I had a Gen Va which I upgraded to the 96k option.I to was waiting for the "VI" since I really liked the Theta. I compared it to the MSB Platinum using the balanced outputs (no audio amplification) direct into my Melos Monoblocks. I sold the Theta. For $3000 I think the Platinum is a great unit and is a whole different class than the Gold which I own in a bedroom system. The dCs units are even bette,r but even used they are 3X the Platinum.
I was having problems with my GenVa. So I purchased a Mark Levinson 36S used. The problem turned out to be the lazer linque interface. Once the problem was solved I went back to the Theta.
I would guess we have to talk synergy as well. If you read the review on Sonic Frontier 3s ,seprarately they wern't nearly a good as together.I have Data3;I had the 24/96 mod done to the 5a. I also have the Purcell in between. Not saying there isn't better;but "better" will be more costly.
I have e-mailed Theta several times over 2000 inquiring when the VI would be out. The last I heard was this conming March but someone from Theta(Neil Sinclair?) was quoted in Stereophile over two years ago saying they would be out with the VI in fall of 98'! I know they put highest priority on the Casablanca upgrade and hopefully the VI is next! I really like my Jade/Gen Va combo with laserlinqe but there probably are better sounding units available. I keep hanging on hoping they come out with a mod soon or I will sell the Theta gear and look elsewhere. Tim
I have a Theta Va and was wondering what the "96K" mod does, exactly. Theta tells me it is NOT 24/96. Comments from you guys who have it? Incidently, a Genesis Digital Lens between your transport and the Va will do wonders.
I have not had the the 96k mod done to my Gen Va but it is my understanding that it upgrades the unit to 20 bit/96k and not 24 bit/96k. The upgrade allows for the decoding of 24/96 DVDs(not the new DVD-audio discs). It does not do any upsampling. Since there are so few 24/96 DVDs(Chesky stuff primarily) I never went with the upgrade.
A few additional comments. I'm using a Data III transport and a Digital Lens does improve the sound of the Pro Gen Va. I've been a big Theta fan since way back but the Gen Va is old enough now that it has a noticable a gap compared to other units. Based on my direct experience I think the MSB Platinum has fantastic sound for the money though there may be other equally good units out there that I havn't heard. But I'm very sure that the dCs units are still the state of the art.
elgordo, pls1, have you tried single mode laser linque? I've never used the genesis but after getting the theta single mode installed on the jade/gen va, imho,I don't see how you could do better. Tim
I agree that the Jade does up the quality of the Gen Va, I had various success with no less than 6 digital lenses (very transport sensitive)so I never went that way. Theta still says the VI is months away But I feel the Gen Va is still a very good unit. I have the Gen Va/Jade combo and a Wadia 861 and the difference is not as great as you would think and depending on the material I prefer the Theta combo. The Dodson 217 MKII D is getting great reviews, you might want to try to find & demo one. Tim
Hifigy: What do you mean by "transport sensitive" with regard to the Digital Lens? This sounds interesting. As to the Lazer Linque, I'd love to try it and my brother has a Theta IIIa with that input. He also has the cable but neither one of us has a transport with that output and I certainly don't want to send mine back to Theta for an $800 upgrade. We live in central Florida which has lots of people (too many) and lots of audiophiles so maybe we can find one to try out.
I used the laser linque from my Data IIIa and it was excellent. When I wanted to go to the Sigtech DSP I found when I added the Digital Lens with Orchid interconnects the sound fairly equivalent, especially after I used 80 lbs of lead shot to absorbe the vibrations on the Data III's coverings! That said, no two Digital Lens units are exactly the same and I've had my hands on four! What finally caused me to move on was the flip side of the excellent bass from the audio output of the Gen Va, that is when going directly into my tube monoblocks there was a slight but noticable "transistor" sound. The Platinum balanced outputs have no analog (audio) stage and do not have that signature. The dCs units also don't have it. Also the Platinum and dCs have to my ears more musical D to A conversion. The Digital Lens slightly degrades the qualityof the sound with these units. Don't get me wrong the Va is a great unit and I loved it but time has passed it by. I certainly wouldn't dump it immediately because it will cost a fair piece of change to get better performance. But even at used prices I would have to think twice about recommending it and I've owned Theta gear for over a decade.
With some transports the lense would make occasional pops, (static like)for such a pricey unit (new) I found this unacceptable. Genesis changed the buffer software a few times but swear that it didn't affect the sound. I tried 6 units, each sounding different and while a couple units were to die for, they had the pops I mentioned, the ones that didn't sounded made a step backward in sound quality. Tim
I had the same "pops" you referred to on some units. It seems that on some of the units the buffers could not process digitized results of the the highest level (voulume) audio signals supported by the redbook standard. The problem also varied depending on the interface used.
Re: the original post, check out the Dodson. In your price range and probably about as good as it gets save for the pricier dCS combos.