Your opinion is justified and I can appreciate your position. To me, purity is equally important for movies. Some of the best musical soundtracks are incorporated into movies that are experienced in a home theater. Personally, I appreciate the higher fidelity and resolution that my Trinnov provides, as compared to what I experienced when I owned a mid-fi marantz HT prepro. Also, I've come to appreciate multi-channel music. My former two channel purist mindset has been expanded to now prefer multichannel. Just my personal experience that I hope you can respect as we obviously differ in what we prefer.
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Hey @soix That actually is what I'm doing right now. I use my system about 50/50, but that's really not the question I was asking. I just have very fond memories of the Theta digital preamps/processors, which were just excellent for music and movies, and wondering what is out there that is comparable.
Even if I got a Trinnov today I'm very likely to simply substitute it for the Anthem and stick to my Luxman for 2 channel.
Trinnov is hugely expensive without the performance to show. With Theta, to say that someone switched and prefers the new processor is not as straight forward a statement as you might think. Many guys who owned the processors with the Premium dacs, felt Trinnov was an upgrade. Few, I only know of ONE, with the Xtreme D3 dacs that found Trinnov even the equal.
I could have gotten a Trinnov at a large discount if I were willing to say that it was the best sounding processor. Some did do exactly that and that was the ONE. Man, I was offered "at dealer cost" several time to say things. I just couldn’t do it. I love the hobby more than to stoop to that. It’s just too much fun to share and gain honest knowledge from others.
If Denon had digital outs, I would switch to that brand after hearing to separate rooms at a dealer in Houston, TX. The Denon room was considerably better than the room with Trinnov processor and amps. The one area where the Trinnov room was better was bass and that was only because it employed JL Audio subs and the Denon room had an inferior B&W sub.
I don’t use my Casablanca for music, or any prepro. I just think all prepros are mediocre for music. I have 4 Theta Gen 8s3 dacs that I use for music. I agree 100% with soix.
I used a B&K Ref 20 and Ref 5 channel amp for a while and the sound was very good for stereo and HT. I sold that and moved to audio only (SET amps), then got out of audio for about 10 years.
Came back via HT with a Onkyo mid range AVR and now with an Anthem AVR. Took a small step back as far options (no ATMOS, Bluetooth, etc.), but better build quality, simpler interface and love the room correction.
Compared Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Marantz AVRs and they all pretty much sounded the same. Which I guess is to be somewhat expected in the $800 - $1,000 range. None were as smooth or engaging as the B&K
Looked at older/better/used separates, but really like the HDMI interface and ability to leverage modern DTS/Dolby signals. The Anthem has pre-outs and that's prolly my next step is to power the fronts with a seperate amp.
I have never moved on. I started with a CBIII and have upgraded it continually over the past 15+ years. In terms of audio quality, no other preamp processor comes close -- provided the new Extreme D3 DACs are used. It is just my opinion, but I think that the current Casablanca V is in the class of comparably priced Constellation, D'Agostino, and Pass Labs preamplifiers.
The catch with the Casablanca is the mounting cost of one's investment in it to keep it at a state-of-the-art level. Taking into account the costs of all of the upgrades as well as the cost of the Casablanca's original purchase, I must now have close to $50K invested in mine. That amount of money is hard to walk away from.
One other thing, Theta Digital's customer service is extraordinary. I have a fair bit of high-end equipment, and their providers (dealers and manufacturers) are generally quite good. However, with the Theta Digital Casablanca, one gets actual concierge service.
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