Oppo BDP-83SE or Sony SCD-XA5400ES?

Well somebody had to start this one. It may as well be me. I guess we're gonna have to base our selection on features, specs and reputation (at least as far as the Oppo is concerned). I'm mainly concerned with 2 channel analog playback with SACD and redbook. Anything else is just a bonus. The Sony has balanced outputs, is almost twice as heavy and build quality SEEMS better, has a 5 year warranty, ridiculous reviews and a the beginning of a cult-like following. The Oppo has a great rep, plays EVERYTHING, also ridiculous reviews (for every other model), ESS Sabre Ultra DACs (what does the Sony have??), seems to be upgradeable and WILL have a cult-like following. I cannot audition in my home. So I will be rolling the dice. Obviously you win whichever one you get. But which one would you go with and why?

oppo SE, Sony not even close now. The balance on Sony, in my opinion does not add anything. It the chips, chips etc. You need to get up to $10K plus to beat the oppo.
Check out a modded oppo many reviews RAM of riverside does an awesome mod good luck
I'm not familiar with the Sony. I’ve had and do own a few Sony products. Same way with Oppo. Briefly perusing one review only, and not hearing either unit in question personally, I’d go with the lesser costly unit first.

Sony’s ‘sound’ usually is more forceful or dynamic if you prefer. Better impacting as opposed to the Oppo line… though not night and day, simply noticeable. Both makers offer differing perspectives to the musical venue. Your system should indicate which will better suit it’s needs.

I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything which I had immediate intentions of altering. I pass on such items as a rule.

Given the SE unit offers much more of a feature set, costs much less, and is wildly popular around here these days it seems a worthwhile buy to me. If you like it … you’re there. If not, it’ll easily resell. Who knows, the SE might also improve upon whatever DVD player you use.

Recheck the specs on the Sony as to where it excels in it’s HQAT technology… via analog or HDMI. If you do go with the Sony, MAKE SURE TO SAVE THE BOX IN A TEMP CONTROLED SPACE… especially if no service center is in your area… which can be found out too.

I use the HDMI interface on my not yet run in BDP 83 and found it very good. Impressive in fact, given it’s $500 fee. As good as my former SCD xa777 via analog SACD. Easily.

Buy the 83 SE and go from there…. If you feel the need.
Here is something that I found on the web.
The ES9016 Sabre32 Ultra DAC is the latest addition to the world’s highest performance and critically acclaimed Sabre32 DAC family. With ESS patented 32-bit HyperstreamTM DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9016 SABRE32 Ultra DAC delivers spectacular music with an unsurpassed sound stage, with up to 128dB dynamic range and 0.0003% (-110dB) total harmonic distortion, and free from clock jitter common in digital audio systems.
So much for installing after market clocks which are pretty expensive and time consuming to do.

Buconero117 you stated
"oppo SE, Sony not even close now. The balance on Sony, in my opinion does not add anything. It the chips, chips etc. You need to get up to $10K plus to beat the oppo."

Did you actually hear both units or is this conjecture ? If you did here both can you identify the sound differences? I am looking a picking up a new digital source
Have heard both units.
Bought the Sony.
Best implementation of the Sabre Dac is in the the Wyred DAC that I heard at RMAF.
Magnumpi205, don't mean to threadjack, but could you elaborate on your views on the Wyred 4 Sound DAC? I'm really interested in this unit (I'm just a 2 CH guy). My current DAC uses a PCM1794.

You heard the BDP83SE? I didn't think they were out long enough for anybody to A/B compare to anything. I figured the people that did get one were still burning them in. Haven't really seen any reviews from early adopters yet. What was your impressions of both and what swayed you to go with the Sony?
I also have researched the Oppo a bit and it looks like some of the most respected companies in digital hi end (such as Theta and Lexicon) are using the Oppo as the platform for their own $3500+ universal players. Kinda makes the SE look like even more of a screaming bargain then originally thought.
Have heard the Oppo twice, live in the land of Oppo. Very good but not up to the Sony nor the Wyred.
The Sony 5400 is still braking in and is already better than than the Sony 9000.
The Wyred DAC is smooth, detailed, and dead quiet. The parts quality is fantastic with a huge power supply. Have DAC with the 1798 chip and the Sabre chip is superior in every way. Just has more detail, deeper darker backgrounds.
The Oppo is limited by parts and power supply. Upgrades can be had for a price but why spend more when other options are better.
>>11-21-09: Buconero117
You need to get up to $10K plus to beat the oppo<<

That's funny.
The comparison of the Sony XA5400 and the Oppo BDP83se
Is odd the Oppo has much more features speakig of video
I spent the weekend comparing them my brother has the Oppo for his home theatre and Sony for 2 channel .
The Oppo may have a little more low level resolution
but is a little thin sounding in some areas ,in sacd mode Noone beats Sony also the cd transport mechanism and power supplys are far better in the Sony .Oppo is using multiple dacs which is a nice touch but lacking in several other areas.The Nuforce version is a better match for the sony
except sacd one of our audiofreinds has one and brought his over to my brothers .I was not there the 2 guys
thought it was close with the Nuforce except sacd.

Let me state this for the record Dan at Modwright has done many mods and he says the Sony 5400 is better sounding
that the Oppo83SE for Audio,also He is just coming out with a complete total mod Vacuum tubes, Lundal transformers Caps resistors and all for the Sony 5400es , and he says the Sony has so much potential before hand,after the Mods it is his best sounding player to date It is $2200 with the Bybee purifiers, and for your $3500 total investment will go toe to toe with anything under $10k! I for one am getting it done and will display my thoughts this summer after runin time .
Did you ever get the Oppo BD83 Mod from Dan?

How does it compare?

If you just want Stereo SACD/CD playback it is very hard to go wrong with the Sony. If you will want video as well, the OPPO gets the nod.
i have an oppo 83 se but have not compared it to the sony.

i consider the redbook playback, relatively better in quality than sacd playback.

i am also looking for an sacd player, but won't buy one until i hear it in my own system.

i suspect the first sony sacd player may be the best, sonically speaking. however, its transport is old and may need replacement at any time.