Tabl10s, I would never discount someones personal opinion, however the Opus 21 is not in the same "sonic ball game" as the Emm Lab piece.
Take a look at my thread entitled, Reference Dacs: An overall perspective for lots of information on the sonics of reference DACS or CDP's, and you will find no mention of the Opus piece, because in my opinion and many others, it does not compete with the likes of Meitner, Accoustic Arts, Dcs, Zanden, and many other pieces.
How does the Audio Aero Capitole hold in that group?
As an ex owner of AA Capitole mk II, I can tell you that it is considerably better than Opus 21, but somehow behind EMM Labs non-signature separates (I have heard all 3 in my system for prolonged lenght of time).
I have never heard the CDSA though (although some ppl rate it higher than EMM Labs non-signature separates).
I listened to both at length, and I'm talking several occasions and hours of critical listening. Unfortunately, not in the same system... But I know these two systems very well!
First, to get the most out of the Opus 21 you must use the fixed-level DIN output. It's much superior to the RCA, just no contest.
But even then, it's not at the same class as the CDSA. I heard the EMM seperates numerous times and the CDSA is very close. To nitpick, you could say that it lacks a tiny bit in bass detail and about the same about the upper harmonic content. It's by no mean lacking in extension at both frequency extremes and definitely not lacking in overall musicality and integration.
The Opus 21 with the DIN output is a great player for the price. At this level, you will not get any "night and day" differences and by itself each of these players is very good. If you compare them side by side then I have to give the vote to the CDSA.
If you watch boxing, sometimes you have two competitors which are both good. It makes for a boring contest (for lack of music, maybe?) but sometimes one has a tiny edge over the other and he wins most rounds. The final score looks like a shut-out and does not tell how competitive the match was. That's how I would put the Opus 21. It might loose on many points but it's a darn close match!
Can somebody provide more info how you connect the opus to the amp from the DIN output?i use a valhalla balanced!do i have to drop the valhalla?
I too am interested in knowing how to connect the opus from the DIN output directly to my amps. Does anyone have an answer?
Audience sells a cable configured for this....
IMHO there is no relation between theese 2 players, not heard side by side, but heard both many times in several setups. CDSA SE is another league IMO.
I don't think that you can run from DIN output straight to the power amp on the Opus 21. I believe you have to go through the preamp first.
Arthur, I know that you own an Opus. Have you ever wired it directly to an amp? Also, would the Audience din to rca cable split sufficiently to plug into monoblocks.
Hunglo you make a good point. I'm not sure you can feed the din connecting directly to a power amp but I have a pair of Red Wine Signature 70s with adjustable gain and am just wondering if that would make a difference.
Thank you both for your feedback.
I also have the RA Opus. DIN output is not variable. It must be connected to a preamp. XLR and RCA outputs are variable and can be connected direct to amp/s.
To a typical amp you cannot run straight from DIN, as stated above. I think you can to the RW's adjustable gain, but I'd check with Vinnie just to be sure...FWIW, I did not think DIN was a significant improvement to the sound of the RA, the GNSC mods is a whole other ballgame with this player though. Takes it up a few notches in almost every way imaginable. A couple things I did find helped as well is the umbilical cable between the units (I use the Revelation Audio) and the PC (I use the DCCA Source) YMMV, but I thought these were both nice improvements, done after I had it modded by GNSC
Thanks again Arthur and Sammie.
I think it would work but I'll check with Vinnie. Arthur, my Opus has already been modded by GNSC ;-)
I just looked into the Revelation Audio umbilicale cable, uh, damn (gulp), how much of an improvememt did you perceive it to to the sound of your Opus? and did you hear the improvement pre mod or post mod? Did you think it worth the money?
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
Will the improvement from changing to DIN overcome the loss of removing the valhalla (synergy with valhlla speaker cables should be considered)?
I added the Revelation cable post-mods, it's not a profound change, but a nice lift to body and tonality, YMMV of course. If I had to pay retail for the cable, may out my money elsewhere, but that wasn't the case and I got to audition it as well. If you love your Valhalla, you know Steve at GNSC can bypass the analog volume which allows you to essentially get the benefits of the DIN connection, but use your rca IC's. You might give him a shout and discuss it with him.