Both are excellent sounding units. EAD has a 7.1 analog by pass for DVD-A and SACD. The Theta does not. Theta seems more upgradeable but is much more expensive. If you are trying to save some money, I'd buy the EAD.
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I own the Sim Attraction (basically, an EAD Sig w upgraded dacs/analog section- they make the digital board for the Sim unit). Very full, smooth sound, yet with excellent resolution as well. If you get the EAD Sig processor, make sure you use a good speaker cable. I went from an Audioquest brand (Forrest??) to Cardas Golden Hex 5C, and MUCH fuller sound- vocals more lifelike with a stronger presence.
I should add that I chose this OVER the Casablanca, which would have matched my Theta Dreadnaught amp perfectly, so I guess that tells you something about the sound... Also, the Sim Attraction runs true balanced outs to all 6 channels!! (5 + sub), which I believe the EAD ddoes not even do. Problem is, the Sim Attraction HT processor doesn't seem to have as wide a marketing focus and maybe not as many dealers as EAD- too bad... Good luck with your decision!
Sounds like the EAD is winning out over the Casablanca II, especially considering the price gap, and last I heard there was a 5 to 6 week wait for the Theta. Allthough that says something by itself. But I havn't seen any EAD's falling off the shelves. Availability and $$$ play a big role too. Is there a good (awesome) DVD/CD transport that would match up to one or the other better?
Blob7, check out the Camelot Roundtable. I bought mine used but audioadvisor has them if you want to see one. Also try www.camelot-tech.com, follow the links in there and check out where it smoked a bunch a really nice top-grade players in the big on-line shootout. I understand the EAD is also close and runs a very similar, if not the same chipset as the Camelot. Either one should perform well for you.