Originally Posted by thezaks
I would doubt for there to be any way to compare the two DACs. Even if one DAC has better specs than the other, the more important determinator (at least for me) is the sonics with the entire unit - not just the DAC. So, for me, I would want to have both processors in my room, each setup for their maximum capabilities (DACs, EQ, etc). Once that is done, then I think you could make a valid determination. I myself have not done this in my system/room, so I would not be able to comment on such a comparison, let alone speak definitively about it.
Good point. And I more or less have done this with my prior 5.2.4 system. I used the Casablanca for years and years, using the CBIVA SSP with all D3 DACs for like 2 years, using Dirac, full range for movies in front row, limited to 500 Hz for music in back row. Then last Feb I installed Trinnov Altitude 32 and used it for 3 weeks. Then sent Trinnov off for repair (needed replacement firewire card as only hiccup was ROON music above 24-192) and adding more channels, so I put CBIVA SSP back in system for a few weeks. I found that I liked the Trinnov, particularly on music with ROON whether using AES/EBU in or ROON Ready, and even on movies. Not to say the CBIVA SSP is a slouch by any means, sounds wonderful for both movies and music and I was very very happy. But I decided to try the Trinnov - knowing that if it didn't meaure up I would sell it and probably take some loss even though I negotiated a decent deal buying it - because I am a charter member of the "Audio-Holic Club" (meaning I am not interested in curing my audio and video addiction). If I didn't feel the Trinnov was as good sonically (and I'm talking emotion, tap your feet, what moves you - as opposed to strictly analyzing to death every bit of what you think you are hearing), I would have kept the CBIVA and waited for the upgrade to the CBV. And the CBV now available is very nice, as few will need or want more than the 18 channels it potentially provides, and few home theaterites are music and ROON luvers like me (as the Trinnov is ROON Ready, the CBV is not) as demonstrated by hardly any response to the ROON thread and audio download thread that I posted here at this 20k forum). You can't argue with Bulldogger that the D3 DACs have better technical specifications - but its the whole package of design, manufacture, software engineering and sonics, as well as features, price, performance, channels, etc that one must evaluate to decide what SSP is worthwhile for one to use and purchase. And of course Theta has the very best upgrade program in the industry - so if you are already a recently CB model owner, it may be worthwhile for you to upgrade and stay with the Casablanca from a price-performance standpoint. Though this may not be the case if you are buying a totally new SSP - then the cost considerations may be somewhat different.