If you are already about to buy it do you want someone to talk you out of it?
My opinion of the player; hard to beat at any price. At used prices it is a true bargain.
Yes, it sounds like you already have your mind made up! This is a very 'musical' player IMHO, which I prefer over my vinyl set-up. It's not very fussy about placement - just set it on a solid surface, and feed it dedicated power. Try turning off the visual display when listening? I'm sure you'll enjoy it!
Haven't heard the Opus 21 but have owned the CD-50 for years now. It's the cdp that made me sell my vinyl.
I agree with the thoughts of the others, in as that the Opus 21 is an excellent CD player. Another good aspect of buying one is that the customer service is second to none. (Dealing with the owner, Jeff Kalt, is a pleasure.)
The sonics of the Opus 21 are more analog like than most other CD players I have heard, and since I love analog first and foremost, that is a big plus to me. (Now, to be perfectly honest, I still prefer my analog source to this CD player, but then again, I have put quite a lot of money into it to acheive such sonics.)
I like this CD player so much that I have had virtualy no desire to upgrade it since I purchased it six years ago, and it is one of the oldest pieces of equipment I own. Highly Recommended.
Just a word of caution. I read somewhere on this forum that quite a few Opus 21 players have had transport related problems. Make sure you are covered.
Actually the transport issues were dealt with within a year of the Opus 21's introduction. (And the issue was that they were slightly noisy.)
However, I will admit that they do have a slight issue with their lasers lifespan though, as mine finally wore out after I'd owned it for five or six years, and I was the second owner, so I have no idea how long it actually lasted. (How long are lasers supposed to last?) Anyway, I dropped it off at Jeff Kalt's place in San Francisco, (I live about 50 miles away), and he fixed it quickly and VERY inexpensively). Again, dealing with Jeff Kalt is one of the best reasons for buying a Resolution Audio product.
FYI: Jeff is finally getting ready to introduce a new state of the art CD player, (as the Opus 21 has been out for 10-12 years now), which I am anxiously waiting to hear.
I've owned one, twice in fact, and wish I still did. Great player, great company. Just the fact that it has been out for so long, with very few changes, is a testament to the product and the company.
If I were to invest in a high end CD player today, it would be either an Opus 21 or a Great Northern Sound Modified Opus 21.
To be clear Rocky1313, I bought my player from Great Northern Sound directly, with modifications already done. I have since replaced the stock umbilical power connector with a Ridge Street Audio unit. I'm also using aftermarket power cords (to my power conditioner).
I just wanted to illustrate that you have upgrade options with the Opus 21.
Not wanting to get off subject but I was wondering have you resolved your conflict with Audio Aero on your Capitole? I recall you had some sort of disagreement on a upgrade or repair with "no sound".
I have the GNSC moddified Opus 21 and its excellent. I have zero desire to upgrade.
I own a stock Opus 21 system incl. XS & s80 integrated amp. I love it! I have no interest in the GNSC mods. It sounds great stock. I hear no emphasis in any frequency range. And what's really nice with it is you don't have to use interconnects. All you need is an upgraded power cord and you're set. Resolution audio provides an umbilical cord to connect the separate power supply to the CD player. My transport is a little temperamental but it really doesn't bother me. I can explain in detail if you wish. Ditto with Kurt_tank; customer service is second to none. I've spoken to Jeff many times & he is a consummate pro. As I speak I'm working on a system for my bedroom. I'm not sure what direction to go. I have thought about another Opus 21 system.
Resolution Audio Opus 21: Highly recommended!!
I have a GNSC Reference modified Opus 21 and it was a signficant upgrade to my prior digital three-piece front end (CAL Delta transport, Genesis Digital Lens, TADAC DAC/pre). Overall beter resolution, more accurate bass and an awesome level of "musicality" (as others have noted here and in many other reviews). Jeff Kalt at RA is a pro, as is Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound. I did have an issue with my transport, and Steve took care of it very quickly and inexpensively and with great care and communication. One of the great things about the Opus design is that the transport part of the unit is inexpensive and easily available. Jeff Kalt is now using a TEAC transport unit that he believes has solved a lot of the prior issues with the drives. One thing to note is that Steve at GNSC no longer accepts stock Opus 21's for upgrade due to a lack of available parts (no more Blackgates!), but he will still sell you a new one. While I have not heard a stock Opus, the GNSC Reference is great, and if you look around you can find a used one for only a few hundred dollars more than a used stock unit, even though the upgrade costs ~$1500-2000. Can't say enough good things about the Opus 21 GNSC Reference or Steve at GNSC.
I have a GNSC Reference Opus 21 and have owned Opus 21s in both stock and GNSC Reference modification versions. The GNSC mods seemed to give the greatest impact in the areas of bass weight and depth and overall dynamics. As others have commented, the Opus 21 is a great product stock but is improved by GNSC modifications.
I think that Opus 21s have become available more frequently on Audiogon during recent months and prices seem extremely reasonable for the quality of product you get. While I understand that the new Resolution Audio music center/CD player will be a significant improvement upon the Opus 21, the current prices of both new and used Opus 21s make them very attractive.
I have only spoken to Jeff Kalt once or twice and he was as advertised above, a great guy. I have more extensively dealt with GNSC and Steve Huntley. Steve is unsurpassed as a dealer and modifier. So, while we should focus most on the sound of a component, the fact of the matter is that our enjoyment of a component derives from the entire ownership experience. You can't go wrong dealing with either of these guys.