I just bought the Oppo BDP-83 Blue Ray Player. It replaced my Sony SCD-777ES SACD/CD player & my Arcam DV-29 DVD player. Both these players retailed at around $3K new.
This Oppo sounds noticeably better than my Sony, on both SACD & Redbook CD. Also, because of Blue Ray, it looks just way better than the Arcam on video.
This player also has a 20 step variable out that you can operate from the remote. This is a big plus to me, I'm using a Sony XA7ES with variable out in my bedroom system,
directly into my First Watt J2. I'm considering moving the Oppo to my bedroom, and getting the Oppo SE for my living room audio/video system.
The best part for me is, this player comes in at your price point new, in the box.
Be bold! Buy a Sony 595 refurb for $60 from SonyStyle, shipped free. They will come get it if you don't like it. Little to lose, except hi-end mortification. The key here is to keep an open mind and not let your wallet tell you it can't be any good.
I bought a Sony 595 SACD changer after hearing Buconero rave about it on several threads.I was hoping it sucked so I could bust his chops!! This thing actually sounds pretty good.I installed a Lite DAC Ah(another excellent,cheap piece of equipment) on the optical outputs for red book playback.It's not going to replace my Cary,but,you can't go wrong for the price.Check it out.
I bought one the cheap Sony as did Tpreaves. Mine is packed up in the closet as I found it a bit harsh. Maybe I'll try a dac with it. But be advised, for $65 it's a nice player, not a great player. As for the Oppo, I haven't heard the BDP-83 but my DV-980H is way over rated as a music player IMHO.
You may want to look at a used Marantz DV Series player. I went from a Sony 222ES to a Marantz DV7001. Major improvment all around. I have also heard the DV8400, which is also a very nice player.
Denon DVD 3910 - can be had $300 +/- all day long. Excellent player that is well-built and can serve as a decent transport if you'd like to add a DAC later.
Try the Denon 3930CI. In fact, I will be happy to sell you one for $389.00 including shipping anywhere in the USA. This was an excellent machine and would be perfect in your quest for finding an excellent cd/sacd machine. It originally cost me approximately $1500. I have the original machine which is in perfect condition, manual, remote, box and all cables and you would not be able to tell that it is anything but brand new.
Pioneer Elite DV-58av universal player. They are disappearing but around new for $299 - $399. These are universal players with careful attention to the analog output section, and great DACs. On 2ch audio, this deck is richer and more musical than an Oppo 83 and bests anything else I've heard under $500. Also, if you can pop for a bit more, NAD M55s are showing up between $650 - $800. Battleship build, also punches well above its weight. But the DV58av will give it a run.
Thanks for all the recommendations. I actually already have a OPPO 83 in my AV system- it doesn't get a ton of use so I will steal it from there for a while and try it in my 2 channel system. First I want to break it in a little as the CD and SACD sections have gotten basically no use.
Sonystyle is out of the Sony 595 or I probably would give it a try.
I figured my best bet was older flagship DVD players which are selling at steep discounts thanks to Blu Ray. I am somewhat familiar with the Sony and Denon offerings but had not considered Marantz or Pioneer Elite. I will have to take a look at them.
Used Marantz SA-8001 or SA-8003 should be just under your limit.
Ive heard some nice things about the NAD S500 SILVERLINE. Ive read that it isint in the same boat as the typical nad players. The last one sold for just under 300. New i think they were like 1500. Ive used the middle of the road marantz and Ive had the oppo dv 980h, there ok players but nothing amazing. Another one Ive heard that I really liked is the REGA APOLLO, You can get one of those right at 500 here on AGON. I liked that player because it had a real laid back sound and didnt seem to "digital" like some of the other players. If it were me Id first do the REGA APOLLO, or second Id check out the NAD S500.
Does anyone know if the Sony DVP-S9000ES would be an improvement?
I didn't mention it before but one thing that is prompting this upgrade is that I want 100% reliable no hassle SACD playback, which is something I have not been able to get from the SCD-C555ES despite the fact that it has been in for service 3 times.
My Sony DVP-S9000ES died a slow painful death. After looking into repair costs it went in the trash.