Theta Digital Data Basic II Transport CD Players

Data Basic II Transport

A CD Transport

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
soremongs   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2007]
Strength:

Lively, authoritive sound. Plays cds immediately without question. Built like a tank with nice cosmetics.

Weakness:

Drawer mechanism is flukey and front panel buttons are very small.

I have the original data basic. I had the drawer mechanism fail. I took the unit to a technician who called Theta. When he called the person he talked to said "You must want a gear for the drawer." before he even asked. Apparently they are made to order and are very expensive, so he replaced it with a gear from an old Thorens turntable. In the meantime I bought a Marantz 8670 cd player. The Marantz had a more detailed,brighter sound with better dynamics, but went through this loading process that was very annoying. It would rarely play burned cds. It would rarely play cds with edge treatment on them and if the cd had any scratches it would'nt play them. I sold it and went back to the Theta. I have no regrets. The Theta kicks butt. It'll play anything immediately and never skip. You could play air hockey with a CD and it will play it. The sound is warm and authoritive. Other than the drawer mechanism, the build quality is superb. It has a thick faceplate that is beautfully finished. I bought mine in '94 and have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it. I love it!

Similar Products Used: Marantz, NAD
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
maraj57   AudioPhile [Aug 19, 2002]
Strength:

Rhythm and pace

Weakness:

Mechanical problems

The Data Basic II has been a joy to own and when joined with the Theta's Pro Basic IIIa, a very competent combo. A very musical front-end with excellent rhythm and pace, and killer bass. Unfortunately, the unit is not perfect and be fair warned if you consider buying this unit used. The unit has some problematic areas, the first being the CD drawer (the drawer gears are subject to failing) and the laser life is SHORT. Watch the age of unit you're considering to purchase. I say this because having Theta fix these can get expensive. A laser failure actually ended this units usefullness to me. So it been moth-balled. Good luck and enjoy the music.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Vik   Audiophile [Dec 26, 1999]
Strength:

Amazing Detail, Transparency, Soundstage...and BASS

Weakness:

Haven't come across any yet....

I was using a CAL DX-1 with my Monarchy DIP/DAC combo
and I thought I was there. Just took a chance and I
auditioned a JADE...whoa....that was terrific. Then I
played around with the Kimber Select Digital Cable...
and that was fantastic too. Finally I came across a used
Theta DBII...it was just fantastic. Comparing it to the
JADE....it was a little more up front in presentation...
the JADE was a little more laid back in comparison. The
JADE was just a tiny shade ahead in detail...The DBII
was more dynamic though...was a little more alive, I think
it gives more wider and tranparent soundstage(proves a myth
about the Pioneer Stable Platter mechanism). The Jade
might have again a slightly better tonal quality on percussion instruments....but the DBII is right
there too with good tight bass and accuracy.

Overall.....it is just fabulous....DBII is alive on all
music....the JADE lacked presentation slightly on ROCK
but was great on JAZZ...

Get one used if you can.....I cant belive the difference this transport has made!!!

Similar Products Used: Used a CAL DX-1 with my DAC
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
W. J. Mencarow   Audiophile [May 12, 2001]
Strength:

Neutral, detailed, solid construction

Weakness:

If it breaks you own the classiest doorstop in town.

This is one fine transport. Having said that, there are many other equally fine transports that don't cost $2,000. A $2,000 piece of equipment should last more than 800-1000 hours, which is what I estimate I had on it before it stopped working.

Before you buy this transport, be aware that if the transport mechanism fails, it cannot be repaired or replaced. I have had long discussions with dealers, Theta, high end audio repair shops, and North American Philips (the manufacturer of the mechanism). The part doesn't exist. If things change I'll post an update, but as of now you are taking a big chance.

Similar Products Used: Jolida 603, JVC
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Ramesh Jamal   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 21, 2001]
Strength:

Neutral, lively, open, punchy

Weakness:

None

Bought this unit used at Audiogon after my recommended it! What a difference! Solid bass punch, deep and controlled, bodied midbass, open and clear upper mids and highs! The Theta Data Basic Mk II is a very involving transport that gets you involved in the music! It is also neutral enough for you to tweak using cones, power cords or digital cables! With all these, you get a player that gives you everything from the cd and you'll hear things clearly than before!
There could be better transports out there but for the price paid as used between $450 to $650, this transport is great!

Similar Products Used: CAL Icon Mk II, CAL Delta
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Minh Trah   an Audiophile [Dec 23, 1998]

This CD transport sounds excellent when used together with the DS Pro Prime IIa.I used the AES/EBU digital out/in. This combo presented me the best musical sound I ever heard in a home audio product.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
John Lum   Audiophile [Nov 26, 1999]
Strength:

(1) Looks nice in silver finish. (2) Detailed, dynamic sound

Weakness:

The remote, though better than the one that comes with the Jade, is kinda lame. Also, the display is not defeateable, and doesn't provide enough info

In many ways, the Theta DBII is better than the Jade. The Jade doesn't flatten image depth, but other than that, the DBII is better in every way. The DBII has a rhythmic precision which will move you like never before. It's midrange is airy and spacious, and the bass is tight, tight, tight. With the Jade, only Tara Labs' The One Digital brought out acceptable sound. But the DBII's neutrality means that you can use and experiment with many digital cables, to suit your room, system, and tastes.

The DBII is bettered by the $4000 and up transports. But if you can't swing that kind of cash, go for the DBII, and don't worry about it. It'll get you 90% of the way there. And I've seen used DBIIs for no more than $1250, so GO GET 'EM!

Similar Products Used: Theta Jade, CAL Delta
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Patrick   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 26, 1999]
Strength:

detailed, dynamic

Weakness:

overly analytical, uninvolving

In my system, the Data basic II sounded overly analytical and ultimately unmusical. While it resolved more detail and provided better bass extension than my EAD T-1000, it lacked the smoothness and musicality of the T-1000 and SFT-1.

Theta Data basic II
Audio Research DAC 1
Virtual Mode Veritas 3 passive linestage
Plinius SA-100,Mk.III
NHT 2.9 loudspeakers
Millersound cables and interconnects
Virtual Mode power cords and conditioners

Similar Products Used: SFT-1
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Paul M   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 20, 2001]
Strength:

Incredible detail, clarity, phrasing; no noise

Weakness:

a little heavy in the rear

This piece of equipment has opened a whole new world of musical possiblities for me: CDs. My entire collection became a listening pleasure instead of a way to pass the timmem on plane trips.

I strongly disagree with the review that says this transport is unmusical. In my system it is a device that breaths and illuminates music to a degree that I never thought possible.

It converys the nuances of any equipment placed between it and the speakers...

Just a great invention. Thanks, Theta!!

Similar Products Used: Harmon Kardon; none this good
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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