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I am seriously considering the Casablanca II as I build my system, and have a question about it. Its so configurable and upgradeable sometimes its confusing what you need to buy. The price sheet lists the “base model†with its analog and digital input cards. Several lines down there is a listing of D/A’s. Am I to assume the base model includes NO output stages and I would have to buy this separately? So if I want to build my 5 ch. system with balanced audio, I would have to buy two “Standard 3 channel Balanced D/A cards†as a bare minimum?
 

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I could have sworn that the base model come with the standard single-ended board, but don't take my word on it. IMO, for the fronts I'd recommend the superiors and better yet, the XtremeDacs. I got mine with CB2 with 2 XtremeDac boards in 7.1 Config. Looks like our theaters are almost identical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
According to the price sheet, the 6-channel standard single ended board is $1000. Maybe its just listed that way but all the dealers include it in their base price. Are the ExtremeDacs really "that good"?


Bob
 

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JOOC, does anyone know of any close up pictures of the ExtremeDacs online? I'm curious what they are loaded with.


Thanks,


Shawn
 

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I have the Xtremes and they sound awesome. That being said, I purchased them without comparing them to the superior dacs because I have a 7.1 system, and when you go 8 channels, the price difference is much lower than you would think as you need to get a third superior card.


Steve Bruzonsky, a moderator of avs forums, has done the direct comparison and believes the Xtremes sound much better (Steve -- If I am wrong, please correct me).


You should also know some upgrades take much longer than others -- for example, we are still waiting on DTS-ES and much more importantly PLII and CSII, and who knows when we will see a 1394 and HDMI input. That being said, I am very happy I bought the CBII. It is the only unit I know you could have bought 7 years ago and upgraded right through today.
 

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Bob,

I have the Casa II and recently upgraded from Superior to the Xtreme dacs; I can’t say enough good things about them. The difference in audio quality is definitely worth the money if you are going to do any serious music listening. If you are going to mostly watch movies I would recommend getting the Superior dacs. I know the selections for the Casa can be confusing but your dealer should be able to help you with the options best suited to your needs.


Earl
 

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The Xtreme DACs are that much better on music, and still somewhat better on movies in a high resolution well tweaked dedicated room system!!!


Now if you're buying used Superior DACs for less than a grand a set of three, and you're only into movies, that should do you fine.


But if you're buyint it all new, spend the few extra bucks and get the Xtreme DACs - which new will cost maybe 1/3 more than the Superior DACs new.


If you do a search at the Tweaks forum for Xtreme and Theta you will find my prior lengthy review - the first review in the web or print of Xtreme DACs anywhere to be found!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sat_uplinker
I am seriously considering the Casablanca II as I build my system, and have a question about it. Its so configurable and upgradeable sometimes its confusing what you need to buy. The price sheet lists the “base model†with its analog and digital input cards. Several lines down there is a listing of D/A’s. Am I to assume the base model includes NO output stages and I would have to buy this separately? So if I want to build my 5 ch. system with balanced audio, I would have to buy two “Standard 3 channel Balanced D/A cards†as a bare minimum?
I just got out of using a Theta C2 because I felt and feel more so now that the Superior Dacs at 2100 a card, were not current enough at 20 bit and I didn't want to spend the 4k for an extreme Dac. I had 2 C1's and upgraded the 2nd to a 2, but got rid of the 1st because of standard Dac's just being not very good at all. They are 18 bit and the one thing Theta is just flat out exagerating on. Until I got superior's on the 1, it didn't out image hardly anything out there, and they would say the DSP is powerful and the CPU is this and that and the algorythem, but a C2 or 1 with standard DAC's is just better served by getting another piece if not willing to at least go superior and there I found better solutions at better costs. You may feel different with superiors, but for 2k once at inception that is a different choice when tihngs change and you already have them and it is 4k more like I had.


I hope you enjoy your new Theta, but I can't stress enough to not do it with basic dacs. Keep in mind that even with superior 20 bit dacs, which of late some have said they are 24 bit and that is wrong, because they have never changed, they are from 1996, so even though great at the time 20 bit dac's, don't let ego or desire exceed reality of them being 8 year old cutting edge technology. I pray if you still buy standards you audition them quite well before you buy them because a slew of much lower processors beat the C1 on movies all day with the lessor dac. This is my opinion but one based on living thru it in person and actually selling the unit, and waiting till I could nail down a used one with superior's to re-enter because without them it just wasn't really very much of anything to me. It is like buying a Ferrari and then putting very crappy gas in it. Other then that it is a very good processor, and I had just gotten to a point that I wanted to try something else, and basically wanted to not put anymore money into that component and wanted better dacs, so I was able to do that, and with Theta move it quite easily. At the time that DAC came out in the mid 90's it was fine, but 8 years later, it really should have been updated, as the superior's should also, but with them you would be alright, it is just since upfront it is 2k more for an extreme, then that is the option I would take. If I go back into Theta down the road, which I may or may not, I will get one Extreme and one basic, but I don't really like multi channel music, so that makes the mismatch not that bad, and the back savings can help finance the front huge cost.


Lastly, the difference on the 24 bit dac's can be heard on both music and movies, but where it really matters to point of I had to get one or move on, and I wasn't spending another 4k over the 2k for the superior I already had was for music and music alone. The superior will do very well on movies, but I don't like to say it does just as good on movies, because the soundstage size and depth is much better with 24 bit processing always, whether it be that 24/384 bad boy, or just a normal 24 bit dac, which isn't possible on this unit as of now, but you get my point.


Good luck.
 

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Hey Addicted (and anyone else who upgraded a CI to a CII,


How do the units compare in usage/feel? Specifically, the CI has a delay in responsiveness when pushing buttons on the front panel...doesn't have that japanese receiver (and I mean that as a good thing) instantaneous response. Is the C2 better in this regard?


Thanks!

TM
 

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The C2 is as far as I can tell instantaneous when you press the button.

Now bootup still takes maybe ten seconds - but the new firmware upgrade for bootup will anytime now (within new few weeks to few months) be available allowing nearly instant bootup (I saw this at CES 2003).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by anthonymoody
Hey Addicted (and anyone else who upgraded a CI to a CII,


How do the units compare in usage/feel? Specifically, the CI has a delay in responsiveness when pushing buttons on the front panel...doesn't have that japanese receiver (and I mean that as a good thing) instantaneous response. Is the C2 better in this regard?


Thanks!

TM
The feel is similar to the 1, but while it still doesn't mechanically switch, it doesn't lock quite as much. That seemed to happen when you used remote most of the time and then went to front panel rarely. There are some little glitches to some of the upgrades, but they are little ticky stuff and I also have friends with C2's original with similar ticks in rare occassions, so I believe that is just operating system refinement needed, which I hear they are working on right now. The C2 just has better sound stage and processor speed, a little less effort to drive complicated scenes and much more flexibility on surround types, which I liked. I used to have remote lockup also on the 1, but on the same unit as a 2, it just stopped all together. I also had a few problems with locking on DD signals with some discs with teh 1, and again with the 2 went away, so I figured it was just the system that caused it with DD being so new when C1 came out. I hope that helps.
 

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Perfect feedback guys, thanks! I guess I'll take the leap for the upgrade cost. I'll make sure that the bootup upgrade is included before I do it...that sounds GREAT! And will make other users (eg my parents) very happy...


TM
 

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Make sure through your dealer that you hold off on the upgrade until both the new firmware and software are available AND the new DPL2/CS2/DTS ES, etc. card is available - as all this should be soon (?) available.
 

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JOOC, does anyone know of any close up pictures of the ExtremeDacs online? I'm curious what they are loaded with.


Shawn,

Check out this review of the CBII with Xtreme Dacs and great photos:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volum...r-10-2001.html


My experience was a little different than Steve's. I found quite a large improvement for movies going from Superior to Xtreme. The improvement in bass was especially impressive. YMMV


Dave
 

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Dave,


Thanks, I was curious to know what DAC chip they use on those boards. Can't see the chips in those pictures but they do say they use Burr Brown DACs.


The 384kHz part of the Extremes had me curious. According to the specs of all the D/As Burr Brown makes it doesn't appear they have a DAC that can accept a native 384kHz sampling rate. What it appears Theta is meaning by that is the sampling rate in the DAC itself after it applies its own oversampling. 384kHz is just 8x oversampling of a 48kHz native input.


Thanks,


Shawn
 
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