Knock on wood, I bought my TDBII new in '96 and nary a problem so far. For the last three years it has served as my secondary transport to the Accustic Arts Drive 1 but it still does get regular use. YMMV.
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I've had both the Theta Data Basic and Theta Data Basic II. They sound great, especially the II, but you are right about the age, reliability and parts factor. I had the Data Basic fail under warranty thank goodness, and I had the Data Basic II's drawer fail and fixed by Theta for $200.00 and over a month waiting on the repair.
I replaced the Data Basic II with an Accustic Arts Drive 1, $5800.00 new right now. Before I did though, I auditioned the much, much newer Stello CDT-200 for $1500.00 brand new. To me, the Stello completely blew away the Data Basic II in every area EXCEPT the depth of the soundstage. I could not even consider returning to the sound of the Data Basic II after three weeks with the Stello.
I found out later that the depth issue might have been corrected with one of the new ceramic audiophile fuses from HiFiTuning in Germany available through The Cable Company or Galen Carol, for two. I really think that auditioning a Stello CDT-200 would WELL be worth your time.
Thanks for the responses , i was told that the new Musical fidelity sacd players transport is now no longer made ? Makes you wonder if new cd transports will made for much longer or will they just be dvd based ? I guess there must be spare parts for the Theta DBII if you search around as i understand alot of manufactures used the CDM9 transport in there players. Cheers.