Thread: The Audiophile Thread

  1. #1626
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    New to this thread, but I thought I'd ask some of the knowledgeable folk here...

    My wife never knows what to get me for Christmas, as I never really want or need anything except more CDs. I'm thinking this year I'd like a super-duper, top of the line blu-ray player. Something with all the bells and whistles, that can play absolutely any disc I put in, regardless of format (something my current player, the Panasonic BDT-500 can not do), and has dazzling sound when playing CDs, which is still my listening method of choice. I have a fairly decent surround speaker setup - not top of the line, but quite good, and a Pioneer Elite receiver that I really like.

    I can (and will) do my own research, but any recommendations here? Oppo? Would appreciate any suggestions and tips. Price might be an issue, but let's assume it isn't for now.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  2. #1627
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Oppo is highly regarded. You pay appropriately.

    I bought a cheap ($99 if memory serves) Panasonic DMP-BD65 which plays every kind of disc, Blu-ray, DVD, CD, CD-R, even MP3 discs -- and it sounds and looks gorgeous to me.

  3. #1628
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oppo is highly regarded. You pay appropriately.

    I bought a cheap ($99 if memory serves) Panasonic DMP-BD65 which plays every kind of disc, Blu-ray, DVD, CD, CD-R, even MP3 discs -- and it sounds and looks gorgeous to me.
    Does it play DVD-A, SACD, or any region/fps DVD or Blu-ray? My Panasonic was $500 (it was the latest model at the time) and does not play any of those.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  4. #1629
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    DVD-A = not sure. Don't have any to try.
    SACD = I don't think so.
    Region free = like most players, you have to choose a region on initialization and there it stands. I bought a separate region-free ($49) for my PAL discs.
    Blu-ray = it's primarily a Blu-ray player.

    Forgot to mention -- it also does internet (Pandora, Netflix, YouTube, etc.) natively.

    [Checking the owner's manual...
    • also does SD cards
    • also does USB devices
    • cannot do DVD-Audio
    • cannot do Super Audio CD (SACD)
    • cannot do WMA discs
    • cannot do DivX discs
    • cannot do DVD-RAM
    • cannot do Photo CD
    • cannot do BD-Video discs recorded at a rate of 50 fields/sec]

  5. #1630
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    ^^^ Okay, I thought as much. That's what I mean by "play any disc I put in". I was really disappointed when I shelled out for my player and then found there were several discs it wouldn't play. For example, my Anglagard blu-ray looks nice on my shelf, but that's as far as it goes.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  6. #1631
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    You might need to buy Oppo. Be prepared to spend about $1300.

  7. #1632
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    The Oppo UDP-203 plays SACD & DVD-A for $560.

  8. #1633
    Insect Overlord Progatron's Avatar
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    Thanks, I shall look into that one.
    Interviewer of reprobate ne'er-do-well musicians of the long-haired rock n' roll persuasion at: www.velvetthunder.co.uk and former scribe at Classic Rock Society. Only vaguely aware of anything other than music.

    'The best stuff is really when Mick Pointer was a baby, banging on pots and pans. That was their most "out there" stuff.' - JKL2000

  9. #1634
    Member LASERCD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    Thanks, I shall look into that one.
    The Oppo units have the features you want. They are hackable, through easy to install third party kits, that make them region free.

  10. #1635
    Parrots ripped my flesh Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oppo is highly regarded. You pay appropriately.

    I bought a cheap ($99 if memory serves) Panasonic DMP-BD65 which plays every kind of disc, Blu-ray, DVD, CD, CD-R, even MP3 discs -- and it sounds and looks gorgeous to me.
    I have the DMP-BD60. Yours must be five better than mine.

  11. #1636
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Although it would be NICE to be able to play DVD-A and SACD, the depth of catalog available in those formats would not be worth the additional five hundred bucks (or more) to me. I doubt I could find a dozen discs of each I’d want. My tastes just aren’t that mainstream.

  12. #1637
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progatron View Post
    ^^^ Okay, I thought as much. That's what I mean by "play any disc I put in". I was really disappointed when I shelled out for my player and then found there were several discs it wouldn't play. For example, my Anglagard blu-ray looks nice on my shelf, but that's as far as it goes.
    My LG plays all BluRays I've thrown at it, FWIW. Including the Anglagard one. It also plays PAL and NTSC DVD's.
    "And this is the chorus.....or perhaps it's a bridge...."

  13. #1638
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    It is my understanding Blu-rays do not have region coding like DVDs. I could be wrong on that though.

  14. #1639
    Member wideopenears's Avatar
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    I think BluRays are not region coded, but there are different FPS rates, which affect playback.

    But I also am no expert.
    "And this is the chorus.....or perhaps it's a bridge...."

  15. #1640
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Although it would be NICE to be able to play DVD-A and SACD, the depth of catalog available in those formats would not be worth the additional five hundred bucks (or more) to me. I doubt I could find a dozen discs of each I’d want. My tastes just aren’t that mainstream.
    The Sony UBP-X800 plays DVD-A, SACD, and both UHD and regular Blu-rays. Currently being clearanced around the Internet as low as $150USD. Maybe not an audio/videophile unit, and like most Sonys it will balk at non-standard media like some European discs, but at the price I consider it a viable stopgap during the current upheaval in video standards.

  16. #1641
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    It is my understanding Blu-rays do not have region coding like DVDs. I could be wrong on that though.
    Blu-rays are region encoded.

  17. #1642
    Member rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Blu-rays are region encoded.
    To elaborate on this a little bit:
    Quote Originally Posted by E-Bay Blu-ray Region Code Information
    Regions:
    Blu-Ray discs have region codes which have been separated in three different zones.

    Region A: North America, Central America, South America, Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
    Region B: Europe, Greenland, French territories, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
    Region C: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Mainland China, Pakistan, Russia, Central and South Asia.

    However, many discs have been encoded to support all regions virtually making them region free.


    Region free studios:
    Generally until now Blu-ray releases from Warner, Paramount and several other studios have all been region free. Please look below for a complete list of the studios.
    This of course does not guarantee that future titles from these studios will be region free. But judging from the history, it is very likely that future titles from these studios will be region free.

    Warner
    Paramount
    Starz / Anchor Bay
    Magnolia
    Razor
    Platinum Disc
    Eagle Rock Ent
    Concert Hot Spot
    R&B Films
    BCI
    HBO
    First Look Pictures


    A-bit-of-both studios:
    Sony, Lionsgate and several other studios are a little more unpredictable in their region coding of Blu-ray titles. They have all released region free titles (like Sony's 6th Day) and region locked titles (like another Sony title: Casino Royale). When it comes to future releases from these studios, we recommend that you wait until they come in stock and have been tested.

    Sony
    Lionsgate
    Touchstone /Disney
    Disney
    MGM
    Miramax
    New Line
    20th Century Fox

  18. #1643
    Quote Originally Posted by LASERCD View Post
    Blu-rays are region encoded.
    But 4K BRs are not.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  19. #1644
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    You might need to buy Oppo. Be prepared to spend about $1300.
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The Oppo UDP-203 plays SACD & DVD-A for $560.

    Depends on what you need. I went for the higher priced UDP-205 because:

    1. My amp is a 2-channel integrated amp with no digital ins or outs. It does, however, have balanced XLR ins, and the UDP-205, like my previous BDP-105D, has balanced XLR outs. XLR is much better than RCA, so that was consideration #1;
    2. I don't have a high end DAC anywhere else in my rig, and one of the differentiators between the lower priced UDP-203 and UDO-205 is that the 205 has a really strong DAC.

    Both 203 and 205 play multiple formats on a 5" platter: CD, DVD (incl. DVD-A/V), BR (2D, 3D & 4KJ, HDCD, SACD, CD-R and any other format you can think of). So, unless you need a high end DAC and/or balanced XLR connectivity, the lower priced 203 will absolutely suffice.

    That said, having recently upgraded from the 105D to the 205, I will say that the 205's DAC totally smokes the 105D (and that one kicked serious ass!). But/if you've got a satisfactory DAC somewhere else, then the 205 is overkill.

    For me, it isn't...but for my friend Rottersclub, who recently picked up the 203 as he has a great DAC elsewhere in his chain, it would have been. So he got the same multimedia functionality at roughly half the price,

    I think OPPO has done a great job at keeping it simple, with just two models in their lineup...and which serve the same purpose where it counts (multimedia capability), while offering other benefits for a smaller subset of prospective buyers.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  20. #1645
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Oppo is highly regarded. You pay appropriately.

    I bought a cheap ($99 if memory serves) Panasonic DMP-BD65 which plays every kind of disc, Blu-ray, DVD, CD, CD-R, even MP3 discs -- and it sounds and looks gorgeous to me.
    Ah, but does it play 4K BR discs? From what I can see, the lowest end 4K BR player comes in around $250 CDN... and that won't play SACD (I've quite a fewj. So, had I not needed the balanced XLR & audiophile DAC, the OPPO UDO-2P5 would have done the trick at $719 (CAD); and just for comparison, the 205 currently sells for $1,689...more than double the 203.

    But you get more than what I've already mentioned with OPPO; you also get full metal body, and more solid disc tray, and that can come into play when you hear folks like Dave (in MA) saying his Crimson BRs in the Sailors' Tales box won't play on his MacBook. Sometimes it's as simple as the solidity of the disc tray. I've been using OPPO since late 2014 and so far (knock on wood!), I've yet to run across any discs on which it hiccups.

    If you're happy with what you have, then there's nothing more needs be said. But for me, I wanted (for the first time in my life) the ability to play anything. Turns out there are plenty of SACDs that are not "mainstream" content; the recent Tower Japan spate of ECM SACD hybrids being one example (shipping soon, Jarrett's Sun Bear Concerts...preordered, and I can't wait! But I've also picked up most Miles Davis stuff I love on SACD [the '60s quintet through On the Corner, plus a few other earlier ones), for example. Yes, a lot of SACDs are big selling pop and rock stuff...but there are enough exceptions (plus I love my SACDs by The Band, Moody Blues, Dylan, Joe Cocker. Leon Russell, Gary Burton and more)....

    Anyway, I've babbled on long enough...
    Last edited by jkelman; 11-20-2017 at 11:38 PM.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  21. #1646
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    ^ Can you use RCA cables to connect the 205?

  22. #1647
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    ^ Can you use RCA cables to connect the 205?
    Nevermind. I checked the Oppo site.

  23. #1648
    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    ^ Can you use RCA cables to connect the 205?
    Yes.
    John Kelman
    Senior Contributor, All About Jazz since 2004
    Freelance writer/photographer

  24. #1649
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Very, very likely there's one of these in my near future. Did the price come down? I could swear it was over $2000 when I looked at it last year. Maybe the memory is letting me down.

  25. #1650
    Member Firth's Avatar
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    The Audiophile Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Ah, but does it play 4K BR discs? From what I can see, the lowest end 4K BR player comes in around $250 CDN... and that won't play SACD (I've quite a fewj. So, had I not needed the balanced XLR & audiophile DAC, the OPPO UDO-2P5 would have done the trick at $719 (CAD); and just for comparison, the 205 currently sells for $1,689...more than double the 203.

    But you get more than what I've already mentioned with OPPO; you also get full metal body, and more solid disc tray, and that can come into play when you hear folks like Dave (in MA) saying his Crimson BRs in the Sailors' Tales box won't play on his MacBook. Sometimes it's as simple as the solidity of the disc tray. I've been using OPPO since late 2014 and so far (knock on wood!), I've yet to run across any discs on which it hiccups.

    If you're happy with what you have, then there's nothing more needs be said. But for me, I wanted (for the first time in my life) the ability to play anything. Turns out there are plenty of SACDs that are not "mainstream" content; the recent Tower Japan spate of ECM SACD hybrids being one example (shipping soon, Jarrett's Sun Bear Concerts...preordered, and I can't wait! But I've also picked up most Miles Davis stuff I love on SACD [the '60s quintet through On the Corner, plus a few other earlier ones), for example. Yes, a lot of SACDs are big selling pop and rock stuff...but there are enough exceptions (plus I love my SACDs by The Band, Moody Blues, Dylan, Joe Cocker. Leon Russell, Gary Burton and more)....

    Anyway, I've babbled on long enough...
    The Sony UBP x800 plays everything and has an audio out only hdmi interface.

    $150

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/sony-ub...?skuId=5748620
    On the verge of indecision
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