Casablanca II review

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  • Markj
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 323

    Casablanca II review

    First off I am very pleased with the CBII because it is a great sounding pre/pro and one of the most flexible pre/pros out there. Crossovers and slopes can be set for each group of speakers independently of other groups. The groups are front Right/Left, Center, Side Right/Left and Surround Right/Left. Seven crossover points and 4 slopes can be selected for each group. There are three types of filters you can use Phase Perfect, Butterworth and Linkwitz. These are also independent from other groups. You have 6 digital and 6 analog inputs on the back of the CBII. You can define up to 12 inputs that can be mapped to any of the finical inputs on the back of the CB II. For example I have one input defined as DVD that is mapped to digital input 1. It is configured for movie watching. I also have DVDC that is also mapped to digital input 1 but I use it for listening to CD played on the DVD player. It is configured with circle surround. Other flexible features include the spread of the center channel across the front three speakers. In other words you can adjust the center track to be spread over the front three speakers.
    Upgrade options I bought are the new display, which is blue, and it is much easier to read, and a new side tower with the Theta logo and “Casablanca II” in silver letters a must for junkies like me.

    So do I think it is worth the $$$. Yes, because the CB II allows me get the best sound out of my system by its flexibility. Can less expensive pre/pros do as well? I don’t know but they might be able to. Do I regret spending extra for the CB II no. With the modular design of the CB II you can add items when you want or when funds allow. For instance I bought the CB as a bare bones unit, which had standard DACs and DD. After a year I added circle surround and just recently added DTS. Later I will get the extreme DACs. With other units in this category you need to get every thing at once. So for me, who likes the best but can’t afford it the CB made sense.

    I have listened to many systems, which coasted much more than mine but I feel that my system sounds as good if not better. Most of these systems were in sales rooms or at conventions so maybe they were not setup as well as they could be. Yes I am biased and I like the sound produce from my system. It is accurate and detailed. I would like to have a separate system for music but I just don’t have the space for two systems. The CB II does a great job for both music and HT. I have built my HT system with music in mind and I think the HT side has benefited from this approach.

    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity has a good write up of the CBII with the extreme DACs if you are interested.

    If any one has a specific question or comments about the CB II post and I will do my best to answer them.
  • Doug
    Senior Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 118

    #2
    Nice review Mark, sounds like your pre-pro gets better with age, vs. outdated. That's important, given the cost of nice pre-processors today.

    I have often times thought that if I didn't own my Lexicon, Theta would be the one more likely to gain my business. I have never seen a Theta product I didn't like the looks of. As to performance, they usually don't disappoint.

    In fact, I really think Theta designs have influenced the industry. Just look at the PS power conditioner, among other products. Sure, companies change the idea, but the clean polished look of Theta has definitely had it's influences.

    Someday, for a fact, I could be driving a Theta, Tag, or other high end competitor. With Lexicon hanging the MC-1 owners out to dry with no upgrades for the MC-1, I am not sure I would put my faith in them again.

    Doug

    Comment

    • Markj
      Senior Member
      • Aug 2000
      • 323

      #3
      I am surprised that Lexicon doesn’t have an upgrade campaign going on. I guess the good news is that there are other companies you can choose and still take advantage of the 7.1 channels you have, Theta being one of them.

      Comment

      • Doug
        Senior Member
        • Aug 2000
        • 118

        #4
        Mark, word is, that they will put all upgrade efforts to the MC-12. This is what I heard, but have not confirmed. Very disappointing since when we traded up to the MC-1, it was represented as their high end SUPPORTED PRODUCT!

        This, I won't forget-

        Doug

        Comment

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