I am looking for an audio solution. My main entertainment setup is currently just a Yamaha HTR-3064 (lowest end Yamaha AVR), a Sony BDP-S480 for Blu-Rays and 5.1 SACDs, and a Yamaha DVD-S2500 for DVDA/SACD/CD Stereo playback. For speakers, I have Wharfedale Evo2-20 as fronts and Evo2 Center as the center channel, and the stock HITB Yamaha speakers/sub that came wih the 3064.
I have just ordered a set of Wharfedale Evo2-30s to be used as fronts, while the Evo2-20 will be moved to the rears. I have always felt the 3064 is doing my Wharfedales no justice, and I will soon upgrade to the Denon 4311CI, a sub...most likely Paradigm PDR-80 or PDR-100 will also soon follow. Since i live in a condo, I wont be needing anything more powerful for at least another 4-7 years. So the only missing link then, will be a good universal player to replace the S480/S2500 combo I use now.
My main concern here is audio performance, and more specifically music performance. Video performance and good movie audio would be icing on the cake, but music is king. I've narrowed down my choices to the Oppo-93 and 95. I am fully aware that the 95 has the better DACs, by a wide margin. I am not too sure how wide the margin between the two is on video processing, but I am sure they are both good enough for me. So the question is, which would be better for me?
My current S2500 has excellent DACs, and the difference in sound quality during stereo CD/SACD playback between the analog out of the S2500 vs the HDMI out from the Sony S480 (it streams DSD to my receiver which can decode DSD), is huge! Its apparent that the AVRs DAC is inferior to the S2500's DAC. I can't judge multi-channel music output, since my current AVR does not have multi-ch analog in.
However, the Denon 4311CI is a completely different monster. It does have great DACs, does have multi-ch analog in, and it has Audessey room correction. From what I've been gathering, room correction can have a DEEP impact on sound quality, perhaps a bigger impact (at least with the level of components I am working with), than the quality of DACs on components.
If I buy the Oppo-95 it would be because of its superior DACs, it would be for the sake of getting the better music performance. However, to utilize those DACs, I would be employing the 95s analog outs, which would render the Audessey room correction pointless. As transports (HDMI/digi out), I am not sure how huge of difference there is between the 95 and 93, but I am sure there is very little difference that I will be able to pick up at this level. What would produce a better (by better, I mean natural) music experience? Room correction from the Denon 4311CI (with the Oppo-93), or analog out from the Oppo-95 sans room correction?
Sorry for the long drawn out post!