latest hi-fi update! all points bulliten! ;-)
well, i let the thetas warm up for about 5 hours. WOW, that made a HUGE difference. my being a vintage guy (aka, cheap;-), i thought all this warm up stuff for digital equipment was a bunch of hooey, not to mention "breaking in" cables.
i guess there is something to be said for all that jazz. the vocals sound awesome now. very close to the sound i was getting on the 4 ohm tap on my macs. i put them back to 8 ohms a while back as i need the full 60 wpc as opposed to 30.
the highs are still a touch bright, although not nearly as glaring as before. i bet the separates would be in a totally different league i fi left the boys on for 2 full days. not to mention, the 930AX is sort of known for having no highs, so my ears are probably in shock. the bass is huge! it took me 1 hour to realize i didn't have the subwoofer on.
but, being i can't soldier on a "rat-free" power cord until this weekend, i think i'll shut the system down until then. no sense in burning the place down. a far stretch, but i have never been one for luck.
i checked theta's website (thetadigital.com). they have a whole history section. impressive stuff indeed. they are like the cray supercomputers of the digital audio world. my gen III DSPro and Data II were close to $11,000 dollars new in 1993. nuts, i tell ya! 3 burr brown dacs, 30 megahertz. crap, my centris 650 macintosh i bought in 1992 only had one processor running at 25 mhz. lol!
the important thing is theta's upgrade policy. they will mod ANY theta product to be the most curremt. so, i could theoretically have gen VIII DSPro guts put in my dac. most likely, way too expensive. but i have an idea:
what if i just upgrade to, say, gen V? i also found out that the chip sets are as easy to swap as in computers. something to look into. might not be worth it, but what the heck/ i have all of $0 invested in these components.
but, before getting carried away, let just fix the "rat cord." ;-)
this explains a lot. here's an excerpt from the theta site:
One-bit technology was headline news around this time. It was touted by major hi-fi manufacturers as being the next revolution in digital sound. They said multibit technology was dead. Theta’s design team tried this new technology in high-performance designs and found it smooth sounding but lacking in aliveness, dynamics and bass. They envisioned one-bit technology as a palliative for less expensive products. Most inexpensive CD players and outboard D to A converters sounded shrill and harsh. The smoothness of the one-bit D to A could be implemented to reduce "glare" and other irritating characteristics, to bring new musicality to otherwise unacceptable components. It meant Theta had something to offer in a price realm previously thought hopelessly compromised. The DS Pro Prime was introduced in May of 1991.
i finally found out what i have. theta has had WAY too many models over the years: they are 1993 theta genereation III DSPro d/a converter and a theta data II universal transport.
as far as the one bit jazz, they are right. it describes why i like the rotel so much. sloppy bass, real rich mids and rolled off highs. keep in mind that if you diminish the bass and treble response, the mids are going to shine. that's a lot of the idea behind not only tube amps, but especially all this single ended Class A jazz.
but, theta is right, it comes at the expense of tight deep bass and extended highs. and we all know how bright apogees can be up top. i swear, i didn't have the sub hooked up for about 3 hours until i realized it wasn't on. i bought the B&W sub because i thought the apogees were very bass deficient.
the highs really warmed up after the 4 hours or so i left the thetas on. but being that theta now uses hybrid multibit and 1 bit dacs, it obvious that they realize the benefit of 1 bit mids as well.