Theta Digital Pearl CD Players

4.8/5 (5 Reviews) MSRP : $1235.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ralph Boyd a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I have owed the Pearl and Basic III for less than a month and have fallen i love with the sound that these devices produce. My system consists of an AR LS 9 Pre-amp, Sound Values M-40 Mono Blocks, AR ES-1 Turntable, and NAD 1120 tuner. The sound coming from this system is clear, detailed, and on the warm side of neutral. Dynamics are wide and wonderful, and the only thing left for me to do is add a little more power with an AR tube amplifier. Not that the Sound Valve are not holding their own, just want to try a AR amp. I'd recommend the Pearl and Basic Pro III to anyone wanting great CD sound.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   Used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Dean a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 2, 2001

Bottom Line:   
This is the final piece of equipment that capped off my year-long system upgrade, and I must say I'm very happy with it. I bought this used on Audiogon and it's practically brand new.

I read heard many good reviews of the Theta transports, but I consulted Ed Deitemeier with Theta Digital before making the purchase. I was concerned that it used the same discontinued Phillips CDM-9 mechanism that the ever-popular Theta Data Basic I and II use. He informed me that the Pearl, Miles and Jade all use the Pioneer Stable Platter mechanism which is still in production.

With my apprehension firmly squashed I bought the unit, and have never been happier. I had constantly fought a battle to assemble an inexpensive system of quality components that would produce a highly detailed, life-like, yet warm presentation. The search started with Sonus Faber Concertinos, than moved to a Simaudio Moon I-5, Analysis Plus Oval 9s, Cardas Golden Cross, Bel Canto DAC 1.1, Kimber Illuminations D60, ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures, and finally ended with the Theta.

With every upgrade the sound became smoother, more real and much more enjoyable, but the Theta finished it with a level of refinement I had yet to experience in my room. The Pearl is very smooth and at the same time, detailed. It allows the quick pace of the I-5 to show through yet never allows it to become bright. I have found that the balance of ease of musicality and realistic detail allows me to listen for many hours without strain.

Even though this is a four year old transport and it's long been eliminated from the Theta line, I have no doubt I'll be happy with it for many years.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Colin McInnes a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2000

Bottom Line:   
The Pearl replaced a TEAC T-1 in my system in late 1998. The sound is smoother, more detailed, better integrated - just all round better. Dynamics were still there, but the artificial sound cds can present was greatly reduced. Build quality is outstanding, though the case is somewhat bland and anonymous (who cares!). I compared the Pearl/pro basic with integrated players from Krell (KAV range), ARC and the Theta Miles. The 2 box Theta combo was the most expensive, but also easily the best. The Krell in particular appeared to have mastered all of the very worst of cds and was a real disappointment. Would have liked to have heard the single box Levinson, but there was no dealer within reasonable distance.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by JR a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 14, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I used to have a Micromega Drive 2 (gave up the thing after it started skipping), and replacing it with the cheaper Pearl gave me the same level of detail, but a definitely fuller sound which made the Drive 2 sound thin in comparison. Dynamic, yet smooth without any harshness. Excellent deep,well-defined bass. Very good build, Pioneer stable-platter mechanism,
display-off, heftier power supplies. At its price level, 5-stars !

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile



Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Craig H. Kinsley a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 8, 1998

Bottom Line:   
Having endured the low-fi nature and terrible support of a Micromega Drive-1the better part of 1997, I was pleased when my dealer finally agreed to take
it back in exchange for the new Theta Pearl. What a difference! At first
glance what you see is a sturdy and solidly built machine, over twice the
weight and heft of the Micromega. The quality that is so evident on the outside is merely a suggestion of what is on the inside but, in the Pearl's case, you can judge a book by its cover. There is a logical series of buttons and controls on the fascia, and the accompanying remote (which is a little cheap by compared to the transport itself), including display dimmer and stand-by (power down) features. But it is the sound -- the sound! -- that is so satisfying. Putting on the new Ry Cooder CD (Buena Vista Social Club) and settling back, I was instantly and convincingly drawn in to every subtlety in the music -- the clear guitar, the congas, the piano and vocals -- all reproduced in a wide, three-dimensional soundstage. Moving to harder and faster rock and roll, the Pearl handled the Tool "Aenima" CD with equal aplomb, rendering its many quicksilver turns and percussive twists tightly and with similar clarity. Particularly on the angry title tune, the Pearl was like a sports car on some tight curves: Gracefully moving along at a higher-than-safe speed. For around $1400, the Pearl is a bargain given its many strengths. Moreover, the Theta name guarantees quality and service that make the purchase more comfortable for the buyer. As is obvious, I recommend this transport very highly. If you love music reproduced faithfully and reliably (the latter woefully inadequate in my previous Micromega transport) you should look at, and more importantly, listen to, the new Pearl. My only concern (aside from the cheesy little remote control) is that you must be sure your preamplifier is muted when you take the Pearl off its standby mode. I get an uncomfortably loud "pop!" that could damage your loudspeakers if the volume is up. Whether a fault of the transport or the preamp, I am not sure, but I have not experienced this audio firecracker with other combinations. Be aware. In conclusion, the Theta Pearl is a great little unit. I love the music it gives me.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

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