Originally Posted by OzzieP
I would not say it's subjective in this case but more the difference in the analog build of the BDP-09FD.
Why is it not subjective?
You and I can listen to players A and B in our own setups or in a neutral setup and you subjectively prefer player A and I player B regardless of the build. Most would expect the Pioneer to sound better because it has a better build than the Oppo and cost approximately twice (MSRP) as much and attribute the better sound to the build. It is nice to hear some audition both players and let their ears decide. Better build quality doesn’t mean better sound. It only means better build quality.
Prior to purchasing my Oppo BDP-95 (recently replaced by my Oppo BDP-105) the best DAC implementation I had heard in my setup was in my Denon DVD-5910CI. I had also auditioned a Denon DVD-3800BDCI; presently own a Sony BDP-S5000ES and a Cambridge Azur 640C v2 (similar analog implementation to the Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD). I use the Oppo for all things musical and prior to that I wavered between my Denon and Cambridge.
Some will not confess that a lesser built player sounds better (subjectively) than a better built player. Based on that thought process alone my Denon DVD-5910CI by default would sound better than the Pioneer BDP-09FD and every other player that I own or have owned.
If build quality is someone’s basis for preferring one player over another then why even listen and just buy based on the specs and a scale.
Manufacturer's market build quality to justify price.
Originally Posted by prepress
There's also differing systems and rooms. And ears. And preferences, perhaps. All these could influence things.
I agree with you 100%, but some of us have biases and wouldn't entertain the thought that a player costing half the price and of a lesser build could sound better, but the variables that you mention are the reasons why. Some just may prefer the sonic characteristics of a specific DAC implementation regardless of the build quality. To often we get caught up on what’s in the box and what it cost as opposed to what comes out of the box.