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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a while back that I had reached a point with my Theta C2 that I just was struggling with paying another 4k to get current on the DAC's and I still feel that the superior's with their 1996 inception, and never being modified, have just become less then many others, that you don't have to pay 4k to get a set of.


I still haven't gotten my speakers up to date which is next on my list, and the primary reason for my DAC thing was I want to upsample music for 2 channel CD. As I considered this a great deal on a AVP1 came from a friend from college who had a special deal on 2 that were kept by proceed and forgoten till recently, and he bought one and I got the other. The new AVP2 has a unique part in that Levinson for the 1st time actually used the current Reference 40 dac's in the current generation on the front 2 channels, when in the past the Proceed has always been 1 generation behind. This allowed me to get my DAC solution, and get 24 bit processing all around for movies,and pocket some serious cash, instead of paying almost 4k the other way.


I got the upgrade this week, and I got just what I was looking for. My music is much better and my movie stage is a a trade in less processor, but more current dac and so close to even. I know that with the extreme dac it would not compare, but we are talking about a 7 grand difference, and the AVP2 is very nice piece so far. If anybody else is like me and just reaches their limit with the Theta cost, and it being out of range of the rest of their system, which is probably another reason that the results are close, in that the rest of my system isn't proportional to take full advantage of the Theta's horsepower, I can say that the AVP2 is a very nice unit, and on music sounds just great compared to the superior Dac's of the Theta. I am getting the matching HPA 3 delivered next week, and moving my Krell for close to even, to complete the transition, and while I chose the Krell over the Proceed in my first analysis, it was down to those 2, and in a week, I will finally know if matching the units, actually makes both pieces complement one another.


I do find it odd how much more a Theta is compared, and must admit that there is no way that difference is justified, but ultimately if I get an AVP3 when the Levinson stops proceed in 2 years, and it becomes necessary in 4 years, then I will be lucky, where with the Theta that is a foregone conclusion that it will happen. There probably is some truth to Madrigal being able to to it cheaper with so many lines and overall production compared to Theta alone and how many people will spend that extra 6k to start. For anyone that hasn't heard the AVP2 in action, the front DAC's are spectacular,and for sure I can't hear a Extreme by Theta as better, but it even enhances movies with the front speakers setting the stage. I guess when you get to the point of a Theta Casa or a Meridian 861 or a Levinson Reference 40, you just have to also have the rest of your theter be at that 100k level to really take advantage of these differences, and this is the first time that I have reached a level with a component that I knowingly passed deminishing return. The AVP1 was very nice for it's time, but this AVP2 is a bigger jump for me then a Casa 1 to a Casa 2 was for sure, and I think the biggest reason is that with this puppy you do get Dac's with it, and also all the new encoding DSP's like Pro Logic 2, and DTS ES and so forth that weren't part of my Theta upgrade, and as simple as the AVP looks on the rack, it is really a sexy little piece and I have no regrets in this downgrade, whichi is rare for me.
 

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im waiting for my avp2 next week wednesday to use with classe amps all round and magnepan all around for ht and music, Ill let you know what i find out on the unit, after a lot of thought i decided to hget the avp 2 route(it so cheap compared to other comparable brands(theta, lexicon, ect)

regards

shahed karim
 

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I have had my avp upgrade since last July and have been very happy. I would like to see the thx ultra II upgrade come out sooner than later. Does anyone know when the will be?


Brad
 

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I have a Theta Casanova and have compared it to a new AVP2. The Casanova is cleaner, better controlled in the bass and more open. The recent generation of the Casablanca is even better and will offer a big improvement in sound quality over the AVP2. Now, if you only want more surround modes, i.e. the useless DD-EX and DTS-ES, then the AVP2 has more to offer. I have had my Theta for over 3 years and have been extremely satisfied with it's performance and the inexpensive updates. The cost of DTS-ES and DD-EX will be far less than the cost of exchanging an AVP1 for an AVP2. The Casanova has had 24/96 DAC's since it has been available, not that the numbers mean anything. I would rather have better sound than bigger numbers. Listen to any number of the recent dvd players with 24/96 or even 24/192 DAC's that sound terrible. The real advantage to the Theta processors lies in the unique digital filtering that is proprietary, not a cheap off the shelf part. I guess that I am just doing things the way I always have and choosing what looks and sounds best to me!
 

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Since the Extreme DAC upgrade was a whopping $4000, I will be surpised to see how $cheap the EX/ES update will cost out of Theta , and I can't see it being any cheaper than the AVP2 upgrade. Time will tell ...


- Andy
 

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Robert,


If you read Addicted's posts, you'd see that he wasn't interested in "useless" surround modes and the EX/ES enhancements as much as he was with 2-channel DAC performance. While the Theta's are fine performers, their upgrades are expensive...and when it comes to upgrades, Theta may be the only company slower than Proceed. That's not to denigrade the final product, but I saw an AVP2 go for $3,000 (at the most) and if he got this kind of deal...and he likes the sound, than he got his money's worth. Heck...the Extreme DAC upgrade was more expensive than the entire component.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by RoberttheBruce
I have a Theta Casanova and have compared it to a new AVP2. The Casanova is cleaner, better controlled in the bass and more open. The recent generation of the Casablanca is even better and will offer a big improvement in sound quality over the AVP2. Now, if you only want more surround modes, i.e. the useless DD-EX and DTS-ES, then the AVP2 has more to offer. I have had my Theta for over 3 years and have been extremely satisfied with it's performance and the inexpensive updates. The cost of DTS-ES and DD-EX will be far less than the cost of exchanging an AVP1 for an AVP2. The Casanova has had 24/96 DAC's since it has been available, not that the numbers mean anything. I would rather have better sound than bigger numbers. Listen to any number of the recent dvd players with 24/96 or even 24/192 DAC's that sound terrible. The real advantage to the Theta processors lies in the unique digital filtering that is proprietary, not a cheap off the shelf part. I guess that I am just doing things the way I always have and choosing what looks and sounds best to me!
There is no comparison between a Nova and an AVP 2, and to say that, puts us in 2 completely different camps. 3 year old, 2nd level technology compared to brand new, with several innovations found in the 30,000 dollar Mark Levinson REference 40, is not a comparison that should even be attempted to be made. I find the Nova to be a real letdown in that line, but to each their own. As I stated I just got rid of my Casablanca 2, which I had after upgrading my one which was my 2nd of that type, and so I am very familiar with the units, and on movies with superior DACs,not extremes on the Theta, on movies you are not ahead, and on music using internal dacs for 2 channel you are not either, as I heard it. It isn't often a Casonova owner gives a multiple Casablanca owner a lesson on the line, but if you feel comfortable teaching it, I will read it out of courtesy. I am not going to lie to people because I owned one for years, and with the equipment I have, and it sounds like you are at that or lower with a Nova, the AVP2 gives you better dacs at 24 bit on movies, and you can hear it, and obvoiusly for music a 1996 superior 20 bit dac, whether the processor have great horsepower or not, is not going to outshine a 24/192 Reference 40 DAC. We can agree to disagree, but as I stated before my opinion is based on owning Casablanca's for years. I was never as enthrawled with my Casablanca as many are, and it is a very nice processor, but when you finally go to a Casablanca, and keep in mind i would never consider a Casanova as a solution to begin with, you may laugh at what was said today, when you come to having to ponie up another 4k, which is almost your whole unit, just to get to 24bit dacs on a unit that is already 12k, and you can get an AVP2 with 24/192 dacs already in it, which are identical to those used in a Levinson processor at 30k for less money. The fact that you went Nova shows cost matters so think about another 4k just for 24 bit dacs. Great dacs, but since it is their only 24 bit solution, you are forced into that to get current on even movie processing speed. I do find it very humorful how your post is almost condescending when I was quite clear that I owned the C2 for a good period of time, but since you also find a processor that is just not very good at all superior, that gives me perspective on where you stand upfront. The 24 bit dacs you are referencing in your unit, are nothing compared to the AVP2 dacs, and that I do agree, because they are seriously inferior and so is the overall processing capacity of the unit they are in, but my post is to help others considering how much they want to spend, and want to know from somebody who spend years there, which you have not, so while you easily discount that, and even talk down to it, most would appreciate the reality of the situation. Enjoy your Nova and I will enjoy my AVP2 and over 3k I made getting out of spending another 4k to get better CD sound by far, and better overall imaging on movies because of whatever you want to call it, but it is the 7 year old DAC technology, whether you want to call it that or not.


I am going to assume for your sake that you weren't aware that the front DAC's in the AVP2 were the identical to the 30k Levinson piece, otherwise I am sure you wouldn't have read that I said they were much better then my 7 year old, 2 pairs of 20 bit superior dacs, which combined cost alone close to what your entire processor did.


Robert I am not trying to be mean, but after thinking some more I want to be really clear that if you heard a Nova and thought it sounded even equal to an AVP 2 on movies or on Music, but the latter is unreal on the AVP2 using the CD digitally brought in and just blows away the Theta using superior dacs, then I would have to conclude that something is seriously wrong with the test conditions, in either equipement connected to both, room conditions or material not being consistent between the A/b comparison, because it is just not a close comparison and opposite in outcome to what you think. I have owned one Theta Casablanca or another for 5 years now, so I have no reason other then reality in my view to say these things, and I really do think that you really need the extreme to beat out the AVP to any real punch and since that is the case, I really enjoyed making 3k on that exit strategy. I also know lots of other tid bits which if you knew may seriously skew your complete admiration for all Theta, and those also are based on actual experience, but I am wondering if you have heard many Casablanca's with just superior dac's and not Extreme, because it is night and day, and at 13k you should not need to go to 18k to whip the crap out of a 7k proceed processor, and you definitely should not sound worse on music by virtue of your 2100 per card dacs just being out of date, which is clearly the case. If for any reason you are possibly basing your AVP assessment on memories of a AVP original, then I must point out that was a 1997 piece and a mother for it's time, but like those superior DAC's , it's time has passd and the 2 is a new world for this puppy.


In closing, I do love Braveheart though, but I sincerely hope you are not going to repeat the cowardess of your namesake and take any of this the wrong way and turn on me, as some day I will probably own a Theta again, but it will be after they come up with a reasonable dac solution where I don't have the only 20 bit dac in North america unless I want to spend 4k , because that was really not a smart move by them, and when you are talking good dac's, and Levinson's reference 40 dac's are on in the class with Theta's extreme dac, 24 bit really means a great deal compared to 7 year old 20 bit, in fact to current 20 bit it is big, to 7 year old, it is a monster difference. This is also the first time in Proceed history that Levinson has put identical technology from his reference pre-amp product in the current Proceed product, when in the past it has always been one generation back in a watershed type transfer a few years later. This resulted in the AVP2 having some algorythmic and DAC technologies that are really cutting edge relative to it's price point. I look forward to hearing back and hope we can disagree and still be friends because again it isn't my intent to simply disagree for the fun of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Andy Lammer
Since the Extreme DAC upgrade was a whopping $4000, I will be surpised to see how $cheap the EX/ES update will cost out of Theta , and I can't see it being any cheaper than the AVP2 upgrade. Time will tell ...


- Andy
I also discovered that while the Theta is a very good processor, the upgrade to the 2 doesn't get you current with soundstage unless you get to 24 bit processing, which is ala extreme DAC. I noticed it back on the Theta 1 with the Lexicon ,and while the overall sound was great, teh front stage was not as broad or engulfing and again it was 20 bit processing versus 24 and when you went to the 2, you got better then that comparison, but still again not better then good 24 bit dacs ala AVP2 and good processing also. There is far more detail on movies with this thing then the Theta with a superior DAC, and while the overall power is more on the C2 on max capability, with a superior versus AVP2's dacs, the bridge is seriously shortened to the point of a very minor difference with some of the benefits going to each type of component, but on 2 channel music it is a huge upgrade, which was primarily what I was going for. I personally would not recommend a Casa Nova to anyone and to compare that to an AVP2 is unbelievable, but I do hope he continues to love it. I would do it again this week if the opportunity arose and must admit that i expected to suffer a little more on movies for the better music and cash then I have, but after listening to many movies, the enhanced dac's and by the way, algorythems used in this puppy for DSP are also the same as the Levinson reference 40,so that has been a pleasant surpise as well.


I am very suprised that this one guy took my experience so tutorial like and also disregarded the facts like he did, when he didn't realize that I am in a much better position to actually know thru ownership of both in my same system, but when I saw the Nova kicking the AVP2, I did have an excellent view of perspective there. Thank you for actually paying attention and pointing out where some people seemed to have missed the central point of getting better music and a 7500 dollar shift in cash being quite a bit for the other solution.


The bottom line is if I were to change my mind, I could get about a 800 to 1000 profit on my AVP2, and if I hunted hard probably get an Theta 2 with Extreme for about 2k more then I sold mine, when you factor in the profit on the AVP2. There was a time when I was sunshine pumped on Theta so it is nostalgic to see, but I never stopped appreciating views of the people that had them before me. I will tell you one thing, and this shocked me with the front DACs on the AVP2 I can hear all kinds of detail and musical nuance that on the very same movies never really opened up on the Theta with superior DACs, and I expected some because of 7 year old versus Levisons' current, but the extent has really impressed me. When you go to the dealer and hear this piece, you are hearing a dual extreme C2, and that is a 18k piece that 90 of 100 of us will never buy, and I think that may be where this guy is missing my point. I did this because the opportunity arose to do it where I could have these types of exit strategies if I so chose, and I am going to enjoy it for a while and if I change my mind, it will jsut cost me 2k instead of 4k to get to the Extreme DAC I can't swallow at 4k today, but if I had to bet today, I wouldn't hold my breath on the Theta coming back. I am also going to the HPA3 to gain match, but that will be replacing my Krell that I chose over the Dreadnaught 1 at the time, and the Proceed came in 2nd in that game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by shahedk
im waiting for my avp2 next week wednesday to use with classe amps all round and magnepan all around for ht and music, Ill let you know what i find out on the unit, after a lot of thought i decided to hget the avp 2 route(it so cheap compared to other comparable brands(theta, lexicon, ect)

regards

shahed karim
It really excels on 2 channel music upconversion, and I wasn't kidding just kills my Theta with superior dac's which is how this all started. The movies are very good also and that was a tradeoff in style , but the detail level is top shelf all the way. You will be very pleased with the unit and I am with you on the price to performance because I have been with Theta for years but when Proceed got all that Levinson technology in the current generation into their piece, it became more value then I could passup. My matching HPA3 amp is in transit, and I get it next Thursday, so I can hardly wait. If you ever get a chance to get a good deal on one of those, I would highly recommend it. I chose the Krell over the HPA when I went last time, but that was for my Theta and I didn't like the Dreadnaught one, but now that I have the AVP2, I want to match them. I have also heard the combo together and sometimes it matters and others it doesn't but these 2 sound very good together, more so then most. I don't know why that is, that sometimes it does and sometimes not, in fact my Krell sounded better with the Casablanca then the Dreadnaught did, but this combo is very very smooth.


Followup and let me know what you think?
 

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"There is no comparison between a Nova and an AVP 2, and to say that, puts us in 2 completely different camps. 3 year old, 2nd level technology compared to brand new, with several innovations found in the 30,000 dollar Mark Levinson REference 40, is not a comparison that should even be attempted to be made. I find the Nova to be a real letdown in that line, but to each their own."


I remember auditioning a Casanova years ago before I got my AVP(I) and didn't think it was that mind-blowing back then. But as you say, to compare it to the new AVP2 and declare the AVP2 the loser, is a stretch. While I didn't get the AVP2 upgrade, myself, the AVP2 was a fantastic sounding machine...especially if music is your bag.
 
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