If you would consider a mod'd player, the Oppo BDP-83 mod'd by Ric Shultz at EVS (www.tweakaudio.com) would easily cover all the bases. Last I checked, Ric was going to offer a 100% money back trial if you choose not to keep the player.
I own an Oppo 970H player with level-2 mods from EVS and it is outstanding for the price I paid. It's been playing every disc I've thrown at it over the last 3 years or so, wether it be DVD-A, DVD-V, SACD, DVD, CD, CDR, whatever....
BTW, I replaced a high end DVD player and a $3500 dedicated CD player with the mod'd Oppo. It gave up nothing in video quality and very, very little in CD playback. It is WAY good enough for both my HT and redbook playback needs. And I pocketed a load of cash in the downsizing move....
I would agree with Reubent. The stock BDP-83 is an exceptional BR/TrueHD/DTS-Master audio/video player, which is what it is optimized for. As a stock unit, it is a "very good" CD/SACD/DVD-A player, but not exceptional. It isn't designed to be, at the $499 retail price.
However, a BDP-83 well mod'ed for stereo and mch analog audio would be exceptional in all regards, and a "best bargain" in AV today. ModWright also has a mod for the BDP-83 in the works.
If the Oppo has features you desire that your current Denon doesn't, like Blu-ray, then I think it's a good choice that might be a "good-enough" one box solution. As you say, you can always add an external DAC later.
But, depending on the rest of your gear you may not even need or want to use the analog outputs of the player.
A couple of months ago I sold off my JM Peach II pre, Welborne DRD 45s, along with the Jolida and thought I could make due with the Denon AVR and cheapo Denon DVD player for both HT and 2 channel.
This really isn't working for music so I have just recently picked up a very minty Scott 299D to drive my KHorns (for HT, I have a single La Scala for center and a pair of Heresys in the rear.
In hindsight, I should have kept the JD-100, I am sure this won't be the last mistake I make in this hobby.
In an effort to still keep things simple (closer to 1 system vs 2) I am hoping something like the BDP 83 might cover the HT duties and still satisfy me for music.
I did notice that Dan has a modded BDP 83 listed on his site, as a previous owner of a SWL 9.0SE, I am a big fan of Dan's stuff.
I am here to both confirm the advice you've been given and relay an experience I just had with a modded Oppo BDP 83. I have a fairly decent system (Rockport Aquila speakers, Lamm amps, c-j ART 2 line stage, Aesthetix IO Sig phono stage, SME 30 and an AMR CD-77 and a Reimyo CD-777).
One day my audio buddy (who's also my insurance agent) stopped by for both business and pleasure. He brought with him a semi-modded (Stage 2 not the top level mod) BDP 83 that wasn't even burned in yet. Just before he left, we put it in my system. While I thought it might sound decent, I had no idea it would sound as good as it did. With only about $1,600-$1,700 total in the unit, that damn thing gave my AMR a run for its money!
Given the fact that I think the AMR is the best CDP I've heard, this is about as high a compliment I could give for this Oppo (which also has the advantage of playing all digital formats and is a GREAT video player).
My buddy's unit was modded by Doug Jesse of ASI-Tek. I myself have no modded gear (I am not against modded stuff, just haven't had any gear modded yet), but this experience sure showed me what this inexpensive unit is capable of with a few mods.
I guess I am now a believer in both the Oppo and this mod.
I downloaded the manual and didn't see any way to program tracks on the Oppo. Am I missing something?
Think the bigger issue is reliability. I know an OPPO dealer who is fielding a lot of breakage with this model. It appears this is not a well built player and renders dialogue regarding its attributes moot.
Is there an Oppo dealer aside from Amazon or Oppo?
I heard one in my system yesterday, brought over by a friend, and not yet entirely broken in. The SACD performance, compared with my own Oppo 980H, was significantly better (richer, fuller-bodied). The CD performance was maybe a little better tan the 980H, but not in the same league as my Raysonic CD-128. I'd characterize the CD performance as okay for the price. Maybe further break-in would change the picture.
I have the Oppo BDP-83 and I am not prepared to have it modded yet and void the warranty.
This player is a bargain and responds very well to Alan Maher's Power Enhancer with Diy Filter. Sorry, there is no need to spend megabucks to get above average sound. The previous post got my attention and answers the question, how does it compare to a true Hi-end player when modded.
If concerned about mod'ing the Oppo BDP-83, how well does it work as a transport with - say a DACMagic or Benchmark DAC? Anybody go this route?
I've had my BDP 83 for about 3 months now. I have been tinkering with the sound as a transport with an external DAC and different cables.
I hooked in a DacMagic to the Oppo via a high quality Analysis Plus digital interconnect. I am running the DacMagic into my Integra processor via Kimber balanced interconnects.
I have been comparing the sound of the Oppo player through three different connections for 2 channel sound.
1) Oppo 83 player playing two channel via HDMI connection, DVD input, hdmi connection
2) Oppo 83 player playing two channel through analog connections with no external DAC - DVD input, analog connection
3) Oppo 83 player playing two channel connected to Cambridge DacMagic described above - CD input on processor
My analysis is ranked below: Best resolving sound, warmth
#1 - Oppo connected to DacMagic, warmer sound with better clarity from highs to low bass
#2 - Oppo connected via analogs
#3 - Oppo connected via HDMI - a little edgy across the board to my ear. Increased + 5-7 dbz's via HDMI
This is just my personal preference in listening to two channel via the Oppo 83. Not scientific, just the way I like the sound.
Playing through Usher BE 718 Monitors, ATI 3007 amp, Integra Processor.
I actually have a second player that I kept in my system and I am experimenting versus the Oppo. I have been comparing the Oppo to my Arcam DV 139 for music. I have to say the Arcam is much smoother in playing music, but it is also 4 times the cost.
Oppo is great for DVDvideo and BluRay video. I think I will just run two players and have the best of both worlds.
My Oppo 83 just arrived. So far it has blown away my Sony S500 BR and my Maraantz DV6400 SACD players. I know these players are not top of the line, I got them just to check out these formats. I have a few SACD's but the 83 has made me want more. With the BlueRay, the picture is much better and the loading time is now acceptable. As far as a CD player it is not to my liking. I am waiting for my new DAC to show up to see if I will like it as a CD transport. If not I may have the Oppo modded after the first year. I did take out an extended 1 year warrenty but I have blown more money on records I do not like than I did on the warrenty. I will also let it breakin for while before I decide to Mod it. I also like the fact that it has USB inputs.
Tried my XBox 360 HDdrive with no success. Thought I may be able to replace 3 players with one.
I have the oppo 83, and I have to say that as a CD player, it is average.
I also have the Cambridge Audio 840C, so maybe not fair to compare it to a $1500 CD player. The Oppo does not in any way compare to the 840C on CD playback. The Oppo is thin and on the screetchy side with CD. BTW, I am also using the same audio cables from my 840C to test the Oppo for CD playback, so signal loss due to cable differences.
I am very happy with the blu-ray audio quality (very happy with that side, fantastic), and SACD sounds better than my previous universal Denon 1920 or Pioneer 563A.
However, I can't say the same for DVD-Audio. My Pioneer and Denon both did a better job with DVD-Audio. More whole sounding. The Oppo plays DVD-Audio a bit disjointed, with the music not sounding "together". I have a bunch of DVD Audio and SACD discs to compare with, and a ton of CD. I know Oppo added DVD Audio support near the end of beta, so on the quality side I think that was a bit of an afterthought for them.
However, I am very happy with the Oppo overall. Would not trade it in.
Hope that helps.
Since my BDP-83 arrived back in May, I have been buying SACDs like mad. I can't get enough of them!
I have been listening to SACD since the format began in 1999 and this players sounds just as good as the original generation of SACD players (in my opinion subsequent generations of players lost some of the magic of the format as newer DACS converted DSD to the inferior PCM).
Moreover, my system has evolved from two channel to multi channel in the three months since I have owned the Oppo.
SACDs are becoming scarcer and scarcer. They are disappearing from shops. Many titles are discontinued and not available anywhere. This player makes me want to hurry and buy them all before they can no longer be sourced!
The Oppo does not have the same magic with CD as it does with SACD. In my opinion, this is partly the player and partly the format. CD audio can only sound so good, even through players requiring a mortgage to purchase. The format is limited.
I have a Musical Fidelity V-DAC as well. It's smoother than the Oppo for sure, but also sounds more manipulated and lacks the musical insight into my CDs that the Oppo reveals. I prefer using the Oppo as is. I think it's telling the truth about the CD format rather than attempting to make CD sound better than it actually does sound.
Bottom-line: I think the Oppo BDP-83 has been optimized for SACD playback and sounds best with SACD discs...the stock player sounds superb with SACDs and has greatly enhanced my listening enjoyment.
Layman wrote: SACDs are becoming scarcer and scarcer. They are disappearing from shops.
SACDs keep coming in from the smaller labels more and more. Shops never had a good representation of SACDs and, as ever, the Internet is the only way to shop for them. ;-)