Originally Posted by RaptorX
A question for the audio experts.
I received my 103 yesterday and am bummed. I researched this product for long time and while I am confident that it is way better than my Panasonic BDT-210, I hear no difference in audio quality, which is essentially the only reason I upgraded. I did A/B tests yesterday until I was blue in the face and could tell no difference. I even tried the same CD (I have two copies of one) in both players at the same time with a 5-second delay so I could listen to the same exact section of a song on one player right after the other. No difference.
I have nice speakers, Boston Acoustics VR-975's, but my receiver is a lower-end Kenwood (VR-507) that is about 11 years old. Betting that the DAC in the Oppo is superior, I used the analog output of the Oppo so it could do the heavy lifting. I set my receiver to 'source direct' to bypass all processing. I did this for the Panasonic as well. I used component video cables (overpriced Monster's, I believe) to transfer the analog audio from both players.
is that my receiver is now the weak link and no matter how nice my source is, if my receiver is not that great, I won't notice a difference.
If my receiver is the weak link, roughly how much do I have to spend to get a receiver that is roughly on par with my speakers? I don't want to get more receiver than I need.
Of course the other possibility is that the BA's aren't as good as I think they are. But I tend to think that the receiver is weaker.
while i'm not an audio expert, i do have a new 103 and have a pretty nice setup (pioneer elite 53 + def tech speakers) and have been listening to a lot of hi res 5.1 flacs. i did notice a difference when i went to the 103 with audio, although it is fairly minor.. certainly not a 'night and day' improvement. i would characterize the sound as being more crisp and discrete with the 103 (admittedly a vague description - vocabulary breaks down when describing sound, IMHO).
i mainly got the 103 because it will play damn near everything i throw at it (SACD's, DVD-A, 5.1 flacs, etc) without issue.
i was disappointed that i saw no video BR improvement vs the $90 sony s590 that it replaces, and the lack of amazon instant play (which i knew about).
i'm starting to believe what i've read in many places, that the biggest variance in sound quality (if you have a decent set of speakers and AVR) just comes down to the source mix/engineering... listening to donald fagens 'the nightfly' is just plain amazing.. and thats 24bit 48k (with audio engineer demigod 'Elliott Scheiner'), whereas i just got a 'digitally remastered CD of SRV's 'in step' and it just plain sucks.
the 103's better DAC just doesn't make that big a difference IMHO, when compared with the cheaper ones i've heard (the s590, a netgear 550, and the elite 53).. makes me wonder what the 'truely high end' ($5000+) DAC's sound like..