Theta informed me of a 24/96 sampling digital chip upgrade available early 2002 no need for up sampling with external component.
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You should really look at the EVS Millenium II (great parts and upsampling), the Bel Canto DAC 1.1 used or the Perpetual Tech P-3A with Modwright parts swap (this mod is covered by their waranty). A DAC with a newer chipset makes a very big difference and all three of these dacs promise reasonable upgrade paths.
I recently bought a used Va for just under $1000 and like it reasonably well. I've been able to do close comparisons to the Audio Research CD2 one-box unit and to one of the "pro" Sony cd recorders, which is at a wildly lower pricepoint, but presumably has a newer chipset. Paired with a Theta Data II, I think that the Va is noticeably better at resolving bass detail than the Audio Research, but a bit less balanced; on the whole, I think it is a small improvement. It blows the Sony away: big surprise.
I'm concerned about the upgrade path, though. The Gen V Theta has been on the market for quite a few years, and I would have thought that a new version would already have been timely.
Thanks for the post.
Have you tried any of the outboard upsamplers that aren't D/As? I was probably going to try an upsampler between the transport and the D/A. Most have money back guarantees.
Do you want to sell your Va? If you could afford a new one 5 years ago, maybe you should pop for Meridian or dCS or something;)