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After 8 years... I'm getting rid of my Theta Casablanca

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tsd2005

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I've always been a huge fan of Theta. The Pre1 was the first DAC for CDs and stood up as the best for years. I've had their Casablanca as my prepro for ages. I've had a lot of other Prepros go thru my system just so I knew their tendencies and could do a good job in my field.

You name the brand, they've gone thru my system at home: NAD, Denon, Rotel, Linn, Meridian, Mark Levinson, Anthem, Arcam, Krell, Sunfire, etc. I've almost literally at one point heard them all. In that time my Theta got upgrade but always sounded the best in 2 channel mode, with the exception of units that actually cost more than it (and substantially). So I kept my Theta and was proud of it. This doesn't mean that I didn't hear other brands and go "wow," because I did. However none made me go "I have to have that!"

Well that is until now.

I have had the Arcam AV9 in my system for 3 days now. Its staying. It sounds better than my Theta. I didn't believe it, thought I'd lost my hearing and invited others to hear the system. Everyone agreed, that it was mind blowingly kickass stereo playback. Movies sounded slightly better on it, and it has HDMI inputs (5 of them). I have no reason to pass on the system. It didn't have everything that John Dawson (Arcam President) had me believing the unit would have (like video upconversion). However it did have better sound than anything I've heard in its price range or higher (without spending literally 6 times the money).

It has a weird way of grounding and balancing signal paths that is totally unique and seems to have found a way to improve sound quality to the point that its better than my Theta.

It makes my Summits sound even better.
 

audioraptured

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after 8 years...

tsd2005: that's great news......however: what makes the Arcam better in your opinion; as an A/B comparrison and what becomes of the Theta, (are you selling it?).
 

Robin

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Good Luck with the Arcam AV9...

tsd2005,

Congratulations on your new acquisition... ;) I am glad it sounds good to your ears... :) I am curious is Arcam (UK based company) the kind of company, which will up-grade your AV9 should it become obsolete a year or two down the road. Would Arcam refurbish your AV9, if you were to mail it to them in the UK? Would they or authorized Arcam repair / electronic certified persons here in the USA complete improvements to your Arcam AV9, for you as needed, to up-grade your AV9? :confused:
 
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tsd2005

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audioraptured said:
tsd2005: that's great news......however: what makes the Arcam better in your opinion; as an A/B comparrison and what becomes of the Theta, (are you selling it?).
Both units are very "transparent," you get more of the tell-tale characteristics of your amps and speakers with a CBIII or an AV9.

Both have amazing sound stages and crystal clear sound, but the Arcam has a better noise floor. Somehow the unique way they ground and balance the paths has resulted in a lower noise floor than the CBIII which is audibly noticable.

Right now I'm keeping the CBIII, waiting for the upgrades that I'm told will be announced at CEDIA. Then I plan on upgrading it, then selling it.
 
T

tsd2005

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Robin said:
tsd2005,

Congratulations on your new acquisition... ;) I am glad it sounds good to your ears... :) I am curious is Arcam (UK based company) the kind of company, which will up-grade your AV9 should it become obsolete a year or two down the road. Would Arcam refurbish your AV9, if you were to mail it to them in the UK? Would they or authorized Arcam repair / electronic certified persons here in the USA complete improvements to your Arcam AV9, for you as needed, to up-grade your AV9? :confused:
Robin,

My relationship with Arcam goes back about 5 years now. In that time they've replaced their DV78, FMJ27, and Arcam AV8 not to mention the Receivers, CD players etc. In that time frame the 27 we have in the store has been sent to the Arcam service center and upgraded to a 27A, and now with the HDMI board at very low cost. Progressive scan upgrades were made to the original DVD players.... All their low end DVD players are upgradable to higher end ones for generally $100 more than the price difference ($999 DVD and $1699 DVD player for instance, for $800 you can have it upgraded to the $1699 one). Its not something they advertise, but it is available. Their CD player is upgradable to the higher end CD player...

The AV8 was upgradable to the AV9 for instance.

I know the AV10 is around the corner.... It might be a year away it could be months away.

At that point I'll see how it sounds....

but yes Arcam is one of the best in the industry for the "safety" of the dollar you spend.
 

Robin

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Very Interesting Information...

tsd2005,

I really had no idea Arcam was such a good company for up-grading their gear, which is a pre-requisit for me... :) Arcam must have wonderful customer service, which is fantastic and I require...
I am going to have to audition the AV9. I just have to find a dealer near by and check it out, which I plan to do soon. ;)

Thank you for the great inside Arcam information. I appreciate it... :D
 

garmtz

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Which DACs do you have in the Theta? The Xtreme DACs to me are hard to better.
 

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