Has anyone heard the new OPPO BDP-83SE


If the price/performance ratio of this $899 player (as listed on OPPO's web site) is comparable to their past offerings this should be the mother of all giant killers.
kdibello
you can also upgrade existing BDP-83s to SE version. Here's the link: http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-83SE/blu-ray-BDP-83SE-UpgradeOption.aspx
I have the BDP 83. If anyone has a comparison of it and the new unit I would like to read about your experience.

I find the BDP-83 to be an excellent Blue Ray machine but CD playback (audio) performance is adequate at best.
Note that, according to their website, the upgrade will only benefit those who use analog output to their amps/receivers/processors. Users who use pure digital or HDMI hookup does not need to upgrade.
Albertporter

Albert, what about it's SD DVD action? SACD? DVDA?

Those are the added facets I'm seeking in my upcoming buy of the BDP 83... the SE versions added analog out performance enhancement for 2, 5.1, & 7.1 aren't hot buttons for me.

My current video setup doesn't allow for 1080p, only 720P, and BR aren't my main concerns, but what the hey... so if the video playback and higher res audio are really good, I suppose I'd still be interestedd in the 83 model.

I'll be using HDMI primarily, but for THE ONCE IN A WHILE CDs I'd run into a Bel Canto DAC3 via SPDIF.

I'd appreciate your thoughts there. Thank you very much.
So buying a BDP-83 and than upgrade to 83SE costs $100 less than buying a 83SE? Interesting pricing.
sidssp...you got it. the difference is you don't get the Special Edition moniker on the upgraded BDP-83 because they don't switch out the faceplate to the new version with "Special Edition" written next to BDP-83. But more to your point, the pricing is smart because they don't alienate existing BDP-83 customers with the rollout of an SE version with upgraded audio chip sets and power supplies so soon after the initial roll out of the BDP-83, plus they immediately get an upsell from a certain persentage of existing BDP-83 customers. It makes a lot of business sense.
I wonder how the SE compares to the modified players from Ref Audio mods and others? Anyone have one of those??
It almost makes sense to buy a BDP-83 and have it upgraded to SE status except for the additional shipping charges and diminished resale value. I agree, it does make a lot of business sense for OPPO to structure their product line up this way for the reasons stated above.
I've been looking for a one box solution for my rather traditional tube powered stereo that I use for home theater. Based on what I've read I'm sure the video performance is very good. I hope the performance of the BDP-83SE on CD/SACD is satisfying as well. Look forward to reading some feedback about the audio performance of the dedicated analog stereo output of this machine.
11-10-09: Blindjim
Albertporter

Albert, what about it's SD DVD action? SACD? DVDA?

Jim, according to Oppo website the stereo section is upgraded as well, I assume that means CD and SACD sound are also improved by the mod.

As for DVD, it does an excellent job with that, I've watched several DVD as well as Blue Ray movies on my 1080 (46") Sony and the image quality is the best I've owned.

As for tests, I remember reading some in depth reports somewhere on the net where the BDP-83 whipped up on pricey competitors in almost every video category.
this unit has great potential check out RAM of Riverside CA for upgrades they do an upgrade that compares to very expensive decks(over $5000 )he took my 79dvi deck to a level that blew away a $10,000 modded marantz deck (RAM re-doing first mod)side by side listening good luck Rich

Thanks Albert. Thanks a lot. That’ll work.

Video is the only real concern for me presently, albeit, the added formats of BR, SACD, & DVDA are attractive, as I lost my SACD by selling my SCD xa777 when my personal confuser finally was doing as good & better more often than not with red book.. and continues to improve upon it.

Kdibello
BTW... THE SE MOD FOR THE OPPO BDP 83 PRICE OF $299 IS GOOD ONLY FOR THOSE OWNERS WHO BOUGHT AN 83 PRIOR TO NOV. 9, 2009.....

according to the Oppo website.

Lastly, When does a factory upgraded component lose value? It hasn’t been ‘modded’ if the factory did the alterations.

Although a then modded piece in perhaps the broadest of terms , if done by the original manufacturer I'd say that does not count as a modded piece if or when a resale of the item arises.... especially if the paper work is kept too. The item has been enhanced either way maybe, but the factory enhancements are designed to uplift the units performance while maintaining it’s operational stability and longevity. Addditionally it’s been my experience these factory ‘gains’ are supported thereafter for some usually specified projected time frame.

It should be as much a plus as any other factory offered upgrades or configurations, could demand by virtue of their own original costs. Oppo is not alone on the 'factory offered upgrade' route.

there needs be some common sense applied at some point to this idea of modifications, upgrades, or added features done to a product especially when the manufacturer has done them, as opposed to those done by non factory alternative means.

I know from speaking with Oppo tech support personally a year or so ago, if I were to have my Oppo DVD player modded by some alternative specialist regardless the pro doing the mods, or where in the device the mods were done, and the unit needed service, the FIRST thing Oppo does is reconvert the modded piece BACK to it's standard status before fixing the unit and returning it to the customer.

Consequently your uber expensive mod is nullified and you're back to square one.

I haven't spoken with every maker offering upgrades, as to their position on reconfiguring modded devices back to stock form upon a service visit, but that makes sense to me simply from the techs point of view. Further, if thereafter the piece remains within the frame of the specified warranty period they could see it again perhaps and it needs to conform then as well.

Either way you look at it, aftermarket alterations not done by the maker are pretty big gambles on a few fronts.

I've no opposition to either route one goes, after market mods or with the maker offered improvements, and each carries some arguable weight. I simply feel 'mods' per se are not mods if done by the original manufactuer as they are factory offered upgrades and in no way should these sorts of things ever be considered with the veil mods more commonly are associated with so casually.

Never, never, should they constitute some lesser resale price than would be their going rates at their time of resale, should that instance occur.
Having heard the superb performance of the RAM-modified Oppo at RMAF-- which IMO approaches top Wadia, Esoteric, EMM, etc.-- and knowing that the parts that go into the mod cost several times MSRP of the Oppo, the issue of Oppo factory warranty is moot. The way to think about this is to appreciate that the value is in the mods rather than the mule Oppo. The mods are portable to another cheap mule in the event of problems. The low cost of Oppo has turned the logic of hi-end CDP modding on its head. With players of such high quality now available <$500, there is not much reason anymore to mod out high-cost Esoteric, Marantz, etc. Buy a second Oppo as a spare parts source should the modded unit require future service.

Years down the road (assuming that you hold onto the piece and that the original modifier or a third-party tech is available to make repairs) in real dollars the combined cost of ownership for the modded Oppo in and out of warranty, will likely be much lower than a comparable investment in a premo branded hi-end player.
Sidssp, Cmalak and Kdibello:

If you read the link to the Oppo web page provided in Cmalak's post, you will see that only BDP-83s purchased before November 9, 2009 are eligible for the SE upgrade.

You might be able to buy a used BDP-83 for which the seller had the purchase receipt - Oppo's web page doesn't expressly say the person requesting the upgrade has to be the original owner. However, picking up a used one might be hard - they are relatively new and none are currently listed for sale on Audiogon. Also, you have to complete your purchase and send the unit to Oppo before the upgrade offer expires on December 31, 2009.
A wild card perhaps, but I wonder if the reason the mod is available only to customers that purchased before November 9th might be due to the fact Oppo implemented the upgrade in the regular series without any hoopla and added the badge after production was underway and face plates available.

I'm not saying that's a fact, just wondering out loud why only early customers are entitled and not everyone with the early model.
"I'm not saying that's a fact, just wondering out loud why only early customers are entitled and not everyone with the early model."

No way.
Oppo is making the upgrade available - and at a discount - to those of us who bought before 11/9/09 because the "SE" version was not available at our time of purchase. Pretty classy way of doing business IMO.
My take on it is that they launched the SE version on November 9 so, from that point on, you have the option to buy the SE version outright at $899 (it would make no sense for them to allow people to buy the base BDP-83 from Nov 9 onwards and then buy the upgrade at $299 and get an SE BDP-83 without the faceplate at $100 less). Why dilute your revenue potential? So the the Nov 9 cutoff has to do with the timing of the SE launch and letting folks who bought the base BDP-83 model prior to that upgrade to the SE version if they so wish and those who want an SE from that point on buy it outright. That's the way I would have done it if I were in their shoes. Again smart pricing on their part.
My take on it is that they launched the SE version on November 9 so, from that point on, you have the option to buy the SE version outright at $899 (it would make no sense for them to allow people to buy the base BDP-83 from Nov 9 onwards and then buy the upgrade at $299 and get an SE BDP-83 without the faceplate at $100 less).

Yep, both you guys are right, I didn't think of it in those terms. Why offer a discount to those who had a chance but did not avail themselves but don't punish those that had no opportunity.

I agree it's classy marketing. Good call on both you guys part.

Now if someone could describe what we get for the $299.00 so those of us on the fence could decide if it's money well spent.
Albert...you get the new ESS DAC chipsets and upgraded power supplies which were the two weak points of the base BDP-83 player in terms of audio playback. Click on the link I posted in my first comment above (i'll include it again): http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-83SE/blu-ray-BDP-83SE-Features.aspx...

There are four tabs:
(1) "Features/Specs" which describes the SE in detail
(2) "Comparison" which compares the SE to the base model
(3) "Images" close up pics of the SE front and back
(4) "Upgrade Option" a description of the upgrade for base model owners.

Again as has been mentioned before, the upgrade to SE only impacts the audio performance through analog outputs (does not impact performance if you are going to be using HDMI output). Hope this helps.
Cmalak, I read that at Oppo site before posting, but IMO only another audiophile can tell us what the mods mean in terms of improved music performance.

I'm not impressed with Oppo sound as I already mentioned in an earlier post on this thread. My Pioneer Blue Ray was more musical than the Oppo but the Oppo is better on Blue Ray.

If the Oppo mod made mine better than the Pioneer Blue Ray I would go for it. I have a VERY old Rotel CD player and even it sounds better than my Oppo. I know others have had better experience but that's mine so far.
Albert...here's the official thread on AVSForum on the BDP-83 SE...http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1194011
So far most of the posts in this thread are all pointing to other reviews and opinions. Is there anyone actually own a BDP-83SE?
No, but soon I will be hearing the OPPO BDP-83SE NuForce Edition in my 2-channel system.
My BDP-83 is at OPPO being ungraded as we speak. I dropped it off yesterday evening so given the 4-5 business days turn around I expect it early next week. Promise to give you my first impressions. Not sure how long of a break-in this mod might need.
Looking forward to your impressions Jimmm18
Good news. Oppo just called me. IT IS READY.

On my way to pick it up... will let you know.
Well, I suppose Oppo will allow anyone to update their 83 later on for the difference between the SE and std versions following the cut off date to save the $100, right?

My thinking here on all of this is so..... yeah, a Ben Franklin is a Ben Franklin... for sure.

also, to date oppo has a business ethic or plan, which says, 'extreme overachiever' from their very start.

Didn't nearly everyone who had any exp with the modestly priced value orieinted units initially produced just go cats & critters over the next upcoming launch, well before that ever happened?

it too turned out well indeed when the std 83 was shipped.

then too the Blue Ray oppo made and sent along to it's subscrived owner base, and that went along quite well too, and bugs were fixed and so forth prior to the public insertino of the BDP 83.

So to date, each step forward Oppo has done has been a well thought out, careful step onward and upward. Each occassion has shown itself as both a performer and value laden proposition.

Why then, should this next, upgrade be any different?

consider this... it's done, one of us says "heres what i am finding out ...." in likely a premature run in period, or even if run in (and God knows how that could happen in so short a time), then what?

We are then where we usually are... hearing a piece with someone else' ears, in a system dissimilar from our own.

pretty much just like always.

What's it sound like?

Then the prerequisite folow up Q's, and preponderances of system ambiguities.

I'd bet more heavily on past efforts of Oppo and simply spend the $300 for the upgrade.... if you find yourself chosing to use hundreds or thousands of bucks for analog cabling and can't or wont, use HDMI.

one might also think to take the $300 upgrade costs or the $400 later ones, and apply them to a better AV proc using HDMI 'IF' there is little or no faith presently for this stepped up analog enhancement from Oppo.

I'd not fear my money was not well spent given the OPPO history so far.

If the upgrade is bought.... MAKE NUMEROUS COPIES OF ALL THE PAPERWORK AND KEEP THEM IN THE ORIG BOXE!!

SOMEONE most likely will figure out a way to coin that sticker further on down the road, so for no mistakes, keeping on the up & up, SAVE THAT PAPER WORK!

The last thought is, if you already got a better CDP and/or DAC... why bother with this upgrade?
I found the stock 83 to be a little bright. Especially when listening to SACD. It is fatiging and I can really only listen for about 1-2 hours before my ears hurt. I wonder if the new DACs will correct this? Already Redbook and DVD-A playback via the Stereo output sounds amazing (if a bit clinical)

With no "audiophile" gear in my system, I am looking seriously at this upgrade.

Why is it the more you upgrade your system, the more aware you are of its deficiencies? :)
Affejunge

How many hours of playback do you have on the SACD DACs? Are you running out PCM or DSD on your '83?

SACD on my previous Sony SCD xa777 had to be run in seperately . It used separate DACs for both SACD & CD, separate lasers too.

I'd answer your question with one word... accuracy. Another is resolution. With some exceptions, the more you spend the closer you get to the truth in the recording.

The trick, if there is one, and I feel there is, will be to gain both resolving and involving... at that point quit following the shampoo instructions..., Listen, buy something else, repeat.

Just listen for the pleasure of it.

Then in a year or two, get another bottle of shampoo.
Blindjim, I agree, I am at that point now.. just enjoy the system. As for SACD playback, I maybe have 10 hours on it. It does lessen the 'brightness' when I use LPCM to the DAC as opposed to straight DSD. That said, I am intrigued by the idea that spending only $300 more, I can alleviate the brightness and increase sound fidelity, though the current 83 seems a step up from the 980 I had. (The 980 did not suffer the brightness though)
Hi all

OK so I have had the SE upgrade for 24 hours now. I was lucky enough to work from home today so I just played "music to work by". DVD, CD and SACD. Probably in equal amounts about 12+ hours total time on it.

Previously, I used the DAC in my Cambridge Audio 840C when using the OPPO. I found the stock OPPO rather forward with an artificial cast. I could listen to it, it is definately not crappy but much preferred the 840C. On dual disk, both DVD and SACD, I found I would rather listen to the CD side in the 840 than the higher resolution in the OPPO. On movies and such I would use the dac in the 840C.

But I need to say the stock OPPO broken in was good and if I didn't have a dedicated cd player I could live with it. OK Maybe...

So before I brought it in I did listen to some music through it. It was about the same. For example, do you know The Who album has a bass guitar on it? I have the dvd-audio of it and through the 840 the bass is very very distinct and at times pushing the rhythm and at other times acts like a lead. Voices sounded more there and the guitar picking was distinct and the acoustic guitars had that depth of sound that comes from a hollow body--It just sounded like real people making music. The record, whether on vinyl, cd or DVD had always sounded very processed to me.

On the OPPO, like every other player I have heard, The voices and instruments sounded "artificial" which has always been digital sound until I got the 840. The bass was fat and not very rhythmic. The pace and timing just weren't the same.

I will put my system here cause I always want to know what the reviewer uses when I read reviews. Along with 840c I use an VAC Avatar (standard) integrated amp and a set of Dali Mentor 6 speakers. Speakers spiked and the equipment is on a Salamander Synergy Twin 30.

So I get home yesterday, plug it in, stick a disc in and hit play and then went to make dinner, hang with the wife, while listing to XM.

So about 2 hours later I start to listen and...

WOW this is pretty bad. The bass was so loose that all the pace and timing were gone. I knew it had to break in but jeez. Voices were disembodied, it sounded flat and 2 dimensional (and I am using a tube amp!). Cymbals were undifferentiated white noise. It felt like torture. Really!

After about an hour and half I couldn't take it anymore and decided to tweak it. I found my BDR cones and put the ones that warm up the sound under it.

Ok it is now listenable. I put on SPYBOY and listen for awhile. Yes better but I was still not sure better than it was. At this point it was time to watch TV with the wife so let it run on repeat for 2 hours or so. I took a short listen before I turned it off for the night. It was getting better as I listen to the Spyboy choir.

During the as I listened while working I noticed that the bass was now a little boomy which I know are those cones so I switch them out for the ones that are more neutral.

At one point during the day I sat in my listening chair while doing some work on my laptop. When the piano entered in one of the songs I was struck by its clarity. Then I started listening the Trumpet and saxes and noticed how clear their tone was. The trumpet had real bite and the two saxes had very distinct tones. The bass had tighten up as well...

So I have had a couple of hours after work to listen again seriously. I removed the cones cause I didn't use the them on the standard one and I wanted to get a feel on how much better the SE sounded. As this was an upgrade I couldn't do any comparison to the standard model and so I decided not to compare it to the 840C and listen to it as if it was the only player I had.

It is sounding much better. I listen to "Tommy" again as that was what I listen to before I brought it in to be upgraded. The SE is not as forward, there is more depth to the sound. Soundstage was always wide but now it has more layers. The tone seemed to better as well, the acoustic guitars getting that depth.

I am not great at describing the sounds but what I do know that I found myself listening to the music more that the sound.

So I will listen some more but I am thinking the BDR cones maybe mandatory which makes sense. This is still a $500 player and if there was a place to cut costs it would be in the external isolation.

Well back to listening. I may update this after some time has passed and it is well broken in. But I wanted to get his published as there are little or no reviews of it on the web. Least the last I looked.
Thx for the feedback Jimmm18. Let us know any additional thoughts as you break it in further.
Blindjim writes:
SACD on my previous Sony SCD xa777 had to be run in seperately . It used separate DACs for both SACD & CD...
I don't think so. I own one. It did have 6 DACs for the multichannel (three vertical boards, 2 DACs on each). Perhaps that's what you are thinking about.

Regards,
I just bought one from their website. I couldn't afford the SE version, but would like to upgrade in the future. Their website seems to indicate that they will only upgrade players bought before 11/9/2009 and only thru Dec. Why can't they offer the upgrade to anyone, in the future, say for the cost difference between the two, 400 bucks.

Mark.
I have the non-SE version coming and this is by choice, as this version has the better chip, at least as used in the Exemplar modification which is what I am getting.
11-15-09: Tbg
I have the non-SE version coming and this is by choice, as this version has the better chip, at least as used in the Exemplar modification which is what I am getting.
Better chip? Which chip?

Kal
Finding yourself listening to the music instead of the sound of the player is a good sign.
Kr4, It doesn't use "The OPPO BDP-83 Special Edition uses the state-of-the-art Sabre32 family of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) from ESS Technology. "
I emailed Oppo about the upgrade, since I got the standard version and wanted to see if I could upgrade later. You can not upgrade your regular version player unless you bought it before 11/9/2009. Upgrades will not be offered to anyone who bought the standard unit after that date. You will have to sell your unit and then by the official SE unit. I see that there are some companies offering upgrades and I may take that route in the future.

Mark.

Mark.

>>Why can't they offer the upgrade to anyone, in the future, say for the cost difference between the two, 400 bucks.<<

I asked that today of Oppo and was told a new version is out, so buy that one instead.... if you want.

No upgrades to sE will come out later for previous BDP 83 owners.... was the message conveyed to me.

I did find out that their warranty is transferable, even if you buy added coverages of the one or two year types. One yr = 49.00; two yr = 69.00.

They've plenty in stock of the std version which I'll order tomorrow. They also said theyve no notions now for upgrading the video'/digital sections in the near future either.
11-16-09: Tbg
Kr4, It doesn't use "The OPPO BDP-83 Special Edition uses the state-of-the-art Sabre32 family of Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC) from ESS Technology. "
I do not understand this or the point.

Kal
Kr4, sound is the point. I am getting the Exemplar mods. on the OPPO BDP-83 where they work. Exemplar takes this unit to a level that I hope to soon hear. The OPPO BDP-83 SE makes these improvements impossible because of the new chip set.
Ah. That does not make the older, original chipset "better." It just makes it more suitable/convenient for your selected mod. In fact, the new chipset is, in all ways, superior.

Kal
The SE or a mod based on the SE looks like the best way to go if you have a setup up that is going to rely on the stereo or multichannel analog outputs
It looks like Modwright is going to continue to provide their mods on both the original BDP83 and on the new BDP83SE. Also looks like Nuforce is going to be selling a version of the BDP83SE with mods to the analog output stage (similar to Modwright). I don't know about the other outfits like RAM that have been modding the base model of the BDP83
Cmalak, as I have said, Exemplar is moding the BDP83.

Kr4, your saying the fact is the new chipset is superior doesn't make it so.
I was considering buying the SE version and sending it to TRL for mods.

However, Tbg's post may sway me to go the lower cost route due to the fact that it will be modded anyway. I respect John Tucker of Examplar and when modding such equipment the DAC chip set may not matter so much relative to what other mods are done to he unit
Clio09 that may be true regarding DAC in the standard BDP-83 when it comes to that particular mod. I guess we'll all have to wait until the relative merits of the ESS DAC chipset can be ascertained.
11-17-09: Tbg
Cmalak, as I have said, Exemplar is moding the BDP83.
Granted.

Kr4, your saying the fact is the new chipset is superior doesn't make it so.
I had auditioned the new chipset as a demo board. One can also look at the specs.

11-17-09: Kdibello
Clio09 that may be true regarding DAC in the standard BDP-83 when it comes to that particular mod. I guess we'll all have to wait until the relative merits of the ESS DAC chipset can be ascertained.
The mod, in and of itself, does not change the capabilities of the chips. The integrated performance of each entire configuration should be judged as an entity.

Kal
Kal, Tbg will debate you on the chipset issue until the end of days. How much time do you have?

How much good.... Is good enough?