen VIII, but of all Theta processors going way back to their beginning in the 90's with Theta Pro and Theta Pro Basic. Funny how the name is Theta Digital, but the secret of the sound is analog design. I do think analog output design has a lot to do with the spectacular sound of the Casablanca, and your Gen VIII.

Way back when I special ordered a Theta Pro Basic with an Alps (?) volume control built in - so that I could bypass the pre-amp altogether; I did this, and Theta agreed, because we felt their analog output stage was up to the task. I eventually went all-tube for the pre-amp but this switch has more to do with system match-up, my speakers are Thiel CS5i (btw considered by Thiel insiders as Jim Thiel's best work ever), my discovery of vinyl, and personal preference for tube, than the sound the Pro Basic itself.

Regarding hefty power supply, when I lift up the Theta Casablanca, the right side of this processor actually sags from the weight of the power supply! I cannot stress enough how much confidence this gives me in Theta product. tongue.gif In all my years of switching gears, I've never had a preamp do this. (Usually it's a tube power amp that does the sagging when lifted, from the transformer in the back.)
Edited by cannga - 5/3/13 at 10:07am
post #5027 of 6787
That is comforting. But I am talking the VIII 3 against the top of the line dcs, or the middle of the line. Any thoughts?
post #5028 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

That is comforting. But I am talking the VIII 3 against the top of the line dcs, or the middle of the line. Any thoughts?

IMHO at this exalted level the answer to your question, Theta vs. DCS, is impossible because so much depends on
1. Personal preference
2. System matching
One processor might be more transparent, the other might have more prominent bass, also imaging, soundstage, and so on; I would think what matters is which one fits your ear preference and your system better. Even if Robert Harley tells me that A is better than B, I still wouldn't trust him because he has a completely different system and might have completely opposite sonic priority/taste from me.

I've experimented with a few audio components and a good number of audio shoot-outs over the years; for me, the only way to find out for sure is to bring each unit into my own home system and listen for myself, for an extended period of time, and never short term. This to me makes the answer to your question doubly impossible. Who here has had DCS and Theta in his home system for a serious evaluation? Then after that, the can of worms in 1 and 2 above still has to be resolved.

BTW, for me one nice thing about the Theta Casablanca, or gen VIII for that matter, is that by now there have been enough data from users and history that Theta, to me anyway, is like a 911 tongue.gif; you could buy one sight unseen, or rather, sound unheard, and be assured that you are going to be in the "ballpark," near or at the top. My 2 cents, YMMV of course.
Edited by cannga - 5/4/13 at 1:21am
post #5029 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

IMHO at this exalted level the answer to your question, Theta vs. DCS, is impossible because so much depends on
1. Personal preference
2. System matching
One processor might be more transparent, the other might have more prominent bass, also imaging, soundstage, and so on; I would think what matters is which one fits your ear preference and your system better. Even if Robert Harley tells me that A is better than B, I still wouldn't trust him because he has a completely different system and might have completely opposite sonic priority/taste from me.

I've experimented with a few audio components and a good number of audio shoot-outs over the years; for me, the only way to find out for sure is to bring each unit into my own home system and listen for myself, for an extended period of time, and never short term. This to me makes the answer to your question doubly impossible. Who here has had DCS and Theta in his home system for a serious evaluation? Then after that, the can of worms in 1 and 2 above still has to be resolved.

BTW, for me one nice thing about the Theta Casablanca, or gen VIII for that matter, is that by now there have been enough data from users and history that Theta, to me anyway, is like a 911 tongue.gif; you could buy one sight unseen, or rather, sound unheard, and be assured that you are going to be in the "ballpark," near or at the top. My 2 cents, YMMV of course.

Wise words. 3rd party observations are usefull to narrow the field of contenders, but categoric statements about which of the contenders is better in absolute terms are meaningless. Auditioning in your own system is the only way to find out what you like best, which is subjective and systems dependent. Having said that, there are of course manufacturers that get consistent positive feedback and have a loyal following, which is an indication they know what they are doing.
post #5030 of 6787
A question regarding DTS and DD surround speaker delays. What are the default settings? I noticed that under "delays" I have a 15 ms delay and then under the DTS and DD settings I have a -15 ms delay. That is, a net zero. To this I have added a 2 ms delay to compensate for the difference in distance between my front speakers and the surround. What strikes me as odd is that the minimum delay under delays is 15 ms and this is (at least in my settings) reversed under the DTS and DD settings.

(I don't want to hit "restore factory defaults" for obvious reasons.)
post #5031 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

A question regarding DTS and DD surround speaker delays. What are the default settings? I noticed that under "delays" I have a 15 ms delay and then under the DTS and DD settings I have a -15 ms delay. That is, a net zero. To this I have added a 2 ms delay to compensate for the difference in distance between my front speakers and the surround. What strikes me as odd is that the minimum delay under delays is 15 ms and this is (at least in my settings) reversed under the DTS and DD settings.
I think your CB3 is showing its heritage as a Pro Logic decoder. PL wanted a 15 ms surround delay relative to the fronts to evoke Haas effect, which helped improve the sense of separation from VHS tapes and other such imperfect sources.

Dolby Digital, et al, need no help in that regard, so the 15 ms has to be cancelled.

PLIIx Movie uses 10 ms, while PLIIx Music uses 0 ms.
post #5032 of 6787
U R 100% correct. The Casablanca initially came out in the later days of Laserdisc and just as DVD was coming out. 1996!
post #5033 of 6787
Big News! I now have a home theater PC (borrowed from my office, as it has an AMD AV card which is more functional for audio than the NVidia cards) and I am using JRiver Media Center to play multi-channel rips (ISO files) of multi-channel SACDs via HDMI into the CB3 HD (connected to a Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for front left and right ) (pair of Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, three Theta Enterprise monoblocks, four Aerial 9s, one Aerial CC5, three Aerial SW12 subwoofers). Sounds outstanding! Way better than SACDs played in an Oppo or Theta upgraded Oppo player. I am using JRiver to send 176-24 converted PCM over HDMI to the CB3 HD!!!!

The CB3 HD status shows that it receives whatever audio resolution that I send it, whether 44-16, 48-24, 88-24 , 176-24, 192-24, etc!!

I am impressed.

Of course, since the signal comes into the CB3 HD over HDMI, I would think that the front left and right channels, which go to the external Gen VIII DAC, are downsampled to 48k as required by HDMI - but even so, still sounds great for multi-channel SACDs which have been ripped to DSD ISO files!

My initial impression is that with straight stereo, the Bryston BDP-1 played direct thru Gen VIII in plain stereo still sounds the best - but if I didn't have that to go back on, I'd be plenty happy just playing from the PC even stereo over HDMI. Of course, an option if I wanted it all on a PC would be to build a PC with a soundcard that not only does HDMI but also does digital coaxial out (my office PC soundcard has toslink, not coaxial, out, in addition to HDMI).
Edited by Steve Bruzonsky - 5/6/13 at 4:18pm
post #5034 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Of course, since the signal comes into the CB3 HD over HDMI, I would think that the front left and right channels, which go to the external Gen VIII DAC, are downsampled to 48k as required by HDMI - but even so, still sounds great for multi-channel SACDs which have been ripped to DSD ISO files!

I don't think the DSD ISO rips will be downsampled to your GenVIII in this setup, even when coming into the CBIII over HDMI (I coulod be wrong). So the superior SQ you are hearing is probably due to the higher sample rate.
post #5035 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I don't think the DSD ISO rips will be downsampled to your GenVIII in this setup, even when coming into the CBIII over HDMI (I coulod be wrong). So the superior SQ you are hearing is probably due to the higher sample rate.

Hopefully, since the DSD ISO rips have no HDCP programmed therein, then the HDMI agreement doesn't require downsampling of the audio. Perhaps. Not sure. Sure sounds excellent.

However, I will get around to playing some audio tracks on both the Bryston BDP-1 vs the PC with JRiver and I'll let you know!!@@
post #5036 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I think your CB3 is showing its heritage as a Pro Logic decoder. PL wanted a 15 ms surround delay relative to the fronts to evoke Haas effect, which helped improve the sense of separation from VHS tapes and other such imperfect sources.

Dolby Digital, et al, need no help in that regard, so the 15 ms has to be cancelled.

PLIIx Movie uses 10 ms, while PLIIx Music uses 0 ms.

Thanks. It would seem that my settings are correct.
post #5037 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Big News! I now have a home theater PC (borrowed from my office, as it has an AMD AV card which is more functional for audio than the NVidia cards) and I am using JRiver Media Center to play multi-channel rips (ISO files) of multi-channel SACDs via HDMI into the CB3 HD (connected to a Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for front left and right ) (pair of Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks, three Theta Enterprise monoblocks, four Aerial 9s, one Aerial CC5, three Aerial SW12 subwoofers). Sounds outstanding! Way better than SACDs played in an Oppo or Theta upgraded Oppo player. I am using JRiver to send 176-24 converted PCM over HDMI to the CB3 HD!!!!

The CB3 HD status shows that it receives whatever audio resolution that I send it, whether 44-16, 48-24, 88-24 , 176-24, 192-24, etc!!

I am impressed.

Of course, since the signal comes into the CB3 HD over HDMI, I would think that the front left and right channels, which go to the external Gen VIII DAC, are downsampled to 48k as required by HDMI - but even so, still sounds great for multi-channel SACDs which have been ripped to DSD ISO files!

My initial impression is that with straight stereo, the Bryston BDP-1 played direct thru Gen VIII in plain stereo still sounds the best - but if I didn't have that to go back on, I'd be plenty happy just playing from the PC even stereo over HDMI. Of course, an option if I wanted it all on a PC would be to build a PC with a soundcard that not only does HDMI but also does digital coaxial out (my office PC soundcard has toslink, not coaxial, out, in addition to HDMI).

The Bryston is just a cheap PC with a constrained OS. (It has basically just 3 components: cheap motherboard, Juli@ sound card - not even the XTe version, power supply without independent rails for the Juli@ or SSD.) If Bryston had chosen a better motherboard with HDMI connectivity you could have done this with that device.
post #5038 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

The Bryston is just a cheap PC with a constrained OS. (It has basically just 3 components: cheap motherboard, Juli@ sound card - not even the XTe version, power supply without independent rails for the Juli@ or SSD.) If Bryston had chosen a better motherboard with HDMI connectivity you could have done this with that device.

The NAD M52 / M50 combo would be quite an intriguing music server for those looking for turnkey solution. It has HDMI outs (audio only) and RS232 control. Don't know how it stacks up sonically, but it is supposed to sound quite good. If you want to play SACD rips you need to look elsewhere of course.
post #5039 of 6787
I am waiting for the m50 to come back into stock here in the UK. I advised a mate to buy a linn akurate ds1 and he compared this to the m50 and he says the m50 spanks the linn ds. Not only in sound quality but also its search and random play ability. The M50 can also take a pc USB input which could be quite helpful.
post #5040 of 6787
Back to Theta:

I have started ripping my DVD-Audo discs in multi-channel FLAC using DVD Audio Extractor, so I can use JRiver to play them via my PC out HDMI to CB3 HD!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+)
AVS › AVS Forum › Display Devices › Ultra Hi-End HT Gear ($20,000+) › The official "Theta" thread