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I got the opportunity to buy a used but minty Oppo BDP-83SE for a very good price. The seller was upgrading to a BDP-105 and needed some cash so I jumped on the BDP-83SE. I will be making some...
Fantastic Analog Audio playback
A little bit buggy...
I got the opportunity to buy a used but minty Oppo BDP-83SE for a very good price. The seller was upgrading to a BDP-105 and needed some cash so I jumped on the BDP-83SE. I will be making some comparisons with a Pioneer BDP-09FD and Sony BDP-580 player as well.
The Differences with the Oppo 83 and 83SE
The BDP-83SE is an upgraded version of the BDP-83. The upgraded version retailed $400 over the standard model. Users of the standard BDP-83 could send in the unit to have it upgraded by Oppo. The Oppo BDP-83SE features an upgraded power supply with tighter voltage regulation. The original unit used Cirrus Logic DAC, one per channel. The upgraded unit uses ESS-9016 eight channel DACs, stacking four DACs on each channel. This increases the signal to noise ratio considerably. Note that the DACs only affect the analog outputs. If you are using the HDMI output to listen to music, you will not notice any improvement in sound.
The remote on the Oppo is really nice. Other manufacturers should take note of the Oppo. It uses large buttons, almost all are backlit. You can tell when the batteries are weak when the backlighting gets dim. Compared to Pioneer's teeny uniformly-sized buttons or Sony's minimalist design, the Oppo is a joy to use.
Setup on the Oppo is quite easy. The setup menu is intuitive and the options are easily understandable. Sony uses the same menu as the Playstation 3. It is easy to use but going from one menu to a submenu can be tedious. The Pioneer is somewhat easy but the options are not too clear on what they do.
Operation on the Oppo and Sony is notably quicker than the Pioneer. let's be real, the Pioneer is a slug. It takes a couple of minutes to load any Blu-Ray disc. The Oppo is quick but I give the Sony a slight edge in speed over the Oppo. Response on the Sony remote is very good, on the Oppo, it's a bit slower. The Pioneer comes in dead last with dreadful response.
While the Sony and Pioneer performed with no issues, there was some with the Oppo. Occasionally, when fast forwarding in a movie, when you press the play button on the Oppo, the scene starts a few minutes after the selected scene. This was reported by some users and i could never repeat it consistently. Sometimes I would have no issues, other times.... Also, sometimes when powering up the Oppo, the unit will just hang. This is very rare (I'd say about four times in the past few months) but it is a pain. You have to unplug the unit from the AC to recover from the hang.
This is the hard part. All three players perform superbly with Blu-Ray discs. Even with a 92" screen, it is hard to fault any of the players. With standard DVDs, the Oppo and Pioneer out-performed the Sony in upscaling. The Oppo and Pioneer images seemed to be a tad sharper than the Sony.
This is where the Oppo comes into its own. The Sony has terrible audio compared to the other two. The Pioneer sound more detailed and smoother than the Sony (which uses it's own in-house DACs. The Pioneer uses Wolfson DACs which performed admirably. I also compared the audio with a couple of other regarded players. The Marantz SA-8260 dedicated CD player (Stereophile Class-A rated) which uses Cirrus Logic DACs and a Denon DVD-3930CI player.
But the Oppo decidedly killed them. There was no comparison. The Oppo had a more expansive soundstage, with more depth. The focus was a lot sharper than the other two. The Sony was flat, with only left to right separation. The Marantz and Denon could not compare with the Oppo as well. The Marantz was smooth but lacked the depth of the Oppo. The Denon was just out of its league. The Pioneer was a bit more open and detailed. The Oppo gave the music more realism. If you enjoy music, this is the player for you.
The BDP-83SE is an older player. As such, it does not have some features. It does not support 3D. Streaming is non-existent. But if these don't matter to you, the BDP-83SE is a winner. If you can find a used unit, get it. If you want a more up-to-date player with similar performance, look at the current Oppo BDP-105.