Casablanca II

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  • Doug
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 118

    Casablanca II

    Anybody had the upgrade done on their Blanca I yet? Do you note any sonic improvements other than additional soundfields? cosmetics?

    Also, specifically what do you get and approximately what is the cost of these upgrades?

    Doug





    <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"
  • Markj
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 323

    #2
    I have a price sheet at home so tomorrow I will post it. Well I suppose it should sound better because they are replacing the main CPU with a much faster one. So all of the data processing should be better but I am not sure just how much of an improvement to expect. I am hoping to have the upgrade done this summer. The Casablanca II will have 7 channels four subs out so those with big rooms will have better front to rear pans. I have only heard the Lexicon logic 7 once and have not heard the Theta’s version so I don’t know how they compare. It would be interesting to me to hear someone comparison of the Proceed’s 7 with that of Lexicon.

    I have two problems that would keep me from trying Theta’s 7. One: the speakers that I have the manufacturer went out of business so I would have to replace all of my speakers. Two: my room is just not that big at 16 X 19. But I still think about having the ultimate sound.

    BTW is Lexman now Doug.

    Comment

    • Markj
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2000
      • 323

      #3
      Here is the prices for the upgrade that I have.
      Base upgrade 1675
      tower change 150
      blue display 550
      Alloy top 300

      Additions during upgrade
      Circle surround 350
      Standard 6 channel single ended D/A 850
      Standard 3 channel Bal D/A 1020
      Superior 3 channel Bal D/A 1827
      DD 425
      DTS 425
      DD/DTS card 680
      Circle Surround/Spatializer 680
      Digital out with center channel 680
      Digital out without center 340
      digital out 12 channels 150
      two channel volume box 595
      six channel volume box 1190
      Video switching 5 composite 4 s-vid 552
      video switching 8 s-vid 425

      And the fine print at the bottom prices subject to change without notice.

      Comment

      • Doug
        Senior Member
        • Aug 2000
        • 118

        #4
        Mark, thanks for the info, and ouch. I could see an FHA mortgage for the full box with all the whistles! Maybe my dealer will work me a sweet deal someday, if I could ever get it into my rack!

        Yes, right now, Lexman is Doug. I am considering using Doug for all non-Lexicon posts, as I don't want to "reke" of another manufacturer talking about Theta, Tag, etc... Of course, there has been more to it than that, as to what prompted the initial "temporary" change.

        Doug

        Comment

        • Markj
          Senior Member
          • Aug 2000
          • 323

          #5
          The modular design of the Casablanca allowed me to buy it in pieces. I still don’t have DTS yet but that is something that I can add latter. I only have the standard DACs which are quite good and as you can see much more affordable. My original plane was to add more stuff to my blanca every year but my wife quit her job and went back to school. She graduated last May but has not found anything yet, so I have put off HT spending for now.

          I will probably do the CII upgrade this year... hopefully.

          Comment

          • pf
            Member
            • Oct 2000
            • 83

            #6
            Hi Doug:

            It will take at least a few weeks for mine to get here but just heard from my dealer that the cost of the amps is going up by ~10% as he is placing my order.

            As we talk the Cats should arrive anytime now...

            PF

            Comment

            • Doug
              Senior Member
              • Aug 2000
              • 118

              #7
              Mark, well, your not compromising much, in time I am sure you will be back on track. Goodluck to your wife in her search.

              Po-ming, good to see you posting with us. Awesome on your Blanca 2, and to bad on the amp prices. I guess that's the way it goes... Let me know when the CATs are there safe and sound. I worry so about them.

              Doug





              <A HREF="http://www.catcables.com" <IMG SRC="http://www.htguide.com/lexman/other/sm_logo.gif"

              Comment

              • Bob
                Senior Member
                • Jul 2000
                • 802

                #8
                just testing

                Comment

                • pf
                  Member
                  • Oct 2000
                  • 83

                  #9
                  Doug:

                  I got my parcel notification from the post office yesterday and hope to pick it up today.

                  Actually, Theta was able to honor the old price with my dealer despite the price hike hence kinda up the value of the amps even before I get them. Now Doug only if you can do the same to the SilverCats, I should be set for a while.

                  Hey, I gotta do better somewhere with the way the market gone south lately or may be I should switch to investing in high end gear instead.

                  PF

                  Comment

                  • Bob
                    Senior Member
                    • Jul 2000
                    • 802

                    #10
                    I had the upgrade done last September. Since I live so close to Theta I was one of the first. The $1675 price tag is very reasonable for such an extensive upgrade. Here is a list of the features that make up the Casablanca II, taken from their website.

                    1.Digital Input Cards: 6 coax RCA, 3 TosLink, 1 AES/EBU, 1 coax BNC; 2
                    digital coax RCA digital tape outputs.
                    2.Analog input board (6 stereo analog inputs, 2 stereo analog tape
                    outputs).2 RF inputs for Dolby Digital laser disc
                    3.96kHz/24bit capability in all twelve channels (depending upon DAC
                    choices). Circle Surround, Dolby Pro Logic, Matrix, Special Matrix,
                    Stereo, Mono modes all capable of 96kHz/24bit.
                    4.RS232 control
                    5.Ability to download new software: DSP software and control system
                    software can be downloaded as a file from the Theta Digital web site
                    to a PC (not available for Macintosh computers), then sent to the
                    Casablanca II.
                    6.Twelve channel capability (1. front left / 2. front center / 3. front
                    right / 4. surround left / 5. surround right / 6. side left / 7. side
                    right / 8. front left sub / 9. front right sub / 10. surround left sub /
                    11. surround right sub / 12. front center sub or center rear
                    surround)
                    7.Surround Center capable.
                    8.Full speaker configuration for each input (can help optimize the
                    system for two-channel playback on one input, home theater on
                    another).
                    9.3 different types of crossovers selectable for each speaker set
                    (speaker set = left/right, center, surround, Theta Center SurroundTM
                    Types of crossovers = phase perfect, Butterworth, Linkwitz-Riley.
                    10.6 crossover frequencies and four slope options available for each
                    speaker set.
                    11.Capable of 5 subwoofers (left/right/center/left surround/right
                    surround).
                    12.Two options for a two-subwoofer setup: left/right or front/rear.
                    13.Hi frequency equalization in all channels.
                    14.Jitter Jail, digitally stores audio samples in a buffer, then clocks them
                    to the DACs using a high-quality crystal oscillator section. (You can
                    spend near $2,000 for a similar circuit in a standalone box!)
                    15.Side channels, with separately adjustable levels and delays.
                    16.Can optimize level and delay settings for Dolby Digital; DTS; and Circle
                    Surround — each process has separate controls for speaker levels
                    and delays.
                    17.Dolby Digital ®
                    18.DTS ®
                    19.Ability to apply matrix, special matrix, Circle Surround (optional) to
                    stereo (two channel) Dolby Digital sources.
                    20.Discrete IR command to bring Casablanca in and out of standby.
                    21.Serial number will be programmed into the unit at the factory,
                    accessible when the unit boots up via the LCD
                    22.Maximum Level Limiter: governor is set and released by owner to
                    protect system from being overdriven by zealous or experimenting
                    friends and loved ones.
                    23.Casablanca II owners can password-protect the unit's settings.
                    24.Highly readable blue vacuum fluorescent display.
                    25.Inputs can be given any name you choose.
                    26.Customizable Un-mute trigger. You select the response of the
                    Un-mute function: Does pressing the volume Un-mute the unit if
                    muted? Or only by pressing mute again?
                    27.Stand-by Release now offers customizable level. You select the
                    volume level at which the Casablanca comes out of standby. Choose
                    either a pre-defined level, which you program in, or set it to resume
                    at the same volume level at which it was put into standby.
                    28.Overall delay (applies to all channels), by input, to match video delay
                    through a video.
                    29.Party mode (send sum of all channels to all speakers, with dominance
                    of speaker's main source).
                    30.Stereo front/rear mode
                    31.Complete cabling/setup freedom — any jack can be routed to any and
                    every input select button.
                    32.Four 12v trigger jacks with variable timing; pulse or dc, variable pulse
                    length.
                    33.Comprehensive "template copy" capability for fast, easy setup.
                    Optimizing your Casablanca's many functions is streamlined, because
                    you don't have to do repetitive steps that are the same as related
                    settings you have already made, which you can just copy, then modify
                    as needed. Includes ability to restore factory defaults to all settings.
                    34.Central Power Redistribution TM (patent pending) corrects for theater
                    sound mixes, which bunch up much of the sound in the center channel
                    — great for a vast theater, but terrible in a home environment where
                    the center channel is often the weakest. Central Power Redistribution
                    enhances the spaciousness of sound while making much better use of
                    the most important speakers.
                    35."Center Circle Surround" TM (Theta's proprietary application of Circle
                    Surround) offers superior channel separation to THX EX on Theta
                    Center Surround.

                    I think the most significant part of the upgrade is the new power supply and the new software. If you opt for the blue light, new tower face plate, and alloy top you will spend about $2600. The light and new tower, of course, are just cosmetic and certainly not necessary.

                    Mark,
                    I see that you have standard DACs in your Casablanca. As extensive as the upgrade is you would be better off upgrading your front DACs to Superior DACs rather than the CBII upgrade. Then upgrade to the CBII at a later date. They will then use your old Standard DACs for the side and center rear channels. Or, if you must have the upgrade first, keep in mind that at a later date you will want to upgrade your front channels to Superior DACs.

                    Comment

                    • Markj
                      Senior Member
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 323

                      #11
                      Bob the reason for my wanting the CBII upgrade is because I have a problem with popping noise when stopping the DVD player. This problem has been around from the start and my unit was sent back to Theta but they could not or did not fix it. The store where I bought it could reproduce the problem. At that time the Theta rep said that the upgrade would fix the problem so I have been waiting two years for this fix. If the upgrade does not fix the problem I think it will be time to re-think the pre-processor for my system.

                      Comment

                      • Doug
                        Senior Member
                        • Aug 2000
                        • 118

                        #12
                        Mark, I have to say, that is disappionting from Theta. No way should you have to "settle" on having a problem until an upgrade comes out. They should have replaced the unit as the first solution...

                        Bob, thanks for the info!

                        Doug





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                        Comment

                        • Markj
                          Senior Member
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 323

                          #13
                          Doug,they did this is my second Casablanca. The first Casablanca would freeze for no apparent reason it went into the shop and again they could not find anything wrong. When I went to pick it up I asked to do a quick test and it failed. The store’s salesmen left the listening room and order a replacement without me knowing. He said Theta was reluctant but finally agreed. For the second Casablanca, theta just did not what to do yet another replacement. The store that I bought the Casablanca was been very helpful so that is way I am being patient. I am hoping that the upgrade does fix the problem because I think the Casablanca is a great sounding unit.

                          Comment

                          • Bob
                            Senior Member
                            • Jul 2000
                            • 802

                            #14
                            Markj,
                            Does your CBII make the popping noise with all DVD players, or just yours? I haven't experienced this or seen it mentioned before.

                            Comment

                            • Markj
                              Senior Member
                              • Aug 2000
                              • 323

                              #15
                              I don’t have the Casablanca II just the original. Yes when I took it back to the store it popped using several DVD players and some CD players also. My salesman called Marry of Theta and she said I should wait for the CBII to come out, which was about two years ago.

                              Comment

                              • Bob
                                Senior Member
                                • Jul 2000
                                • 802

                                #16
                                Mark,
                                Really sorry about your problems with the CB. Am I guessing right that the popping occurs when switching modes,i.e. DTS to DD? Seems to me that I read a post about that problem a few years back and it was a software fix. I don't see how Theta can't fix this. My experiences with them have all been positive, especially when there has been any kind of problem. Have you thought about having your dealer arrange it so that you can personally take the unit to their place of business? I think that might help.

                                Comment

                                • Markj
                                  Senior Member
                                  • Aug 2000
                                  • 323

                                  #17
                                  Bob the popping occurs when the DVD player is stopped or paused when playing. Thanks for the input. Hopefully the upgrade will fix it.

                                  Comment

                                  • Doug
                                    Senior Member
                                    • Aug 2000
                                    • 118

                                    #18
                                    Mark, that's exactly what my DC-1 did back a couple of years ago, was an eprom fix. But of course, that's a different animal...

                                    Doug





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                                    Comment

                                    • Markj
                                      Senior Member
                                      • Aug 2000
                                      • 323

                                      #19
                                      Doug thanks for the info. I just might mention that at my next visit to the shop. I would not be surprised that it is an eprom and why could they not fix it?

                                      I have heard that Theta is backed logged doing upgrades into next November. I might push my dealer into committing to the upgrade this weekend.

                                      Comment

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