Lexicon DC-1 or Theta Casa Nova


I am currently using a Lexicon DC-1 with 24 BIT DACs in my system and for HT this is excellent, my problem is in the 2 channel audio mode. I do not feel like the Lexicon does a very good job in this area. I am considering the Theta Casa Nova to replace the Lexicon, possibly the Casablanca if I can find used/reasonable$. Has anyone A/B'd these 2, Lexicon/Theta, I am trying to figure out if going to Theta will improve my 2 channel listening. Thanks in advance.
goose89
Goose, DACs Shmacks. The Lexicon units will never put out high end stereo. The Casanova will get you closer. But the Casablanca will give you the music. The CasaB is due to go to version II real soon. You can pick up a used CasaB here with most options in the 3500-5000 range. Search Theta. Your other option is to get a high end preamp with a unity gain or HT passthrough. My opinion is that it's a pain in the ass to go that way. Want the best in audio? Go for a Krell HTS. The real problem answering questions like you posed is that you don't say anything about your current equipment. Say you get a Krell HTS and have lousy amps and speakers, then you'd be screwed. Plus you'd have to get better cables. If you have a lousy DVD player then you have a problem too. Consider a Theta David transport in the Theta system. The Dreadnaught amp which I'm listening to right now is awesome. Though its going for Krell amps. Big difference. You have to audition at dealers or friends. It takes a lot of time, IMHO, like everything I've said. Good luck.
SFBAYDUDE! How would you compare the Lexicon DC-1 in HT mode versus the CasaB? Suppose we use McIntosh amplification and the Pioneer DV-09 DVD. Thanks for the input.... Dan
I recently auditioned the Lexicon MC-1 and the Casa Nova. Even though the MC-1 is far better than the DC-1 the Casa Nova was significantly superior for two channel. That said, I then tried out an EAD Ovation, of which I am now a proud owner. Nuf said.
or if you can afford, get a SSP-50.
What I find totally amazing is the Lexicon loyalty. Go to the SMR message board for some awesome battles. I jist speak from experience, as it all depends on one's own listening. I think there's some good suggestions here. I think Dan just overwhelms with facetiousness, but I would never do that ;) The Classe suggestion is interesting. I've only auditioned the ssp50; it's replaced by the 75, which I've not heard. McIntosh amplification... hehehehehehehe.
The Classe units are great for stereo and the ssp-25 is a great buy. I got mine for $1750 used.
SFBAYDUDE: I've been following this thread as a DC-1 owner, and was interested in your comments about the SMR message board. Please provide a bit of detail about what this is and where it is. I agree with some of the comments about there being better two channel options (even those which include HT capabilities). However, at the price you can get loaded, used 24 bit DC-1's for these days, they're tough to beat for HT applications, and the two channel listening isn't all that off the mark (although I agree with the comments about the MC-1 being quieter and smoother, and the Casablanca doing pure 2 channel audio better--not so sure about the EAD or Casanova, based on what I've heard.) Thanks for your response. Jeff
SFBAYDUDE: I've been following this thread as a DC-1 owner, and was interested in your comments about the SMR message board. Please provide a bit of detail about what this is and where it is. I agree with some of the comments about there being better two channel options (even those which include HT capabilities). However, at the price you can get loaded, used 24 bit DC-1's for these days, they're tough to beat for HT applications, and the two channel listening isn't all that off the mark (although I agree with the comments about the MC-1 being quieter and smoother, and the Casablanca doing pure 2 channel audio better--not so sure about the EAD or Casanova, based on what I've heard.) Thanks for your response. Jeff
McIntosh amplification.....hehehehehehe?? What happend SFbaydude? your SFbaygerbils get out again when you were writing and you couldn't finish? Tell everyone what is wrong with Mac amps if you would and lock the cage before you do.
iam in the same place as you.i wish for a better stereo .i have the mc-1 with aragon amps to hales revelation speakers.i have arrived to the conclusion that separate sistems will give me the best.so i have decided to get a stereo pre-amp(i am between a used mark levinson or a sonic frontiers.)i would leave the dvd to the lexicon and the cd player to the pre-amp.then only change the interconects depending on what is to be used.for the future if the aragon is to be upgraded it can be left in the ht rig and then change the speaker cables.it is a pain but if you want the best.does anybody have a better solution.please let me know
AGA: We're in the same place, but I've got a DC-1. I assume you have Aragon Palladiums for the left and right channels which have only one input, either single ended or balanced, but not both. If you have an 8008BB the simple solution is to run two interconnects to it: one from the line pre-amp to the balanced inputs, and the other from MC-1 to the single ended one. I've never tried it, but I'm told this will work (obviously only running one preamp at a time). If you have Palladiums across the front (which I do), try a high quality stereo pre-amp for your CD or analog source, and run the L/R outputs from the MC-1 to one of the inputs on the stereo pre-amp. Someone referenced this earlier in this thread. Since the L/R from the home theater source will go through two rounds of preamplification, you'll need to carefully match the L/R levels to the rest of the HT system (via the volume control on stereo line pre-amp). You have also implicitly answered one of my questions, which is whether to invest in an MC-1 as an upgrade to the DC-1, if one of my goals is better 2 channel results. Sounds like you're still wrestling with the same dilemma, even with an MC-1. By the way, if you 2 channel source is purely digital, the MC-1 DACs are damn good, and there's not much signal processing (other than crossovers) which happens in the digital domain for 2 channel sound in the Lexicon. I'm not sure you'd do any better with a very good quality outboard DAC, and a high quality stereo line preamp, than you are doing with the MC-1 (unless you try something like the Wadia 270/27i combo, which includes it's own processor/volume control, etc). What would you propose to run as a DAC (or what preamp with a built-in DAC would you use) to improve on the MC-1 2 channel DAC?
Jdtuner: For interesting Lexicon chat you get to the SMR forum (#3) via . Other forums are useful too. Kgb540: Welcome to hi end audio. We don't need to flame each other. Mac amps are fine if you like the sound of them. Most of us are here to share experience, knowledge, guesses, whatever. The gerbil comment was really unwarranted. I've grown rather bored of those outside the sf bay area that think everyone here is gay. It expresses tremendous ignorance.
Aga's on the right path. I had a dealer that wanted to sell me an MC1 and a SimAudio pre that had the HT passthrough. Here's a post from another board explaining connections: Posted by Michael on November 05, 1999 at 07:45:21: In Reply to: Re: Need Help:How can I connect a pre to Theta Casanova posted by Joly on November 04, 1999 at 22:11:12: Joly, Are you attempting to add a dedicated 2 channel preamp where you would use the that unit for music and the CasaNova for HT? If that is the case, then it is not really not that hard to accomplish. You can do this in several different ways. One of the easiest ways is to purchase a 2 channel preamp that has a unity gain feature. A unity gain is essentially a pass through where the incoming signal is passed directly through without being affected by the gain of the preamp. Take the front L&R preamp outputs, from the CasaNova, and connect them to an input on the 2 channel preamp. Connect the preamp L&R outputs, from the 2 channel preamp, to your amp as usual. If the 2 channel preamp does not have a unity gain feature, then you could use the tape monitor capability and if all else fails, simply use any available input on the 2 channel preamp. In the last case, you will have to set the 2 channel preamp volume knob to a known position, which should be as high as possible, whenever you want to use the CasaNova, for HT. Also, keep in mind to calibrate the front L&R speaker levels, through the CasaNova, noting the volume knob position on the 2 channel preamp. I hope this helps. The url I posted for the smr forums didn't come through the message. I'll try again: http://www.smr-home-theatre.org
Aga's on the right path. I had a dealer that wanted to sell me an MC1 and a SimAudio pre that had the HT passthrough. Here's a post from another board explaining connections: Posted by Michael on November 05, 1999 at 07:45:21: In Reply to: Re: Need Help:How can I connect a pre to Theta Casanova posted by Joly on November 04, 1999 at 22:11:12: Joly, Are you attempting to add a dedicated 2 channel preamp where you would use the that unit for music and the CasaNova for HT? If that is the case, then it is not really not that hard to accomplish. You can do this in several different ways. One of the easiest ways is to purchase a 2 channel preamp that has a unity gain feature. A unity gain is essentially a pass through where the incoming signal is passed directly through without being affected by the gain of the preamp. Take the front L&R preamp outputs, from the CasaNova, and connect them to an input on the 2 channel preamp. Connect the preamp L&R outputs, from the 2 channel preamp, to your amp as usual. If the 2 channel preamp does not have a unity gain feature, then you could use the tape monitor capability and if all else fails, simply use any available input on the 2 channel preamp. In the last case, you will have to set the 2 channel preamp volume knob to a known position, which should be as high as possible, whenever you want to use the CasaNova, for HT. Also, keep in mind to calibrate the front L&R speaker levels, through the CasaNova, noting the volume knob position on the 2 channel preamp. I hope this helps. The url I posted for the smr forums didn't come through the message. I'll try again: http://www.smr-home-theatre.org
Now I know why there's duplicate posts. Sorry people.
i have the 8008bb.plus i use a sft1 for digital.i am looking down the road when the source formats become stable.iuse a dc-1 but no matter what you use your going to be passed by the d/a in the pre.true audiophiles will say that a stereo pre is better than any procesor in the market.when you read about the power suplies etc.you can not deny the fact that this is like a reciver versus separates.for me the dc-1 is more than enough for ht the hales combo with a velodyne 15 subwoofer is great.the fact of running 2 sets of interconects is what i had in mind.i think that after i buy the pre (mark levinson or sonic frontiers)i will hook up a adcom changer i have from before the upgrade to the transport.then get a good cd (many here like the resolution cd 50.my choice becouse i have listened to them would be a wadia 860 or a mark levinson 39)after that the options are open to conect whatever comes out to the pre(sacd -dad ect).
i am sorry that in the first response i posted that the lexicon was the mc when it is the dc,i always confuse them the dc -1 has 20bit dacs and the mc-i has 24 bits
Sorry sfbaydude, your right. I just get tired of people laughing at others system choices. I am sure you meant no harm so I apoogize. Please accept.
Kgb540: Accepted. I actually like the look of the OLD Mac equipment. Chromed with the tube glow... nice. I had a room mate while an undergrad at UCSD with an all Mac system that he got when he served in Nam. I did like the sound. I've just been in a different audio place for many years (decades?). I do have a preference in Mac... the computer variety.
AGA: Please let me know when you finally decide to do something on the two channel front and if you go the direction SFBAYDUDE and I were talking about. I'll eventually likely do something similar. In particular, I'd like to think about auditioning a tube preamp with a unity gain feature--if such an animal exists--for an analog source. SFBAYDUDE: thanks for the forum reference. I'll check it out.
I, too, would like to hear recommendations on what level of outboard DAC it would take to sound significantly better than the MC-1 fed by a digital source. On most pre/pros every input is converted to digital and then back to analog, so you're listening to the pre/pro DACs ultimately anyway. There are notable exceptions, such as the Proceed AVP, but even the Krell HTS converts all analog to digital. And, IMO, the MC-1 fed by a decent transport through good amplification and speakers sounds pretty darn good. I'm quite sure it's possible to get significantly better sound, but I have always assumed that it would require the 2-channel preamp with HT pass through route to avoid the digitizing of the signal and reap the benefits of a better DAC. Indeed, that's the route I have on the radar for some future point, but it's obviously an expensive route. I just have a hard time believing that switching between similarly priced pre/pros that put everything through ADC / DAC routes is going to have profound impact on the sound quality. FWIW - I agree with those who have stated the clear superiority of the MC-1 to the DC-1 - I upgraded from one to the other and it is definitely at another level to be listening to the MC-1. In my mind, the MC-1 offers incredible ease of use, equal to the best HT sound, and very respectable two-channel sound. Lexicon also has a history of aggressive trade-in policies, which is a big plus with all the effects of Moore's Law around us.
i'am a bit late but i just fixed the problem if your still out there here it goes.i connected the main outputs of the lexicon to the aux inputs of a sonic frontiers line 1 preamp i just got .for stereo the units go to the sf and for ht they go to the lex when in stereo everything goes like a regular stereo rig when for ht the sf is tuned to the aux input and the volume to 12 o'clock then the lex drives the main volume control.best of both worlds.now only money is at issue in regards to upgrades.good luck