Theta Digital Cobalt 307 digital processor Specifications

Sidebar 3: Specifications

Description: Digital/analog converter with 8x-oversampling digital filter and 18-bit hybrid DAC. Frequency range: 0.05Hz–20kHz (no tolerance given). Filter math resolution: 45 bits. S/N ratio: 108dB. Resolution: 18 bits. Linearity: 18 bits. THD at full output: 0.002%. Inputs: one coaxial on RCA jack, one optical on Toslink jack. Digital output: One coaxial on RCA jack. Analog output: unbalanced on RCA jacks. Output level: 2V RMS.
Dimensions: 9.5" (W) by 2" (H) by 6.625" (D). Weight: 5 lb.
Price: $599 (1993); no longer available (2019). Approximate number of dealers: 80.
Manufacturer: Theta Digital, Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (1993); Theta Digital/ATI, 1749 Chapin Road, Montebello, CA 90640 (2019). Tel: (323) 278-0001. Fax: (323) 278-0083. Web:

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

tonykaz's picture

Not that it matters much or at all....

Was it Mike Moffat or Paul McGowan ?

These two pioneered Audiophile DACs and continue as Leading "Higher Authorities".

Tony in Venice

Ortofan's picture

... "good for its price" sounds like damning it with faint praise.
You'd have been much better off buying one of the higher end Sony ES CD players from that era.

John Atkinson's picture
tonykaz wrote:
Not that it matters much or at all....

Or Arcam or Musical Fidelity in the UK?

tonykaz wrote:
Was it Mike Moffat or Paul McGowan?

Paul McGowan in the US. But what's interesting about the Cobalt DAC is that it was designed by Jason Stoddard, then with Sumo, and now better-known as the cofounder of Schiit Audio.

Good to see you back, Tony.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

JRT's picture

"Who was first?" (The Dawn of Commercial Digital Recording)

JRT's picture

Today, in digital audio, the technology is rather well understood, and it would be a long list of 'higher authorities'.

For the modern variant, high quality digital audio over IP, I would highlight the name Kevin Gross (AES Fellow, invented CobraNet, chaired the AES67 working group and did most of the heavy lifting, etc., extending to a long depth of work and list of accomplishments).

tonykaz's picture

Well, he seems to be talking to the Pro People more than we hobbyists. Can't complain about that too much because I don't know the first dam thing about 192 and beyond, I'm a Loyal 16/44 Redbook fan.

If I could...

I'd ask Mr. Gross how a $100,000 DAC delivers superior playback sound quality from Music recored by ProAudio ADCs costing far less and often not featuring any of the magic pixie lust dust included in those 2 chassis Sculptures ?


Thanks for writing about all this.

Tony in Venice

tonykaz's picture

Thanks for stepping up for our Brits with their earliest DAC contributions.

I was a bit worried that you might disappear to Bermuda or join the growing number of NarrowBoat Retirees cruising the Cut. ( like I'm contemplating )

Something you wrote over the Summer reminded me of your considerable skill & lexicon. Mr. Austin's writing seems to further establish Stereophile's sound Management principals are being kept in a World where Outfits like Boeing are cutting cost corners at the expense of Quality.

I'm delighted they're not squeezing you out. ( redundant ? , god forbid )

Tony in Venice

ps. Mr. Stoddard doesn't seem to crave a "First DAC" title. Maybe being First is just an Asian sort of thing ( other than Drag Racing, of course )

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Mr. Atkinson seems to hide in his 'safe space' more often these days ...... Just kidding :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Tony, please don't disappear in the 'Bermuda Triangle' :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

that was a close one for me,

Bahamas we're destroyed which included quite a few retired Brits.

Tony in Venice

Glotz's picture

Long live John!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

When he retires, JA1 is gonna live in his own private island like, Sir Richard Branson. Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and some other wealthy individuals :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Of course, just like those wealthy individuals, JA1 is gonna own his own private jet and private yacht for his transportation needs :-) .......

Glotz's picture

Liked it quite a bit.. little chalky and dense, but it was fun! Now, this level of quality is pretty laughable.. marginal, incremental improvements over a standalone CDP.