Theta Digital Casablanca A/V Preamplifier

4.33/5 (12 Reviews) MSRP : $4595.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by LonghornsRule a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: May 20, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I bought this unit because I am going through the have enough money and dammit I will be happy mode. I am already rich and fat and argue with my wife all the time, so why not enjoy the after math of the fights with quality TV and music. I tried the Lexicon MC1 and the Sunfire and the Denon 5800 and this kills all of those and is 2 years older then all of them except the 5800 which it is 3 years older then. I really like the unit and upgrade was a big feature. They are solid on that in that they do it for 1900 and give the whole unit a new 3 year warranty. There are some reasons I am considering going other ways. I want these to be understood, so I will give positives then negatives. It comes with 18 bit dacs standard and now to pay 2100 for 20 bit dacs that won't do current 24/192 seems both expensive and stupid. The 18 bits do sound better the all of the forementioned in movies and music despite their 24 bit dacs? Me to, it seems to be DSP engine size that makes up for it. It is built to allow upgrade by design where as most seem to leave a possibility by the nature of design. Here is what I don't like and I just cut to the chase.

I bought mine new and when I did I spoke to 2 people that are Techs there, one Ed was a true Tech and the other was a guy that I can't remember his name but he claimed to be the regional manager for the east coast

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Purchased At:   over the net used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by meri5862 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Originally purchased the Casablanca in 1996. Recently had the unit upgraded to the Casablanca II with Extreme DACs. While the original was excellent, post-upgrade the unit is superlative. Extreme (4 ch.) DAC card and embedded Jitter Jail circuitry further improves the sound comprehensively. Impressive performance in either Stereo, DD and DTS surround modes. This is a true, no-compromise audiophile/videophile-quality surround sound processor. And is priced accordingly.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Bob Aidun a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 30, 2001

Bottom Line:   
The original Casablanca that I purchased was truly outstanding. Absolutely the best sound I've heard when connecting digital sources directly (CD, DVD, etc.) It even has an analog passthru mode to avoid the A/D/A roundtrip. Infinitely flexible configuration of speakers, crossover frequencies, number of channels, etc. Compared to the other products I have used, the Theta's sound is far more smooth and analog-like. No harshness or any characteristic that makes your ears feel tired after a period of listening. My casablanca had a problem where the unit would emit a shrill noise when auto-switching into Dolby Digital or DTS modes.
I recently upgraded to the Casablanca II. This sounds even better. I think their Jitter-Jail adds a tremendous benefit as does the 24-bit 96 KHz DACs. The casablanca II got rid of the shrill noise when the unit would switch into DD or DTS modes. During the upgrade from Casablanca to Casablanca II status, I received the unit back and Theta had just forgotten to install one of the upgrades (the display) even though I had paid the local dealer and the local dealer had ordered the specific upgrade from Theta. Also, when I received the unit back, all the screws on one side of the chassis were only half way screwed in. It doesn't leave me with a warm fuzzy at all (what else could they have forgotten to do?)
It is expensive, but I don't think there is anything better out there and the upgradability makes it very nice. I've decided not to penalize the product's overall rating due to Theta's lack of quality control during my upgrade procedure since that doesn't affect the units sound or performance.
I use my unit with a Theta Dreadnaught AMP (3x200W and 1 100Wx2 channel, leaves one free slot)and B&W Nautilus 801 speakers.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 30, 2000

Bottom Line:   
Great processor period. dr.doom has to wonder why they took his previous posts off shows clearly that he has no insite into the product except to ramble and be upset because he really can't afford it. You'll look long and hard to find better than the Theta. There aren't that many highend processors out there. If something else sounds better, it is more than likely due it being a better match with their equipment than the sound being better.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Dooley a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: September 19, 2000

Bottom Line:   
First off, I don't understand why the Theta Casbalanca is under audioreview AVpreamp and the Theta Casa Nova is under audioreview preamp. They are both AVpreamp, the Casa Nova being the little brother of the Casbalanca. Plus Theta has just came out with the Casbalance II and there is no audioreview site as of yet. Anyway, the Theta Casbalanca was the top of the line for top dollar AVpreamp for a long time, now being surpass by the Casbalanca II because of the DVD Hz issue and a few other upgrades. I own the Theta Casa Nova because I already had an Audio Research LS-16 analog tubed preamp for my stereo (Martin Loagan SL-3), and I was adding a HT to it (Martin Logan Logos and Scripts) and I didn't want to have two sets of analog inputs and outputs. The Audio Research LS-16 has an Audio By-pass which makes ranning the Theta Casa Nova via 5.1 thru it to my main speakers rather easy. I have heard the Theta Casbalanca many times at my local high end audio store, and it makes even the smallest speakers sound great and clear. Therefore I wrote this review to say: The Casblanca was one of the best if one wanted but one preamp to do almost everything, but if one already had an analog preamp, adding a Casblanca to a system would be over-kill and therefore the Theta Casa Nova would be a better buy. Last comment, if one has the bunks check out the Casblanca II for better upgradibility

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999




Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Writer's Guild Top 101 Screenplays: Casablanca #1

The Writers' Guild of America put together a list of 101 Greatest Screenplays, based on a poll of its membership. [url]http://www.wga.org/subpage_newsevents.aspx?id=1807[/url] Some surprises IMO include #9 [i]Some Like It Hot[/i], #27 [i]Groundhog Day[/i], #51 [i]Broadcast News[/i], #66 [i]Jerry M ... Read More »

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