Originally Posted by PugetsoundHD
Received the 95 at 9 AM Wed. morning, opened it up a bit later to bring it to RT. Installed into the stereo system at 3 PM. At 8 PM took first listen using tracks #1 & 7 on Stockfisch Closer to the Music SACD. First impression was the 95 had slightly better defined bass, was slightly more dimensional with slightly sweeter vocals. Later that evening started listening to track #1 again, then 2, then 3...and couldn't stop. First time I've heard every word in the songs and no listener fatigue. Could have kept listening and listening...well you get the picture. Totally mesmerized and slept like a baby.
Let the 95 warm up O/N with plans to do further listening yesterday but all I had time for was to do a level check and found the stereo outputs of both the 83SE and 95 essentially equal in volume.
Today sat down for a longer listening session having throughly warmed up the system over several hours. Used two identical USHER: Be There CDs. Listened extensively to tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. Voices proved slightly sweeter using the 95 with a hint of edginess on the 83SE. The 83 placed the voices further forward while the 95 gave more depth. The 95 was slightly more dimensional and transparent.
Equipment used included a preamp and amps from AudioPrism and JM Lab Electra 946 speakers. Interconnects from the 83 & 95 to the pre are Music Metre Silvers while the interconnects from the pre to the amp and the speaker wires are sourced from Red Rose Music (formerly AudioPrism). Power conditioning and equipment isolation were used as well.
So, should you throw out your 83SE? Of course, that is up to you. Notice that the differences we heard are slightly in favor of the 95. Not dramatic. We'll be keeping the 95 which will become the source component for our audio and A/V systems. The 83 stays for now until we decide which we prefer for SD video playback awaiting further tweaking of the 95's firmware. And remember we preferred the 83SE over a Cambridge 840C CD only player.
In the future will compare MC analog out but this is not a high priority although previously we found we preferred the 83SE over our 93. I hope to talk a friend with a very high resolution stereo system into letting us check out the 95 on it using balanced outputs. Should we do so we'll let you know our conclusions.
In the meantime, enjoy the music whichever Oppo you have!
Under cloudy but snowless Seattle skies, Gill