Theta Data universal disc transport Review System

Sidebar 2: Review System

The Theta Data has been my primary CD transport for the past two and a half months, replacing the Esoteric P-2 that had been returned to Esoteric. Although I never had the P-2 and Data for side-by-side comparisons, the Wadia WT-3200 and Meridian 602—both known in relation to the reference P-2—were still on hand.

Digital processors used with the Data included the Meridian 203, Theta's DS Pro Prime (also reviewed in this issue), a PS Audio SuperLink, a Wadia 2000, and an Audio Research DAC1-18. Digital interconnects were the Aural Symphonics Digital Standard, Theta's own cable, or the TARA Labs Digital Reference (all three excellent interconnects).

The digital processors fed an Audio Research LS2 line-stage amplifier which drove the Muse Model 18 subwoofer's crossover and a pair of VTL 225W Deluxe Monoblocks connected to Hales System Two Signature loudspeakers. Interconnect was either Straight Wire Maestro or AudioQuest Lapis, and loudspeaker cables were either bi-wired pairs of AudioQuest Dragon/Clear or Straight Wire Maestro.—Robert Harley

Theta Digital/ATI
1749 Chapin Road
Montebello, CA 90640
(323) 278-0001

DeeCee3's picture

Was reading this article recently
And was wondering if this is the one and the same?
Food for thought?

John Atkinson's picture
DeeCee3 wrote:
Was reading this article recently And was wondering if this is the one and the same?

Indeed it is. But the Lampizator article gives the impression that Stereophile didn't mention the Theta's provenance. However, from the 1991 text: "The Data is based on a Philips CDV-400, a so-called "combination" player that accepts a variety of optical disc formats." And "what makes the Data different from a normal videodisc player is the addition of a small printed circuit board attached to the rear panel near the digital output jack."

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

doak's picture

I purchased one (pre-owned) way back when. When I got wind of what was going on I sold it off and purchased the Phillips model that was in Theta's box. Sure they prob tweaked it a bit, but at a VERY dear price. Caveat Emptor.

BTW: I now own a Lampizator. :-)

JulyGirl53's picture

Funny! I happened upon this article while searching for a new CD transport to fit into a vintage audio system, mostly circa 1990-1996 plus a 1979 Linn Sondek. This Theta transport piqued my interest as my vintage DAC is a Theta DS Pro Basic II which always has been played with a Phililps CDV 400! This combination produced audio with the same warmth & imaging as vinyl LPs on the Linn. Unfortunately, after 20+ years & two teen-to-twenty-something sons, the CDV 400 won't work. Imagine how amused I was to read: "Theta ... picked the best-sounding videodisc player they could find, a Philips CDV-400, developed a data-clocking circuit to further increase its sonic performance, and put it all in a solid chassis with the Theta nameplate on the front panel—all for $2400 retail. What? Maybe I should just see if I can find someone to repair the Philips!