Originally Posted by nokitsch
I would like to continue this discussion, and I apologize in advance if I am being a typical noob :-). I own the Pioneer BDP-51, which has been fantastic as far as film audio is. I currently listen to CDs on a Yamaha CD-changer, which passes the audio to Yamaha RXV-1800 in "Pure Direct" mode for stereo listening. I just bought a pair of Focal Aria 926 speakers, which are absolutely brilliant.
I am considering replacing the BDP-51 and the Yamaha CD changer with OPPO BDP-103 (it would be nice to have one box instead of two, and the slow loading time on the Pioneer can be frustrating, though in no way they are a deal-breaker). I would like to know if the OPPO will deliver good CD listening experience. As good as BDP-51 DACs are, they are not good enough (to my ear, and given my set up) to play CDs (although this could be because all audio is now passed through HDMI and not RCA). Will the OPPO be better? I see that it's highly rated on Stereophile as a CD player, but I would like more opinions before I take the plunge. I will not be going for BDP-105, as for that money I would simply keep the Pioneer Blu-Ray and buy a dedicated high-end CD player or invest in a good amp.
Well, that was a mouthful, but I hope you can help me. Thank you!
Well, here's the story of my "pilgrim's progress." Before the HD-DVD /Blu-ray standards war was resolved, my theater had a Denon 2910 "universal" DVD player that passed CD, DVD, SACD, and DVD-A to my old pre-HDMI Yamaha RX-V456 5.1 AVR through a 6-RCA bundle into its multichannel analog input. When the dust settled, and I got a Panasonic BD-50 Blu-ray player and a 1080p projector, the two disk players shared that input through a passive switchbox.
I noticed that CDs played by the Panny didn't sound as rich as when played by the Oppo, so I figured that an Oppo BDP-93 player, which also played DVD-As and SACDs, would probably sound as good as the Denon for playing music. It certainly did.
I recently replaced the ancient AVR with a newer Yamaha RX-A1030, a two-models back box that is the least expensive of their models with a Sabre DAC for its audio. (Not the same DAC as in the upper-level 95/105 Oppos, but in the same family.)
So now I'm feeding HDMI from both Blu-ray players into the AVR and getting great sound from both (the Denon is now in my living room, feeding analog stereo and composite video into the old Yamaha, to a pair of 1970 Advent speakers and an old Sony Trinitron).
The analog audio from the 83/93/103 level Oppos is very, very good, but going into your older AVR it's likely to be digitized, removing that advantage.
I second rdgrimes'
advice - get a newer AVR with a good DAC and connect to it via HDMI. I like mine, and its remaining stock is being sold off fairly inexpensively since it doesn't do Atmos and is a few years old.