What is the cost of the Theta Compli Blu compared to the Oppo SE ?
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For what its worth, the MSRP price of the Compli Blu is half the MSRP of the Compli. I'd buy the Oppo 83 in a New York minute if I could find someone that could replace the coaxial out with an AES/XLR connection. I've asked a few of the modification firms if that's possible, but they've all said there's not enough room to do that. I wonder if that's why Theta didn't offer an AES/XLR out.
So what is Theta doing different. Cause if you look up the Manual for the Theta Blu ray it's the Oppo manual. So what that says to me is Oppo built it and Theta slapped there name on it and raised the price 3 x as much. Now I like Theta and I am an owner of Theta equipment. But this seems very suspicious.
It could be the Lexicon issue all over again unless Theta has come out and said their player is based on an Oppo with modifications. Check out this thread on AVGuide.com: http://www.avguide.com/blog/first-listen-lexicon-bd-30-universal-blu-ray-player
You can consider the Compli Blu as an Oppo on stereoids.
Here is a list of the enhancements Theta has done over the Oppo:
1.Heavy 16 gauge steel chassis for rigidity.
2.Positions of transport mechanism and display have been swapped. Lowering the mechanism allows for elimination an intermediary mounting bracket and long standoffs, resulting in greater rigidity.
3.Completely rigid mounted mechanism replaces the original spring mounted system.
4.Special 3M adhesive damping material used on drawer assembly, further reducing vibration energy.
5.RS-232 control is included as a standard.
6.Custom designed front panel PCB.
7.Custom designed analog power supply, which includes the following:
A. An 80 Watt ultra-quiet toroidal transformer.
B. Additional, independent 10 Watt transformer for Standby circuit.
C. A total of 7 Amps of power available to supply the unit.
D. Four independently rectified and regulated power supplies.
E. Over 40,000 uF filter capacitance, in small, low ESR multiples.
F. 2 oz. gold plated copper used throughout.
8.Proprietary Theta Digital customized software for superior performance, and that can be easily updated through USB port on the rear panel, or via Ethernet connection to Theta Digital's website.
9.Standard thick, brushed aluminum alloy cover provides better sonics and aesthetics as it reduces vibration energy further.
10.1/2" thick Tower and Faceplate matches other Theta Digital products.
As evidenced in the following paragraph copied from Thetas website, what differentiates Theta from Lexicon is the fact that Theta has always been up-front about the fact that they use third party units as a platform for their products. The below message appeared in Theta's website well before the Lexicon issue came to light. In addition to that, if you look at the Compli Blu manual, the manual clearly shows an OPPO BDP-83.
"The Compli Blu, like all the other transports before it, is based on a manufacturing kit obtained from a third party, then optimized by Theta Digital's experts to bring it up to our high standards. In the past, we've partnered with Sony, Phillips and Pioneer. This time, we're pleased to partner with Oppo, whose recent transports have garnered quite a following. Both Oppo and Theta Digital are delighted to bring this top performing product to you, and to build upon the already desirable performance of the BPD-83 and establish yet another benchmark of performance by Theta Digital in the transport product category."
So the $2K premium buys you a better more rigid chassis with resonance damping material and an upgraded power supply, similar to some of the mods currently being offered for the BDP-83SE. As pointed out above, the fact that Theta is fully transparent in its marketing of the product concerning its core and the value add they bring to the table is fair enough. This is more reasonable and honest than the Lexicon debacle and allows consumers to make an informed choice as to whether the premium is warranted both in terms of sonic performance and premium branding.
By the way, I should add, partnerships between Hi-end company's and manufacturers is not a new development. Philips transports have been used for years by EMM Labs and others. Do we need to ask how much a EMM Labs transport cost.
So a $2,000 Theta transport is a skin irritation only to those who did not realize the facts before, we pay for the name and the high end performance.
There is so much more that the Oppo-83SE has to offer and it deserves full attention especially at this price/performance level. There are some killer mods out there that will make you drool.
I thoroughly enjoyed your review and appreciate that you shared your experiences with us. One quick question - with a high quality preamp like the Cary, I was surprsied that you used the PCM output on the universal players(instead of the bistream outputs) for your digital comparisons. Did you ever compare the bitstream output in the Oppo to the PCM outout in the Oppo?
I too have a Compli Blu here and am pretty impressed. I also have a NuForce BDP-83SE as well. Go here for an initial write up and photos:
As you will see, the power supply and chassis changes are significant. Essentially only the drive, digital and analog board remains the same from the Oppo. OK - thats a lot, but it's really only three parts, albeit significant ones.
BTW - thanks for your write up Cappuccino
It seems that both were released almost in the same time range - recently. Is Compli Blu built on 93? Rather than on 83? If that is the case, then the video processing is different between 83 and Compli Blu (assume it uses the same as 93). Theta site doesn't say too about it in details. Anyone can clarify this? Thanks.
The Compli Blu is based on the 83. They completely replaced the power supply, the whole chassis, the front display/control board, relocated and mounted the drive unit, and some other stuff. The analog section seems to be untouched, but Theta calls it a transport anyway, so it seems they intend for it to connect digitally to the user's system.
I now have both the Theta Compli Blu and the Oppo 95 and run side by side comparison. Yes, it is right what someone said that these new machines from Oppo represent a jump in performance. Earlier I preferred the Compli over the Oppo 83, but with the 95 it is different. Analog audio is quite a lot better with the 95. With all kinds of digital audio I am not able to hear any differences. But with video I find the the Oppo 95 to be a little bit better than the Compli. It is a little bit sharper and has more depth and 3d feeling to the picture, that is with 2d material of course. (My projector is not cabable of 3d so I have not tested that). I hope Theta will make a mkII version of the Compli based on the Oppo 95. It would be a killer machine I guess!