Originally Posted by smdelaney
I could argue that this post should go in one of the Denon threads but since the basic question is about choosing 4k BR players I'll start here...
Is the DAC in the OPPO UHD-203 universally superior to the DAC in the Denon AVR line up or is there a tier in the Denon's where it becomes equivalent or better on the Denon side? My Onkyo TX-SR803 has gone and joined the choir invisible and I'm setting my sights on a Denon to replace it. The TV and 4K BR player are next on the upgrade list and to justify consideration of the OPPO I will want to factor in whether the Denon has the appropriate inputs to fully enjoy the audio quality of the OPPO. If the Denon is going to downgrade the audio quality then I can't justify the expense of an OPPO and I'm better of considering a different 4k BR player.
Any suggestions? The UHD-203 is at the top end of my budget FWIW.
It depends on the Denon AVR you pick. The new top of the line Denons have a Denon - designed chip that is well reviewed, so it may work better than the Oppo's well reviewed AKM DAC's.
It's not an either or in that you can set the AVR not to apply its DACs and use the Oppos strictly. It's a compromise, since in that case, important features of an AVR like room correction and configuration of speakers are bypassed.
It also depends on whether you want to use HDMI (in which case the Oppo's DACs are bypassed) to the AVR or analog connections (in which the AVR's DACs are bypassed) to the AVR.
I've got two Oppos with Pioneer Elite AVRs and have tried both ways (analog out or HDMI). They sounded great in both analog and HDMI, but I settled on HDMI for convenience's sake and because any ground I lost in having lesser DACs was made up (in my mind) by the improvement in sound from room correction and management of sound by the AVR.
The impact from the Oppos to me are the clean delivery of video and analog signal and allowing me to have high end sound sources, like SACD, DVD-Audio, bluray sources and all sorts of network file sources (MKV, FLAC, ALAC, DSD, etc... )
I imagine that the Denons do a good job of handling the DA conversion, but you would have to test to be sure. If it's a question you want answered, buy a 203, test it during the return period and return it if it's not to your liking.