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The official "Theta" thread - Page 180

post #5371 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

The PR 3 is the next upgrade due for the CB-3HD. On it's face it just looks like a new version of the Digital Input card. But inside, it's a completely new engine for the Casablanca. With the new PR 3 processor, the Casablanca will run at 96k when running Dirac Live and 192 without Dirac. Currently the Casablanca runs at 48k.

Once installed, the CB3HD will be able to accept many new features well into the future.

Continue reading to see what else the PR 3 card will change or replace as soon as it's installed

Many thanks for bringing me up to date. I want one & I want it now ,,,, please.
post #5372 of 6787
Recently had the chance to A/B compare Theta GenVIII series 3 DAC/preamplifier with a Burmester 088 preamplifier with the DAC card installed. This was done with Burmester 911 mono amps so the advantage should go to the Burmester preamplifier because of impedance matching etc. Also, the Burmester was already warmed up as it already was in the system.

When hooking up the GenVIII s3 right out of the box, without warm-up, not a new unit though, it easily bested the Burmester preamp in every area.

It was so easy to hear the improvements. More detail, more air, better bass definition, but most of all a much wider, deeper and better defined soundstage.

The GenVIII really is worth it´s cost compared to a lot of other (overpriced) audio equipment. It is not a surprise that there now is a GenVIII in this system. I believe Theta needs more respect and get more attention for their 2 channel performance. I mean outside this thread...smile.gif

The Casablanca is already a very good MUSIC and CINEMA controller so I am excited to hear what the new PR3 board will do with this product.
post #5373 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armand07 View Post

Recently had the chance to A/B compare Theta GenVIII series 3 DAC/preamplifier with a Burmester 088 preamplifier with the DAC card installed. This was done with Burmester 911 mono amps so the advantage should go to the Burmester preamplifier because of impedance matching etc. Also, the Burmester was already warmed up as it already was in the system.

When hooking up the GenVIII s3 right out of the box, without warm-up, not a new unit though, it easily bested the Burmester preamp in every area.

It was so easy to hear the improvements. More detail, more air, better bass definition, but most of all a much wider, deeper and better defined soundstage.

The GenVIII really is worth it´s cost compared to a lot of other (overpriced) audio equipment. It is not a surprise that there now is a GenVIII in this system. I believe Theta needs more respect and get more attention for their 2 channel performance. I mean outside this thread...smile.gif

The Casablanca is already a very good MUSIC and CINEMA controller so I am excited to hear what the new PR3 board will do with this product.

I've had my Gen VIII Series 3 DAC for over 2 years and just love it!!@@@ My comparison was only to the CB3 HD's Extreme DACs and it was no contest.

Bulldogger has compared the Gen VIII to other well respected DACs with findings like yours.

ENJOY!@@biggrin.gif
post #5374 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armand07 View Post

Recently had the chance to A/B compare Theta GenVIII series 3 DAC/preamplifier with a Burmester 088 preamplifier with the DAC card installed. This was done with Burmester 911 mono amps so the advantage should go to the Burmester preamplifier because of impedance matching etc. Also, the Burmester was already warmed up as it already was in the system.

When hooking up the GenVIII s3 right out of the box, without warm-up, not a new unit though, it easily bested the Burmester preamp in every area.

It was so easy to hear the improvements. More detail, more air, better bass definition, but most of all a much wider, deeper and better defined soundstage.

The GenVIII really is worth it´s cost compared to a lot of other (overpriced) audio equipment. It is not a surprise that there now is a GenVIII in this system. I believe Theta needs more respect and get more attention for their 2 channel performance. I mean outside this thread...smile.gif

The Casablanca is already a very good MUSIC and CINEMA controller so I am excited to hear what the new PR3 board will do with this product.

Armand

Thank you for the kind words. It's amazing how people over the years fight the fact that Theta is so so good.

Every once in a while I grab a Gen VIII S3 and sit down and listen and remind myself how great it really is. A few years ago DCS gave me their 35K DAC stack and I compared it to the Gen VIII S1 and the Gen VIII smoked it. I told people about this and of course I got yelled at by so many saying how could this be. Bottom line is its the truth. Over the 20 years I have been doing this and nearly representing every brand there is, I fell in love with Theta the minute I heard it and keep in mind I was a customer before I was a dealer. I bought my first CB1 from a dealer at full retail and the marriage for me was born. All these years later they are doing more than ever and bringing us awesome product.

Many people who own Casablanca don't realize its potential and most don't know that the Gen VIII S3 can be connected to Casablanca to create the most amazing Surround/Music Listening system ever smile.gif

Thank you
Craig
post #5375 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by VGI View Post

Armand

Thank you for the kind words. It's amazing how people over the years fight the fact that Theta is so so good.

Every once in a while I grab a Gen VIII S3 and sit down and listen and remind myself how great it really is. A few years ago DCS gave me their 35K DAC stack and I compared it to the Gen VIII S1 and the Gen VIII smoked it. I told people about this and of course I got yelled at by so many saying how could this be. Bottom line is its the truth. Over the 20 years I have been doing this and nearly representing every brand there is, I fell in love with Theta the minute I heard it and keep in mind I was a customer before I was a dealer. I bought my first CB1 from a dealer at full retail and the marriage for me was born. All these years later they are doing more than ever and bringing us awesome product.

Many people who own Casablanca don't realize its potential and most don't know that the Gen VIII S3 can be connected to Casablanca to create the most amazing Surround/Music Listening system ever smile.gif

Thank you
Craig

Amen to that. Great product. More addictive than cocaine (not that I've tried that).

Your story about paying full retail explains a lot. I guess that's why you've always given such great deals to atone for mistakes in your youth smile.gif
Edited by adanny - 9/19/13 at 5:07am
post #5376 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by adanny View Post

Amen to that. Great product. More addictive than cocaine (not that I've tried that).

Your story about paying full retail explains a lot. I guess that's why you've always given such great deals to atone for mistakes in your youth smile.gif

Now that's a good one !! smile.gifsmile.gif

Craig
post #5377 of 6787
Hi,

I sent this to a dealer today, but thought I would ask the board.

I am interested in the CB3 HD. I currently have a Meridian 861 v4, with the latest power supply upgrade and the 681 HDMI processor. I also have the ID40 sooloos card that links sooloos into the processor and use the balanced analog cards. Today, I am just using the three channels. I would set up a 5.1 or beyond, but looks like I will be moving in the next year, so not worth it today. I recently lost my media room, due to my new edition, my son. Note that I live in NYC, so space is at a premium, so my system needs to serve as audio oand HT processor. I am looking at my options as I think the 861.4 version is getting a little long in the tooth and the upgrade to the .8 seems a lot more than the Theta.

I am interested in the CB3 HD, primarily for the Dirvac RC, as I understand that it and the Trinnov are the two that best Meridians MRC. RC is especially important to me, given my space constraints in NYC.

So, I would be interested in a CB3 HD with the Dirvac motherboard. How does the CB3hd compare to the Meridian 861.4?


One question, I would run my Sooloos into the AES/EBU input, into the processor using a custom wired Speakerlink cable. Can I assume that this signal would get upsampled? I see people use the Gen8 for critical music, but space alone would make that impractical for me.

My other question is on the Compli Blu player. Did I read correctly that this player will play movie files? Will it connect to my NAS and play my Bluray copies (not rips). I have a Dune player today and its great, when it works. Just wanted to see if that is correct.

Thanks
post #5378 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by yetis View Post

Hi,

I sent this to a dealer today, but thought I would ask the board.

I am interested in the CB3 HD. I currently have a Meridian 861 v4, with the latest power supply upgrade and the 681 HDMI processor. I also have the ID40 sooloos card that links sooloos into the processor and use the balanced analog cards. Today, I am just using the three channels. I would set up a 5.1 or beyond, but looks like I will be moving in the next year, so not worth it today. I recently lost my media room, due to my new edition, my son. Note that I live in NYC, so space is at a premium, so my system needs to serve as audio oand HT processor. I am looking at my options as I think the 861.4 version is getting a little long in the tooth and the upgrade to the .8 seems a lot more than the Theta.

I am interested in the CB3 HD, primarily for the Dirvac RC, as I understand that it and the Trinnov are the two that best Meridians MRC. RC is especially important to me, given my space constraints in NYC.

So, I would be interested in a CB3 HD with the Dirvac motherboard. How does the CB3hd compare to the Meridian 861.4?


One question, I would run my Sooloos into the AES/EBU input, into the processor using a custom wired Speakerlink cable. Can I assume that this signal would get upsampled? I see people use the Gen8 for critical music, but space alone would make that impractical for me.

My other question is on the Compli Blu player. Did I read correctly that this player will play movie files? Will it connect to my NAS and play my Bluray copies (not rips). I have a Dune player today and its great, when it works. Just wanted to see if that is correct.

Thanks

I received your email thank you,

I included my contact number so you can contact us anytime.

The 861 is very nice and for most people the current upgrade that Meridian is offering of over 20K is a little too much to swallow for most. There are many people that have gone Meridian over the years and almost every one comes back to Theta. The Upgrade path and DAC options and vast array of setup and bass management is far and beyond what Meridian can offer you and at a fraction on the price. Having to do your Video in a separate box doesn't make sense to me either. This will long term be a problem for higher and higher res connections as they have to back feed the audio to the processor.

Theta's completely integrated and all in one box. The New PR3/Dirac processing engine will be shown at Cedia and hopefully will be out by years end. You can buy a CB3HD today and enjoy it and add PR3/Dirac anytime when its available.

Thanks
Craig
Theatermax
post #5379 of 6787
Hello All.

It's been a while since I've posted on AVS, but I wanted to publicly thank several people on my CB IIIHD purchase. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting John B. at Theta in Montebello when I picked up my unit. They were nice enough to upgrade (new Xtreme card in slot 1 while moving Sup II to slot 2) and replace the faceplates in one week with short notice thanks to John. He is extremely knowledgeable and a true gentleman. I also wanted to thank Craig of Theatermax for answering all of my questions and for being patient and guiding me with my purchase. My Maggie speakers (7 of them)/Velodyne DD subs have never sounded this good for HT. biggrin.gif Thank you both, and the folks at Theta, kindly!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. Now, off to Monterey for the Jazz Fest. smile.gif

Ken
post #5380 of 6787
Hearing that the Burmester did not live up to the Gen. VIII S3 makes me feel better. I'm now pumped to get this unit in...and to get my 2-channel and HT back into one room. Will keep you all informed of my comparison to the Ayre. I'm even more excited to match it with a Casablanca next year once the new PR3 card and updates are ready!
post #5381 of 6787
Theta now heavily discounting the Compli Blu 3D?
post #5382 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

We'll I've taken one step further into the Theta club...
I've purchased a Generation VIII Series 3.
I'm excited, but also very nervous. I made a tough choice to sell my Ayre K-1xe preamp to do it, but I did. I hope I didn't make the wrong choice.

The Ayre is an absolutely outstanding unit. I doubt I will ever own an analogue preamp like this ever again. With its built-in phono stage and using the Clearaudio Solution table and Benz-Micro cartridge, I'm in analogue heaven.

... snip... Because I've sold the unit locally, I'll finally get to compare the analogue inputs of the two units in my system once the Gen 8 arrives.
The Generation VIII S3 vs. the Ayre K-1xe. I honestly believe the Ayre will win on the analogue end. It's too tough to compare the digital end because the Ayre doesn't have it. I'll need to play my D-1xe XLR outs to the Ayre vs. the D-1xe's digital out to the Theta Gen. 8. I may be splitting hairs at this point of performance and just be happy with either!
Fun but scary!

Has anyone found one digital input better than another? AES/EBU? Coax? BNC? TOSlink? The reality is they should pretty much all sound the same...especially after entering the jitter jail? smile.gif

Hi Michael, congrats and hope everything will work out well.
But... I do cringe when I hear an analog system is replaced by DA converter. What's wrong with this picture? eek.giftongue.gif Kidding aside, what are you comparing: Ayre DAC vs. Theta Gen VIII, both into Ayre preamp? Ayre has great reputation and I would not be surprised if this shoot out comes out as a draw, win some apsects, lose some aspects. The good news is IMHO you can't go wrong with a Gen VIII though.

As for digital input, TOSlink to best of my knowledge is to be avoided at all costs and in all setups (anyone pls correct me as needed). The other ones, BNC vs. Coax, I've listened in my Sonic Frontiers tube DAC and cannot tell if there is a difference. I suspect only the most golden of golden ears will be able to reliably tell the difference between them.
Edited by cannga - 9/21/13 at 9:20am
post #5383 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

Hearing that the Burmester did not live up to the Gen. VIII S3 makes me feel better. I'm now pumped to get this unit in...and to get my 2-channel and HT back into one room. Will keep you all informed of my comparison to the Ayre. I'm even more excited to match it with a Casablanca next year once the new PR3 card and updates are ready!
It really makes things simple. Traditionally you would need a good two channel analog preamp and an external dac or good CD/SACD player for the best sound with music. In such a set-up, the analog preamp and dac could not directly integrate with the home theater prepro and one would use a bypass function on the preamp to use the dac. With a CB3HD and GenVIII you really can have the best of both worlds. You can have music reproduction that is not limited by a prepro which as good as they are, are never the last word on ultimate sound quality, and you also have seamless volume control. You really don't need Irule or a sophisticated remote to set the combination up with them being designed specifically with that purpose in mind. No other company can give you this with so few hassles.
post #5384 of 6787
Cool guy and information on this Youtube video from early this year from CAT http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmNia6BJVbk
post #5385 of 6787
That's Brian Barr, founder/CEO of CAT (California Audio Technology). Great guy, long-time friend of mine. At CEDIA next week upstairs ; far right main isle down by Crestron and Display Develpment.

Expect to see CAT/Theta again at CES this year- the arrangements have already been made. It will be a chance for me to get to know Jeff more than just from here.

Come see us, those of you that are attending either show....

Dan
post #5386 of 6787
Got to love the Passion and Enthusiasm Brian Barr show for his product and the Home Theatre solutions that CAT are able to develop.

Have always been some what bemused but always impressed by their product.
post #5387 of 6787
So SoCAL...
post #5388 of 6787
....which is ironic since they are from NorCal...

But yes, a bit different from my Chicago friends.

Dan
post #5389 of 6787
Did he say Morris Kessler started SAE? Wow, didn't know that; Mr. Kessler does go way way back. I've learned so many interesting thing about Theta from this forum.

Addendum: Just found this - M. Kessler autographed SAE digital tuner!


Edited by cannga - 9/22/13 at 3:10pm
post #5390 of 6787
Cannga and Bulldogger - thanks for the reassuring words. I hope it all comes to a draw between the two. Comments to both of you below.

Cannga, what I'm comparing is the analogue stage, which is where I think the Theta will lose to the Ayre.

Since going to vinyl, I've enjoyed the analogue preamp and Ayre's built-in phono preamp. My Ayre D-1xe CD player is the only digital device I use in it.

So the comparison will be:

1. Ayre K-1xe analogue-in compared to Theta Gen 8s3 analogue-in (using the D-1xe as source)
2. Ayre D-1xe analogue-outs through K-1xe compared to Theta Gen 8s3 digital-in using D-1xe as a transport

Since I'll have no phono-in on the Theta Gen 8s3, I'll need to hunt down a good phono stage. Would prefer to use the Ayre P-5xe and there's one on Audiogon, so I just may pick that one up.

Bulldogger - the flexibility is exactly why I'm making the move to the Gen 8. The Ayre K-1xe can be set to unity gain. That's worked in the past for me for HT without a hitch. But since I'm planning with the Casablanca, it just seems to make more sense to marry my HT and 2-channel with the Theta. The volume control is a bonus.

To anyone - Casablanca III HD and Gen.8s3 combo and subwoofers. How can this happen? Or does it not happen? Right now I'm enjoying my Dunlavy TSW-VI subwoofer powered by a Theta Enterprise and an external crossover/volume control. This is working for me. When the HT comes together, I'll have both of my TSW-VI subs on the LFE-out on the Casablanca III. This seems like it'll be hooked up BEFORE the Gen 8., because my two-channel sources will be plugged into the Gen 8 which comes after the Casablanca in the chain. Is there any other workaround? All of you other guys that are using Gen.8s with the Casablanca, are you just enjoying music pure through the left/rights? I'm using Dunlavy SC-IV/a towers as my mains which have a good bass response, but I admit I love drum & bass music and electronic rock that's got some great bass. Adding the sub makes the bass go all the more deeper, lower, and louder = all the more fun for these genres.

Any tips?
post #5391 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Osadciw View Post

To anyone - Casablanca III HD and Gen.8s3 combo and subwoofers. How can this happen? Or does it not happen? Right now I'm enjoying my Dunlavy TSW-VI subwoofer powered by a Theta Enterprise and an external crossover/volume control. This is working for me. When the HT comes together, I'll have both of my TSW-VI subs on the LFE-out on the Casablanca III. This seems like it'll be hooked up BEFORE the Gen 8., because my two-channel sources will be plugged into the Gen 8 which comes after the Casablanca in the chain. Is there any other workaround? All of you other guys that are using Gen.8s with the Casablanca, are you just enjoying music pure through the left/rights? I'm using Dunlavy SC-IV/a towers as my mains which have a good bass response, but I admit I love drum & bass music and electronic rock that's got some great bass. Adding the sub makes the bass go all the more deeper, lower, and louder = all the more fun for these genres.

Any tips?

You can use your entire system including subwoofers with the CB3 HD SSP plus the Gen VIII DAC. However, with the current DSP, everything is downrezzed to 48k if you use DSP. I think if you use the digital "Matrix" mode, that the front left and right stays unprocessed and goes out the new digital out card into the Gen VIII.

The upcoming DSP will process 96k with Dirac, and 192k if you don't use Dirac.

In my system, with my custom Media Server, I currently listen:

(1) For stereo whatever the audio resolution, Media Server USB out into Berkeley Audio USB converter digital out into Gen VIII.
I've got a Gen VIII and Theta Citadel 1.5 monoblocks and the Berkeley piece for the front left and right, and this is simply the best sonics.

When the CB3 HD DSP upgrade comes, its possible that for stereo I may just route the Berkeley into the CB3 HD - I will demo at that time and determine.

(2) For multi-channel audio from Media Server (FLAC and ripped SACD ISO files), whatever the resolution, Media Server HDMI out into CB3 HD, using my stereo components discussed above, as well as my center and surrounds and subs.
post #5392 of 6787
When you take an HDMI input from an hdcp blu ray into the cb3hd and use a gen vIII do you get the signal down sampled to 48/16. Or is there a proprietary link between the cb3hd and gen that bypasses this legal annoyance.
post #5393 of 6787


CAN YOU SAY IV ?

Guys - The day has come -

Theta is showing the latest Casablanca and its called the CASABLANCA IV

As you know they have been working on lots of new things for Casablanca. It has a huge array of changes including all new processing engines along with Dirac room correction and more.

Look at the new Logo design !!

More to follow

Craig
post #5394 of 6787
Anyone heard any news of the supernova?
Edited by phunge - 9/24/13 at 6:04pm
post #5395 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by phunge View Post

Anyone heard any news of the supernova?

Phunge -

Supernova is moving along well. Theta is very focused on releasing the Casablanca IV with all its new features and then they will follow up with the Nova.

The great news is that lots of the development work going into Casablanca IV will be used in Nova.

The Nova is full speed ahead and my guess is first qtr 2014.. Its gorgeous and should be a huge success smile.gif

Thanks
Craig
post #5396 of 6787
THETA DIGITAL
ANNOUNCES CASABLANCA IV PREAMP/PROCESSOR
WITH DIRAC LIVE® 96K DIGITAL ROOM CORRECTION AND JITTER JAIL™ II.
ANNOUNCES UPGRADE PROGRAMS FOR EARLIER CASABLANCA PREAMPS

Montebello, CA , September 26, 2013 - The most widely acclaimed manufacturer of high-end audio components, Theta Digital, today introduced the latest version of its flagship Music and Cinema Controller: the Casablanca IV. Since its introduction, the Casablanca platform has undergone continuous development designed to maintain its position at the forefront of the audiophile world. In its latest iteration, the Casablanca IV adds Dirac Live® 96K digital room correction and optimization, Theta’s proprietary Jitter Jail™ II and new post-processing capabilities designed to allow the addition of new features to the platform as technological advancements warrant.

To denote the new version, the Casablanca IV has new metalwork and a new display window.

The key to these new features is the development of a new expandable post-processing card: the PR-3. The new card quadruples the DSP power of the platform, increases the audio bandwidth, consolidates all digital inputs onto a single input slot, frees another slot for future expansion, has space to add additional processing power and uses multiple FPGA devices to allow the addition of new instruction sets to accommodate new technology as it arises.

According to Dave Reich, Theta Digital’s chief engineer, “We had two goals with this project, to make a significant improvement in the Casablanca user’ experience and to ready the Casablanca platform for the next decade of audio innovation. Dirac Live® 96K and Jitter Jail™ II fix real sonic issues caused by the listening room and source material while the innovative expandable PR-3 card leaves the door open for new sources and new DSP solutions.”

Pricing for the Casablanca IV starts at $16,245.

Theta Digital also announced new programs designed to allow owners of previous generations of the Casablanca preamp/processor to keep their components up-to-date.

Owners of the current Casablanca III HD, for example, can upgrade their unit to full Casablanca IV status for $3,995.00. This extensive upgrade adds the new, expandable PR-3 post processing card with Dirac Live® 96K and Jitter Jail™ II, a new display window, new metal “Theta Digital” tower, new firmware and new software.

According to Jeff Hipps, Theta Digital’s Sr. VP for sales and marketing, “In our opinion, this is the best $4k a Casablanca III HD owner can spend. Nothing else he can do to his system will have as much sonic return as adding Dirac Live® 96K and Jitter Jail™ II.”

Owner’s of earlier versions of Theta Digital’s Casablanca can also upgrade their unit to the Casablanca IV. While the pricing varies, in every case the upgrade will be thousands less than purchasing a new unit.

According to Hipps, “the upgrade program continues our commitment to protect the value of the Theta owner’s investment while keeping his components at the edge of the art.”

Users seeking more details on the new model or the upgrade program should consult with their Theta Digital dealer or distributor.
post #5397 of 6787
I've already talked with my Theta dealer, Craig/VGI, and he expects the upgrade to be available hopefully this December. Theta will soon determine if units need to go to factory for the upgrade or if it can be done in the field. Craig also stated that only the DSP & Dirac upgrade combined will be available for the forseeable future, you won't be able initially order only the DSP and not Dirac. Also, Craig stated that the DSP will be at 192-24, but 96-24 if you use Dirac. SWEET!!@@@@eek.gif
post #5398 of 6787
Sounds awesome, Theta comes through again. What exactly is Jitter Jail II ?
post #5399 of 6787
Very exciting news, and remarkably inexpensive for such an extensive upgrade of a high-end product. This is a major reason why I went with Theta a year ago, reasonable and total upgrade-ability.

Does the 4k upgrade cost include the calibration mic?
post #5400 of 6787
CB - IV..... How Cool is that? Major upgrade coming up!

I suppose "Casablanca III-HD Version II" would've been too much to print on the front panel anyway. biggrin.gif
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