New Universal Player Advice!

John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
192 1 1
#1
Howdy folks! I am on the hunt for a new universal player. I currently have an Oppo BD-103 from my second system and am looking for a unit that possibly has a better analog section.

A little background and history: My system is 2.1 with a Yamaha A-S801 integrated, KEF R500s, and a HSU ULS-15 MK2. I do have a TV, but music outweighs video 80/20. Even though I can use the DAC in the Yammy for CDs or even movies, I have a pretty good size SACD collection and need a player to decode them. I also have a few DVD audio and Blu-ray audio titles.

I had an Arcam UDP411, which sounded totally awesome (better than the OPPO) but it was cantankerous, as is usually the case with Arcam's video products, and sometimes did not read discs, would freeze occasionally and developed an inability to properly play DVDs. I do not care how wonderful a product sounds, if it does not perform it has to go.

Anyway, I have my eye on a few players and was wondering if any of the fine individuals on the Audioholics site have heard the analog sections of them and what your impressions would be. At this point, 4K with Dolby Vision would be awesome but not the end-all-to-be-all (though I like video, upsampled 4K looks awesome on my screen - better than any streaming service that includes Dolby Vision). First up is the new Pioneer UDP-LX500. It ticks all of the boxes (including DVD Audio) and comes in one dollar below $1K.
1547915288087.png

Next is the Panasonic DP-UB9000 at the same price.
1547915377507.png

Unfortunately, it has not been released in the US and I do not know if/when it will (at least I have not been able to find anything online). Lastly would be the Sony UBP-X1000ES.
1547915589751.png

The price is great and is the only Sony native 4K player with analog outputs. Unfortunately, it does not have Dolby Vision (not a huge deal). Also, I do not know if I can trust the audio quality of the new "ES" line - as discussed in another thread, "ES" really used to mean something.

I would certainly like to try an OPPO '105 or '205, but the proper pricing ship has sailed and I do not feel like getting gouged...

If all else fails on the native 4K front, I have my eye on the Yamaha BD-A1060 (which upsamples to 4K) or something simliar.
1547915218371.png


Now, if it turns out the analog sections of the aforementioned universal players are not up to snuff, I may go the dedicated SACD player route - there are a few nice ones to explore - and get a cheapo 4K player. Any input would be most appreciated!
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
845 1 1
#4
Ooooooohhhhhhh.... ;) maybe I can upgrade to that later this year and move the 700 to the greatroom! :D Thx Snake!
Ya I am curious about it too since I have 3 rooms. I could shift my x800 or x700 around if the x800m2 is better or just get a second x700. Not sure I need an ES series.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
192 1 1
#5
I like Sony x800 and x700 as long as your AVR has hdmi2.0. If no hdmi, that limits the options. x700 has Dolby Vision, x800 doesn’t.

By the way theres a new Sony x800m2 coming out for 2019:

http://4k.com/news/sonys-new-2019-4k-hdr-blu-ray-player-delivers-premium-hdr-25133/

There might be a new ES model as well.
Thanks! I have an integrated amp, not an AVR, so no HDMI (audio). Like I said, the Sony UBP-X1000ES is the only current Sony player with analog connections. In the past, Sony ES players focused on sound quality. I had a Sony CDP-XA20ES about twelve years ago and it was fantastic. Plus, having to put the weight on the CD provided a unique experience:
1547922198882.png


The X700 and upcoming X800 are viable, Dolby Vision equipped alternatives if none of the listed universal players have quality analog sections. I would use them for video and let my Yamaha integrated decode the audio via coax or optical. If that were the case, I would still be looking for a quality SACD player. I would prefer, for simplicity's sake, a capable universal player.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
845 1 1
#6
Thanks! I have an integrated amp, not an AVR, so no HDMI (audio). Like I said, the Sony UBP-X1000ES is the only current Sony player with analog connections. In the past, Sony ES players focused on sound quality. I had a Sony CDP-XA20ES about twelve years ago and it was fantastic. Plus, having to put the weight on the CD provided a unique experience:
View attachment 27934

The X700 and upcoming X800 are viable, Dolby Vision equipped alternatives if none of the listed universal players have quality analog sections.
I would also add the x800 has dvd-a whereas the x700 does not. So not sure if x800m2 will support it. (Although you might be looking at ES series since analog is your method, I’m not familiar with that as much).
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
192 1 1
#7
I would also add the x800 has dvd-a whereas the x700 does not. So not sure if x800m2 will support it. (Although you might be looking at ES series since analog is your method, I’m not familiar with that as much).
Yeah, the X800 does DVD-A, which is nice, as will the X800M2. Again, though, no analog, hence the consideration (though it is not high on my list) for the ES.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#8
Here's a news flash, on another forum two X800 owners state that the S/PDIF digital output delivers SACD at 44.1. This would be a first, since up until now SACD licensing required S/PDIF to mute SACD. I do not know if it is just stereo or multi-channel. This feature is not mentioned in the operator's manual. It seems it provides a means to enjoy SACDs for those who do not have an HDMI input on their AVRs, which up till now was the only means to enjoy SACD from recent Sony Universal Players, with one exception, the 1000ES with stereo analog output. BTW, one owner mentioned that until he downloaded a firmware update for the X800 it output SACDs at 176 from the coax output. I did not know that rate was possible from coax but these observations have made me interested in the X800 even though I am satisfied with my OPPO 205.
 
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S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
845 1 1
#9
One thing on x800 and x700 is Netflix comes thru as just DD and Amazon is DD+. I don’t mind that in my 2.1 and 3.2 rooms but in my theater room I’m updating to 5.1.4 so I bought an Apple 4K TV for Atmos titles on Netflix and Amazon. I would love it if the Sony x800m2 got Atmos capabilities for Netflix and Amazon but I’m not sure it will.
 
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
192 1 1
#10
Here's a news flash, on another forum two X800 owners state that the S/PDIF digital output delivers SACD at 44.1. This would be a first, since up until now SACD licensing required S/PDIF to mute SACD. I do not know if it is just stereo or multi-channel. This feature is not mentioned in the operator's manual. It seems it provides a means to enjoy SACDs for those who do not have an HDMI input on their AVRs, which up till now was the only means to enjoy SACD from recent Sony Universal Players, with one exception, the 1000ES with stereo analog output. BTW, one owner mentioned that until he downloaded a firmware update for the X800 it output SACDs at 176 from the coax output. I did not know that rate was possible from coax but these observations have made me interested in the X800 even though I am satisfied with my OPPO 205.
Thanks for the info Sterling! Would you happen to have a link to the forum you are referring to? I would like to read more about this. From what I have been able to glean, the Sony converts the DSD stream to PCM. My Yamaha integrated can receive up to 24/192 through optical or coax (32/384 and DSD via USB). If I play an SACD on my Oppo and listen via the coaxial digital output, my amp shows it as 44.1 kHz (I do not know if it is transmitting the CD layer or SACD layer - more research by me is required!). It would be interesting to be able to receive the signal at a higher sampling rate, but one of the reasons people have SACD is because it is DSD, not PCM. Converting to PCM kind of defeats the purpose... ;)
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#11
Thanks for the info Sterling! Would you happen to have a link to the forum you are referring to? I would like to read more about this. From what I have been able to glean, the Sony converts the DSD stream to PCM. My Yamaha integrated can receive up to 24/192 through optical or coax (32/384 and DSD via USB). If I play an SACD on my Oppo and listen via the coaxial digital output, my amp shows it as 44.1 kHz (I do not know if it is transmitting the CD layer or SACD layer - more research by me is required!). It would be interesting to be able to receive the signal at a higher sampling rate, but one of the reasons people have SACD is because it is DSD, not PCM. Converting to PCM kind of defeats the purpose... ;)
The OPPOs S/PDIF mutes SACD, what's output is the CD layer; but, the Sony appears not to honor that SACD Player Manufacturer Licensing requirement, or it's a new means which somehow complies with the Sony Licensing requirements. If it's a firmware feature, perhaps the OPPO can transmit SACD at 44.1 now too, I do not know. I guess the way to find out would be to insert a single layer SACD in your OPPO and see if it will play. At any rate since what ever is being transmitted, CD or SACD, it's 44.1 or CD quality not SACD quality.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#12
Thanks for the info Sterling! Would you happen to have a link to the forum you are referring to? I would like to read more about this. From what I have been able to glean, the Sony converts the DSD stream to PCM. My Yamaha integrated can receive up to 24/192 through optical or coax (32/384 and DSD via USB). If I play an SACD on my Oppo and listen via the coaxial digital output, my amp shows it as 44.1 kHz (I do not know if it is transmitting the CD layer or SACD layer - more research by me is required!). It would be interesting to be able to receive the signal at a higher sampling rate, but one of the reasons people have SACD is because it is DSD, not PCM. Converting to PCM kind of defeats the purpose... ;)
I think I responded to the post there too. The fact is, to bitstream sacd signal for your AVR to decode dad direct, you need an AVR, stereo receiver, prepro or integrated amp that has HDMI or Denon Link(with Denon players only) that can decode sacd in dsd without first converting to pcm. Otherwise, your option is to use the media player's analog outputs or accept the fact that PCM is just as good.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#13
Howdy folks! I am on the hunt for a new universal player. I currently have an Oppo BD-103 from my second system and am looking for a unit that possibly has a better analog section.

A little background and history: My system is 2.1 with a Yamaha A-S801 integrated, KEF R500s, and a HSU ULS-15 MK2. I do have a TV, but music outweighs video 80/20. Even though I can use the DAC in the Yammy for CDs or even movies, I have a pretty good size SACD collection and need a player to decode them. I also have a few DVD audio and Blu-ray audio titles.

I had an Arcam UDP411, which sounded totally awesome (better than the OPPO) but it was cantankerous, as is usually the case with Arcam's video products, and sometimes did not read discs, would freeze occasionally and developed an inability to properly play DVDs. I do not care how wonderful a product sounds, if it does not perform it has to go.

Anyway, I have my eye on a few players and was wondering if any of the fine individuals on the Audioholics site have heard the analog sections of them and what your impressions would be. At this point, 4K with Dolby Vision would be awesome but not the end-all-to-be-all (though I like video, upsampled 4K looks awesome on my screen - better than any streaming service that includes Dolby Vision). First up is the new Pioneer UDP-LX500. It ticks all of the boxes (including DVD Audio) and comes in one dollar below $1K.
View attachment 27927
Next is the Panasonic DP-UB9000 at the same price.
View attachment 27928
Unfortunately, it has not been released in the US and I do not know if/when it will (at least I have not been able to find anything online). Lastly would be the Sony UBP-X1000ES.
View attachment 27929
The price is great and is the only Sony native 4K player with analog outputs. Unfortunately, it does not have Dolby Vision (not a huge deal). Also, I do not know if I can trust the audio quality of the new "ES" line - as discussed in another thread, "ES" really used to mean something.

I would certainly like to try an OPPO '105 or '205, but the proper pricing ship has sailed and I do not feel like getting gouged...

If all else fails on the native 4K front, I have my eye on the Yamaha BD-A1060 (which upsamples to 4K) or something simliar.
View attachment 27926

Now, if it turns out the analog sections of the aforementioned universal players are not up to snuff, I may go the dedicated SACD player route - there are a few nice ones to explore - and get a cheapo 4K player. Any input would be most appreciated!
Would you be interested in making an offer (via on) for my hardly used bdp-105?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#14
Here's a news flash, on another forum two X800 owners state that the S/PDIF digital output delivers SACD at 44.1
I highly doubt that was real. I think we both read at least one such report but the person did say it showed sacd at 44.1 for a moment (something like that) and then disappeared, so that one wasn't real. If there is another report that is credible, please link, and thank you in advance.
 
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John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
Ratings
192 1 1
#16
I think I responded to the post there too. The fact is, to bitstream sacd signal for your AVR to decode dad direct, you need an AVR, stereo receiver, prepro or integrated amp that has HDMI or Denon Link(with Denon players only) that can decode sacd in dsd without first converting to pcm. Otherwise, your option is to use the media player's analog outputs or accept the fact that PCM is just as good.
Thanks @PENG ! I believe the discussion took off in a direction I was not really interested in (but interested in the discussion, if that makes sense). My main concern is the performance of the analog outputs of the aforementioned universal players. At this point, running DSD via HDMI is not only not possible for me, but also of no interest (again who knows what the future may bring?).
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,972 7 1
#17
Thanks @PENG ! I believe the discussion took off in a direction I was not really interested in (but interested in the discussion, if that makes sense). My main concern is the performance of the analog outputs of the aforementioned universal players. At this point, running DSD via HDMI is not only not possible for me, but also of no interest (again who knows what the future may bring?).
The Oppo 105, 105D, 205 all have excellent DAC and preamp outputs so the analog output quality is top notch. I use analogs all the time but only for 2 channel contents. For 5/7 channels I would stick with HDMI.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#18
I think I responded to the post there too. The fact is, to bitstream sacd signal for your AVR to decode dad direct, you need an AVR, stereo receiver, prepro or integrated amp that has HDMI or Denon Link(with Denon players only) that can decode sacd in dsd without first converting to pcm. Otherwise, your option is to use the media player's analog outputs or accept the fact that PCM is just as good.
I highly doubt that was real. I think we both read at least one such report but the person did say it showed sacd at 44.1 for a moment (something like that) and then disappeared, so that one wasn't real. If there is another report that is credible, please link, and thank you in advance.
One poster pictured a single layer SACD, which he said he output via S/PDIF. He said the output was originally 176.4; and, then, after a firmware update, output was at 44.1.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#20
Well then it was PCM, not DSD.
Yes, I'm sure it was. Seems a clever way to play stereo SACDs
from a player with no stereo analog outputs, which otherwise could only be played via HDMI, and only then if the users amplifier was one with HDMI inputs. Interestingly enough, my OPPO 205 permits either direct DSD conversation to analog or DSD to PCM conversion to analog output; but, 5.1 bass management via the OPPO requires PCM conversion to analog. In general listening I can not distinguish between a DSD direct conversion or DSD to PCM conversion; but, since I like the OPPO's comprehensive 5.1 bass management, I usually set the OPPO to PCM.
 

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