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In Appreciation of the Harbeth Compact 7 ES-3
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Saturday, 01 January 2000 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Theta DaViD DVD Player
Introduction The DaViD is a highly tricked-out $4,500 high-performance DVD transport built by Theta Digital in Southern California. The DaViD is 19 inches wide by three-and-one-half inches high by 16-and-one-half inches deep (without cables), with a choice of black or silver exterior finish. The faceplate is modern and ornate, featuring milled aluminum extrusions for many of the basic direct access buttons, such as open-close, chapter up-down and power. Theta Digital has been pushing the limits of consumer digital playback since 1987 with its Generation One DAC. Historically, Theta, especially with CD and Laserdisc transports, has modified the best of the OEM market. (OEM refers to the practice of buying the parts of a basic player, i.e. a CD or Laserdisc, and reassembling them with modifications.) The DaViD is no different in that its heart and soul is a Pioneer 404 DVD player. Theta repackages the transport in a new box and deals with technical performance issues that ...
Sunday, 01 August 1999 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
TMHLabs Audio Test Discs
Introduction From TMHLabs and the mind of Tomlinson Holman (creator of THX) comes a set of powerful test discs that provide a series of test tones for the calibration and performance measurement of two to 5.1 channel music and theater systems. The test tones were generated in the digital domain by computer programs that ensure accuracy and stability without actually needing tremendously expensive and hard-to-use instruments. All editing and mastering was conducted digitally, with no analog conversions along the way. The finished discs are guaranteed to correctly represent the original signals. Most acousticians and installers will tell you they need at least an AC voltmeter, an oscilloscope and a spectrum analyzer to do what this disc series promises. These discs were designed to make system tests simpler, requiring only a sound pressure level (SPL) meter that can be purchased at Radio Shack, a stopwatch (on occasion) and a functioning pair of ears. The Stereo and ...
Monday, 01 March 1999 ,  Written by Greg Petan
Toshiba SD-2108 DVD Player
Introduction Having waited out the first generation of DVD players to pass through the market, the $599 Toshiba SD-2108 is the first DVD player that has found its way into my home theater. After all the hype that accompanied the launch of DVD, I can say with confidence that the SD-2108 has fulfilled - even surpassed my expectations of the new format. Providing a DTS output, ColorStream component video outputs, one S-video, one composite video and one component video output, the SD-2108 is ready to mate with even the most demanding video applications. Audio connections include both Toslink, and coaxial digital outputs as well as two pairs of analog audio outputs. Before I get to the performance of the SD-2108, let me stroke the good people at Toshiba for designing a well thought out, intuitive and responsive remote that made using the player an absolute joy. I particularly enjoyed the 2X, 8X, and 30X ...
Sunday, 01 March 1998 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Theta Casablanca AV Preamplifier
Introduction Your next preamp, digital-to-analog converter and surround processor are most likely going to be housed in one chassis thanks to the trend set by the Theta Casablanca. For ten years, Theta Digital has been setting high end performance standards by designing digital processors and transports capable of the highest level of performance. The Theta Casablanca is a high end audio-video preamp which can execute all of the most cutting edge music and film playback formats of 1998 while maintaining an open architecture for growth into future technologies. The Theta Casablanca is a PC-inspired high end audio-video preamp. Physically, the Casablanca is quite tall; and you'll need all eight inches of height to accommodate all the cards you'll want to elicit the best from your 5.1 surround formats and future upgrades. Available in either silver or black anodized aluminum, no one will miss the that fact you've invested in a dramatic new addition to your ...
Tuesday, 01 July 1997 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Theta Chroma HDCD D/A Converter
Introduction The advantages of a good digital-to-analog converter (DAC) shouldn't be underestimated. Understanding the importance of the DAC within the audio chain, yields a new level of appreciation for the superior performance capabilities of digital audio. You've heard the term many times, "Garbage In, Garbage Out." This refers to the concept that the output of an audio signal can be no better than the input signal. Conversely, the ability to perfectly reproduce the original input signal can be compromised at any point along the audio path on the way to the outputs. The sonic qualities of any digital device are greatly effected by the DAC. The ideal DAC accepts the incoming digital bitstream, converts it back to an analog electronic signal, representing exactly the original waveform, and introduces no noise or timing errors (such as jitter) that would effect the output. There are many fine CD and LD Players on the market with exceptional internal ...
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