I find it difficult to hear a big difference in transports.I'm sure there is depending on what's being compared. However Dacs are totally different. With all the stuff your running, I wonder if you could hear a difference as well. If you have a transport with low jitter already, while at the same time your using a jitter reducing component in between the Dac and Transport. It would be a waste of money to bother with a stand alone transport IMHO. Unless your not planning to use the DIP anymore.
On top of that..I would rather have a multi format/transport that plays ever disc I can throw at it. Than some of the stand alone transports out there that can only play certain disc.
Thanks for your thoughts Gmood
I think I second Gmood, but you might experiment with digital cables between the AMC and the DIP. When I had a transport-DIP-DAC setup, the difference between the basic Canare and the Acoustic Zen MC2 was unbelievable... more than the difference between the Monarchy's SuperDIP and the 48/96 Upsampler! On a different note, you might also want to experiment with certain inexpensive recent DVD/Universal players that are reported to be surprizingly good transports- check audio asylum for threads.
Buy a Theta Data II transport for $400 on the 'gon. It will be the best $400 you will ever spend.
I have always heard differences between transports. This one is unbeleviable for what you pay.
I agree with Nutella, the Theta Data Basic II is awesome. I don't think that you'll find a better buy.
If you up the ante to $1,500.00 for a new piece, the Stello CDT-200 blew away my Theta Data Basic II in every aspect except the soundstage depth.
Maybe a bit higher than you want to spend but I have owned a Data 3 for 10 years. I have a/b'd several dvd combos such as Sony 7000/7700/ Arcam fmj27--- The low end slam would be the one area Theta does the punishing to these pretenders.--So, yes transports matter.
If a unit is bit perfect with low jitter. How much more slam can you get? I would think slam comes from the analog output stage of the Dac..not the transport? Please explain to me how you get more slam out of one transport if both use the same cables,have close to 75 ohms output and bit perfect. I really would like to know. Or does this transport magical add data that's not there from the beginning?
I owned a Dac at one time, that allowed me to change the bit rate. I didn't hear much of a difference if any. It also allowed me to increase the sound level of the music playing.
Since disc are recorded at different levels this maybe helpful in some cases. I think this still falls under the Dac's analog output stage giving you a precieved increase of slam.
The Theta Data II can be a tricky transport to use (I have one in a box in my office, don't ask!). It is a modified Philips LV400 laserdisc player. When it works it sounds fine, but mine rejects loading of most of the CDs. Even when it loads them, it takes 17 seconds to engage play. Theta have not been helpful in supporting service for this model. I currently use a Theta Data III (a modified Pioneer CLD-704 laserdisc player) and even it gets CDs jammed once in a while. When it does, I have to lift it out of the rack (at 45 lbs., it ain't trivial), remove 16 screws to remove the cover, and manually push (hard!) the laser assembly toward the spindle. I am looking for a reliable one box solution, instead of a separate transport/dac combo, hopefully from an OEM instead of an aftermarket modifier.
You might be able to find a one-box player that beats your current three box combo for $500. DACs have advanced significantly at lower price points. The discontinued $120 ART DI/O beat the Theta Pro Basic II (a 15 year-old design) in my comparisons.
One other thing to consider: Theta "rewards" customer loyalty and original purchasers, i.e., Theta punishes second-hand owners by charging them higher rates for repairs and upgrades than to customers that have original proof-of-purchase.
I can corroborate AVguygeorge's observation that the Theta Data III is a bass slam monster (OTOH, PRAT it ain't got), even compared to the Data Basic II. I do not understand the underlying mechanism. In another system of mine, a Toshiba DVD player with a Toslink output has much more bass impact (and just plain sounds better) than a Pioneer CLD-704 with coax digital output, both used as transports with digital outputs fed into a Monarchy DIP SuperDrive, then S/PDIF to a EVS Millennium II DAC.
Steve that's a bummer!! I think the load times are my biggest pet peeve with disc players. Some of them give you enough time to go in the kitchen and fix a drink before they recognize the disc..if they ever do.LOL
So far the newer Pioneer based transport units seem the fastest in load time IME. The Toshiba transports are some what crappy.The Philips are great but it seems to take some of them all day to recognize a disc...Arcam DV27 and Quad 99 CDP use the same transports(philips) . Both players sound good but are very slooowww loaders. ;-)
I agree the Toshiba's have great PRAT. Not sure why though.Maybe the difference you hear in your units are related by a mixture of jitter, resistance level of the digital output or the digital cable used? Or maybe all three?
Thanks to Gmood1 for a posible interpretation as to why the low end of a 3 seems to have more slam. I use Syn. Research's $1200 active rca dig. cable; going into Audiomecca dac. I only change transport, using the same cable/ dac. Both transports sit on Bright Star;(same for each) The difference is very noticable.---Yes, Theta has been good to me. My player has had 2 rebuilds Not to forget to mention, I live about 12/15 miles from them.
I upgraded from the Cal Audio CL2500DVD Player to the Theta Carmen II and could certainly hear the difference.