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A Blu-Ray player that doesn't suck balls for audio

browellm

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Sep 9, 2008
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Posting this in 2-ch because I'm primarily interested in the 2-ch CD performance.

Budget is £500 and new is definitely preferred. What are the current recos? If you've heard them, even better ;-)

 

meninblack

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For that budget the Oppo BD-103 must be in the frame. There was also a Cambridge Audio at this price point, but it's discontinued.

 

browellm

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It's for a friend. I'm sure he'd looked into the Oppo 103 and said there was something dodgy with it on the video side. I can't remember.

 

meninblack

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Really! :shock: I'm surprised. The older 83 and 95 models I've owned have been superb, especially for video.

 

browellm

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Yes, he said there are lot of reports of the 103 being a big step back from those two models :(

 

eastsoutheast

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Would also recommend the Oppo but sounds like you have heard some poor reviews of the 103. The as only players are always well reviewed and praised for their picture quality. A new Sony 790 can be had for £160 leaving £340 for a decent DAC or lots of software!!

 

meninblack

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In which case I would be looking at the Denon DBT-331UD or the Marantz UD5007 - but no direct experience of either.

 

browellm

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Sep 9, 2008
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Would also recommend the Oppo but sounds like you have heard some poor reviews of the 103. The as only players are always well reviewed and praised for their picture quality. A new Sony 790 can be had for £160 leaving £340 for a decent DAC or lots of software!!
A DAC is a very good idea actually. He could spend £400 on whatever blu-ray player floats his boat from a video perspective and £100 on a little Micromega DAC or similar would nail the CD playback.

 

meninblack

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A lot of the Japanese A/V gear expects to be used with a receiver over HDMI. Check that you have a suitable digital output for use with a DAC, and that it can be set to output PCM stereo.

 

catcando

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Apr 2, 2007
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Gregg
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Hi Mark

I have an audiophile and video knowledgeable friend, who is using a 103, and says it is great. No video issues, and it is a great 2 ch player as well.

Yes, he said there are lot of reports of the 103 being a big step back from those two models :(
 

browellm

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Sep 9, 2008
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Hi MarkI have an audiophile and video knowledgeable friend, who is using a 103, and says it is great. No video issues, and it is a great 2 ch player as well.
Hi Gregg, thx I will certainly pass that info on!

 

Hap Hazzard

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Jul 26, 2010
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This may be worth an audition, I haven't heard one, but i know he does wonders to improve cd and dac sound quality, because he has massively improved/modded my front end gear and he is a gent to deal with. He doesn't live far from Notts. just down the road in Derby so an audition would be practical for you. :D

I believe these machines are boxed new, but modified.

http://www.chevronaudio.co.uk/html/sabre_player_dac.html

 

jon

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Jul 20, 2005
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There's loads of choice around the £100-200 mark - plenty of players that will be good for video over HDMI and work fine as transports. I use a panny BDT320 that left a little change from £100 - but your friend will have lots of choice, and can pick one where they like the look/usability/features. That'll then leave a decent amount to spend on a DAC (make sure to get a player with an optical or coaxial digital output) or music. Budget blu-ray players nowadays are good enough at playing video over HDMI/serving as an audio transport that I don't think I'd spend £500 on one.

On the other hand, if your friend wants a player with battleship build you occasionally see higher end pre-3d pre-'smart' players (e.g. some of Denon's higher models) secondhand within their budget... Would give a machine with 'audiophile' look and feel and a decent in-built DAC too :)

 

68rednose

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Mar 11, 2013
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New should be Oppo by reputation. Recently a thread/ad on the Wam:

http://www.hifiwigwam.com/showthread.php?94088-Oppo-BDP103D-Darbee-Edition&highlight=oppo+103

http://www.audiologica.co.uk/oppo/oppo_103d.html

I went the used route for blu ray.

Have Pioneer BDP-51FD, decent machine, use it for video only, and has acceptable SQ.

BDP-71 and BDP-91 are famous for 2ch SQ, I guess it can be found used between roughly GBP 250 and 800.

Smartest and most flexible though is in my opinion the already suggested (budget) blu ray and seperate DAC.

You can buy the player new because of mechanics and a used DAC to get best VFM.

Good luck with your search!

 

craigmclellan

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Jun 17, 2011
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Craig
If you plan to use it as a transport, ANY bluray player is going to be good, even the cheapo models.

Apparently it is something to do with the transports on them, the jitter is very low. I know my S470 sounds pretty damned similar to my CDP-337ESD which has a stupendously over engineered, built to last transport in it.

 

uncl_nigel

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Jun 23, 2008
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What I reproach my BDP with is mechanism noise when playing discs - this rather than sound quality will push me towards Cambridge, Oppo or the more expensive Japanese machines. More likely the first two because region+zone free is important for me.

As a source of bits for my DAC my little Samsung is quite acceptable when set to max output resolution (24/96) and playing one of the new "Pure audio" Blurays (I bought two here in France before the Summer).

The Chevron (linked above) looks interesting, I wonder whether thye do it region+zone free.

 

jon

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If you plan to use it as a transport, ANY bluray player is going to be good, even the cheapo models.
I agree, but lots of the really cheap players come with annoyances - noisy mechanisms, horrible remote and usability, that type of thing. Tend to get better options once you're spending £80+ and I guess if someone's got a £500 budget it's likely worth not going for the absolute cheapest players about - might sound fine, but leave a real desire to chuck out the window after an hour or two.

 

Tune

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Dec 25, 2006
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I've got a Sony something. £99 or thereabouts. Plays SACD and keeps it native DSD. Sounds fine really and it's a perfectly good Blue Ray player.

People get so hung up on this but I promise if you were to listen to a number of these devices level matched and blind, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

 

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