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There's a nice 2/3 page article in the "Industry Update" section of the latest Stereophile (Feb 2008) (no one reads it anymore - I paid a few bucks and gotta year's subscription) by Jason Victor Serinus. Much of the article states whats been said before re the ATI purchase of Theta Digital. Nonetheless, there are some choice phrases of interest to us Theta owners:

Serinius reiterates what Morris Kessler, ATI President, said on Nov. 15th, that "We have long admired Theta for its statute in the industry and we look forward to providing Theta with ATI's extensive resources. - - - Our goal is to strengthen Theta's committment to providing state-of-the-art products."

Serinius notes that ATI produces up to 1,000 OEM products a month for a host of well known companies, as well as 23 of its own amplifiers and three AV processor models, and that Kessler has over 40 years experience overseeing the design, manufacture and engineering of audio components.

Serinius states the sale is welcome new to Theta customers frustrated why the company has lagged so far behind, that the company that "shuns obsolesence" and assures customers that its products are "updatable and upgradeable" has of late come up short.

Theta's longtime General Manager, Dave Reich, remains with Theta (as does Naomi Seeger, director of quality control), and he states that "Theta's acquisition by ARI provides us with enhanced engineering and financial strength that will enable Theta to develop new, innovative products. - - -

Theta is committed to the high-end market, which we have helped define for the last 20 years."

ATI spokesperson Mike Pontelle told Stereophile: "We understand Theta's importance in the industry. We intend to honor the heritage of their products while bringing financial stability and increased resources to the company."

He states that while Theta's (and ATI's) products will continue to be manufactured in the U.S., and Theta's headquarters remains in Agoura Hills, CA, some elements of Theta's administration will shift to ATI's headquarters 40 miles away. "Our first order of business is to focus on the Casablanca. - - - We also expect to release the Virtu, a pure class-D digital amp, and the less costly Valis D/A processor, by the end of the second quarter. All [of] Theta's amplifiers are well accepted, up to date, and reliable, so we'll leave those alone for now. We will also honor all Theta warranties."

Really, much of this has been said before.

What wasn't said was consideration of some upgrade program for current CB3 owners. My impression when I talked to Mike Pontelle two months ago was that ATI simply couldn't consider or committ on this until after they develop the new CB4, or whatever, with HDMI including multi-channel audio. And as I've said many times, I can't in good conscience recommend anyone buy a new CB3 right now, as unfortunately as The Bland badgers and badgers due to lack of HDMI it is outdated, and if you spend all that money, you don't know that there will be an acceptable upgrade path. Now there may be. But we don't know.

Anyway, time for our web hounds (Lon, are you listening? Jeff, are you watching? Bulldogger ex Theta luver might you be one again at some point in the next year?) to go at [email protected]@@
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