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The official "Theta" thread - Page 3

post #61 of 6787
Having my CB3HD caliibrated tomorow by Adam Pelz
post #62 of 6787
I received my CB3 HD this Monday - Got a partial calibration finished due to shortage of time (some more work has to be done on Bass Management - wouldn't be until mid April).
Yet to gauge the reliability of the unit or if there are any glitches which if I observe my calibrator will be reporting to Theta - but so far so good.
Coming from a Theta lover you might say - this was expected - but the CB3HD is a outstanding processor. My room is sounding like it is has NEVER sounded before - the sound stage is way more refined and envelopment is now very precise. In a 9.4 system like mine the implementation of PL IIX is not a easy task and Theta has pulled this off extremely well.
The new codecs (which I have never heard before) takes the movie watching experience to a whole new level. We had to add a OPPO 93 and take out my DENON 3800 Blu Ray player - the Denon was not able to play the new codecs properly but the OPPO works like a charm. This is the Blu Ray player to get especially if you have a RS 232 based remote as you can monitor the audio codecs from the remote instead of the OSD - I will be replacing this with a oppo 95 or Theta compli very soon.
I was considering implementing two Gen VIII Ver 2 in my system but I am not sure if for movie watching I will get any more benefit than my Extreme DACS. This option is still on the cards.
I was skeptical about the improvement from the CB3 to the CB3 HD but this processor has blown me away.
I have been in manufacturing and launching products and this is a tough journey, especially in tough times to hang in there and keep spending but Theta did stay in the game - this is very good news for people who are interested in High End SSP's as the choices are very few. There is clearly a very good option available for those seeking a high SSP which can handle the new codecs and is top of the line - Great job Theta....
Ash
post #63 of 6787
Great news Ash. Thanks for your post. What was the turn around time? Mine is shipping out Monday. I'll be using a Gen VIII v2 and two Extremes. Can't wait to hear it!
post #64 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post

We had to add a OPPO 93 and take out my DENON 3800 Blu Ray player - the Denon was not able to play the new codecs properly but the OPPO works like a charm.

Could be a handshaking issue, since other Denon 3800 owners able to play the new codecs properly (whether bitstreaming out or decoding in-player).
Quote:


I will be replacing this with a oppo 95 or Theta compli very soon.

If you are using your Oppo 93 as a transport (digital outputs only), why pay twice as much for the BDP-95? Oppo themselves have said that the only difference is that the 95 is "optimized for the analog audio performance". This shouldn't make a difference to you if you're taking raw data off the disc and pouring it directly into your CBIIIHD. I don't see how you can improve on that.
post #65 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post

My room is sounding like it is has NEVER sounded before - the sound stage is way more refined and envelopment is now very precise. In a 9.4 system like mine the implementation of PL IIX is not a easy task and Theta has pulled this off extremely well.

I'm curious about your previous setup. Was it also 9.4? If so, what was the AV processor and how did it create 9.4? (I presume there are 4 woofers, driven in mono, yes?)

I understand the CB-IIIHD has additional outputs that copy existing ones. What is the current config you are using for the 9 channels?
post #66 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I understand the CB-IIIHD has additional outputs that copy existing ones.

Which ones? Do not think the DD PLLIIx stuff is just copies? Why would they need to just copy using DD PLLIIx? The subs can be configured differently for various channels. The sub channels all share LFE information.
post #67 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJG View Post

Having my CB3HD caliibrated tomorow by Adam Pelz

Oh no, not Il Professore !

Just Joking, You are in good hands.
Il Maestro
post #68 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

I'm curious about your previous setup. Was it also 9.4? If so, what was the AV processor and how did it create 9.4? (I presume there are 4 woofers, driven in mono, yes?)

I understand the CB-IIIHD has additional outputs that copy existing ones. What is the current config you are using for the 9 channels?

Hi Roger,

Not Ash, but I do calibrate his system.
Previous AV processor -- Theta CB III
Config-
LCR
Dual sides (2 L & 2 R)
Back L&R
4 subs- single sub out on Theta

Sides and Subs are split off after Theta for additional processing with DSP.
post #69 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Could be a handshaking issue, since other Denon 3800 owners able to play the new codecs properly (whether bitstreaming out or decoding in-player). -snip-----

Sanjay,
Latest firmware in 3800
When playing AIX TRUEHD 7.1 location tones, the disc "speaks" and says "If you can hear my voice...." you are hearing the Dolby Digital codec - which was verified by the Theta display. Besides we couldn't get LPCM out to work either - next day OppO 93, no hiccups.
post #70 of 6787
I received my Gen VIII series 1. Mint condition and I will upgrade it to series 2. Sure I will have to buy the modded Oppo to get some high rez digital into it. The digi out card of the Casablanca doing it just sounds to good to be true. I have decided that's a "dead duck." IF it does output 24/96 Theta will get their hands slapped so the end result will be the same, no high rez via the digital out card. Anyone with a current Casablanca can determine what the digital output is. If you input 24/96 now and it does not output, you would know for sure that it will not output 24/96 after the HDMI upgrade because the technical limitation of the card predates the issue. Someone should test.
post #71 of 6787
FWIW - Note on AIX test disc and Theta

With a Theta setup of LCR, "Surrounds", sides, and subs, all speakers crossover, NO Center Surround ( set to OFF) and +SPK set to either PL2xMV or OFF---yes it should not make a difference with single tones and it does not.

DD 5.1 id tones-
the surround (side) tone only energizes the side

DTS 5.1 id tones
the surround (side) tone energizes the side and back ("surround") speakers.
post #72 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Sanjay,
Latest firmware in 3800
When playing AIX TRUEHD 7.1 location tones, the disc "speaks" and says "If you can hear my voice...." you are hearing the Dolby Digital codec - which was verified by the Theta display. Besides we couldn't get LPCM out to work either - next day OppO 93, no hiccups.

Understood. My only point was that other 3800 owners can get the lossless codecs to work (via bitstream or LPCM), so I wouldn't reflexively label it a player problem. BTW, good choice on the Oppo (been using their universal players for years). Since it can output everything (DVD, BD, SACD, DVD-A) as PCM, it can turn any pre-pro into a codec-proof device.
Quote:


DD 5.1 id tones-
the surround (side) tone only energizes the side

DTS 5.1 id tones
the surround (side) tone energizes the side and back ("surround") speakers.

Odd inconsistency. I'm assuming the above is with single-channel test tones and surround processing turned off. Did you try actual program material with PLIIx?
post #73 of 6787
Sanjay,
I did play Chapter 11 of Mission to Mars, DD 5.1 EX. When the rears (Surrounds) came on during the voice pan, the both came on in mono. No panning right back to both to left back. This was with +spk in the PL2xMV position.

Lack of time precluded additional investigation.
post #74 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Understood. My only point was that other 3800 owners can get the lossless codecs to work (via bitstream or LPCM), so I wouldn't reflexively label it a player problem. .....snip......

Agreed. After a few menu clicks, firmware verification, etc, it might not be a value proposition for me to follow further. Whereas I knew the OppO would drop in and go, which it did.
post #75 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Hi Roger,

Not Ash, but I do calibrate his system.
Previous AV processor -- Theta CB III
Config-
LCR
Dual sides (2 L & 2 R)
Back L&R
4 subs- single sub out on Theta

Sides and Subs are split off after Theta for additional processing with DSP.

Ok, Ash went from CB3 to CB3HD. Got it. So I guess the same 9.4 config in both cases. And I assume PLIIx in both cases. So I'm just trying to figure out what is different about the HD that accounts for "the sound stage is way more refined and envelopment is now very precise." Is it the additional DSP processing (what kind of processing, BTW?) Is this when playing 5.1 sources or 2-ch sources? HD sources via HDMI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

FWIW - Note on AIX test disc and Theta

With a Theta setup of LCR, "Surrounds", sides, and subs, all speakers crossover, NO Center Surround ( set to OFF) and +SPK set to either PL2xMV or OFF---yes it should not make a difference with single tones and it does not.

DD 5.1 id tones-
the surround (side) tone only energizes the side

DTS 5.1 id tones
the surround (side) tone energizes the side and back ("surround") speakers.

This is what happens when some BD players do the DTS decoding. If you switch to bitstream, that should not happen, the DTS should play the same as PCM or Dolby codecs. When the player does the decoding in a 7.1 HDMI system, DTS has them duplicating the surrounds to all 4 outputs. Poses real problems for folks who want to do their own upmixing.

[ETA: I need to correct my statement. This DTS process of duplicating surrounds into the rears for 7.1 setups is only possible in the analog outputs of the player. So this is a non-issue for anyone connected via HDMI. Sorry for my confusion.]
post #76 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Which ones?

+ Sides, I think they call it.

Quote:


Do not think the DD PLLIIx stuff is just copies?

No, PLIIx is not copying signals.

Quote:


Why would they need to just copy using DD PLLIIx?

PLIIx makes 7.1. In order to get 8 or 9 outputs, something else has to create the additional signals.
post #77 of 6787
Roger.
My comments on soundstage and envelopment are subjective - it is the 'proof is in the pudding' concept.
The only technical reason I could think as a lay man is since the codecs are lossless I can get the last few percent out if my setup and I can 'hear' the difference in the soundstage.
Same goes for envelopment as we could hear in a Kill Bill when uma visits the black mambas house there is a big fight but you can hear birds outside both chirping and even flapping.
Obviously, with 7.1 mixes more separation of data/ channels would result in more envelopment.
Ash.
post #78 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Ok, Ash went from CB3 to CB3HD. Got it. So I guess the same 9.4 config in both cases. And I assume PLIIx in both cases. So I'm just trying to figure out what is different about the HD that accounts for "the sound stage is way more refined and envelopment is now very precise." Is it the additional DSP processing (what kind of processing, BTW?) Is this when playing 5.1 sources or 2-ch sources? HD sources via HDMI?..snip..

Ash will have to speak more directly to this. As regards calibration, I did reset to a different Main Listening Position. Long story, but this time I did it anyway ! (ps - still got a couple stupids to fix in the cal - ran outta time). I thought I noticed some things, but sensory memory being what it is and it not being my daily system, it would be outta line for me to inject any subjective comments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

....snip....This is what happens when the BD player does the DTS decoding. If you switch to bitstream, that should not happen, the DTS should play the same as PCM or Dolby codecs. When the player does the decoding in a 7.1 HDMI system, DTS has them duplicating the surrounds to all 4 outputs. Poses real problems for folks who want to do their own upmixing.

Uh, ok. Now here is a question, which could begs several more questions. Since the Theta display which indicates the type of incoming signal faithfully mimicked what I selected from the AIX disc, DD or DTS, how does the player down mixing get into the game?
post #79 of 6787
Quote:


When the player does the decoding in a 7.1 HDMI system, DTS has them duplicating the surrounds to all 4 outputs. Poses real problems for folks who want to do their own upmixing.

I recently asked Oppo about this re their analog outs:

Quote:


Can a 2.1 or 5.1 DVD/BD be expanded to 7.1 through the Oppo analog outs?

This was their reply:

Quote:


Unfortunately no. The player will not upmatrix the number of speakers used. It will only playback the files in the same or less number of channels.

I'd guess they would not be "upmatixing" their digital outs either.
post #80 of 6787
Roger,

my brain is broke --- I meant--->

The Theta display mimics the selected AIX track for each of the following:
True HD
Master Audio
DD
DTS
multichannel LPCM ( for both the 5.1 and 7.1 tests)
So how could player decoding get into the game since it sure seems as I am getting what is sent. Yes, I know, something in the chain could be lying-- my brain included
post #81 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post

Roger.
My comments on soundstage and envelopment are subjective - it is the 'proof is in the pudding' concept.
The only technical reason I could think as a lay man is since the codecs are lossless I can get the last few percent out if my setup and I can 'hear' the difference in the soundstage.
Same goes for envelopment as we could hear in a Kill Bill when uma visits the black mambas house there is a big fight but you can hear birds outside both chirping and even flapping.
Obviously, with 7.1 mixes more separation of data/ channels would result in more envelopment.

Ash, thanks for the further info. I can certainly see how switching to 7.1 discrete or to HD audio will make a subjective difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Ash will have to speak more directly to this. As regards calibration, I did reset to a different Main Listening Position. Long story, but this time I did it anyway !

Ah, I was about to ask why, if switching from CB3 to CB3HD one did not simply migrate the calibrations to the new unit. Changing the MLP throws all that out.

Quote:


(ps - still got a couple stupids to fix in the cal - ran outta time). I thought I noticed some things, but sensory memory being what it is and it not being my daily system, it would be outta line for me to inject any subjective comments.

What could be out of line in a Theta thread??

Quote:


Uh, ok. Now here is a question, which could begs several more questions. Since the Theta display which indicates the type of incoming signal faithfully mimicked what I selected from the AIX disc, DD or DTS, how does the player down mixing get into the game?

If what you are telling me is that the BD player is set to bitstream the audio, then there is something else going on--not the DTS surround duplication thing. For example, when you played the AIX disc in the Denon, you heard the "If you can hear my voice..." track which means the BD player thinks it is talking to a 5.1 system, not 7.1. Yet the Oppo did not respond the same way. So I'm not really sure why the CB3HD outputs differ between the two types of streams.
post #82 of 6787
Anyone did an sacd listening session?
post #83 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

.......snip......
If what you are telling me is that the BD player is set to bitstream the audio, then there is something else going on--not the DTS surround duplication thing. For example, when you played the AIX disc in the Denon, you heard the "If you can hear my voice..." track which means the BD player thinks it is talking to a 5.1 system, not 7.1. Yet the Oppo did not respond the same way. So I'm not really sure why the CB3HD outputs differ between the two types of streams.

Near as I can tell, bitstream all around. So yeah makes you think what? I figure do DTS and DD the same not different. Now which way to do it -- hmm.
post #84 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Config-
LCR
Dual sides (2 L & 2 R)
Back L&R
4 subs- single sub out on Theta

Sides and Subs are split off after Theta for additional processing with DSP.

Just to make sure I understand. The L/R Side outputs are each feeding a pair of speakers on either side (not unusual for one of Dennis' designs that has multiple rows of seats). The L/R Surround outputs are running the two speakers on the back wall. I'm guessing the Surround Centre output is not being used since you said "Back L&R" and made no mention of splitting a mono channel back there. All the splitting (each Side x2, Sub x4) is being done in via DSP so you can dial in independent levels and delays for each speaker/sub.

If the above is correct, then I think it answers Roger's question about how 7.1 channels (discrete or via PLIIx) are scaled to 9.4 speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Sanjay,
I did play Chapter 11 of Mission to Mars, DD 5.1 EX. When the rears (Surrounds) came on during the voice pan, the both came on in mono. No panning right back to both to left back. This was with +spk in the PL2xMV position.

So PLIIx Movie mode is giving you 3 surround ouputs (left, right, back, not 4?
post #85 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Just to make sure I understand. The L/R Side outputs are each feeding a pair of speakers on either side (not unusual for one of Dennis' designs that has multiple rows of seats). The L/R Surround outputs are running the two speakers on the back wall. I'm guessing the Surround Centre output is not being used since you said "Back L&R" and made no mention of splitting a mono channel back there. All the splitting (each Side x2, Sub x4) is being done in via DSP so you can dial in independent levels and delays for each speaker/sub.

If the above is correct, then I think it answers Roger's question about how 7.1 channels (discrete or via PLIIx) are scaled to 9.4 speakers.
So PLIIx Movie mode is giving you 3 surround ouputs (left, right, back, not 4?

Yes, as far as the Theta knows it is a 7.1 system--
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

...snip...With a Theta setup of LCR, "Surrounds", sides, and subs, all speakers crossover, NO Center Surround ( set to OFF) and +SPK set to either PL2xMV or OFF---yes it should not make a difference with single tones and it does not....snip...

With a 5.1 ex feed, I got 3 surround ouputs. Theta used to have a setting for the Center Surround Phantom in the DD sub menu. The Phantom option is no longer there.

Interesting, there is no separate sub menu for Multichannel PCM, hence no PL2xMV, etc overlay choices or any other choices that appear in the other DD or DTS sub menus.
post #86 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Ash, thanks for the further info. I can certainly see how switching to 7.1 discrete or to HD audio will make a subjective difference.

Ah, I was about to ask why, if switching from CB3 to CB3HD one did not simply migrate the calibrations to the new unit. Changing the MLP throws all that out.


More then just the addition of the HD codecs were made to the Casablanca and these changes may be cause to recalibrate, even if you don't change the listening position nor the position of the speakers and these changes even effect the older formats.
There may in fact be more then just subjective differences when switching from a CB-III to CB-IIIHD, but it's more easily described subjectively.


I believe that a great deal of the audible changes that some of us may be experiancing are also measurable!
They are probably due to the totally new power supply in the CB-IIIHD and because of the new power supply alone, I think just about everyone will find the need to recalibrate their system.

For instance, the anlalog inputs must be measurably more sensitive then they previously were because "for me", the lights that indicate the input is being driven into distortion come on when set to the same levels that I had previously used when it was a CB-III.
I've found it necessary to cut all analog input levels by 2db in order to avoid driving the inputs into distortion.

I realize that they simply could have made the lights themselves more sensitive and they just light up more easily, but that's not what my ears are telling me.
So, I've got to believe that the analog input itself is in fact more sensitive then it previously was, although I have no other way to measure the inputs sensitivity, aside from what the lights indicate.
For a digital input of course, there is no similar type of indicator lighting.

Because of this alone, I think it's best to recalibrate everything, just to be on the safe side.
Someones old settings may get them close, but everything will no doubt be off by just a touch.
post #87 of 6787
Roger,
I watched part od Chicago on Blu Ray - this is a move I have watched over and over many many times.
In the song All That Jazz - with all the music going - I could also hear her shoes when she climbed on the chair. This I could not hear before.
When Rene and the furniture salesperson are 'making out' I could hear a train passing by - never heard that before.
Subtle changes like these are HUGE for a room like mine and it may just because of the nature of the new codecs and not the Theta but this adds to the subjective listening pleasure.
Ash.
post #88 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin View Post

Yes, as far as the Theta knows it is a 7.1 system--
With a 5.1 ex feed, I got 3 surround ouputs. Theta used to have a setting for the Center Surround Phantom in the DD sub menu. The Phantom option is no longer there.

Oh, so the extra two side outputs are not created by the CB3 using their internal "copy" option, but it is being done externally by the DSP you mentioned earlier? What is that DSP doing?
post #89 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ash Sharma View Post

Roger,
I watched part od Chicago on Blu Ray - this is a move I have watched over and over many many times.
In the song All That Jazz - with all the music going - I could also hear her shoes when she climbed on the chair. This I could not hear before.
When Rene and the furniture salesperson are 'making out' I could hear a train passing by - never heard that before.
Subtle changes like these are HUGE for a room like mine and it may just because of the nature of the new codecs and not the Theta but this adds to the subjective listening pleasure.

Absolutely. And may be attributable to both the new codecs and all the other aspects BB52 mentioned. I totally agree. BTW--Enjoy!
post #90 of 6787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Oh, so the extra two side outputs are not created by the CB3 using their internal "copy" option, but it is being done externally by the DSP you mentioned earlier? What is that DSP doing?

Each side channel speaker feed is split into 2 for front most and rear most, sub is split into four. Levels, delays, filters for each speaker are adjusted as needed.

So anything fed to the side output shows up for both of the speakers on the appropriate side wall.
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