To universal player or not to universal player

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by head_unit, May 7, 2020.

  1. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    So my disc player ended up in Chicago, and I'd like to watch some movies and more importantly play some box sets and Blu-ray Audio discs I've been getting. A natural thought would be to get a universal disc player to play the SACD and DVD-A discs I have.

    Here's the thing-for a while, I could just use a cheap HDMI player. Where I am now is not set up for 5.1 nor will it be in the foreseeable future. That stuff I listen to at another location which has 5.1 speakers and an Oppo. What I'm therefore wondering is should I get I guess the Sony UBP-X800, or not. (Could be a different one, but the other current ones I'm aware of that will do SACD and DVD-A are way more expensive which is not in the cards).

    Does it make any sense to get something like that now? Or will it just wear out and break before I ever get around to 5.1 at this location? Or if I don't buy one now, will there be nothing in the way of universal players? Should I just get a cheapie for here for now, which can play any stereo tracks over HDMI after all?
     
  2. ukrules

    ukrules Forum Resident

    Location:
    Union, Kentucky
    Universal means "just okay at lots of things".
     
  3. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Are you referring to the studio? :laugh:
     
    ukrules likes this.
  4. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Location:
    Atlanta
    I've had the Sony UBP-X800 for about 2 1/2 years now, still works and sounds great. It doesn't have a DAC, so basically you're getting the ability to play any format that your receiver can decode. Turns out that my receiver sounds pretty darn good. I'd say that it's a pretty good way to assure that you have the ability to play most any digital disc format. The only alternatives are going to be much more expensive, or used, or both.
     
    Brudr and head_unit like this.
  5. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    The problem with Universal players that do all formats and enable analogue output of SACD is they are down to about one Sony model (UBP X1100 ES). If you are mainly watching movies get a reasonable cheap bluray player.
     
    Major Dolphin and head_unit like this.
  6. box of frogs

    box of frogs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    The Pinhead and head_unit like this.
  7. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
  8. box of frogs

    box of frogs Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    I believe the LX500 is around £1k, the LX800 around £2,200 - it makes the latter one quite an interesting proposition
     
  9. jwoverho

    jwoverho Senior Member

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    I’m using the OPPO BDP-103 on two of my systems for CD/SACD/DVD-A.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  10. 4xoddic

    4xoddic Forum Resident

    head_unit likes this.
  11. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    If you're looking for Blu-ray audio, then you're maybe better having a look down the used route and from a dealer to maybe get a warranty, or find a NOS item. Cambridge, Denon, Onkyo, Oppo and Arcam to name but five will all have models from the last decade you could reasonably land.

    If you don't need Blu-ray audio, then your choice opens up as DVD and non-DVD universal players - NAD, Arcam, Marantz, Cambridge all have models worth looking at. If it was my money, I'd be checking out good examples of Arcam's DV135 / 137 / 139 models. They were all well reviewed and benefitted from good 2 channel audio when they were out. You see them crop up for good prices still and many are in good nick given they cost a fair bit when they were first released. CD/SACD/DVD-A/HDCD on them all.
     
    head_unit likes this.
  12. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Yes, I did mention movies, but really the stealth reason is to listen to the stereo discs of a lot of 5.1 stuff I've been buying on the sly. Now, I could do that with a cheapie, so the question to rephrase is
    --> Get a universal player now? Will they disappear? Will it die?
    The Oppo in another house is sure nice, built like a tank. AND front panel controls! I shoulda gotten one of those...I guess they are crazy money now used [kicking myself emoji!]

    P.S. strictly HDMI out, don't care about the analog.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  13. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I'd suggest looking for a used Oppo as you seem to like them. I bought an 83 and 93 in the past year with each costing under $200. Both are in excellent shape and play all discs without any issues.
    Mind elaborating on the above statement. If you're claiming all universal players on a whole are just "okay" that's totally false. There are entry level universal players and more expensive ones with better features and sound quality. Which universal players have you had in your system?
     
  14. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Is the Cambridge Audio piece that’s a cousin of the Oppo players (similar insides) still available?
     
  15. Audiowannabee

    Audiowannabee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Florida
  16. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Depends on which player. I believe Cambridge Audio players have different DAC sets than Oppo players.
     
    Tim 2 likes this.
  17. Major Dolphin

    Major Dolphin Active Member

    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ
  18. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    I was thinking about the CXUHD player, but believe it might be a transport only.
     
  19. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    The Cambridge Audio CXUHD is a transport only. I never saw the draw to the CXUHD when compared to the Oppo 203. When new the CXUHD was $799 and the 203 was $549. You would be paying $250 more for a player with no DACs or analog stage. Even if you only needed a transport why not save $250 and get the 203. Of course the prices for both players have gone crazy. But even if the prices are the same ($1000 +-) at this time I'd still chose the 203.

    CXUHD
    OPPO Digital - Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc Players
     
    Bananas&blow likes this.
  20. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    What is the difference between the Sony UBP X1100 ES and Sony X800?I was looking for a Blu Ray with good sound quality for concerts that can play stereo SACD.Movies are a plus for me.Picture isn’t as important as sound and ease of use.
     
  21. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    They shared, in some earlier models, the same Mediatek platform. Beyond that, little in common. Different DACs, different power supply, different upsampling process.
     
  22. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Pointless release from Cambridge. I think they wanted potential buyers to use their AV amps, or they wanted to minimise costs.

    They were right to some extent for the latter and they went on and released their upper end Edge series. I think they saw the writing on the wall for universal players.
     
  23. Guildx500

    Guildx500 Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    The ES model has a built in DAC and analog audio outputs. With the 800 your receiver will be doing the decoding. They look very similar, though the ES model has more heft. I tried the 1000ES in my system and was unimpressed with the built in analog outputs on the player, far preferring my Rotel RCD 1072. I doubt the 1100 would sound any better. I do run the 800 for video and it's okay. Ultra HD playback is not always perfect.

     
  24. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    Location:
    Mass
    Thanks for your reply.
     
  25. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Not always.
    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page