Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky
As for the Theta CB3 HD upgrade, that it should have an asynchromous USB input - obviously any such input would be stereo, not multi-channel - I haven't heard of anyone having a multichannel such input, have you? Still, it would be a nice feature, if it could be implemented at a small extra cost.
Bottom line is the current Theta Digital/ATI is following a business and profit model that works at least so far in the recession/continuing recession and getting the new DSP to 192-24 with Dirac operating at 96-24 is outstanding as far as many of us Theta luvers are concerned. Sure, we'd like more, why not? But lets be realistic here.
And frankly, while the Extreme DACs are excellent sounding for movies and tv, they really do not hold a candle to the Gen VIII Series 3 DAC on music and the latter is also better on some movies, too. If you really want better sonics, go ahead and add a Gen VIII to your system, its fully 192-24 and sounds fantastic!
Actually Steve, I agree with most of what you've said, but I think there might be a general misunderstanding about USB always resulting in just 2 channels.
I think we haven't heard much in the way of multichannel from USB because of the lack of Multichannel USB DAC's in the market, but that's not due to any 2 channel limitation of USB.
I think it has more to do with a lack of interest in Multichannel music and it's drawbacks, mainly 3x the cost of doing 2 channels, for most people using a computer for audio purposes.
Even now there are probably only a handful of Multichannel USB DAC's available and probably none that would completely fit the bill for your ears.
Take the exaSound E28 for example, the one that edorr mentioned, looks like a pretty good solution and can even play Multichannel DSD, has 8 RCA outputs or mini XLR's to your amps. I have no idea if the outputs are truly balanced, I doubt it, but it's an example of one of the better Multichannel USB DAC's that are currently available.
Since I know I won't give up the other conveniences and sound of my CB-3HD/Gen. VIII, it's probably a pretty good workaround for $3,300 in additional DAC's.
For me, ain't gonna happen. I already have my workaround for Multichannel music and I think it makes the most out of my CB3HD/Gen. VIII and it will be even better with the next CB 3HD upgrade.
But I believe that Theta knows quite well by now that we want a USB input in the CB-3HD, and now that they've created so much additional room inside the box, I believe we'll probably see one eventually.
Unfortunately, not right now and not with the current upgrade we've been waiting on. An upgrade in which they never promised to include a USB input, so it's baffling that some people are so upset that one didn't just appear.
Which also leads us to what Craig just said
"I guess the ultimate question is this - Would you rather have a upgrade path for the next decade or have a machine with the latest gadgets this year that in 2-3 years is obsolete ? For me I rather have an upgrade path that has proven worthy for 2 decades and going. When you look at the board we are discussing which is in its final stages and will be shown at CEDIA this year it clearly shows that Theta has been busy.
Craig was addressing a different issue then Multichannel but what he didn't say is, if they gave us everything under the sun in this or any single upgrade, very few of us would be able to afford the upgrade.
I'll take what Theta is offering in this upgrade, at this price, and I'll worry about how to pay for the next upgrade when they offer that, if it's something I have use for.
I definitely have use for this upgrade, with or without a USB input!
I don't know how much longer it would've taken Theta to get a decent USB input incorporated into this upgrade, but it surely would be a longer wait then we're currently experiencing. And what would we say if they quickly put in "something" just to make us happy and it sounded like cr*p?
Theta's doing the right thing, first things first!
One step at a time.