The stock Oppo 83se is reported to sound pretty good for a $900 one-box-does-it-all solution. You may want to be more specific with your question regarding the price range of players (or specific players) you are trying to compare to. One place to start would be to look at the information out there about how the stock 83se compares with itself, after it has been modded.
There are several well regarded companies modding the Oppo 83 SE for the purpose of providing high quality two channel (or multi-channel) audio. Check out ModWright, EVS, and RAM. If you believe these companies are achieving significant performance improvements by modding the stock player, your answer to how the stock 83se compares with "truly stellar" players would have to be "not so great." However, the potential is apparently there by upgrading op-amps, power supplies, clock, and output stage. At the top of the heap (at least price-wise), Ayre's DX-5 at about $10K starts life as an Oppo 83.
I've heard the Ayre dx-5 and it is not a ten times improvement over the stock unit. Maybe 1.5 times, but that is relative. I think the stock 83se, left alone will please most listeners. Remember the hi end business model, which is a unit must retail for ten times the material cost, so Ayre needs recover its cost, which essentially is a stock 83se with about $50 in extra parts. Also remember that Ayre will not play blu-ray audio any better then the stock unit. Blu-ray audio is the future.
Buconero117...i don't know where you got your information from but that is absolutely false. I don't own any Ayre products nor am I affilated with the company in any way shape or form but your statement is clearly either uninformed or deliberately misleading. The Ayre DX-5 is not a stock Oppo 83SE with $50 in extra parts. The only thing the Ayre unit uses from the Oppo is the transport and the video board, everything else related to the audio section of the player from the DAC (which is based on the DAC in the QB-9 but this one will be able to support 24/192 through asynchronous USB input), as well as the analog output stage is completely redone. I don't know where you get your "$50 in extra parts" from but just look at this link for a complete description and you will realize that is clearly off base. So please if you are going to talk about a product with seeming authority, get your facts straight. Here is a decription of the Ayre DX-5 and what is different from the base Oppo BDP-83 SE: http://www.soundstage.com/editrl/edit131.htm
. By the way, the Ayre unit could very well be just a minor step up from the Oppo (as Mitch2 describes), I have no idea as I have not heard it but lets at least describe it accurately.
Jfz...I own the Oppo BDP-83 SE as well as an ARC Ref CD7, clearly at opposite ends of the pricing spectrum. The Oppo is a great unit for the price and I would say it holds its own against units in the $2K range as a general statement (I am sure you can find many in that range that better it and many that are materially worse) but in my system on CD playback (which is what the ARC CD 7 supports), there is no comparison. The ARC CD7 clearly betters it on any aspect of audio reproduction you wish to analyze. When I compare hi-rez SACDs on the Oppo vs the CD counterpart on the ARC, the gap narrows a smidgeon but not by much. The ARC is still clearly superior.
Buconero117...you may have been thinking about the Lexicon BD-30, which indeed is a stock Oppo BDP-83 with a fancier chassis but with a $3K price tag. Here's a blog from Chris Martens on the Lexicon BD-30 and the subsequent controversy on this which you can read about in the responses to the blog: http://www.avguide.com/blog/first-listen-lexicon-bd-30-universal-blu-ray-player
. Audioholics.com broke the story about the Lexicon BD-30. All the best.
the Ayre unit could very well be just a minor step up from the Oppo (as Mitch2 describes)
Cmalak, to clarify, "just a minor step up" is not at all what I was implying and not what I said. My intent was to point out that several well known modders are reportedly achieving "significant" improvements to the stock 83se, and that the Ayre (which I believe is based on the 83, not 83se) is likely at the "top of the heap," with even greater improvements compared to the other modified units. Charlie Hansen and his crew have reportedly added improvements to the DX-5 that place it's sonic performance at or above the level of the C-5xe MP. I wish I could afford one.
Mitch2...sorry i misquoted you. it was in fact Buconero117 that he had heard the DX-5 and thought it was only a "step up" from the BDP-83 SE. I somehow doubt that as you say :-). Whether the DX-5 is worth $10K is a different question and can only be answered by each individual considering to purchase it within the context of his system and budget. Apologize for the misquote.
No problem Cmalak...I just wanted to be clear. Although I haven't always liked the sonic presentation of the Ayre gear I have owned, I have always respected the build quality, the value for the money, and especially their commitment to customers and service. What intrigues me is the sonic quality these modification guys (and Ayre) are reportedly getting from the 83/83se. Modwright is supposed to be coming up with a tube rectified power supply and tubed output mod for the Oppo, similar to his Sony mods. The ability of the 83/83se to play CD/DVD/SACD and R-versions is a huge plus and the blu-ray, video and multi channel capabilities are like the frosting and a cherry on top. If only someone could make the 83se sound as good as my Lector....for under $5K.
Mitch2...when Dan Modwright came out with his first iteration of mods for the Oppo BDP-83, I emailed him and asked him if he was going to have a tube-based mod for the output stage and he said he was still working on it and wanted to meet the then current demand for his first iteration mods. I am glad to hear that this is getting closer because I will definitely pull the trigger when he comes out with the tube mods for my BDP-83 SE. Thanks for the heads up.
Can anyone comment on the OP's question in direct terms. I think he and the curious are looking for is - Does an Oppo sound as good as a DCS stack or an Esoteric model of your choice or Reimyo or Emm Labs etc.?
I own the Oppo BDP-83 SE as well as an ARC Ref CD7, clearly at opposite ends of the pricing spectrum. The Oppo is a great unit for the price and I would say it holds its own against units in the $2K range as a general statement (I am sure you can find many in that range that better it and many that are materially worse) but in my system on CD playback (which is what the ARC CD 7 supports), there is no comparison. The ARC CD7 clearly betters it on any aspect of audio reproduction you wish to analyze.
I thought I did that with my comment above. Not even close. The Oppo BDP-83 SE is nice for the price but it is not a SOTA player in any shape or form.
A long time ago I posted a question asking whether the new OPPO 83 SE would best my old Theta Compli. I didnt get much response.
I asked that question because if all the talk about digital improving at a rapid pace are true, theres a possibility that a brand new $1,000 player with 2010 technology might best an old $5,000 player. Does anyone want to chime in with their thoughts on this?
"I thought I did that with my comment above. Not even close. The Oppo BDP-83 SE is nice for the price but it is not a SOTA player in any shape or form."
I thought you did too, Cmalak, and I appreciated your response - and those of others.
i own several cd players. the oppo 83 se is one of them. it seems to be very line cord sensitive.
i prefer my 1990 audionote cd2, a tube unit and my consonance sacd player to the oppo.
the point is that newer players may or may not be preferred to much older player.
i don't think one can make a general statement as to cd players based upon age.
there are very few current production cd players which i would want to own--but that is just my preference.
Im curious what the response would be if Jfz had asked "Does anyone have any thoughts on how an Oppo 83 SE thats been modified by among others RAM, ASI, or Modwright would compare to a truly *stellar* CD (or universal) player?"
if all the talk about digital improving at a rapid pace are true, theres a possibility that a brand new $1,000 player with 2010 technology might best an old $5,000 player.
In my experience, yes. My $1,500 Sony XA5400ES beats the previous $5,000 players and DAC I used to own including Bel Canto, Linn, etc. I don't have any experience with Oppo though.
I have a Perpetual Technologies P-3A that has been heavily modded by Empirical Audio. My Oppo BDP-83SE comes in a notch lower in performance for a third of the cost of the P-3A (as modded).
I have one and with the JPS Labs Digital AC Cord it beat everything I heard under $5K. It' got a very accurate, clean, organic & relaxed sound (reminiscent of listening to analog master tapes) with a huge soundstage. The closest thing under $5K that sounded better (slightly) was the Sony XA-5400ES at $1.5K. I imagine that modding either one by spending an additional $1-$2K would allow them to compete with the lower end EMM Labs and Meridian units.
is your BDP-83SE a modified version (since you are using a a non-stock AC cord wiht it)?
Not at the time I posted my previous comment. That impression is based on a Stock unit with the JPS Digital AC Cord ONLY.
I have since replaced that stock unit with a Modded unit for even greater performance.