transport questions

I have an old Theta Data II coupled with DS Pro Basic IIIa.  It has served me well for 20+years and a sound I have grown to love.
The Data has an odd problem where it will play a disc for about 20 minutes and then stop sending the digital signal to the D/A. Theta wont service it and as a quick fix i had an old Rotel DVd1080 in another room I substituted. Without switching between the 2 I think the Rotel is less deep and separated than the Theta.  Am I just too accustomed to the sound that I think the Rotel sounds worse...or it the Rotel as good or better (warmer)

I am also taking suggestions for a replacement transport used in the $500-900 range
One idea would be to try something like an Empirical Audio Synchro Mesh or Wyred4Sound Reclocker with the Rotel and see if that makes an improvement.  Best of luck. 
Thank you.  Ill look into this
I also think the Wyred4Sound is very good with older DACs.

It always outputs 96k/24 bit, and they seem to prefer it, not to mention the signal is more stable.

Course, in this day and age, maybe a streamer front end?  Roon will upsample.