I do not own the Meridian 861 but I sure as hell wish I did. A friend of mine replaced a Proceed AVP with the 861 and it blew him away. I had a Meridian 565 7.1 and I loved it but it was too difficult to use at times. I replaced it with a Proceed AVP but I still miss the 565 for home theater due to the tight dynamic bass and the processing was on par with the Lexicon MC-1. I have heard the 861 and the Theta Casablanca and both are great units but for my money I would get the Meridian 861 especially since they have improved dramatically the user interface and it is fully hardware and software upgradeable. Meridian and Lexicon have some of the best software of any company when it comes to home theater but Meridian goes a step further and gives you awesome stereo to boot. I believe the 861 will give you many more years of enjoyment over the Theta. Just my 2 cents worth.
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