oppo products once again demonstrate that the price/performance equation in audio/video is elusive. As we all should know, it is amply at work in the 'cable game', and the 'mod' movement.
I have two oppo players, one I use for audio, the other for video. Both units perform exceptionally well, even measured against my hi end sony and cal labs tube units. You would do well to just buy the new oppo unit that recently came out and stop looking for anything else. Buy it on Amazon, it gets you free shipping and a no hassle, no cost return policy. Let your ears tell the story, not marketing hype of the hi-end press. I was shocked that the hi-end gave oppo such good reviews, it could destroy their business model.
Once you have done so, it is important that you never listen to any other player, ever. To do so buy's into the very costly hi-end game.
I just purchased the 983 after much research and thinking on BluRay. My set up is 80/20 HT so for me it was a no brainer. Both picture and audio quality blow away any player I have personally had. $1000 players are not in my WAF and I am waiting out to see what BluRay is going to do...You cannot go wrong. Performance to $$ ratio is unbeatable...
for the price they can't be beat if you are talking about music playing (I own one for my TV rig) but it's no contest if you compare to a $1000 plus player....it's great for what it is and the Oppo's sound and video will satisfy the great majority, just not an audiophile quality component for music listening.
Yes, the Oppos really are that good. My $200 981 sounds every bit as good as my Denon 3910, originally a $1500 player. The new 983 has gotten rave reviews. I'll know this weekend, mine is being delivered this Friday - w00t!
I waited for some other responders to reply first because I was the person who recommended the Oppo/powered speaker setup in response to your previous post.
As you already know, I use an Oppo player connected directly to a pair of powered speakers (Quad 12L Actives) and I use the remote controlled digital volume control on the Oppo to control system volume. My Oppo is highly modified by Ric Shultz at EVS (www.tweakaudio.com), so I can't comment on the sound of a stock Oppo.
For the money, I don't think you can beat the Oppo, especially if you consider all of the additional functionality built into them. They are truely Universal players and will play everything, except Blue-Ray/HD-DVD. They also have nice features, like the built-in volume control, not found on other players.
I like Oppo and stand firmly by the recommendation.
Concerning your question:
why would anybody buy a thousand dollar player
Oppo is not sold in retail stores or advertised widely, so the vast majority of consumers are totally unaware of the brand. They only see the mass market stuff, so they don't buy Oppo. If they want "the best", they are sold high dollar units from Denon, Sony, Pioneer, etc. Personally I think the inexpensive Oppos are as good, and often better, than the big dollar DVD/universal players from the big name manufacturers.
The one thing the Oppos lack is massively overbuilt build-quality. They look and feel more like inexpensive low-end units from the major manufactuers. Even some of their "features" make them feel cheaper. Oppo list the flexible plastic used on the drawer as a "feature" saying it's flexible nature prevents it from being accidently broken if some pressure is placed on it. I agree, it serves that purpose, however some people feel its just cheap manufacturing.
My suggestion is this: Go to www.Oppo.com and read their description of each of their 3 current models. Once you decide which one to try, buy it on Amazon.com to get the free shipping. Try it in your home (using just the TV connection for now) to see if you like the video, audio, funtionality, build quality, etc., of the Oppo. If you don't like it, send it back to Amazon. If you do like it, go ahead and buy a pair of quality powered speakers and you are set.
Later on, if you decide you want to upgrade the sound quality you are getting, send the Oppo off to Ric Shultz at EVS and have it mod'd. IMHO the sound quality will be at least as good as any sub $1000 dedicated CD player (mabe even a lot better) plus it will play DVD, SACD, DVD-A, HDCD.
I think Reubent meant www.oppodigital.com for the link. I really like my Oppo 981 and have a modded 983 on order. The 981 replaced a Sony 9100ES and bested it in all regards. The 980 should have even better sound quality than the 981 and the 983 should best the 981 in sound and picture quality.
I have not tried the direct connect with the Oppo volume control. I was concerned that it only has 20 steps which may be too course for some applications. However, it seems to working great for Reubent.
Of course I meant coarse.
hey what a response in my situation it is a no brainer...thanks to all , especially reubent who suggest it in the beginning....i love the hunt...so it is settled ill do the 983 as soon as i can get one....thanks to all dwhitt leaving the hobby, boy it has been a long traveled road..since 1956 .....sal marantz tube, mcintosh tube, ads, krell, cary, vandersteen, advent, ads, totem, linn boy what fun , thanks
Thanks for correcting my Oppo URL mistake.
The 20 volume steps could be an issue for many people depending on the gain of their amp. In my case, I can simply turn down the gain of the amps (volume control on each speaker's built-in amps), so each click of the volume control on the Oppo does not create such a large jump in volume.
Let us know how you like the 983. Who's mod'ing it for you?
My 970h sounded really good, very very enjoyable, but it was no match for my $3000 Cary cdp. The Cary had way more authority, larger soundstage, and a more saturated sound.
I traded up to the 980 to get 1080p upconversion for my new Panasonic plasma. To my surprise, the 980 does seem competition for my Cary player (now a $2500 Cary 308T). The Cary sound is still meater, richer, and still the king, but the 980 sound is saturated, very realistic.... and I can definitely see building a high end system around it.
I was caught off guard at the improvement in the Oppo sound.
There is some possibility that the improvement is in part due to my taking extra time working with the menu's of the unit, making all the settings appropriate for audio (e.g. turn off the HDMI output since I'm using just the analogue outs for the moment, etc.). I had never done that with the 970.
ok ill look at the 70 it should be easier to get thanks guys..dwhitt
By the way, you can get a refurbished 980 direct from Oppo for only $135.00. They even offer the 30-day money back guarantee. Also, if you're in the Bay Area, you can pick it up in their Sunnyvale offices.
When I got mine they told me that they were looking to launch a Blu-ray player by CES next year, but for $135 I went ahead and for HDCD, SACD and DVDA is sounds awesome -- better than my DAC. For CD's It also makes a great transport. Not as good as my Theta David by far, but shoot, for the price difference it's tough to quibble.
i don't see on the oppo site where they offer refurbished? thanks
I got in on the group buy with Doug at ASi-Tek for the full mods. We had a great conversation and I decided to give it a try. I'm looking forward to meeting with him at akfest and checking out some of his new gear.
He is working on mods for silverline speaker crossovers,of which I own the 17.5 monitors,and if all goes well with the 983 I will get my crossovers done.
After I get the 983 I will post my thoughts in a new thread.
Go Oppo! I currently have a Oppo 981,it replaced an Elite 47ai which replaced a Sony Es,the oppo outperforms both......easily and obviously.I do wish the 981 had 7.1 output,the 983 does.Oppo is the way.
I have replaced 2500 dollar Denon Top Picture rated players with Oppos.. yes they are that good in video.. The new ones are even better in audio!
"Later on, if you decide you want to upgrade the sound quality you are getting, send the Oppo off to Ric Shultz at EVS and have it mod'd. IMHO the sound quality will be at least as good as any sub $1000 dedicated CD player (mabe even a lot better) plus it will play DVD, SACD, DVD-A, HDCD."
I couldn't agree more about Ric Schultz. Ric modified my Pioneer Elite DV-58AV universal player with a Superclock 4 and beefed up input and output stages, along with some damping and other mods. It's spectacular.
I'm going to talk to Ric soon about upgrading one of my Oppos to 32-bit upconversion. Done right, and that's critical, it could elevate the Oppo right next to the $10000 upsampling Emm CDPs. Ric doesn't just throw parts in and hope they work, instead he really listens and, true to his name, tweaks them for all they're capable of.
Nobody ever believes me, but hi dollar equipment pieces will soon be dead. Technology is getting better and better. Look at oppo. It will beat out the hi dollar denons, and the 983 has said to do so in every review Ive read. Look at new released Denons receivers and even some low dolar new line receivers. They now have all the latest blu ray formats and even using a low cost PS3 can access them. How are you going to beat that sound, that has little or no compression, no matter how much you sink money into a high dollar standard dvd setup? It is only until a format takes over cd, that hi dollar 2 channel sound will come crashing down as well.
I decided early this year, put your money in some killer speakers, cut no corners, but when it comes to components, its only time till technology has passed our human hearing. Im not sure that time isnt here already with movies in HD audio formats? Different shades of warmth, brightness doesnt make a player better. Many people hear this as better or worse, but think about this. We all hear music different just with the different shapes of our ears! So while a piece of equipment may be more acurate, it doesnt mean your ears will like it better tonally. Thats a mind picker!
Sthomas, I have said this for about 3 years... People investing in huge dollar transports and CD, DVD, will soon pay the piper, probably 2010 will show tons of used stuff getting next to nothing, I mean especially those Denon DVD players that sold for 2500 and now might get 500 or 600, thats tuff...
Even wadia seems to be making some small steps waking up and put out this IPOD dock, which at 350 dollars is WAY under any price bracket regardless of product they have shot for in the past, that will probably only hurt all their major dollar stuff to at some point as people will more and more expect hi performance well built digital for 1000 bucks or less, and it can be done no doubt more than ever now.
I am glad about 24 months ago I made back all my cash on digital and moved away from the 3000 dollar type setups!
Here is a review from Enjoy The Music on the DV971H: Sonically the Oppo's digital output is on par with my older Toshiba SD-9200 and SD-3109 players. It doesn't begin to compare with the Lexicon RT-20, Meridian 598, or Meridian 800. On CD's it's dimensionally flat, musically uninvolving, and harmonically threadbare. Audiophiles will not find the DV971H's digital outputs adequate for critical music listening. DVD's sound OK, and although everything is there, the sound doesn't have quite as much dynamic acuity and spatial detail as with the Lexicon or Meridian players. Its analog audio output is even more pedestrian. Even lateral imaging is barely adequate. Audio is just not the Oppo DV971H's forte.
I heard the 983 and felt no big deal. The core of the reviews is "for the money". If funds are that limited, I suggest save up a bit and buy something used here on audiogon. Please don;t mistake the oppo for high end sound. As for the picture, it's a 1080P age, guys.
Cerrot the 971 was HORRIBLE on audio, and was decent picture at the time like 5 years ago... The newer Oppos blow them away as transports. The 980 for 160 dollars cannot be touched transport or video wise for the money.
Here's the deal with these bargain basement DVD players, that offer otherwise very good DAC's and processing for standard pcm, and better for DVDA and SACD playback: Basically, you get what and have suggested for audio playback - a bit limited dynamics, constricted sound, not so musical, sweet, and full bodied sounding, and maybe lacking some extension and air. Overall, the sound is not as refined as what's out there, if you're after the ultimate sonic experience from your investment.
On a more "goal oriented" note, I've found that passive speaker systems in general offer somewhat limited dynamic expression and tranparancy, to offer a sense of "true realism", if lacking speed, impact and dynamic contrast overall. Using equipment that's dynamically challenged, simply moves one away from "the goal", if the highest sonics possible is what one is trying to attain from their system. (building a high performance system is like tweaking a race car. Better parts, more knowledge, and a heck of a lot of tweaking and patience will ultimately yeild you a better race car)
Back on task. Overall, however, compared to the digital processing from 10+ years ago, these bargain DVD units are simply supberb!...specially SACD and DVDA playback from these units.
I myself had been using an old Panasonic DVDA-310 from 10 years ago, which was a world beater for a DVD/CD player, retailing at $699 when they came out - reviewed as "better than Levinson Separates, at at that time by Absolute Sound (May '98 issue). I have been very happy with it for CD and DVD music for years. Simply superb! And yet this player, like the Oppo's being mentioned here, still aren't perfect units by any means.
The better quality transports and DAC combo's also offer what and are hinting at, specifically much more accurate dynamics and dynamic contrast, overall weight and speed to the sound, better air and delicacy, more body and richness to the sound, soundstaging, etc!
That's not to say the budget players with the advanced digital processing are not good, they are simply outclassed on a purist level, if you have the money to invest in "the best!".
For budget conscious, yes, you will do very well with what these units are offering - however a good digital connecition from some from some of the better transports and DVD units out there likely can do as good or better of a job connected digitally to an outboard pre/pro or processor for digital playback!(processing in the outboard receiver, pre or processor). As standalone units, they can, yes, be mod'ed, for even better results. But then that gets you closer to the more expensive units out there. And, I suspect something like a used SACD player from Sony would still beat it in all areas of audio playback for the same money. So consider (all those looking for sonoic nirvana for $100 or so)
Basically, you get a whole lot for a little -relatively speaking - from these affordable digital units these days. You simply get more when you spend "significantly more" with better transports and standalone processors, IMO.
But, shopping on the net for used can save you even more, and give you more options.
I guess, like those above, it's probably more truthful to inform those seaking the highest end sound they can budget, that spending $160 on a DVD player won't "get you all the way there". That said, shopping for better quality "separates" is still not easily thrown aside from some miracle budget piece made in some country where there might not be any running water...so consider.
Would I still buy an Oppo myself? Sure! I'd probably have it moded, even use it just for DVD playback and upscaling (and thus DD/DTS digital out). But I'd still likely end up with better CD separates, SACD players and other, if I was really into higher end sound - and I am.
"IT'S ALL GOOD! Some's just better than others..."
I'm pretty much in complete agreement with you. In a highly resolving system, the sonic attributes of a high quality dedicated music player will usually be pretty obvious to a crtical listener.
However, in a moderate system, if you have a moderate budget or have limited shelf space, an Oppo might be the best choice.
And finally, concerning your comments about having an Oppo mod'd, I bought an Oppo 970H with level 2 mods by Ric Shultz at EVS (www.tweakaudio.com). It rendered my expensive dedicated CD player unnecessary as it was very close in sound quality for redbook playback, plus it played SACD, DVD and DVD-A. I was able to free up valuable shelf space and put about $2000 back into my audio slush fund.....
Ill add this. I just sold all my Ayre acoustics equipment(cx-7,k5xe,v-5xe). I now use a Anthem avm-30 and a PS3 transport with absolutely no sound loss. First let me say, I was going to keep my Ayre cx-7 cd player, but the truth is, I found absolutely nothing about it as a transport I liked better then the PS3. I tried and tried to hear a quality that made me choose the PS3, and I have a great ability to even hear tonal differences in the smallest bit. I actually thought the PS3 sounded a touch better. Now, some will say, I dont have the right speakers. Well, I own the lGacy focus 20/20's, a killer speaker, some paradigm signature series speakers, and a pair of Martin Logan Vantages. I compared this with all 3 sets. I did hear different tonal shades, but that was the only real difference. i also let others hear and decide. They actually heard NO difference at all. Litterally with a fast A/B comparison with the push of the button in the Anthems menu, they heard NOTHING. And let me say, anyone who doesnt find the Anthem AVM-30 to be a KIllER 2 channel performer is crazy.
What I am getting at, is I do believe qaulity is important. I think the no loss in sound qaulity mostly due to the Anthem/bryston sst setup I have in the mix. However, as a transport, the PS3 did as good as the 3k Ayre player in every regard. I am not saying the following statement to brag,but I am a musician. I sing,play saxophone by ear,play drums, and have spot on pitch that is extremely rare. I say this becuase, honestly if I cant hear a difference, chances are nobody really would. The only thing I picked up was slightly cleaner/brighter sound with the PS3 in place, and it was such a small amount, my ears could be playing tricks on me.
I think the new equipment comming out now, is so advanced, there is no need for new cost no object stuff. If a OPPO 983 can have the best picture available and everyone admitts to this part at least, there is no reason it cant do the same for sound. Thats just truth. The same high dollar stuff that people claim make video picture better has been proven wrong with the oppo 983, its only time till we see many more manufactures doing the same.
For the record my PS3 does not sound good using analog output into my Anthem, so as a transport is the only manner in which I am speaking.
I have an oppo 980 i believe and it is awesome. Video is as good as i'll ever need. I have it hooked up to a panny 50" plasma and it looks a lot better with reg dvd'd than my hi def sat does. Can't imagine blu ray looking much better?
Hey Streetdaddy I got news for you brotha, The Blu
ray is much better my friend. Once you cross that threshold.. you'll understand.The Oppo's do look terrific..I give them their just dues. I was impressed with a buddy's unit on his big screen.
Maybe Oppo will come out with a Blu ray player as well.
All Oppo needs to do in order to take everybody out is change their current USB input on the next generation machine to handle all lossless (Flac,Apple) formats so you can use it as a standalone DAC as well as optical transport so you can run a music server right into it, and add Blu ray, a big plus would be a headphone jack
Then its over, especially at an under 500 price point. I have heard this will probably be a reality in the next 18 months anyway.
Blu ray is so good, Ill never buy a dvd again. It would be nice to have a oppo983h to get the best out of standard DVD's. But its not really important after seeing blu ray. Obviously if you have a older hd display(rear project), or a small screen(30" and down) you wont be seeing a big difference in picture between blu and sd dvd like there actually is. The bigger the screen(currently using a 50"), the more you realize Standard Dvd's limits.
Buying a $3k standard dvd player seams abolutely pointless unless you just have the money to make a old format sound to its best abilities. If you are just looking for the best video/sound you can acvhieve in home theater. Buy blu ray movies. You just cant beat no compression.
Agreed. I have 1,200 standard def DVD's and no interest in viewing any of them any time soon. Blu Ray (and the limited HD discs) are it for me.
Yeah I order only Blu rays from Net flix. I don't bother with regular DVDs any more. lol
WHEN OPPO MAKES A BLU RAY PLAYER, ILL BE ALL OVER THAT. WITH THERE FEATURES/PRICE RATIO, CAN YOU IMAGINE!
However a 983h as a transport, cant really be beat, its as good as can be had(read stereophile about the old 971 for there opionion as a transport feeding a good DAC it was as good as the Ayre cx-5e universal player, and that beat out the CX-7e slightly in there review!
Not to mention, the video really cant be beat. You will however, beat the sacd and dvd audio performance with analog outputs as well as the 2 channel out analog. But use the hdmi to a prepro with hdmi, and the sacds and dvd audios will once again be as good as it gets.
Good as it gets in standard dvd video that is
I dont get this thread, or the other one comparing oppo to Mcintosh. Has anyone done an A/B of oppo against companies that make a similarly priced player? For example, Cambridge Audio, NAD, Arcam, YBA design? Mcintosh is up there with Krell, Ayer and Esoteric. Those companies exist because of the CD quality playback alone. I never even heard of this company until I visited this thread. Somebody tell me where I can demo one and do an A/B myself. I have never seen one in a hi-fi store- anywhere. I would never throw away 1k on this company over the others I mentioned. These threads have flavor of the month written all over them. Ponderous!
I prefer my Oppo 83SE to my Arcam-139(non Bluray)and the 139
was one of Arcam's top players.Just sold the Arcam.
I enjoyed the 139 for quite awhile,buutttt upgraditis set in.
Heck it set in again as I went with the Oppo 95.
I keep my 83 SE in my rack for a spare(just in case).
Sounds like Sthomas12321 needs to take some of the money he made from the sale of his Ayre gear and invest in some Q-tips.
Bobrock, did you notice this "flavor of the month" thread was started over 3 years ago? Oppo has garned rave reviews for some time now.
Flavor of the decade maybe... I have one of oppos newest, KILLER! Especially sound and Bluray. Huge waste of money on any other digital, of course I run a DAC, but still under 700 bucks and its better than a 7000.00 boat anchor!
I think Bobrock has been hiding under one for several years. Oppo's Blu/SACD/DVD/CD players, starting with the '83, are probably the best-looking and -sounding multidisc players out there, and besides that, they're inexpensive. I sure love my '83SE, and my friend loves his (my fomer) '83.
I dont have an ayre palyer...I have a Thule audio DVA 120 universal. I got it from the last distributor when Thule went under. For the record, cd playback on it is great. I am only looking around for better video performance as it does not have hdmi inputs. I have come across few dvd players that are good at cd playback. Linn was the last one I demo that was really great for music as well as video. I still have not seen one of these oppo players anywhere and I dont buy what I can not demo...nobody should. Very Dumb idea. Right now I am leaning towards a used Linn or cambridge audio (new).
Sounds like Sthomas12321 needs to take some of the money he made from the sale of his Ayre gear and invest in some Q-tips.
We will all strive to be just like you partner. We know you have all the answers, and your ears are vastly superior to ours . Very classy post btw.
The comment about the Ayre is funny. I had an Emotiva ERC-1 then bought an oppo 95 to replace the emo. I promptly returned the oppo, it absolutely lost in every respect to an A/B in comparison to the ERC-1. Next I purchased an Ayre C-5xeMP which finally replaced the ERC-1 by besting the emo this time in every regard. So if the Oppo lost to the Emo and the Emo lost to the Ayre I would say the OPPO 95 is far below the sound quality of Ayre.
That's just one Man's opinion! ? and Far below? I seriously doubt that!