Using Oppo BDP-95 as source, is outboard dac going to make a difference? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 84 Old 01-22-2012, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I think I am going to buy an Oppo BDP-95 so that I can upgrade from my old Sony BDP-360, which serves as both my bluray player and my cd player. What I am trying to figure out is whether or not any of the sub-1000 dollar dacs that are currently on the market, both new and used, going to make a difference in the 2 channel performance of my system? Or are the dacs in the Oppo going to be superior? I am trying to upgrade my 2 channel system one component at a time in order to stretch the cost out. When, or if, I buy a dac, it will be a 1000 dollar or less dac as I never intend on upgrading, or at least for several years. If the dacs in the Oppo will likely be superior then that is the unit I will go with. Other wise I will just buy a cheaper bluray player.
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post #2 of 84 Old 01-22-2012, 08:26 PM
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The Oppo 95 is pretty good from all the reports I've read. I doubt you'll get any improvement with an external DAC and the 95.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #3 of 84 Old 01-22-2012, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok so I think I am going to buy an Oppo BDP-95 so that I can upgrade from my old Sony BDP-360, which serves as both my bluray player and my cd player. What I am trying to figure out is whether or not any of the sub-1000 dollar dacs that are currently on the market, both new and used, going to make a difference in the 2 channel performance of my system? Or are the dacs in the Oppo going to be superior? I am trying to upgrade my 2 channel system one component at a time in order to stretch the cost out. When, or if, I buy a dac, it will be a 1000 dollar or less dac as I never intend on upgrading, or at least for several years. If the dacs in the Oppo will likely be superior then that is the unit I will go with. Other wise I will just buy a cheaper bluray player.

If you are considering using an outboard DAC, why would you get the 95 over the 93?

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #4 of 84 Old 01-22-2012, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

The Oppo 95 is pretty good from all the reports I've read. I doubt you'll get any improvement with an external DAC and the 95.

Agreed. I don't think you would find a DAC that has a measurable improvement over the Oppo 95, let alone an audible improvement. There isn't much difference at the high end.
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post #5 of 84 Old 01-23-2012, 02:03 AM
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I agree with what others said. Great choice to go with the Oppo player, first of all. I have the BDP 93 and love it....worth every penny. I would think the only way you'd notice any difference with an outboard DAC would be if you went with a tube version and used the 95 as a transport.

I can't say enough about Oppo, though....excellent customer service and fantastic products.


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post #6 of 84 Old 01-23-2012, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks for the replies! What do you guys think about some of the modded Oppo BDP-93's that are available? Worth the money?
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post #7 of 84 Old 01-23-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok, thanks for the replies! What do you guys think about some of the modded Oppo BDP-93's that are available? Worth the money?

Me, I'd stick with the 95. Seems I read one review that preferred it over the nuforce 93 upgrade. It would always be easier to have the player serviced by oppo should it ever need it if you didn't have any mods.
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post #8 of 84 Old 01-23-2012, 06:36 AM
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If you want external DAC, get Oppo 93. Digital parts are the same in both, and you do not need to pay premium for analog parts in 95, if you are not going to use them. But you have to get DAC with HDMI input, as Oppo does not send DSD or high-resolution audio any other way. But be aware that there are not that many HDMI DACs on the market.
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post #9 of 84 Old 01-23-2012, 07:21 AM
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marty, as has been said in other threads, you are going about this backwards...

quit worrying about dacs... start worrying about stuff that really matters... put the money you'd spend on a 95 (a complete waste of money over the 93 for you) into your speaker bucket and keep filling that bucket every chance you get...

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post #10 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok so I think I am going to buy an Oppo BDP-95 so that I can upgrade from my old Sony BDP-360, which serves as both my bluray player and my cd player. What I am trying to figure out is whether or not any of the sub-1000 dollar dacs that are currently on the market, both new and used, going to make a difference in the 2 channel performance of my system? Or are the dacs in the Oppo going to be superior? I am trying to upgrade my 2 channel system one component at a time in order to stretch the cost out. When, or if, I buy a dac, it will be a 1000 dollar or less dac as I never intend on upgrading, or at least for several years. If the dacs in the Oppo will likely be superior then that is the unit I will go with. Other wise I will just buy a cheaper bluray player.

Looking for signficiant sound quality improvements given the really pretty good equipment you already have is like searching for the Holy Grail. If you want better sound, work on room acoustics, system setup, and/or speakers.
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post #11 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 06:45 AM
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What do you guys think about some of the modded Oppo BDP-93's that are available? Worth the money?

Almost certainly not. The Oppo provides audibly transparent output as is. All the mods in the world can't make it any more transparent.

As others have said, you are barking up the wrong tree.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #12 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 08:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok so I think I am going to buy an Oppo BDP-95 so that I can upgrade from my old Sony BDP-360

Yep. And then next year you'll need to "upgrade" to the Oppo 97. Then 2yrs later the Oppo 99. Then the 101, etc, etc, etc.
Just amazing how every year, DACs manage to get better and better. You know, "performance", "10x lower distortion", etc, etc.
Out of your same old CDs. Made with 20yr old DACs.
Amazing.

cheers,

AJ
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post #13 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

marty, as has been said in other threads, you are going about this backwards...

quit worrying about dacs... start worrying about stuff that really matters... put the money you'd spend on a 95 (a complete waste of money over the 93 for you) into your speaker bucket and keep filling that bucket every chance you get...


I have already purchased speakers (Ascend Sierra-1's) so that part is done. What I am trying to do now is, upgrade my current 2 channel system, one component at a time. The reason I asked about the Oppo DAC's versus an outboard is because its almost time to upgrade my bluray player and I thought I might spend some extra money for the Oppo and use it as my source for 2 channel as well, but, I was just wondering if the Oppo would be as good as having a regular cd player and sub $1k dollar dac because if not then I was going to buy a cheaper bluray player and a cheaper cd player and then later, add an outboard dac. Seeing as how the Oppo is up to par then this takes a lot of time, $$, and effort out of my quest!
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post #14 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I have already purchased speakers (Ascend Sierra-1's) so that part is done. What I am trying to do now is, upgrade my current 2 channel system, one component at a time. The reason I asked about the Oppo DAC's versus an outboard is because its almost time to upgrade my bluray player and I thought I might spend some extra money for the Oppo and use it as my source for 2 channel as well, but, I was just wondering if the Oppo would be as good as having a regular cd player and sub $1k dollar dac because if not then I was going to buy a cheaper bluray player and a cheaper cd player and then later, add an outboard dac. Seeing as how the Oppo is up to par then this takes a lot of time, $$, and effort out of my quest!

Do you seriously think that by buying new speakers, you have resolved all of the problems due to speaker-room interaction, speaker coloration, room acoustics and speaker distortion so well that you never have to go there again?
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post #15 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Do you seriously think that by buying new speakers, you have resolved all of the problems due to speaker-room interaction, speaker coloration, room acoustics and speaker distortion so well that you never have to go there again?


Where did I say that by buying new speakers, I solved any of that??? Re-read my post. I was inquiring about whether or not buying an Oppo would save the need for an outboard dac down the road. Not right now. Of course I realize that I need to spend some time taking care of room interactions but I have to buy something because my old source went out and if the Oppo would not be better than a cheaper source with a sub 1k$ dac then I will spend the extra money and get the Oppo.
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post #16 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 01:27 PM
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marty...

when i had my sierras, i used the dac in my avr...

now that i have my salks, i use...

wait for it...

the dac in my avr...

one last time from me... stop worrying about dacs....

- chris

 

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post #17 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 01:36 PM
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To be able to attribute any difference you could hear between two different input paths solely to the DAC being used is a stretch. There are other things involved in the hypothetical comparison you are trying to make besides just the DACs. But even if you COULD eliminate all the other variables so that you COULD compare just the DACs, and even if you COULD hear a difference, you would probably be hard-pressed to objectively decide which you actually preferred. Given a wide range of listening material and enough time you might find that you prefer one of the DACs for some source material and the other DAC for other source material. You might find that you prefer one of the DACs at lower volumes and the other DAC at higher volumes. Etc.. And even if you COULD decide which DAC you definitely preferred, you might find that you prefer what would be considered the lesser of the two DACs.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #18 of 84 Old 01-24-2012, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

To be able to attribute any difference you could hear between two different input paths solely to the DAC being used is a stretch. There are other things involved in the hypothetical comparison you are trying to make besides just the DACs. But even if you COULD eliminate all the other variables so that you COULD compare just the DACs, and even if you COULD hear a difference, you would probably be hard-pressed to objectively decide which you actually preferred. Given a wide range of listening material and enough time you might find that you prefer one of the DACs for some source material and the other DAC for other source material. You might find that you prefer one of the DACs at lower volumes and the other DAC at higher volumes. Etc.. And even if you COULD decide which DAC you definitely preferred, you might find that you prefer what would be considered the lesser of the two DACs.


You are probably correct. The more I have researched this, the more I realize that what you just said, is probably going to be the end result.

Let me ask another question while we are on the subject of things that might work or might not work to improve SQ....right now I am using a cheap avr, a yamaha rx-v663, because I got a really good deal on it and after waiting on my speakers, by the time they came in I was honestly ready to just sit down and enjoy some music and I could not afford a pre-amp/amp or an intergrated at that time. Now at this point, I can afford to possibly get a pre-amp/amp or an intergrated. So what would I gain by purchasing a pre-amp/amp or intergrated amp, over what I have now?
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post #19 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

You are probably correct. The more I have researched this, the more I realize that what you just said, is probably going to be the end result.

Let me ask another question while we are on the subject of things that might work or might not work to improve SQ....right now I am using a cheap avr, a yamaha rx-v663, because I got a really good deal on it and after waiting on my speakers, by the time they came in I was honestly ready to just sit down and enjoy some music and I could not afford a pre-amp/amp or an intergrated at that time. Now at this point, I can afford to possibly get a pre-amp/amp or an intergrated. So what would I gain by purchasing a pre-amp/amp or intergrated amp, over what I have now?

Probably not that much.
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post #20 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 07:10 AM
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Marty,

As I'm sure you know, revealing speakers are the first need in searching for improvement or upgrade. Without them, actually hearing what you seek will be difficult. Coupled with proper room acoustics, transparent speakers allow your upgrade process to evolve in whatever increments. Your Sierra 1 Monitors should help in this.

And while upgrading through electronics usually yields subtle changes/refinements (mostly on the margins), I did gain a satisfying and discernible improvement in my low/mid-fi system when switching from receivers (used both as receivers and later as pre/pros with Parasound amping) to full separates with an Onkyo PR-SC885 processor. For me, S/N ratio well over 100dB is key. The 885 is rated at 110dB and my system has never been so noise-free with/without signal. Similar to the importance of revealing speakers, this allows any changes/improvements in electronics upgrade to emerge (although it should be said not all changes are necessarily improvements). So, whether receiver, integrated amp, or processor of whatever stripe, I worry much less about DACs and chips in general and more about the final result in my now darkly quiet system.

Like you, I currently use a decent BluRay player for Video (Panny BD60) but will upgrade to the Oppo 93 early this year. This will most likely also serve for Music as well which is currently played through an ES Sony W2000 player/recorder and previous to that various Harman Kardons. As was earlier pointed out, if high end Analog is not what you seek, then the 93 is all you need for both DVD/BluRay and Music. You will save $500 or have more money to put into source content. If going with the 93 and still desirous of an outboard DAC, the Emotiva XDA-1 is currently being cleared out at a ridiculous price. However, if analog is important to you, stop your upgrading at the 95 and be happy.
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post #21 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok thank you guys so much for the replys! So I guess the general consensus is that as long as I have a decent amount of power in my receiver (in this case a Yamaha rx-v663) and have a pretty good source (probably going with the Oppo bdp-93) then adding things such as dacs and switching out the receiver with seperates or an intergrated amp, is basically just going to refine the overall SQ but not by a great amount. Its not like my listening experience is going to be substantially improved by adding a dedicated pre-amp/amp or intergrated or even a dac.
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post #22 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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Are you going to use the 95s D2ch Analogue { either RCA or XLR}. Or HDMI for music?
Yes > or > No?
Do you want a dedicate CD { great dacs} or do you want a multi-featured versatile player?

db
Oppo Beta Tester #9
* maybe you might want to take this over to OPPO 95 thread.
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post #23 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Ok thank you guys so much for the replys! So I guess the general consensus is that as long as I have a decent amount of power in my receiver (in this case a Yamaha rx-v663) and have a pretty good source (probably going with the Oppo bdp-93) then adding things such as dacs and switching out the receiver with seperates or an intergrated amp, is basically just going to refine the overall SQ but not by a great amount. Its not like my listening experience is going to be substantially improved by adding a dedicated pre-amp/amp or intergrated or even a dac.

That's pretty much it!

When utilizing the digital side of audio, there is really less need for excessive expenditure overall, at least for more average Joes. Analog, on the other hand, definitely benefits from $$$ investment (think tubes). And as long as your speakers are being fed sufficient and clean power at whatever listening levels you prefer, you should be good to go.
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post #24 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DAB View Post

Are you going to use the 95s D2ch Analogue { either RCA or XLR}. Or HDMI for music?
Yes > or > No?
Do you want a dedicate CD { great dacs} or do you want a multi-featured versatile player?

db
Oppo Beta Tester #9
* maybe you might want to take this over to OPPO 95 thread.


I am not sure on this. I thought the only way to take advantage of the Oppo's internal dacs was to hook up the player via the analogue outputs into my receivers analogue inputs. Although I am not sure if the Oppo has 7.1 channel analogue outputs? If it does, then I will just hook it that way and use another method other than hdmi to hook up the video section. Is there any way to use the hdmi for the video only? What would be the best way to go about taking advantge of the Oppo's dacs? I honestly don't care about hdmi. Any advise? When you say that a dedicated cd player would have a great dac, are there any that are somewhat cheaper, like say around 400 to 500 dollars for a used one, that will be equal or better than the Oppo's dacs? I would rather have a dedicated cd player, personally.
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post #25 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I thought the only way to take advantage of the Oppo's internal dacs
was to hook up the player via the analogue outputs into my receivers
analogue inputs.

You're correct. HDMI output is digital (so the Oppo's DAC's aren't
involved.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Although I am not sure if the Oppo has 7.1 channel analogue outputs?

It does, as can be seen on the image of the BDP-95's back on Oppo's web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Is there any way to use the hdmi for the video only?

Sure. You can use HDMI to attach a display device and the BDP-95's (or -93's)
analogue output for multi-channel audio. (Technically, the audio will still be
sent through HDMI.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

What would be the best way to go about taking advantge of the Oppo's dacs?

There's only one way: Use the RCA analogue connections on the back of the
BDP-95 (or -93). The BDP-95 has only one user advantage over the BDP-93.
It uses expensive and well-reviewed Cirrus Logic Sabre32 DAC's (and has some
other hardware changes to support them.)
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post #26 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I thought the only way to take advantage of the Oppo's internal dacs

What "advantage" would that be? Over the existing DACs in your Sony or Yamaha? Is this for audio purposes or something else?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

When you say that a dedicated cd player would have a great dac, are there any that are somewhat cheaper, like say around 400 to 500 dollars for a used one, that will be equal or better than the Oppo's dacs? I would rather have a dedicated cd player, personally.

Then you don't need to spend more than $100 to replace your presumably failing/broken Sony BDP. If transparent audio signal transfer is your concern.
If there are psychological or other similar types of concerns to allay, then you may have to continuously spend a lot more.

cheers,

AJ
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post #27 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post

Analog, on the other hand, definitely benefits from $$$ investment (think tubes).

Audible benefits or "other"?
"Think tubes" where? In Alaska?

cheers,

AJ
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post #28 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

Audible benefits or "other"?
"Think tubes" where? In Alaska?
AJ


Yes, of course, other. In Alaska the extra warmth is a practical necessity.

Seriously, to me the analog stage of the Oppo 95 along with the ESS Sabre DACs are not worth the extra $500. But I have no higher end analog needs. However I do fully understand those who pay for it and consider it an absolute bargain at the price.

If the OP wanted a DAC he could easily go with the XDA-1 at $249 and a cheaper player as transport ... or his older Sony if it still plays. I assume it does and he is just pondering his upgrade options.
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post #29 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 03:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post

But I have no higher end analog needs. However I do fully understand those who pay for it and consider it an absolute bargain at the price.

As do I, since I understand the hearing process and what constitutes "audible".
Not sure about his particular Sony, but it is my understanding that stuff like the S480, has the Wolfson DAC that pretty much has it's own analog output stage (2V rms) single pole filter and servo system, negating the need for coupling caps etc. By no means SOTA...or guaranteed "audible".
So if there were a wager on whether Marty or Audiophile X could "hear" differences, with statistical significance, under controlled conditions, between voltage matched Sony vs Oppo, I pretty certain where I'd place my bet. Maybe somehow the Sony does degrade the analog signal into audibility thresholds, but until presented evidence as to such....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkeBar View Post

If the OP wanted a DAC he could easily go with the XDA-1 at $249 and a cheaper player as transport ... or his older Sony if it still plays. I assume it does and he is just pondering his upgrade options.

If it still plays CDs, then I'm wondering what the "upgrade" is? SACD? Better video performance? Don't recall him mentioning this.

cheers,

AJ
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post #30 of 84 Old 01-25-2012, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJinFLA View Post

As do I, since I understand the hearing process and what constitutes "audible".
Not sure about his particular Sony, but it is my understanding that stuff like the S480, has the Wolfson DAC that pretty much has it's own analog output stage (2V rms) single pole filter and servo system, negating the need for coupling caps etc. By no means SOTA...or guaranteed "audible".
So if there were a wager on whether Marty or Audiophile X could "hear" differences, with statistical significance, under controlled conditions, between voltage matched Sony vs Oppo, I pretty certain where I'd place my bet. Maybe somehow the Sony does degrade the analog signal into audibility thresholds, but until presented evidence as to such....


If it still plays CDs, then I'm wondering what the "upgrade" is? SACD? Better video performance? Don't recall him mentioning this.

cheers,

AJ


Well it still plays, when it wants to. LoL. Sometimes it plays and sometimes it doesn't and I have to turn it off and then back on several times. Plus it is slow as hell to get that thing to do something. I honestly just want something that is faster and my reliable. I figured since I am going to have to purchase a new bluray player soon anyway, and being that it also serves as my digital source for my 2 channel system for the time being, that I might as well and spend a little money on a player that is faster and has and that-at least on paper-having better dacs-should be an improvement over what I have now-and also not have to worry about upgrading anytime soon.

But what you are saying is that the dacs in the Oppo will not sound any different than the dacs in my Yamaha or even the old Sony? If this is case, then why do people spend toins of money to purchase outboard dacs and better sources? If your logic is correct, then a regular Samsung or Toshiba is going to sound the same as a high dollar Oppo? Surely there is something to be said for having a better dac somewhere in the chain? I mean, maybe its not worth obcessing over, and I agree that its probably not, but, whats wrong with having some fun and at least try to put some thought and $ into making improvements when I am in the position to do so?
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