Levinson 390S v. Res. Audio Opus 21

How do the styles of these 2 players compare, when auditioned in the same system?
Very similar
The Res Audio is more revealing at low volume
and at half the price a no brainer
Not to rain on the parade but if you ever do consider selling the Opus 21 good luck. At least with the Levinson piece it holds its resale value and will move almost immediately. Just something to keep in mind if you feel this player is going to be a stepping stone to something else in your future. If this is your last player then swing away on the Opus 21. I have heard good things about it from ears I trust and at the new price it can't be beat. Used however and it enter a different playing field...
I sold mine in a few hours....
I currently use both of these players, the Levinson 390S for about a year and the Opus 21 (newer transport) for about five months. They are used in separate systems but I have tried them together in the same system to compare them. Both players feature an analog volume control and are true balanced designs.

While the overall sound of these two players is surprisingly similar they do have certain differences. Both have a wide and deep soundstage. Both offer very tight bass and a great midrange. The 390 pulls ahead on highs - cymbals sound more like cymbals (especially in the way they decay giving a more realistic sense of ambiance). Also, and most importantly, there is an impression that the 390S sounds more analog. This is not due to a loss of detail; it is just as detailed as the Opus. Notes seems to emerge from a quieter (blacker) background from 390S and are better localized, this enhances the analog characteristic of this player. It is very detailed but very analog sounding - quiet a feat. The Opus sounds great, the 390S a little greater.

The build quality of the Levinson is second to none; this includes the heavy metal remote control that features more functions than you will ever use (college credits should be offered to anyone who masters all the functions). The Opus remote is plastic, functional but not in the same league. Make no mistake about it, the 390S is the better player (it should be at twice the price). However, when price is taken into account, the Opus may be the better value.