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The official "Theta" thread - Page 186

post #5551 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Of course. The upgrades will/can never end smile.gif. "Audiophile Voices," is another favorite of mine http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Greatest-Audiophile-Vocal-Recordings/dp/B000HIVOFU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1380832228&sr=8-1&keywords=audiophile+voices+sacd. You can play DSD files still on the Oppo via USB drives if you extract them from the ISO files.

Thanks. I will check it out. Re the Oppo, I was just p%ssed it came out of the blue. I connected the wifi dongle to be able to watch the miserable finale to the America's Cup on the big screen on Youtube - as soon as I did that it went through the update and, bing, no more playing my discs. Ass.....
post #5552 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

Let's all kill a few chickens and dance around in a circle. I'm sure Steve is up for it! @@@eek.gif

Are we going to BBQ the chickens? Or do you want to eat them raw? Not very Kosher the latter way!@@biggrin.gif:)

Seriously, jokes about dancing are ok - with my arthritic hip my dancing ain't what it used to be - but we shouldn't joke about cruelty to animals.mad.gif
post #5553 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Keep in mind also I asked MSB why aren't they building an hdmi version of their UMT plus transport that completely rebuilds the audio signal of hdmi, bringing it to the same performance level as AES/EBU. They said it can't be done, because the delay introduced through buffering would cause insurmountable video synch problems. Theta's hdmi signal path would have the same problem. In any case, we're all just speculation and the safest bet is wait for the CB IV to ship and hear what it sounds like.
No speculation if you have never heard it? I'd luv that. John Baloff of course has already heard it. I'm told that he sounds more excited about this upgrade than ANY in the history of the Casablanca. This upgrade breaks new ground technically. That's not speculation.
post #5554 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

No speculation if you have never heard it? I'd luv that. John Baloff of course has already heard it. I'm told that he sounds more excited about this upgrade than ANY in the history of the Casablanca. This upgrade breaks new ground technically. That's not speculation.

There is a lot to be excited about and the upgrade has "winner" written all over it before it has even been released. Whether it will elevate performance of the HDMI interface for 2 channel audio to the same level as using something like the Berkeley USB converter as digital source remains to be seen. Cleaning up jitter in HDMI audio is a fundamentally different proposition than other protocols, because of you cannot buffer the audio stream because of video synch issues. No doubt Theta has developed great technology to tackle the issue. How good it will sound time will tell.
post #5555 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by 777BigAnt777 View Post

I'm no digital engineer...

This brings up a point/question in my mind I see on this thread (and others) consistently: How many posters here even know what they're talking about?

I believe I remember there's one dentist and one lawyer here, but have you guys ever read any audio engineering books, taken any classes on acoustics, or ???

Or: How many rooms have you set up other than your own?

Not attempting to troll by any means, but the more I read this thread it's more and more like the blind leading the blind (or is that bland?!?!)
I ask those who do know. However, as edorr say, even then there is not agreement. A lot of stuff is proprietary so you may not get all of the technical details. I try not to speculate. I always ask someone who does know but again there is often not consensus. I've contacted many every well regarded engineer who will answer my questions. Some don't post on forum because of all of the fighting. I'm smart enough to know what I do not know.

Been an audiophile since about the age 10 when I got my first set-up from my father, now 47. Set up and measured oh about 20 to 25 rooms between myself, co-workers and audio buddies. Equalized rooms, built room traps and all sorts of room treatments. I have also discussed the construction of many of these products with the engineers who design them. I have read many books, most of the popular ones on acoustics. None of this matters. Even the guys who actually designed this stuff are discredited. It's the nature of these types of forums. There is nothing anyone can or no degree that one can hold that would put them beyond reproach on the internet.
post #5556 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I ask those who do know. However, as edorr say, even then there is not agreement. A lot of stuff is proprietary so you may not get all of the technical details. I try not to speculate. I always ask someone who does know but again there is often not consensus. I've contacted many every well regarded engineer who will answer my questions. Some don't post on forum because of all of the fighting. I'm smart enough to know what I do not know.

Case in point. Paul McGowan @ Owner and chief designed at PS Audio has been an staunch advocate of not using a preamp in the chain for years. As an engineer, he cannot rationalize why an preamp (which is in theory "subtractive") could improve sound quality, and has been preaching this point of view for years. After repeatedly hearing about good preamps improving sound, he finally tried one and is now a convert and proud owner of a (Aesthetix Calypso). He is still losing sleep at night trying to rationalize how the hell this is possible. Go figure.
post #5557 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Cleaning up jitter in HDMI audio is a fundamentally different proposition than other protocols, because of you cannot buffer the audio stream because of video synch issues. .
Wrong.
post #5558 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Case in point. Paul McGowan @ Owner and chief designed at PS Audio has been an staunch advocate of not using a preamp in the chain for years. As an engineer, he cannot rationalize why an preamp (which is in theory "subtractive") could improve sound quality, and has been preaching this point of view for years. After repeatedly hearing about good preamps improving sound, he finally tried one and is now a convert and proud owner of a (Aesthetix Calypso). He is still losing sleep at night trying to rationalize how the hell this is possible. Go figure.
I tried to tell you this. I've spoken highly of the Audio Research Ref 5. You would not hear it, that digital volume controls could not match the best analog ones. You debated me to no end here about digital volume controls. I knew from first hand experience the Gen VIII volume controls are beyond what you can get with a digital volume control. You should hear one. I think the Gen VIII pairs very well with Audio Research. I think it's a special pairing. The Gen VIII brings greater dynamics to the Audio Research and tighter faster bass. Aesthetix Claypso and Gen VIII, same designer for the volume controls wink.gif.
Edited by Bulldogger - 10/4/13 at 4:38pm
post #5559 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Wrong.

What is wrong about my statement is that you cannot buffer, because the Meridian HD621 uses a FIFO buffer for the HDMI stream. So this wrong on my part. Thanks for setting the record straight.

What is right however, is that cleaning up HDMI is a fundamentally different proposition than other protocols, because of video synch issues. Theta told me this ".....We couldn't use the buffer/read-out solution for HDMI as we need to keep the audio and video in synch......" This is precisely what MSB told me as well.

However, before this escalates into one of our famous "disagreements", lets just put the subject to bed by agreeing there is a phenomenal upgrade about to be released that will greatly improve HDMI performance, and not split hairs about exactly how good HDMI with jitterjail II will be.
post #5560 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

What is wrong about my statement is that you cannot buffer, because the Meridian HD621 uses a FIFO buffer for the HDMI stream. So this wrong on my part. Thanks for setting the record straight.

What is right however, is that cleaning up HDMI is a fundamentally different proposition than other protocols, because of video synch issues. Theta told me this ".....We couldn't use the buffer/read-out solution for HDMI as we need to keep the audio and video in synch......" This is precisely what MSB told me as well.

However, before this escalates into one of our famous "disagreements", lets just put the subject to bed by agreeing there is a phenomenal upgrade about to be released that will greatly improve HDMI performance, and not split hairs about exactly how good HDMI with jitterjail II will be.
Your information is dated. I am sure the information was accurate when you asked. Tech advances. Jitter Jail works on HDMI now, that should be the absolute proof that something has changed.
post #5561 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Your information is dated. I am sure the information was accurate when you asked. Tech advances. Jitter Jail works on HDMI now, that should be the absolute proof that something has changed.

My information is less than 24 hours old. Jitterjail II does indeed work on HDMI - that is obvious. I keep referring to "HDMI with Jitterjail II".

However, to get it to work they had to take a fundamentally different approach to dejittering (".....We couldn't use the buffer/read-out solution for HDMI as we need to keep the audio and video in synch......"). That is all I am trying to say. Dejittering HDMI is a different engineering challenge than dejittering other sources, because of audio / video synch issues.
post #5562 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I tried to tell you this. I've spoken highly of the Audio Research Ref 5. You would not hear it, that digital volume controls could not match the best analog ones. You debated me to no end here about digital volume controls. I knew from first hand experience the Gen VIII volume controls are beyond what you can get with a digital volume control. You should hear one. I think the Gen VIII pairs very well with Audio Research. I think it's a special pairing. The Gen VIII brings greater dynamics to the Audio Research and tighter faster bass. Aesthetix Claypso and Gen VIII, same designer for the volume controls wink.gif.

I can only speak from personal experience. In my system, digital volume control (first the PS Audio Perfectwave MKII, then the Trinnov) was equivalent to a good analog preamp (Theta Six Shooter, and Pass Labs XP-10, and Modwright LS/PS 36.5), and analog volume control in the DAC (MSB analog volume control option). Then the ARC REF 5SE came along and sounded better than all of the above, so that is what I am using now. I would have loved to try the Gen VIII but it was not meant to be - I own an MSB Signature Plus, and am perfectly happy with it.
post #5563 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I can only speak from personal experience. In my system, digital volume control (first the PS Audio Perfectwave MKII, then the Trinnov) was equivalent to a good analog preamp (Theta Six Shooter, and Pass Labs XP-10, and Modwright LS/PS 36.5), and analog volume control in the DAC (MSB analog volume control option). Then the ARC REF 5SE came along and sounded better than all of the above, so that is what I am using now. I would have loved to try the Gen VIII but it was not meant to be - I own an MSB Signature Plus, and am perfectly happy with it.

You, perfectly happy with an audio component? I wonder how long that will last? HA!
post #5564 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

You, perfectly happy with an audio component? I wonder how long that will last? HA!

The only way to go up from the MSB Signature DAC IV plus is to upgrade to Diamond level ($10K upgrade) and get the Galaxy clock ($10K). In my estimation, both investment would be at extreme end of the diminishing return curve, AND I would take an immediate huge depreciation hit on both investments. So unless a Galaxy clock shows up for $3K on eBay, it ain't gonna happen.
post #5565 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

I tried to tell you this. I've spoken highly of the Audio Research Ref 5. You would not hear it, that digital volume controls could not match the best analog ones. You debated me to no end here about digital volume controls. I knew from first hand experience the Gen VIII volume controls are beyond what you can get with a digital volume control. You should hear one. I think the Gen VIII pairs very well with Audio Research. I think it's a special pairing. The Gen VIII brings greater dynamics to the Audio Research and tighter faster bass. Aesthetix Claypso and Gen VIII, same designer for the volume controls wink.gif.

BD (or anyone), please review for me exactly how the volume control in Gen VIII work - I searched but think it's quicker to ask here. I know I know I should know by now ...

1. Original DS Pre has an actual analog volume control. Is that the case with Gen VIII S3? If not how is volume level implemented, digitally? By reducing bit?

2. When you use Gen VIII with external analog preamp like Audio Research, I assume you use a "fixed level" audio output jack from Gen VIII to AR, and bypass volume control of Gen VIII?

3. CBIII by itself, meaning with internal cards, is all analog volume-control wise, correct? What happens when you go CBIII to Gen VIII for the front 2 channels in a hometheater setting? Does the Gen VIII set itself to unity gain in this situation? Which component control the volume now, CBIII vs. Gen VIII? Is it analog or digital?

I am confused, that's for sure, but hopefully not confusing :-). PS: I have similar finding about inserting a tube preamp into the digital chain, as obvious by my signature, "the sound from heaven."
post #5566 of 6796
Both cb III and gen viii have all analog VC. If you run digital into the gen viii from digi out card, it is unattenuated (0 db). All attenuation happens in the gen viii, in analog domain. I suspect with Dirac in Cb IV, channel trim levels will be done in digital domain during calibration, but master volume control will always be all analog with theta.
post #5567 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Both cb III and gen viii have all analog VC. If you run digital into the gen viii from digi out card, it is unattenuated (0 db). All attenuation happens in the gen viii, in analog domain. I suspect with Dirac in Cb IV, channel trim levels will be done in digital domain during calibration, but master volume control will always be all analog with theta.

Thanks Ed. When you run Gen VIII into a preamp with its own volume control such as the Aesthetic Calypsso/Audio Research/etc., are you able to bypass the Gen VIII's own analog volume control? In other words is there a "fixed volume" audio out from Gen VIII?
post #5568 of 6796
Interesting point this audio / video synch challenge with HDMI. I have my mine speakers running at a 6ms delay in order to get the sub's group delay tuned in with the mains. I had been worried that this would cause lip sync issues but was told that a good HDMI deployment would maintain synch. Seems to be the case.
post #5569 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Thanks Ed. When you run Gen VIII into a preamp with its own volume control such as the Aesthetic Calypsso/Audio Research/etc., are you able to bypass the Gen VIII's own analog volume control? In other words is there a "fixed volume" audio out from Gen VIII?

Yes. The Gen VIII has a unity gain setting that is intended to be used when it outputs into a pre-amp or external volume control.
post #5570 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Different processing/decoding algorithms, different channel counts, different speaker layouts. Given enough speakers, both processing modes can be accomodated, with many of the speakers serving double duty in both layouts (there's plenty of overlap).
If someone has speakers that already reach for the ceiling, then height speakers might not be for them (not enough separation to be worthwhile). It's like wanting to do a 7.1 layout but your couch is at/near the back wall (there just won't be enough separation between the side and rear speakers to be meaningful).

One way around this is to do this is to use in-ceiling or on-ceiling speakers, mounted closer to you (more inward) than your floorstanders. This will separate sounds coming from tall speakers vs sounds coming from overhead speakers (high up vs above)

Another way is to mount the height speakers at angles between your tall floorstanders. For example: front heights would go between your fronts and sides; rear heights would go between your sides and rears. This will at least give some angular separation and not blur a height speaker and a floorstander into one super-tall speaker.

Sanjay, thanks for the many interesting posts. I realize there is a forum for this but if I could cut corners by asking you here:

1. Is the implication above (regarding separation of speakers) that 3D audio technology yields more benefits and is more accurately implemented in a movie theater with say 30 feet ceiling and space, versus a home-theater with say 8 feet ceiling? In other words, you need the physical height for proper separation?

2. Is there a format war between DTS versus Auro versus etc., and is there a trend yet as far as who has the most coded into movies, and who has the most installs in movie theater?

3. I have a similar setup to yours I believe, all speakers at recommended heights except for the side surrounds which have to go on ceiling (and which I added to go from 5.1 to 7.1 partly because of your recommendation). To properly implemented a coded movie, these side speakers would have to come down? Or does the technology have built in setup parameter that tells CPU, don't send a dog barking sound up to the ceiling side surround?

Reading your rearrangement of speakers above and the sheer complexity involved, and seeing as how my current setup as is has us so "lost" into audio movie scenes so often, I do wonder if home application of 3D cine audio will share a similar fate as 3D (multi-channel) music or 3D video?
Is there a point of diminishing return merely because of the limited space of a typical home theater, where adding 4 more don't improve enough to be worth the effort? I guess that's the million dollar question?
Edited by cannga - 10/6/13 at 6:17am
post #5571 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

My information is less than 24 hours old. Jitterjail II does indeed work on HDMI - that is obvious. I keep referring to "HDMI with Jitterjail II".

However, to get it to work they had to take a fundamentally different approach to dejittering (".....We couldn't use the buffer/read-out solution for HDMI as we need to keep the audio and video in synch......"). That is all I am trying to say. Dejittering HDMI is a different engineering challenge than dejittering other sources, because of audio / video synch issues.
Oh, I have know all along it's not buffering wink.gif. I just used that as an example to show that it could be done. I knew if I said it was not buffering that could lead you on another tangent biggrin.gif. But you are right. Let's wait and see how it actually sounds. You are also correct that it may not match USB jitter specs, but jitter is only one factor. Theory does not always work as expected.
post #5572 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

In other words is there a "fixed volume" audio out from Gen VIII?
Yes, each input can be configured for either fixed volume for use with an external preamp or variable if you wish to use it as the preamp. It also can be used with unity gain so that you could route the front left and right channels of a prepro through it. When it's used with fixed volume and another preamp, the external preamp really benefits from the dynamics of the Gen VIII. One friend said that it was almost like his preamp was being over-ridden. This is significant because I think the Gen 8 allows you to ,"have your cake and eat it too." Here is what I mean. Typically, when you use a tube preamp, you trade ultimate bass slam and dynamics for the more natural sounding and liquid midrange of a tube preamp and better soundstage. With the Gen VIII in the paring, you gain all of the dynamics while losing non of the advantages of tubes. The Audio Research Ref 5 is superior to the Gen VIII overall as a preamp except for bass, but with the Gen VIII used with fixed volume, the combo becomes as perfect as I have heard in audio.
post #5573 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Seriously, jokes about dancing are ok - with my arthritic hip my dancing ain't what it used to be - but we shouldn't joke about cruelty to animals.mad.gif
The last time I was in AZ, I didn't have to do any dancing. The girls just sat me in this chair and they did all of the dancing. smile.gif
post #5574 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post

Yes. The Gen VIII has a unity gain setting that is intended to be used when it outputs into a pre-amp or external volume control.
No, it's the reverse. The unity gain is for the inputs of an external preamp into the Gen VIII. The Gen 8 is a great preamp/dac for those who may use other brands of prepros. They can still use their processors for movies connected through the Gen 8 with unity gain and then switch to the Gen VIII for two channel.
post #5575 of 6796
I can see a Gen VIII Series 4 coming before too long if Jitter Jail II is that good.
post #5576 of 6796
With an external preamp, the gen Viii would be set to unity gain for 2 channel sources. For mch sources you need to configure a variable gain input on the gen Viii and set volume on
Your downstream preamp to unity gain. This is the only way to keep the volumes between the channels in synch. This is a bit tricky because if you accidentally switch back to the unity gain input on the gen Viii before turning down the preamp you will blow up your speakers. Although I have different gear, I have the same issue in my system switching between mch and 2 channel.
post #5577 of 6796
This blowup scenario only happens when you have a signal on your 2 channel input. As a precaution I always turn my 2 channel source off when playing mch.
post #5578 of 6796
Coming in to the Theta HD via HDMI. What sound mode to set for MCH SACD? Stereo? Matrix? Coming in MCH PCM from Oppo.

Recommendation?
post #5579 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Yes, each input can be configured for either fixed volume for use with an external preamp or variable if you wish to use it as the preamp. It also can be used with unity gain so that you could route the front left and right channels of a prepro through it. When it's used with fixed volume and another preamp, the external preamp really benefits from the dynamics of the Gen VIII. One friend said that it was almost like his preamp was being over-ridden. This is significant because I think the Gen 8 allows you to ,"have your cake and eat it too." Here is what I mean. Typically, when you use a tube preamp, you trade ultimate bass slam and dynamics for the more natural sounding and liquid midrange of a tube preamp and better soundstage. With the Gen VIII in the paring, you gain all of the dynamics while losing non of the advantages of tubes. The Audio Research Ref 5 is superior to the Gen VIII overall as a preamp except for bass, but with the Gen VIII used with fixed volume, the combo becomes as perfect as I have heard in audio.

BD, so is the hookup sequence like this: Disc Transport to Gen VIII, Gen VIII to Audio Research preamp, then AR preamp to power amp?
post #5580 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS View Post

Coming in to the Theta HD via HDMI. What sound mode to set for MCH SACD? Stereo? Matrix? Coming in MCH PCM from Oppo.

Recommendation?

Sound mode preset is irrelevant. The CB3 HD will sense the multi-channel PCM signal and play it back with the front LCD panel showing "Multi-Channel PCM" being played. This will override whatever you sound mode you have the CB3 HD set to for that HDMI input.tongue.gif
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