I need to say that I did not do any experiments with any commercial audio equipment for a looooong time. Partially I have no needs as I do not buy anything and partially I have no interest. It is not that I have anything against commercial audio equipment and as some idiots insist that audio people have to do DIY. Very much not. It just happens that I do not need anything and it dulls my interest to learn what is out there. In way it is not good. I have a pile of interconnect cables that I was given to try, I do need more interconnects but for weeks I did not make attempt to test them… I confess I am a bad pussy.
With my recent parley to big screen video a local friend of my let me to use his OPPO BDP-83 DVD/BlueRay player. I never heard about the company. The friend knows these things as he practices video for years. He has reportedly upgraded or modified it; anyhow I am pretty sure that the Oppo does whatever it need to do. Before the Oppo I was running my video from consumer $50 Sony DVD player, it was bad. Oppo did not made improvement with my crappie video but pretty much set totally different level of image. Running sound to my Altec 21S from this Oppo I noted that it did also very good sound compare to my $50 Sony, using the internal Oppo upgraded DACs. I have to say that I can say only comparatively as I do not have the sound from my Altec 21S at the point where I would be able to talk in absolute terms.
So, the very question I asked myself if the Oppo is so good for video then would it be possible that it would do a good CD transport? I have the Barbarossa plans in my head: to get rid of my CEC plays the doe not read all the I would like it to read and to switch to the contemporary Oppo machines that can play from network, and from row WAV file and do the idiotic SACD, and DVD, and BlueRay and God know what else… So, I bring the Oppo to my main system, connect it with the very same indispensable 2M Synopses digital SPIDIF cable into Bidat and played it again my hated CEC TL-0.
Well, you understand that if the Oppo demonstrate any advantage over TL-0 as a transport then I would not file this report but rather run to some internet Junk yard and first get rid of my TL-0 and then informed the world that the king was displaced. Well, unfortunately it did not happen: the TL-0 not only was untouchable by Oppo but their contest sound like I would be playing tennis again Roger Federer.
Funny but tennis association is very much come to my mind when I want like to describe the difference between TL-0 and Oppo, in fact the very same I felt when I compared TL-0 again any other transport I tried 10 years back. Oppo sound like two players are practicing to control the ball. It is well controlled and it is well balanced. It is smooth and what I would call reasonable and fair. No one strike the ball too strong or too complex as the objective is not to win but rather to maintain the ball on the court and perfect the hitting techniques. The sound of TL-0 is very difficult animal. It is Wimbledon final, the score it tight and the players hit the ball as they are they last hit in their lives. The sped the spin and the intensity of the hitting are at the very margins of the player capacity and this is what TL-0 does with sound. TL-0 injects into each note that incredible thump and explosive blow, that makes the notes so much shattering about themselves and do much distinctive that once hear it the Oppo presentation sounds bland and boring.
Sure, the comparing between Oppo and TL-0 is not kosher. Oppo is universal transport, plays everything and cost a few hundred dollars. TL-0 even 20 years ago cost 15K, so they are in very different price range. Still, I am not publishing a review and I do not advocate “products”. What I advocate is sonic results, regardless the class of equipment and the price points. I do not see any reasons why some kind contemporary machine, even very much low level consumer machine, with universal playing capacity would not demonstrate sound quality that will defeat TL-0 in 16 bit and to demonstrate more interesting result. The TL-0 has some room to be attacked and today better transport might exploit some TL-0 vulnerability. Unfortunately Oppo not even close to be a serious contender. What I know certainly is that any CD transport that want to be a contestant need to do have that “Wimbledon final strike effect”. You can simmer your chicken and you can fry it with a blow touch. For sure the cooktop with a burner of 36.000 BTU will be able to simmer anything if you reduce the gas. The problem is that a burner of 8.000 BTU no matter how much you try will not be able to create a right crust on the fat-tailed sheep steak…
In the end the gesheft to get rid of TL-0 unfortunately is postponed to the times when better contenders arrive.Rgs,
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche