I recently purchased an Oppo BDP 83SE as it replaced my PS3(first edition). I am a home theater buff(75/25) and pay very close attention to audio detail.

I configured the Oppo 83SE for 7.1 analogue and noticed an immediate positive difference in the audio spectrum as opposed to HDMI audio. I left the HDMI for video duties. I set all my speakers to small and set my distances and left the trims at 0..

A/B Comparision: There was a cleaner and blacker field between sounds. Voices in Transformers 2 were cleaner and more real. Explosions had more dramatic impact and sense of dimension. The surround effects were more prominent, detailed and more precise than in digital. Sounds that were low keyed or voiced jumped out more but weren't overdone. Overall the soundstage was very articulate and had greater realism. My Onkyo SC-885 processor is simply amazing for home theater but I chose the better processing of the SE as the analogue in the Oppo SE is just astonishing....Unbeatable.....

I will later post results in 2 channel analogue as I cant stop feeding all my blu rays to test this machine!!!!LOL

I am extremely impressed with the Oppo BDP 83SE's player. I hadn't experienced analogue before and didnt know what I was missing. On the video side the picture on my Samsung 58" plasma looked amazing...The Oppo really put alot into this machine and gets great regards from me...GOOD JOB!!! AAA+++

Regards Bacardi
Nice impressions Bacardi, i have heard good reviews about it as well.
Are you using their latest firmware?
Chatta. I am using the version that came with it. What does the latest firmware help or do. Maybe the bass management issues??

Regards Bacardi
There will likely never be any change in the bass management on these Oppos. Firmware updates usually address functional issues related to playing discs with new features and fixing various tracking/noise issues.

Cannot say what the "latest" will do for you since you didn't say which version you have now but I have just updated as they become available. It's so easy.


As I understand your post it seems you've confounded replacing equipment with switching from HDMI to analog, and concluded HDMI is inferior to analog. Could it be that a new Oppo BDP 83SE is an improvement over an early PS3 and an Onkyo SC-885 processor? It wasn't clear to me that you compared the Oppo HDMI with the Oppo analog. Another possible explanation is that removing the Onkyo from the audio chain improved the sound. It's often not easy to attribute a causal link.

Dbphd, ok. I am still running HDMI from Oppo to Onkyo for video. I have switched between the HDMI with the Onkyo processing 5.1 and the analogue 5.1 through the Oppo processing and found the Oppo better. More distinctive and isolated channel separation, more profound and 3 dimensional bass.

The analogue in the Oppo for stereo is pretty obvious compared to the Onkyo HDMI or analogue.

The Oppo also supports bitstream for lossless audio which my PS3 only had linear PCM.

One other clear distinction is I pulled out my old Monster series 1 400's from 15 years ago. I bought them from a fella who sold me his Audiocontrol equilyzer and 8 RCA's. So I am using them for the analogue. The rest of my system uses Synergistic Research Tesla cords, interconnects and speaker wire.

So, in regards to my Onkyo being old or my ps3, my conclusions are now based on the facts above. Everyone knows the Onkyo HQV Reon processors excell in home theater processing and are below average for 2 channel. The Oppo SE is known for there analogue and Anchor Bay Processing.

All this said, I think the PS3 is the obvious weak link, that is why it is out. For what I paid for the Onkyo & Oppo and the league of performance achieved, it was well worth the $$$.

Regards Bacardi

As I understand your reply, there is no unambiguous comparison of HDMI v analog, and any such comparison seems difficult to make in your setup. Thus concluding that HDMI is inferior to analog in the general case is not possible.

Ouch Dbphd, double negative in your sentence, that was painful to read!

Isn't the case not really using HDMI vs analog, but using the Oppo's DAC converter vs the Onkyo or PS3?

i.e. using Analog outputs sounds better with the Oppo because the Oppo SE's higher quality DAC's are being utilized, while if HDMI was used for audio, the lower quality DAC in the Onkyo would be used.
"Isn't the case not really using HDMI vs analog, but using the Oppo's DAC converter vs the Onkyo or PS3?...
...i.e. using Analog outputs sounds better with the Oppo because the Oppo SE's higher quality DAC's are being utilized, while if HDMI was used for audio, the lower quality DAC in the Onkyo would be used."

Oh if it where only that simple! The believe the reality is is that there's more variables to the equation than simply a matter of DAC quality. And if what is being inferred here - that you can simply chose a high end DVD player, and not need an outboard AV processor - where the case, I garantee all the pro's would be using this route to process their movies! After all, the most direct path of lesser components should be a more pure fidelity potential, correct? But I believe, when you're dealing with analog out from a player source, you're dealing with not only DAC quality, but all that's entailed in the preamplification stage, analog output, buffering, impeadance, etc.
I'm not so sure it will work as well this way, bypassing outboard processing for digital dolby and dts, personally. And if it were, we'd all surely be going direct from something like a moded OPPO, analog out, straight to our amplifiers! Sounds reasonable enough, right?
My own experiences over the years has been that processing the dolby and DTS material from DVD sources have always sounded (not to mention the ability of bass mgment, DSP,etc)rather flat and 2 dimmensional, compared to processing in an outboard dedicated av pre or receiver via a digital connection. And, while I've had excellent- even better - results often processing PCM 2 channel sources via the analog outs on DVD players, I've never found one case -at least before the newer HD codecs were introduced- where going straight from any level of DVD player, analog out, direct to an amp, sounded better for digital movie sound! And I've used some ultra high end 2 channel gear and multi-channel setups in my own projects. And believe me, if I could have gotten away with processors, I woulda. But it never worked. That's my experience anyway.
This all, however, should be easy enough to break down. All that's needed is a few questions posted on this to the pro av reviewers out there from various publishings, discussing this very topic. See what they have to input, and make some more assessments on the subject.
I bet you get a different set of conclusions, answers and prospectives from the perspectives being concluded here though.

I never meant to imply skipping the processor/pre-amp all together.

I still would use the analog outs from the Oppo hooked up to a Processor/Pre-amp to use their . I'm no pro, but I don't think it's possible/ideal to hook up a DVD player straight to an amplifier. (e.g. Where would you get the volume control?, etc)

I do know that the main difference between a regular Oppo and Oppo SE is the Sabre DAC's, which I would have to guess are pretty darn good compared to most DAC's in A/V receivers.

My question was really directed towards using the Oppo's DAC (analog outputs) with the A/V receivers pre-amplifier stage. I thought that using an HDMI output from a source (digital out) would logically utilize the pre-amp/receivers DAC instead.

I reread my post and was unable to locate a double negative. You may have been mislead by "there is no unambiguous comparison" in which no and un are in juxtaposition, but that doesn't constitute no double negative. That last phrase, however, does.

The point of my post, though, was the the OP seems to imply that analog is superior to HDMI, and buying the more expensive Oppo SE may show his predisposition to that view, but his post supports only the conclusion that Oppo analog is superior to HDMI in his PS3 and Onkyo chain.

I guess I was misled by that phrase, lol...just seemed a little difficult to read for my little brain! :)

Anyway, I see your point. I am definitely a novice in HT/Hi-Fi stuff, but definitely an enthusiast.

Would like to hear more thoughts on Oppo SE BD player since I'm giving the regular edition a long hard look for purchase.

Would anybody say the Oppo is a dramatic upgrade over the PS3? Audio or Video, please specify which and why.
I'm no pro, but I don't think it's possible/ideal to hook up a DVD player straight to an amplifier. (e.g. Where would you get the volume control?, etc)" (longhornguy)

I've had at least a couple of old standard DVD players over the years that had built in volume controls. I could simply bypass a preamp or processor all together, and go straight out analog into an amplifier. And - with music cd's and DVDA's, While this was nice and clean, clear, with plenty of detail, it was SEVERELY lacking in dynamics and snap! It basically acted as if you were using an analog passive preamp, or none at all, as was this case.
Still, connecting this way also was weak for movie sound. And, yes, I'm sure the DAC's are much improved over the 24/96 dac's in my old DVD players.

"I still would use the analog outs from the Oppo hooked up to a Processor/Pre-amp to use their " ...."My question was really directed towards using the Oppo's DAC (analog outputs) with the A/V receivers pre-amplifier stage"

First, I'm not so sure that most here could actually quantify or qualify what the applicable differences are between using the analog multi-channel inputs on an AV pre or receiver vs the analog 2 channel in's (direct or processed) vs, say, maybe running things to a dedicated 2 channel analog preamp's in's! Nor, I presume, can most likely be able to quantify the difference - playing the DAC's in the Oppo, in this case - between analog into an av pre/pro vs. dirrect to an amp, if it were possible (as I explained was possible earlier, depending). I also know that most people are rather confused as to what's the most effective and best sounding way to connect all this stuff up, either digial in hdmi, coax, or analog out of your player, processing - and possibly preamplifying - in an outboard pre/pro. I guess that's why were all kicking this still around, because I can't remember ever reading anywhere, at the very least, where some industry pro's have come out and claimed supperiority of one connection and processing method over another! Have any of you?!
I think you're dealing with a whole lot of unknown variables, differing equipment setup options, opionions, connection methods, etc, plus source considerations, such as CD vs hdcd ,vs sacd, vs dolby pcm, dolby/dts hd master, etc.
I'm not so certain it's been established, performance wise, what does what depending on what connection and what is processing where, and which source is bing played. But I do know this. There's a whole lot of uncertainty as to what's the ideal way - or "ways" - to connect it all, using certain gear, and run it all. If it weren't, we'd all be either processing in the source, or all be processing in the outboard processor for any given source consideration.
I do think it's been made clear that connecting digitally, and processing outboard, allows one to utilize critical bass mgmt functions, DSP processing, EQ, phase, and other functions. But in regards to ultimate sonic purity and your considerations there. I think the verdict is not clear cut.
Heck, I'm still confused. Maybe someone can step up here and persuade me on all of this. Because I'm cerainly not claiming to know all the answere here. There's too much of this that continues to change and maybe evolve over the years in tech. Interesting though...
I have an oppo-83 std model.Not the se. I had it modified by Jennifer Crock of Jenna-labs.I use it for both cd 2-channel as well as 5.1 home theatre. I care more about my music playback more than the surround sound for dvds.The $1000,00 mod she did on my oppo-83 turned a $499.00 blu-ray player into a machine that sounds like it should cost several thousand dollars more.I had a Cambridge Asure 840 that retails for $1800.00 and got huge reviews for its sound quality. This modded oppo blows it away. Powerfull bouncy rich bass and unbelievably detailed mids and highs. Not even close. It is that good.I use no digital connections. All analogue.Jene-labs did the majority of the work on the cd 2- channel outs but they also rebuilt the 7.5 outs to a lesser degree.I have a nad surround sound processor that is only used for volume controll on the center channel and surround speakers. I heve a Joule electra tube pre-amp that I use for my cd play, butI also use it in conjunction with the nad processor when I play surround sound.I use the extensivly modded cd two channel outs to run the left and right mains. The only inconvenience is that now you have to adjust 2 seperate volume controls. One for the center and rear and another for the mains. The sound Quality is amazing. I think it is far better than when I had everything running digitally. I play a lot of blu-ray live concert dvds.Because the left and right main channels were modded so extesively my concert dvd audio quality is as good as my cd quality. I get the best of both worlds. Look up Jena-Labs on google and give Jennifer a call. She is very friendly and has a wealth of info and experience. Her web site shows pictures of the modded units as well as full descriptions of what she does. She sells her wonderfull products world wide and is fun to talk to.
I guess my stance thus far is that you can certainly produce a world class cd and sacd player from the analog out of a cd/dvd player. But I have my doubts about producing superior results with the Dolby and DTS processing via analog out (internal processing) vs letting an outboard processor do the dubties.
I just don't think this has be solidified as common knowledge, as to which way is better for digital movie processing.
All, I can actually cycle my settings through my Oppo SE & Onkyo from HDMI and analogue on the fly. It is fairly noticable the differences between the two.

Regards Bacardi
What were the differences? Did it sound "better" via the Oppo SE or the Onkyo?
Longhornguy, via the analogue Oppo SE I noticed a more detailed and clearer soundstage. Also the bass was more prominent.

The HDMI Onkyo sounded laid back and sub bass seemed to be masked.

I do want to address the fact that my 5.1 analogue cables are different from my system cables. I am 100% sure that when I change the 20 year old Monster 100 series rca's to Synergistic Research Tesla Accelerators with Galileo mpc's the difference will be distinctively huge.

Regards Bacardi
I took delivery of a nearly new Cary Cinema 11a Saturday, and hooked up both the analog XLR and HDMI outputs of my Sony SCD-XA5400ES to it. In this case, we preferred the HDMI, but then the XA5400ES can output DSD from certain SACDs via HDMI and the C11a can process that bit stream. Multi-channel music can be spectacular.

The audio from the PS3 and HD-DVR go via HDMI through a DVDO Edge video processor to the C11a. (Video goes directly via HDMI to the projector.) As noted in an earlier post, the PS3 outputs only PCM 5.1, whereas the C11a can process the lossless protocols. I think I need to start looking for an Oppo BDP 83 for the media room and an 83SE for the living room to go with the Proceed PAV.