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I've had my Xtreme DACs for what - now I think about six weeks. All burned in!! And yes, even on video, a noticeable nice improvement sonically, worth the extra bucks vs my prior Superior DACs, at least in my system.


However, I was noticing on only a few tv programs, on DirecTV WGN "Earth:Final Conflict" and

"Mutant X" (both stereo PCM) and local OTA digital Channel 15 (ABC) "Andromeda" that the sound seemed to be a bit harsh. Didn't seem like that before the Xtreme DACs. I play all these programs in Circle Cinema.


I determined the cause and solution - twofold:


1. The week before this one, after leaving the CB2 on almost all the time (very low volume when not actively in room), I felt the sound turned a bit to the worse. But the past five days, leaving the CB2 on all the time, and yes, the sound improved some, including the above programs.


2. Back about a year ago when I got my upgrade from Casablanca 1 to the 2 version, I noticed I'm quite sure an addition in the Menu, allowing me to set Circle Surround for each audio input to either "Narrow" or "Wide". I left it at narrow then, feeling that it sounded about the same as before that way. And I hadn't played with it since.

In the past few days, I've changed the setting to "Wide" - vocals sound the same, but the surround action and speaker involvement seems to be improved some. And the above programs that I felt were a bit harsh - now they sound great!! I think the Xtreme DACs increased system resolution and in doing so made me more sensitive to the deficiencies of some channels sonics - but the "Wide" setting took care of it. And tonight I watched a bunch of shows that sounded fantastic before, using the "Normal" setting - like

"JAG" (PCM), "NYPD Blue" (DD 2.0), "Smallville" (PCM)" and "Resurrection Boulevard" (DD 2.0) and they all clearly sounded the best yet using the "Wide" setting. The "Wide" setting basically expands the soundstage instrumentally, etc. and just sounds more all encompassing and better in every way for video in my setup.


However, then I used the Granite Audio tube CD player, both the analog tube outputs and Analog Matrix mode, vs the CD player's coaxial digital non-tube output and the CB2's Xtreme DACs in Circle Non-Encoded mode. Remember that I previously reviewed both the tube CD player and

the Theta Xtreme DACs, finding pretty similar performance, perhaps the tube CD analog output by a hair. Well, using the "Narrow" Circle Surround option sounds correct for music, no question, otherwise the soundstage gets too large.


I also experimented some using "Circle Non-Encoded" on those programs initially mentioned above that were sort of harsh and that also improved the sonics. But I found that overall I preferred in my system "Circle Cinema" for video but using the "Wide" option.


So fellow Theta Casablanca owners, try it, and let us know your opinions on this in your system!!!


in my setup.
 
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