And include how you have it configured with the rest of your system.
BDP 83 has an audiophile upgrade for $299. The Special Edition enhances only the analog audio connection (Stereo, 5.1ch or 7.1ch). If you use HDMI the upgrade is not recommended.
The upgrade will involve the replacing of the following parts from the player:
1. Audio Board
2. Power Supply Board
3. Back Panel with RS232 port.
OPPO BDP 83 Upgrade
The upgrade that Lapierre mentions takes the base BDP83 model and upgrades it to the SE version, which has the upgraded DAC chipsets from ESS and has beefier analog power supplies. But to answer the OP's original question, the base BDP-83 ($499) is a decent digital player, probably competes with players in the sub $1000 range pretty effectively. But as with all such players, it's a bit lean and analytical sounding when you compare it to materially more expensive CD players. I have the ARC Ref CD7 and the Oppo. I do not listen to CDs through my Oppo but I have a few SACDs and when I listen to those on the Oppo BDP-83, it still feels a bit etchy and grainy and digitally compared to the ARC player but not bad at all. If the Oppo is the only player you are considering than I would wait to get feedback on the SE version or enquire about the many aftermarket mods now available from RAM or Modwright for example that primarily address the analog output stages.
I have an upgraded/modified Denon 5910CI and like others have said the Oppo BDP 83 has great potential. Not in the same league as the modified 5910 but that is to be expected. My Oppo 83 is on the road now for modifications.
I put 500 hours on the 83 and know the stock sound well.
It wants to be very musical and be noticed. It has immediacy and a very descent sized stage so you are half way there. Not as two dimensional as I thought it was going to be and it made good progress after putting some time on it. Find some richness to go with it's texture and it will be a winner. Add tighter bass definition and more of it and it could be playing in the big leagues.
I own the BDP-83 (standard model) and OPPO's 980H. The BDP has marginally better sound quality on CDs, noticeably better on SACD, and (to me at least) sounds worse on DVD-As (of which I have only a few). The differences are not huge. I wouldn't want to bet my house on spotting them in a blind test between the two players.
My dedicated CD player for the past 12 years has been an Audio Research CD1. I had hoped to sell it once the BDP arrived, but the ARC is way better for redbook CDs. As Cmalak said, there's an edginess and grain to the OPPO, not overwhelming, but certainly there - this disappears with the ARC.
A while ago I was actually comparing the ARC and BDP playing a Haydn string quartet at reasonably high volume - my wife was in the adjoining room and when she walked through even she noticed the difference immediately. The OPPO does add a sense of strain and sharpness to the highs. With a string quartet, or most classical music for that matter, it makes things tiring/irritating.
Another rough comparison - an SACD through the BDP sounds close to a CD played through the ARC CD1.
Rest of system = ARC SP9MkIII; Wyred4Sound ST1000; Usher Be718s; REL Storm III sub.