Best current universal disc player? Pioneer LX-500, Cambridge CXUHD, Sony X1100ES, ot
For the last ~6 years, the core of my family's HT system has remained the same: Oppo 103/Marantz AV8801/Pioneer 6010FD/Simaudio Titan/Dynaudio speakers. A little over a week ago, the 12-year old Pioneer Kuro TV started having problems, and we decided to replace it with a Sony XBR-65A8G. Now that we have a 4K display that supports HDR, we're looking to upgrade the player. When Oppo pulled out of the market last year, I put myself on the waiting list for a 205, but my number was never called. And the price gouging on the secondary market is obscene. So, with Oppo 205 out of the picture, what's my next best choice?
Here's a few considerations:
I have a lot of SACDs and DVD-As, so support for those formats is a must. I might have appreciated high quality multi-channel analog audio outputs, if they were better than what my Marantz pre/pro offered, but without the Oppo I'm not sure that's an option. I do not plan to use this player for 2-channel stereo, hi-res or otherwise, because I have a Linn DS for that. So I think I'm fine with SACD and DVD-A over HDMI to the pre/pro for conversion, and I don't need analog outputs.
My new Sony TV doesn't support HDR10+. Does that mean I can't take advantage of HDR10+ encoded content, regardless of my choice of BDP? Or can a disc player do the HDR10+ processing so it doesn't matter whether the display supports it or not? I don't have any experience with Dolby Vision, so I'm not sure how to rate that in terms of importance, and I would appreciate some advice on that too. But since Dolby Vision support seems to be universal while HDR10+ is not, perhaps it's a moot point.
I don't care about streaming or file-based playback, including Netflix, Amazon, DLNA, USB file playback, etc. I already have several streaming audio and video players that IMO are better at these things. I don't know why the market demands including redundant functionality and apps in every device in the chain. The only network capability I'm likely to use is over-the-internet firmware updates. And I would prefer NOT to have wi-fi, but it's not a deal breaker.
Regarding picture quality, my understanding is that 4K UHD content playback looks equally good with any player (to a point), and the main PQ differentiator is seen when upscaling SD and HD to 4K. But the Sony A8G is already pretty good at scaling IMO, so how likely am I to notice a difference if the scaling is done in the player?
One last consideration is that I want dual HDMI 1.4/2.0 outputs to simultaneously feed my Marantz AV8801 pre/pro and Sony TV. That's because the AV8801 is HDMI 1.4 and I'd rather not buy a new pre/pro just to pass the video.
Two disc players that seem well suited to my needs are the Pioneer LX500 and Cambridge CXUHD. Both are pretty damn expensive for a BDP, but I don't have a price limit. I don't have any past experience with Cambridge Audio, but I've owned a few Pioneer Elite disc players before (last was the DV-59AVi) and I was happy with them. I'm also looking at the Sony X1100ES, because I owned a Sony BDP before and it was really fast at disc loading. Also, it has a "Bravia mode" which supposedly disables some video processing that might be better done in the display. And it's cheaper. But there seems to be a lot of complaints about the need to manually set Dolby Vision on each use, and it doesn't support HDR10+ (not sure if that matters, see above). Are there other players I should be considering?
EDIT: Forget the Cambridge. Although discontinued, a few sites were still claiming to have a few. After re-checking, I can't find anyone in the US who has any remaining stock. I guess everybody who wanted an Oppo finally got wise that the Cambridge was basically the same thing minus analog outputs.
HT: Dynaudio C2, Contour S CX, 2x BM14S, Aperion surrounds, Simaudio Titan, Marantz AV8801, Oppo 103, Linn Majik DS, and a Pioneer Kuro
Stereo: Dynaudio Focus 160, Simaudio W-5 LE or Luxman M-600A, Linn Akurate DSM, 2x Rythmik F12G
Other interests: motorcycling, skiing, being active
Last edited by Red MC; 10-20-2019 at 03:03 PM.