Best universal disc player that has great audio reproduction?


I was flirting with the idea of replacing my separate BluRay player and my Classe cd player with a all in one universal player.
The movie portion is used sparingly but I do have a fair collection of bluray and dvd discs so as long as a decent performer in that region that will be good enough.
The crunch obviously is in the audio reproduction.
Recommendations for a true universal player leaning towards audio on a budget of approx. 2k used.
Thank you
uberwaltz
The McIntosh MVP-881 is really, really good. You can find them used for around your price.
Yea, I was looking at the 881 and 891, they were on the list.
However my last mc was a 851 and the audio portion seemed very bright and forward in my system at least.
But it is possible they made some improvement....
You could try an Oppo BDP 205, and return it if it didn't suit your needs.  Don't let the low cost fool you.  I use balanced analog to an Ayre KX-5 Twenty.  It's not quite up to the Ayre C-5xeMP, but closer than one might imagine, and, of course, it's a lot more versatile.

db
I have a C5xeMP.....  It doesn't do bluray, but it is a very musical machine.
That's easy, a Modwright Oppo 105 will check all your boxes.
Another vote for the MVP881BR here.  I specifically went out and auditioned all kinds of players to find the one that sounded the best. To my ears, that was the 881.  Open, natural, musical.  

It was a very long search, so be patient.  Good luck & happy listening!
Does the modwright make that much difference?
I ask as I have an oppo 105 and while a superb movie machine, its CD playback feels, well sterile for want of a better description.
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You can also check out the mods from Ric Schultz at EVS - www.tweakaudio.com. Rick does a serious mod to the Oppo 105 and his work guaranteed for life (see his website for details). I don't own a mod'd Oppo 105, but I do own an older Oppo player that Ric mod'd and it was awesome for the price.
I think it makes all the difference in the world. I find it very analog sounding with the ability to tube roll to customize the sound to your liking. After the mods, you wind up with a very "non-sterile" player that can play whatever you throw at it. If you sold you 105, you would have enough to buy a modded 105 and be within your budget. I have owned McIntosh players but to my ears, the ones I have had in my own home sounded veiled. I'm not bashing McIntosh at all, I own probably a dozen McIntosh pieces of equipment. Good Luck!
Not quite sure I would be anywhere near the price of a modwright 105, the only ones I have seen are in the 2500 range. I paid just 650 for my 105 in lightly used shape. 
Might be a better bet to just have my existing 105 "modded", will have to research this some more
after multiple failed attempts at stand alone cd players. I settled on the Pioneer elite DV-79avi,and am pleasantly surprised at the quality of this player. I have most of the video outputs turned off via the onscreen menu.

The pure audio button, sets down all vid outs, and turns off the front panel lights.

cd/sacd/dvd-A/dvd/mp3 discs/ pretty much everything ,,except blue ray. which i don't own any anyway.

nice player weighing in at about 20 pounds.

can find used for about 100$
Well for now I dragged the oppo 105 out of the ht rig and placed into the stereo rig and hooked up via xlr.
Pretty impressed just as it stands T bh!
Now looks like I have to buy a 103 just for the ht room.....lol.
Why not buy a better DAC than the Oppo for 2 grand and continue to use the Oppo as a CD transport and to play Blu Rays, etc?
+3 for the Ayre C5xeMP. It's a real nice machine! Forget the Oppo mods.
I would rather not add a dac into the system, means another box, more cables etc.
Worked hard to reduce my pre amp, phono stage, headphone amp down into just one pre that handles all of that.
As far as the ayre, is it a universal player?
I know I will be losing out on some ultimate quality but an all in one box solution is exactly what I am looking for.

Hi uberwalz,

If you go with the C5xeMP or the Modwright mod, either one, you won’t ever feel that you are losing out on some ultimate quality. You won’t be.

Can your system’s sound benefit from some tubes or not would be my only question?

Btw, the C5xeMP is a true universal player FOR AUDIO.

Dave
Dave
I really do not know if tubes would benefit my system....guess there would only be one way to find out.....lol.
Present system consists of..
McIntosh c48 pre
Blusound vault music server
BAT vk600se power amp
Clearaudio emotion 4 table with clearaudio artist cart.
Wilson witt series 1 speakers
Mix of cardas and van den huul cables
Raided the oppo 105 from the ht rig for now playing back through its xlr into the c48 and it sounds pretty darn good T bh.


My bet is that tubes in your source would be of tremendous benefit based on your equipment list and especially if you could run the music server into the MW Oppo as well. The tube output stage is a revelation.

Dave
Dave
Seems like I may have to save my cents to go with the modwright mod, as I already own the 105 it probably makes the most sense right now.
And yes I could feed the Vault into the oppo as it has dig inputs.
May have to wait for the xmas bonus...lol
Hi uberwalz,

Keep an eye out for used MW 105's. Usually less expensive than the mod itself on an existing player and sellers usually throw in other goodies (tubes, better umbilical cord, etc).

Santa may need to talk with his banker if the right deal comes along. ;)   

Dave
I have a pricey playback design mps-5 in my main system which is better than the oppo 105 in my second system BUT costs way more.

I recently upgraded the interconnect used with the oppo to my integrated amp and that made a big difference. The Oppo was a little lean bit flat even played thru my VAC amp and Harbeth speakers HOWEVER upgrading to Synergistic Research atmosphere level IV interconnect gave a more liquid larger warmer sound yet retaining the details.
I also upgraded my speaker cables to SR Atmosphere as well as atmosphere HC power cable for my amp.....now big Soundstage TOO

My point is the Oppo can sound great with right cabling so would wait to mod it until after you try that first
As with any other component (cords/cables make a significant difference). The margin of improvement  (large) will remain the same between the stock Oppo and the MW Oppo or the C5xeMP with the same improved cabling.

Owner/fan of SR cables and cords, but spending $2-4k on a PC or an IC for a stock Oppo vs the same/less for the MW mod is just plain bad advice IMO.

Off topic, but try the Cerious Graphene speaker cables compared to the Atmosphere Level 4 before the latter’s return period has expired. You may be shocked and your wallet fatter for the effort.

Dave
I tried the cerious and its not a serious contender....SR much better....Cerious is good just not able to make the Oppo.shine and wont do an ayre or mps-5 justice either

I bought the SR cabling used so not 2K-4K closer to half price...fact of matter dont buy anything new unless dealer or store gives exc discount

I would rather have the oppo and a great power cable and IC than a pricey digital player and budget cabling since dac get better yearly why spend a lot...BUT actually first treat the room with the speaker and amp you want and then TRY oppo with SR cabling is scary good for high res files and sacd not brickwalled cds
How did you use speaker cables on the Oppo? My recommendation was for the Cerious Graphene speaker cables only. I too use SR ICs and power cords.

Still bad advice vs the MW Oppo mod. Have you heard that too? I have.

I had and have no hopes of reaching you but would like to see uberwaltz make the best decision. Adding power cords and ICs that cost as much as his player is.....bad advice. Save that for later when his source is top drawer.

Dave
Dave
At this stage I would agree on pricey pc and ic being off limits yet.
I have cardas pc and ic and van den huul speaker cables and I think they are good enough for now. However cables are ALWAYS a very touchy and subjective area...just look at all the angst in the cable discussion forums....lol.
I do think I would see the best bang for my buck in a modded OPPO although its a near even toss between upgrade or buying an already modded unit.
Good deal. You may find that the Cardas ICs/PCs are holding your system back re: open sound and dynamics, but, as you say, that is all about system synergy and preference.

Dave
you can drop more coin on the modded OPPO sure but perhaps ask a dealer for a no risk demo of the SR power cable interconnect and speaker cable along with their power conditioning and you will see that its not your universal player that is holding you back.  Cardas is nice but SR likely to get you the soundstaging warmth and liquidity that is lacking....dont need to mod the OPPO to get there......and if you play vinyl a better speaker cable and power conditioning will help with that.....if you have not properly treated the room then dont even bother with cabling changed and start there.........

the oppo is plenty good unless you have an amazing system then yes the ayre or perhaps even modded oppo will make a diff.....I dont see the oppo modded as good investment unless great deal used as many people view it with skepticism.....the ayre is well regarded but again any pricey dac gets updated due to technology so make sure its somewhat future proof.......

try experimenting before you buy more imho
You act like you are the first person to discover SR. Been using their stuff since 2009 and moved up the ladder to newer lines over the time since. On my second Powercell and wouldn’t be without one.

I especially like their power cords and have yet to hear them bettered. IME, the higher lines get the best sound from whatever they are associated with. However, when current, their better products are priced beyond what most are willing to invest and IMO should invest for use in a "modestly priced" system. They take a big hit on resale value as you already know since that is how you procure them: from those that stay on the cable/cord merry-go-round and can afford to take the hit (like upper-end DACs).

Those that have budgeting constraints may find the older X2 and Tesla series active power cords are a true sonic bargain when paired with Michael Spallone’s $55 MPC upgrade. A ~$300+ total investment that still delivers superb results alongside their newer and pricier cables/cords. I find the Tesla "SE" and Element series very useful in fine tuning a system via the included bullets and probably the best value for those willing to spend a little/lot more.

Seems like you are more interested in touting your new cables than providing realistic and solid advice to others, although I agree with you re: experimenting before buying pricey cables/cords.

Dave
the newer SR cables are way better than their older line modded or not.....just advising the man to try to audition them and if can get a good deal on an IC and PC to start there assuming the room is already well treated. A good IC or PC can easily be kept for a decade or longer. Advising him to hot rod an oppo if money is limited is questionable advice given the shelf life of most dac chips. Most people who buy these hot rodded Oppo seems to sell them down the line......equipment I got is pricey BUT I have had the same equipment for a decade whether it be the dartzeel preamp or amp or mps-5 or the Evolution Acoustic MM3. Get a piece of equipment you love and build around it and get off the audiophile buy sell buy sell carousel imho. I doubt many people buy a modded OPPO and declare wow this is my last dac ever.  If you cannot afford a pricey piece of equipment the used oppo 105 is a terrific bargain and spend the extra coin somewhere else in your system......

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Ok so I really do not want this to degenerate into just another cabling debate but this is my 3 cents worth.

In my many years of messing with audio I have found that the cabling always gave me the least bang for the buck. This not mean it has no effect as that would be stupid but to my ears in the rigs I have owned changing ic or pc or speaker cables have had little audible effect to my music,so traditionaly they have always been on the bottom of my upgrade lists.


Always made sure half way decent cables but never ones costing anywhere near the equipment itself.


Might I hear the difference with some SR cables? Quite possible but I am not even prepared to go there yet.



One other important point whether anybody agrees or not, my requirement is for a true universal player meaning bluray as well for video and bluray audio so while there are much better audio machines out there I need bluray as well. Which maybe makes a modded Oppo about the only choice....lol
sounds like you already made up your mind to buy the modded OPPO so why the hand wringing just buy it......

if you have never auditioned high quality cables you have never really heard cables and it sounds like you dont want to even think about hearing them (since your mind is made up) and why find out you might be wrong.........

not sure why people are so afraid to audition stuff and maybe not buy for awhile but at least hear what it sounds like so as to have something to shoot for down the road

but sounds like I am preaching to the wrong choir so goodbye and god bless


I actually think you made solid cable recommendations, kp. Just that it doesn't fit the situation here based on reading uberwaltz's posts.

God bless to you as well.

Dave 
kp
I am sorry but sounds like u really did not read my posts too deeply.
Mind is NOT made up on a modded OPPO but from my requirements there does not appear to be too many alternatives atm.
Again I am sorry if you think I have a closed mind on cables but if you knew my history you would understand why cables are bottom of the list...lol.
Never say never but not right now at this present juncture.
I can say the room I have my rig in is absolutely god awful but we don't always get what we want due to other constraints.
I know I can hear the difference between a $500 player and a $5000 one quite clearly.
I am not convinced that I would hear the same level of difference in cables.
And that is why it is the bottom of my upgrade list.
If I really want to be thorough I would need to clean up the initial power feed first before anything else.
So please do not take offense at my thought process.