High Quality Universal Player??


I’m interested in a disc player for CD, SACD, and cinema DVDs, Blue-Ray.

It MUST have equal or better sound quality than my current Cal Audio HDCD player.

Ideas? How about the Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD Universal Blu-ray/SACD/DVD/CD Player?

or the newer 751? Also, what is the difference between the 751 and 651?

I’d laos like to buy form a company large enough to stay in business for a while :)
randy-11
If you have the budget the Oppo BDP105 is king of the multi players.
I Have not heard it yet but Arcam has a new player.
UPD411
3D blue ray, 4K upscale.

N
Bang for buck oppo imo. i have one in my ht room epson 120" fixed,
modright does an audio upgrade also. i dont know if this effects the dvd ability.
good luck

If you're going to use this machine to watch movies, then the CA blue ray players or Oppo will be just fine. If you have a lot of SACD then I'd look at Marantz. Can't speak on the Oppo 105d, but I think the CA 751 is probably close. I can tell you if you're primarily listening to red book cd's, a CA 851C is far better than the CA blue ray machines.  As far as your CAL goes, any of the machines you noted will be better. CAL's were very nice machines in their days and still good today, but not up to these machines. If you have a lot of SACD's don't overlook Marantz.

i would say Oppo 103 or 105, or even 105D (Darbee processor) if you want better video images
I own the CA 751BD and IMO, it is a wonderful player.  Well built, nice interface, fast loading, so far very reliable.  The newer 752 is pretty close to the same as the 751 but it can also be used as an outboard DAC.

Of course you could also go with an Oppo 105.

Bill

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In my experience, until now the Oppo would have been my first choice. Straight out of the box, no mods. Also my experience, Arcam has bested Cambridge in sound quality. I have heard several players and DAC's.(even though at one time they both used Wolfson DACS)

Here are a few quotes I have found on line regarding Arcams universal player UDP411.

"...In fact, it’s worth mentioning here that the OPPO BDP-105D, the UDP411’s closest competitor, offers a decent range of smart functionality (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube), dual HDMI ports, multichannel outputs and DVD-Audio playback for around £100 less than the Arcam..."
"...We had a OPPO BDP-105D on test at the same time as the Arcam and were able to do a straight comparison. There isn’t a great deal between them – these are clearly two audiophile decks operating at the top of their game – but we preferred the Arcam’s slightly smoother and more insightful presentation..."

I personally would audition each unit. It's the only way to be sure. 

N




Post removed 
I think Oppo or Cambridge Audio players would be all you'd ever need if they're within budget. The Oppo BD105 is a bit of a Swiss Army Knife but it might be nice to have all those input and output capabilities for some time in the future. I own a CA 751BD which, to echo Willland's post, is a very reliable machine and its video performance is very good indeed--it upscales DVDs to nearly Blu-Ray standard. However, I've found its audio performance could stand some improvement. I'm using an outboard DAC for PCM formats (CD, DVDa, video DVD, Blue-Ray, etc.) but since my DAC doesn't have DSD capability, to play SACDs I have to rely on the CA's own decoding which, to my ears, is rather shrill and piercing.
I'm not 100% sure here but from what i was told by the Cambridge dealer the cambridge is basicaly an Oppo BD 105 inside the Cambridge chasis with some slight mods to the analog output. if this is true then your only real dissision between the two would be buying from an online store (Oppo) or a local dealer for the Cambridge.
I have used my Oppo 105D for a couple of years now. In addition to the audiophile-quality sound, it loads almost as soon as you insert the disc. I have found that many universal players, particularly Blu-ray players, are notoriously slow (and I mean slow), to begin playing. "Swiss Army knife" is a good description of the 105D. It doesn't seem to matter what kind of disc you are feeding it. It never gets confused like some other players.
" I'm not 100% sure here but from what i was told by the Cambridge dealer the cambridge is basicaly an Oppo BD 105 inside the Cambridge chasis with some slight mods to the analog output. if this is true then your only real dissision between the two would be buying from an online store (Oppo) or a local dealer for the Cambridge."

I think this has been covered many times before but both the CA 752BD and Oppo 103/105 are built on the same MediaTek foundation.

http://hometheaterreview.com/cambridge-audio-azur-752bd-universal-disc-player/

Bill
Are any of these able to function as a DAC?  I have the DacMagic which has an Apple TV3 plugged into it.  If I could kill off those boxes I'd have a nice clean installation.

Randy-11, I am guessing you skipped the link that answers that question. Quote from the article.

 Granted, the Cambridge player lacks the BDP-105’s 32-bit DAC, balanced outputs, asynchronous USB input, headphone amp, and increased girth, which puts the Azur 752BD, for the sake of comparison, somewhere betwixt the OPPO BDP-103and 105.



It looks like Cambridge Audio's newest player, the CXU, can do most of what the Oppo does, minus some streaming capabilies. It seems that the two machines use different DAC chips though, with CA opting for Wolfson WM8740 chips (the same ones that are in my 4-plus-year-old 751bd) while Oppo uses ESS Sabre32. Poking around a bit, I discover that there's a newer and probably more capable Wolfson chip available (the WM8742) and I'm wondering if CA might be incorporating this into a future player or whether it's worth waiting for in the first place? Anybody know this DAC chipset or have an opinion about it?
No, I read the link.  It states: "the Cambridge player lacks the BDP-105’s 32-bit DAC..."

I assumed it had a 16 bit DAC.  Does the Cambridge player have no DAC at all?
Had to look around a bit for the specs, but the CA player has a 24-bit DAC chip instead of 32-bit, which I think is what the author was trying to convey but with clumsy wording. The CA player has not just one, but 5 Wolfson DAC chips (one for each available channel). As far as I can tell, neither the 751bd nor the 752bd players can be configured as separate DACS, but I believe the Oppo can (and possibly the CA CXU as well) on account of their expanded input and output capabilities.
Thanks. It looks like Oppo sells the BDP-103 via Amazon as well as directly. I am finding the $500 price a lot more interesting than the $1200 to $1300 cost on others.  Maybe it is made in China?  (Oppo is owned by Chinese company BBK Electronics.)

Any ideas on benefits or problems with buying via Amazon?
"Any ideas on benefits or problems with buying via Amazon?"

I've experienced no problems and usually get free shipping.

db
The 105 has a better audio section i believe its worth the extra new or used 
It depends how resolving you want the player to be. The 103 is very nice for video, in fact the same as the 105. However, the 105 has a significantly better audio section and that is what the price reflects. The 105 sounds very nice; it ousted a Cambridge Audio 840C in my system. It was no small improvement. The Oppo sounds much better than the 840C. I have not heard the 851C, so I can't help there. I can tell you the video was much much better than the Marantz BD7003 Bluray player I had at the time. Very easy to see the improvement. I have not seen a Cambridge Audio CXU vs. Oppo 105D review, but would be interested.
Thanks.

Oppo says the sound quality difference is in the analog output - if I wind up feeding digital out into a digital pre-amp, it shouldn't matter.

I found a refurb 103 for $415 so I bought that.  I have 30 days to think about it, with shipping fees being around $40 if I send it back.

I'm sure there will be something groovier and much better as USB-C wipes out HDMI as an interface, as 18K video takes over, and so on.  For Disc players, I may just buy a new $500 model every 4 years, right?

I also have some 15 year Maggies I want to replace, maybe the Sonic Frontiers pre-amp I use and maybe even my Sunfire amp.  Not to mention the plasma TV, sports car parts, wine and etc.
I've had Universal Players through the years from Marantz, Denon, Oppo, and NAD.
  My advice would be to have a really good DAC for CD.  There are at least 2 DACs that have HDMI inputs which you could use with a BD player for SACD and Blu Ray (NAD and Bryston ), or failing that I would probably go with the Oppo 105.  Marantz players and amps tend to roll off the top end.
  If you were to tell us budget it would be easier to guide you
I have both the Oppo BDP-103 and the BDP-105D and have used both in the same system.  Substituting the 105D for the 103 was a definite improvement in sound quality to my ears.  They do use different DACs. The 105D uses the ESS Sabre32 32-bit DAC (ES9018), the BDP-103 uses a 24-bit Cirrus Logic DAC (CS4382A).  My Oppos, by the way, are used in systems with Maggies (1.7i or 3.7i), if that has any import for the OP.

LarryRS
I have owned a 105 for about the last 4 years now and I gotta say that it has performed very well. I recently performed an upgrade to the a/v portion of my system (minus the 105) and I was forced to use the 105 as an HDMI Switch. It performed brilliantly and note that the phone app makes it easy to operate all functions with your smartphone to boot. All of the streaming functions have also worked well too. My only complaint is that the transport mechanism doesn't always seat properly back into the unit when closing.

If I wanted an Oppo BDP-105D for audio; (I do Santa) but wanted to save money; I'd look for a BDP-95, non Darbee. Not a BDP-103. But I have. They go for like $100 less than a 105. Crazy!
Can the BDP-103 receive audio from Apple Airplay in iTunes?
Couple of points:
1. I own an older model Oppo and have had no problems and have listened to the 103 & 105. Regarding online purchasing: Oppo is very good (or it was when I dealt with them) for customer service. I did not have problems with my unit, but did have a few questions. They answered promptly and in detail. Their customer service is very good, and one of the reasons I tried them in the first place. I wouldn't be too concerned about ordering online; more about supporting local dealers.
2. If you have any plans to use the Oppo DAC and have the budget, go with the 105. They have done a nice job incorporating the Sabre 9018 and the sound is superior to the 103. It also has a few other features that are worth it for the flexibility imo. It really punches above its weight.
That's the thing! The 95 uses the same Sabre 9018, it does not let you use it as a system DAC (not into that yet), have HDMI audio out (my receiver has no HDMI in) or support 4k video upscaling (I'm not even connecting to a TV!). I thought I could save a pile of money by scoring a used 95. But they must still be in high demand. I wish Oppo made a cheaper Audio only version like Marantz does with the SA8005; but I guess that wouldn't play DVD-A either.

Here are a couple of nice CA players.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/cd-sacd-players-cambridge-audio-azur-752bd-universal-disc-player-2...

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/cd-sacd-players-cambridge-audio-azur-751bd-universal-disc-player-2...


Bill



I have both an Arcam (older model) and an Oppo 105 D with the Modwright tube mod. The Oppo is very good and I would find myself hard pressed to do better, especially for the money. The older Arcan is also very good and I also have respect for it. I don't think you could go wrong with either of these choices.
I bought a refurbed BDP-103 and it has arrived.  I haven't tested it A-B against the same CD or pressing vs. my Cal Audio Icon yet, but it sounds good and is pretty easy to operate as a disc player.

BUT, I am having trouble getting it to play music from my Mac using iTunes.  I have ripped all my CDs onto the Mac in Apple Lossless files.

I can get the BDP-103 to recognize my WiFi network, password, etc. but it keeps asking for another Username and password when I open the Network icon on the player, my computer name, and then either the Music or Photos file icons the player then shows.
Thanks, Bill and pmiller. Congrats, Randy. Let us know the results if you do any comparisons.
2 channel
Are you using the Oppo as a DAC?  Or are you attempting to have your PC communicate wirelessly as the 103.
  Also--do you have a monitor connected to the Oppo?
I am not using it as a DAC, except to play a few files loaded on a USB thumb drive. I may want to with the new unit.

Yes, I have it connected to an HP PC monitor for programming and a little DVD playing.
I have discovered that Oppo makes, but sell only to custom installers, the BDT-101ci. Interesting; but I probably don't have the b#lls to deal with it.
Hello A’goners, I need to resurrect this one. I have the opportunity to upgrade my old Oppo DV980H. I’m down to two units:
Oppo-BDP 105D, Sabre 32 reference DAC , balanced outputs (prefer balanced)
Vs.
Cambridge Audio CXU, Wolfson 8740 Dacs, single ended outputs

 The audio performance is as important to me as the video. Your feedback is appreciated.

N


Hey Nutty,

I would get the Oppo BDP105D for a couple of reasons.

First - Name recognition. I'm guessing it is the most popular high-end universal player and you could easily re-sell it if you don't love it and not lose too much money. The resell value seems to have held up pretty well.That's really saying something when it comes to audio/video electronics.

Second - Several mod'rs perform various levels of modification on the Oppo. My Oppo DV-970HD was modified by Ric Schultze at EVS and Ric is still going strong modifying BDP-105Ds.

Oppo also has a strong user base following on audio sites, as well as on AVS forum. 

I'm not as familiar with the Cambridge. I'm sure its a quality player, but I would get the Oppo based on the information I stated above.
Oppo has just announced a new player with 4k or 8k video capability.

dunno if audio quality will be better

Cambridge has a good rep, but you'd need to find some critical source material and listen to both I think
reubent, randy- 11,

All great points. I have pleanty of media and hi rez. I can borrow a CXU from my local vendor over the weekend. I will need to order the Oppo. 

N
Nutty,

Who is the local vendor that has the CXU? Just curious.

TIC

If you're not wanting the balanced XLR stereo outputs of the Oppo 105, the CXU looks to have a very good audio stage.  Different approach than the oppo.  Five wolfson DAC chips, and it looks like each channel output has its own individual SMD op amp (possible a mono op amp).  This could be very good depending on the type of op amp they chose.  You could probable mod this and put in something like AD797 op amps and the result sound would be very nice indeed.  The DAC chips and op amps are supported very well with electrolytic caps all around them.  The only thing is that the CXU uses switch-mode power supply where the oppo uses a linear power supply for the audio stages.

http://www.excelia-hifi.cz/cambridge-audio/img/cambridge-audio-cxu-inside.jpg

Keep in mind that the choice of the DAC chip (wolfson or sabre) has very little to do with sound quality output.

reubent, auxinput,  (I do prefer balanced outputs as the rest of my gear is balanced and most all of my cables)....

The local shop that I have been dealing with for about 20 years Audible Elegance in Montgomery, Oh. They having are  celebrating  their "30th anniversary".

In addition, I messaged Oppo in regards to production and availability of the BDP105 and here was their response.

We are no longer manufacturing or selling the BDP-10x series of players as we are replacing the BDP-103/D players with the UDP-203 UHD Player (http://oppodigital.com/uhd/) and will be manufacturing a replacement for the BDP-105/D players by early-2017.

Best Regards, 


Customer Service
OPPO Digital, Inc.
162 Constitution Dr. Menlo Park, CA 94025 Service@oppodigital.com
Tel: 650-961-1118
Fax: 650-961-1119

I contacted Audio Advisor and they had a few left in stock. Only black units. I ordered one and it shipped this afternoon. I will demo it first. I can return if it doesn't perform well. It appears the Cambridge CXU will have pleanty of availability. 

N

Nutty,

I'm very familiar with Audible Elegance. Spent plenty of money there over the years. I didn't know they were a Cambridge Dealer.

Interesting info from Oppo. I didn't know they had stopped production on the BDP-10x. Will be interesting to see what the replacement for the BDP-105D offers.

Let us know how your audition of the two players goes.

TIC
re: "the choice of the DAC chip (wolfson or sabre) has very little to do with sound quality"

Do you mean the brand per se?  Or the type of DAC chip?  Or that all DACs are pretty much the same now?

Oppo and others often advertise their DACs as being high-quality, and there was the One-bit phenomenon some years ago, not to mention the Burr-Brown thing...

I'm not saying that any of the above matter much, but am curious.
I’ve had the OppoBDP105D and the Cambridge Audio CXU in my system since Tuesday. They have been running 24/7. Here is my take.
Oppo...
Pro- The oppo has great mid and high frequencies.
Pro- USB, Optical, and Coax input (especially USB).
Pro- Balanced outputs.
Pro- Headphone outlet on front
Pro- Netflix/Vudu/Pandora software
Pro- 14 awg three prong grounded power cord- upgrade opportunity.

Con- The bass is a bit disconnected- it seems (((bloated))) at times.
.......................
Cambridge CXU
Pro- Music- plenty of detail and energy. Very musical.
Pro- Bass frequency is taught and frankly deeper and more in control over the Opp.

Con- No headphone output on front panel.
Con- No "stop disc" button on front of player.
Con- Two prong non grounded power cord- limited upgrade opportunity.
Con- Single ended outputs only
Con- No Netflix/Vudu/Pandora software

More to follow.




Does Oppo support streaming Tidal wirelessly through WiFi?
Oppo BDP 105D
Pro- Smart Phone App.
Pro- HDMI connections are very secure, not overly tight. 
Pro- Streaming dongle included.

Cambridge Audio CXU 
Pro- able to play Android phone (MLH) on front panel through direct connection

Con- No smart Phone App./ Wireless.
Con- HDMI connections not very secure.
Con- No USB input, only Optical and Coaxial.

Video performance is about equal. Oppo has blacks and Cambridge has more detail. So at this point the conclusion is that the Oppo has more to offer in terms of options. And I think the exterior build quality is superior.  However the Cambridge CXU's sound quality on music playback edges ahead slightly. 

N


@nutty - that's a very interesting review.  I do know from experience that the Oppo requires a long burn-in time (200+ hours).  After that, the brightness/forwardness of the highs will calm down.  Not sure about the bass.  The Cambridge may still be better in the end.  Yes, the Oppo has a very large set of functionality and features that can make it hard to disregard. Keep us posted!

I would not say the 2-prong power cord of the Cambridge is a negative thing.  The power connection is still a standard IEC inlet, so you can use any power cord upgrade.  Some electronics have a floating internal ground plane and do not use external ground, so that is why you will only have 2 prongs.  It's not really a bad thing.

That being said, with the Oppo, you can do the following mods/upgrades:

http://www.oppomod.com/

Or there's always Modwright tube upgrade if you want to do that expense.