Theta Casablanca Owners' Thread: Setup Help and Wish List :-) - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 46 Old 08-03-2017, 12:03 AM - Thread Starter
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CB IVa Is Here!!

Please still post questions in the main Theta thread. This thread is mainly my "storage" of information only.

Wishlist and bugs - Casablanca with latest HDMI card is far and away the most stable HD Casablanca so far. Good job Theta!!
CB IVa has a lot less bugs and problems than CB IIIHD. The few that I could see:
*** HDMI Handshake much better than before but still occasional problem when switching input. For example if source=CD is playing, switching from Input 1 to Input 2 (both with same CD source, Input 1 with Dirac on, Input 2 with Dirac off, for comparison), Input 2 may not lock in. Solution: Pause CD before switching, push A/D button to cycle source, turn Casablanca and/or CD player off then on.
*** Popping sound/glitch at the beginning of each track when playing music CD.
*** Sampling rate display is not accurate.
*** Dirac filter: still only 1. I would not mind paying more to get a second filter.

Bugs that have been solved
*** HDMI passes 4K but not HDR: Early adopters' Casablanca 4a passes 4k but does not pass HDR. SOLVED
*** HDMI Handshake problem when switching from one input to another: HDMI handshake is ok at first turn on, but once on, if you switch say from input 1 to input 2, handshake for input 2 is not successful. Two solutions: one, cycle through the input by pushing A/D button on remote, and two, turn Casablanca off and then back on using the power button in the back of the Theta. MOSTLY SOLVED
*** HDMI switching causes problem with upmixing lossy Dolby codec: for lossy source such as from DVD, cable, & Netflix, first turn-on is ok, but if you switch to a different input and then switch back, the upmixing no longer occurs, even if the display says so. Solution: turn Casablanca off and then on as in above. SOLVED

What you'll receive & need:
Accessories and Manuals: Microphone, USB stick with the mic file, and 5 booklets total:
1. IVa Quick Start Guide
2. The red manual (cover page in big bold red letters)
3. Manual with Cover Page starting with: "This Section Will Cover The Dirac Measurement...."
4. Manual with Cover Page: "This Section Will Address The First Three Tabs..."
5. Manual with Cover Page: "The Final Three Tabs Of The Dirac Calibration Process..."

Equipment You Will Need:
Windows Laptop, at least i3 CPU with clock speed 2.5 GHz and above, 3 or 4 USB ports preferred (for Casablanca, the microphone, USB stick, and mouse).
Mine is a Windows 10 laptop, but Win 7 and 8 should also work. My laptop is an i7 with 2.7 clock speed and 16 gb memory, and even so it runs slow, so the more powerful, the better.
Boom mic/microphone stand: Something like this from Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Ohuhu-Microph...boom+mic&psc=1







Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca Mini-Review (CB IVa setup help HERE) Uncontrolled passion for music, and sound.
Interesting Audio Diagrams :-) & High-End Speaker Reviews
JTR Subwoofer Thread I don't always listen to subwoofers, but when I do, it's JTR :-).

Last edited by cannga; 02-19-2019 at 10:01 AM.
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post #32 of 46 Old 08-03-2017, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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DIRAC SETUP

A few points I learned that hopefully would help other owners in Theta Casablanca IVa setup. These points are supplements to the Theta's manuals, in particular the Dirac "red manual," so you still must RTFM . In the red manual, there is a summary page of the whole process - I referred to this page repeatedly, while reading the other manuals. It's a relatively simple process and will make a lot more sense once you are next to machine and know the little idiosyncrasies. Thanks to John B, Jeff, Steve B., etc. and all who have helped.


1. Play a 2 channel music CD during spl level setup and Dirac setup. For level setup, it could be HDMI, but for Dirac setup it must be through Toslink, NOT HDMI. I red bold face this because this alone has caused me most of my problems with Dirac. The manual mentions "play a CD," but does not note that you have to connect with Toslink, and not HDMI. It's also a good idea to have the CD player plays in infinite repeat, because during the process if the CD stops at the end, the setup process will stop working.
***What happens if you use HDMI for Dirac: the top ceiling speakers stay silent during the Dirac process. I found out the hard way.
***What happens if you don't use infinite repeat in playing the CD: if you are slow (and I was at first), the CD stops at the end and the setup shows communication failure IIRC.
***Since the music, from said "CD playing music connected through Toslink," is playing, how could you set up mic gain and start any measurement? When you are ready to set up the mic gain, click on the little arrow/play button of the left front channel, the music would then mute so you could start calibrating and measuring.

2. Must STOP the CD before uploading the Dirac file to Theta, or uploading will fail. In other words, during the Dirac process, you first play the CD in infinite repeat, but after "Optimization" and before exporting the filter to Casablanca, you MUST stop the CD. Must.

3. Before Dirac measurement step, take one last look to see that the subwoofer channel is checked as "subwoofer." This may get de-selected as you move back and forth. AFAIK this is important to the process.

4. This is in the manual but bear repeating: What you want to select on first page of Dirac setup is: Custom, 12 speakers, Theta Casablanca with 4 heights. Then hit RESCAN button. **IF** when you get to the mic setup page, the first time around, only Left and Right channel show. You then have to enter the other 8 channels manually and then, go back to the first page and click re-scan. It is this re-scan step that seems to have caused the subwoofer check mark to be de-selected in 3 above.

5. As Steve has mentioned: Before Dirac setup, you turn off all crossovers, meaning run all speakers full range. John Baloff at Theta has found that sofa better measures room characteristics and works/sounds better so you probably want to use the Sofa (not Chair) pattern for microphone placements. Once you have done Dirac, go back and turn on the crossover, *then* you reset speaker levels.

6. There is a Save Project button that John B would use after a. Measurement (labeled as such), b. Target, and c. Optimization. There is also a "Save Target" button that you could use to save the Target curves.

7. IMHO, don't even think about doing this during day time. The mic is extremely sensitive and picks up noise from far away truck, airplane, bath room fan, water sprinkler, and even boat, etc., etc. I live in a relatively quiet area and still was so frustrated at times.

8. If Dirac program doesn't recognize Theta: cycle Theta on/off using the power switch in the back, NOT the front. These are the steps I have tried successfully to get Casablanca to appear and be recognized by Dirac program:
a. Power off Casablanca with button in the back, close and restart Dirac software on your computer.
b. Close and restart Dirac software on your computer, without turning Casablanca off.
c. "Rescan" on first tab of Dirac software.
"a" is the safest method of making sure every thing is working. Powering off Casablanca using front button did not help at any given time.

9. Once Dirac is loaded, remember to turn on Crossover settings, and then REPEAT speaker level adjustment. Speaker level settings are likely to be DIFFERENT with Dirac on versus Dirac off. For this reason I actually have 2 different Inputs: Input 1 with speaker levels appropriate for Dirac on, and Input 2 with speaker levels appropriate for Dirac off, etc.






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post #33 of 46 Old 08-03-2017, 12:13 AM - Thread Starter
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You might want to buy a demo disc, either DTS or Atmos, for the fun factor. The channel call-out feature of these discs is helpful in assuring all speakers, including tops, are wired correctly. All these discs cost an arm and a leg (price gouging), or are only available from suspicious sources in Asia etc., except this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2016-DTS-Dem...-/272484538347 (Edit 2/2019: I just noticed price now has gone way up to $50. Sorry.)

It is unusually inexpensive for a demo disc and once this seller runs out of copies, I suspect the price would shoot up. Highly recommended.

To my ears so far :-), the value of height speakers/info is most noticeable in more quiet scenes, where ambient/atmospheric info is not drowned out. Height info is not as obvious in bombastic scenes such as lightning strikes in War of the Worlds, because here LCR and subwoofer still dominate (and critical for scaring your neighbors ). These demo discs highlight height info more readily and make me better; I've spent money for something so obviously audible. Bottom line: For me, Atmos and DTS:X have not changed the fact that LCR speakers and subwoofer are still the 4 most important channels in movie sound. Go BIG, real BIG for these channels if you want to impress friends, and yourself.



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post #34 of 46 Old 08-03-2017, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Because of the above ("room correction" should only be below the Shroeder frequency, which is around 200-400 Hz in most residential rooms), I only apply Dirac below Shroeder frequency - 400 Hz, and below are graphs of results:





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post #35 of 46 Old 08-03-2017, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
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post #36 of 46 Old 08-06-2017, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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post #37 of 46 Old 09-07-2017, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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post #38 of 46 Old 09-07-2017, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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post #39 of 46 Old 09-07-2017, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Just to add to the data base here, as we are all adding a gazillion cables to the system. I used to use Blue Jeans but per rec. here have switched to Pro Audio LA http://www.proaudiola.com/category-s/912.htm because it's the same cable, for example Canare Star Quad and Neutrik gold, yet much cheaper (significantly so last time I compared). They could custom make any cable you need, such as RCA-XLR conversion cable, etc. Fast shipping, very high quality, cheap. Local to Los Angeles btw.


Different cables are available but my long term preference is Canare Star Quad, and of course the standard Neutrik XLR connectors.



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  • Select Cable Color and Length on Product Page
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Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca Mini-Review (CB IVa setup help HERE) Uncontrolled passion for music, and sound.
Interesting Audio Diagrams :-) & High-End Speaker Reviews
JTR Subwoofer Thread I don't always listen to subwoofers, but when I do, it's JTR :-).

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post #40 of 46 Old 05-30-2018, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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A few months ago, I measured Theta's internal generator of calibration signals with my Omnimic. There are two different signals: one for the subwoofers, and one for all the speakers.

BTW I recommend Omnimic System without reservation. Truly "Measurements for Dummies" - I was up and running in no time at all, and I had started out knowing nothing of measuring system. This is the kit to get if you don't mind spending a couple hundred bucks, and do not want to read manuals :-). https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...ystem--390-792

First graph below is of the LR main speaker, second graph the subwoofer. You could see that Theta's internal generator is a narrow bandwidth test tone, whereas IIRC the test tones from my Blu-ray calibration disc are full bandwidth. When the test tone is narrow bandwidth as in the Casablanca, if I add a subwoofer to my Thiel main left and right speaker, the sound is louder, but because the added sound is in the bass, measurement is the same (interesting issue to think about :-)).




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Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca Mini-Review (CB IVa setup help HERE) Uncontrolled passion for music, and sound.
Interesting Audio Diagrams :-) & High-End Speaker Reviews
JTR Subwoofer Thread I don't always listen to subwoofers, but when I do, it's JTR :-).

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Can I upgrade the theta myself?


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post #42 of 46 Old 02-01-2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pras1011 View Post
Can I upgrade the theta myself?


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Depends. DAC cards, yes. HDMI card, Theta's policy is no field upgrade, as they've had issues with that. Upgrading to a later CB version - no way, must be done in house!

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show....php?t=1158431 No dealer is authorized to tell you I refer to them - any referrals I make will be done personally by me. Over the years I have found certain dealer(s) who I cannot recommend for good reason.
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Can a theta dealer do it?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Depends. DAC cards, yes. HDMI card, Theta's policy is no field upgrade, as they've had issues with that. Upgrading to a later CB version - no way, must be done in house!

I did not know this. I thought some of us had installed HDMI card ourselves? In my case John (somewhat) insisted on coming to my house to do it, even though it looks like a very simple process. Now I know why. We "auditioned" the card afterwards, testing with 4k movies to my temperamental JVC projector, etc.

@pras 1010, which upgrade are you asking about? To CBIVa with Atmos/DTS/Dirac, or just HDMI card?

Regards, Can
My System & Theta Casablanca Mini-Review (CB IVa setup help HERE) Uncontrolled passion for music, and sound.
Interesting Audio Diagrams :-) & High-End Speaker Reviews
JTR Subwoofer Thread I don't always listen to subwoofers, but when I do, it's JTR :-).
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Can a theta dealer do it?


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Call tech support or your dealer and ask. For the CB to be upgraded to a newer version, probably not. HDMI card possibly depending upon dealer's expertise.

https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show....php?t=1158431 No dealer is authorized to tell you I refer to them - any referrals I make will be done personally by me. Over the years I have found certain dealer(s) who I cannot recommend for good reason.
! 9.4.13 Trinnov Altitude 32 Theatre renovation/upgrade starts end of July 2019!
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post #46 of 46 Old 02-02-2019, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cannga View Post
I did not know this. I thought some of us had installed HDMI card ourselves? In my case John (somewhat) insisted on coming to my house to do it, even though it looks like a very simple process. Now I know why. We "auditioned" the card afterwards, testing with 4k movies to my temperamental JVC projector, etc.

@pras 1010, which upgrade are you asking about? To CBIVa with Atmos/DTS/Dirac, or just HDMI card?
Not so simple, though it seems so simple. Things can go wrong. I know firsthand because over years I've on my own replaced DAC cards, etc (but never a CB upgrade) myself successfully, and I was allowed to do the new HDMI card and guess what - my front panel then locked up on startup, and I had to send the CBIV-A in for repair. Turned out to be something simple - but nonetheless, a pain in the butt! That's why as you don't live far John Baloff drove to your home and did the HDMI changeout for you. Turned out that a ribbon cable to the front display got pinched just a tad and that was the issue.
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https://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show....php?t=1158431 No dealer is authorized to tell you I refer to them - any referrals I make will be done personally by me. Over the years I have found certain dealer(s) who I cannot recommend for good reason.
! 9.4.13 Trinnov Altitude 32 Theatre renovation/upgrade starts end of July 2019!
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