Theta Digital DaViD CD Players

DaViD

dvd / cd player

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
pangl   AudioPhile [Sep 21, 2005]
Strength:

Strengths: Good look. Decent sound quality as an transport.

Weakness:

Video performance is a joke, but thank God it is better than the Chinese made DVD players. Audio performance does not justify its costly price tag - I feel bad for those who purchased it new from dealer. (I actually feel like an idiot, paying $950 for an used unit!) Of course, there is other super-overpriced transports out there (say, SF Transport 3), preventing me from giving this unit an '1' value rating.

This product frankly is a complete joke in terms of value. Want proof? An $110 Pioneer SACD/DVD universal player (the one recently revised by TAS) has better VIDEO performance than this. On the audio side, it actually performs quite well, out-dueling many mid-price audiophile transports (old Muse and mid-range Meridian, for example) in certain area. However......as an pure transport, Sony XA777Es ($1600 used) simply better in every way, and ditto Toshiba SD9200($350 used). In the end, an level2 modded Sony DV7700 ($175 in Audiogon) kicked this DaViD out of my house. The DaViD does look more high-end than many transports that I owned before.

Similar Products Used: Sonic Frontiers Transport 3; SF SFT-1; Pioneer DV09; various Meridian; Muse 8; Sony XA777ES; Toshiba SD9200; etc
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Robert Damm   an Audiophile [Mar 25, 1999]

Am I missing something? This unit cost more than twice what a Pioneer Elite DV 09 costs... yet, Its video quality is significantly worse. As a CD transport, the DaViD may have a *slight* edge, but not a 2500.00 dollar edge. Save yourself some money, buy a Dv 09 for 2k. You'll get a better player, and have lots of money left over for DVD's, cables... even a better DAC if you can't live with the Pioneer's on-board (which is great in its own right). I'm not saying this is a bad product... just a nonsensical one, aimed at people who just can't bear to buy something from an evil, "mass market" company like pioneer and can't live without a "boutique" company's marquee. Rip-off ville here, gents.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Robin Wyatt   Audiophile [Jun 29, 2001]
Strength:

Great sound, nice picture

Weakness:

BREAKS!

I had one for 2 years and it worked 98% of the time. However,it stops working so I sent it back, cost $175, plus $24 shipping, six weeks later it's back, but no explainations to the costs, and why so much for such an expensive product, that failed!

Similar Products Used: Sony DVP 7000, 90% of the David for 10% cost
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
Andre   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 27, 1998]

After owning a Theta Data Basic for years I decided to buy the DaViD to keep equipment numbers down. I could've bought the Pioneer DVD machine upon which the Theta is based but decided I would spend the extra and get what I wanted.
I am totally blown away by the music reproduction that the Theta puts out. SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE DATA BASIC! There is so much more air around the soundstage than before. I was playing a few of my favorite cd's whilst pondering where to put various pieces of furniture we had added to the "listening room" but I had to stop and LISTEN because I was hearing things I hadn't heard before. My system was fairly good already ( Theta Gen V, Audible Illusion Pre and Krell 300 S with Thiel 3.6's) but The DaViD got more out of it than before.

I cannot wait to get my TV down into the room so that I can start watching movies.. If the music is as good as this, I have to experience the whole thing soon!!

It is a little pricey, but I believe it has the edge on ML's No39 player as well as the Meridian piece (I forget the product #) and you get a DVD player thrown in.... What a bargain.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Mike M   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 15, 1998]

I've had my system set up for about 6 months now with my Theta DaVid as my front end transport, and overall its performance is awesome. My system was put together as a whole, not added piece by piece, so I was able to design with efficiency as a priority. As such the David is worth its weight in gold. In the one unit, I have an EXCELLENT CD transport, DVD transport, and state-of-the-art digital jitter control. I send the pure clean digital signal through a MIT digital reference cable to my Classe SSP-50 Sound Processor with its 20 bit Burr- Brown DACs for all channels, and the audio results are astonishingly pure, detailed, and transparent. So with only these two units in my front end, I have the best of everything - CD transport, DVD player, Theta's Jitter Jail technology, first rate preamp, surround processor, and DAC's. The Classe SSP also compliments the DaVid beautifully because both units are DTS capable, and are also capable of reading and decoding either 48k or 96k recordings. Now, if all that software would only become available!! As long as I'm stressing the symbiotic nature of these two pieces, I have to say how fantastic they look together; dimensionally and stylistically the Classe SSP-50 is a beautiful match for the David. Mine are in the black finish, but the aluminum finish is gorgeous too. As far as performance, the Theta David is amazing. It clearly delivers every bit of audio and video detail. I also find myself listening to CDs and hearing things that I never noticed before, subtle nuances of sound.... its all in the details. In the video realm, the increased detail, resolution, and color saturation is noticable. I've compared the "Fifth Element" DVD with the image from the digital satellite signal, and the Theta's output is significantly more detailed and resolved. I'm powering my system with a combination of Legacy amps, using their 2 channel 250 WPC amp for my two Legacy Focus main speakers for audio, and using the Legacy 4 channel amp with 140 WPC to power my Legacy Silver Screen center channel with 280 W ( bridged ) and 140 W each to the Legacy Mist for my surrounds. The realism and detail of this system is just fantastic.One thing with the DaVid that I've noticed however, and I'm even wondering if my unit's performance is compromised, is that my David has difficulty playing many of my CDs that have minor surface blemishes and flaws. It is extremely sensitive and skips and hangs up on Cds that play fine on any other player. This is becoming more evident as time passes, and I will certainly have my unit checked out to see if theres anything out of the ordinary with it. I have cleaned up some of the CDs that have hung up in the David and then they played alright, but others I haven't been able to remove some very minor nicks in the surface and so I have some Cds that play smoothly in many other CDs, but not in the Theta. Sometimes just a FINGERPRINT can cause it to hang up until I clean it!

I'll have to see if this is correctable, but until I do, I'll rate the David 4 stars. It EASILY would be 5 for its performance, if it wasn't so sensitive to CD flaws.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Dennis Blejer   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 04, 1999]

I recently spent the weekend with the Theta DaVid and it was "almost like being in love". I connected it to my Proceed AVP preamp/processor and played it through my Cambridge Soundworks Tower IIs, Centerstage, Powered Sub, and Optimus bookshelf speakers for the surround channels. I listened mostly in stereo mode to CDs, but did also watch a concert DVD, DD movie DVD, and some DTS CDs. The sound coming out of the system was like nothing I've ever heard before; truly outstanding in everyway. The bass was deeper and richer, the treble was clearer and purer, and the overall effect was very engaging. It is obviously a first rate CD transport.
The video performance was also excellent, however, I cannot say that it was any better than my Marantz DVD-810. I did not, however, resort to any detailed video testing such as comparing test patterns. The weak spot for the DaVid is ergonomics and features - they are basic and in my opinion poor. The remote is terrible and impossible to read and operate in dim lit. There seem to be no FF or reverse speed options. Also no last play function which I find so useful on my Marantz. The menu system was also poor by comparison with the Marantz.

In summary, The DaVid is absolutely superior in audio performance. As a DVD player it has excellent video performance but it suffers in the ergonomics department. A great advantage of the DaVid is that Theta says they will upgrade the unit for "upcoming DVD technologies" at their nickel! Now that's an offer that is seriously worth considering. I can only give the DaVid 5 stars as an overall rating.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Yi   an Audiophile [Feb 04, 1999]

The DaVid video is clearly inferior to Denon's and Pioneer's top units. Even Sony's dvp 7700 edges it out in video quality. As a cd transport, it's good, but many models are better.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
Kirk   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 19, 1999]

Robert, a forum like this is all about being able to express your views, and I do not wish to come across as though you don't have that right. But I do wish to respectfully add my view that you are in fact missing something. SGHT says this unit is the only one on the market which has ever received perfect scores in their bench tests. If you think something else is better, then your Theta is set up wrong, or you don't really know what your test disk is supposed to look like. I love mine, but it is way expensive. 5 speakers for performance, but only 4 for price/performance...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Keith   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 03, 1999]

I own a Sony DVP-S7700 and was having trouble with the CD sound quality through my Theta Casa Nova Processor (Amp is Gryphon Tabu 3/100). So my kind dealer lent me a David for 1 week. There was not much difference at first using the digital RCA connection (a little purer with less jitter could be distinguished) but the apocalypse happened when I connected the David to the Casa Nova using a Silway Pro II XLR digital cable via the AES/EBU port. So smooth. So much sound stage, width, depth and height. Closing your eyes you could tell how large the room was that the recording was made in and how far away, relative to each other, the instruments were. This is reference quality. One could be forgiven for wetting ones pants at this quality!

I am currently trialling a Mark Levinson 31.5 CD transport and whilst this is very good and very similar in sound quality to the David, the magic that happened between Theta Products using the Silway Pro II cable is not quite there. I think this says more about the synergy Theta gets between its products rather than the quality of the ML 31.5.

The David's video performance is not as good on my Lowe 16:9 TV as the Sony DVP-S7700 using S-Video as a direct comparison (I normally use RGB connection via SCART cable on Sony but David doesn't know about SCART). My dealer didn't believe his eyes so he swapped the David with another and the same thing. So 2 out of 2 Theta Davids failed to beat the Sony's video performance. Sony DVP-S7700 is 20% of the price of the David in Australia...go figure.

Since I have placed this review in the CD Player category my rating of the David is based on its CD transport function. The DVD side would be 4.9 stars for the video. Meaning excellent in itself but the video from the DVP-S7700 is more stable, sharper and less noisy than the David.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-9 of 9  

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