Blu Ray player versus CD/SACD player.

No info on my system, just a general, straight-up question for those that would like to offer some general, straight-up input.

I have a decent analog system, but when listening to CDs or SACDs I have been using a hold-over from my home theater days, an Oppo BDP-103 Blu Ray player which can play a variety of discs, including switching between PCM and DSD.

I have been very happy with the Oppo but now it’s getting a little long in the tooth, I’m wondering should I stick with it or start researching a CD/SACD stand-alone player for my digital discs?

Should I get a unit that specializes in music playback or stick with the Oppo as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Will I notice a difference between the Oppo and a unit that is built for primary music purposes?

Just looking for a general sense of peoples thoughts, especially those that have maybe made a similar switch?

Thanks for any feedback!

Ian the BigE



I prefer Marantz CD6006 to the Oppo...also prefer the Cambridge CXC to the Oppo as a transport...I have all 3, use the Oppo in basement vintage system...really only keep the 103 as a DVD/streamer backup to my 105

I don’t have an external DAC. I use the one in the Oppo.

Primarily looking for all in one unit, IF I replace the Oppo.

However, guess I could think about transport/DAC also?

You can use the Oppo to rip all your discs to files including SACDs, but to be honest you'd be better off getting a streamer and play Tidal and Qobuz.

Time to move on, keep your Oppo for DVDs.



I use a 105 in to a Bryston DAC3.  The Bryston has HDMI inputs.  I output the DSD layer into the HDMI for SACD, and for redbook I use one of the S/PDIF outputs into a mini DSP (room processor-it won’t work with SACD).  Before I had the mini DSP I just used the HDMI output for everything.

  The weak point of the 103 is the DAC.  Keep it as a transport and upgrade your DAC

@mahler123 Wonder if you could explain the 2nd part of your response further? “and for redbook I use one of the S/PDIF outputs into a mini DSP (room processor-it won’t work with SACD).  Before I had the mini DSP I just used the HDMI output for everything.”

Not familiar with mini DSP set-up that you mention?

However, adding an upgraded external DAC and using the Oppo as a transport is a fresh idea I might consider?

Budget would be $3-$5K, for either an external DAC or CD/SACD player.


The most important part of your question was “will I hear a difference…”. The fact is, you can buy a $7500 Marantz or $16k Luxman and you may not hear a difference. Nobody can predict what you will hear. My advice is to find a dealer and ask if they can set up a demo for you, comparing your Oppo to something more expensive.  If there are no dealers, many online outlets offer 30-day trials, but know that there could be restocking fees.  If you own a lot of SACDs, you will need a stand alone player like the Marantz SA10. If not, you can add a dac to your Oppo for improved cd quality, but it won’t play SACDs. A lot of balls in the air for right now. Btw- the Oppo is not a bad player at all. I don’t think digital technology has really improved over the last few years. It’s really more that very good dacs are now available at much lower prices. 



I probably got needlessly complicated in my post.  Suffice to say when I got the Bryston DAC3 I used the HDMI input for everything, SACD and red book, as the HDMI inputs seem to give results equal to their other inputs.  My room has some oddities, and I was using Room Correction software in my other systems, so I thought I would try some RC in the two channel system, thus the mini DSP, which won't work with DSD.  So the SACD replay doesnt get the benefit of room correction, but otherwise sounds outstanding as the DSD layer of the SACDs is outputted into the DAC.

   Regarding Marantz SACD players-I have owned a few, and they are very satisfying, but they do tend to roll off the top end.  Since most music lives in the midrange, this may not be terribly important, depending what you listen to

+2 from @mahler123 and @akg_ca-

it’s not that the Oppo is a “bad” device but it’s kind of a “jack of all trades”. I purchased a 105D to run through an AVR and it was cool for movies but not so much for two channel listening. The implementation of the DAC is not that great.

I’ve dumped the AVR and now only use a two channel setup. As my library is all CD (except for a couple SACD) my choice was to go with a Naim Uniti Core for ripping/storage/playback and run that through an external DAC. As of now I’m using an Aqua La Scala Optologic and have been very pleased with the results.

it seems though that there have always been some who love the Oppo's as CD players, especially the 105 used XLR...

it seems though that there have always been some who love the Oppo's as CD players, especially the 105 used XLR...

I like my 203 OPPO.

All of this is very helpful as it contains some useful basic things to consider, and there has been none of that “audiophile forum chippiness” that seems to leak into any thread.

I have been going back and forth on……new CD/SACD player versus……..a standalone streamer with internal or external DAC……..a storage type piece to rip all the discs to and using it with a DAC…..etc, etc, etc.

Not sure I’m any further forward, but the responses to date have got me thinking down alternative options. Maybe finding the best, overall single unit which will do it all isn’t achievable. Possibly I need to clarify for myself what exactly I’m trying to do and how best to achieve it.

That might help……duuh!

Or I can just upgrade my speakers?! LOL.

Keep the thoughts coming please, and thanks for the input to date.


I went in search of a better CD player, then remembered SACDs, realizing I probably never heard those 20 or so SACd's thru a superior player.

Many here advised OPPO, I tried two OPPOs Marantz; Denon, Yamaha, ... went thru 9 players until I found two I really like

Onkyo Integra CDC 3.4 mark 2 CD Only in second system

Sony xa5400ES, CD/SACD, so good I am enjoying my many CD's, yes the SACD's sound amazing, and I'm buying used CD's as well as LPs.



I will say, I love my Oppo and it has been a great “Jack of all trades!”

But in recent years I’ve moved away from the home theater thing and I’m now immersed in 2 channel stereo. Which is what is prompting my initial question.

these Sony's hold their value, I found one from a person's second system, very little use. This one, seller says/shows only 80 hours use.


I paid $1,000. and thought I got lucky due to low use. Prices of everything have gone up since, $1,300 for essentially open box is an unusual find, perhaps seller will take an offer.

I am very glad I chose it.

How many SACDs do you actually have?  Are you really going to get more?  Is it time to turn to Tidal, instead, and just keep the functional Oppo? Think about that...  

An inexpensive thing to try would be to get an inexpensive CD player, say a Yamaha from Crutchfield which you could return if you want, for example, for less than a couple hundred bucks, and A/B them for CDs... heck even get something off craigslist locally, cheap.  Then, see if you can actually hear a difference; that would be educational...  I mean, I run an old industrial-type Sony CD changer directly into my Marantz Ruby amp and it sounds amazing - everybody who has heard it agrees; I paid $100 for the Sony, used, and it keep chugging along and sounding beautiful all the while, all day long, five discs at a time one after another.  In my other system, I run with a three-cd changer by... JVC!  It's been running reliably for years and years, I bought it used at least fifteen years ago, and again my guests sit up and take notice without me even pointing out my system... they ask about it, without prompting.  (I entertain 16 - 30 guests two or three times per month, low-stakes poker get togethers... some of those low-stakes players are high-income people who just like poker for fun and could afford whatever stereo system they would desire -- the audio-interested ones are consistently taken aback by how little I've spent for the sound I get, when that discussion has come up, so it's not like the JVC ain't cuttin' it).  What I'm saying is that your OPPO might be better than you think, comparatively to expensive new gear, when it comes down to it... 

Likewise, what about trying a new bluray player as your all-in-one... if you don't need the SACD capabilities.  Perhaps a Sony 700 for about $200, or that top of the line Panasonic bluray player for about $1000... get everything all in one.  

That said, I also have a Marantz Ruby CD/SACD/DAC that I recently got, just to match my Ruby amp... it, too, sounds amazing but I haven't had it long enough to really analyze how "much" better than the old Sony it actually sounds in practice in the home not theoretically ... my guess is that for everyday sort of use it would be tough to tell, but in my dedicated listening sessions I'll hear a diff.  But you know what even if I don't hear much of a diff I still like the Ruby thing, it's gorgeous, it's built for a lifetime (although so is that Sony apparently, at 17+ years old and ticking), smooth as silk operations, and the DAC will come in handy for my Bluesound Node 130.



As above, do you own a large library of CD and SACD discs? If so, yes, seek out a dedicated Player. There are a plethora of spinners in the secondary market place.


Happy Listening!



Find an oppo 205 universal player or Marantz universal.player, ie. 5007, 7006, etc. 

Curious, so many here seem to act like SACD is still a "thing". Is it?
Where are you buying these, and what kind of releases? Jazz, pop, classical?

Who is still releasing music in this format, and if it is so limited, is it really worth it when you can get DSD downloads (often in higher bit-rates)?

Online blurbs say, "Although SACDs are still being produced in limited quantities for a niche rock/pop market, the glory days of the format (approximately the years 2000 – 2005) are gone."

And, "Many SACD discs that were released from 2000-2005 are now out of print and available only on the used market. By 2009, the major record companies were no longer regularly releasing discs in the format, with new releases confined to the smaller labels".

Instead of finding new music on one of the streaming services to like and perhaps buy to support the artists in any format, vinyl or CD, do you actively seek out only SACD releases and then hope that you’ll like the music?

Just curious...2009 was well, a long time ago...

I could see it if someone was heavily invested in and had a large library of SACDs from "back in the good old days", but now?

I have about 400 CDs and about 30 SACDs.
Its only in the last 2-3 years when I have really been getting into Classical have I been actively seeking SACDs. Certain classical labels still issue this format, so it definitely is not dead! However, as many people have pointed out there are other options out there to listen to high quality digital formats, which in some ways has resulted in my creating this initial post.

I also sometimes listen to these in surround mode also, but this remains an occasional desire, and results in my switching some cables to pass things thru my AVR, which is still present in the rack but gets minimal use in recent years.

This is where my overall conundrum comes in……should I stick with physical media (in which I have a huge history and feel very comfortable with) or go streaming, HDD, etc?

All the info, feedback, and questions raised have all been great and have helped me starting to narrow down what my main interests/requirements are.

Keep ‘em coming!


@elliottbnewcombjr thanks for the link to the Sony machine.

I did check it out but have some hesitation about used, unseen components. However, not ruling it out completely and may contact the seller to see what his bottom line is?

@ianhorseman thanks.  I just wasn't sure what the relevance of SACD was these days, but if you can find some used gems out there, and even a few new ones that trip your trigger then good luck to you. 

I'd forgotten that originally SACD were supposed to have surround information in addition to better overall sound quality compared to Redbook CDs. 

It's a pity that Sony tried to control it too much because of their piracy worries and that for the average clueless consumer it never caught on, or we all might be enjoying DSD64 and higher rate physical formats today.  Missed opportunities...

I don't think that a new sacd player is going to get you much better, if any, perceptible sound quality than your Oppo, but I could be wrong, and plus your Oppo doubles as a good bluray player.  I reported above my positive experiences with "lesser" players than the Oppo, so you're probably already sitting pretty good.

Might as well keep it, since you have 400 cds... cds are cheap in thrift stores these days like $1 - 3... I have found many awesome classical selections, top notch, so yeah keep your physical spinner.  

Just add a decent streamer.  Bluesound Node 130 is a decent easy-to-use streamer for starters, $600 done.

Later you can add an outboard DAC that'll take both your Oppo AND your streamer, IF you even decide that you need it...  

I recommend you take a look at universal players like the Sony UBP 700 and 800, but more importantly, the Reavon UBR X-110. No internal DAC, which are never great anyway, so no analog outs. And then you want an external DAC, and for SACDs and Blu-ray Audio, the GeerFab Audio D.BOB is a must. It extracts DSD64 from SACDs (DoP over coax) and  PCM up to 24/192 from Blu-ray Audio discs (coax) and both to an external DAC that accepts DoP over coax. You'll never look back when you hear DSD64 through a good external DAC. PCM 24/192 is darn good as well, just not DSD. (Disclaimer - I'm the Geer in GeerFab.)

@ericgeer Very interesting and did some quick research on your product.

Couple of questions: 

a) Why do you recommend other universal players? Could I not just use my existing Oppo 103 for the process you describe in your post?

b) Have you found any particular DACs work well with your Audio D.BOB?


Sorry about that. Forgot where this started. Of course, you have an Oppo 103, which is an ideal player for the D.BOB. I have a 105, which is where my journey started. Wasn't satisfied with the DSD conversion in the box. Growing list of partner DACs at under System Requirements.

I own various Myteks, Benchmark, RME and have customers who swear by Chord. Pretty much any DAC on the list will sound better than the internal Oppo DAC.


I have about 400 CDs and about 30 SACDs.

A Tidal or Qobuz membership will give you access to over 80 million CDs, many in 96 and 192 Khz which is what you're playing anyway when DSD gets converted to DOP.

There are also DSD streaming services that offer higher resolution than SACDs.

Rip you CDs and SACDs, they'll all fit on a small USB stick.

I’m wondering should I stick with it or start researching a CD/SACD stand-alone player for my digital discs?

Should I get a unit that specializes in music playback or stick with the Oppo as “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Will I notice a difference between the Oppo and a unit that is built for primary music purposes?

If you want to keep the silver discs and are able and willing to invest some money and want to 'live and play the hobby', why not purchase either a 'good' cd transport and a DAC or a SACD player and let your ears find the answer to your second question?

If your SACD's are hybrid layer discs, the SACD player/amp should be able to reproduce the multi channel sound which are on the SACD discs (e.g. via HDMI).

Considering the relatively low number of around 30 SACD discs, the question you might want to ask yourself: Is it worth the money to go for an SACD player with above mentioned capability or could you be happy with a cd transport/dac combo which will play the SACD's in stereo?

I do have 2 cd players and a SACD player (unable to reproduce mulit channel sound). Sometimes I use the internal DAC's of the players, sometimes one of the two external DAC's to play the discs. It's a decent, but not overly expensive system. I cannot hear a big difference between the diffent output modes. What I perceive is that one of the players exceeds slightly in sound quality. In my opinion and based on my experience, it is the recording itself which makes the biggest difference. The SACD's do sound very nice to me on all players (2.0 or 2.1), as well do the very good cd recordings (I am listening mainly to jazz and classical music).

What does not sound good to my ears is playing silver discs from my blue ray player (which was not a cheap one at the date of purchase). Using the blue ray player as a direct source, it is inferior to the oder players. As a transport, I still have to do some more testing/comparing trying toslink.

I have less SACD's than you and about 500 cd's. If I would have to decide today, I would not buy a SACD player anymore. However, it has digital and USB 2.0 inputs so I can use the SACD player as well as a dac for the cd players and as 'receiver' of the streaming sound from Quobuz. To me, this is added value and so far, I do not regret having purchased the SACD player.

I hope my input is a general sense of thoughts you are expecting.