Hi-end DVD/CD Machine vs. Hi-end CD Player/Transpo

Has anyone done any audio comparisons between hi-end DVD/CD players and hi-end CD players? Assuming that there is a compromise in the audio, just how much is it?
DVD/CD: Theta DaViD II, Proceed PMDT, Meridian 596...etc
CD: Cary 303/306, NuVista 3D, Electrocompanient, Levinson No39...etc

My listening room is set up for home theater, but I mostly listen to 2 ch stereo. Whenever I make a trade-off, it's in favor of 2-ch stereo. So I'm debating keeping Pioneer Elite as the DVD source and getting a good CD player or going the DVD/CD route. If I go DVD/CD, it will need to be upgradable to DVD-A/SACD some day. If I go with a good CD player now, later an upgrade to a DVD player with DVD-A and SACD (and presumably very good CD) with make purchasing a CD player now obsolete or at least redundant.

What do you think?

Theta Casanova
Dunlavy Cantatas
Aloia 13.01's vertical bi-amp
Looking out into the future there may be a 2ch pre-amp...
I run a Theta DaViD with a Theta Casa-Nova into two Classe amps now. This has satisfied my craving to upgrade for quite some time. If I had the money however, I'd use the DaViD II into a Casa-Blanca II with extreme dacs then top it off with a Dreadnaught and a pair of Citadels.
I use a Faroudja DVD player. The sound portion of it was designed and built by EAD. The sound quality is incredible.

For CD I use a Classe Dac 1 and a Classe CDT transport with a Genesis digital lens.

On its own the Classe is noticeble better but I run my dvd player through the same dac and digital lens. Side by side the Classe is still a bit better but not much.
"... there is a compromise in the audio, just how much is it? ..."

That is a misconception, 100%.
The compromise are the players that do not do both, but they are disappearing fast.

Also, your list of players excluded a unit that outperforms all of the products you mention for 2 chnl sound, and even more so for the video capability; Muse Thalia Gen 2 (or the Gen 1 for that matter).


If DTS DVDs are important to you, avoid the Faroudja (Toshiba based 3006) DVD player. It does not send the DTS signal, but a great transport.

That is true. The faroudja does not have DTS. Although DTS is superior to Dolby Digital I felt the faroudja played Dolby Digital better then other players played DTS. If DTS is important then the faroudja is not for you.
I have a muse model 9 sig. dv/cd combo. I added a DCS DAC recently and am selling my Muse. I'm having 2nd thoughts though. The video section is very good, redbook cd w/o the dac is better than anything I heard in my system. I never heard the Audio Aero or the Audio mecca. They might better it for more money and w/o a video section.

maybe add a muse to your list...and if you want tops, then maybe a DAC...
In regards to the Muse Thalia Nine v1, I can vouge for its qualities as a two channel music making machine. Currently, it is being used in my system with no intentions of ever being put to use for DVD video playback. In fact, I purchased this unit for use strictly as a source for my two channel system and this is where its going to stay. I am completely satisfied with this player and feel that it can compete with digital sources costing many times its asking price.
Any critics who feel that a CD/DVD player like the Thalia Nine might not compete with a redbook only high-end player should consider direct comparison and judge for themselves.


I would consider the Thalia as well- heard great things- too bad no dealers wil give 30-day trials on it...