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



@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