Originally Posted by ca1ore
Fully agree! I'm frankly a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic and not easily taken with tweaks and upgrades, but I am very impressed with the 621. I'm not sure that I don't actually prefer CD on the Oppo thru 621 to 861 than 800 directly to 861. Too bad the 800 can't pass mch audio over HDMI as it might benefit from being run thru the 621.
Ca1ore welcome to the HD621 A/V express. Ive been playing with my new Oppo BDP-83 and compairing it to the Sony BSP-S360 along with Toshiba XA2 through the HD621 to my Meridian 568.25. Its realy easy to use the HD621 for such multi player comparisons, because of its multi HDMI inputs. I find that soundwise the HD621 brings out the best in all these players. HD sound formats like DTS-HD-MA (not on XA2), DTS-HD, Dolby True HD etc. all sound great and I find that the HD621 relly equals the soundstage coming out from these players to the point that I cant realy judge one player as a clear winner over the other when using the same HD sound formats. CD sound is another matter as I would say the Oppo stands out as the best HDMI output CD player and does seem to equal my Meridian 598 as a CD player, but only if run through the HD621. The 598 can not be run through the HD621, just like Ca1ore´s 800. Guess the 598 and 800 would have the edge then? The 598 does have a slight edge on the 83 regarding DVD-Audio though, but only a slight.
Picture wise the HD621 does naturally not have much to say as it has no internal video processing, but still remains a top notch switcher for comparing these players. HD picture wise these players are all top notch HD players. But I do find that the 83 is the first player Ive used that Ive found myself looking at imperfections in the software being used rather than just loosing myself in the content and just going with the flow so to speak. If thats good or bad depends on the subjective feel you have for the software at hand.
When I first got the 83 I thought the 360 had a slightly better color and overal picture feel. But after having calibrated the 83 internally (wich you can not do with the 360 or XA2), I managed to get the best picture from the 83 out of the three players.
Regarding SD playback I still find the XA2 to be king of the stand alone upscaling players. The 83 is very good though in this area also. Regarding the 360, well Ill just say that Ive seen worse upscaling players, but I never felt drawn to using it as a SD upscaler. Of all the arsenal I have at hand at the moment fo SD upscaling I still prefer using my 598 through a Iscan VP-30 (with a 102card) for best overall SD quality. I guess the 83 set to source direct would be a great source for the VP-30/102 also, but I have not had the time to check that setup yet. But when playing music oriented SD material like live concerts and music videos I prefer to use the XA2 just to get the HD621 in there.
One oddness Ive found using the 83 with the HD621 is that the "normal" playing volume for me on the 568.25 is at around 73 now instead of the usual 68 when using other players and sources? When using bitsteam output on the other hand from the 83 instead of LPCM/HDMI output, the volume returns back to the usual 68 level? Very strange, maby something to do with the HD621? The HD621 does just bypass bitrate but processess LPCM but then again the processed PCM from the XA2 and 360 are at the usual 68 level also. So the HD621 processing of the 83´s LPCM stream seams to result in a lower volume level. Very strange?
Well thought this might interest those on the AVSF interested in the above mentioned products. Well back to playing with those fun gadgets again and again and.......