Theta DS Pro Generation III digital processor Robert Harley's Associated Equipment

Sidebar 1: Robert Harley's Associated Equipment

I auditioned the Gen.III with the usual retinue of components. The Theta fed an Audio Research LS2 line-stage preamp, which in turn drove either a Mark Levinson No.23.5 or VTL 225 monoblocks. Loudspeakers were Hales System Two Signatures, helped in the bass by a Muse Model 18 subwoofer, except when the No.23.5 was driven directly in balanced mode. Interconnects were AudioQuest Lapis and Diamond, or Monster Cable Sigma. The Theta was driven primarily through the ST-type optical input from Theta's Data Series II transport.

To get the full effect of the Gen.III's balanced outputs, a Krell KBL preamp temporarily replaced the unbalanced LS2. I also drove the No.23.5 directly from the Gen.III's balanced outputs, attenuating the level with the Electronic Visionary Systems Balanced Ultimate Attenuators—Robert Harley

Mars2k's picture

Interesting product of course I agree about differing DAC qualities..huge. (Just for fun compare to Lumin please) Would like to add the following point about DAC investment.

The digital reproduction space is where the movement has been in audio and video. Think of it...

Hi Res catalogs are growing not just in selection but also quality and resolution as well as format.

Delivery options are growing Tidal, Qubuz, and more download sources. Compression/decompression protocols MQA and don't forget Music server...Roon Plex, Serviio take you pick.

Think of DAC evolution. Processing power,sample rates and word length are now exponentially greater just in the last 5 years. DAC selection is exploding and price is moving in a direction that puts very hi quality reproduction in more hands than ever before in point Theta gen3 with all the bells and whistle $5500 . Compare and price a specific vinyl rig turntable, MC cartridge, phono stage that competes and beats.

Consider all that and and the fact that I would have to get up from my sofa walk to my system and turn the record over or change the disk from a finite selection of those albums that are physically present to keep listening vs swiping and tapping on my iPad to access what is essentially an infinite library at my finger tips.