Analog outputs or digital outputs? Makes a big difference.
Once I had ML 39. A nice and expensive cd player. I friend of mine brought over his Oppo. There was difference between the two. According to my friend small. I heard a bit more, and I thought the difference is enough me to keep the ML. Still, the price differential is not in line with the price differential. End of the story: your financial situation, and the consequent psychological processes shape so much your evaluation what you consider small or big difference, and what you think worth to pay for it that it is impossible to have a "realistic" opinion whether a cheapo thing is good enough to replace a rather expensive thing.
I think this is close, though not exact.
My xa 777 which was/is on some accounts a better sounding unit than the older 777, vs the oppo 980 diff was easy to determine. Via solely the analog out the 980 isn't on par with the xa777 in terms of imaging, bass, or sound stage spcificity. Tonally they are far closer however.
I hate to hang a number on the desparity there but I would say it's within reason to claim the 980 comes within 20% - 25% of xa777 give or take a couple points. I believe that's fair enough. Perhaps 85% at very best.
I'd think the 983 no different as the big change there is in the video chip set. If the drive build has been altered or beefed up, then perhaps the 983 may well exceed that of the 980 via the digital outputs, though again, albeit I'd think it to be marginally.
the item that makes all this disconcerting isn't so much the closeness of their sonic powers alone, but the fact the Oppos' get so close sonically for so much less money while providing far more versatility with other audio formats, and volume gain as well. not to mention possessing a warranty too!
75-85% of the sound for 20-40% of the USED sale price of a SCD or xa777? cover every current format including DSD with volume adjustment?
That will give many some pause.
It's still closer via the digital outs.
But isn't that next 15-25% where we usually have to spend exponentially though, right? It's either that or settle, huh?
I can put it another way too.... I sold my xa777, kept the 980, and a 983 ought to be here soon. My main audio now wont be the Oppos, but my PC, which meets or excells overall above either the Sony or Oppos apart from one instance.... depth of sound stage. The 983 will be the default disc player for the main system, the 980 in a secondary one.
Ajahu does not mention which model oppo, however I will say this the 980h which is the older version essentially of the 983, in most cases is almost identical accept the newer 983 supposedly has a better isolated power supply Anyway the 980 easily competed after about 20 hours of burn in with a modded Wadia (forgot the exact model) and with a raysonic player via upgraded tubes and all beat out for the money.
Both were very dynamic and honestly the Oppo was just a tad darker in the mids, but this was barely, and quite honestly after a few power cord changes and testing A-B it was completley unjustified to say that machines in the 2000 or more range were anywhere near sonically superior, if at all they failed due to the cheap cost of the oppo.. I also went from a sony transport DAC combo and the oppo was still in the end dollar per digital bit every part of a nice departure from high cost still retaining 95% or better sound with most recordings. Good power and interconnects do make some substantial differences to the oppo, probably the cables alone you will try might outweigh the cost of the Player itself! I highly suggest just taking Oppos 30 day money back no question return into mind here and give it a shot, worse case you lose 30 or 40 bucks shipping back and forth to answer your question..
By the way the Oppo will give superior DVD performance both audio and video vs. even the Top Denon players made today, go look at the reviews, I did also borrow from a local store a couple of the high cost denons that have better picture than most 5000 dollar Krell machines etc and can tell you oppo loses no ground set up correctly on the right displays. Don't forget tons of Oppo reviews with very few ever downing the machines, some either just don't get it, don't believe it, or simply don't have the type of equipment to really compare it.
Good Luck, and remember your system may make the difference there is no guarantees.