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  1. #1
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    Spent time comparing the 93 to my Rotel for music playback

    Last night I spent a few hours comparing Music playback through a 2 channel system using FR/FL outputs of the OPPO. The path was OPPO93 to VAC CLA1MKII to Counterpoint NPS 400 to Clearfield Continental speakers and Mirage OM12 sub. The only thing that was not equal were the ICs used from the OPPO compared to what was hooked up to the Rotel. Rotel to VAC to CP to Speakers is all Synergistic Research cabling while I used AudioQuest Side Winder ICs to go from OPPO to VAC.

    I played Regular CDs, HDCDs (ones that light up both players but are not marked as such but you can hear the difference) and CDRs.

    First I played SRV - Tin Pan Alley, which is one of my reference tracks on the OPPO. I was pleasantly surprised. Nice laid back sound with pretty good detail but lacking in low end.

    I also played Carl Filipiak - Looking Forward Looking Back which lights up the HDCD on both players. Not too sure if anyone here knows him but he is a guitar teacher from Baltimore with many disks and uses Dennis Chambers on drums for most studio work.

    I also played YokeShire Masque of Shadows, another one that lights up the HDCD. Shape of a Dancer is another of my Reference tracks for bass.

    Several other disks were played for comparison.

    I played tracks on OPPO first then Rotel CDP and the other way. I know the 93 is a Universal Player and meant for DVD/Blu but does play music pretty well. I guess for those where the OPPO is truly an upgrade from what they have, they will be happy but the 93 is not even close to being in the same league as the Rotel for CD playback. Yes it plays and decodes lots of formats, which is one of the reasons I got it and to use it as a second player for multi zone setup.

    So here are my observations.

    OPPO is lacking in Low End and Midrange. Everything sounds as if it is an octave higher than the Rotel. It's really hard to articulate that here but think of how guitar players like to play with Tone. Also think how some metal tweeters get annoying after a while compared to most silk tweeters.

    Detail and separation of instruments is lacking and more mushed together that the Rotel. It has a much less overall slam and a You Are There feel. Tone and timber of instruments are diminished / lacking and do not always sound as intended.

    Presentation is somewhat analog sounding, sort of tuby compared to many players so I liked that part of the performance.

    All that said, the 93 is probably a better music player than most mass market CDPs that people use but in no way come close to a decent dedicated CD/HDCD player like the Rotel, which is basically entry level high end and cost $600.

    For those looking for a single player solution, and have nothing higher end to compare to or replace, I think you will be very happy using the OPPO 93 as a universal player. If I had to pick just one player in this range, it would be this one. If I didn't already have the Rotel and needed a high end, one player solution, I would have definitely gone for the 95.

    Cheers and Happy Playback!

  2. #2
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    .( Everything sounds as if it is an octave higher than the Rotel.)

    I have never hit this factor on a cd player but I have hit this on the audio quality of vcrs in the past whether it was linear mono,dolby linear stereo or vhs hi-fi units. I gave it my own personal name; "octavasation". It is much like playing the same tune on a piano or accordian but going up an octave or two on the keyboard. I am sure it is possible to hit this phenomena on cd player though so it is not your imagination. This octave phenomena is really never talked about but it does exist nevertheless in some circunstances.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelsci
    .( Everything sounds as if it is an octave higher than the Rotel.)

    I have never hit this factor on a cd player but I have hit this on the audio quality of vcrs in the past whether it was linear mono,dolby linear stereo or vhs hi-fi units. I gave it my own personal name; "octavasation". It is much like playing the same tune on a piano or accordian but going up an octave or two on the keyboard. I am sure it is possible to hit this phenomena on cd player though so it is not your imagination. This octave phenomena is really never talked about but it does exist nevertheless in some circunstances.
    I could ponder the fact that my ICs from the Rotel vs what I used on the OPPO could be part of the fault but we all know wire is just wire, right?....NOT!

    I normally have the OPPO hooked up to my Rotel receiver and piped back to my VAC pre via Tape Out and when I A/B tested that way findings were pretty much the same. But again in that case I was using $60 Tara Labs ICs vs the $400 Synergistic ICs from the Rotel.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I could ponder the fact that my ICs from the Rotel vs what I used on the OPPO could be part of the fault but we all know wire is just wire, right?....NOT!

    I normally have the OPPO hooked up to my Rotel receiver and piped back to my VAC pre via Tape Out and when I A/B tested that way findings were pretty much the same. But again in that case I was using $60 Tara Labs ICs vs the $400 Synergistic ICs from the Rotel.
    The "fault" is that the Rotel is a true piece of audiophile gear.
    THE oppo has had its praises sung on this site, but is really a BLU ray player, and probably
    plays well in a pinch, but to compare it to a Rotel? Like comparing a Chevy to a FERRARI
    TESTAROSSA, IMHO.
    Video players, with the exception of some DVDA or SACD models have compromises.
    My main CD player is a DVDA player from PANASONIC, hardly "audiophile" grade, until
    you consider that its an 800 dollar flagship that doubles the sampling rate of CD's.
    We all forget sometimes just how difficult true audio heaven is to achieve.
    THE oppo has all sorts of overhead that the Rotel doesn't. ITS A wonder that it sounds as
    good as it does.
    Crappy CD playback from video players started with LASER. With DVD/BLU players its sometimes said that the smaller laser has something to do with it.
    I know OPPO and other "high end" DVD/BLU players are supposed to be different,
    but that remains to be seen.
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  5. #5
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    CHECK out my "main" CD player. 800 bucks eight years ago.
    Not the "best" CD player I have heard but it keeps up with mid line stuff pretty well.
    MAIN THING , its audio circuits are built for quality sound.
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    Panny DVDA player
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    Samsung SACD/DVDA player
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  6. #6
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    Great post. Tonight I compared for the first time an Oppo 980h that i bought for my sister a couple years ago with my current enlightened audio designs dsp-7000III dac/t-1000 transport combo and the results were clear.

    The Oppo played tons of formats like you stated but it could not hold a candle to the EAD gear. Whether the volume was low or high it didn't matter. The EAD had so much more depth and seemed to envelope me in sound while the Oppo created a wave of sound that was very shallow and slammed me in the face then broke apart as it reached my ears.

    The Oppo is a great dvd player and i love it's universality but for pure cd playing it cannot compete.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelthis
    The "fault" is that the Rotel is a true piece of audiophile gear.
    THE oppo has had its praises sung on this site, but is really a BLU ray player, and probably
    plays well in a pinch, but to compare it to a Rotel? Like comparing a Chevy to a FERRARI
    TESTAROSSA, IMHO.
    Pix, I mainly did this post for the AVSForums official 0pp0 93 thread. There are many people there asking for CD playback comparisons. Unfortunately most asking are trying to decide if they should buy the OPPO as a Universal Player -DVD-BLU-CD but are graduating from $129 gear. So the answer for them is, yeah it will sound better than what you have but it ain't the real deal in CD playback. Had I not had anything real to compare it to, I may have almost thought it was great.

    Funny tho, my wife picked up on it before I ever switched the first disk from the OPPO to the Rotel. She has a great ear for subtle changes let alone drastic ones.

    Hills- cool that you also did a little shootout. Would it not be so fun to have as many folks come to your house and hear what decent gear sounds like while they ponder the weekly Best Buy sales for their dream of audio nirvana?

    No doubt OPPO makes quality DVD players with many cool features. I am loving the DNLA streaming of all my files from other PCs and NAS. I no longer really need the PC in the mix because I was just pushing that thru the theater while watching the AVIs and such. Last night I didn't want to wait for Serviio to update my files so I watched The Lost Tribe from my USB stick plugged into the front of the player.

    It does make all my video files look and sound way better than thru the PC with WMP or VNC. It is also region free for DVD playback so now that PAL copy of Blackmores Night Castles and Dreams plays flawlessly. It has also played back every other DVD that my old players could not.

    Their Tech Support and promptness of answering questions is the best I have encountered.

  8. #8
    I put the Gee in Gear.... thekid's Avatar
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    Hyfi

    Thanks for taking the the time to make the comparison and write it up.

    As we all know since DVD players came on board many people make the assumption that a DVD player can serve as their CD player (digital is digital right?). Certainly as you found here, some DVD players are quite capable of producing CD audio better than lower end CD or mid level CD players. There can be many other factors besides SQ that influence people's decisions to use a DVD player for double duty.

    Personally I have several CD players whose SQ I prefer over my DVD players and so will stick to using separates. In addition using a stand alone DAC takes my CD listening to another level above any of my CD or DVD players. As it stands I only use the my Oppo 981HD and Sony NS755V to playing SACD. They are both very competent in that area until I get my Sony 222ES SACD player up and running again.
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  9. #9
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Pix, I mainly did this post for the AVSForums official 0pp0 93 thread. There are many people there asking for CD playback comparisons. Unfortunately most asking are trying to decide if they should buy the OPPO as a Universal Player -DVD-BLU-CD but are graduating from $129 gear. So the answer for them is, yeah it will sound better than what you have but it ain't the real deal in CD playback. Had I not had anything real to compare it to, I may have almost thought it was great.

    Funny tho, my wife picked up on it before I ever switched the first disk from the OPPO to the Rotel. She has a great ear for subtle changes let alone drastic ones.

    Hills- cool that you also did a little shootout. Would it not be so fun to have as many folks come to your house and hear what decent gear sounds like while they ponder the weekly Best Buy sales for their dream of audio nirvana?

    No doubt OPPO makes quality DVD players with many cool features. I am loving the DNLA streaming of all my files from other PCs and NAS. I no longer really need the PC in the mix because I was just pushing that thru the theater while watching the AVIs and such. Last night I didn't want to wait for Serviio to update my files so I watched The Lost Tribe from my USB stick plugged into the front of the player.

    It does make all my video files look and sound way better than thru the PC with WMP or VNC. It is also region free for DVD playback so now that PAL copy of Blackmores Night Castles and Dreams plays flawlessly. It has also played back every other DVD that my old players could not.

    Their Tech Support and promptness of answering questions is the best I have encountered.
    I have the Rotel also and was seriously considering getting a DAC. Do you think its a wise move or won't I notice that much of an improvement?
    2 Channel System
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    I have the Rotel also and was seriously considering getting a DAC. Do you think its a wise move or won't I notice that much of an improvement?
    Depending on what dac and the rest of your chain, I have no idea. Make sure you can send it back or try first.

    The Rotel is a contender but by far not near the best. Some of it also comes down to the transport too.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular pixelthis's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Pix, I mainly did this post for the AVSForums official 0pp0 93 thread. There are many people there asking for CD playback comparisons. Unfortunately most asking are trying to decide if they should buy the OPPO as a Universal Player -DVD-BLU-CD but are graduating from $129 gear. So the answer for them is, yeah it will sound better than what you have but it ain't the real deal in CD playback. Had I not had anything real to compare it to, I may have almost thought it was great.

    Funny tho, my wife picked up on it before I ever switched the first disk from the OPPO to the Rotel. She has a great ear for subtle changes let alone drastic ones.

    Hills- cool that you also did a little shootout. Would it not be so fun to have as many folks come to your house and hear what decent gear sounds like while they ponder the weekly Best Buy sales for their dream of audio nirvana?

    No doubt OPPO makes quality DVD players with many cool features. I am loving the DNLA streaming of all my files from other PCs and NAS. I no longer really need the PC in the mix because I was just pushing that thru the theater while watching the AVIs and such. Last night I didn't want to wait for Serviio to update my files so I watched The Lost Tribe from my USB stick plugged into the front of the player.

    It does make all my video files look and sound way better than thru the PC with WMP or VNC. It is also region free for DVD playback so now that PAL copy of Blackmores Night Castles and Dreams plays flawlessly. It has also played back every other DVD that my old players could not.

    Their Tech Support and promptness of answering questions is the best I have encountered.

    So, for being a DVD player, it plays CD rather well, but is not audiophile grade, more
    like casual listening grade. EXCEPTING music BLU.
    Funny, can't beat an audiophile CD player, but of course the new BLU formats blow CD
    outta the water.
    I WOULD LIKE to say thanks for the comparison, I know you did a lot of work on it, and
    did find out some good info.
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  12. #12
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Depending on what dac and the rest of your chain, I have no idea. Make sure you can send it back or try first.

    The Rotel is a contender but by far not near the best. Some of it also comes down to the transport too.
    I've been looking at three DAC's. The PS Audio Digital Link III, the Simaudio 100D, and the Music Hall DAC 25.3. The PS Audio and the Music Hall are sold at Quest for Sound so there is no problem taking one home for a test. The Simaudio doesn't seem to have a local distributor, so I would be buying on reputation only.
    2 Channel System
    Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II
    Pass Labs X150.5 (Amp)
    Cary SLP-03 (Preamp)
    Music Hall MMF 5.1 (TT)
    Goldring 1012GX (Cart.)
    Pro-ject SE II (Phono Box)
    Rotel RCD-1072 (CD Player)
    Bryston BDA-1 ( DAC )
    Sennheiser HD-600 (Headphones)
    Musical Fidelity Xcan V3 (Headphone Amp) _

    HT System
    Usher X-719 (Mains)
    Usher X-616 (Center)
    Usher S-520 (Surrounds)
    Rel T2 (Subwoofer)
    Anthem MCA20 (Amp)
    Yamaha RX-A830 (Receiver)
    Panasonic TH-46PZ85U (Plasma TV)
    Denon DBT-1713UD (BluRay/SACD)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    I've been looking at three DAC's. The PS Audio Digital Link III, the Simaudio 100D, and the Music Hall DAC 25.3. The PS Audio and the Music Hall are sold at Quest for Sound so there is no problem taking one home for a test. The Simaudio doesn't seem to have a local distributor, so I would be buying on reputation only.
    Quest for Sound is a great little place. I live about 30 minutes from there.

    Let us know what you think after hooking one up.

  14. #14
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    I have an old Rotel RCD-855 with the TDA 1541A chip which I would put up against any Oppo ever made.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would like to know how the Oppo BDP-95 stacks up against a CD and SACD player. My interest in it is mainly as a BR and SACD player. I'm very happy with my Van Alstine Hybrid DAC for CD play.
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  16. #16
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    Universals are the jack of all trades and master of none. If you want a good SACD player buy a dedicated SACD player.

  17. #17
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington
    I have the Rotel also and was seriously considering getting a DAC. Do you think its a wise move or won't I notice that much of an improvement?
    I have an older Rotel CDP and compared it to a DAC Magic and the D-Magic had a tad bit more sweetness in tone that was hardly noticable over the Rotel...I prefered the Rotel over it. I also took the Rotel to Mr Peabodys and did a shoot out with his Emotiva ERC-1 CDP and I felt the ERC-1 was more lively and played a bit louder than the more warmer sound of the Rotel....thinking back the ERC tonal abilities where not as noticable as the Rotel and it seemed the detail was more pronounce on the ERC-1. But I felt the Rotel had more character.
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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  18. #18
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    Universals are the jack of all trades and master of none. If you want a good SACD player buy a dedicated SACD player.
    I beg to differ on that one...my Marantz universal player is pretty good with SACD play back....
    Music...let it into your soul and be moved....with Canton...Pure Music


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    W10 i5 Quad core processor 8GB RAM/Jriver 20/ Fidelizer Optimizer/ iFI Micro DSD DAC-iUSB 3.0/Vincent SA - T1/Vincent SP-331 MK /MMF-7.1/2M BLACK/MS Phenomena ll+/Canton Vento 830.2

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